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Receiver Recommendations, again

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm still looking at receivers. I think I've decided I'm willing to spend a little more on the receiver (so now, I'm willing to pay $500-$800), especially since so many people seem to be anti-Sony. I admit to being curious about the Marantz units (My father has an expensive Marantz receiver he bought back in the 70's that he kept hooked up and working for over 30 years without a problem).

Right now, I am looking at the Harman Kardon AVR-354 and the Marantz SR5003. Again, I am looking for something with at least 1 HDMI input and at least 2 optical inputs (I say "at least" as I prefer, for later upgradeability, to have at least one more of those inputs than I currently need - just in case). The one HDMI input is for my TiVo HD (a second one for a potential PS3); the optical inputs are for my Xboxes (one 360, connected via the PC connection, needing an optical connection, one non-360, using the HD pack, so needing an optical connection).

What are people's thoughts on these two receivers? Between the two, which company's should I go for, Marantz or Harman Kardon?
post #2 of 9
The SQ on the HK's are unmatchable in the price range of these receivers. There are some buggy issues with the x54 series, however some of those problems have been fixed via fw update.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
As much as I like the Marantzes, the remote quirks (needing to press amp and then the input twice) I've heard about seem to be something throwing it into the "con" side of the list.
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenonn View Post

As much as I like the Marantzes, the remote quirks (needing to press amp and then the input twice) I've heard about seem to be something throwing it into the "con" side of the list.

I would completely agree with you on this. I personally LOVE Marantz, and I still don't think the value of a refurb 4001 can be beat ($229), however, this is one hell of an annoying quirk if you don't use a universal remote.

IMO, the SQ of Marantz is = to HK.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
The Marantzes have the remote issue, and from what I see, the HK's have issues with HDMI. Do Marantzes have any HDMI issues (are they fast or slow when switching inputs, any disconnect problems)?
post #6 of 9
Looks like the HDMI issues of the HK have been fixed with the firmware upgrade of a couple weeks back...???
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
I've been reading the Marantz and HK threads. It seems that even with the firmware, the HK still has some big issues. I'm also looking at the Yamaha RX-V863. But I'm leaning toward the Marantz and just investing in a universal remote.

I'm beginning to miss the good old days, when receivers were purely for audio - no upscaling, downscaling or other video issues to deal with.
post #8 of 9
I love the modern days of receiver side video switching without having to use macros.

My bedroom system requires that I program my Harmony to switch my video and it's a pain in the neck. It's slow, and clunky. If I ever manually change anything, the Harmony won't work because it assumes things are in a certain state such as the TV being on or off.

My living room system is all HDMI (for video sources anyway,) and is mostly trouble free. There is a delay when switching HDMI that did not exist back in the component days. It would be nice to speed up HDMI switching in the future, but I can live with it now. I generally don't have to do anything but turn my TV on or off. The receiver handles the rest.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
I ended up getting a Marantz SR5003.

I do have a question in setting this up. For the immediate future, I plan to use my old DTT3500 speakers. The DTT3500 all have RCA (or coax, I'm not sure) connectors on one end of the speaker cable/wire and on the other end are the black and red bare wire. The RCA connectors, of course, are designed for the receiver end of things, and the red/black wire go into their respective speakers, which use spring clips.

It looks like the SR5003 does not have RCA ports/connectors on the receiver (aside from the Aux2/7.1 channel input), so I'm assuming I'm going to need to spring for some speaker wire and hook things up that way, between the speaker output terminals and the speakers.

My questions:
  • 1. Will the speaker output terminals accept banana plugs, or will I just need to use the bare wire per the instructions on the manual (page 11)?
  • 2. The DTT3500 speakers are a 5.1 system, with an unpowered subwoofer. Is it possible to use an unpowered subwoofer with the SR5003? The instructions I see only mention a powered one.
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