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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wasn't really sure where to put this thread but since I'm considering purchasing a new Receiver this seemed like a good place.


I'm an audiophile who spent lots of hard earned money separating my audio gear, and now that I have a wife and a home theater room in its infant stage I'm considering getting an all in one home theater receiver. I am not in a place to splurge like I once did on audio gear so consider me cheap


After reading many reviews I'm tempted by the Onkyo TX-SR608. It seems to be getting amazing reviews (for the price) and seems to only have one major flaw (GUI causing video degradation but it is disable-able). I'm a big fan of HDMI and would like a simple home theater that anyone can sit down at and use without asking questions. The thought of having all my A/V gear connected to a receiver through single cables with one single output to the projector...well that is heaven!


I do have a lot of "extra" gear. My current system is set up in the living room and consists of a Sony Bluray player, with digital coax going to a Rotel RSP-1068 and HDMI going to a Sony 55" LCD RP TV. My Comcast cable box does the same except it uses an optical digital cable. My XBOX 360 currently uses HDMI to the TV but then uses a pair of analog cables through the audio output to the Rotel (so no 5.1) since I can't enable the optical digital out on the TV. Finally I have a Wii connected to the TV with component cables and audio output through the analog cables too. All the audio from the Rotel RSP is amplified by a Rotel RX-985 5 channel to a front end of Snell speakers and Cambridge Soundworks rear in wall speakers.


I also have a Sonos music system, 5-disc CD player but those won't end up in a theater room.


I have a whole other system's worth of equipment. So what do you guys think I should move into the new home theater room? Finally, do you think I will be happy with an all in one receiver like the Onkyo? I have a feeling technology has improved to the point where I won't hear much sonic difference in a home theater environment.


Here's a mostly complete list of my gear:



SOURCE HDMI?

Sony Bluray Yes

Marantz DVD Yes

XBOX 360 Yes

Comcast Cable Yes

Wii No

HTPC Yes


Pre/Pro / Receiver

Lexicon DC-1 (Currently Retired) No HDMI Input Dolby Digital

Rotel RSP-1068 No HDMI Input Dolby Digital, DTS

Onkyo HTR-500 No HDMI Input Dolby Digital, DTS


Amplifier Power

Rotel RB-985 THX 100x5


Speakers

Snell E.5 (Floor Standing)

Snell CR.5 (Center)

Cambridge Soundworks In Wall Rear(Not going anywhere)

Monitor Audio BX-1 (Bookshelf)

Monitor Audio BX-Center

Definitive Technology BP-2 (Bi-Pol. Rear)
 

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Sounds like you may want a receiver that can convert component video to HDMI if you want to use an older DVD player.


Not sure about your plans for your HTPC, you need to figure out whether you need audio and video connections for that, and what they will be.


Also, sometimes it's simplest to hook a cable box up via component video and optical audio. If something is going to be a pain in the neck with HDMI, it's a TV source due to the fact they tend to interrupt audio streams.


So you might want a receiver with at least two component video inputs which also support the digital audio connections you need for flexibility. If you ever want to temporarily connect you Wii, appropriate front panel inputs are nice.


I have personally had good luck with Yamaha except for some HDMI issues with Tivo. Denon also has a good rep for reliability, if anecdotal evidence can be trusted. Onkyo does not have the best rep for reliability, again based on anecdotal evidence (I see more Onkyo failure threads than other brands, which could also mean they sell more of them.)


A common mistake, you don't mention budget (saying you want cheap means nothing, as that means $200 to some people and $500 to others). So I will suggest something like the Yamaha Aventage RX-A1000 with good analog connectivity, but I suspect that may be out of your budget.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I started my audiophile-aholicness
with Yamaha. I think it was an RX-V990 if I recall correctly. It was a heck of a receiver for a 16 yo kid. It powered my Definitive Tech. BP-8's beautifully!
Oh the good old days.


Anyway I just want something easy to use now. Not for me but for everyone else. I'm perfectly happy having 5 remotes on my lap but that's just me. I do want to be able to get the 1-2 component video inputs up through the HDMI output (possible right?). Up-scaling would be nice too I suppose.


So how much better are the new DTS-HD and DD-HD formats vs. plain old DTS and Dolby Digital?


Also which speakers do you suppose I should put in the theater? Snells or Monitor Audio? I also have a Cambridge Soundworks P500 sub which will go into the theater either way. Right now it is with the Snells but they do pretty good on their own.
 

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First thing you can drop that 608 from your list as it doesn't have pre-outs to connect that amp. That would start with the 708 and above. You could get last years 707 or 807 and be good to go with pre-outs and possibly still be in your budget. Or, you can get last years Yamaha 1065 at 6 ave.com and easily stay in your budget. It has pre-outs, enough of the components inputs for that cable box and is HDMI 1.3a. If you need/want 3D then the Yamaha 667 would also do it. I'm like Michael and feel that the Yamaha's are the best for their money, never had one fail on me and all have just been upgraded. You may also want to consider the Yamaha 1900 which are real bargains at this time. Google one of those and see if has all that need. The new Aventage series from Yamaha seem to be very nice and if you need networking that would start with the A1000. Their RXV series with networking begin with the 867 from this years models. But if you don't need networking the best buys IMO are still the 1065 and 1900.
 

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Get the room finished and furnished before you buy anything. There is no way of knowing what power requirements you might have or how many subwoofers you will be able to put in there beforehand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the ideas. Preouts probably won't be needed but it would be nice to have the option. The Rotel preamp and amp will likely stick together so I just need to decide if they will stay in the living room and use a receiver in the theater room or move the Rotel gear into the theater room and get a receiver for the living room. I may try each since swapping isn't a big deal.


I'm just hearing so many good things about the 608 it is hard to ignore. How powerful is networking on a receiver? What kinds of things can I do? Just stream music? I have Sonos for that. Can you upgrade firmware though the network or browse the internet?


By the way since the 608 can do most of what I'd need I'd like to stay around the $400 budget plus or minus. I couldn't care less about 3D so that's not a requirement.


The room itself is "finished" as in it is primed and ready for paint and furniture. It is a 20'x13' room with 8' ceilings and can be completely shut off (no openings when doors are shut). We need to buy a couch, a screen, and decide on the receiver and other gear going into the room. I don't see why ~100 wpc wouldn't be plenty of power.
 
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