Sony STR-DN-1040 upgrade to Integra DHC-40.2 or DENON AVR-3312CI - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 11 Old 02-22-2014, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys,  I've been a lurker around this site for a while now, and I want to say thanks as I've learned a fair amount from yall. I'm still a rookie when it comes to home theater stuff- there's just no replacement for hands on experience. I'm hoping I can get some opinions from people more experienced than myself.

 

 

   So a while back my wife comes home with a new 80'' sharp aquos and that's when I decided we had to have some surround.  After a few late nights reading I came up with the following:  

   Receiver: Sony STR-DN-1040

   Fronts: Polk RTI-A9's

   Center: Polk CSI A6

   Surround: Polk FXI A6

   Subs: 2 BIC F12

   Blu-ray player; Oppo BPD-83

   PS3

   Xbox 360

 

     Sony got me with the 165w x7  rating, I figured I could run two channels to each of the A9's and have plenty of power..  I failed to notice that that was with one channel driven- I've since read that with all channels driven its more like 70wpc. And I didn't know that receiver bi-amping doesn't actually help much.

 

I like all the features of the sony, if only they had added pre-outs for the front channels.

  Based on what others have said about the A9's I feel like the bass performance is lacking because they are underpowered,  Am I crazy?

 

     So, I've been looking at upgrading. I could buy a refurb DENON AVR-3312CI. for $599, it looks to have most of the features that I'm looking for, slightly more power and pre-outs if I still need an amp. (probably an xpa2)  I guess some of these have issues?  Is this one to avoid?

 

  The other idea I was kicking around is an Integra DHC-40.2 and an Emotiva UPA 700 then add something like a emotiva XPA-2 to drive the A9's when I get more cash.     The integra is $450 and the upa will be about 400.  Is it too old to be a viable replacement?

 

 

So what do ya'll think, should I be looking to upgrade and am I heading in the right direction here?

 

Thanks!

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post #2 of 11 Old 02-23-2014, 08:08 AM
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You have all the POWER you need. Power is NOT the issue; sound QUALITY is the issue.

As any engineer or knowledgeable audio technician knows, there are lots of high-quality 40 watt integrated amplifiers that will sound WAY better than cheap receivers with inflated BS ratings like yours. They are simply designed better to drive REAL SPEAKER SYSTEMS, which are NOT resistors. A real speaker has inductance and capacitance, and this causes cheap amplifiers to distort quite a bit.

If you want the system to sound better, you need a better amplifier for the front main speakers; one with less distortion than a Sony or Yamaha. Of course you need pre-outs to connect it.

Not only are the Yamaha power ratings unrealistic and inflated, and only for one or two channels, but the distortion when actually driving SPEAKERS is way way higher than when driving an 8 ohm resistor on a test bench. (the same goes for Anthem, Onkyo, Onkyo, Pioneer, Sony, etc.)

Most manufacturers do not give ANY specs that are useful in telling you how the damn thing actually SOUNDS when driving real speakers, so your EARS are the most sensitive tool at your disposal. Looking at power specs of cheap receivers is a fool's game; they tell you almost NOTHING that is useful.

By the time you buy a different receiver, with preouts, and some sort of decent power amplifier, you will have spent way over $1000.

You would be better off buying a NAD T-758 receiver, which has plenty of REAL power to drive your speakers (not the imaginary BS power of the Sony or Yamaha), and MUCH better SOUND QUALITY on ALL channels!! It will cost you $999, and will sound very nice with no need to add an amplifier.


(It IS rated for 243 watts per channel at 4 ohms with two channels driven, and 60 watts per channel with ALL 7 CHANNELS FULLY DRIVEN, which is way more power than your efficient speakers need; power is NOT the issue anyway)

SOUND QUALITY IS THE ISSUE: NAD DESIGNS BETTER AMPLIFIERS!
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post #3 of 11 Old 02-23-2014, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. I've never heard of NAD that I can remember- I'll check it out. 

 

I bought the sony after the guys at cnet gave it a really good review- guess I trusted the wrong folks...  I live out in the sticks so it makes it hard to go check the stuff out in person.I can only ready so many reviews before my brain goes numb.

 

 I can get the used integra DHC-40.2 and the Emotiva UPA 700 for $850. Its a little older and will take up more space, I can deal with that.  Is the integra something I should consider?

 

 

  

 

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post #4 of 11 Old 02-24-2014, 03:36 PM
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Neither power or "sound quality" is your issue. Your sony makes as much or more power than any sub $1K AVR. Multi channel output is rarely a factor. You're running a pair of subs so your speakers are set to small and crossed over at 60 or 80hz, correct?

If so, then you have more power than you likely need. If your running your speakers as large, you're kind of defeating the purpose of having subs.

IMO the weakest part of your setup is your subs. Spend the money you want to spend on the AVR into upgrading your subs. That will make much more difference than any AVR or amp will.

As for what commsysman says, take it with a large block of salt. rolleyes.gif

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post #5 of 11 Old 02-24-2014, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Sad part is I just bought the second sub last week, I was running with one.   I had a svs pc12 in my amazon cart, but I just couldn't pull the trigger.  I bought a second f12 instead.

 

  Really the system doesn't sound bad..  In fact it sounds pretty good, but it does do better with movies than music.  What started this whole thing is reading one too many posts online about how much power the A9's like, and that people reported 'chest pounding ' bass when hooked up to a large external amp.  While sound is  subjective, I do know that I don't have that from the A9's.  I just figured it was a lack of power.  I hate the idea that I spent all the money on these speakers and then to not get all the performance I can out of them. But if that's not really what is going on then I'm just wasting my time chasing a problem that doesn't exist.

 

 

 

  I think I have them set to large right now, I've been switching things up just seeing what sounds best.

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post #6 of 11 Old 02-25-2014, 12:55 PM
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The Sony STR-DN1040 is an amazing receiver for the money and goes to show that Sony has really stepped up their game with that receiever
Quote:
2 channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 122.6 watts
1% distortion at 135.9 watts

5 channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 76.3 watts
1% distortion at 89.3 watts
http://www.soundandvision.com/content/sony-str-dn1040-av-receiver-test-bench
Listing to is in stereo mode you are getting 122.6watts which is a fair bit of power
So is the 76.3 watts when all 5 channels are driven given the price.

So the A9's in stereo mode for music listening should have plenty of power.

When you look at the bench test results of the Denon AVR-3313:
Quote:
HT Labs Measures
Two channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 122.9 watts
1% distortion at 143.3 watts

Five channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 82.9 watts
1% distortion at 103.0 watts
http://www.soundandvision.com/content/denon-avr-3312ci-av-receiver-ht-labs-measures
The Sony STR-1040 is right on par with the Denon.
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post #7 of 11 Old 02-28-2014, 10:15 PM
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My sony 1040 sounds awesome and I could not be happier. It sounded much more powerful when I cranked up the d.b. on each speaker thru the setting. Have u done that?

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post #8 of 11 Old 03-01-2014, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the responses, I appreciate ya'll taking the time.  So, after working with the system a bit more and removing the bi-amping for the front speakers it sounds a lot better, and I'm getting more bass from the front speakers.  Makes me think that more power might still help- but as is it sounds pretty good with two channel music, and very good with movies.  

 

  I have decided not to upgrade my receiver, unless i suddenly decide that 7.1 isn't enough :)

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post #9 of 11 Old 03-02-2014, 11:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v8fieromatt View Post

Thanks for all the responses, I appreciate ya'll taking the time.  So, after working with the system a bit more and removing the bi-amping for the front speakers it sounds a lot better, and I'm getting more bass from the front speakers.  Makes me think that more power might still help- but as is it sounds pretty good with two channel music, and very good with movies.  

  I have decided not to upgrade my receiver, unless i suddenly decide that 7.1 isn't enough smile.gif

first of all, its a 7.2, lol so i hope your using 2 subs. i use "PLx movie", i think it sounds the best, loud details/voices and plenty of bass. 2 channel on this to me was alittle dissappointing, i thought it sounded better on my older sony reciever.

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post #10 of 11 Old 03-03-2014, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Yup, I'm running a pair of BIC Formula F12's. 475 watts peak each I think.  The do alright. I knew it had two outputs but I wasn't sure if it was true 7.2 or not and had been too lazy to research it.  I have been looking at the DIY subwoofer builds on here and some of them are really impressive.  That may become a spring project for me.

 

  What speakers are you running?

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post #11 of 11 Old 03-03-2014, 04:19 PM
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These Integra products have defective HDMI boards that will fail. And if the unit is out of warranty your on your own. I'll never recommend another Integra/Onkyo product again.
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