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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi!

Can you recommend a $400 or better yet less receiver for HomeTheaterDirect Level 3 towers and Level 4 center? Mostly for movies but music will be nice too. I was thinking about the Denon 1804 but I am hearing a lot about the Panasonic XR45 and also it seems there is a Pioneer model highly ranked in CNET. My current one is an old Kenwood VR 409 and that wont be enough for the new speakers.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I completely love the Level 3 towers and also the Level 4 towers for that matter but Level 4 was out of my range even though my wife actually wanted them! She was impressed with their clarity and detail as to mentioned how she could hear very subtle details of objects falling down even with the big explotions in the demoed scene (Pearl Harbor Chapter 22). If even she could notice it imagine all the things I noticed that she wasnt aware of. The level 3 towers and Level 4 towers werent as different (at least to me) soundstage wise but astetically Level 4 looks much better. Both offer better imaging and of course bass than their bookshelves counterparts. Keep in mind that their setup isnt the best since it has many speakers next to each other and a big screen between them hurting the soundstage and even in such non ideal enviroment the imaging was superb (HTD's demo room was the place where I audition them) The only thing I am trying to decide now is if I should get the Level 4 center or another Level 3 towers to use as center since placement wont be a problem either way but the tower should have 2 advantages, first it will be cheaper and SHOULD have better timbre match. Any suggestions on that? Is the horizontal nature of center speakers for a reason or just due to the usual need to be on top a tv?

Also any suggestion for receiver is need :)

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I have a set of the Level 3's (bookshelf models) that are powered by the HK AVR230. This is a good receiver that matches very well with the HTD speakers.


As for the choice in center speakers, I would rather have identical speakers across the soundstage. The horizontal orientation of center speakers is a compromise to accommodate placement above or below a display. This is not an issue for me, so I decided to build a 6.1 system by ordering 3 pairs of the Level 3's.


David
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The HK seems really nice but isnt it a little bit underpowered at 50w per channel for 5 x Level 3 towers that can handle 160W each? Wouldnt bass be hurt by the "small' power although I may use a powered sub depending on how "noisy" it gets since I live in an apartment. I like the HK but the power thing is the only thing that worries me.

Regards



PS I found this comment in another post

QUOTE " Just keep in mind, that 1..RMS or Continous amp watt is equal to 4 speaker watts ROUGLY"


Is that right that means the the HK can easily work with speakers that are even 200W capable thus my LEvel 3 towers at 160W will match nicely with it and my assumption of the HK being underpowered is totaly false...please comment.

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Luis,


One must be very careful when discussing amplifier watts. They are not created (by the marketing departments) equally. Furthermore, you have to look at the efficiency of your speakers. My L3's are have an efficiency of 90db - pretty much the middle of the road. The HK has no trouble pushing them as loud as my neighbors and I can stand. HK is noted for listing 'real' watts as opposed to fantasy, happened only once in a lab, watts.


Another thing to consider is that most common listening levels only tax the amplifier to the tune of 1-2 watts. Which brings me to another important point: a reasonable amount of CLEAN power is better than a whole lot of bad power. I would argue that far more speakers are damaged by amplifier clipping than by overpowering.


Finally, to establish some credentials, my HK/Level 3 system is my 'travel' system. It comes with me to my corporate apartments. My home system is an AVM-20/Rotel Amps (1400 watts total)/B&W setup. The reason that I point this out is that my travel system, humble though it may be by comparison, sounds really nice. I never sit in the apartment and grumble that the sound doesn't live up to the other system.


The best advice is to go to a good retailer that will allow you to return a receiver if it doesn't 'work' for you. CC sells HK and Onkyo. I had an Onkyo 494 prior to the HK and I have no complaints about it either! You might want to try the Onkyo 501 as well.


David
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am liking the HK 230 more every minute. Your comments are really important in my desicion since you do have higher end gear and still you like the sound of you HK/Level 3 combo wich is kind of the same I am going for. Thanks for the posts. I was going for the Pany because all the fame its gotten in this forum but the HK seems better now. Which do you like more the Onkyo or HK? Is the Denon 1804 comparable?

What about Onkyo TX-SR601? It seems to be really good also...

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The only reason that the Onkyo is not still in my system is that it died. It was a very nice receiver and it was awesome for music (my first love). You really need to listen to the equipment in order to select the right one. If money was not a problem, I'd recommend that you buy both the Onkyo and the HK, take them home, and listen to both for a few days. Then take back the one that you don't like as well.


Let me know which way you went!


David
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, now I also have the Onkyo TX-SR601 to consider :)
 

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Luis,


Having the Onkyo TX-SR601 delivered to my doorstep for $434.50 from 50topsellers.com. tp date I have already recieved 5 emails from them and one from UPS, (with a tracking number). Unfortunately, shipping charges to PR might outweigh the benefits of buying online. I guessing local store costs would be around $500 plus tax. Good luck in your selection
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Let me know how you like it please, as it happens the guy from HTD also has the 601 and he told me he likes it as much as he does his Denon 2803, not bad dont you think?

BTW I now live in Texas so shipping is ok :)

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Will do, sched delivery date is 26 Jan so it will be a few days before I get back to you. No doubt I'll be duly impressed as my current unit is eight year old Pioneer Pro Logic Junk running Optimus full size Mains and Optimus LX surrounds. Care to send me your speakers to test drive the 601? Promise I'll return them, LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Add the Yamaha RX-V1400 to my list :( Its hard to decide isnt it
 

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Luis,


The TX-601 arrived and I had a chance to do some minor testing. Bear in mind that anythings an improvement over my old Pioneer pro logic receiver. That said, I'm amazed at the detail and clarity of 601's projected sound with CD music and DVD sound tracks.


(Open Range DVD). Receiver was in the wrong mode during setup. Entered the correct mode, (5.1 for my setup) in the middle of a gun fight. Bass was crisp and tight yet still high enough to localize. I've been around lots of gun fire and an here to tell you the shots sounded so real I jumped out of my seat when the 1st one went off. Now convinced that the 10" woofers provide all the base I'll need. Surround sound was crisp and detailed once properly dialed in using the on screen speaker setup. IMHO, this is a must have feature as it lets you customize the sound to match your speaker set up. My tiny rears are wall mounted 14 feet from my main seats and need all the boost they can get. I could actually hear the rears drop off at the designated distances as I played with the distance controls. Center channel sound sux; need a new speaker.


(CD Robert Cray Sweet Potato Pie) Young Bob never sounded better! Until last night I always thought of Cray as an exceptional guitar player with a decent voice. I was blown away by the raw emotion and feelings projected by his voice. Clearly heard, (for the first time) the drummer lightly tapping his' drum sticks together at the right rear of the sound stage.


(CD New World Symphony 4th movement) Decent soundstage, was able to clearly locate all of the instruments. However, (perhaps owing to the limitations of my speakers) depth was rather shallow, as if the entire orchestra was only 3-4 layers deep. If others who describe the Onkyo sound as "bright" mean 'in your face', then I have to agree. The horns which dominate the movement re verb to the point of sounding omni-directional.


(CD Sting Fragile) Mandolin, (or at least I think it is) is very clear precise and omni-directional. At the same time I swear you could reach out and touch Sting about 6" above center stage. His' voice is so clear that, what I once thought was a cool way pronouncing words that end with S, now seems more like a minor speech problem.


As for volume and distortion, lets just say at the high end my ears were hurting before distortion became an issue.


Sorry, can't give you more info on controls and features at this early stage of the game. Anyway, this is all IMH and untrained opinion, so take it w/ a grain of salt. I'm sure you'll be happy regardless of which unit you select. Happy hunting!
 
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