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post #1 of 14 Old 01-28-2014, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
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I’m in the process of selecting a new receiver for my family room and I’m getting pretty frustrated. I’ve been trying to read reviews, read user reviews and opinions and reading the forums and each time I think I’m locked in, something pulls me in a slightly different direction. Here’s what I’m looking for:

My goal with the receiver is for it to be the hub of my entertainment system. Everything goes through it from Blu-Ray (with apps like Netflix and Amazon) to cable to digital music services like Spotify to any music or videos on my home server. My kids play the Wii U but I expect we will add a PS4 or Xbox One in the next year or two.

I want a dual-zone receiver. The family room is next to our porch and I’m putting a pair of speakers on the porch. The second room speakers need to be powered by the receiver as they’ll be in-ceiling, but I start running into problems with a second zone and how I want to use it. I’d like to be able to sit outside, beer in one hand and iPad in the other streaming music from my music library, or Spotify or even the radio while the kids watch Disney or a movie. Now I find dual zone receivers but each one seems to only handle analog in the second zone and these days everything is digital. If I wanted to play a CD in the Blu-Ray it doesn’t seem possible on the receivers I’d like to unless the WHOLE system is in party mode.

Airplay or BlueTooth (or both) is highly desirable as my family seems to be more and more mobile dependent on our devices for audio. The capability to connect to an external drive or network is important as that’s where so much of our music library now resides. With that said, I still have CDs and with a compatible BluRay will play them on that.

I’ve always enjoyed 5.1 surround and it’s fantastic during football season. When we watch movies it’s also enjoyable. We’re not into 3D and I’m not an audiophile. I want good sound but I don’t need to hear the second piccolo in a symphony.

Having a great remote is not as important as I’ll use an existing Harmony One to control the system.

So my frustration began when I thought I found a good receive r at a good price point—the Sony STR-DN840 at $400. CNET loved it and I was ready to pull the trigger until I saw no multi-zone support. I looked at the step, the Sony STR-DN1040 but again, no powered second zone. From there I turned my attention to the Onkyo line. They seem to have cornered the THX audio codecs and I thought the Onkyo TX-NR626 would be a good choice, but I read on these forums how many of the HDMI boards are failing. Following some of these threads I saw many users singing the praises of the Yamaha line, but I see so many different lines in the Yamaha line and no clear delineation. For example, there’s the RX-S, RX-V, HTR, TSR and Aventage. I looked at a recommended model, the Yamaha RX-V773WA, and saw mixed reviews and that there was a “newer” model, the Yamaha RX-V775WA. Unfortunately, the newer model is upped in price by a few hundred dollars more than where I started ($799).

So at this point I’m frustrated as I can’t seem to find what I want:

Powered 2nd Zone
Digital 2nd zone input
Integrated networking (wifi or wired)
Speaker calibration
Minimum 4 HDMI inputs
Video upscaling to 1080p
Good sound
Good reputation
Price point sub $600

So while I’ve been trying to research and trying to read up on specs and looking at Crutchfield and Newegg and Best Buy and Amazon, I’m stuck. I’m turning to the forum for guidance and advice. Is a powered 2nd zone possible in the price point I'd like, if not, does a step down in receiver with an added amp make sense, or have a simply over thunk all of this?

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post #2 of 14 Old 01-28-2014, 07:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brusivius View Post

I’m in the process of selecting a new receiver for my family room and I’m getting pretty frustrated. I’ve been trying to read reviews, read user reviews and opinions and reading the forums and each time I think I’m locked in, something pulls me in a slightly different direction. Here’s what I’m looking for:

My goal with the receiver is for it to be the hub of my entertainment system. Everything goes through it from Blu-Ray (with apps like Netflix and Amazon) to cable to digital music services like Spotify to any music or videos on my home server. My kids play the Wii U but I expect we will add a PS4 or Xbox One in the next year or two.

I want a dual-zone receiver. The family room is next to our porch and I’m putting a pair of speakers on the porch. The second room speakers need to be powered by the receiver as they’ll be in-ceiling, but I start running into problems with a second zone and how I want to use it. I’d like to be able to sit outside, beer in one hand and iPad in the other streaming music from my music library, or Spotify or even the radio while the kids watch Disney or a movie. Now I find dual zone receivers but each one seems to only handle analog in the second zone and these days everything is digital. If I wanted to play a CD in the Blu-Ray it doesn’t seem possible on the receivers I’d like to unless the WHOLE system is in party mode.

Airplay or BlueTooth (or both) is highly desirable as my family seems to be more and more mobile dependent on our devices for audio. The capability to connect to an external drive or network is important as that’s where so much of our music library now resides. With that said, I still have CDs and with a compatible BluRay will play them on that.

I’ve always enjoyed 5.1 surround and it’s fantastic during football season. When we watch movies it’s also enjoyable. We’re not into 3D and I’m not an audiophile. I want good sound but I don’t need to hear the second piccolo in a symphony.

Having a great remote is not as important as I’ll use an existing Harmony One to control the system.

So my frustration began when I thought I found a good receive r at a good price point—the Sony STR-DN840 at $400. CNET loved it and I was ready to pull the trigger until I saw no multi-zone support. I looked at the step, the Sony STR-DN1040 but again, no powered second zone. From there I turned my attention to the Onkyo line. They seem to have cornered the THX audio codecs and I thought the Onkyo TX-NR626 would be a good choice, but I read on these forums how many of the HDMI boards are failing. Following some of these threads I saw many users singing the praises of the Yamaha line, but I see so many different lines in the Yamaha line and no clear delineation. For example, there’s the RX-S, RX-V, HTR, TSR and Aventage. I looked at a recommended model, the Yamaha RX-V773WA, and saw mixed reviews and that there was a “newer” model, the Yamaha RX-V775WA. Unfortunately, the newer model is upped in price by a few hundred dollars more than where I started ($799).

So at this point I’m frustrated as I can’t seem to find what I want:

Powered 2nd Zone
Digital 2nd zone input
Integrated networking (wifi or wired)
Speaker calibration
Minimum 4 HDMI inputs
Video upscaling to 1080p
Good sound
Good reputation
Price point sub $600

So while I’ve been trying to research and trying to read up on specs and looking at Crutchfield and Newegg and Best Buy and Amazon, I’m stuck. I’m turning to the forum for guidance and advice. Is a powered 2nd zone possible in the price point I'd like, if not, does a step down in receiver with an added amp make sense, or have a simply over thunk all of this?

One word that I can't see where you have mentioned it yet: Denon.

I think that my Denon 1913 (now obsolete - replaced by the E400) does everything you want except for the powered zone 2 support which I feel is optional since 2 channel basic amps are readily available.

OK the networking is wired only, but you can use a wireless bridge to finesse that.

BTW I paid less than half of your AVR budget on my Denon 1913 by playing the refurb game- a game I've played many times with generally excellent results. www.accessories4less.com.
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post #3 of 14 Old 01-28-2014, 08:36 AM
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-28-2014, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Fantastic. I've not seen accessories4less.com before so I will definitely check it out. I've never done the refurb route but that shouldn't be an issue. In terms of Denon, it had not come up in my searches, nor had Marantz or Pioneer. I saw most folks locked in to Yamaha so that's where I focused. Thank you for taking the time to read through my post. now I will take the time to read through your suggestions. I'll post back with my opinions and findings.
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post #5 of 14 Old 01-28-2014, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brusivius View Post

Fantastic. I've not seen accessories4less.com before so I will definitely check it out. I've never done the refurb route but that shouldn't be an issue. In terms of Denon, it had not come up in my searches, nor had Marantz or Pioneer. I saw most folks locked in to Yamaha so that's where I focused. Thank you for taking the time to read through my post. now I will take the time to read through your suggestions. I'll post back with my opinions and findings.

Excellent choices for refurbs at that site. If you prefer something new myself and others have been recommending the Yamaha RX-V773WA over at Newegg. The only problem with their site is their return policy is not the best. The price though for that AVR is hard to beat for a new Yamaha with all that it does.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?gclid=CPqulYnDobwCFSFo7AodZxEACA&Item=N82E16882115377&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleAdwords&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleAdwords-_-pla-_-Receivers-_-N82E16882115377&ef_id=UucMbwAAARoslRdz:20140128184253:s
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post #6 of 14 Old 01-28-2014, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Accessories4less.com was a great referral. I went on to the recommended pages and the Denon 2313CI was sold out, but I found the 3312CI still within my budget. It gives me everything I was looking for and a little more. Though it may be MORE than I'm looking for, it seems to be a great receiver with great features:

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/DENAVR3312CI/DENON-AVR-3312CI-7.2-Network-A/V-Surround-Receiver-w/AirPlay/1.html

Thanks to all who helped me. Looking forward to getting this receiver and getting plugged in!
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post #7 of 14 Old 01-28-2014, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brusivius View Post

Accessories4less.com was a great referral. I went on to the recommended pages and the Denon 2313CI was sold out, but I found the 3312CI still within my budget. It gives me everything I was looking for and a little more. Though it may be MORE than I'm looking for, it seems to be a great receiver with great features:

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/DENAVR3312CI/DENON-AVR-3312CI-7.2-Network-A/V-Surround-Receiver-w/AirPlay/1.html

Thanks to all who helped me. Looking forward to getting this receiver and getting plugged in!

Excellent choice. Come back and tell us how it works out for you after setting it up. There is a dedicated thread somewhere here IIRC. Good luck and enjoy.
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post #8 of 14 Old 02-05-2014, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
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phantom52,

I was so hoping to give you a glowing review but I'm in the queue for a replacement from Denon. The unit can't stay on longer than 30 seconds before shutting down and restarting. Denon is replacing the unit so I will get to wait a bit longer before I can let you know how good it might be.
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post #9 of 14 Old 02-06-2014, 08:50 AM
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So you bought a 'factory refurb' from Accessories4Less and it arrived DOA? That doesn't inspire much confidence in their QA process. Hopefully, Denon will ship the replacement out quickly.
You may want to add your experience to the accessories4less good or shady? thread.
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post #10 of 14 Old 02-06-2014, 05:54 PM
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I ordered an X4000 from an authorized 3rd party retailer on Amazon and it had issues straight out of the box as well. Thank goodness for Amazon customer service, full refund and return shipping paid smile.gif

Anthem MRX-500 - Vincent SAV-P200 - RAW Acoustics Lambda Plus arrays, Apex C II center - HT4 tower surrounds - CSS WR.30 sides - Rythmik FV15HP - Vizio XVT553SV - Xbox One - Xbox 360 - WD Live TV - QNAP TS212 NAS w/WD Red drives - APC H15BLK
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post #11 of 14 Old 02-06-2014, 06:38 PM
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^^
As one would expect from any quality authorized dealer. smile.gif
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post #12 of 14 Old 02-06-2014, 07:07 PM
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^^
As one would expect from any quality authorized dealer. smile.gif

Absolutely! I've heard Accessories4less makes you pay return shipping for defective products frown.gif

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post #13 of 14 Old 02-06-2014, 07:12 PM
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I ordered an X4000 from an authorized 3rd party retailer on Amazon and it had issues straight out of the box as well. Thank goodness for Amazon customer service, full refund and return shipping paid smile.gif

Which could be interpreted as, not even new is 100% infallible. Sometimes its just luck of the draw, but its the return shipping that makes the difference , at least when you live in the boonies smile.gif
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post #14 of 14 Old 02-06-2014, 07:21 PM
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Which could be interpreted as, not even new is 100% infallible. Sometimes its just luck of the draw, but its the return shipping that makes the difference , at least when you live in the boonies smile.gif

Agreed. I was unlucky too, mine had very strange issues that could not be fixed with a reset and I haven't seen the issues anywhere else before. It was probably a 1 in a million chance that it happened..

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