Your Opinion - Which receiver - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 12-25-2013, 05:39 PM - Thread Starter
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I just built my 1st HTPC. Mainly want to use it with XBMC & Amazon Video.

 

I'm getting older & am having a hearing issue known as discrimination. I have a hard time hearing dialogue in movies where there are lots of sound effects. Sound effects seem to drown out the dialogue.

 

I hope to improve my listening experience by getting a 3.1 sound system. I ordered a nice center channel speaker to enhance dialogue.

 

I'm now looking at an AV receiver that has a "Dialogue Enhancement"  feature. With this feature, a nice center channel speaker & the ability to increase volume to the center channel speaker by way of the receiver, I'm hoping to be able to hear dialogue better.

 

Here are 2 receivers that have the dialogue enhancement feature & meet my other requirements as well as my budget.

 

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Home/AV-Receivers/Pioneer+Receivers/VSX-1122-K

 

http://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio-visual/av-receivers-amps/rx/rx-v675_u/?mode=model

 

 

Which would you choose & WHY ?

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post #2 of 13 Old 12-25-2013, 10:57 PM
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Either one should work well for you. Both are capable receivers. I'd pick the Yamaha but only because I've owned two of them lately and really like how they work.

When all else fails - RTFM!

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post #3 of 13 Old 12-26-2013, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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What do you mean "like how they work"?

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post #4 of 13 Old 12-26-2013, 12:47 PM
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What I mean is they work. They do as they are supposed to do - work. I've had too many AVRs and processors that do not work as designed or so poorly designed they were nearly impossible to set up and make 'work' - several Emotiva processors I've owned come to mind. I've owned several Harman Kardon AVRs that could not save any user defined settings - after a power cycle it simply did not save the settings I made. I've owned several Onkyo/Integra products with faulty HDMI boards.

I'm on my second Yamaha AVR - just like the last one - it works. It does what it is supposed to do.

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post #5 of 13 Old 12-26-2013, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks

 

This is my 1st AV receiver & I don't know what to expect. Seems strange as much as these things cost that things wouldn't work like they are supposed to. Of course quality control on everything today is not what it used to be. Despite all the new QC schemes that are thought up (ISO 9000, etc)  & the literal millions of dollars that MFG's spend to implement them, nothing really changes. 

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post #6 of 13 Old 12-26-2013, 03:36 PM
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I was a quality assurance inspector for the Boeing company for many years until I retired. We didn't use ISO 9000. We had our own system and it works pretty well. Most of the planes they built are still flying. I'm not sure how many AVR manufacturers are using ISO 9000 but it doesn't seem to work very well at times. Look at the problems Onkyo is having with their HDMI boards - and for the past 5 generations of their AVRs.

At any rate AVRs are becoming increasingly more complicated. Everyone seems to want to play music and control their AVR with an ipod/ipad/iphone. It *has* to have internet connections - has to have airplay - pandora - etc etc. When some crappy iphone/android phone app refuses to work right the AVR gets the blame. Never mind that many of the apps are free or $1.99. Then there is the operator errors.

I use an HTPC with a crap-load of music ripped from my CDs to FLAC in my main setup. From there it goes to my integrated amp and stereo setup. In the bedroom I have a Denon 1713 AVR. I plug in a flash drive to play my FLAC files for bedtime music. If it didn't have that plug-in for the flash drive I could improvise and burn a CD/DVD and play it through the Yamaha DVD player. There are ways around a lack of features - you just need to be inventive.

As for costs - AVRs are cheap! I spent $244 shipped for the Denon last month. It'll probably do most of what you are looking to do. I can recommend it without qualms - but you asked about Yamaha and Pioneer. I've owned a few Pioneer receivers - I recently gave my daughter a Pioneer VSX-9900 - a top of the line receiver 10 years ago. Its about as powerful as any AVR I've ever owned - probably on par with the Yamaha RX-V3900 I have in my home theater setup now.

In your price range the Yamaha HTR-7065 would be a great choice IMO. And its one that I recently owned. The 773 is another to look at. The Pioneer 1123 is the newer version of the 1122. These are probably the better choices in the Pioneer lineup IMO. Very good reviews.

Those AVRs all have very tweakable center channel levels - important since you have difficulty with dialog. You simply go into setup and bump the volume on the center up a bit if you like. Thats where the main dialog will be coming from.

In terms of reliability - from what I've read here - and experienced by ownership I think the best to worst is this:
Yamaha - Denon - Marantz - Pioneer - Harman Kardon - and the lowly Onkyo, last due to their lack of a decent HDMI board. I think Denon Marantz and Pioneer are very close in second place. This is of course just my humble opinion. YMMV -- as always. I've owned all of these brands except for Marantz - and I've owned several older receivers from the 60's and 70's. I'm not sure whether I despise Onkyo or Harman Kardon more! I know one thing - I'll take HK customer service over Onkyo's any day!

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post #7 of 13 Old 12-26-2013, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Both of the AVR's I've listed above are the bottom of the line, least expensive unit, from each mfg. that has the "dialogue enhancement" feature. That feature is the only reason I'm even looking at an AVR. I'm hoping it will help with my hearing issue.

 

Both seem to be equally matched as far as hardware & features. I'm sure they have many features I'll never use.

 

The list price on both of these is about $600.00,  I think that is kind of expensive. I know they can be purchased for less. In fact Pioneer has the VSX-1122-K listed in their outlet at $312.00 for a refurbished model , free shipping & 1 year warranty. That's not too bad. In fact I'm kind of leaning that direction.

 

The info on the Onkyo HDMI boards is exactly what I'm looking for since I have no experience with any brand.

 

Does anyone know of issues with Pioneer?

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post #8 of 13 Old 12-26-2013, 07:49 PM
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I think you may have missed something in my last post. Dialog comes mainly from the center speaker. All you really need to do is jack the volume up on the center channel speaker. I do this for my brother all the time so he can hear the dialog for movies. You can make it as loud as you like within the limitations of the AVR. I think my Yamaha lets me set speaker levels 20db difference. The center I could jack up to +10db and the rest of them at -10db. You WILL hear the dialog. It works like a charm. I have a Yamaha RX-V3900 and it does not have dialog enhancement as far as I know - and if it does it certainly hasn't been turned on by me. I doubt you need to find a receiver with such a specialized feature but if thats what you're aimed at then go for it.

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post #9 of 13 Old 12-26-2013, 08:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info that is reassuring. Both of these systems have the ability to increase the center channel by + or minus 10db. I plan on raising the Center channel by 10db & backing the fronts off by 5-10db & activating the dialogue enhancement feature. Hopefully all this will help me & my wife to hear dialogue better.

 

Glad to hear that it works for your brother. This gives me some hope.

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post #10 of 13 Old 12-26-2013, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsigmon View Post

Thanks for the info that is reassuring. Both of these systems have the ability to increase the center channel by + or minus 10db.

Even better is the fact that most any AVR made today from the very inexpensive to the high end ones can do that. It isn't a unique feature. Some put it on the remote - others may need a quick menu change.

When all else fails - RTFM!

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post #11 of 13 Old 12-27-2013, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
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That's funny. I went to Best Buy the other day, & was asking a girl there if any of the AVR's had the ability to adjust individual speaker volume up or down. She said none were able to do that.

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post #12 of 13 Old 12-27-2013, 11:56 AM
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Technically its not individual speaker volume but channel levels. But pretty much every AVR I've seen will let you adjust channel levels.

Some are easily accessible on the remote, others you have to dig a little deeper in the menu.

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post #13 of 13 Old 12-27-2013, 12:11 PM
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Just about any AVR should fill your needs, since most of them allow individual channel adjustments. You could get something like the Denon E300, which is about half the price of the two models you listed, run the Audyssey calibration, then go into the manual setup and change the center channel trim level. You might even find the dynamic volume function useful, as it uses a soundtrack's dialog level as the baseline to make adjustments to the other channel levels.


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