AH! My head is going to EXPLODE! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-06-2014, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
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AH! My head is going to EXPLODE!

There's too many options! That can be a good thing (if you know what you're looking for) or it could be a bad thing (if you don't know what you're looking for). I'm trying to decide between going with an AVR or a pre/pro with separate power amps. The options are insane. I don't know what to do!

Here's some info that may help:

My wife and I are currently looking at lots and land to build on. In my house plan, I have a home theater. It's going to be roughly 15x20 or 16x22. I also do audio recording as a hobby, so I'm familiar with acoustic treatment and that kind of thing. Perhaps not in the context of home theaters but I will be able to understand it, I know that. I also know the difference between preamps, processors, and power amps. I'm good there. HOWEVER, all of my life, I've only ever used AVR's. I currently have a Yamaha 7.2 system. From what I have read, this AVR is underpowered. I'd like to upgrade when I start building out my room. I don't have to have a specific unit picked out yet, but I'd like a direction to go, at least.

My Goal:
To have a nice home theater that won't break the bank. Some of you guys have equipment that my wife would divorce me over. However, I do have SOME freedom to get something probably mid-level or so. I'm wanting to be able to hear crisp dialogue and I'd like to feel explosions as much as hear them. I do not, however, want my ears to bleed. I already have some high tone loss because of music. I sure don't need more. I'd be okay with 9.2 because why not, but 7.1 is the lowest I'd go.

I currently have it in the plan to get the Epson 5030UB or the Sony VPL-HW40ES. For speakers, I was initially targeting Klipsch RF-82 stuff, but my research says there are other options (still too many options and I'll probably be asking this same thing about speakers later on!).

My current plan is to either DIY my own screen or just paint my wall. I MAY buy a screen depending on how things work out.

Anyway, I said all that to give you an idea of my limitations (money wise). I don't expect to be the best home theater around...I just want something respectable that my family and I can enjoy.

So what say ye, AVS? AVR or pre/pro & poweramps? I know it probably has a lot to do with opinion...and that's why this is hard to figure out.



UPDATE:
I have done some research and it's looking more and more like my best bang for the buck is going to be in an AVR. I'm not sure going pre/pro and power amps would be cost effective for me. At least not right now. Maybe one day, though. So, AVR it is! Obviously I'm way ahead of myself on research vs buying. I won't be ready to buy for at least another 6 months. By then, though, there should be plenty of Atmos options with all my other requirements.

Based on my AVR research, some of my requirements are as follows:
  • A good amount of nice clean power
  • Controllable via an app on iPad
  • Atmos ready
  • Bluetooth
  • At least 5 HDMI in's
  • At least 1 HDMI out
  • At least 7.1.2 and up to 9.2.4 (ideally 7.2.4)
  • Networked (wifi not required but all of them come with it anyway)
  • Very little complaints of failure of unit or other issues
Nice to have:
  • 4K Upscaling

Last edited by Myriad_Rocker; 08-08-2014 at 10:02 AM.
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-06-2014, 05:42 PM
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You really didn't give your limitations money wise. What's your total budget?

pre amps will generally cost much more than an AVR. But many AVR's have outputs that can be connected to an external amp.

There are probably many options for your but a budget must be determined first.

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post #3 of 11 Old 08-06-2014, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post
You really didn't give your limitations money wise. What's your total budget?

pre amps will generally cost much more than an AVR. But many AVR's have outputs that can be connected to an external amp.

There are probably many options for your but a budget must be determined first.
I did forget to put that, didn't I? I hate to put a number on it, because that budget could shrink or grow by a little depending on my mood, my wife's mood, or bang for the buck scenarios. Let's say it's a $1,000 and I'm also open to looking in the gently used areas (while still remaining up to date on the technology).
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-06-2014, 06:44 PM
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What year model is your Yamaha AVR? Does it have HDMI?

If so, I'd just wait until the room is done and see how it works. Depending on what speakers you get, you may have enough power.

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post #5 of 11 Old 08-06-2014, 10:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
What year model is your Yamaha AVR? Does it have HDMI?

If so, I'd just wait until the room is done and see how it works. Depending on what speakers you get, you may have enough power.
I don't know exact year but it has about 4 HDMI inputs and one HDMI out. It's probably about 4 to 5 years old by now.
You make a good point...and I may wait. But I do have a tendency to get wild hairs and sell stuff in anticipation of getting something new. In fact, once we bought a lot (not having any luck finding what we want yet), I had planned on selling off my entire current home theater.
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-07-2014, 04:10 PM
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Building a home theater from scratch is absolutely the best occasion for consulting a home theater professional. The first meeting would probably cost you nothing, and from it you would get a clear idea of further costs. Unless you have extravagant construction desires, you would probably be pleased with how little the consultant's guidance would cost (all things considered).

For example, you should decide on your speakers (brand, size, placement) and your display elements before you buy your electronic components. We do all this for the sound and the image the system produces, so speakers and displays are more important than the assorted electronic boxes which make the speakers and the displays go.

Since you won't be needing new gear for some time, choosing any component now is way premature; you run the risk of regretting an immediate purchase because something new comes onto the market over the next year or so.

Finally, you really do need an approximate budget to balance your eventual purchases with each other. As you realize, you could spend hundreds of thousands on a home theater. An approximate budget ($5000? $10,000? $15,000? $25,000?) works as a rough guide helping you sort through the numerous options before you.
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-07-2014, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by virginia bill View Post
Building a home theater from scratch is absolutely the best occasion for consulting a home theater professional. The first meeting would probably cost you nothing, and from it you would get a clear idea of further costs. Unless you have extravagant construction desires, you would probably be pleased with how little the consultant's guidance would cost (all things considered).

For example, you should decide on your speakers (brand, size, placement) and your display elements before you buy your electronic components. We do all this for the sound and the image the system produces, so speakers and displays are more important than the assorted electronic boxes which make the speakers and the displays go.

Since you won't be needing new gear for some time, choosing any component now is way premature; you run the risk of regretting an immediate purchase because something new comes onto the market over the next year or so.

Finally, you really do need an approximate budget to balance your eventual purchases with each other. As you realize, you could spend hundreds of thousands on a home theater. An approximate budget ($5000? $10,000? $15,000? $25,000?) works as a rough guide helping you sort through the numerous options before you.
I appreciate the advice, but I don't want to consult with a home theater professional. I have no desire to have them do any of the work for me. That's why I'm here. To learn about it myself. Also, I'm not looking for "get this exact AVR" type of an answer. I'm looking for a direction to go (pre/pro or AVR). I've given an example of the type of speaker I'm looking to get. I was looking at some Klipsch reference series speakers. I may still go that way in some part, but I figure that example gets me in the ballpark of expectations. I've also listed two projectors specifically that I'm looking at. I'd like a 120" screen or larger. Anything less isn't worth it to me. I have not decided if I want to go with an actual screen or just paint a smooth wall a specific color.

Based on some of my recent research, I don't think it would be cost effective for me to go the pre/pro route. There are some really nice AVR's out there that fit around my $1K budget. As for an overall budget, I have no idea yet. I'd prefer not to think of it that way. I like to establish budgets per item or just plainly get what I think is the best bang for the buck. I don't like limiting myself to hard dollar amounts unless it's absolutely necessary. That being said, the sky is not the limit. But it's just not black and white to me where budget comes in.

Anyway, that's my thoughts on it. I do appreciate what you've said. I'll take all the advice I can get.

For the record, I like what I've seen in these AVR's and they warrant a bit more of my research. When it is time for me to buy, I will be looking for something similar or better than these in the same price range. But I'm also not totally sure when I'll be purchasing. Six months at a minimum I'm sure. I know the game can change a lot between now and then. However, knowing my baselines and researching never hurt anyone in the decision making process, right?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=ATVPDKIKX0DER
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=AAK72K4OIWDXL
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=AAK72K4OIWDXL
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Based on my AVR research, some of my requirements are as follows:
  • A good amount of nice clean power
  • Controllable via an app on iPad
  • Bluetooth
  • At least 5 HDMI in's
  • At least 1 HDMI out
  • At least 7.1 and up to 9.2
  • Networked (wifi, however, not required)
  • Very little complaints of failure of unit or other issues

Nice to have:
  • 4K Upscaling

Last edited by Myriad_Rocker; 08-07-2014 at 06:44 PM.
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-07-2014, 07:05 PM
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By November Dolby Atmos is probably gonna be out which is specifically designed for beyond 7.1

So you will have a new out-dated AVR if you buy now.
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-07-2014, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BassThatHz View Post
By November Dolby Atmos is probably gonna be out which is specifically designed for beyond 7.1

So you will have a new out-dated AVR if you buy now.
Like I said, I'm not buying right now. I'm just doing my due diligence on direction. In 6 months, if Dolby Atmos is out...cool. I'm in...if I bother going higher than 7.1, that is.
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-07-2014, 09:16 PM
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I'm going through the same delema. Funny how the first on your list is the first on my list, Yamaha RX-A1040. My other option was the Onkyo TX-NR838. However, the ones you have on your list are last years models. I'd recommend looking at this years Onkyo models, the 737 and 838. All models from the 636 and up are Atmos ready, have good power, wifi and BT. The only problems I have with Onkyo are some reliability, heat issues and HDMI port past failures... otherwise, they are good units. Also, the 838 and up are huge! So, make sure you have a good amount of rack space.

I would recommend the Yamaha Aventage RX-A1040, good power, excellent warranty, reliable, excellent features and well built.
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post #11 of 11 Old 08-08-2014, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ws6whiteshark View Post
I'm going through the same delema. Funny how the first on your list is the first on my list, Yamaha RX-A1040. My other option was the Onkyo TX-NR838. However, the ones you have on your list are last years models. I'd recommend looking at this years Onkyo models, the 737 and 838. All models from the 636 and up are Atmos ready, have good power, wifi and BT. The only problems I have with Onkyo are some reliability, heat issues and HDMI port past failures... otherwise, they are good units. Also, the 838 and up are huge! So, make sure you have a good amount of rack space.

I would recommend the Yamaha Aventage RX-A1040, good power, excellent warranty, reliable, excellent features and well built.
Yeah, I saw that last night when I was looking and actually updated my list with only Atmos enabled AVR's. I also read the white paper on Atmos and it seems pretty awesome!
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