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After months of educating myself with regard to my HDTV purchase, I'm finally turning my attention to purchase and installation of audio component of our HT system.


Let me begin by stating that, despite my attempts to educate myself with this forum over the past few days, I am truly a noob when it comes to this equipment. I've got an old Denon receiver and CD player that I bought back in 1991, and that was the last $ I spent on audio equipment.


I'm hoping to have either 2 or 3 zones of audio controlled by the receiver (the HT, great room, and, potentially, the master bedroom). The HT will likely be 5.1, with an additional 6 speakers in the GR, and, potentially, 3 more in the master BR.


I was hoping to get a decent receiver for under $1k (preferably no more than $800-or so the wife says) and go with various Paradigm speakers in the HT and GR. I'd rather go solid quality/good sound and avoid bells and whistles that I will never end up using.


A few questions:


First, based on what I've read here and elsewhere, it doesn't look like there is a solid 3 zone receiver in my range. Am I missing something?


Second, focusing on the what appears to be the front runners in my range, I'm looking at the Denon 3803 and the OK SR800. A local B&M has a Rotel 1055 on special (I'm assuming to make room for the new model) for $850, which seems like a great alternative at a really good price. Any opinions or other worthy contenders I've omitted?


Third, to really expose my ignorance, I'm a little unclear on what role an additional amp plays in the process of powering the speakers in the second (or third) zone. I take it that the internal amps power the primary speakers (the HT speakers) and, to listen to additional music at the same time requires a separate amp to provide simultaneous power for those speakers. Is this correct?


Thanks in advance for your help.
 

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You might take a look at the Yamaha RX-V1400 or the RX-V2400. They both have 3 zones. I think zone two can be powered by two of the internal amplifier channels but, zone three will need external amplification. They both do video up conversion which you will probably get mixed reviews about. For quailty sound I would look at NAD. The T763 and T773 both have multi zones but I am not sure if they can be powered by any of the internal amps. They are a little above your price range but they are great for music compared to the Yamaha IMHO.
 

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Quote:
....I'm a little unclear on what role an additional amp plays in the process of powering the speakers in the second (or third) zone.
Well, this depends on the receivers features. I don't know what would be the case for the Onkyo and Rotel receivers you mentioned, but for the Denon 3803 this is what you obtain:


a) The 3803 can power up to seven loudspeakers at the same time for HT performance (7.1 configuration), or else power up to 5 speakers for HT (5.1 configuration) and two more for Zone 2 speakers in a separate room. In this case, instead of using the two back surround channels for multichannel auditioning, you use them to power two more speakers located somewhere else. All this applies for using the receivers amp section.


b) The 3803 can even handle an additional pair of surround speakers (A and B) in case you have two different kind of surround loudspeakers installed. This doesn't mean it can drive 9 speakers at the same time. This feature is intended for using direct radiating speakers (surrounds A) for auditioning music or good bipolar speakers (surround B) for movies (just an example). Then you can choose A or B according to your needs.


c) You can make profit of 7.1 HT performance and still use your 3803 receiver's Zone 2 preamp outputs to connect them to a separate power amp. This amp will be in charge of driving two speakers located elsewhere.


Just one more comment. For Zone 2 music playing, only analog signals can be send from the 3803.
 
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