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Which is the Best Option?

post #1 of 137
Thread Starter 
If anyone can add their opinions please do so. I want something that will power my two Bowers & Wilkins 685 speakers and produce a beautiful sound in a bedroom setup. I have a few options:

Buy a Emotiva pre-amp + amp = $900
Onkyo TX-8050 (or other cheap receiver as pre-amp) + Emotiva amp = $700
All-in-one receiver = $300-$700

Which is the best or most practical option I can go for? Buying a Emotiva pre-amp + amp would surely have a nice sound but at $900 I think there are more practical and affordable options. I can also buy a cheap Onkyo or some other receiver and use it as a pre-amp and add more power to it with a $500 Emotiva amp. My last option is I can just buy a powerful receiver that will take care of everything. Here are some receivers that I have in mind:

Onkyo TX-NR809
Onkyo TX-NR818
Denon AVR-4306
Denon AVR-4806
Denon AVR-5800
Denon AVR-5803
Sony STR-DA5ES
Sony STR-DA777ES
Edited by RomanBlade86 - 4/18/13 at 11:09pm
post #2 of 137
Why not go with a Yamaha RX-A1020?

It got a top pick from Home Theater: http://www.hometheater.com/content/yamaha-rx-a1020-av-receiver

and 5/5 stars from WhatHiFi: http://www.whathifi.com/review/yamaha-rx-a1020

You can get if for $900 shipped, so it's in your price range.
post #3 of 137
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimpleTheater View Post

Why not go with a Yamaha RX-A1020?

It got a top pick from Home Theater: http://www.hometheater.com/content/yamaha-rx-a1020-av-receiver

and 5/5 stars from WhatHiFi: http://www.whathifi.com/review/yamaha-rx-a1020

You can get if for $900 shipped, so it's in your price range.

I don't really want to pay $900 for just one receiver because for that price I can get a Emotiva pre-amp + amp that would surely be better. I want to get a receiver for much less. The Onkyo TX-NR818 also got 5/5 from WhatHiFi but I can get that for under $600 and that's the receiver that I was looking to get but I'm still on the fence.
post #4 of 137
Not sure what makes separates better.confused.gif As long as you have clean power from an amplifier (be it a receiver or a separate) and it is designed to run the type of speakers you have (2/4/6/8 ohms), then you can't hear the difference.
post #5 of 137
Thread Starter 
Don't different receivers produce a different sound even when the same speakers are used?
post #6 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomanBlade86 View Post

Don't different receivers produce a different sound even when the same speakers are used?

Assuming they are not technically flawed, not until EQ is engaged.
post #7 of 137
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post

Assuming they are not technically flawed, not until EQ is engaged.

Could you explain the "EQ" part in more detail. I'm a total noob in this hobby. biggrin.gif I'm in the market for a receiver and I'm thinking about getting an older receiver without HDMI ports and a new receiver with HDMI ports just so I can compare them. There are so many receivers on the market ranging in price range that it's tough sorting through all of them. On top of that different receivers produce different sound quality so it's hard to know which ones are best suited for your tastes. For example, Onkyo TX-NR818 seems to be packed with more features and cheaper than other brand receivers that have less features but there are many people that have more bad things to say about Onkyo than Denon which are often more expensive for the same specs and features.
Edited by RomanBlade86 - 4/18/13 at 10:22am
post #8 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomanBlade86 View Post

Could you explain the "EQ" part in more detail. I'm a total noob in this hobby. biggrin.gif I'm in the market for a receiver and I'm thinking about getting an older receiver without HDMI ports and a new receiver with HDMI ports just so I can compare them. There are so many receivers on the market ranging in price range that it's tough sorting through all of them. On top of that different receivers produce different sound quality so it's hard to know which ones are best suited for your tastes. For example, Onkyo TX-NR818 seems to be packed with more features and cheaper than other brand receivers that have less features but there are many people that have more bad things to say about Onkyo than Denon which are often more expensive for the same specs and features.

Most AVRs have some form of Room EQ built in. Audyssey has several versions licensed to manufacturers, Pioneer uses MCACC, Yamaha has YPAO etc.

The general goal of all of the above systems is to correct, via Digital Signal Processing (EQ) for the various acoustic challenges that the listening environment presents. The older version of EQ would be something like a 12 band equalizer where you use sliders to adjust the various frequencies. The automated systems have two major advantages:

They are automated and don't require the user to use a SPL meter to level the channels and the output of those channels. You follow the directions and place the mic around the room, the AVR plays test tones, and the EQ product adjusts to attempt to reduce peaks and within limits, nulls caused by your specific room. If you follow the instructions available on AVS carefully, it's pretty hard to mess up (if you don't follow the instructions, you can make a real mess). It's fairly easy, just follow the available best practice guides and don't overthink it.

They are far more granular - the old manual EQ hardware might have 10-20 sliders. Modern room eq has the equivalent of hundreds, or in the case of Audyssey XT32, thousands of eq points. This enables the EQ solution to be more focused and to address more and narrower peaks/nulls.

Onkyo had a bad couple of years with issues, but it seems like they are better in the current generation of products. Personally, I prefer Denon but the Onkyo 818 is by far the least expensive AVR offering Audyssey's top level consumer product (XT32). I don't believe there is significant variance in SQ amongst the various brands until EQ is engaged and while others will have a different opinion, objective data (measurements, blind testing) is pretty conclusive. Even if you believe the various vendors have some "house sound", the impact of EQ will dwarf those variances.

I'd also strongly suggest going with an HDMI enabled product - no reason to go another way given the common use of that interface, and going far enough back in model years to access a non HDMI receiver will also leave you with a less than current EQ solution in most cases.

My personal recommendation: make a list of the features you need, then pick the AVR with the best EQ system that has those features in your price range. I believe EQ is by far the most important element in an AVR, so don't skimp there.
post #9 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post

My personal recommendation: make a list of the features you need, then pick the AVR with the best EQ system that has those features in your price range. I believe EQ is by far the most important element in an AVR, so don't skimp there.
I agree entirely with this. Personally I like Anthem, not because their amps are better (they're all the same as long as they produce the same clean watts), but i like the ARC EQ the best. In your price range, the Yamaha's are nice in the versatility and features they have, plus are a very dependable brand. I also like Integra, Denon, Pioneer, Sony, Onkyo, etc.

You may not need it, but the Yamaha I mentioned for around $900 with a full out 2nd zone HDMI is really sweet, something my $2,000 Anthem MRX-700 doesn't have, plus you can control it with an iPhone or iPad.
post #10 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post

My personal recommendation: make a list of the features you need, then pick the AVR with the best EQ system that has those features in your price range. I believe EQ is by far the most important element in an AVR, so don't skimp there.

+1, good post.
post #11 of 137
Thread Starter 
So I suppose the Onkyo TX-NR818 is the best bang for the buck since it has Audyssey MultEQ XT32 for under $600.
post #12 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomanBlade86 View Post

So I suppose the Onkyo TX-NR818 is the best bang for the buck since it has Audyssey MultEQ XT32 for under $600.

I think so. Another option would be a Denon 4311 if you can still find one but that's going to be at least a few hundred more than the Onkyo.

Just make sure to buy from an authorized dealer so that you have warranty coverage.
post #13 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomanBlade86 View Post

So I suppose the Onkyo TX-NR818 is the best bang for the buck since it has Audyssey MultEQ XT32 for under $600.

what emo amp are you looking for ?

onkyo will do fine for processing and its got the room correction.. but that does not replace good room treatments smile.gif

get the most power you can afford !!! da power is everything... if you want great musical dynamics ... you need head room so you dont clip..

do you like your music load sometimes... over amping your speakers gives you better sound quality period..



cheers.. biggrin.gifbiggrin.gif
post #14 of 137
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by deltadube View Post

what emo amp are you looking for ?

onkyo will do fine for processing and its got the room correction.. but that does not replace good room treatments smile.gif

get the most power you can afford !!! da power is everything... if you want great musical dynamics ... you need head room so you dont clip..

do you like your music load sometimes... over amping your speakers gives you better sound quality period..



cheers.. biggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

I don't like to listen at high volumes. I just updated my first post to say it will be for a bedroom setup. Here is the Emotiva XPA-200 amp I was looking at:

http://shop.emotiva.com/collections/amplifiers/products/xpa200

So will the amp take care of everything? So it is possible to get some cheap receiver and then buy a good amp like the Emotiva XPA-200 to take care of things, or will the amp just reflect on the quality of the receiver?
post #15 of 137
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by deltadube View Post

what emo amp are you looking for ?

onkyo will do fine for processing and its got the room correction.. but that does not replace good room treatments smile.gif

get the most power you can afford !!! da power is everything... if you want great musical dynamics ... you need head room so you dont clip..

do you like your music load sometimes... over amping your speakers gives you better sound quality period..



cheers.. biggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

I don't like having the volume at high levels so do I really need the extra power? I was thinking about getting the Emotiva XPA-200 but is that really necessary for a bedroom setup? Would a cheap receiver as a pre-amp and an Emotiva amp be a good combination, or will the Emotiva amp just amplify the faults of the cheap receiver? Would just getting something with the Audyssey MultEQ XT32 be the better option for a two speaker setup?
post #16 of 137
Room correction software is not nearly as important if you are only running a 2.0 system. Any of the different types will be fine and should not be a primary concern when considering an avr.
Your 685s do not need any kind of special amp or any special treatment at all for that matter. Any decent avr will provide enough power to drive them. You do not need any kind of amp. Unless you plan on putting a surround system in your bedroom at some point you could buy any receiver that has 80 wpc or more at 2 ch and you will be fine. Just get the best one you can easily afford. Personally I wouldnt spend more than $200 for a receiver for the bedroom just to listen to 2.0. Like Kilian says, spend the rest on a subwoofer.
Edited by Bond 007 - 4/19/13 at 12:49am
post #17 of 137
You're too fixated on the power. Look at the B&W's specs.

Recommended amplifier power 25W - 100W into 8Ω

Frequency response 49Hz - 22kHz ±3dB on reference axis

If you're going to watch 2h movies in bed, then a sub will bring much bigger SQ improvement even at normal/low volumes.

If it's going to be just some nice music before falling asleep I'll just go for something simple even a 2CH receiver or an integrated amp.
post #18 of 137
Thread Starter 
I'll primarily be watching movies or playing video games. So even getting some old receiver with enough watts per channel will be more than enough to bring out the greatness of my speakers? How would this Sony receiver do in powering the speakers? Will the sound produced by this cheap receiver be as good as more expensive receivers with more watts per channel? For some reason I'm hesitant in getting a cheap receiver with such expensive speakers.

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-STRDH130-Channel-Stereo-Receiver/dp/B006U1VH2S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366357702&sr=8-1&keywords=2-channel+receiver

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882105684
Edited by RomanBlade86 - 4/19/13 at 12:59am
post #19 of 137
That would work just fine as far as power. I highly suggest 2 things though.
You have some very nice speakers. You need some way to eq them to get the best sound from them. Get an avr with a built in graphic eq or something. Many mid to high priced Yamahas have one.
Get a receiver that you can hook up a sub to. It will make a big difference in your sound with those bookshelf speakers.
post #20 of 137
post #21 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomanBlade86 View Post

I'll primarily be watching movies or playing video games. So even getting some old receiver with enough watts per channel will be more than enough to bring out the greatness of my speakers? How would this Sony receiver do in powering the speakers? Will the sound produced by this cheap receiver be as good as more expensive receivers with more watts per channel? For some reason I'm hesitant in getting a cheap receiver with such expensive speakers.

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-STRDH130-Channel-Stereo-Receiver/dp/B006U1VH2S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366357702&sr=8-1&keywords=2-channel+receiver

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882105684

get the onkyo with the room correctio.. if you get a avr just make sure it has some correction and pre outs for the amp

and a xpa 5 or xpa 3

and a sub

cheers..
post #22 of 137
Thread Starter 
I was looking to get something with more than 100 watts per channel thinking the extra watts would be able to drive the speakers above and beyond rather than going for the bare minimum of 100 watts per channel. That's why I was looking at something like the Onkyo 809 or 818 that is 2-channel driven at 135 watts which seems more than enough to drive my speakers so I won't have to worry if my speakers are getting enough support power for them to shine.
Edited by RomanBlade86 - 4/19/13 at 1:24am
post #23 of 137
Your concerns about power are unwarranted. My towers are 300 watts. Does that mean I need a 300wpc receiver? No. Are you planning on turning up the receiver to 100% volume for hours at a time?
post #24 of 137
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bond 007 View Post

Your concerns about power are unwarranted. My towers are 300 watts. Does that mean I need a 300wpc receiver? No. Are you planning on turning up the receiver to 100% volume for hours at a time?

Definitely not. I don't like to listen on high volumes. For some reason I keep thinking that if something is listed as 100 watts per channel then there is a chance you're not getting the 100 watts but a little less so I figured getting something that is 2-channel driven at 135 per channel like the Onkyo 809 or 818 would make up the difference and positively drive at least 100 watts of power into my speakers. I'd rather have excessive power than not enough. I don't know if I want to cheap out too much considering the B&W 685 speakers are high quality and I want something that powers them to be of high quality as well.
post #25 of 137
The 373 is high quality. Higher than the Sony imo. It just doesnt have the features of a higher end receiver. You need to do some research into speakers and wattage. I dont have the time to type a novel to explain it. But if it makes you feel better to spend $600 then by all means do so. Good luck and enjoy.
post #26 of 137
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bond 007 View Post

The 373 is high quality. Higher than the Sony imo. It just doesnt have the features of a higher end receiver. You need to do some research into speakers and wattage. I dont have the time to type a novel to explain it. But if it makes you feel better to spend $600 then by all means do so. Good luck and enjoy.

Well, how does the Yamaha 373 compare to something like the Denon AVR-1613 that's not too far ahead in price?

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007R8U5QW

For the Yamaha 373 it says the following: Rated Output Power (8 ohms, 1 kHz, 0.9 % THD, 2 ch driven): 85 W/ch

So wouldn't my two speakers not get the recommended 100 watts?
Edited by RomanBlade86 - 4/19/13 at 2:23am
post #27 of 137
post #28 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomanBlade86 View Post

Well, how does the Yamaha 373 compare to something like the Denon AVR-1613 that's not too far ahead in price?

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007R8U5QW
It costs almost twice as much and as would be expected has more features. None of which are needed for your original application.
post #29 of 137
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bond 007 View Post

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1294455/amplifier-faq

This should be helpful.

I shall definitely read this. Thank you.

How would these receivers compare?:

Onkyo TX-NR515
Harman Kardon HK 3490
Edited by RomanBlade86 - 4/19/13 at 4:54am
post #30 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by deltadube View Post

what emo amp are you looking for ?

onkyo will do fine for processing and its got the room correction.. but that does not replace good room treatments smile.gif

get the most power you can afford !!! da power is everything... if you want great musical dynamics ... you need head room so you dont clip..

do you like your music load sometimes... over amping your speakers gives you better sound quality period..



cheers.. biggrin.gifbiggrin.gif


As others have said below, you are fine on power with the products you are considering.
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