Possibly replacing 14 year old AV Receiver - Looking for things to consider - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 17 Old 09-16-2019, 04:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Possibly replacing 14 year old AV Receiver - Looking for things to consider

Hi gang,

In early 2006 I replaced my old audio system with the Yamaha AVR in my signature and two years later, added the plasma TV. Now, almost 14 years later, the AVR is running hot, and I'm considering a 4K OLED TV in the future. Time to look at AVRs again, which is why I'm here asking for thoughts from you fine folk.

I have 7.1 speakers in the family room, and two inwall speakers in the adjacent sunroom. The sub is near the doorway between, so works with either room.

I almost never have different sources in the two rooms. I'm either listening to a music audio source in the sunroom or both rooms, or listening to an audio source in the family room (video or music) with nothing playing in the sunroom. Selection is by A/B buttons, making changing simple. I have 9 powered speaker outputs on the Yamaha.

Audio/video sources are TWC/Spectrum DVR, Sony BluRay player, and Apple TV (not the 4K model but the next older) with the usual suspects on the Apple TV (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Tidal, etc.), Spotify via Airplay, and probably something else I'm forgetting.

Everything feeds into the Yamaha AVR, and video goes out to the speakerless plasma TV. *All* audio is played through the speakers in the two rooms. There is no pass-through audio going to the TV.

Everything is controlled using the family friendly Harmony One remote.


What I don't want:
  • I'm pleased with my current speakers, and don't have any intention of replacing them or getting Atmos or other elevated speakers. So no need for 7.1.X
  • An AVR loaded with "apps" for various sources, voice control, Bluetooth, and other bells and whistles is not something I'm interested in. I can get the various sources through the Apple TV, and I keep things for a long time, so I'd end up with a box of outdated bells, and dead whistles. I like simple.

What I do want:
  • Nine amplified speaker outputs, the extra two for the sunroom.
  • Quality! I'm not writing a blank check, but I'm not scrimping on quality. So a reputable company with a passion for quality and reliability rather than a box store disposable product.
  • Futureproof, within reason. (I thought I was getting that with the Yamaha with two HDMI 1.1 inputs, when many of my components were composite or optical...)

Budget: Up to $2500, unless there's a really good reason to go more.

Considerations: Is HDMI 2.X just around the corner? Is some other standard coming that I'd be better off waiting for?

What am I overlooking or not asking?

Brands come and go, quality wise. Onkyo seems not so high on the list these days. Pioneer is gone aren't they? Denon has had its ups and downs over the years. Marantz has been highly regarded for years, but is that fact or hanging on to an undeserved reputation? New players? NAD, Anthem, etc get lots of love around here. I'm open to any suggestion.

If you have some thoughts, suggestions, questions, or comments, posts 'em up. I'm curious what you have to say.

Thank you,
Steve

Steve - Northern Ohio
Yamaha RX V1600 Receiver - Pioneer Elite PRO 1150 HD Plasma TV - Sony BD-S300 Blue-ray - Apple TV 4
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post #2 of 17 Old 09-16-2019, 04:15 PM
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If you like the sound of Yamaha you could stick with that brand. The RX-A3080 fits the bill with 9 amplified channels. Harmony remote will probably work too. Love the sound of my RX-A but is a few notches below the A3080.

Check the deals threads as this has been coming in at a bit over a grand and a quarter at times.

Deals threads

Everything
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/122-great-found-deals/

Receivers amps etc;
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/90-re...l#post58567136
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post #3 of 17 Old 09-17-2019, 05:59 AM
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To be quite honest, you can get everything you are looking for in an AVR for less than $1000.

If I were you, I'd see if I could hold out and wait until HDMI 2.1 hits AVRs in the sub-$1000 price range (I'd expect it by next spring/summer). HDMI 2.1 might be worth waiting for because you are improving bandwidth significantly from 18gbps to 48gbps. 8k/120fps ... no problem! That is future proofed, at least as far as resolution is concerned, for a decade... whereas 4k/60fps (HDMI 2.0) might start to look long in the tooth in 3 or 4 years.

I also think you should give serious consideration to a $500-$1000 AVR, and then separate amplification for your front channels. -- $2500 is a pretty huge budget for just an AVR when you aren't looking for atmos and "bells and whistles".

I think you are probably better off long term spending on quality amplification and then just upgrading your receiver every 5 years or so... so the bells and whistles you do get are what's current and relative to Audio/Video at any given time.
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post #4 of 17 Old 09-17-2019, 11:24 AM
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Doesn't look like you're a gamer so I wouldn't worry too much about the HDMI 2.1 capability. If you like Yamaha then look at the RX-A2080, 3080 or RX-V2085 which is similar to the RX-A2080 but can be found for less.
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post #5 of 17 Old 09-17-2019, 11:40 AM
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I'm not sure you can get future proofed in a AVR or a Pre-Pro for that matter. As others have mentioned HDMI 2.1 is on the horizon and it will be something else after that.

Yamaha's have a reputation of being very reliable, and you already have and are happy with Yamaha, so I would stick with them. The one downside to Yamaha, and it doesn't sound like it will matter to you, is they don't have as many features for the $. Onkyo's have the most features per dollar, but are also regarded as the least reliable. Denon/Marantz are somewhere in the middle. There are other options such as Anthem, that are considerably more money.


I think you'll find that you will get all sorts of apps and things whether you want it or not, especially if you want nine amplified channels. I also think that quality across the board has gone down since you last bought an AVR. Profit margins are low, and the big 3 (Denon/Marantz - Yamaha - Onkyo/Pioneer/Integra) have been adding features in sort of an arms race. If you want simple, some of the botique brands are more spartin, but the additional costs keep them from being a good value option.

If you look at overall weights of recievers, they are considerably lighter today then they were last time you were in the market. Most all AVR's are made in Vietnam or Maylasia nowadays. Denon/Marantz still makes thier flagship in Japan, but they are one of the few.


Personally, I would stick with Yamaha, since you have a history with them and they are known for reliability, and get the cheapest model that has the features you need, and run it until it either dies, or no longer has the features you need, and get a new one - whether that is five years from now, or ten years from now, or fifteeen years from now.
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post #6 of 17 Old 09-17-2019, 03:48 PM
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@Smorris lots of good advice from knowledgeable forum members so I don't need to add my $.02, But since your setup is similar to what I am doing, here are some details specifically about Yamaha gear that might help you fill in some blanks about which one to get. I own no yamaha gear, this is just from my research.

No need to spend $2500 on a 9 channel avr, the a3080 is a total beast at about $2k and probably total overkill for your situation. BUT if you like overkill then enjoy as I have read that it has one of the cleanest preamp sections of any avr under $3k!

If you want to save some money and maybe upgrade speakers or subwoofers then the rx-a880 and a1080 are their best 7 channel receivers, both have zone 2 preouts for the patio speakers if you have an external amp? Stepping up to the a2080 and v2085 (same minus 5th foot and warranty length) you get more power, better dacs, 9 amplified channels but Now you get zone 2 and 3 preouts, which is what I am looking for.

Good luck!
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post #7 of 17 Old 09-18-2019, 04:51 AM
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Consider the Denon X3600H or the Marantz SR6014, both 9CH models with HDCP 2.3 certification.

HDMI 2.1 models should be released summer 2020 with HDMI 3.0 a few years after that (ie. future proof = about 3 years).
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post #8 of 17 Old 09-18-2019, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the comments and information, @cocrh , @steveklein , @afrogt , @Mocs123 , @eriksells916 , and @jdsmoothie

A note on the budget mentioned. I said "up to" $2500. Spending less for what I'd like to get is most certainly a better route. The last receiver was around $1500 nearly 4 years ago, so I used that as a (inflation corrected) maximum. (Actually, $1909, but I was just pulling a number out of my, err... out of thin air. )

And a bit about me, which I should have included in the original post. No, I'm not a gamer. I had a PS2 to play Gran Tourismo 3 back in the early aughts, and a Wii for a while for the kids after that. But haven't played a computer game since.

I'm 66 years old (today!), so you can imagine that my listening tastes and equipment have varied a lot over the years. My ears are still sharp, and I can easily pick out instruments across the frequency range. The loud background music/effects over the voices in modern TV shows drives me batty, though.

These days, I listen to mostly lighter music; Classical (think Brahms, DeBussey, and Vivaldi rather than Bach, et al), still the occasional New Age (Michael Hedges harp guitar stuff still gives me goosebumps!), some jazz, old country, and whatever you call the sort of modern folk stuff I'm attracted to lately (Canyon City, Kodaline, Nick Wilson, Tall Heights, etc.) And a fair bit of '90s-'00s alternative (Live - Throwing Copper, Hum, RATM, Alice in Chains, Weezer)

I don't listen to "Classic Rock". I was there, and tired of it then. Rarely do I need a reminder. I never got into speed guitar, heavy metal, and can't stand most radio pop. Oddly, there 's a few "screamo" songs I enjoy...

If I'm watching a movie or show by myself that benefits from being played loud, I most definitely do. But if watching something with Deb, just normal volume is used. (I watched Avengers Endgame last night, and the battery candle that Deb had set on the sub fell off early in the movie. )

I've attached an old photo of my current setup. There's also the sub, four surrounds, and two sunroom speakers.

A couple of you have mentioned sticking with Yamaha, as that's what I have now and like. True, but it is almost 14 years old, and anything new will sound completely different. I read one post where someone noticed a big difference between their 2017 RV-V and new RX-A, so imagine how much mine differs from current design. I've never listened to a Denon, and the last Marantz I spent any time with was a pre-digital stereo unit in the '70s. I'm not a fan of not having the screen on the Marantz unit though. I don't necessarily want to have the TV on to change radio stations. So, I'm pretty wide open brand wise.

I think having nine powered outputs will be the limiting factor. That gets me into the $1500+ range with any of the aforementioned brands. It sounds like waiting for the next HDMI won't gain me a lot over the next several years.

Oh! Do those up-facing add-on speakers to simulate Atmos work? I might be willing to add those on if it makes a big difference in viewing realism. I can't get into my ceiling to add speakers there.

One thing I didn't think of; we have all of our kids movies on VHS and VHS-C, and I still have a working VHS player. I know S-video isn't a thing anymore, but having analog left-right-video inputs would be nice. Or, buy an RCA to HDMI converter. I *really* ought to convert this to digital, along with our wedding video on Betamax!

Okay, I'm rambling here... Thank you, everyone, for giving me a lot to think about. I've got plenty of reading to do before deciding what, if anything, to do.

Best regards,
Steve


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Steve - Northern Ohio
Yamaha RX V1600 Receiver - Pioneer Elite PRO 1150 HD Plasma TV - Sony BD-S300 Blue-ray - Apple TV 4
7.1 Main (Phase Technology 7T, 1C, 2T, Klipsch Synergy S1, HSU VFT-2 Mk4 sub)
Zone 2 (Phase Technology CI60 IV in-wall speakers)
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post #9 of 17 Old 09-18-2019, 03:41 PM
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Your center channel speaker should be pulled forward and angled upward towards the main listening position if that is it below the TV
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post #10 of 17 Old 09-18-2019, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post
Your center channel speaker should be pulled forward and angled upward towards the main listening position if that is it below the TV
Thanks!

Steve - Northern Ohio
Yamaha RX V1600 Receiver - Pioneer Elite PRO 1150 HD Plasma TV - Sony BD-S300 Blue-ray - Apple TV 4
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post #11 of 17 Old 10-04-2019, 08:07 PM
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I have a 10 year old Sony AVR with five HDMI inputs and a special connection for Sirius They don’t make stuff like that anymore. Nor is there any reason to ditch the Oppo DVR. The Vandersteen speakers will last me a lifetime. (I’m 83).
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post #12 of 17 Old 10-06-2019, 08:43 PM
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My first piece of advice is wait until you have the 4K TV before buying a new receiver. Your current setup works perfectly for now, so get the TV first and then your receiver options will be even more clear. Maybe something new will be released, maybe something will drop in price, it will certainly be to your benefit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eriksells916 View Post
@Smorris lots of good advice from knowledgeable forum members so I don't need to add my $.02, But since your setup is similar to what I am doing, here are some details specifically about Yamaha gear that might help you fill in some blanks about which one to get. I own no yamaha gear, this is just from my research.

No need to spend $2500 on a 9 channel avr, the a3080 is a total beast at about $2k and probably total overkill for your situation. BUT if you like overkill then enjoy as I have read that it has one of the cleanest preamp sections of any avr under $3k!

If you want to save some money and maybe upgrade speakers or subwoofers then the rx-a880 and a1080 are their best 7 channel receivers, both have zone 2 preouts for the patio speakers if you have an external amp? Stepping up to the a2080 and v2085 (same minus 5th foot and warranty length) you get more power, better dacs, 9 amplified channels but Now you get zone 2 and 3 preouts, which is what I am looking for.

Good luck!
I think the advice for a RX-A880 or 1080 with a 2ch external amp for the sunroom is the most cost effective advice. Or you can get the 2080 or v2085 and have everything you want in one box. Note that those will probably be replaced in 2020, so close out deals or the 2090(?) may be great options if you don’t buy a TV until then.
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post #13 of 17 Old 10-06-2019, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyG1 View Post
I have a 10 year old Sony AVR with five HDMI inputs and a special connection for Sirius They don’t make stuff like that anymore. Nor is there any reason to ditch the Oppo DVR. The Vandersteen speakers will last me a lifetime. (I’m 83).
Reminds me of an oldish joke:

"At my age, I don't buy green bananas."

I hope that you get many years of use out of your excellent speakers.
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post #14 of 17 Old 10-07-2019, 07:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by KD5MDK View Post
My first piece of advice is wait until you have the 4K TV before buying a new receiver. Your current setup works perfectly for now, so get the TV first and then your receiver options will be even more clear. Maybe something new will be released, maybe something will drop in price, it will certainly be to your benefit.

I think the advice for a RX-A880 or 1080 with a 2ch external amp for the sunroom is the most cost effective advice. Or you can get the 2080 or v2085 and have everything you want in one box. Note that those will probably be replaced in 2020, so close out deals or the 2090(?) may be great options if you don’t buy a TV until then.
Thanks, and sound advice, pun not intended.

Pulling the center channel forward and tilting up, as suggested by @afrogt , made a big difference in understanding dialog with overbearing background sound and music. So much of a difference, I'm wondering if the center speaker was working at all before. Maybe a wire had come loose, and moving reconnected it. No external wiring was loose.

For several days prior to my first post in this thread, the receiver was momentarily cutting out, with a snap sound like an internal switch. I attributed this to heat problems, as the unit was running very hot. I routinely vacuum dust under, around, and on the unit, but this time I used compressed air to blow inside. I didn't see any dust blowing out, but the problem went away, so it had to have been overheating from dust. We've done extensive remodeling of the adjacent kitchen, dining, and living rooms all summer, so dust has been a huge problem all over the house no matter how careful we are to contain it.

So the potential immediacy of my concerns have gone away. What I have now works well together, so I don't have to do anything at this time. The plasma TV still works fine at around eleven years old. I don't know the lifespan of them, but I've yet to see a screen with as deep blacks, no reflection, and good viewing from the side. Only OLEDs that I've seen come close, but they reflect quite a bit. So I'll hang on to the Pioneer plasma as long as it lasts. While I'd like a larger screen (65 vs the current 50) I'm not willing to toss it just yet.

Thank you everyone for all of the input and suggestions!
Steve
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post #15 of 17 Old 12-07-2019, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Smorris View Post
Hi gang,

In early 2006 I replaced my old audio system with the Yamaha AVR in my signature and two years later, added the plasma TV. Now, almost 14 years later, the AVR is running hot, and I'm considering a 4K OLED TV in the future. Time to look at AVRs again, which is why I'm here asking for thoughts from you fine folk.

I have 7.1 speakers in the family room, and two inwall speakers in the adjacent sunroom. The sub is near the doorway between, so works with either room.

I almost never have different sources in the two rooms. I'm either listening to a music audio source in the sunroom or both rooms, or listening to an audio source in the family room (video or music) with nothing playing in the sunroom. Selection is by A/B buttons, making changing simple. I have 9 powered speaker outputs on the Yamaha.

Audio/video sources are TWC/Spectrum DVR, Sony BluRay player, and Apple TV (not the 4K model but the next older) with the usual suspects on the Apple TV (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Tidal, etc.), Spotify via Airplay, and probably something else I'm forgetting.

Everything feeds into the Yamaha AVR, and video goes out to the speakerless plasma TV. *All* audio is played through the speakers in the two rooms. There is no pass-through audio going to the TV.

Everything is controlled using the family friendly Harmony One remote.


What I don't want:
  • I'm pleased with my current speakers, and don't have any intention of replacing them or getting Atmos or other elevated speakers. So no need for 7.1.X
  • An AVR loaded with "apps" for various sources, voice control, Bluetooth, and other bells and whistles is not something I'm interested in. I can get the various sources through the Apple TV, and I keep things for a long time, so I'd end up with a box of outdated bells, and dead whistles. I like simple.

What I do want:
  • Nine amplified speaker outputs, the extra two for the sunroom.
  • Quality! I'm not writing a blank check, but I'm not scrimping on quality. So a reputable company with a passion for quality and reliability rather than a box store disposable product.
  • Futureproof, within reason. (I thought I was getting that with the Yamaha with two HDMI 1.1 inputs, when many of my components were composite or optical...)

Budget: Up to $2500, unless there's a really good reason to go more.

Considerations: Is HDMI 2.X just around the corner? Is some other standard coming that I'd be better off waiting for?

What am I overlooking or not asking?

Brands come and go, quality wise. Onkyo seems not so high on the list these days. Pioneer is gone aren't they? Denon has had its ups and downs over the years. Marantz has been highly regarded for years, but is that fact or hanging on to an undeserved reputation? New players? NAD, Anthem, etc get lots of love around here. I'm open to any suggestion.

If you have some thoughts, suggestions, questions, or comments, posts 'em up. I'm curious what you have to say.

Thank you,
Steve
Just FYI... I also had an older 5.1 receiver with A/B selector buttons which was great when I wanted music in our sunroom. Several years ago... after what I considered to be careful research... I purchased a new (at the time) Yamaha RX-867 7.1 receiver. Although I was aware Yamaha units no longer have an A/B switch... I ordered it anyway as I read it had two zones that could be easily controlled with the remote. Imagine my surprise when I discovered in order to get a Zone 2 with my new 7.1 system... I had to forfeit the left and right presence speakers which resulted in 5.1 in my main entertainment area. Not acceptable so I returned the unit. Fast forward a couple years... recently I was ready to pull the plug on a RX-A1080 7.2 receiver... due to a great sale price... only to discover it had the same exact limitations or having to forfeit my presence speakers In the end I got the RX-A2080. Granted its advertised as a 9.2 system...but a similar caveat applies. On the plus side (for me anyway) I end up with the 7.2 I wanted in the main listening area and still have a Zone 2 by using the sp1 f. or sp2 r. presence speaker terminals. The good news is it has multiple zones so you don;t have to give up anything. Zone 2 Outs - HDMI and Preout, Zone 3 Out - Preout, Zone 4 Out - HDMI 3. Granted...no HDMI 2.X but well below your $2500 budget.

LG OLED65B6P - Yamaha RX-A2080 - Roku Ultra - Chromecast Ultra - PC Gaming Console - Panasonic DP-UB820
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post #16 of 17 Old 12-07-2019, 12:04 PM
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With that budget, I'd buy a standalone multi channel power amplifier and a lower-priced AVR with preamp outs to drive the amp. The "front end" (HDMI/Dolby protocols) will go out of date eventually and manufacturers stop producing firmware updates when AVR models are older. Manufacturers also won't fix them when they are older and out of warranty -- plenty of stories on AVS about that (often with AVS'ers admonishing ( ) the person for expecting the manufacturer to have spare parts for an out of warranty AVR). There are a lot of risks in buying a top-of-the-line AVR and no value retention. When it becomes obsolete, it has no value to you, and no value to the market, so you are throwing away the expensive internal amps and power supply you paid for in that top-of-the-line model.

Better to buy a top quality multi-channel amp, and a $500 AVR to drive it. A multi-channel amp will never go out of date -- you will still be using it 30 years from now. I did that 20 years ago with a 6-channel amp. I've used it through 5 AV processors (I've added another 4-channel amp for back surrounds and shakers -- that amp I will also keep forever). Best decision I ever made. That multi-channel amp, 20 years later, is worth very close to what I bought it for should I ever sell it.

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post #17 of 17 Old 12-07-2019, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Elton Noway View Post
Just FYI... I also had an older 5.1 receiver with A/B selector buttons which was great when I wanted music in our sunroom. [SNIP]
Mine is a 7.1 with the A/B switch, but basically the same situation. That's why I'm specifying nine powered out speaker outputs; seven for the family room and two for the sunroom. Definitely something I want to keep. We have a couple Sonos scattered through the house, but my sunroom has in-wall Phase Technology speakers, and those are too awesome to replace with a streaming setup and a receiver with fewer channels. Thanks for the input.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pjp View Post
With that budget, I'd buy a standalone multi channel power amplifier and a lower-priced AVR with preamp outs to drive the amp.... [SNIP]
Sound logic here, too, and something I considered when I bought the current Yamaha 14 years ago. I'd rejected it then and now for simplicity, but maybe I should reconsider. Thank you.

As noted in my previous post, the overheating problem with the Yamaha has disappeared, so that's good. The bad news is that I've been eyeing 77" OLEDs instead of the 65" I'd thought would be good enough before. I'm sure I will talk myself out of that before it comes time to actually buy something. More likely Deb will talk me out of it. That's a 50" in the above photo, so you can imagine that the wall and setup would be pretty crowded with a 77". Weird that I'm even considering a TV 27" larger, when the last TV I had was only 27".

Anyway, It looks like I'm fine with what I have for now. That hopefully gives me another year or so for products to improve, costs to come down on OLED screens, and whatever the next big thing is comes around.

Thanks to all of you for your thoughts and suggestions,
Steve
pjp and Jaywalker1 like this.

Steve - Northern Ohio
Yamaha RX V1600 Receiver - Pioneer Elite PRO 1150 HD Plasma TV - Sony BD-S300 Blue-ray - Apple TV 4
7.1 Main (Phase Technology 7T, 1C, 2T, Klipsch Synergy S1, HSU VFT-2 Mk4 sub)
Zone 2 (Phase Technology CI60 IV in-wall speakers)
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