Time to replace the Rotel RSX-965 and need some friendly advice - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 12-12-2012, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
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The world of receivers is vast so I hope to get a few helpful hints to direct my search. I very much enjoy my Rotel RSX-965 but it's feature set is showing it's age. The reciever drives Paradigm studio 20's, matching center and some paradigm rear speakers (white outdoor set required for SAF). I'd like to at least keep the same output power (quantity and quality) while getting new features like:
  • HDMI inputs/outputs at 1.4 standard supporting 3D video
  • audio decoding for blu-ray formats plus 5.1 PCM
  • 5.1/7/1 audio inputs that are normal RCA's
  • 3+ optical inputs
  • A good remote (still love the rotel remote)

I liked Marantz in the past but got this Rotel for a sweet deal back in '99. A lot has changed since then and I am not up on what is necessary vs nice to have.

Any advice or direction you can give will be appreciated.
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post #2 of 3 Old 01-03-2013, 09:22 AM
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Hi Mondrin,

It's funny that I came across your posting. I am in the middle of an HT build - and was thinking of how I might be able to incorporate my old Rotel RSX-965 into the build! I know it's ridiculous to try to employ a receiver from 1998 into the build - but it sounds great.

The sheer number of AVRs and their deep feature sets is daunting - and with the feature sets of current blu-ray players and media/gaming devices, I am researching what I might be losing - other than room correction - by not immediately buying a current AVR.

In my novice opinion, the Rotel (as old as it is) has a unique warmth that I can't find in a Denon, Marantz, Onkyo, Yamaha. My thought is that a new Rotel or Arcam would likely provide the same audio experience. A NAD or Anthem receiver would also be good choices.

However, for my needs - none of the aformentioned provide the convenience feature I am looking for: Zone 2 HDMI with independent source control. This requirement limits my options to the Denon AVR-3313ci, Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A3020, and the new wallet busting Onkyo offerings. I also need a receiver capable of handling 4ohm loads for the front and center channels.

One option I considered was purchasing an Oppo BDP-103. The Oppo has the capability of two HDMI outputs and two HDMI inputs. So, I could feed blu-ray and set-top box content to a second zone. However, this IS NOT the same functionality as the receivers mentioned above that allow for independent source content to be enjoyed simultaneouly in two seperate zones. The Oppo also boasts video streaming (Netflix, Vudu, Pandora, CinemaNow, Rhapsody, etc.) and 7.1 channel analog output. So, you could use the DB25 5.1 input on your Rotel effectively using it as an amplifier and let the Oppo handle all the decoding, etc.

The Oppo is a steal at $499.00 - but that's also $499 (plus ~$50 for the DB25 to RCA cable) you can allocate to a new AVR if you already own a capable blu-ray player. If you hate the thought of retiring the RSX-965, it's an option. I may go this route to buy some time, enjoy the theater for a while, and wait to see what 2013 brings in the way of new AVR offerings. The competition is incredible and the feature sets and quality at attractive price points gets better every year.

What's your budget? That will help me to give you some models to consider and maybe spur some of the more knowledgeable folks on the forum to help you out.

In the meantime, check out the Anthem MRX line of receivers.

Best,

John
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post #3 of 3 Old 01-05-2013, 08:15 AM
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I am also in a similar situation to the OP. I recently bought a new TV and am thinking it may be time to replace my RSX-965. I also love the warm sound from the receiver. When I bought it I wanted to make sure my desire for a nice sounding stereo system was equally balanced with home theater demands and the Rotel was a great match with my B&W CDM 1NT front speakers. I still have those speakers and the receiver still sounds great, but unfortunately doesn't have any of the nice new features, especially HDMI. I hesitate to spend a lot of money on a new receiver when my "old" one sounds so great.

In my case, my needs are fairly basic, but looking at all of the options available makes my head spin. I'll be following this thread in the hopes of getting some ideas for options. What would a comparable sounding receiver cost today?
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