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$1500 - What do you buy?

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 
With this budget (plus or minus a little), what do you buy in terms of an AVR?? Just upgraded my speakers to PSB Image T6's and a PSB Imagine center channel. I haven't purchased surrounds yet (still using old ones). I have a Pioneer VSX-50 that sounds ok, but is underpowered for these.

I've looked at a Marantz 6006 or similar model, Pioneer SC-65. Recommendations?? I don't need all the Airplay and useless bells and whistles. Just awesome audio for HT and music listening. Power amp + AVR setup maybe???


Thanks in advance!!!

Rob
post #2 of 60
Denon 4311
post #3 of 60
Another vote for the 4311.
post #4 of 60
and another vote here for the 4311...
post #5 of 60
post #6 of 60
Anthem MRX series. Could get the MRX300 and add an amp for the fronts if needed, most don't
post #7 of 60
buy Ron a Denon 4311 :-)
post #8 of 60
4311... Or maybe a 3312 and save the extra money smile.gif (though the 4311 is just that extra bit better)
post #9 of 60
4311 all the way smile.gif. Better act fast as the new 4311s will not last forever.

Bill
post #10 of 60
Onkyo 3009. Just hooked mine up and you couldn't wipe the grin off my face even if you hit me with a baseball bat. And I haven't even touched any settings yet.

butter and jelly please...
post #11 of 60
Come on folks, the guy has speakers that will handle 200 watts and have a 4 ohm minimum, definitely separate amp category. And the thing is, his Pioneer AVR has pre outs!

Therefore I would suggest you get a 5 channel amp and save for a processor next year. Emotiva has a good option, the XPA-5, for I think around 800 right now on sale. You will be seriously impressed with the improvement. Save the 700 for next year and you will have several options for a prepro from Emotiva, Marantz, Integra, etc.

Why buy a mere receiver when you could get so much more for under a grand?
post #12 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by runnin' View Post

Come on folks, the guy has speakers that will handle 200 watts and have a 4 ohm minimum, definitely separate amp category. And the thing is, his Pioneer AVR has pre outs!
Therefore I would suggest you get a 5 channel amp and save for a processor next year. Emotiva has a good option, the XPA-5, for I think around 800 right now on sale. You will be seriously impressed with the improvement. Save the 700 for next year and you will have several options for a prepro from Emotiva, Marantz, Integra, etc.
Why buy a mere receiver when you could get so much more for under a grand?

Wrong. It does not have pre-outs. And 200W is only 1.5dB more than 140W.
post #13 of 60
Whoops, my mistake on the pre-outs, but as for the Denon, the XPA-5 will outperform the amp section of the Denon or any other AVR mentioned easily. You should try one yourself.
post #14 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by runnin' View Post

Whoops, my mistake on the pre-outs, but as for the Denon, the XPA-5 will outperform the amp section of the Denon or any other AVR mentioned easily. You should try one yourself.

Have you tried the 4311 in your system?

Bill
post #15 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by runnin' View Post

Whoops, my mistake on the pre-outs, but as for the Denon, the XPA-5 will outperform the amp section of the Denon or any other AVR mentioned easily. You should try one yourself.

There is no audible difference between the amps of the 4311 and those in the XPA5. The theoretical difference in max output is insignificant -- if the amps in the 4311 are insufficient to power your speakers, you're going to need more power than what the XPA5 can supply.
post #16 of 60
Wow, we must be in a recession. A guy has 1500 bucks to spend to improve his system and no one thinks he should make the move to separates.

Bill, I have owned two Denon AVRs, though not the 4311 specifically. They make a fine receiver, but in my opinion when you have speakers that dip down to 4 ohms you could do better with a separate amp.
post #17 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by runnin' View Post

Wow, we must be in a recession. A guy has 1500 bucks to spend to improve his system and no one thinks he should make the move to separates.
Bill, I have owned two Denon AVRs, though not the 4311 specifically. They make a fine receiver, but in my opinion when you have speakers that dip down to 4 ohms you could do better with a separate amp.

Because they are not necessary whatsoever. And what exactly do you have backing these claims up? Which Denon receivers did you own and what speakers did you use them with and what was the problem?
post #18 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by runnin' View Post

Wow, we must be in a recession. A guy has 1500 bucks to spend to improve his system and no one thinks he should make the move to separates.
Bill, I have owned two Denon AVRs, though not the 4311 specifically. They make a fine receiver, but in my opinion when you have speakers that dip down to 4 ohms you could do better with a separate amp.

Maybe if you had actual experience with the 4311 you could base your assumptions on fact. You should listen to what bfreedma has to say as he owns both the 4311 and the XPA-5. These are the people that I tend to rely on for opinions of specific audio gear wink.gif.

Bill
post #19 of 60
I can appreciate that Bill, I freely admit that I have not owned the 4311. I also understand that it is a well regarded AVR. But I am hesitant to consider it the equal of the XPA-5 simply because one person on a forum says they sound the same. And they might, in his room, with his speakers, through his ears. But should that really be the end of the story?

I am surprised that no one else would suggest an amp to a fellow who is trying to improve his system and has speakers that go down to 4 ohms. BTW, the Denon has a max draw of 780 watts to supply 9 channels of 140 watts. Even my Onkyo 876 does significantly better than that in the power department(max draw of 9.5 amps for 7 channels). I know, apples and oranges, just saying.

Carry on!rolleyes.gif
post #20 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by runnin' View Post

I can appreciate that Bill, I freely admit that I have not owned the 4311. I also understand that it is a well regarded AVR. But I am hesitant to consider it the equal of the XPA-5 simply because one person on a forum says they sound the same. And they might, in his room, with his speakers, through his ears. But should that really be the end of the story?
I am surprised that no one else would suggest an amp to a fellow who is trying to improve his system and has speakers that go down to 4 ohms. BTW, the Denon has a max draw of 780 watts to supply 9 channels of 140 watts. Even my Onkyo 876 does significantly better than that in the power department(max draw of 9.5 amps for 7 channels). I know, apples and oranges, just saying.
Carry on!rolleyes.gif

You seem so hung up on the OP adding an external amp. So much so that you don't even consider that maybe the 4311 or similar quality AVR might be all he needs. If the OP does buy the 4311 or similar quality AVR and needs more power then he can add an amp. I'd much rather have the 4311 than an entry level AVR with an external amp any day of the week.

Bill
post #21 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by runnin' View Post

I can appreciate that Bill, I freely admit that I have not owned the 4311. I also understand that it is a well regarded AVR. But I am hesitant to consider it the equal of the XPA-5 simply because one person on a forum says they sound the same. And they might, in his room, with his speakers, through his ears. But should that really be the end of the story?

I am surprised that no one else would suggest an amp to a fellow who is trying to improve his system and has speakers that go down to 4 ohms. BTW, the Denon has a max draw of 780 watts to supply 9 channels of 140 watts. Even my Onkyo 876 does significantly better than that in the power department(max draw of 9.5 amps for 7 channels). I know, apples and oranges, just saying.

Carry on!rolleyes.gif

While one individual's experience should never be taken as an absolute, when it aligns with what audio science expects to occur it should be taken with more consideration than someone speculating without direct product knowledge.

As has been mentioned several times in this thread, the potential difference in output between the 4311 and the XPA-5 is negligible and even then, would only be exhibited at the operational extremes of the amps. Not sure what you're presenting as supporting evidence other than the old canard that "separates are better than an AVR because they are separates". Thats not to say that no use case exists where an amp wouldn't be beneficial, but these are rare. As Bill suggests, an amp can always be added to the 4311 post purchase if needed.

Now if you WANT an amp, nothing wrong with adding one in, but it's rarely a NEED. I wanted to see what an amp might add to the equation and while the XPA5 is a fine piece of gear, it doesn't bring anything to the party that the 4311 can't handle on its own.
post #22 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by runnin' View Post

Wow, we must be in a recession. A guy has 1500 bucks to spend to improve his system and no one thinks he should make the move to separates.
Bill, I have owned two Denon AVRs, though not the 4311 specifically. They make a fine receiver, but in my opinion when you have speakers that dip down to 4 ohms you could do better with a separate amp.

Maybe if you had actual experience with the 4311 you could base your assumptions on fact. You should listen to what bfreedma has to say as he owns both the 4311 and the XPA-5. These are the people that I tend to rely on for opinions of specific audio gear wink.gif.

Bill

Thanks for the kind words Bill. Just trying to keep my objectivity intact in a hobby where it's very easy to invest in upgrades of both real and dubious value. Believe me, if amps and cables made an audible difference, I'd be at the front of the checkout line, AMEX in hand smile.gif
post #23 of 60
For $1500, there's no better AVR than the 4311. No one comes close. The only comparable AVRs are the new Onkyo tx-nr3010 and 5010 (I would take either of these over a 4311). They will be available in maybe a month or so and will likely cost over $2,000.
post #24 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by KidHorn View Post

For $1500, there's no better AVR than the 4311. No one comes close. The only comparable AVRs are the new Onkyo tx-nr3010 and 5010 (I would take either of these over a 4311). They will be available in maybe a month or so and will likely cost over $2,000.

3009 is still available and well within his budget. IMO, it is worth a consideration. I might've ended up with a 4311 if I had found one at the right price. I do not regret the 3009 so far though.

butter and jelly please...
post #25 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by runnin' View Post

Come on folks, the guy has speakers that will handle 200 watts and have a 4 ohm minimum, definitely separate amp category. And the thing is, his Pioneer AVR has pre outs!
Therefore I would suggest you get a 5 channel amp and save for a processor next year. Emotiva has a good option, the XPA-5, for I think around 800 right now on sale. You will be seriously impressed with the improvement. Save the 700 for next year and you will have several options for a prepro from Emotiva, Marantz, Integra, etc.
Why buy a mere receiver when you could get so much more for under a grand?

I would have agreed with you years ago when most of us ran our speakers full range and no sub but with most crossing over at 80Hz and using better subs and RC it's not the night and day difference
it once was in fact most of us if level matched so no gain and the fact AVR's from some camps have better spec's.
post #26 of 60
Image T6 spec sheet says 8 ohms nominal, 4 ohms min. That is actually not a bad load for an amp; many speakers dip below 4 ohms. Note THX certification requires the amp be able to drive 3.2 ohms.

Denon AVR-4311Ci = 140 W/ch at 8 ohms, 170 W/ch at 6 ohms (lowest nominal impedance rating though it doeslist 220 W "dynamic" power into 4 ohms, 2 channels -- at least it actually has something at 4 ohms!)

Emotiva XPA-5 = 200 W/ch at 8 ohms, 300 W/ch at 4 ohms

No apples-to-apples... Comparing a couple of the numbers:

140 W vs. 200 W => 1.55 dB
170 W vs. 300 W => 2.47 dB

A change of 1 dB is barely perceptible to most of us, 3 dB is just noticeable, and 10 dB is twice as loud (and takes ten times the power). From a volume standpoint, the extra headroom is very probably in the mud. Will the Emotiva drive the speakers "better"? Hard to say, but at normal volume levels I strongly suspect no difference would be heard.

OTOH, the 4311 adds Audyssey XT32, a significant advance in the ability to correct in-room frequency response, something that trumps the amp argument IMO. That is, I would expect, for this system, far more improvement from XT32 than from adding an amp.

One counter: if the VSX-50 really is underpowered, something I tend to doubt, then the same argument applies in reverse. The VSX-50 is rated at 90 W/ch, so power-wise the step-up to the 4311 is not terribly significant (from 90 W to 140 W is only 1.92 dB). Perhaps the OP should check one of the many in-room SPL calculators to see how much power he might need to hit say 100 or 105 dB. One is http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html

YMMV, IMO, FWIWFM, etc. - Don
post #27 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

OTOH, the 4311 adds Audyssey XT32, a significant advance in the ability to correct in-room frequency response, something that trumps the amp argument IMO. That is, I would expect, for this system, far more improvement from XT32 than from adding an amp.

+1
post #28 of 60
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for all the responses!

Since the 4311 has been the overwhelming recommendation
I managed to locate an open box 4311 at my local
BB for $1132 plus tax.

Change anything?? Jump on it??
post #29 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by roblutts View Post

Thanks so much for all the responses!

Since the 4311 has been the overwhelming recommendation
I managed to locate an open box 4311 at my local
BB for $1132 plus tax.

Change anything?? Jump on it??

Grab it while you can.
post #30 of 60
Make sure everything is there, then jump on it.
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