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Recently I took the jump to a system running through a receiver instead of my turntable jerry-rigged to run through my computer speakers. I knew that I needed a phono input for my turntable and a digital input for my computer but beyond that I started blind. Although I watch movies and play games on another computer in my room, I wasn't too concerned about a "home theater" system because I plan on using it for about 95% music. When I look at my dad's old receivers I like the available customization by having bass, treble, and center frequency knobs on the front for quick audio adjustments.


While researching some people suggested that I get a receiver with a phono input and get a DAC to handle my computer. This didn't sound like too bad of an option so I went out to hear some receivers. In the store, I ended up in the home theater department looking at a Denon AVR-3312CI next to an Onkyo TX-NR709. Both of them have a phono input and multiple digital inputs so I thought "great, I can hook up my TV and my gaming PC, too!" I ended up bringing both of them home to try out knowing that I can return them once I decide. I also picked up a pair of B&W 685 bookshelf speakers to upgrade from my Soundsticks II.


I've been listening to the Denon for the past few days. While I love its sound and the fact that I can have everything hooked up, I'm noticing that I really am listening to 95% music. My room is not ideal for speaker placement; they're set up great for one computer and my turntable but they're off to the side of my TV and gaming PC. I find I'm not really using them when watching TV. Different music audio sources have different bass/treble levels and I am missing the customization and various levels to adjust right on the receiver itself.


This whole story basically comes down to my question: if you were in my position would you stick with a really great home theater receiver or would you opt for a receiver that wouldn't really be able to handle my TV (which I don't see being a big deal) and get a DAC to handle music from my computer? I know it all comes down to personal preference but I feel a little overwhelmed trying to decide and would love some feedback.


I was able to get the Denon for $750 after tax and the Onkyo for less than that so if I were to chose the DAC route, that would be my budget.
 

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A surround sound AVR is overkill in your case especially the 3312CI as you can get a phono pre-amp for < $50 and then be able to connect to any of the analog inputs on a lower model. Although you can adjust bass/treble within the Denon's menus, the whole point of using an AUTO EQ program for most folks is that once you EQ the speakers, you shouldn't have to do any further adjustments. Have you run the AUTO SETUP program on the 3312CI so you can at least experience Audyssey? If you prefer to tweak, you may be better served with a simple stereo receiver.
 
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