"Dumb" Receiver - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 04-24-2013, 11:49 PM - Thread Starter
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My google-fu must be weak . . .

I'm looking for a "dumb" receiver. Manufacturers these days stuff their boxes with 'features' that I don't want or need. The more basic it is the better it will be.

I would like a 5.1 amplifier in a box with an on/off button and a volume knob. No screen, no buttons. NOTHING ELSE!

The back would have HDMI in and HDMI out for passthrough, and a USB socket to connect it to the HTPC.

The HTPC would control the receiver via this USB connection via an app for sub crossover, levels and timing to each speaker via on screen display.

Does such a thing exist? Can it be made? Is there anyone here with electronics/programming development experience here that is interested? Is there a market for this or am I just weird?
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post #2 of 14 Old 04-25-2013, 12:12 AM
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Try these:
NAD
http://nadelectronics.com/products/av-receivers
Cambridge Audio
http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/products/azur-551r-home-cinema-av-receiver
Anthem
http://www.anthemav.com/products/anthem/a-v-receiver
Arcam
http://www.arcam.co.uk/products,fmj,AV-Amplifiers,AVR360.htm
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post #3 of 14 Old 04-25-2013, 12:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Oh dear. I was impressed by the fast reply but when I checked your recommendations I have to ask if you even read my request! Are you a bot?

All these are feature-stuffed boxes with stuff I don't want. Is there such a thing as a stripped-back receiver that is a slave to the HTPC it's connected to?
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post #4 of 14 Old 04-25-2013, 12:52 AM
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No I'm not a bot. I'm, just some guy with too much time and nothing to do.
The ones I listed are mostly boutique brands that make dumb receivers that your looking for.
Let me add Harman Kardon:
http://www.harmankardon.com/estore/hk/us/products/AVR-2700/AVR%202700_HK_US
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post #5 of 14 Old 04-25-2013, 01:27 AM - Thread Starter
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I appreciate your attention to my query but you aren't providing any answers at all. I'm after a dumb receiver that has only the most basic features possible and you are linking to receivers that have features that I explicitly do not want and none that I do, as stated in my original question.

It's nice to get a fast response but if you do not understand what I am asking about it would be better if you asked more questions instead of posting links for products that are entirely unsuitable which wastes both of our times.
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post #6 of 14 Old 04-25-2013, 02:32 AM
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What you want does not exist. Even stripped down bare bones avr's will have features you won't want.

What is wrong with features like bass managment, or room correction, or dynamic volume control (think Dolby volume or audyssey dynamic eq), or most other commonly used features on todays avrs? They really do improve sound under the right circumstances when configured and used properly.

I don't need snobs to tell me how to think, thank you!
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post #7 of 14 Old 04-25-2013, 02:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Because I already have a PC that is more than powerful enough to control the audio as well as the video, and is already hooked up to the TV and the internet. Why should I have to use two or three settings from two or three remote controls and device interfaces when one would do the job, and do it better?

Having your amplifier second-guess what you want from your media player is like having your GP second-guess your mother-in-law when you're ill. Life would be better if you had ONE interface for audio.
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post #8 of 14 Old 04-25-2013, 03:06 AM
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The only AV receiver I know of that has a USB Type B connector suitable for connecting to a PC is the Pioneer SC-68. Of course it has a lot of extra features you wouldn't use, but so does your HTPC and a lot of other things you already own. It's the only AV receiver that has all the features you're asking for, even if it doesn't meet your "nothing else" requirement.

Otherwise like 67jason says, nothing meets your requirements. Of course it's possible that what you're asking for could be made. If anyone here was both capable and interested in making such a receiver they already would have. No, there is no market for it. It would end up costing more to make than that SC-68 and have less features than a mass produced $200 entry level receiver.
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post #9 of 14 Old 04-25-2013, 03:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambleweenie View Post

Because I already have a PC that is more than powerful enough to control the audio as well as the video, and is already hooked up to the TV and the internet. Why should I have to use two or three settings from two or three remote controls and device interfaces when one would do the job, and do it better?
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Having your amplifier second-guess what you want from your media player is like having your GP second-guess your mother-in-law when you're ill. Life would be better if you had ONE interface for audio.
Get whatever $200 special of the week avr and don't use or enable features you won't want.....finding one without buttons will be rather difficult though.

Also in my experience a properly configured avr won't second guess your desired input....there can be a learning curve on the set up, but smart people can generally figure them out...assuming the use a bit of effort and take the time to learn it. Took me a day to set up my 809 to my satisfaction.

Learn to use what is available for your needs, design and build your own avr or do without.

I don't need snobs to tell me how to think, thank you!
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post #10 of 14 Old 04-25-2013, 08:33 AM
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IF your HTPC can do the Dolby digital & dts decoding and you have 5.1 outputs on the HTPC soundcard, just buy a 5.1 power amp and use the HTPC as the "receiver"?

Pioneer's have two knobs....volume and source selection and a few buttons on the front....
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post #11 of 14 Old 04-25-2013, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 67jason View Post

What you want does not exist. Even stripped down bare bones avr's will have features you won't want.

What is wrong with features like bass managment, or room correction, or dynamic volume control (think Dolby volume or audyssey dynamic eq), or most other commonly used features on todays avrs? They really do improve sound under the right circumstances when configured and used properly.

+1

Bambleweenie,
just don't use what you don't want to use...

because modern HT receivers that are just integrated amplifiers only 5.1 (inputs, outputs & amps) don't exist. even budget models < $500 have at least networking, decoding & some processing in them. you can bypass decoding, etc by using a direct or pure direct mode.

Steve
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post #12 of 14 Old 04-25-2013, 09:33 AM
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actually, there is something that is a "dumb" simple multichannel preamplifier, one of the very very few around.

the Parasound P7
http://www.parasound.com/halo/p7.php

not a receiver, so you'd have to buy an amp plus it'll cost you ~$2000, but it's a hi quality, straightforward preamp, no processing, no decoding but actually has a form of bass management in it for subs.

gets high marks from Home Theater Mag & Stereophile.

so you can spend $2K + $800 for an Emotiva XPA5 amp, or you can buy a $250-1000 receiver & just don't use features

your choice

Steve
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post #13 of 14 Old 04-25-2013, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telemike View Post

IF your HTPC can do the Dolby digital & dts decoding and you have 5.1 outputs on the HTPC soundcard, just buy a 5.1 power amp and use the HTPC as the "receiver"?

Yah, this is as close as the original poster is going to get to what he wants. It would even have the advantage of moving the volume control to the PC, putting even more under control of just "one interface".
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post #14 of 14 Old 04-25-2013, 03:40 PM
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HDMI inputs and output for pass through
USB inputs


But no display?
No room calibration?
No buttons? How do you switch inputs?

I agree that what you want does not exist. Even the most basic receiver will have features you do not want.

Afro GT
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