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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to upgrade my home theater receiver and need some help deciding on a model. My knowledge of this is basic so I'm having a tough time differentiating which is the best choice for me, and greatly appreciate any assistance that you can give me.


My current system (Photos Attached):


Mitsubishi HC-1600 Projector

Sony STR-DE598 Receiver

DirecTv HD DVR Receiver

Playstation 3

Home Theater PC

BIC Venturi Forza BIC-100R Fronts

BIC Venturi Center (Unsure on the model, as it's mounted to the wall so I can't check easily.)

BIC Venturi DV52-0 Rears


I have never been happy with the Sony receiver. The sound seems un-full, if that makes any sense. It gets loud, but I wouldn't describe it as either "too-warm" or "too-bright..." Just kind of mediocre in the middle; not really shining at anything at all. It does an ok job for movies, but it just isn't anything close to what I want. Again, it sounds "unfull." Music sounds more decent on it than movies, but again, nothing special.


I have owned a Denon 2800 (late 1990's receiver) coupled with Klipsch KLF 20 / Klipsch C7 speakers in the past, and found that set up to be WAY too bright in some circumstances. It was almost ear piercing. This may have been due to under powering the speakers and the fact that they had giant horn tweeters. I'm not sure, but figured I'd throw that out there to assist understanding my idea of the way I want it to sound.


I really enjoy the sound of my brother's home theater. He has the exact same rears and center channel as me, and the fronts are similar but don't have powered subs in them. He uses a separate Polk 12" subwoofer. His receiver is an early 2000's Yamaha that he paid around $1000 for. I'm not sure what the model is, but it was pretty fully featured at the time. His system is the reason that I sought out and purchased these specific BIC Venturi speakers.


I need the new receiver to have the following features:


At least 3 HDMI inputs and 1 output. All the components will be connected to the receiver, and the receiver will switch between them for a single HDMI output to the projector.

Audio through HDMI. (I thought this was standard, but some things I've come across while researching say otherwise.)

At least 5.1.

Auto speaker setup via microphone. This is a pretty cool feature to me, and I feel like I'd benefit greatly by having it.

On screen display that shows the volume level when you change it would be nice, since the audio equipment is not able to be seen from the sofa without getting up. Not essential, just a feature that would be helpful.


I use the receiver about 80% of the time for movies, and the remainder for music. The volume level for movies will be what one would expect to get the full experience. Music is typically at a low to moderate level - never blaring.


I've been researching like crazy, but I'm only getting more confused. I know that I like my brother's Yamaha, but not sure if liking his ten year old model means I will like a new model. I know that I liked the sound quality of my old Denon, but that it was too bright at times. I'm not opposed to another Denon... I think the "bright" problem I had with the one I owned was that my speakers were too big for my receiver. I enjoyed the sound of it during the times when it wasn't making my ears bleed. I'm still a bit leery on it though. I know that I definitely don't like my Sony. That's about where I'm at. I'm primarily considering Yamaha and Marantz so far. I've never heard a Marantz receiver before, but they appear to have a "warm" sound and get good reviews. This leads me to believe that they won't be "bright" like the Denon or, for lack of a better term, "crappy" like my Sony.


For my budget: $300 would be awesome if I can get what I want for that amount. $500 is about the most I can afford to go, and only want to spend that much if the value is there. I want to be happy with my choice, but don't want to spend more than needed. I've been browsing accessories4less.com and there seems to be some great deals there, but I don't really know which units I should be looking at.


Any thoughts?

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Any of the lower level Denon and Marantz models < $500 with Audyssey should meet your requirements to include the 2012 Denon 1613 and 1713 now on clearance as well as the newer 2013 E300 and the 2012 Marantz 1403 and newer 2013 1504.. Also note that cable/sat box connections to an AVR can often result in HDMI handshake issues which can be mitigated by connecting the cable/sat box HDMI directly to the TV with cable/sat box optical to the AVR (ie. don't necessarily rely on single HDMI cable to the TV).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you very much for your help! I've been researching like crazy, and I think I have it narrowed down.


Yamaha RX-V667 $299

Yamaha RX-V673 $399

Denon AVR-2113CI $399


I have a few questions on these to help me decide, if you don't mind giving me a bit more help.


1) Am I understanding correctly that the AVR-2113CI and RX-V673 will get firmware updates because they have an ethernet connection? If so, is one easier than the other? Does it alert you when updates are available or something?


2) How big is the difference between YPAO, YPAO RSC, and Audyssey MultiEQ XT? It seems that Audyssey is the best by most people's opinion, but is it worth making the decision over? This is really important to me, as I don't feel confident that I can set these levels accurately myself.


3) Does the Denon have a feature similar to Yamaha's Dialog Lift (makes the center channel appear to be centered on the screen)? My screen is 110" and the center channel would likely benefit from this.


4) My last question has to do with upscaling... All of my components will be connected via HDMI (and optical / coaxial if needed) so analog to HDMI upscaling is no concern, but I'm wondering if I can change the output resolution via the receiver. The reason I'm wondering is because my home theater pc is displaying a small black bar at the bottom of the screen, maybe about 4" or so. I can't change the resolution via the computer because the signal is split off of the second monitor on my extended desktop and it needs to stay that resolution setting to fit the monitor. Can the receiver take the inputs and output them all as one resolution? I just want it to match the same screen as the PS3 and DirecTv, which fit perfectly. It's not the biggest deal in the world because I use XBMC and the scaling has black bars anyways so you can't tell it's there except when initially starting XBMC.... but it would be nice if it weren't there.


Thank you so much for the help!
 

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1] Not easier than than the other, yes notification available.

2] Huge. You want/NEED Audyssey.

3] Yes, it is called PHANTOM where a center isn't used.

4] Will output all video in to 1080p.


5] You do realize your front speakers are backwards, yes? The woofer is to be pointed to the side and NOT firing toward each other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you!


I'm going to go with the Denon AVR-2113CI. It seems like it meets all of my needs perfectly. I really appreciate all the help!


...and ummm, that speaker thing that you noticed must be the "mirror affect" of my camera. (Runs to quickly change speakers around out of embarrassment!) Like I said, I have basic knowledge of this!
 

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Hey, see how it sounds both ways and choose what YOU like, not what I say.
I just had some Pioneer speakers years ago that hade side woofers and they were marked 'Left' & 'Right' and that put the woofers on the outside.


You'll really dig the Audyssey sound man...you're gonna love it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have one final question on the Denon.


I'm worried about HDMI handshake issues... Prior to researching a new receiver, I attempted to use an HDMI switch that also split the audio off via optical. The HDMI components went to the switch, a single HDMI cable went to the projector, and an optical cable went to my current receiver. This didn't work. Come to find out, since my projector doesn't support any audio (it's only a display device, no audio like a tv), the HDMI handshake wasn't allowing audio through the HDMI cable. This causes a big problem if I experience the same thing with the new receiver because the receiver doesn't have enough optical/coaxial inputs to support connecting all of my components that way. I was hoping that the receiver would do the audio/video handshaking and then just output the video to the projector.


The product description on the switch that I had states:

"The S/PDIF Optical (Toslink) and Digital Coax audio output formats are based on the HDMI audio output. If any of the sync devices (e.g., HDTV, Projector, etc.) connected to the output can only support stereo audio, then the S/PDIF Optical (Toslink) and Digital Coaxial outputs will be limited to PCM stereo audio."


In my setup, this ended up meaning that there was no audio at all because the projector didn't support anything, as it's not supposed to due to being a projector.


I also found a review on Amazon from someone that was possibly having the same issue:

"I have a 42" HDMI plasma screen monitor that I use as my TV. It is just a monitor and does not have audio. I wanted to use the receiver as an HDMI switch. Apparently it does not work in this function."


If I order the new Denon and find out it doesn't work due to the same reason, it'll cost about $100 to return it to accessories4less with their 15% restocking fee and 2 way shipping fees. Hence the issue.


This is the switch that I had that didn't work; http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011002&p_id=5557&seq=1&format=2


Has anyone had experience with using this type of setup?
 

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It might just be your picture angle, but for better audio quality, you'll likely want the FL/FR speakers toed in towards the main listening position and the center speaker should be angled up towards your ear height rather than what appears to be your knee height. You'll be using the AVR as the HDMI switch so likely should not require the current external HDMI switch. HDMI handshake issues occur with various components with all brands of AVRs. Unless someone just happens to have your exact PJ and AVR and posts here, you'll just have to give it a try and hope for the best. Also as noted above, try your FL/FR speakers in both positions (ie. subs facing in and out) as there is sufficient separation for the built-in subs to be facing in. Note that you should re-run Audyssey each time you reposition the speakers.
 
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