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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, im the market for a feature packed midrange receiver. My goal for the system is to one day have a complete HT consisting of infinity Primus 160 or 360 fronts, the C25 center and Primus 150 surrounds (which i already have as fronts in my two channel setup). I've found the Onkyo for about 249.99 + tax (refurbished) and The Pioneer for around that same price. Based on reviews and specs, the pioneer almost seems like the hands down winner here, but i do know that Onkyo is well known to pack more punch into their relatively lower wattage ratings. My current system consists of Primus 150 Bookshelfs as fronts and a Velodyne DPS-10 subwoofer. My receiver is an onkyo TX 800 which i cant seem to find specs online for (excluding the few identical models i've seen on ebay with specs including 120w/channel, highly doubltful). What Im looking for is the future upgradability that my current receiver cant provide... Right now im leaning more towards the pioneer, the audioholics review does it justice! im still pretty much willing to go either way here.


Also, i cant afford THX select receivers..so no 1015 recommendations or 1014. They're out of my budget, and the receiver will be used in a room that measures 10'x12' with 8' ceilings, i dont need the best amplification.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exocer
What Im looking for is the future upgradability that my current receiver cant provide...
What specific future upgradeability?


If you're looking to decode the upcoming Dolby Digital Plus or DTS-HD over HDMI, no receiver on the market today can do that. The best you could hope for is a multichannel external input. Almost all receivers have that and your current one probably does.


If your current receiver is missing DTS decoding, then yes, upgrading will add that.


If your current receiver is missing Dolby Pro-Logic II, then that will be a significant upgrade if you listen to 2-channel sources.


If you want to upgrade to 7.1, then a new receiver with Dolby Pro-Logic IIx is required.


But no receiver is future-proof, so it depends what specifically you want to upgrade.


Don't think of receivers as "permanent", "forever" devices because every 3 years or so new technology comes along making all the old receivers obsolete in some way. It depends what you want out of your system. Some here use 5+ year old Dolby Pro-Logic/Dolby Digital 5.1 reveivers because they meet their needs. Obviously these people don't want DTS, DTS-ES, Dolby Digital EX and Dolby Pro-Logic II/IIx as these don't fit with their needs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have a 2- channel stereo receiver with no type of encoding or dolby support. The ability to add more speakers to my system is what i meant by upgradability. If i wasn't clear before, my mistake.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exocer
I have a 2- channel stereo receiver with no type of encoding or dolby support. The ability to add more speakers to my system is what i meant by upgradability. If i wasn't clear before, my mistake.
Ah yes.


In that case, an upgrade is absolutely required if you want to decode Dolby Digital.:)


Have you had the opportunity to play around with either one? I'm not fully convinced that receivers sound all that different, but what you have to live with is the user interface - consisting of the remote and the front panel display/on-screen display.


Manuals for both receivers should be online so even if you can't get to see either receiver, you should be able to get a feel for how it operates. Can you figure it out easily? Will it be tricky to operate?


Setup is a one-time thing, so don't go by that, but can you live with the unit's operation quirks? Do you need to press 7 buttons to switch the decoding mode? Will you be able to switch inputs easily? Those are the kind of things you have to live with day-to-day, and if you don't like how the unit does things, it gets old really fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Fraoch, thanks a lot! now my priorities are much different when shopping for receivers.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exocer
Fraoch, thanks a lot! now my priorities are much different when shopping for receivers.
You're welcome.:)


I don't mean to say that all receivers sound identical. They can and do sound different, but perhaps not dramatically, and the differences between speakers are much, much greater. Even the room will have a greater effect than the receiver will.


So yes, you should listen to receivers while demoing them, but if they are connected to different speakers you won't be able to judge their sonic differences accurately. However you should still be able to tell how easy it is to operate the thing.
 

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Either one will do the job nicely. The Onkyo is the more expensive receiver, even though the Pio seems to have more features and pre-outs. I imagine it has more expensive parts and I believe it's heavier (close to 30lbs.). This could be an indication that it does deliver more power. I have the Onkyo 5 series myself and while I'm looking to upgrade, it's certainly doing a nice job powering my Polks.


I've seen the Onkyo at CC if you want to listen.
 

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My room size is very close to yours.I have the 602 with Paradigm Titans.No contest.It weighs about 33 lbs & I am very pleased with it.More than enough clean volume than I need.Vey user friendly with a no-nonsense OSD for set-up & everyday use.
 

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I just ordered the VSX-815 a few days ago. I've been reading about the Pioneers for months now and finally pulled the trigger on this one because of it's bang for the buck. From what I've read about this model it seems to be feature plentiful, has plenty of power and will give me the ability to take advantage of all the current audio formats. A good receiver will last for years and years- I'll probably get the itch to buy a new one long before it stops giving me good service.


The Onkyo looks like a great receiver but was quite a bit more money than the Pioneer when I've compared prices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Whats throwing me off is the fact that this Onkyo 602 can be had for 249.99 plus tax. J and R is nothing but a train ride or a 20 minute drive away. Also I am very new to the features found on many Surround receivers. From what i've read, the newly incorporated auto setup feature of the 602 isn't up to snuff when compared to those incorporated in Pioneer's VSX receivers, particularly the vsx 815k. This fact makes the Pioneer more attractive to me because of my own inexperience. I may end up swaying in the direction of the pioneer because of it's autosetup abilities...What i dont want do is end up kicking myself in the butt for passing up such a good price on a receiver which normally costs $500. I've had very good experience with J and R's refurbished products, which furthur complicates my situation.


Nightmaster, upon receiving that pioneer, feel free to share your experience. I need more of a nudge in one direction. ;)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exocer
Nightmaster, upon receiving that pioneer, feel free to share your experience. I need more of a nudge in one direction. ;)
Not a problem Exocer, I can do that- I'll need to brag to somebody who wants to listen anyway :). I'm retiring my Technics SA-DX1050 because it is only 5.1 capable; if it had the ability to utilize all the latest audio formats I'd hang on to it for years to come. I gave some serious thought to going with a Yamaha receiver, but the Pioneer just seemed to have the best bang for the buck. It's supposed to arrive tomorrow via UPS, but I likely won't have it up and running till the weekend. Not to say I won't PLAY with it before then, but that bad 'ol work thing will get in my way till friday night and I'm going to have to run and hide new speaker wire for my rear Paradigms as they've just been sitting waiting on me to go to 6 channel capability. I'm going to be running Infinity floorstanders and center, Paradigm side and rear surrounds and a Velodyne sub so in my eyes I'm giving it decent speakers to do it's thing with- my setup has sounded great in 5.1 with the Technics, so if the Pioneer is lacking it should be pretty easy to hear in a hurry.
 
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