Help me find a suitable AV Receiver - AVS Forum
Receivers, Amps, and Processors > Help me find a suitable AV Receiver
destrekor's Avatar destrekor 06:30 AM 09-04-2013
Currently I have an Harman Kardon AVR 247.

She has met my needs, for the most part, for a few good years, but it seems it has gotten long in the tooth. Damn AV standards - they've been rather fluid for the past decade.

I have a PS3 and an HTPC (DVR) connected to it, and it is then connected to a Panasonic TC-P50ST60. That TV was just added, but it also brought to point another point: input lag.
I hadn't dialed it in, but the Receiver, or just the lag of the TV itself, caused some lip-sync issues. It seemed to improve when I first put in 30ms into the delay.

My PS3 has been just fine handling decode of all audio to output multichannel PCM.
It seems most affordable receivers today include all the latest codecs, like DTS-MA and Dolby TrueHD, and I'd definitely like that.

It also must pass through 3D. This is what brings the idea of a new receiver into play: as it stands, my PS3 cannot see the 3D functionality of the TV I just bought.
And I don't want to be limited to the basic audio that the TV can output over Optical if I did a work-around by connecting the PS3 directly to the TV.


I'd like to not spend over $400 if at all possible. But I'd like to see 7.1 with at least as good of audio as this HK AVR 247. I only currently use 5.1, so I guess I could accept that instead of 7.1, but I want the expansion capability for when I have a better space to dedicate to a theater room if I can afford it now.

That said, audio quality trumps all - I'll go with the better 5.1 receiver over a lesser 7.1 receiver at the same price.


Thanks!

jdsmoothie's Avatar jdsmoothie 07:11 AM 09-04-2013
What does this mean --> "... as it stands, my PS3 cannot see the 3D functionality of the TV I just bought.'? The PS3 can pass 3D video to the TV via HDMI and if you also connect an optical cable from the PS3 to the AVR can then pass the lossy DD/DTS 5.1 to the AVR.
destrekor's Avatar destrekor 03:00 PM 09-04-2013
Sorry if that wasn't clear... It means that, using the receiver, the PS3 apparently cannot pass the 3D to the TV.
I want to avoid directly connecting to the TV, specifically due to the fact that I could only pass lossy audio at that point.
Thus, I have a need for a new receiver.
lovinthehd's Avatar lovinthehd 03:08 PM 09-04-2013
Most avr's now offer 7.1 and HDMI 1.4a (for 3D/ARC capabilities). What avr's have you narrowed down based on your "audio quality" requirements?
destrekor's Avatar destrekor 03:40 PM 09-04-2013
That's why I am here - I don't know which ones are good, and affordable.

And I've seen many receivers offer at most 5.1, so it's by no means most common to see 7.1.
lovinthehd's Avatar lovinthehd 05:15 PM 09-04-2013
Good is subjective, personally I wouldn't expect significant audible differences between major brand offerings at your price point. Jdsmoothie can steer you well and maybe look at refurbs at accessories4less.com too.
destrekor's Avatar destrekor 06:45 PM 09-04-2013
The ones I'm debating between:

Marantz NR1403
Pioneer VSX-823-K
Sony STRDN840
Sony STRDH540

There were a couple Denon's around those price points, but features and connectivity don't seem to justify.

Should I be considering any Yamaha's at that price point?


Audio quality is a top concern, but also current and future connectivity support. Not sure if I feel a need to worry about 4K on this receiver purchase... and not sure if I want to plan on adding two speakers or not. For the next year, in my current apartment, that won't be happening. I'd probably upgrade speakers before I add two more...

The ability to pass through 3D and hopefully pass through all content without any input lag/delay, that's a prime concern as well. I want to make sure I'm not introducing any more delay - if possible, I'd like there to be less than what the AVR 247 is introducing (if it's introducing any at all - with it having an OSD to show volume and input labels, I highly doubt it's passing the data through without any processing/input lag)
jdsmoothie's Avatar jdsmoothie 08:29 PM 09-04-2013
The 1403 is the only one in your list that will be able to EQ a subwoofer if you plan on using one as it uses Audyssey MultEQ and also comes with a 3 year warranty.
destrekor's Avatar destrekor 08:53 PM 09-04-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

The 1403 is the only one in your list that will be able to EQ a subwoofer if you plan on using one as it uses Audyssey MultEQ and also comes with a 3 year warranty.

Just read up on MultiEQ. That's a nice feature!
The longer warranty is definitely appreciated too.

I just want to nitpick - it's not going to be any worse than other receivers when it comes to adding input lag, will it?
I'll sacrifice a few features if it means keeping input lag down.

That was one thing I was considering when looking at that Marantz and at the other receivers - I don't necessarily need a "smart" receiver, I have plenty of other devices that can handle the same functions. What worries me is adding more functions to an AV receiver is only going to increase the likelihood of additional processing time since other features may require more CPU time, even if not utilized.

If the Marantz can do only a few things, but excel at them, that's my choice I guess.

I've always eye-balled Marantz receivers but whenever I went to buy one, there was always a feature sacrifice - but I've always known or heard their products are worth their price even if you get less extras.
Awhile ago, it would have been less HDMI ports or something.
As it stands, I'm excited to have open HDMI ports on a receiver - having 2 limits expansion options.


Another question regarding that 1403 - 50W per channel... is that going to be realistic?
I've heard Harman Kardon usually underrates their wattage claims. The 50W performance of the AVR 247 meets my needs - I'd be afraid to go lower... and for now, I don't envision needing more. Whenever I get better speakers, if they need more power to drive, that might be a time I'm also looking to spend more on a receiver anyhow.
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 09:12 PM 09-04-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by destrekor View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post


That was one thing I was considering when looking at that Marantz and at the other receivers - I don't necessarily need a "smart" receiver, I have plenty of other devices that can handle the same functions. What worries me is adding more functions to an AV receiver is only going to increase the likelihood of additional processing time since other features may require more CPU time, even if not utilized.

Generally speaking if you don't use the feature, the code to implement it is branched around it and it costs you negligible extra CPU cycles.

Some smart features such as those involving internet radio, etc are often implemented in separate modules with their own processing.

destrekor's Avatar destrekor 08:02 PM 09-05-2013
Okay, so I picked up the NR1403 at Best Buy (Magnolia) for $350. I was actually shocked, as I saw almost everywhere online, including Best Buy, advertising $399 or right around that mark.


I also hadn't investigated them at all, because it really should be considered out of my reach, but it's also only $50 more than I had originally planned (granted, the same $100 more that I expected)....
that Pioneer Elite VSX-43 is listed at $450 at my local store.


What is the honest opinion, comparing these two specifically? The Marantz NR1403 at $350 and the Pioneer Elite VSX-43 at $450.
I also, after searching for reviews and opinions elsewhere, determined I should be quite pleased with the Sony BDPS5100. I saw it in store, marked as on sale, for $130. I couldn't recall where I saw it for less, but I could have sworn BB listed it for sale online at $115 (marked as available in store as well). I actually had them price match Amazon (also for $115) at the register - completely forgetting that even Best Buy actually advertised that price.

What gives? Is this BB store simply staffed by incompetent management? I've never seen such price discrepancies between their online pricing and their store. In fact, I've not once encountered a different price - that's how I've always gauged whether it's even worth buying (and now with amazon.com price matching, whether it's at least in stock locally so I can avoid shipping).
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