Onkyo go boom, need new AVR - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 28 Old 05-28-2017, 12:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Question Sony go boom, need new AVR

Y'all steered me right a decade ago when I bought my Infinity speakers, and now I am in search of wisdom again. I'm an electrical engineer and a software engineer (depending on the year), and yet I am still lost in a sea of ambiguously worded feature lists and industry speak. I've narrowed my list down to 94 AVRs (yes, 94) and I can't figure out how to narrow it farther.

Money is not an object, but I suspect the industry has passed me by and all I need is the lowest-end AVR that meets my specs. I have a 5.1 setup, a small (150 sq ft) living room, a 12-year-old HD TV, and I intend to get a new TV in the next year or so. I (think) I'm looking for:
  • HDMI 2.0a (on all inputs and outputs? is that a thing?)
  • HDCP 2.2 support
  • HDMI input on the front panel
  • RCA input on the front panel
  • Support for somewhere between 5.1 and 7.2 speakers
With that in mind:
  • Is there anything missing from my must-have list?
  • Are there any criteria I can use to narrow down my list?
  • Are there any specific models you'd recommend?
Thank you, oh wise and wonderful AVSForum.

-- Sal
smile.

Last edited by sdesiano; 05-29-2017 at 01:46 AM.
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post #2 of 28 Old 05-28-2017, 12:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdesiano View Post
Y'all steered me right a decade ago when I bought my Infinity speakers, and now I am in search of wisdom again. I'm an electrical engineer and a software engineer (depending on the year), and yet I am still lost in a sea of ambiguously worded feature lists and industry speak. I've narrowed my list down to 94 AVRs (yes, 94) and I can't figure out how to narrow it farther.

Money is not an object, but I suspect the industry has passed me by and all I need is the lowest-end AVR that meets my specs. I have a 5.1 setup, a small (150 sq ft) living room, a 12-year-old HD TV, and I intend to get a new TV in the next year or so. I (think) I'm looking for:
  • HDMI 2.0a (on all inputs and outputs? is that a thing?)
  • HDCP 2.2 support
  • HDMI input on the front panel
  • RCA input on the front panel
  • Support for somewhere between 5.1 and 7.2 speakers
With that in mind:
  • Is there anything missing from my must-have list?
  • Are there any criteria I can use to narrow down my list?
  • Are there any specific models you'd recommend?
Thank you, oh wise and wonderful AVSForum.

-- Sal
smile.
Since you probably don't want use the TV speakers for any amount of time, you need to be back up and running. I would stick to a 5 channel receiver from one the big guys. Yamaha, Denon, Sony don't go over the 350 to 400 dollar range. This will keep things simple for now. When you get a new TV down the line than revisit the receiver the situation. maybe you'll what Atmos at the point and more speakers.
To use a car analogy, get a daily driver for now to get you to work and back. When you upgrade down the line move the receiver for use in another room.

"Espresso is like tequila, when in doubt apply more shots."
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post #3 of 28 Old 05-28-2017, 05:08 AM
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http://www.accessories4less.com/make...eceiver/1.html

Includes 3 year warranty, Atmos, DTS, networking and plenty of power for your small room. Plenty of receiver and it future-proofs you so you don't have to make another purchase if you decide to upgrade other gear down the road.
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post #4 of 28 Old 05-28-2017, 11:11 AM
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A couple of thoughts...

What's your AVR budget? It's not hard to find AVRs ranging in price from $200 to over $5000. Knowing your price limits helps us make product recommendations you will find more useful.

It might be helpful to go through the AVR FAQ. (See the "Sticky" Threads for the "AMPs, Receivers, and Processors".)

What's your thinking on immersive sound? The amount of source material continues to grow. Getting an AVR with these capabilities keeps the door open for the future without adding a lot of cost, depending on whether you are interested and willing to puts some dollars into that.
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post #5 of 28 Old 05-28-2017, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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@Bill-99

I meant to say this in the original post, but my budget is much higher than my audio needs, so I'm focusing on features rather than cost.

I started with the "10 Things to Consider", but my primary conclusion was that I don't need most of the features so I didn't mention them in my original post. Item by item, however:
  1. I/O: HDCP 2.2, HDMI x 4, RCA x 1 (preferably one HDMI and one RCA on the front). I have a 10-year old HD TV, so HDMI 2.0a doesn't matter. I only have one TV and one set of speakers, so multiple zones or multiple outputs don't matter.
  2. Power: The room is 150 sq ft and I have 4 wall-mounted Infinity Primus speakers and an HSU sub, so pretty much any power rating will do.
  3. Immersive: I don't mind immersive audio, but it's going to be hard to do in a room this size. I'm inclined to ignore this (along with 4k and HDR) and buy a new receiver and more speakers when I get a new room and TV in a year or two.
  4. Channels: I don't intend to go above 5.1, though I might go to 5.1.2 if it's easy and doesn't add too much to the price.
  5. Room Correction: Sounds great, but I've got a weird room with a bay window, so I'm counting this out.
  6. Networking: Won't use it.
  7. Wireless & Multi-Room: Won't use it.
  8. Analog Inputs: Need one, preferably two (one in back, one in front).
  9. Remotes & Apps: Don't really care.
  10. Budget: If someone told me I needed to spend more than $700 for the above, I'd understand why before buying, but I'd spend the money. If someone told me I could spend $400 for something that will last me a couple of years until I overhaul, that's be fine, too.
Does this help?
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post #6 of 28 Old 05-28-2017, 12:05 PM
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^Yes, that helps quite a bit. Hopefully, folks will chime-in with specific recommendations in the $400 to $700 price range. I'm a bit more up the dollar range and lack current knowledge of under $1k AVRs so I defer to their direct experience. Meanwhile, here are a couple of opinions which might help.

It sounds like you are viewing this as an interim solution. Any chance you'll need it to run longer than interim? If so, it might make sense to look for certain capabilities even if you won't leverage them in the near future.

It may be easy to get HDMI 2.0a support, and inexpensively. Even if you don't need it now, it's good to have in your bag of tricks.

Room correction can be pretty good these days. My HT is in a family room attached to a kitchen in an "L" shape… and the kitchen has a bay window. RC did a really nice job with these challenges.

Given your input needs, shopping carefully for this may save some pain since input support varies.

Some form of networking may be included regardless of whether you use it. It's useful for firmware upgrades and streaming.

If you can get an AVR that passes 4K transparently, that's a plus.

It may be worth looking for support of the audio return channel (ARC). Your TV may be too old to support it now but it could be important later.

Probably TMI but here you go anyway.

Bill
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post #7 of 28 Old 05-28-2017, 12:22 PM
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You said you need a couple analog inputs. Do you want the rca input converted to HDMI? Fewer and fewer receivers convert analog to HDMI on the lower end. Mid level AVRs will though.

Front RCA inputs have become a thing of the past. You might find one on a 3-4 year old AVR but then it wont have HDMI 2.0?

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post #8 of 28 Old 05-28-2017, 12:27 PM
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I saw a thread where the Denon 3300 is on sale $499. Smoking deal since its $1299 here in Canada.
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post #9 of 28 Old 05-28-2017, 01:09 PM
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Some of the inexpensive Yamaha's have an analog up front, but it's for portable devices, you'd need an adapter. To get an RCA input up front from Denon would cost $1500 new.
Yamaha and Denon get the most love on AVS. Onkyo and Pioneer allegedly have reliability issues, and Sony doesn't bring anything to the table that I know of, but I'm not up to date on them.
Since this sounds like an interim receiver, I'd get this:
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_033AVX...VR-X2300W.html
and something like this:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016SD48O6...a-315259841953
and run it from a back RCA up front.
This receiver should do everything you want, and have a decent version of Audyssey to make those speakers sound their best. I'd splurge for that expensive one(or equivalent), once you have your new room set up.
Like many relatively inexpensive receivers today, it doesn't have a phono input, but you didn't mention needing one.

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post #10 of 28 Old 05-28-2017, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdesiano View Post
@Bill-99

I meant to say this in the original post, but my budget is much higher than my audio needs, so I'm focusing on features rather than cost.

I started with the "10 Things to Consider", but my primary conclusion was that I don't need most of the features so I didn't mention them in my original post. Item by item, however:
  1. I/O: HDCP 2.2, HDMI x 4, RCA x 1 (preferably one HDMI and one RCA on the front). I have a 10-year old HD TV, so HDMI 2.0a doesn't matter. I only have one TV and one set of speakers, so multiple zones or multiple outputs don't matter.
  2. Power: The room is 150 sq ft and I have 4 wall-mounted Infinity Primus speakers and an HSU sub, so pretty much any power rating will do.
  3. Immersive: I don't mind immersive audio, but it's going to be hard to do in a room this size. I'm inclined to ignore this (along with 4k and HDR) and buy a new receiver and more speakers when I get a new room and TV in a year or two.
  4. Channels: I don't intend to go above 5.1, though I might go to 5.1.2 if it's easy and doesn't add too much to the price.
  5. Room Correction: Sounds great, but I've got a weird room with a bay window, so I'm counting this out.
  6. Networking: Won't use it.
  7. Wireless & Multi-Room: Won't use it.
  8. Analog Inputs: Need one, preferably two (one in back, one in front).
  9. Remotes & Apps: Don't really care.
  10. Budget: If someone told me I needed to spend more than $700 for the above, I'd understand why before buying, but I'd spend the money. If someone told me I could spend $400 for something that will last me a couple of years until I overhaul, that's be fine, too.
Does this help?
The majority of AVRs released in the last couple of years are going to have the features you want, and more. And "counting out" room correction would be a mistake, especially considering your "weird room." That's precisely why you need it, and should get it. Audyssey or YPAO (Denon/Marantz or Yamaha.) Not that it matters--again, if you buy an AVR it's going to have some form of room correction and you should use it. What I don't get, considering your statement that your budget is larger than your needs, is why you would want to buy twice, when you can simply purchase a solid receiver now, use the features you need and ignore the ones you don't. Judging from your current setup, you're not suffering from GAS, so to my logic, purchasing a more feature-rich receiver now will free up funds down the road for something that might really improve whatever new room you end up with a couple of years from now, like a solid sub, or putting the money towards the new tv. And when that time comes, you've already got the AVR you need to accommodate your changed circumstances and you don't have to go through this whole process again. But, as they say, it's your money!
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post #11 of 28 Old 05-28-2017, 02:53 PM
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If you just want something cheap, but competent to last you 2 years, this might do it.
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_022RXV...83.html?tp=179
It has an analog input up front, but you will need an RCA adapter like this:
https://www.showmecables.com/3-5mm-s...FQ6paQodyfkEdA
Well under $300. And, when you are ready to design your new room, you can upgrade to the appropriate receiver then, as modern features trickle down to lower priced models. Trying to future proof a receiver is hard to do these days, so get this to keep your system going, and see what's available in 1-2 years.

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post #12 of 28 Old 05-29-2017, 01:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Question

I love this place. So much good advice.

@Dargent0628 @Bill-99 I would love to get something more than interim, but with none of the other pieces in place (TV, speakers, or even living room) spending a chunk of change right now doesn't seem like a good idea. That said, I will definitely look for room correction.

@afrogt All I need from the analog inputs is to be able to pipe them to the speakers. If they're only in the back, I can get an extension.

@drh3b No phone input needed for this one.

At this point I'm considering the two least expensive models from the 2017 Yamaha, 2016 Denon, and 2017 Denon lines (Yamaha RX-V383 [ @drh3b ], Yamaha RX-V483, Denon AVR-X1300W [ @Dargent0628 ], Denon AVR-X2300W [ @drh3b ], Denon AVR-S530BT, Denon AVR-S730H).

The only reasons I haven't pulled the trigger are:
  • The RX-V383 and AVR-S530BT seem pretty bare-bones. Am I going to regret buying a company's least expensive product?
  • Is Yamaha's app remote worth moving up to the RX-V483?
  • Should I rule out the AVR-S530BT for lack of Audyssey MultEQ?
  • Why are folks are suggesting the Denon 2016 models rather than 2017 models?
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post #13 of 28 Old 05-29-2017, 02:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdesiano View Post
[*]Should I rule out the AVR-S530BT for lack of Audyssey MultEQ?
[*]Why are folks are suggesting the Denon 2016 models rather than 2017 models?
A: IMO, yes. Even a basic version of Audyssey should do a nice job of setting up your speakers.
B: 2016 being clearanced, so you are getting more for less. The Denon I recommended is several hundred dollars off. I think it's your best bang for buck. It's less bare bones than the Yamaha I mentioned, it has a decent version of Audyssey, just all around nicer. The only way I would get a Denon/Marantz is on clearance, because they don't go on official sales really. My own Denon I got new for $1000 off because it was being replaced by a newer model. Plus, you might be able to slide it into your later system, instead of replacing it.

My personal bare minimum choice would be this:
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_033AVX...N-Command.html
But, I'd get it next year when it goes on clearance, and you're not in that position.

And, I meant phono input not phone input.
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post #14 of 28 Old 05-29-2017, 06:02 AM
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+1 on seeking last years model to make your dollars go further.
+1 on room correction.

Regardless of what you choose, it will have a useful life span and eventually need to be replaced. Whether for component failure or absence of some new features that up the game, you are likely to buy again in the future. That helps put any mistakes in the rear-view mirror.

If you spend enough to meet your current needs and some of your future needs -- and have fun -- it's money well spent.
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post #15 of 28 Old 05-29-2017, 06:52 AM
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This might be all you need. Has analog to HDMI conversion. HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 on 3 of 6 inputs. Room correction, etc.

https://www.worldwidestereo.com/prod...430b7cef000129

I'd say either this on the Yamama TSR-7810 from Costco.
https://www.costco.com/Yamaha-TSR-78...100308760.html

Here is a comparison of the two receivers. The TSR-7810 is the same as the RX-V781.
https://www.crutchfield.com/S-HlnrU2...g&awug=9032236

If you lived near a Fry's Electronics I'd say get the Denon x3300 which is under $500 this week but since you're in Pittsburgh you don't have that option.

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Last edited by afrogt; 05-29-2017 at 06:58 AM.
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post #16 of 28 Old 05-29-2017, 09:09 AM
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Sdesiano, curious what you need the analog input for on the front? Just audio or audio and video?
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post #17 of 28 Old 05-29-2017, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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@afrogt I CAN GO TO FRY'S! It turns out I didn't update my profile location (which I'm doing now).

Where are you seeing the x3300 under $500? If that's the case, I'll buy that today.
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post #18 of 28 Old 05-29-2017, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdesiano View Post
I love this place. So much good advice.

@Dargent0628 @Bill-99 I would love to get something more than interim, but with none of the other pieces in place (TV, speakers, or even living room) spending a chunk of change right now doesn't seem like a good idea. That said, I will definitely look for room correction.

@afrogt All I need from the analog inputs is to be able to pipe them to the speakers. If they're only in the back, I can get an extension.

@drh3b No phone input needed for this one.

At this point I'm considering the two least expensive models from the 2017 Yamaha, 2016 Denon, and 2017 Denon lines (Yamaha RX-V383 [ @drh3b ], Yamaha RX-V483, Denon AVR-X1300W [ @Dargent0628 ], Denon AVR-X2300W [ @drh3b ], Denon AVR-S530BT, Denon AVR-S730H).

The only reasons I haven't pulled the trigger are:
  • The RX-V383 and AVR-S530BT seem pretty bare-bones. Am I going to regret buying a company's least expensive product?
  • Is Yamaha's app remote worth moving up to the RX-V483?
  • Should I rule out the AVR-S530BT for lack of Audyssey MultEQ?
  • Why are folks are suggesting the Denon 2016 models rather than 2017 models?
Given that zoning isn't important to you and that you want RCA inputs, this is the one I would recommend. For this price you can't really go wrong.

https://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-RX-A76.../dp/B01EUXFZA2

The remote app is nice, I would recommend the Aventage line of Yamaha as it is much more future proof and they do a good job of firmware updates.

Display - Panasonic PT-AE8000 & Grandview 135" 16x9 curved screen
Processing/power - Yamaha CX-A5100 & MX-5000
Player - Oppo 203
Speakers - Polk RTIA9 x 6, RTIA25 x 4, CSIA6
Subs - Velodyne Optimum 12 x 2
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post #19 of 28 Old 05-29-2017, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdesiano View Post
@afrogt I CAN GO TO FRY'S! It turns out I didn't update my profile location (which I'm doing now).

Where are you seeing the x3300 under $500? If that's the case, I'll buy that today.
http://www.frys.com/product/8874162

Add to cart. pick a store that has it in stock. Concord and Campbell look like they have it. Reserve for In Store pickup. They'll set it aside for you and send a confirmation that its ready. They won't charge your card until you pick up in store. Provide them the promo code at the counter and price drops to $498. No sales tax either on this item so you get it for $498 out the door.

I'm PM a promo code.

Afro GT
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post #20 of 28 Old 05-29-2017, 07:14 PM
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I have had Pioneer, yamaha, and onkyo. I plan on Yamaha for my next upgrade.
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post #21 of 28 Old 05-30-2017, 02:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post
http://www.frys.com/product/8874162

Add to cart. pick a store that has it in stock. Concord and Campbell look like they have it. Reserve for In Store pickup. They'll set it aside for you and send a confirmation that its ready. They won't charge your card until you pick up in store. Provide them the promo code at the counter and price drops to $498. No sales tax either on this item so you get it for $498 out the door.

I'm PM a promo code.
Damn, couldn't get that price to load with my promo code.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
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post #22 of 28 Old 05-30-2017, 07:21 AM
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The discount is applied WHEN YOU GET TO THE STORE!

You have to apply the promo code at the checkout counter at the store. Make sure you have Sunday's promo code.

Afro GT
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post #23 of 28 Old 06-11-2017, 11:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Thumbs down

Hey, all. I just got back from two weeks of traveling and I figured it would be polite to update the thread in case anyone is curious:
  • After a few days of trying to get to Fry's before traveling and a few days of trying to use TaskRabbit to have someone pick up an AVR-X3300W from Fry's while I was traveling, no dice.
  • I'm now torn between a $350-400 box that will do the job (RX-V481, RX-V483, RX-V581, AVR-X1300W) and waiting for a higher end box (AVR-X3300W, AVR-X2400H, RX-A760BL, RX-A770BL, Marantz SR6011) to go on sale below $500 again.
  • If I felt better about the lower-end series (Yamaha RX-Vxxx and Denon AVR-Sxxx), I'd probably just buy one. Across the board, however, the higher-end series (RX-Axxxx, AVR-Xxxxx) seem to get higher marks. The warranty difference, for example, seems a clear indication of a workmanship difference.
  • I am slightly concerned that the warranty dropped from 3 years on the AVR-X2300W to 2 years on the AVR-X2400H.
  • For now I'm just monitoring SlickDeals until the sting of missing the X3300 wears off and/or I feel better about the lower-end series.
  • If I were smarter, I'd just suck it up and buy something.
@Gottria The analog is for audio for situations where I just want to use my living room as a nice set of speakers for something dopey like a laptop or an MP3 player.

If anyone has any words of wisdom that will convince me to just buy something, they are welcome. Otherwise I'll post again when I finally buy something.

Thanks again, everyone.
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post #24 of 28 Old 06-12-2017, 07:42 AM
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I am slightly concerned that the warranty dropped from 3 years on the AVR-X2300W to 2 years on the AVR-X2400H.
x2400 still has 3 year warranty. Not sure where you got your info.

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post #25 of 28 Old 06-12-2017, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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post #26 of 28 Old 06-16-2017, 10:19 PM
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Makes sense to have the RCA inputs on the front in your situation. I picked up an open box Onkyo NR656 at BB for $240 and love it, it does have RCA inputs but they are on the back.
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post #27 of 28 Old 06-20-2017, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Talking

Just to close this out and thank everyone for their advice... I ended up with a TSR-5810 from Costco (i.e. a rebranded RX-V581).

In case it helps anyone in the future, I got there by:
  1. Made a list of all AVR brands.
  2. Eliminated brands with bad reputations (Insignia, Pioneer, Pyle), were British (Arcam), weren't making new models anymore (Harman-Kardon), or were too rich for my blood (Anthem, Cambridge Audio, Marantz).
  3. Skimmed the reviews for the low- and mid-range products for the remaining brands (Denon, Onkyo, Sony, Yamaha) and decided that there were too many quality complaints about Onkyo and too many "not worth the money" comments about Sony.
  4. Made a list of all of the Denon and Yamaha AVRs that are still for sale new (i.e. not refurbished or used), which is basically 2015-2017.
  5. Eliminated anything without HDMI 2.0a (Yamaha 2015, Denon AVR-S510BT).
  6. Eliminated anything with the original Denon Android/iPhone app which seems to have been widely panned (Denon 2015).
  7. Decided I:
    • don't need Atmos because it doesn't work unless you have at least 7 channels and my room is too small to justify 7.
    • do want DTS:X because it works with 5 channels and only the cheapest models don't have it.
    • don't need MultEQ XT32 or YPAO RSC because they don't seem to make a difference unless you have more expensive speakers than I do (Infinity Primus & HSU sub).
  8. Eliminated anything without DTS:X (RX-V381/383/481/483, AVR-S530BT).
  9. Compared feature lists and eliminated higher-end or newer models that didn't offer new features I cared about (RX-V581 eliminated RX-V583/681 & up, RX-A660BL eliminated RX-A670BL/760BL & up, AVR-S720W eliminated AVR-S730H/S920W & up, AVR-X1300W eliminated AVR-X1400H/2300W & up).
This left me with the RX-V581 ($400), RX-A660BL ($650), AVR-S720W ($340), and AVR-X1300W ($400 and Dargent0628's original suggestion). These, oddly, are exactly the consumer and pro-sumer versions of the third-tier 2016 Denon & Yamaha models (one tier up from what I was considering in my last post).

On the Yamaha side, the only difference was the warranty (2y vs 3y). My general experience with sold-state electronics is that they fail sooner rather than later, so I wasn't willing to pay 60% more for the warranty or (if it is even true) higher quality parts. This eliminated the more expensive RX-A660BL.

On the Denon side, the difference was the warranty (2y vs 3y) plus MultEQ XT (vs plain MultEQ) but only $60. In this case, I eliminated the cheaper AVR-S720W.

AVR-X1300W vs RX-V581BL was a hard choice, but there were a lot of "you'll be happy with either" comments and the Yamaha app is generally agreed to be better than the Denon one (even Denon 2016), so that broke the tie.

The RX-V581BL is available from Best Buy for $350 as a closeout, but the TSR-5810 is available from Costco for $389 and I'm more than willing to pay $39 to get Costco's world-class customer service instead of Best Buy's "customer service".


FWIW, the most useful pages for collecting raw specs and data were:
I hope somebody some day saves some time using some part of this reasoning. I couldn't have done this without y'all. 
Many thanks to @Gottria , @Afront , @Dargent0628 , @Bill-99 , @drh3b , @Vette_Killer , and @Phil Carman !

-- Sal
smile.
Broadus and drh3b like this.

Last edited by sdesiano; 06-20-2017 at 11:20 PM.
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post #28 of 28 Old 06-20-2017, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by sdesiano View Post
Just to close this out and thank everyone for their advice... I ended up with a TSR-5810 from Costco (i.e. a rebranded RX-V581).

In case it helps anyone in the future, I got there by:
  1. Made a list of all AVR brands.
  2. Eliminated brands with bad reputations (Insignia, Pioneer, Pyle), were British (Arcam), weren't making new models anymore (Harman-Kardon), or were too rich for my blood (Anthem, Cambridge Audio, Marantz).
  3. Skimmed the reviews for the low- and mid-range products for the remaining brands (Denon, Onkyo, Sony, Yamaha) and decided that there were too many quality complaints about Onkyo and too many "not worth the money" comments about Sony.
  4. Made a list of all of the Denon and Yamaha AVRs that are still for sale new (i.e. not refurbished or used), which is basically 2015-2017.
  5. Eliminated anything without HDMI 2.0a (Yamaha 2015, Denon AVR-S510BT).
  6. Eliminated anything with the original Denon Android/iPhone app which seems to have been widely panned (Denon 2015).
  7. Decided I don't need Atmos because it doesn't work unless you have at least 7 channels and my room is too small to justify 7.
  8. Decided I did want DTS:X because it works with 5 channels and only the cheapest models don't have it (RX-V381/383/481/483, AVR-S530BT).
  9. Decided I wasn't willing to pay more for XT32 (AVR-X3300W & up) or YPAO RSC (RX-V681/683, RX-A760BL/770BL) because they don't seem to make a difference unless you have more expensive speakers than I do (Infinity Primus & HSU sub).
  10. Compared feature lists and eliminated higher-end or newer models that didn't offer new features I cared about (RX-V581 eliminated RX-V583, RX-A660BL eliminated RX-A670BL, AVR-S720W eliminated AVR-S730H/S920W/S930H, AVR-X1300W eliminated AVR-X1400H/2300W/2400H).
This left me with the RX-V581 ($400), RX-A660BL ($650), AVR-S720W ($340), and AVR-X1300W ($400 Dargent0628's original suggestion), which are the consumer and pro-sumer versions of the 3rd-level 2016 Denon and Yamaha models.

On the Yamaha side, the only difference is the warranty (2y vs 3y). My general experience with sold-state electronics is that they fail sooner rather than later, so I wasn't willing to pay 60% more for the warranty or (if it is even true) higher quality parts. This eliminated the more expensive RX-A660BL.

On the Denon side, the difference is the warranty (2y vs 3y) plus MultEQ XT (vs plain MultEQ) and only $60. In this case, I eliminated the cheaper AVR-S720W.

AVR-X1300W vs RX-V581BL was a hard choice, but there were a lot of "you'll be happy with either" comments and the Yamaha app is generally agreed to be better than the Denon one (even Denon 2016), so that broke the tie.

The RX-V581BL is available from Best Buy for $350 as a closeout, but the TSR-5810 is available from Costco for $389 and I'm more than willing to pay $39 to get Costco's customer service instead of Best Buy's "customer service".


FWIW, the most useful pages for collecting raw specs and data were:
I hope somebody, some day saves some time using some part of this reasoning. I couldn't have done this without y'all.

Many thanks to @Gottria , @Afront , @Dargent0628 , @Bill-99 , @drh3b , @Vette_Killer , and @Phil Carman !

-- Sal
smile.
Good research! I'm sure you'll be happy with your choice.

Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk
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