AVS Club Gold
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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I have very happily owned an EAD Ovation for about 2 years now.
I want to move to 7.1 and have sold my Ovation in spite of recent EAD 7.1 upgrade plans. I will wait to see what goodies may surface at CES from EAD & others. I enjoy my 2-channel audio first, and H.T. second. I have been most pleased with the pre-amp section of the Ovation, and its overall features. I am going to purchase a great 2-channel pre-amp, then finalize the HT processor stuff later.
Related gear includes EAD PM2000, Bryston 4B-ST, Micromega Premium DVD2, Bel Canto DAC-1, Harmonc Tech cables, Blue Circle power products, NHT speakers all-around (soon to be Waveform Mach 17's & MC's). I watch a ton of DVDs on my Proxima DX3 via HTPC.
On a whim, I just bought the cheapest DD & DTS 5.1 receiver I could find that has pre-outs for all 5-channels. I am using this receiver as a processor only, feeding into my power amps. The unit in question is the Kenwoood VR-410 selling for $350 US.
I am shocked that I really don't notice too much when running with the cheapo Kenwood, which happens to cost about 1/10th of the price of the EAD Ovation. I believe that my very good power-amps make up for the Kenwood's sonic limitations. I have always thought the movie audio was over-rated anyway - mostly it is dialogue, some background music, and some booms & crashes, etc.
Having convinced myself that the cheap receiver route is MORE than acceptable for my HT needs, I will return this Kenwood, and buy the cheapest 7.1 reciever I can find - probably a Pioneer VSX-D909S or Elite VSX-35TX. (I like the Pioneer aesthetics better than Denon, Yamaha, Onkyo ).
These are just my thoughts from guy who has invested some bigger $$$ in his HT precossor, and finds it highly overkill. My experiences are that a great amp is more vital than a great processor for the movie-watching experience.