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post #1 of 18 Old 08-24-2019, 06:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Help with upgrade/downgrade

I'm rebuilding my home theater system. My previous system hasn't been used in a good number of years. It was a somewhat expensive system back then: Paradigm Reference V2 speakers, Anthem AVM-20, and Anthem 5 channel power amp. I liked this system, but to be honest, it never really wowed me. I think I overspent on that system significantly. The Anthem AVM-20 is now terribly outdated and does not support HDMI in any way. Also, I recently hooked up the AVM-20 with a 2 channel system and was rather unimpressed with it. I think it's A/D, D/A, and processing are kind of weak from a sound quality perspective. An analog receiver without any DSP actually sounded quite a bit better.

So I now want something to replace the AVM-20, but I want to do this inexpensively. Nothing anywhere near the price class of the Anthem. I really would like to spend $400 or less. I'm ok with used equipment; in fact used is my first choice so I can get more performance for my money.

I think a good used AVR is probably the way to go. But I'm finding that most AVRs do not have a full 5.1 (or 7.1) set of preamp outputs. I would like to use my Anthem 5 channel power amp. But that might not happen with my current budget. I might be forced to use onboard amplification in my new AVR.

Any thoughts or ideas on this would be appreciated. Especially specific recommendations for good used AVRs. I'm no longer focused on trying to get "high end sound" from my home theater. But good sound quality would definitely be nice. I only have a 5.1 setup, so I don't necessarily need a 7.1 capable system, particularly if I can get something with good sound quality and stay in my budget.

Thanks,

Brian.
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post #2 of 18 Old 08-24-2019, 07:15 AM
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Out of curiosity, what sub do you have and how is the room?

A mid range AVR with pre-outs would be a good step, sorry i cant help with any specifics.


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post #3 of 18 Old 08-24-2019, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
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The sub is a Paradigm Servo 15. Room is a joined living room/dining room that's about 25 x 14. Seating position is around 8 feet from the main speakers and 5 feet from the back wall. Not in any way ideal; it's just a typical living room.

I'm not even sure where the surrounds are going to go, or even if I will hook them up. They are Studio ADPs, which are from back when Paradigm (and the whole industry) thought that dipole surrounds were the way to go. Frankly, I always hated my dipoles. They never produced a convincing surround effect. If/when I connect them this time, I think I will aim one side of them at the listening position and let the other side just aim at the wall or whatever. I might get into them and disconnect one side, making them a monopole. I have not decided yet. I haven't really decided on much at all, as you can see.

Thanks,

Brian.
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post #4 of 18 Old 08-24-2019, 08:17 AM
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https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...-w/heos/1.html

Under $400 I don't think you'll find a full compliment of preouts. This Denon is a great value and has the most advanced audyssey.

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post #5 of 18 Old 08-24-2019, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blgentry View Post
I'm rebuilding my home theater system. My previous system hasn't been used in a good number of years. It was a somewhat expensive system back then: Paradigm Reference V2 speakers, Anthem AVM-20, and Anthem 5 channel power amp. I liked this system, but to be honest, it never really wowed me. I think I overspent on that system significantly. The Anthem AVM-20 is now terribly outdated and does not support HDMI in any way. Also, I recently hooked up the AVM-20 with a 2 channel system and was rather unimpressed with it. I think it's A/D, D/A, and processing are kind of weak from a sound quality perspective. An analog receiver without any DSP actually sounded quite a bit better.



So I now want something to replace the AVM-20, but I want to do this inexpensively. Nothing anywhere near the price class of the Anthem. I really would like to spend $400 or less. I'm ok with used equipment; in fact used is my first choice so I can get more performance for my money.



I think a good used AVR is probably the way to go. But I'm finding that most AVRs do not have a full 5.1 (or 7.1) set of preamp outputs. I would like to use my Anthem 5 channel power amp. But that might not happen with my current budget. I might be forced to use onboard amplification in my new AVR.



Any thoughts or ideas on this would be appreciated. Especially specific recommendations for good used AVRs. I'm no longer focused on trying to get "high end sound" from my home theater. But good sound quality would definitely be nice. I only have a 5.1 setup, so I don't necessarily need a 7.1 capable system, particularly if I can get something with good sound quality and stay in my budget.



Thanks,



Brian.

Brian - I am upgrading to more channels via a Denon X8500H. I have an X3500H in service since late March I’m replacing. I am asking $500 Shipped. It has the original Box, unopened Audyssey mic, stand and labels. (Everything it came with). Just a thought. It’s a superb AVR, I just needed more processing. PM me if interested.

Thanks - Rich


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post #6 of 18 Old 08-24-2019, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blgentry View Post
The sub is a Paradigm Servo 15. Room is a joined living room/dining room that's about 25 x 14. Seating position is around 8 feet from the main speakers and 5 feet from the back wall. Not in any way ideal; it's just a typical living room.

I'm not even sure where the surrounds are going to go, or even if I will hook them up. They are Studio ADPs, which are from back when Paradigm (and the whole industry) thought that dipole surrounds were the way to go. Frankly, I always hated my dipoles. They never produced a convincing surround effect. If/when I connect them this time, I think I will aim one side of them at the listening position and let the other side just aim at the wall or whatever. I might get into them and disconnect one side, making them a monopole. I have not decided yet. I haven't really decided on much at all, as you can see.

Thanks,

Brian.
An AVR with full pre-outs, HDMI and modern features for $400 is a little unrealistic. The above mentioned Denon is likely your best option or an AVR. Pre-amp/processor options will be well above your budget.

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post #7 of 18 Old 08-24-2019, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
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If $400 is too little to get an AVR with 5.1 or 7.1 preouts, then I may increase my budget. Looks like $500 should cover it.

The question is, with an AVR in this category, am I going to find a benefit from my external amplifier? If it's questionable, maybe I'll just use the AVR's amplifiers and then I won't need to find an AVR with full preouts.

The idea that AVRs and AVPs become worthless after a few years, due to ever changing formats, is very difficult to swallow. I spent nearly $2000 for the AVM-20 and now it's worth ~$200 on a good day. I'm reluctant to spend big money on a component like this again since I know at some point it too will be nearly worthless. Home theater is almost as bad as home computers in this respect.

Brian.
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post #8 of 18 Old 08-24-2019, 11:21 AM
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The power amp if working well is by no means obsolete.
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post #9 of 18 Old 08-24-2019, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by blgentry View Post
If $400 is too little to get an AVR with 5.1 or 7.1 preouts, then I may increase my budget. Looks like $500 should cover it.



The question is, with an AVR in this category, am I going to find a benefit from my external amplifier? If it's questionable, maybe I'll just use the AVR's amplifiers and then I won't need to find an AVR with full preouts.



The idea that AVRs and AVPs become worthless after a few years, due to ever changing formats, is very difficult to swallow. I spent nearly $2000 for the AVM-20 and now it's worth ~$200 on a good day. I'm reluctant to spend big money on a component like this again since I know at some point it too will be nearly worthless. Home theater is almost as bad as home computers in this respect.



Brian.


Brian - that’s why I offered my X3500H. It’s current with pretty much everything you’re looking for and is a lot of good technology for $500. I have plenty of people that will buy it, so I wasn’t trying to push it on you. I just think it’s a great solution for $500. It will be relevant for at least 5 years, or at least until 8k becomes a standard. eARC is already there. I had my last Denon AVR for 11 years. Only upgraded because of its 1080p limits. Audiowise, I didn’t even have any reason to upgrade.

I almost feel like I spammed your post. I didn’t mean to, was just trying to give you a potential solution.


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post #10 of 18 Old 08-24-2019, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Rich,

I actually meant to say thank you for your offer. I will consider that deal as one of my options. Though I realize that it might be sold 2 hours from now, so I won't try to hold you to anything.

Thanks,

Brian.
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post #11 of 18 Old 08-24-2019, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blgentry View Post
If $400 is too little to get an AVR with 5.1 or 7.1 preouts, then I may increase my budget. Looks like $500 should cover it.

The question is, with an AVR in this category, am I going to find a benefit from my external amplifier? If it's questionable, maybe I'll just use the AVR's amplifiers and then I won't need to find an AVR with full preouts.

The idea that AVRs and AVPs become worthless after a few years, due to ever changing formats, is very difficult to swallow. I spent nearly $2000 for the AVM-20 and now it's worth ~$200 on a good day. I'm reluctant to spend big money on a component like this again since I know at some point it too will be nearly worthless. Home theater is almost as bad as home computers in this respect.

Brian.
The two main reasons that people add external amps are to 1) increase the number of channels being used 2) add headroom via additional power capacity. Since you have no desire for anything over 5.1, the headroom is your advantage. The value of this will depend on your listening levels, speaker efficiency, size of room. Your call.
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post #12 of 18 Old 08-24-2019, 11:40 AM
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No worries Brian. Let’s just get you to achieve your goal. If it’s adding the x3500, then great. If not, it’s all about helping each other problem solve.


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post #13 of 18 Old 08-24-2019, 12:05 PM
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check out the outlaw 975...at 549... only a little over budget new, and I have seen used ones go for under budget recently. supports the audio requirements. I didn't see any video req's that would disqualify it.

although a used denon 3xxx / 4xxx could be found for the desired budget

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post #14 of 18 Old 08-24-2019, 12:24 PM
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Help with upgrade/downgrade

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Originally Posted by PlanetAVS View Post
The two main reasons that people add external amps are to 1) increase the number of channels being used 2) add headroom via additional power capacity. Since you have no desire for anything over 5.1, the headroom is your advantage. The value of this will depend on your listening levels, speaker efficiency, size of room. Your call.


This is on point. In your case headroom is the benefit. That said, you will find a number of 5.1 Channel AVRs very reasonable, since you’ll be pushing the fronts with the external amp, the rears or surrounds won’t require much in terms of wattage. What ohm load are your surrounds?

At this point you’ll need to make sure the AVR has front preouts & 4K HDMI capability. You don’t need to worry about HDMI 2.1 for your use, it’s not even close to a standard yet. Point is, you need features, but not a ton of power. Audyssey would be nice.

Can you think of any further requirements? The Denon X3500H has it all at this point, but there are definitely lesser expensive options with less features if you’re only needing 5.1 dsp.


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post #15 of 18 Old 09-09-2019, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I've increased my budget and am considering a refurb Marantz SR5013. Or perhaps a Denon AVR-X3400H . I think they are extremely similar.

Any comments on them? I was briefly considering a Yamaha A860, but Yamaha's "Operating System" and remotes have always confused me. Their engineers apparently think about things differently than I do. Denon was usually much better in this respect, but I haven't touched a Denon setup menu since about 2003. I'm guessing they are different now. :P

Both of the above receivers seem to have 4k HDR 60Hz switching, which should be good for me for a while. I just bought a new TV a few weeks ago that does 4k/60 HDR.

Thanks,

Brian.
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post #16 of 18 Old 09-09-2019, 12:55 PM
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I've increased my budget and am considering a refurb Marantz SR5013. Or perhaps a Denon AVR-X3400H . I think they are extremely similar.

Any comments on them? I was briefly considering a Yamaha A860, but Yamaha's "Operating System" and remotes have always confused me. Their engineers apparently think about things differently than I do. Denon was usually much better in this respect, but I haven't touched a Denon setup menu since about 2003. I'm guessing they are different now. :P

Both of the above receivers seem to have 4k HDR 60Hz switching, which should be good for me for a while. I just bought a new TV a few weeks ago that does 4k/60 HDR.

Thanks,

Brian.
The x3400 should be a step up from the sr5013 and more similar to the sr6012, with less channels, no hdam and no 7 channel pre-ins. They both have audyssey xt32 with subeqht, which is their top of the line room correction solution. The sr5013 uses audyssey xt.

Some love the yamaha sound, they have excellent dsp options and an excellent phone app, but they are rarely on sale.

other considerations are the Pioneer vsx-lx503, Onkyo rz730/830 (9 channels) and the denon x3500 and yammy rx-a870/880 (7 channels) all refurbs for under $550
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post #17 of 18 Old 09-09-2019, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Interesting. I thought the Denon X3400 and Marantz SR5013 were from the same year with similar feature sets. I guess not?

Pretending that I don't care about Audyssey is there any other difference? I'm more concerned about sound quality (from the preouts) and ease of user interface. I'm guessing they are rather similar in interface. Also guessing the Marantz has slightly better sound quality. But those are both guesses!

Brian.
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post #18 of 18 Old 09-09-2019, 08:07 PM
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Interesting. I thought the Denon X3400 and Marantz SR5013 were from the same year with similar feature sets. I guess not?

Pretending that I don't care about Audyssey is there any other difference? I'm more concerned about sound quality (from the preouts) and ease of user interface. I'm guessing they are rather similar in interface. Also guessing the Marantz has slightly better sound quality. But those are both guesses!

Brian.
The X3400 comes with Audyssey XT32 (and SubEq). The SR5013, the lesser Audyssey XT. The Denon and Marantz product lines don't align precisely.

Marantz claims better sound quality due to their "HDAM" circuitry. Some claim that it's mostly marketing nonsense. I know nothing about that.
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