So while there are multiple threads comparing the 6100 and the 7100, or simply the rating the 6100 alone, I am stuck between the 5200 and the 6100.
Right now, one can get the 5200 through Amazon for $420 w/ free shipping (and includes warranty). I nearly bit the bullet for that price without checking out other options, but decided not to be hasty...For $160 more, one can get the 6100 through Vanns, so basically I want to compare quality for the price (is the 6100 $160 better than the 5200, essentially).
Basically, what I have determined (with help) is that the only differences are:
1) 6100 has non-passthrough HDMI.
-This is a big dealbreaker for most, but I'm not so sure if it is for me (although admittedly I still have some questions about it). First of all, I don't mind extra cables, and since optical/coaxial cables and HDMI are the same audio-wise, I see no benefit in audio quality. What is
nice about the 6100 is the video upscaling via the HDMI output, and the necessity for only one output cord in general, but as I said I don't mind cables (I have so many, and they will be hidden behind a tv stand). I also wouldn't mind sacrificing the upscaling as I have a Blu-Ray player that does this...
My question: does the video even need to be run through the receiver? Why not just send the video to the TV, and then have the TV output all audio via optical cable to the receiver? I have seen many tutorials sending video first to the receiver, but if it doesn't upscale, I do not understand why this is necessary. The only difference I see is you change the input on the TV rather than on the receiver to get a different source...
2) The 6100 comes with different speakers.
-Does anyone know how the 5200's speakers and 6100's compare? From Onkyo's site, here are the descriptions (under speaker category):
Here is where I do not know much, and do not know if the 6100 is significantly better (worth $160 more), so help would be appreciated in terms of what terms like 2-way acoustic suspension and Dual woofer mean. However, it appears they have the same sub, and does not wood offer a better sound than plastic? Again, a noob in this department...
3) Differences is other specs I don't quite understand (lol) that possibly affect audio quality.
-I simply went through both systems' specs on Onkyo's website, and recorded the differences in specs under categories I cared about (do not care about video, for instance). I am a noob in many of these advanced specs and do not know how significant these are, so some help would be much appreciated:
a) Total Harmonic Distortion: .9% on 5200, and .08% on 6100. Both seem like very small percentages, let alone a minor change between them, will the difference even be audible to the human ear?
b) Output Level and Impedance: 200 mV/470 ohms (Rec out) on 5200, 200 mV/2.2 k- ohms (Rec out) on 6100. Does this simply mean you can attach bigger speakers to the 6100 receiver?
c) Frequency Response: 10 Hz–50 kHz/ +1 dB, -3 dB (Direct mode) on 5200, 5 Hz–100 kHz/ +1 dB, -3 dB (Direct mode) on 6100. Is this simply the frequencies covered? If so, I actually know about this, and are not both overkill as we can only hear between 20Hz-20KHz? I guess the limit of 50k is for 44.1-48khz recordings, and 100 is for 96khz? While things may be recorded at 96khz, they are always then mixed down to be in the 40s, so is there actually a use for this?