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Cheapest name brand HT receiver with HD Radio?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Why is it HD Radio is fairly prevalent in car stereos but practically void in affordable HT receivers? Crutchfield tells me HT receivers with HD radio start in the $800 range or so, but their prices aren't exactly low. What is the lowest price HT receiver you guys know of in a reputable brand?

I'm looking for a decent brand to upgrade my flat sounding Yamaha RX-V371. I want built-in calibration, preferably MultEQ XT. I'm considering Denon, Pioneer, Onkyo, or even Marantz if I can get a good deal on one.

The VSX-822 I set up for a neighbor sounds better than mine, but I don't like Pioneer's software or echo laden surround modes. It's very un-intuitive as far as trying to set it up to display the audio format. I've also yet to find a way to manually adjust EQ.

The plan was to switch to something like an AVR-1713 when prices drop after the Superbowl, but I don't like that the 1713 lost some wattage for net features I don't need. I actually use Slacker Radio's free version currently through my PC, which even sounds better than my Rhapsody Ultimate account, which claims to stream at 160kbps vs Slacker's 128kbps.

The AVR-1712, though having more channels than I need (speakers are 5.1), is more what I'm looking for, but they're getting harder to find. I found one top rated eBay seller that has one for $300, but I don't know if Denon honors warranty on eBay purchases.

Should I jump on an AVR-1712 now, wait for after Superbowl prices on the 1713, or wait until under $500 models have HD Radio? My living room is pretty small, but still, I don't want to be under equipped power wise. I've seen tech reviews on 75w Denons that have a 100w plus actual output across all frequencies at 8 Ohm though.
Edited by Hi Def Fan - 9/7/12 at 1:06am
post #2 of 10
In a nutshell, it's a demand thing. Most radio listening is not done in a home theater setting. In fact, almost none. In-car, at work, on a clock radio, with a walkman. That's really about it. It's going to be an even worse chicken-and-egg situation in that high-end equipment makers aren't going to produce a product that there's no content for. Now, churn out a nationwide network of classical HD stations, or other audiophile-targeted programming and you might have something. But nobody's listening to FM on an expensive receiver NOW.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
The salesman in the Magnolia Hi Fi I visited today said the same, yet when I argued that plenty people listen to internet radio on their PCs, which is worse sound quality and costs to use, he had no rebuttal, so I beg to differ. HD Radio is just not well marketed, but if it was, people would be paying for it like XM, Sirius, etc.

They had a demo 1712 for $300 they said they'd put a 3 yr warranty on with in house repair, but it wasn't set up well for listening, so he demoed the 1713 for me in the HT room. I actually preferred the sound of the Pioneer Elite VSX-42. They really like to push the Denons, claiming better manufacturer relations with stores and customers, more PC integration, better user friendliness, etc.

The Pioneers just sound more natural to me though, and without losing clarity and liveliness like the Yamaha low end units have over the years. Seems the low end Elites are the poor man's Marantz. Same DSP and discrete amplification, but the software, user friendliness and surround modes make me hesitant.
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi Def Fan View Post

The salesman in the Magnolia Hi Fi I visited today said the same, yet when I argued that plenty people listen to internet radio on their PCs, which is worse sound quality and costs to use, he had no rebuttal, so I beg to differ.
Oh, that's an easy rebuttal. You didn't buy the computer just for that. You have internet already. Internet radio is a free bonus. Trust me.. if internet radio required an additional $200 box that might or might not work consistently in the home, its penetration would be about the same as HD Radio. If HD radio worked with equipment you already own, it'd be huge.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yeah I found that out when I went looking at Onkyo's lowest priced model that is HD Radio "ready". I wasn't aware you had to buy a damn expensive HD Radio receiver to make it work. So the question I guess becomes, will it catch on like HDTV tuners did back when TVs were just "HD Ready"?

Only time will tell. Everything in technology changes eventually. I used to forgo trying to watch the extra content on my Blu-ray rentals, but more rental discs are allowing access to it now. I rather enjoyed being able to watch the making of extras on the Prince of Persia BD I just rented the other night, and it's one from Sept 2010 I forgot to put in my cue some time ago.
post #6 of 10
The difference is that television was mandated to go all-digital. If you didn't get a new set, then you were pretty much hosed. Radio's in-band-on-channel method means analog radios won't be obsolete anytime soon. So, there's no pressure to upgrade. And - my contention - radio is almost always listened to in a noisy environment where the quality difference is of little matter. And the number of people for whom quality sound is an obsession is declining rapidly. Heck, people are ripping classical albums into mp3s. What does THAT say about the bar for quality audio? It's a public conditioned to television speakers, iPods and car stereos.

If anything drives the adoption, it's car makers' need to use the word "digital" when pushing their premium audio systems. And, once a lot of those are in the wild, the niche subchannels will start to garner a little attention. But that's going to take a while. And a lot of innovative subchannel programming. I swear, if every market was doing it like Detroit is - and promoting the subchannels a little better - HD Radio might be gathering more steam.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yeah I think the internet really spoiled a lot of people's appreciation for music sound quality. The convenience of quick streams/downloads and small file sizes to allow lots of songs to be stored on tiny devices was almost more of an Eve's apple than the PC itself.

I haven't even checked yet what stations if any broadcast in HD Radio in my area. It's a bit ironic that Detroit is a leader in it since they are in such economic decline. The price of the receivers and the need to add on an HD receiver kinda killed my enthusiasm.

You made some solid points, and I'll add that music is a very personal preference thing and more subject to trends than TV. Personally one of the things I hate about standard analog radio broadcasts is the carrier signal and intermittent static. I was wondering if HD Radio is subject to either of those.

LOL, with the public conditioned to crap speakers and mp3. I got talked into going into a high end hi fi store to look at a demo model of a Denon 1712 the other day, and all they had it hooked up to was a TV sound bar.
post #8 of 10
Any Sherwood fans still out there?

From amazon.com
Sherwood RD-7405 HDR 7.1 HT Receiver
With
HD Radio 196.98 as of 4:55 pm on 12-11-2012

I don't know the model year.This is the only and i mean only HD radio HT reciever i have found that's this cheap.

I bought a VSX 821 HT Pioneer last year.So i'm not looking for a new one.
But i would like a HD tuner.These things are just hard to find.

Mark
smile.gif
post #9 of 10
The Sherwood model is a fairly older model, I wanted to buy it, but I see several things wrong... First, doesn't decode DTS, for a 'theater center' thats not good. Secaond, it says 7.1 but I think its only 5.1 and second room setup, Thirdly, no 7.1 input, so that bluray players can decode 7.1 for it. So, if you like the limitations, go for it. Sadly, no updated models from them, even their 'high end'.
post #10 of 10
This kind of pisses me off, if I want a home theater system set up with hd radio, I have to spent thousands of dollars...

It is even working better now that the gov't allowed the signal to be bumped up in power. The only problem, now, is the owner, Joseph D'Angelo iBiquity Digital Corporation, E-mail: dangelo@ibiquity.com, Phone: 443-539-4353, has the price of licence, too high, because every radio, should have it now, and 90% do not now on the market. That being said, we need to contact him and tell him so, the only way to change anything is by bitching to him. It been over ten years now, it is getting ridiculous...

I would buy a zune hd, love the artistic experience, if it is easily intergrated, but m$ stopped making them, the fools, and no external antenna can be attached.

UPDATE 11/17/2013 finally bought a Denon avr-3313ic for half the retail price, happy with it, hd radio, internet access, but it is only 7.1 really want 11.2 channel system but who has five grand for the damn thing?
Edited by TruPwr-Linux - 11/17/13 at 2:16pm
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