Simple AVR -- is there such a thing? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-31-2014, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Simple AVR -- is there such a thing?

Been there, done that, full HT setup, 7 channels, 2 subs, etc.
The time has come for a new AVR, I haven't bought any HT stuff in the past 7 yrs. and I need to set up a new room.
I'm thinking a 2.0 setup, so I'm wondering if there's such a thing as a decent AVR with a minimal number of channels. I'd like a stereo AVR but I don't think it exists. The only thing that offers HDMI switching seems to be 5.1

To give you an idea, I currently own a Denon 3808 (paired with a Def Tech ProMonitor 800 5.1 speaker set) and I'm looking for something good that is simpler: no legacy connections, HDMI only is fine, minimal number of channels, perhaps HDMI 2.0 for the upcoming 4K @ 60Hz, etc.

I'm of course looking at the new Denon "S" line. What else should I consider?

If you have such a setup, please do share the speakers you use too, I'm in the market for full tower speakers too.
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-31-2014, 09:13 AM
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I'm not aware of HDMI 2 channel AVR's, with DTS & Dolby Digital decoding. There are a couple of stereo amps with digital inputs, but don't think they have HDMI, and not sure if they decode DD & DTS.#

You may have to get a AVR. I use one in the PC audio system, although L/R is really only what I have- the video switching, and audio over HDMI is useful

Krell Evolution 900e x 7

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post #3 of 9 Old 08-31-2014, 09:26 AM
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Wow I logged in to ask almost the same question and this was the first topic!

I just moved in with the lady friend to 550sqft. Definitely need to downsize. Will probably trim my 5.0 system to a 3.0. I have several HDMI sources and I need two analog inputs (turntable amplifier and ipod/phone). Would like to keep features like Audyssey room correction but in a smaller package than my current Demon 891
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-31-2014, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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OK, what models should I look at for a 5.1 AVR? It seems that the 5 channel AVRs are very entry level, budget oriented, they seem underpowered and have the cheap spring loaded speaker connectors. At least that's what I noticed looking at the Denon S500 vs S700.

I think manufacturers should consider making some nice AVRs that are a class above the single speaker systems for those who want something that sounds better, can use nicer speakers but don't want to deal with a full setup.

Any suggestions for a "minimalist" setup mainly for movie watching?
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-31-2014, 10:11 AM
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Denon X1100W is the "X" series version of the S700W with same Audyssey as your 3808CI and a 3rd year of warranty.

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post #6 of 9 Old 08-31-2014, 01:56 PM
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You might want to look at the "audio first" boutique AVRs -- Arcam, Cambridge Audio, NAD -- instead of lower end models from the mass manufacturers. The audio first models lean toward the minimalist end of the design spectrum by skipping video processing (which is better done at either the beginning or end of the chain), but they're solidly built (i. e., good speaker connections) and provide adequate power. All handle HDMI, of course. I also like the Anthem line of gear -- another boutique manufacturer -- and Outlaw.

The major Pacific rim companies whose gear you'll find at Best Buy tend to compete on the basis of features lists, so they have to compromise on build quality (such as speaker connectors) to meet their price points. No major manufacturer produces really bad gear, but the boutique units seem slightly more robust and cleaner. They cost more, of course.
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-31-2014, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
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One feature I liked about my Denon 3808CI is the network firmware updates. In the beginning (2007) they had a few updates that solved compatibility issues with HDCP handshake to other devices Of course I haven't seen an update in many years which is not surprising, not that the AVR is perfect, just that I don't expect them to support it for so many years. So I would like an AVR that offers easy updates (it doesn't have to be over the network, downloadable firmware that can be flashed via USB would be fine too).

So what's worth looking at under $500? I missed a deal yesterday on the Denon S700W for $349, which is OK, I didn't have a chance to research the subject much anyway.
Is Denon still a good choice, I've owned 2 Denons thus far and I was relatively happy with them, they both had their quirks but nothing major. I tried an Onkyo before and it had major issues and didn't like it at all.

From the smaller niche names, anything under $500, minimalist in terms of features?
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-01-2014, 09:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Is the Marantz Slim Line worth considering? I see the entry level ones are rated at only 50W per channel -- I remember reading long time ago that something is different about their ratings and should not go by the absolute numbers only when compared to Denon, Pioneer, Sony and the likes, they should be plenty powerful. Could someone please refresh my memory on Marantz and wattage ratings?
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-01-2014, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirDracula View Post
Is the Marantz Slim Line worth considering? I see the entry level ones are rated at only 50W per channel -- I remember reading long time ago that something is different about their ratings and should not go by the absolute numbers only when compared to Denon, Pioneer, Sony and the likes, they should be plenty powerful. Could someone please refresh my memory on Marantz and wattage ratings?
Watts are watts, but there are some factors.

Two receivers could put out the same power at 8 ohms, but put out different power at 4 ohms
Two receivers could put out the same power at 8 ohms, but one is rated at 1% THD the other at .1% THD - the one at .1% THD is more powerful
Two receivers could have been measured with a different number of channels driven which of course means you can't directly compare their power specs
Two receivers could have been measured differently in that one was measured from 20hz to 20khz, and the other at only 1hkz; the 1 khz one is overrated as measuring at 1 khz only is "cheating"

Those are just some factors. You can see you can safely not worry to much about power output specs. Of course it's nice to consider power output but I feel you have to have some general experience in looking at a lot of specs and bench tests and costs and weights and such and even then you just have a general idea. Remember that you need to double the power for a 3 dB increase in SPL making the real world performance difference between 50 and 100 watts slight.

If I wanted a simple AVR, I would get a Yamaha RX-475 perhaps. It's pretty simple and probably works pretty well if you only connect HDMI and only need two channels as it's two channel power is probably pretty good. But there's a lot of option depending on price and preference.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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