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post #1 of 6 Old 06-19-2019, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Home Stereo Receiver Advice (2.1++)

Hello kind AVSers. So I'm in the market for a new home stereo receiver, and could use some advice. (If the right choice also has nice video accommodations, I'm not against that, just don't want to pay a whole lot extra for it.)

Street price sub US$500 if possible.

Requirements:

Minimum 80 Watts per channel into 8-ohm speakers. This seems to be more or less of a sweet-spot in the products I've seen. Currently using a pair of older medium-sized bi-amped Polks, don't have any near-term plans to replace these. (And they don't necessarilly need to be bi-amp driven.)

Subwoofer out (my subwoofer is powered).

Banana plugs for all speaker outputs (other than subwoofer). I'm already invested in good speaker wire, don't want to cut the tips or buy/cut/strip/tin additional wire.

Bluetooth input:

For streaming from iPhone. Don't know if there are certain Bluetooth versions or codecs that are higher-fidelity than others. Please educate me on this. I'm aware of AptX as it pertains to latency, but I don't know anything about various Bluetooth fidelity.

Network input (Wi-Fi):

For built-in networked music streaming services. (I'm assuming these can be higher fidelity than is Bluetooth streaming from iPhone. Please educate me on this.) Currently using Spotify premium with a "quality" setting of "320kbps". Assuming this is some kind of mp3-equivalent "quality". They're teasing a future upgrade to lossless. Also want to host visitors' Apple Music, which is apparently 256kbps AAC. (And is there an audio fidelity diff between Airplay1 and Airplay2?)

USB Stick input: mp3 and better.

Good built-in display:

Large, readable, informative. Especially to navigate streaming services and usb stick. Built-in display appears to be a major weakness in many reviews I've read. I won't have a TV or monitor hooked up to this new receiver. I've considered getting a cheap monitor solely for the purpose of on-screen-display, but it really wouldn't fit into my setup on a permanent basis. One alternative would be if the device's display is available to iPad via Wi-Fi. Don't know if that exists. Another alternative would be a separate iPad app, but only if the app is thorough and actually works! App quality/reliability is another area of complaints in reviews I've read. Please educate me if there's consensus on who makes the best app, as that might turn out to be a major deciding factor with respect to brands.

Dual-zone:

My goal is two-fold. I want to be able to simultaneously play the same music from my new upstairs receiver (the topic of this post) to:
1) My downstairs home-theater 5.1 setup based on an older Denon AVR-790.
2) A new set of backyard remote speakers.
I only need one of these two extra sets going at a time. I'm assuming there'd be some wireless in the mix. I'm open to any and all solutions (my existing Denon doesn't natively network). I don't want or have room for additional speakers downstairs. I will need a new speaker pair for backyard. I also have an older Yamaha RX-V363 that I can press into service if it helps (my existing Yamaha also doesn't natively network).

Reliability: I'm stunned by the negative reviews I've been reading, across many brands, regarding poor product reliability. Is there any brand consensus for adequate reliability?

That's about all I can think of. Let me know if further clarification. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-20-2019, 07:35 AM
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https://www.soundandvision.com/conte...-video-section


See if this fits your requirements.
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-20-2019, 09:32 AM
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I'd love the item Phatom52 proposes but it doesn't process lossless surround formats and therefore will not extract the .1 LFE channel. Currently my Marantz 6005 runs my 2.2 setup great but for lack of 4k integration. I think I'm gonna have to go to another 4k receiver just because I need that LFE channel extracted.
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-20-2019, 10:25 AM
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^^^since this is only a 2 channel receiver why would you expect it to process lossless surround formats such as TrueHD or DTS-HD? I wouldn't expect it to do any multichannel decoding.

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post #5 of 6 Old 06-20-2019, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Re: Home Stereo Receiver Advice (2.1++)

Thanks for the responses. The Denon DRA-800H sure seems to check all the boxes. A few follow-up questions:

1) Being a new release, I'm only finding it priced at MSRP. Previous model years of other receivers I sometimes see on sale for up to 50% off. Anyone know if there's a less recent model with similar functionality?

2) Any experience with the Denon iPhone App(s)? Are they just a remote control, or can they mimic the unit's entire menuing system for selecting music within the unit's built-in streaming services and my supplied USB stick?

3) Does Denon offer some type of HEOS receiver to wirelessly connect to a non-networked receiver? Or alternatively, any good 3rd party transmitter/receiver pairs that I'd hook up to transmit the DRA-800H's preamp-out to my existing downstairs system?
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-21-2019, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVS_Anon View Post
Thanks for the responses. The Denon DRA-800H sure seems to check all the boxes. A few follow-up questions:

1) Being a new release, I'm only finding it priced at MSRP. Previous model years of other receivers I sometimes see on sale for up to 50% off. Anyone know if there's a less recent model with similar functionality?

2) Any experience with the Denon iPhone App(s)? Are they just a remote control, or can they mimic the unit's entire menuing system for selecting music within the unit's built-in streaming services and my supplied USB stick?

3) Does Denon offer some type of HEOS receiver to wirelessly connect to a non-networked receiver? Or alternatively, any good 3rd party transmitter/receiver pairs that I'd hook up to transmit the DRA-800H's preamp-out to my existing downstairs system?

Give the Onkyo 8270 a look also. It's a few years older and does have very similar features. There's a dedicated thread for it on this site.


https://www.avsforum.com/forum/90-re...iver-hdmi.html
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