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Should I Really Upgrade My AV Receiver???

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi Guys, I am a newbee to AVS Forum and I am really looking for some suggestions. I have an Onkyo HT-S580 HT System and the reciever model # is Onkyo HR-R330. I bought($230.00) this in 2005 while I was living in an apartment. This was very great for apartment and still works good, No Complaints so far.

I recently bought a house and I have turned my basement (25'X20') into a HT with the following setup....
Epson HD Projector,Onkyo HT-S580,Samsung BD Player,Asus O-Play Media Player & Wii. So far the Onkyo system sounds great and I recently bought Polk Monitor60-2(front), Polk CS20(center), Polk Monitor40-2(rear), Polk PSWi225 sub. My main usage is movies.

These speakers also sounds great with the existing Onkyo AVR. Since this receiver doesn't have HDMI inputs,3D, THX, 7.1, Network, and other bells and whistles, I have ordered an Onkyo TX-NR808($700.00) and I have got the package delivered this evening but I was hesitant to open the package and I have one question bothering me too much.

SHOULD I REALLY NEED TO UPGRADE THE RECEIVER??
Any thoughts/suggestion are really appreciated. By the way the existing AVR gives 100w/channel per the specs as opposed to 135w/channel for the new TX-NR808. I know, I should have posted this question before purchasing the new one.
post #2 of 13
You prolly wont notice the difference in wattage. BUT then there is everything else; newer and more decoders, more listening options, video processing (I'd go with ABT2010/2015 or Marvell), network connectivity...in short you will have the full experience...vs a partial experience. If you have the money I would upgrade. There is a saying that my buddy once told me and holds true; Your set up is only as good as your weakest component. Your weakest component is the receiver which is a pretty big weakness. As I said I'd upgrade...if you have the money.
post #3 of 13
I think you should upgrade. I'm also going from a $300 5.1 receiver to a newer one.

It's a Sony STR-DE400. I'm buying a Yamaha RX-v667.

For a start; with my current one I cannot get surround on blu-rays as optical does not support the bandwidth, so I am limited to multichannel stereo.

I also don't like the sound of my receiver with my news speakers.

Allthough the wattage on the amp I'm getting is only about 15watt/channel more. It will help it maintain clarify as the volume goes higher and it will have much better DACs for a much better overall sound quality, regardless of power.

7.1 is pretty futureproof imo because the majority of blu-rays now are not even 7.1.

Even if a new disk format comes out, the increase in quality will be mostly on the visual side moreso than the audio.

HDMI can do 7 channel @ 24bit/192khz. Most decoders now, even trueHD etc only use about 96khz. So there is still room for more than a 100% increase with that amps audio capabilities.

Then there is just the weak link scenario....you're probably not getting the best out of your current speakers with that amp.
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchalfont View Post
For a start; with my current one I cannot get surround on blu-rays as optical does not support the bandwidth, so I am limited to multichannel stereo.
dchalfont - you are not limited to stereo over optical with lossless codecs on Blu-ray. It is true that optical doesn't support lossless. But, the player will send lossy DD 5.1 and DTS versions instead. The lossy tracks are encoded at higher bitrates than on DVD and they sound great, rivaling lossless. You may have other reasons for getting a new receiver. But, you can still get great 5.1 sound with your current one.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nova0002 View Post
You prolly wont notice the difference in wattage. BUT then there is everything else; newer and more decoders, more listening options, video processing (I'd go with ABT2010/2015 or Marvell), network connectivity...in short you will have the full experience...vs a partial experience. If you have the money I would upgrade. There is a saying that my buddy once told me and holds true; Your set up is only as good as your weakest component. Your weakest component is the receiver which is a pretty big weakness. As I said I'd upgrade...if you have the money.

Thanks nova0002. I have never heard about Marvell. I will read about it. How do you rate between

Denon 3311CI
Onkyo TX-NR808
Pioneer VSX-1120-K

These are my shortlisted receivers so far. I haven't even read much about Yamaha & Marantz either.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchalfont View Post
I think you should upgrade. I'm also going from a $300 5.1 receiver to a newer one.

It's a Sony STR-DE400. I'm buying a Yamaha RX-v667.

For a start; with my current one I cannot get surround on blu-rays as optical does not support the bandwidth, so I am limited to multichannel stereo.

I also don't like the sound of my receiver with my news speakers.

Allthough the wattage on the amp I'm getting is only about 15watt/channel more. It will help it maintain clarify as the volume goes higher and it will have much better DACs for a much better overall sound quality, regardless of power.

7.1 is pretty futureproof imo because the majority of blu-rays now are not even 7.1.

Even if a new disk format comes out, the increase in quality will be mostly on the visual side moreso than the audio.

HDMI can do 7 channel @ 24bit/192khz. Most decoders now, even trueHD etc only use about 96khz. So there is still room for more than a 100% increase with that amps audio capabilities.

Then there is just the weak link scenario....you're probably not getting the best out of your current speakers with that amp.
Thanks dchalfont for your input.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post
dchalfont - you are not limited to stereo over optical with lossless codecs on Blu-ray. It is true that optical doesn't support lossless. But, the player will send lossy DD 5.1 and DTS versions instead. The lossy tracks are encoded at higher bitrates than on DVD and they sound great, rivaling lossless. You may have other reasons for getting a new receiver. But, you can still get great 5.1 sound with your current one.

Thanks BIslander for your insight. I am more confused now . What would you do? Do you upgrade or just live with it as long as it works? I set my budget to 500 but stretched to 700 for the Onkyo.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

dchalfont - you are not limited to stereo over optical with lossless codecs on Blu-ray. It is true that optical doesn't support lossless. But, the player will send lossy DD 5.1 and DTS versions instead. The lossy tracks are encoded at higher bitrates than on DVD and they sound great, rivaling lossless. You may have other reasons for getting a new receiver. But, you can still get great 5.1 sound with your current one.

This is true, but the lossy version is not acceptable for me. I didn't mention ( but perhaps should have ) that I also wanted a new receiver because I play my PC audio through it and as PC games use 5.1 or 7.1 pcm, I am forced to use multichannel stereo over optical as there is no downsampling for pcm.

With HDMI I can play games and blu-rays in all their intended glory.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicjack View Post

Thanks BIslander for your insight. I am more confused now . What would you do? Do you upgrade or just live with it as long as it works? I set my budget to 500 but stretched to 700 for the Onkyo.

If the decision is about the ability to process lossless codecs instead of lossy ones, then I'd stay with your current receiver. You may not notice much improvement over the high bitrate lossy codecs on Blu-ray, perhaps none at all. But, you may have other reasons to upgrade.
post #10 of 13
I was simply pointing out that your statement about optical not supporting multichannel sound from Blu-rays is incorrect.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchalfont View Post

This is true, but the lossy version is not acceptable for me.

OK. But, that's different than saying optical can't do multichannel., forcing you to accept stereo.
Quote:


I didn't mention ( but perhaps should have ) that I also wanted a new receiver because I play my PC audio through it and as PC games use 5.1 or 7.1 pcm, I am forced to use multichannel stereo over optical as there is no downsampling for pcm.

With HDMI I can play games and blu-rays in all their intended glory.

That probably isn't relevant to the OP's issue. But, it seems like a good reason for you to upgrade.
post #11 of 13
Yamaha is much better than Sony's lower leve.
post #12 of 13
I think it's worth upgrading.

I'm a HUGE fan of dynamic volume type circuits and Audyssey Dynamic EQ makes a very audibly difference that even my mother can notice.

The Audyssey MultEQ also did wonders in smoothing out the bass response for my sub, my frequency response is nearly ruler flat in all four of my seating positions, and the sound is noticeably more neutral and accurate.

Those two factors alone would make me upgrade.

You probably won't notice the extra power of the new receiver, but it can't hurt.
post #13 of 13
I think another thing people don't really think about, is when you're getting into a decent quality receiver, you usually are getting a good image processor, what this means is you can connect older, lower quality sources and the processor will upscale the image, perform other various image enhancements on it, and you will get a much better image.

I have a Marantz Sr5003 and watching DVD's on it with my panasonic plasma vs when i was only using a DVD player straight to the TV is a NIGHT AND DAY difference in visual quality. Its almost absurd really.

I used to be a little skeptical of image upscaling and enhancing algorithms, because i worked a lot in the photography field and one of the things you learned (back in the day) is you can't really create something from nothing. I.e. if you have a bad shot or on poor quality film, you would only be able to print up to a certain size picture out of it (thus why medium and large formats are popular in the professional arena). But now with all of the digital enhancing software that basically "interprets" the "missing" data in the image. I've been convinced.

lets also think convenience. Being able to connect all of yours sources to your receiver and have one HDMI from your receiver to your television is OH so awesome. No more fooling with what input the TV is on. Just turn the tv on, turn the receiver on, switch the receiver to whatever you wanna do (xbox, tv, DVD, bluray, whatever) and bam, you're golden. Let the receiver handle the rest, you just enjoy.
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