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Receiver for Polk M70/CS1...

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Brand new to home theater setups, picking up a lightly used set of M70s (Series II, if that matters) in cherry, along with a CS1 (also Series II) center in cherry for $300. Need to replace the old Pioneer mini-system that we are currently using in the basement. It works, but doesn't sound great haha. The setup is a HTPC (actually just my old PC) hooked up to an old 720p Dell projector. Don't need too many bells and whistles, but I want this receiver to last for when I get a better video setup in the future. We sit about 20 feet back from the projector. The room is wired for surround speakers, so I was thinking of picking up the Pioneer SP-BS21-LR bookshelf speakers that are on sale at Newegg for $50 and use them for surround. The sectional we sit on backs up to the back wall, where the bookshelf speakers would be. Is having the bookshelf speakers there a bad idea? Will they overpower the front and center speakers? I'm sure there are options within the receiver to adjust for things like this, but I would like to hear your guys' opinions. I'd like to spend $300 max on the receiver, and of course, the cheaper the better. Not afraid of refurbs or open box, so let me know of any suggestions. Thanks.
post #2 of 6
Check out the Denon AVR-1612 with Audyssey MultEQ for speaker calibration.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestion, it is much appreciated.

Quick question on the power output ratings for home audio. Is it similar to car audio (which I am familiar with) where you want to match the speaker's RMS rating with the amp's RMS rating? The M70 has a rating of 20-275W @ 8ohms, so is it better to find a receiver with a higher output per channel? I see they have amps for home audio too, but I don't think I want to spend that much... If a 100W @ 8ohm per channel receiver is enough, that works for me. Is there a big difference between the 75W of the 1612 vs. the 90W of the 1712, or even the 105W of the 2310CI?

Thanks again for the help.
post #4 of 6
No, it's not the same. As long as the speakers are 8-ohm and at least 87db sensitivity rated, the 1612 will be fine. The difference between 75W and 105W will be moot.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hmm... Now I have even more choices...

Yesterday I was looking at the Onkyo TX-NR515 7.2 channel receiver for $300 from Newegg. Seems like a lot of nice features for the price, I like that it has an ethernet port for internet apps like Pandora and Spotify. Being 7.2, I can hook up the Zone 2 to a pair of outdoor speakers we have on our deck, which need a receiver anyways. I know there are some issues with the HDMI port right now, that people are waiting on a fix. Fortunately (or unfortunately), our projector is a cheap Dell projector, and won't even be hooked up through the receiver. It uses VGA from my HTPC, and will be hooking the computer up to the receiver via optical. So I won't be dealing with that issue (which seems to only effect some people) until I get a better projector/HDTV. I also plan on getting the Pioneer SP-BS21-LR bookshelf speakers, which are on sale for $50 at Newegg right now. Also has Audyssey 2EQ to setup the speakers.

Then, this morning, I check my e-mail and it looks like Newegg has a deal with some Yamaha receivers where you receive the Pioneer speakers for free... So that would be a savings of $50. They have the Yamaha TX-V373 5.1 channel receiver that includes the Pioneer bookshelves for $250. So in reality, that is a savings of $100 for me. Since the Yamaha is only 5.1, I can't power the outdoor speakers with this receiver. Also, it doesn't hook up to my network, and I can't use my phone/iPod Touch to control things. I like that feature.

So then the next one up is the Yamaha RX-V473. More expensive, but Newegg includes a $75 gift card that I can use to buy the bookshelf rear speakers. Get the iPod remote control, but still no zone 2 to control the outdoor speakers. Would be about the same price as the Onkyo NR515 after the speakers are bought too.

After this comes the Yamaha RX-573, which is 7.1 channel and is available at Newegg for $500. It has "Zone B", which I'm pretty sure just extends the audio on the receiver into the second zone. Whereas "Zone 2" on the Onkyo can play a separate source for the outdoor speakers, which is nice. However, this receiver comes with a nicer set of Polk Monitor40 Bookshelf speakers for free, not sure if they are any better than the Pioneers though (I assume they are).

So right now I am leaning towards the Onkyo NR515, any other suggestions? I'd rather buy from Newegg or Amazon, as I want to get this receiver soon and I get 2-day free shipping with both.

post #6 of 6
Original poster - Congrats on your find of the Monitor 70's and CS1 center for $300. Thats a killer deal. I'm sure you will love them. I bought mine new on Amazon and payed a total of about $400 then spent more on surrounds. I have two sets of Polk RM8 bipole Wide Dispersion surround sound speakers ran in my HT as rears and surrounds with my Monitor 70's and CS10 center (only difference is piano black finish vs standard black veneer). Here's a link to them...


My room is about the same size as yours, 21' x 11' x 8.5' high and I am powering the speakers with an Onkyo TX-NR709. I love the way my setup sounds and for around $500 for the 709 I think you will be hard to find a better receiver in that price range. My vote definitely goes to spending a little more than $300 on the receiver. You will most likely want to keep it longer than any other component in a HT system. I cant say enough about the 709 except to say that if you are really thinking about getting any new receiver... DO LOTS OF RESEARCH. DO LOTS AND LOTS of it. Then do some more. It took me 3 months of reading on here and amazon to decide which receiver I wanted. Features are what distinguishes most from others. You will find that as far as brand vs. brand it is VERY negligible. Some people like Denon, some Onkyo, and some Yamaha. You will most likely have to have purchased all 3 at some point to decide which ones you like or dislike more than others. I personally am an avid Onkyo fan. I currently own 3 Onkyo's. One is a 2004 model that is 7 years old (TX-SR302), one is a 2009 model that is approx 2 years old (TX-SR607), and my 2011 model (TX-NR709) I purchased in March. All still run great and have never had any issues of any kind. Other people have had different results. I have also owned a Kenwood, Sony, and Yamaha receivers. Not that I didnt like them, but I loved the Onkyo's more. I have never personally owned a Denon but everyone RAVES about how nice they. Comparitively, I found the Denons to be MUCH higher priced per what features you got VS. the same aprrox level of Onkyo's until you got into the 100x, 200x, 300x models of Onkyo's where the price and features were higher for Onkyo and lesser for Denon. If you want to go truly budget and still get a decent recevier I would say go with one of the Pioneer VSX models... you can get the VSX-1021 or 1121 which are their tops in that line respectively for around the prices your are talking. BUT if you are truly wanting something to be future proof and to last you many many years I would say go with Denon, Yamaha, or my suggestion the Onkyo TX-NR709.

Here's a link... but wait for it to go on sale somewhere or find one used. I payed just over $500 for mine back in March before the 2012 models really hit the mainstream. I would think that during Christmas you will probably be able to find a refurb or used one for $450 or less if you're patient.


As far as my speakers, the RM8's were about $100 a set so definitely more than the Pioneer speakers but I can guarantee that they will sound better AND you will get more room emersion/fill with bi-pole speakers than standard bookshelves. That can make a big difference when listening to surround and rear speakers. The price fluxuates A LOT on the RM8's leading me to believe that they are nicer than I had originally thought. I've seen them range on amazon from $100 all the way to $200 a pair.

One thing I really love about them is that they come with wall mounts so no need to buy them. Another is their size. Their footprint is super small for the sound they give out making them highly desireable for people (like my wife) who are concerned with not only SQ but asthetic appearance as well. I have considered upgrading my RM8's and moving them upstairs for my wife. I highly suggest them

I'm looking at Polk Audio FXi A4 or A6's or these Fluance Bi-Pole surrounds:


Here's a link to the FXi's... although they are quite pricey and out of most people in our budget level's expense range... I am seriously thinking about making the jump but I think an external amp is in my future prior to the surrounds.


While were on the subject of this speaker setup, I do have a question about amps. My Onkyo NR709 is powering my Monitor 70's, CS10 center, and RM8 surrounds right now but I would like to get more and/or as much as possible out of the speakers. So I'm thinking about getting an external amp or maybe two. Which one(s) do you guys recommend and what kind of cost am I most likely looking at? I'm thread searching for similiar discussions right now but haven't found anything yet.
Edited by ten8yp - 9/9/12 at 6:52pm
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