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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

Anyone have suggestions? This is my first digital receiver and it's not the easiest feature to research. I've been getting by in the surround world with an old quadraponic amp so I have no idea what digital receiver technology is "standard" - codecs and speaker management has been handled by my dvd player until now.


Here is a breakdown of what I'm looking for. Sorry if I'm a bit wordy trying to explain my situation.

Must have: at least one set of multi-channel analog inputs (5.1 or higher).

This receiver is primarily for multi channel music, built around an old quadraphonic synthesizer (turns stereo into 4-channel)...so ALL of my stereo sources will be run through the synthesizer on the multi-channel input, using external switch boxes. I also have a sacd player that will have to use this same imput. As you may guess, a second multi-channel input would be great but this seems to be such a rare feature I'm not seriously pursuing it (especially when I'd probably have to give up other features).


Programmable presets?

Without reading manuals, I don't know generally what to expect as far as assignable presets. Like I said, this is my first digital receiver, but here is what I'd love to have: programmable presets that have different settings for front/rear speaker balance. Along those same lines, it would be great to be able to store different eq settings. I

guess the problem is compounded because I'm going to be using the multi-channel input for almost everything, and from what I've read the multi ins usually bypass programmed settings...right? I think I read something about the Harmon Kardon 745 being able to adjust sound on the multi input, but that's the only model I've come accross like that. Again, this is due to the stereo-to-multi synthesizer I use, which can be kind of wonky depending on the recording...in the past I was always adjusting the front/back balance.


Only other options I'm really looking for is the ability to decode the lossless audio formats (I think they're called DTS HD and Dolby "true HD" but you know what I mean).


Things going in my favor:


* I don't even have a hdtv, and zero hdmi devices. So although I will own some in the future, I can safely say I have less use for video and hdmi that most people.


* I would probably be fine with the lowest power models. I'm in an apartment, but don't play anything loud even when I can.

Things to work around (besides what I mentioned earlier):

* My budget is really low - I'd say $400 MAX and I'd only go higher if all of my needs were met and/or the sound quality was so much better it was "night and day"


* Don't want a used unit. To be frank, I don't have much faith in the build quality of ANY audio equipment being produced today that I can afford...at least with new stuff I should get a minimum of one year's use due t warranty



thanks for reading and please lmk if you have some models to suggest! I thought I'd found several options with Harman Kardon, but seems like quality control is raining on my parade. I am not a person that upgrades equipment regularly so this decision is not easy.

thanks,

-J
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantom52 /forum/post/19645385


Check out the Yamaha 765/1065. These two have multi-channel inputs. Both will also allow the HDMI connections for future use. Go to newegg for prices or google these models. Good luck and enjoy.

I don't think those models will suit the OPS needs as from what I understand you cannot process the multi-channel inputs for those 2 receivers.


Mark
 

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First off - only a handful of very expensive receivers will digitize the analog inputs to handle things like bass management and room correction. A $400 budget won't buy one of those. But, most receivers will allow you adjust channel levels for the analog inputs.


I use a simple mechanical switch to share my AVR's analog inputs between a Blu-ray player and an SACD/DVD-Audio player. Pretty low tech and lots of cables (18 of them), but it works just fine. You could simplify things by sending stereo to the receiver and letting it do the matrix processing for multichannel expansion. But, you may prefer to use your synthesizer for that.


Hi-res codecs like TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio are only used on Blu-ray discs. If you get a Blu-ray player, then it's a lot easier and generally better to hook it up with HDMI. In fact, if you get a player like an Oppo, you can use it for SACD over HDMI as well.


Most modern receivers will do everything else you want.
 

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The MC analog inputs through the volume control chip so they are subject to the channel trims.


If there's an exception to this, I have not heard of it.


As mentioned above, you generally won't get any DSP on MC analog inputs such as room correction.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman /forum/post/19645556


The MC analog inputs through the volume control chip so they are subject to the channel trims.


If there's an exception to this, I have not heard of it.


As mentioned above, you generally won't get any DSP on MC analog inputs such as room correction.

Either of these AVR's should be able to trim the levels as the OP wants. I would not think that YPAO would work with any of the analog inputs. Don't think that the OP needs the Eq function as much as multi-channel analog connections. But in the future if she wants to change out to newer source(i.e. BD player-multi-format) the programs will be there. For the budget these would be hard to beat.
 

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Can I ask what is so unusual about the "old quadraphonic synthesizer (turns stereo into 4-channel)" that cannot be accomplished by most modern AVRs? They sport all sorts of stereo-to-multichannel options.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson /forum/post/19646574


Can I ask what is so unusual about the "old quadraphonic synthesizer (turns stereo into 4-channel)" that cannot be accomplished by most modern AVRs? They sport all sorts of stereo-to-multichannel options.

I thought I read where Dolby Surround would work on some quad sources, but that others used a method that Dolby Surround did not work well on?


But I was not clear on whether the OP had actual quad sources or not.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson /forum/post/19646574


Can I ask what is so unusual about the "old quadraphonic synthesizer (turns stereo into 4-channel)" that cannot be accomplished by most modern AVRs? They sport all sorts of stereo-to-multichannel options.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman /forum/post/19646715


I thought I read where Dolby Surround would work on some quad sources, but that others used a method that Dolby Surround did not work well on?


But I was not clear on whether the OP had actual quad sources or not.

I was taking him at his words and assuming that the sources were POS (plain old stereo). If so, modern AVRs are probably better than the old analog synths unless he has this: http://www.stereophile.com/content/f...r-preamplifier . But I doubt that.
 

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And I'm thinking that the OP wants to use the synthesizer in this loop in some way. Synthesizer to multi-channel inputs and sources from synthesizer out. Really doesn't need anything but a newer AVR of either 5.1 or 7.1 channels. Throw the synthesizer away and get an AVR and be done with it. Multi-channel and ready to go. Maybe OP has a large library of old Quad LP's. Gotta be some really old equipment. Don't know the last time I've seen quadrophonic around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks to everyone for their (multi-channel) input!

I should start off by saying that I've identified several models that have multi-channel ins. Since it doesn't look like I will find much control over multi-ins at my pricepoint (but see comments below re: 645/745), I'm kind of focusing on sound quality and lossless codec support for the units I've identified...and build quality!


Having said that, Harman/Kardon was looking really good until I started reading some horror stories


I was still thinking the avr 1600 might be the best bang for the buck...it supports all the lossless codecs and is cheap. Does anyone think I can do much better for $400 or less? The more recent H/K line seems to be much more reliable than past notorious units (e.g. 354), and I can find 1600 for about $330...is the H/K sound quality as good or better than $500 or less Denon/Yamaha/Sony/Onkyo?
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander /forum/post/19645462


First off - only a handful of very expensive receivers will digitize the analog inputs to handle things like bass management and room correction. A $400 budget won't buy one of those. But, most receivers will allow you adjust channel levels for the analog inputs.

BIslander, as far as I can tell the H/K 645 and 745 do this...they are close to my price range now (because they are older models) so I still haven't ruled them out, though they only do hdmi 1.1 and don't have the lossless codecs...but repair stories on these units too...such a shame.
Quote:
Originally Posted by phantom52 /forum/post/19645385


Check out the Yamaha 765/1065. These two have multi-channel inputs. Both will also allow the HDMI connections for future use. Go to newegg for prices or google these models. Good luck and enjoy.

phantom, have you compared the sound quality of Yamaha and any of the brands I mentioned at top? What about reliability? The yamahas you mentioned I think are just over $400.
Quote:
Originally Posted by phantom52 /forum/post/19645669


Either of these AVR's should be able to trim the levels as the OP wants. I would not think that YPAO would work with any of the analog inputs. Don't think that the OP needs the Eq function as much as multi-channel analog connections. But in the future if she wants to change out to newer source(i.e. BD player-multi-format) the programs will be there. For the budget these would be hard to beat.

Some more questions as I try to get an understanding of what's "standard" re: presets and programming. It sounds like I can trim levels (front & back) even when using multi-analog input. Are you normally able to store more than one preset with your custom volume & balance settings, e.g. one program has equal balance between front & back, 2nd program has full volume to fronts but rears reduced by 50%, 3rd program has rears boosted by 25%, etc....and toggle between them quickly? Does this kind of thing vary a lot between product lines, or is it more or less "standard"? I wonder if I should take a chance on the H/K 645 or 745 build quality, since that is surely the most control over the multi-in I can afford.


A big thanks again for everyone's help!!!

-J
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi...the reason I'm keeping the quad unit doesn't have anything to do with actual quadraphonic recordings (I have few), although it is meant to be used for some of them (explanation would likely bore you but suffice to say you need several decoders because there were several formats used by different companies).


The "synth" option of the decoder is the setting I'm interested in, because it creates 4 channels from any stereo source. This is the "vario-matrix" synthesizer found on the x001 series of Sansui receivers. My ignorance re: current digital processing might apply here, but the last time I played with receiver dsp it amounted to several ways of adding echo and/or reverb. I have yet to hear a detailed explanation of what exactly the Sansui does, but it takes some sounds that are less obvious in the mix and shifts sthem to the rear channels.


Surround fans that have access to old and new tech still seem to favor the Sansui synth for this purpose - or alternately the Fosgate units that were mentioned (never heard one of those). Although the Sansui synth is (for me) currently indispensable, if the dsp processing on the receiver I get is actually better, I will be happy to sell the Sansui - but not until I've heard for myself
 

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Most current receivers include: Dolby Prologic (expands stereo signals to four channels - Left/Centre/Right/Surround), Dolby Prologic II (expands to five channels - L/C/R and L/R surround), and Dolby Prologic IIx (adds "back surround" for 7 channels). As well, they may include DTS Neo:6 which creates up to 6 (7?) channels from stereo sources. THX surround modes will also be available in THX-certified systems.


Newer systems also include the option for "front high" and/or "front wide" speakers.


I don't know how those work in comparison to your box, though.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeannie72
Hi...the reason I'm keeping the quad unit doesn't have anything to do with actual quadraphonic recordings (I have few), although it is meant to be used for some of them (explanation would likely bore you but suffice to say you need several decoders because there were several formats used by different companies).


The "synth" option of the decoder is the setting I'm interested in, because it creates 4 channels from any stereo source. This is the "vario-matrix" synthesizer found on the x001 series of Sansui receivers. My ignorance re: current digital processing might apply here, but the last time I played with receiver dsp it amounted to several ways of adding echo and/or reverb. I have yet to hear a detailed explanation of what exactly the Sansui does, but it takes some sounds that are less obvious in the mix and shifts sthem to the rear channels.


Surround fans that have access to old and new tech still seem to favor the Sansui synth for this purpose - or alternately the Fosgate units that were mentioned (never heard one of those). Although the Sansui synth is (for me) currently indispensable, if the dsp processing on the receiver I get is actually better, I will be happy to sell the Sansui - but not until I've heard for myself
Most of the AVR's today will do what you are looking for without the Quad synthesizer. Multi-channel stereo is also an option on them. I don't think you will need that synthesizer in the loop. The Yamaha's I mentioned are very reliable AVR's. Among the best in the business IMO. That 1065 is a bargain right now. Check it out at 6 ave. com. Go to Yamaha's website and look at the DSP modes in one of the Yamahas. You may also want to consider a Yamaha 1900 from 2 years ago. It will do all you want and with it you can save multiple settings in its memory functions. That being presets that you set-up with YPAO, its EQ program. However I don't believe this works with the analog inputs. My suggestion would be to get one of these AVR's and later on when you can afford it to get one of the multi-format BD players and go straight HDMI. That way all of the features on your AVR will work as they should. It will work with the analog connections as you are used to listening to it now. But the HDMI connections allow more. Good luck and enjoy whichever you choose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
thanks, I will look at a manual for one or two of the Yamaha receivers.

Dumb question, but since the eq settings don't apply to the analog multi-ins, can you still use the master bass/treble to adjust the tone even on the mulit-ins? thanks again
 

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Not usually. With most receivers, the multichannel analog inputs bypass all processing and simply get sent through the amps and out to the speakers. The analog stereo inputs get digitized and processed.


I was surprised to see those two HK receivers you mentioned have a setting to redigitize the multichannel analog inputs. But, if I understand what the manual says, even with the digital conversion, it looks like bass management is the only added processing that gets done.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjmc /forum/post/19650764


Most current receivers include: Dolby Prologic (expands stereo signals to four channels - Left/Centre/Right/Surround), Dolby Prologic II (expands to five channels - L/C/R and L/R surround), and Dolby Prologic IIx (adds "back surround" for 7 channels). As well, they may include DTS Neo:6 which creates up to 6 (7?) channels from stereo sources. THX surround modes will also be available in THX-certified systems.

And the better AVRs and prepros will also allow you to adjust:

1. Center Image

2. Panorama

3. Dimension

4. Center Width
 

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For other matrix decoders beyond the ubiquitous Dolby Pro Logic II & DTS Neo:6 options, the OP should look at Harman Kardon AVRs that contain Lexicon's LOGIC 7 and previous model Marantz & Yamaha AVRs that include SRS Labs' Circle Surround II.


AJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander /forum/post/19653601


Not usually. With most receivers, the multichannel analog inputs bypass all processing and simply get sent through the amps and out to the speakers. The analog stereo inputs get digitized and processed.


I was surprised to see those two HK receivers you mentioned have a setting to redigitize the multichannel analog inputs. But, if I understand what the manual says, even with the digital conversion, it looks like bass management is the only added processing that gets done.

spoke to level 2 HK rep., he said other models have the feature besides the 645/745, including 1600/2600/3600 series, and (several years old) 7200/7300...well, I guess I'll just work my way through the manuals, but if they will only do bass management it's not going to be much help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WiWavelength /forum/post/19654515


For other matrix decoders beyond the ubiquitous Dolby Pro Logic II & DTS Neo:6 options, the OP should look at Harman Kardon AVRs that contain Lexicon's LOGIC 7 and previous model Marantz & Yamaha AVRs that include SRS Labs' Circle Surround II.


AJ

I'll definitely give those a listen.


I guess there's no such thing as a cheap pre-amp that would allow me to use bass & treble for the multi c. input, right? Cause if there was I could find some amps to use
If I'm not going to have any tone controls I might as well consider the DARED DV-6C 5.1 integrated amp.

-J
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeannie72 /forum/post/19656504


spoke to level 2 HK rep., he said other models have the feature besides the 645/745, including 1600/2600/3600 series, and (several years old) 7200/7300...well, I guess I'll just work my way through the manuals, but if they will only do bass management it's not going to be much help.



I'll definitely give those a listen.


I guess there's no such thing as a cheap pre-amp that would allow me to use bass & treble for the multi c. input, right? Cause if there was I could find some amps to use
If I'm not going to have any tone controls I might as well consider the DARED DV-6C 5.1 integrated amp.

-J

Sorry no cheap pre-amps. I still feel you should give the Yamaha 1065/2065 a trial. You will probalby be able to sell that quad synthesizer. Go to 6 ave .com and look at the prices for these 2 models. As for the DSP modes Yamaha's have many. There's also the Yamaha 1900 thats an excellent AVR. Go to Yamaha's website and look at these. Forget about the prices there because all sell for much less now. The website will give you the amount of DSP modes that are in each model.
 
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