Originally Posted by Meature
I have an Onkyo HTIB HT-S5300, had it six years.
Been running it with some older Mission speakers. In process of upgrading new speakers and sub. (Ordered some KEF Q300 speakers)
I have been happy with the system for the money paid but looking for a little more. Receiver is HT-R580. Manual says 130 watts @ 6 ohms but not sure if that is 2 channel. Not sure what THD is.
1) If I upgrade receiver will I get any meaningful improvement in sound for HT and music. Do not have a 4k TV, have panasonic plasma vt58, so don't think 4k does anything for me. Only 5.1 system, not interested in anything more.
2) Would like to stream music. Current receiver does not have network capability. Is there a work around? Is this reason enough to upgrade?
If upgrade looking at yamaha's v581 or v781. Or denon s720 or s920.
Your Onkyo HT-R580 Receiver was only sold as part of a HTIB system and not available separately. That means that it was built to an even lower price point than the Onkyo AVR receivers that are sold separately for $200-$300 new. Onkyo's specifications are very inflated on the HTIM systems. The literature may say it puts out 130 watts x 7 channels, but if you were to bench test it, you'd find that that RMS power output was available with only one-two channels driven. The AVR is the backbone of the system that you build. A better built more powerful AVR will definitely sound better on your KEF Q300 speakers.
Onkyo HT-S5300 home theater system - $599 MSRP
1 receiver, 7 speakers, and powered subwoofer
iPod dock included
Onkyo HT-R580 Receiver - $149 used/EBAY
Onkyo HT-R580 Specifications
130 watts x 7 into 6 ohms
1080p-compatible HDMI video switching (4 in, 1 out)
HDMI version 1.4a — supports 3D video and Audio Return Channel
built-in decoding for DTS-HD Master Audio™, DTS-ES, DTS Neo:6, Dolby® TrueHD, Dolby® Digital, and Dolby® Pro Logic® IIz audio formats
192kHz/24-bit Burr-Brown digital-to-analog converters for all channels
four DSP gaming modes, including Rock, Sports, Action, and Role Playing
Audyssey Dynamic Volume™ mode keeps listening levels steady to avoid overly loud peaks such as on TV commercials
Audyssey Dynamic EQ™ for clearer surround sound at lower volumes
audio inputs include 2 stereo analog RCA, 2 coaxial digital, and 2 optical digital
video inputs include 5 composite, 2 component, and 4 HDMI
video outputs for TV include 1 composite, 1 component, and 1 HDMI
Dimensions: 17-1/8 x 5-15/16 x 12-15/16
Weight: 19 lbs
Warranty: 2 years
Today people buy off the internet and usually make their choice based upon a list of features without ever listening to the AVR. The longer the list of features at a price point, the better it sells compared to other similar units on amazon. The majority of today's gotta-have features--auto-setup, GUI menus, AirPlay, iPod/iPhone/iPad compatibility, home networking, HD Radio, Bluetooth, HDMI switching, digital-to-analog converters, Dolby and DTS surround processors--are sourced and manufactured by other companies. Industry insiders refer to the practice of cramming as many features as possible into the box as "checklist design." It doesn't matter if those features are useful to the majority of buyers, or if they're easy to use; no, the features are included to make the product more attractive to potential buyers. It's a numbers game, pure and simple. The receiver with the right combination of features is judged to be the best receiver.
Every year receiver manufacturers pay out more and more money (in the form of royalties and licensing fees) to Apple, Audyssey, Bluetooth, HD Radio, XM-Sirius, Dolby, DTS and other companies, and those dollars consume an ever bigger chunk of the design budget. The engineers have to make do with whatever is left to make the receiver build quality fit within budget. Retail prices of receivers, the ones that sell in big numbers, never go up. The $300 to $500 models are where most of the sales action is, just like 10, 20 or 30 years ago, when their $300 to $500 models weren't packed to the gills with features. Something's got to go, and build quality usually takes the hit.
That's why it doesn't really matter which company's budget receiver you get, until you get up to about $900 and over, they are all not built to last regardless of the long list of features.You will probably find more value per dollar in older audio gear used or refurbished than buying the latest budget AVR listed on the internet. The trick is to buy old enough that the price has dropped within your price range, but new enough that the feature set is still unusable.
Fortunately, the most important thing your getting from an AVR is the audio. Unless your system is more complex than 7.1 channels, the quality of the amplifier and preamplifier section is going to make the most impact on your listening experience. Video is in a state of flux right now. It's more cost effective to hook your Cable/Satalite, BluRay player directly to the TV and upgrade the video as you're ready and can afford it. Spend your money on the quality of the receiver, not on a long list of features, most of which you may not use that much.
Denon had a "Ci" series or AVR's about 5 years ago that in my opinion were the last to have really good build quality and premium parts for under $1,000 used. They retailed for between $1,200 and $2,900, but are commonly now available used or refurbished between $200 - $500:
If you don't need all the bells and whistles of a Yamaha v581/v781 or Denon s720/s920, the best deal out there right now is a Denon AVR 3312Ci
on avsforum classifieds asking $375
including PayPal fees and shipping cost. It sold new for $1,200 and is still available from Denon refurbished for $650. It has the power to accommodate larger speakers if you ever chose to upgrade.
Look at the information posted below. You can see the difference in build quality between a $1,200 Denon 3312Ci at 27 lbs with a 3 year warranty from for a few years ago versus a $250 (approx) Onkyo HT-R580 receiver at only 17 lbs with a 2 year warranty. Most of that difference in weight is the size of the power transformer which directly impacts real world watts output (as opposed to manufacturer's specifications). The denon 3312Ci has better audio and larger power supply than any of the AVR's on your list. The fact that you can buy it now for $375 only makes it a better value.
Denon AVR-3312CI Integrated Network A/V Receiver
Price: $1,200 new ($375 avs classifieds)
With its vast array of inputs and network functions, the Denon AVR-3312CI 7.2-Channel Integrated Network A/V Receiver puts you in command. As the flagship model of the IN-Command Series, this receiver sets a new standard in 3D, Blu-ray, game console, and other entertainment device integration. It features seven discrete 125-watt channels of equal power, dual subwoofer outputs, and multiple high-resolution audio formats for superior surround sound. It also supports HDMI v1.4a, so you can get the most out of 3D content. Enhanced by digital network audio/photo streaming capabilities, including support for AirPlay, mp3/WMA/WAV and FLAC HD audio, and Windows 7 compatibility, the AVR-3312CI is a solid foundation for your networked home entertainment system.
Equal amp power design with seven discrete channels, each rated at 125 watts*, and dual subwoofer outputs
HDMI v1.4a supports all 3D formats and Audio Return Channel
Ethernet, USB, Phono, and seven HDMI inputs for added connectivity
Supports AirPlay for wireless music streaming from iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or iTunes
Audyssey MultEQ XT, GUI overlay, and remote control make setup and operation easy
Enhanced network capability includes Pandora, Flickr, Napster, and Rhapsody online support
Audio Decoding: Dolby: TrueHD, Digital 5.1, EX, Pro Logic II/IIx/IIz DTS: DTS-HD (Master Audio, High Resolution Audio), DTS 5.1, ES, 96/24, Neo:6
Audyssey: DSX, Dynamic EQ, Dynamic Volume
Other: 3 DSP modes, multichannel stereo, mono movie, virtual, direct, pure direct
Number of Amp Channels: 7
Rated Power (Watts Per Channel): 125 watts into 8 ohms two channels driven
Auto Setup/Room EQ: Audyssey MultEQ XT
Dimensions (W x H x D, Inches): 17.13 x 6.68 x 15.05
Weight (Pounds): 27
Warranty: 3 years
Inputs: Video: HDMI 1.4a (7), component video (2), S-video (2), composite (5)
Audio: Coaxial digital (2), optical digital (2), analog stereo (7), phono (1),
Additional: Ethernet (1), Sirius (1), AM (1), FM/HD Radio (1), AirPlay, Bluetooth Accessory: Dock control (1)
Outputs: Video: HDMI 1.4 (2), component video (1), composite (2)
Audio: Analog stereo (3), 7.2-channel preamp (1), 0.25-inch headphone (1)
Additional: RS-232 (1), 12-volt trigger (2), IR remote (in/out)