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post #1 of 16 Old 04-09-2020, 11:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Question Receiver or Amp?

Looks like I'm in the market for a new receiver. My Denon has begun intermittently making a clicking noise and turning off and back on in rapid succession, so I'm assuming it's shot.

I'm looking to replace it, but I could use some advice (I'm very much a novice). Does another receiver make sense or would an amp suit my needs? The only thing I plan to connect to it is the TV via optical cable (everything from cable and gaming consoles to music streaming services will be coming through the TV either wirelessly or via HDMI). From there, I need to power four ceiling speakers and a powered subwoofer. It would be great if it had Bluetooth and wi-fi connectivity allowing me to integrate it with my home automation system, but the TV can handle most of those duties, so that's not critical. I don't need anything really extravagant and I'd like to remain in the $300 - $350 range (or lower).

The ceiling speakers are 6.5" and support 120w max and 54 Hz ~ 20 kHz freq. response. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't believe the receiver needs to support Dolby Atmos/DTS decoding since my TV (LG OLED65C9PUA) is doing that already (which is why I'm wondering if an amp is all I really need).

This experience has turned me off to Denons, so I don't think I want another one. So far I've looked at a few Yamahas (1,2,3), a Sony, and a funky-looking Pyle amp.

What would you do? I appreciate any feedback/advice!
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post #2 of 16 Old 04-09-2020, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Meeks View Post
I'm wondering if an amp is all I really need
No you'll need a receiver. Very few TVs have an analog output with controllable volume any more. Optic and HDMI out are fixed level, so you need something to control the volume. Just a power amp won't work...and would probably cost MORE. I *think* ARC should let your TV remote control the receiver volume...or maybe you need eARC? I just started fiddling with this.
- You DO need decoding, since the TV is not sending out all the analog channels. From other threads I've seen, it can be a challenge to get the proper highest-quality sound sent on to the receiver. And HMDI can support higher quality than the optic connection. (However, now that I've enabled ARC via my Denon's "HDMI Control" setting, turning on the TV turns on the receiver as well, which I don't like as mostly we listen to TV audio).
- How old was your Denon? I've had good luck with them, and you can find anecdotes of problems with every brand. Don't get my brother started about how much he hastes Sony! And as an engineer, I can tell you that Pyle stuff is crap. Denon/Marantz's Audyssey and NAD's Dirac are more sophisticated room correction than others, though I still like Yamaha and Onkyo equipment.
- Since your receiver doesn't need to switch video, you might find a great deal on Craigslist for a not-very-old used unit that someone got rid of because they felt they needed 4k capability.

As for the speaker power rating, well,
Here are "Head_Unit’s Rules Of Protection":
1) If when things start to sound distorted or odd you TURN IT DOWN, you are unlikely to ever break anything.
2) If you constantly "turn it up to 11" you will break something.
NOTE: size and power ratings of speakers and amp do not affect rules 1 and 2; there is NO need for "matching." Speaker specifications are 92% meaningless (and I say that as a loudspeaker engineer). Specs for amps are not thorough since they are measured into resistors for pragmatic reasons and speakers are not resistors at all. Amps' 4 ohm or even 2 ohm rating is the most meaningful even if your speakers are 8 ohms.
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post #3 of 16 Old 04-10-2020, 07:50 AM
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A suggestion - change your thought process from connecting everything into your TV then to the AVR. Instead think of connecting everything to your AVR which then out to your TV

Most CAble TV boxes have an HDMI out, plug that into your AVR, do the same with your Game Set

Now your AVR does all the switching and sound processing.

Most modern AVR's have multiple HDMI IN connections, remember HDMI is both High quality Video and audio, and your AVR can easily handle both

Good luck
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post #4 of 16 Old 04-10-2020, 08:43 AM
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Regarding AVRs..
Yamaha is #1 in sales and #1 for reliability.
Yamaha designs and builds their AVRs in their own factories and do not outsource the design/production process like the majority of other brands.

Just my $0.02...
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post #5 of 16 Old 04-10-2020, 10:05 AM
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There's a distinction between a power amp an an integrated amp. The latter has volume controls, for one thing.

Receivers tend to be better values than integrated amps. Economies of scale, I supppose. (A lot more receivers are sold.)

You may not find a lot of love here for Pyle products.
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post #6 of 16 Old 04-10-2020, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimMeader View Post
A suggestion - change your thought process from connecting everything into your TV then to the AVR. Instead think of connecting everything to your AVR which then out to your TV

Most CAble TV boxes have an HDMI out, plug that into your AVR, do the same with your Game Set

Now your AVR does all the switching and sound processing.

Most modern AVR's have multiple HDMI IN connections, remember HDMI is both High quality Video and audio, and your AVR can easily handle both

Good luck
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post #7 of 16 Old 04-10-2020, 11:15 AM
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you don't state which Denon model you currently have. have you tried a reset? You may try contacting their customer support. They have been generally helpful in my experience.

However, it may be worth it to get a current model receiver. you mention wanting BT and Wifi - which will both come with a current model, and can be found at your budget. Although, that is a little tight. check out accessories4less.com for a refurb unit.

also worthy of consideration is the wireless ecosystem and app control. You can pull down demo version from each manufacturer -that might help sway you one way or the other.

you may also benefit from room correction. audessy (Denon) seems to be the most recommended.

you may want to consider a center channel (looks like your current set up is 4.1)

a current 7 channel model (available in your budget) will allow you to convert to an Atmos set up in the future. repurpose the ceiling speakers to Atmos duty. although the surround ceiling speakers may prove to be an issue if you go that route.

also as previously mentioned changing your "locus of control" from the TV to the receiver might prove beneficial. although it may add some complexity remote-wise. the ARC/eARC (audio return channel) and CEC ( consumer electronica control) features will be an option to keeping your TV as the center of control.

FWIW - ARC/CEC is a feature that was a long time in coming and has still not fully arrived. It can allow you to use the TV remote, and when the TV is turned on, turns on the receiver, and the volume is automatically adjusted with the TV remote. when it works it is awesome and can be a real sanity saver. especially for the non-technical users.

good luck.

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post #8 of 16 Old 04-10-2020, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimMeader View Post
Instead think of connecting everything to your AVR which then out to your TV
The one drawback to that is you HAVE to run the receiver-unless it has HDMI standby pass-through like my Denon I suppose. For instance, we wired everything to my friend's display so his wife can just listen to the TV without caring about the stereo at all. I do the same for most TV programs. There was also some testing showing that the HDMI corrupted the sound, implying better sound wired directly. Caveat: it's possible that HDMI even without the video could still do this (as in using an "Audio only" HDMI like the twin outputs on some Oppo and Sony models).

I guess if all works well, the advantage to wiring all through the AVR is you can use just one remote? (Well, sigh, the stupid cable box still has a remote...). Hmmm...if you are using sources out of the TV, like a YouTube etc app, then you need the TV remote again, no?
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post #9 of 16 Old 04-10-2020, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for all of the great feedback, guys. I 100% recognize that I'm too ignorant to make an informed decision here but I'm trying to change that, so it is greatly appreciated.

I think the main reason I wanted to run a single line out from the TV to the receiver is simply convenience. I have a cable box, blu-ray player, and multiple gaming consoles going into the TV. When I turn one of those on, the TV recognizes the signal and dynamically switches to that input. This makes the wife happier as she loathed having to use the Denon remote to change inputs. So, simplicity/streamlining is more important to me than, say, audio quality (which is still important, mind you... just slightly lower in priority). In a perfect world, I'd be able to run a custom dashboard on a tablet and control everything in the house, AV included (I'm using a Hubitat for much of this now). I realize we're probably not at the point where this is a possibility, but hopefully it gives you an idea of my prioritization.

A few people asked about the model of my current receiver. It is a Denon AVR-1910. I suppose I could investigate the possibility of getting it repaired. It was great when it was working. If I could get it fixed, my only questions/concerns with continuing to use it would be:
  • Given that this model is probably 10 years old, will video quality be compromised?
  • I really need to be able to listen to various music streaming services through it. How will that work?
  • Will I be relegated to using the Denon remote to change inputs?

@head_unit , you provided some awesome information, so thank you. I've crossed Pyle off my list. I will look into getting the Denon repaired. And, good call, I plan to look at Craigslist and some of the other "classifieds" sites. And my speakers are indeed 8 ohms. Hopefully, that doesn't restrict things too much.

@JimMeader & @johnson636 , duly noted. Part of the issue is that I was hoping for something a little more modern that doesn't require me manually changing inputs on the receiver remote. But, that's not a deal-breaker. First world problems, right?

@M Code , thanks. You're not the first person I've heard this from. Strongly considering a Yamaha for my next receiver.

@bobknavs , this is exactly what I began to notice as I was doing more research. It's looking like a receiver is the best option for me, whether I use all of the features or not. And the message on Pyle has been delivered, loud and clear. They are officially off the list!

@smithsabom ,thank you for all of the insight! I haven't thought to try a reset on my Denon yet. As soon as I figure out how, I will do that. As mentioned above, I have a Denon AVR-1910. You also bring up a good point about the wireless ecosystem. I have a Hubitat that I try to use to control all things smart home. This means I rely heavily on compatibility with protocols like Z-Wave, Zigbee, IFTTT. So, I clearly need to do some more research there. I will consider how to do the center channel. I think there is a line running up to the ceiling above the TV, but I wonder if I'd be better off doing something lower, either in-wall below the TV or simply sitting on the console under it (TV is wall-mounted). You mentioned a couple of terms I'm not familiar with: ARC/eARC and CEC. Looks like I have more research to do here. From your brief description, it sounds exactly like what I need.

Thanks, again, for all of your responses. I've already learned so much.

Last edited by Meeks; 04-10-2020 at 01:10 PM.
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post #10 of 16 Old 04-10-2020, 01:21 PM
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You will need a receiver.

As suggested above, unless you absolutely need to connect everything to TV and bring the audio from TV to receiver via optical, connecting everything to receiver and sending just video signal to TV makes more sense.

There are many advantages:
- Receiver will decode the source audio and video(if you'd like) and you can choose to use any other effects.

- Usually, you will get more HDMI ports than on TV so more devices can be connected to the receiver.

- Cleaner setup because all the cables are behind the receiver and only one HDMI cable goes to TV.

- Use the same cable to utilize ARC and CEC to control and return audio from TV (if using OTA broadcast TV).


Since you are already into smart/connected home, get a logitech hub and set it up to switch inputs and settings on click of button or voice commands. You will need to do some research on which receiver are compatible with your TV CEC and your smarthome equipment.


If above is not the way you want to go, just get a cheap refurbished/used receiver and use the audio from TV as an input as you are using your current receiver. This would be the cheapest and easiest way.

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post #11 of 16 Old 04-10-2020, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by head_unit View Post
the one drawback to that is you have to run the receiver-unless it has hdmi standby pass-through like my denon i suppose. For instance, we wired everything to my friend's display so his wife can just listen to the tv without caring about the stereo at all. I do the same for most tv programs. There was also some testing showing that the hdmi corrupted the sound, implying better sound wired directly. Caveat: It's possible that hdmi even without the video could still do this (as in using an "audio only" hdmi like the twin outputs on some oppo and sony models).

hard to believe that sound through the tv speakers is less corrupt than through the avr. Maybe it is the avr and not the hdmi cable.

i guess if all works well, the advantage to wiring all through the avr is you can use just one remote? (well, sigh, the stupid cable box still has a remote...). Hmmm...if you are using sources out of the tv, like a youtube etc app, then you need the tv remote again, no?

"NO". Get a harmony remote and teach her to push one (1) button to turn on and off. Really simple even if she is blonde.
bbbb
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post #12 of 16 Old 04-10-2020, 02:44 PM
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[MENTION=9390108
smithsabom,thank you for all of the insight! I haven't thought to try a reset on my Denon yet. As soon as I figure out how, I will do that. As mentioned above, I have a Denon AVR-1910. You also bring up a good point about the wireless ecosystem. I have a Hubitat that I try to use to control all things smart home. This means I rely heavily on compatibility with protocols like Z-Wave, Zigbee, IFTTT. So, I clearly need to do some more research there. I will consider how to do the center channel. I think there is a line running up to the ceiling above the TV, but I wonder if I'd be better off doing something lower, either in-wall below the TV or simply sitting on the console under it (TV is wall-mounted). You mentioned a couple of terms I'm not familiar with: ARC/eARC and CEC. Looks like I have more research to do here. From your brief description, it sounds exactly like what I need.

Thanks, again, for all of your responses. I've already learned so much.
Glad to help out . RE: reset: pull down the manual form the denon website. pg 64.

never heard of hubitat - I will have to research it.

as for center channel - an easy rabbit hole to fall into, but worth the effort as the center channel does ~70% - 80% of the work. All things being equal, aesthetics/WAF notwithstanding, go as big as you can fit for the center. 5" or greater woofer(s) ... probably the most recommended center is the emotiva C1 or C2.

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post #13 of 16 Old 04-10-2020, 10:57 PM
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With regard to repairing the AVR-1910
IMHO, for the price of just shipping the AVR for repair, let alone the actual cost of the repair, I'd say you're better off replacing it. Many refurbs and open boxes are available from authorized resellers that give at least 1 year manufacturers warranty with all the modern bells and whistles you've asked for, for less than $300-$350.
If you tried to use the AVR-1910 as the hub, it would be a bottle neck because of lack of copyright protection (signals wouldn't pass through) and 1080p as its highest resolution.
At your price range, consider a refurbished unit from an authorized dealer. Using your limit, I'd suggest the Denon AVR-X1600H. If you're done with Denon, a Yamaha Aventage RX-A680 may work.
Like most modern AVRs, these are 4K HDR capable, with ethernet ports, wifi, bluetooth, Airplay, streaming apps built-in, Smart speaker integration, etc
You could save some money with an Onkyo TX-SR494, but I'd advocate stepping up to one of the others for their extra features.

Most people would advocate using the AVR as the input hub, but if you want to use the TV, does it have ARC or eARC capability to pass high(est) quality sound to the AVR?

The Logitech Harmony lineup may be able to get you to a single remote. They also have an app that should allow you to run an app on a tablet or phone to at least control the AV, if not integrate with whole-house automation.
Besides Logitech, look into Caavo Control Center solutions. Make sure you add in the price of a "lifetime" subscription.

In most cases, if the AVR is the hub, signals pass through to the TV, even if it's "off" in sleep mode. In many cases, you can even switch inputs while in sleep mode.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Meeks View Post
Thank you for all of the great feedback, guys. I 100% recognize that I'm too ignorant to make an informed decision here but I'm trying to change that, so it is greatly appreciated.

I think the main reason I wanted to run a single line out from the TV to the receiver is simply convenience. I have a cable box, blu-ray player, and multiple gaming consoles going into the TV. When I turn one of those on, the TV recognizes the signal and dynamically switches to that input. This makes the wife happier as she loathed having to use the Denon remote to change inputs. So, simplicity/streamlining is more important to me than, say, audio quality (which is still important, mind you... just slightly lower in priority). In a perfect world, I'd be able to run a custom dashboard on a tablet and control everything in the house, AV included (I'm using a Hubitat for much of this now). I realize we're probably not at the point where this is a possibility, but hopefully it gives you an idea of my prioritization.

A few people asked about the model of my current receiver. It is a Denon AVR-1910. I suppose I could investigate the possibility of getting it repaired. It was great when it was working. If I could get it fixed, my only questions/concerns with continuing to use it would be:
  • Given that this model is probably 10 years old, will video quality be compromised?
  • I really need to be able to listen to various music streaming services through it. How will that work?
  • Will I be relegated to using the Denon remote to change inputs?
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post #14 of 16 Old 04-12-2020, 12:01 AM
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hard to believe that sound through the tv speakers is less corrupt than through the avr.
No, the test was audio out of the AVR when input via HDMI versus...I forget, honestly. Optic probably. Small spikes of spurious tones IIRC. Not huge, but not zero.

As for "Get a harmony remote and teach her to push one (1) button to turn on and off. Really simple even if she is blonde" that's not necessary if you wire to the display. Then the cable remote pretty much does it. I really don't need 600 watts plus a subwoofer to watch old Perry Mason reruns . My wife certainly is not picky about the sound of the endless COVID news she has on, or the telenovela du month, or the informercials that she spaces out to sometimes.
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post #15 of 16 Old 04-13-2020, 02:02 PM
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Hopefully I’m not hijacking here, but I’m in a similar boat as the OP. My receiver died and I’m currently using my backup (older HK). It doesn’t have HDMI in/outs, so I’m running optical from tv (Sony 900f) to receiver. My question is, since I’m a cord-cutter, and 90% of viewing content is YouTube tv, Netflix, etc from the tv apps, along with some OTA...how do I optimize my audio (quality, formats, etc)? Will a new(er) receiver with HDMI/ARC be my best option? Remote control isn’t a concern since I have a harmony/hub.
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post #16 of 16 Old 04-13-2020, 07:44 PM
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Hopefully I’m not hijacking here, but I’m in a similar boat as the OP. My receiver died and I’m currently using my backup (older HK). It doesn’t have HDMI in/outs, so I’m running optical from tv (Sony 900f) to receiver. My question is, since I’m a cord-cutter, and 90% of viewing content is YouTube tv, Netflix, etc from the tv apps, along with some OTA...how do I optimize my audio (quality, formats, etc)? Will a new(er) receiver with HDMI/ARC be my best option? Remote control isn’t a concern since I have a harmony/hub.
probably a new receiver would be best. ARC/eARC will let you do what your currently doing - with one HDMI cable( no optical) and the TV volume will control the receiver volume...when it works there are plenty of people posting here that have had issues. ARC/eARC/CEC is a feature a long time in coming. And although it has been around for a while, it is not fully mature.

FWIW, I have a Sony 900 and it worked with my denon just fine. Although I am using a harmony hub at the moment. I like having the receiver as the center of control.

Main: Sony XBR75900E, Denon AVR-x4400, Denon POA-5200 (L/R(a) Goldenear supersat 60, (b)FW Boston acoustic Bravo 2. C Ascend Acoustics Duo,
SSR DIYSG Volt 6v2. RSS Volt 6, Atmos(.4) Boston acoustics soundware
HSU research ULS -15, Episode ES-IW-Dual 8 / Monitor audio IWA 250 amp 2nd Rm: Visio E55, Denon avr730H, Boston Acoustics CR8, cr400 sub.
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