Receiver and speaker recommendations - Basic 5.1 with specific zone 2 questions and preferences - AVS Forum
Receivers, Amps, and Processors > Receiver and speaker recommendations - Basic 5.1 with specific zone 2 questions and preferences
prskier17's Avatar prskier17 09:22 AM 12-24-2012
Hello everyone, this is my first post. I've been reading through this site for several weeks and it has helped me determine my wants and needs in a new AV receiver and speakers. I haven't seen several of my specific questions discussed here and I haven't found answers in the product manuals that our on my list so far. Hopefully I can make an informed decision with the help of this community.

The AV receiver will be placed in a built-in entertainment center in our living room on the main floor of our house. We have an open floor plan and the "room" (includes living room, dining room, kitchen, and lofted entryway) is approx 36' x 14' with 9' ceilings. The entertainment center currently includes:
- TV (46" Samsung LCD)
- BluRay player (HDMI)
- Nintendo Wii (Component video)
- Network router
- PC setup as a media server in the basement that has our entire music library stored and isn't really being used at this point.
- I might replace the PC with a WD Live or similar media storage server located in the entertainment center.
- 2ch bookshelf stereo with bookshelf speakers

AV Receiver: My plan is to replace with 2ch stereo with an AV receiver. I'll get more specific on the speakers below so here is what I'm thinking for the receiver and this is where most of my questions are:
- 5.1 surround max (might run 3.1 but won't ever run 7.1 in this room)
- I have some specific Zone 2 requirements. I plan to install two outdoor speakers for our deck and would prefer a receiver where I can use the built in amps to power zone 2.... that way we can utilize the volume control funtion of the smartphone apps on our android phones on the deck.
Here is the meat and potatoes of my questions that I haven't found answers to regarding zone 2......

Needs:
- We need to be able to play MP3's (and preferrably other compressed and lossless formats) from our PC or media server connected through ethernet to the receiver in the main zone AND zone 2.
- We need to be able to play Pandora and other streaming music through both the main zone and zone 2.
- We need to be able to independently adjust the volume of the main zone and zone 2 and preferrably through our android phones.

Wants:
- We want to be able to play MP3's or Pandora through zone 2 while watching TV (source could be cable, DVD, or Netflix) through main zone.

Dreams:
- Can anything play one MP3 playlist on the main zone while at the same time playing a different MP3 playlist through zone 2 assuming the MP3's are stored on the same device/server?
- Can two Pandora (or other streaming service) stations be played at the same time, one through each zone?

Speakers: I'm currently planning on a 3.1 speaker configuration because I haven't figured out a 5.1 layout that would meet the aesthetic requirements my wife and I have agreed to for this upgrade.... but it is possible 5.1 would be in the future. The LR speakers will need to be bookshelf size and although the shelves can be raise the current size available is 10"H x 18"W x 10"D. I currently have a pair of Infinity RS2001's sitting on their sides but both woofers are torn and I'm not sure I'd like to keep them in that location even if I do repair them. The TV sits in a "cubby" and there is approx. 6" of height available for a center channel otherwise it would have to go above the cubby which wouldn't look good and would place the speaker 2-1/2' above the listener's head. Can the TV sit on top of the center channel? The sub will need to be fairly compact so I can "hide" it as much as possible.

Budget: Hmmmm.... not in stone at this point but I'd like to do this for under $1000 and anything under that would be even better. I'm mostly concerned with the receiver functionality and will pay what I need to get there and then reevaluate the speakers depending on what is left in the budget. I don't need to purchase the outdoor speakers for several months (we're in Minnesota) so I'm not factoring those into this budget.

What I'm looking at so far. I like Denon products and the AVR-1913 appears to fit the bill (except not knowing the answers to several of the zone 2 questions above). I understand the AVR-2113ci would give me Audyssey Multi XT I'm just not sure that feature alone is worth the higher cost if that's the only additional feature that I would utilize. I've also been looking at some products from the previous generation. My priority is with the zone 2 flexibility and network functionality since I don't have many components to connect so I'm not sure if the previous generation products would be better in that regard. I've also been looking at some of the Yamaha product but am not as familiar with them. There are quite a few speakers / subs I've bookmarked while reading this forum but I guess I'll need to determine the cost of the receiver before I know what my speaker budget is.

Additional info: I'm much more particular about sound quality that my wife. I've ran pro audio systems for about 15 years in a part time capacity for rock bands, orchestras, churches, etc. in addition to playing in bands..... but I also realize that my budget and aesthetic requirements are not going to allow this system to completely satisfy me and that's ok... compromise smile.gif I've been living with movies through the TV speakers for 3 years on blown woofers in the Infinity's so anything will be an upgrade, I just want to get the best value that meets our needs.

Thanks in advance to anyone that reads all this.... and Merry Christmas!!!

jdsmoothie's Avatar jdsmoothie 05:08 PM 12-24-2012
Given your background, I would suggest the 2113CI over the 1913 even if only for the higher version of XT in the 2113CI although it does also come with a 3rd year of warranty (4 if your credit card provider adds another year as is the case with Amex). Unlike last year's XX12 models, the XX13 models are able to play an Airplay source to Zone 2 while another independent source (non-network) is playing in the main zone, although Airplay must first be selected to both main and Zone 2 before changing the main zone to another source. The network sources (Pandora, SIriusXM, etc.) and FM Tuner can play to Zone 2 independent from what is playing in the main zone. Audio that is streamed to the AVR using Airplay would be 2CH only.

Speaker recommendations are likely better asked in the Speakers forum.

http://www.avsforum.com/f/89/speakers
prskier17's Avatar prskier17 07:49 PM 12-24-2012
Thanks for the response. I've been reading the manuals for the 1913 and 2113. Either one would probably work for me.
prskier17's Avatar prskier17 08:26 PM 01-13-2013
Well I picked up a Denon AVR-2112ci from Best Buy today ($299 on clearance) and am just getting familiar with it. I think it will good and leaves a larger portion of my budget for speakers which won't be obsolete (or at least lack new features) in a few years. I've decided to look for JBL S38's (used of course) for my fronts and just won the matching S-Center on ebay today. With any luck I'll have some funds left for surrounds, a sub, and eventually my outdoor speakers!
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