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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to upgrade my receiver and I've been reading reviews and forums and looking at specs. for 1-2 months now. At what point do people just bit the bullet and buy one?

Denon AVR-3808. Pioneer VSX-94TXH. Yamaha RX-V3800. I even saw a used Onkyo TX-NT905 for a good price. Everyone has something good and something bad to say about all of these. It makes me want to give up! Should I just pick one randomly? I'm sure I'll be thrilled with any of them (compared to my Yamaha RX-V659).
 

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I feel your pain! Lots and lots of choices. Once I decided what features I wanted, I just went ahead and bought one. I ended up with an Onkyo 706. I found it on Amazon for $499 last week, so I pulled the trigger. Very pleased so far.


Good luck with your decision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sasquatch451 /forum/post/15411144


I'm looking to upgrade my receiver and I've been reading reviews and forums and looking at specs. for 1-2 months now. At what point do people just bit the bullet and buy one?

Denon AVR-3808. Pioneer VSX-94TXH. Yamaha RX-V3800. I even saw a used Onkyo TX-NT905 for a good price. Everyone has something good and something bad to say about all of these. It makes me want to give up! Should I just pick one randomly? I'm sure I'll be thrilled with any of them (compared to my Yamaha RX-V659).
 

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No one brand is going to be the best match for everyone. You can get good general information and narrow your choices down with features and feedback from this and other forums, other than that it's up to you and your preferences. I'd suggest going and checking each you listed out locally, even if you can't find the exact model your looking for you can get a feel for the differences between the brands.
 

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Once you've narrowed things down a bit, it is important to go LISTEN and try a few of the candidates. Take time to touch the remotes, fiddle with the settings, try to make sure the different equipment is configured properly.


At places like Best Buy or Circuit City: 1. They usually don't have a very good listening environment. 2. Sometimes you'll find someone has cranked the treble and/or bass WAY UP. Take the time to ensure the settings are equal. If the receivers have some kind of "Direct" or "Pure" mode, use that at first - it will cut out ALL the processing and give you a feel for the performance of just the amps. If the store has a good return policy and you feel like it, buy a couple, try them at home and return the loser.


Be sure to take source material you are familiar with: favorite movies and CDs. One of the "Lord of the Rings" movies is a good choice as they are produced well.


Expect to spend around half an hour with each receiver.


Unfortunately, there will be differences between your speakers and room and whatever you audition. This will make things a little harder, but if you can A/B the units on the same speakers in the store, it should bring out differences in the units.


This process can come down to something like: "They both sound the same to me, but I like the font on this one's display." Buy it and don't look back. There are LOTS of good/great products out there. You WILL NOT buy the "best" one. There is no "best" one.


- Jasen.
 

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Great suggestions Jasenj1, but I have a bit of an issue with that since the only thing left in my area is Best Buy and Circuit City. All of the higher end audio/video stores have gone belly-up.


When we did have a couple of them in town, I did exactly what Jasenj1 suggested before I purchased my last setup.


However if you're in a situation like I am, maybe you can find somebody in your area that has a setup similar to yours that you could go and check out. Or if you're really lucky and can find somebody in your area that has a receiver you'd like to check out, maybe they could be talked into bringing their receiver to your home so you could connect your equipment to it to check it out.


I realize that there are individuals out there that would absolutely refuse to do this and there have their reasons, but you may get lucky and find somebody that is just so passionate about AV equipment that they want to share their passion and are very willing to help out.


I also belong to a gaming clan and a couple of car forums where the members are all great like that. We all share a passion and are willing to do whatever we can to help out a fellow member/enthusiast.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sasquatch451 /forum/post/15411144


I'm looking to upgrade my receiver and I've been reading reviews and forums and looking at specs. for 1-2 months now. At what point do people just bit the bullet and buy one?

Denon AVR-3808. Pioneer VSX-94TXH. Yamaha RX-V3800. I even saw a used Onkyo TX-NT905 for a good price. Everyone has something good and something bad to say about all of these. It makes me want to give up! Should I just pick one randomly? I'm sure I'll be thrilled with any of them (compared to my Yamaha RX-V659).

Listening to them is the only way to tell what is best for you.


I recently upgraded a Denon 3805 to a Pioneer SC-05.


Not to add to your frustration... However, if you are considering the Pioneer VSX-94TXH I would try out the SC-05 as well. It has better amplification & processing for the same price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions.

One of my big problems is the complaints that people have. I'm going to get my facts wrong here but.... the Onkyo has a macro-blocking issue in HDMI upconversion, the Denon has some popping issue with one of the uncompressed audio formats unless you have the latest firmware, the Pioneer doesn't have a removable power cord. etc etc etc.... There is no perfect receiver in this price range it seems. I guess I'll have to live with that.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TPnBobcats /forum/post/15414479


Why exactly do you want a removable powercord? You do realize that if the power cord makes a differences to the sound/function, it means you have a defective unit.

A removable power cord can make it easier to insert a device into a cabinet or other tight space. OTOH, I don't think I have ever seen a mass market receiver with a removable power cord. Perhaps they are used on the high end receivers like Lexicon, Sherwood Newcastle, or Sunfire, but I am not sure.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TPnBobcats /forum/post/15414479


Why exactly do you want a removable powercord? You do realize that if the power cord makes a differences to the sound/function, it means you have a defective unit.

+1


Also, if the latest fw fixes the problem with the Denon then who cares what the problem used to be?


Another thing to consider is what disc player you'll be hooking it up to. Pioneer has the two levels of anti-jitter (PQLS?) for music when both the DVD player and AVR are Pioneer (not sure if there are model restrictions to achieve this).


ck
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
One sales guy told me that one of the best upgrades you can do is to get a shielded power cord..... then another told me that it's not worth the $400 for a fancy cord like that. haha.... I don't know what to believe.


Well, I'm thinking now that I'm going to go with the Yamaha RX-V3900. It seems to have a lot going for it and I should be able to get it for about $1400CAD.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sasquatch451 /forum/post/15414179


Thanks for all the suggestions.

One of my big problems is the complaints that people have. I'm going to get my facts wrong here but.... the Onkyo has a macro-blocking issue in HDMI upconversion, the Denon has some popping issue with one of the uncompressed audio formats unless you have the latest firmware, the Pioneer doesn't have a removable power cord. etc etc etc.... There is no perfect receiver in this price range it seems. I guess I'll have to live with that.

*

You are hearing the squeaky wheel. A collection of them. The vast majority of users of these AVRs either have no problems or are very easy to please.


Whats a little pop here and there?


Someone somewhere is right now, as I type this, finding fault with one brand or another. That will never change.


As for non removable power cords, if thats all you can find wrong with the Pioneer, I'd say you've found your next AVR.


Finding a receiver is like falling in love, it either works out or it doesn't, and you'll know soon enough if you've found the right one.


Take it back and try again if it doesn't.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sasquatch451 /forum/post/15420147


One sales guy told me that one of the best upgrades you can do is to get a shielded power cord..... then another told me that it's not worth the $400 for a fancy cord like that. haha.... I don't know what to believe.


Well, I'm thinking now that I'm going to go with the Yamaha RX-V3900. It seems to have a lot going for it and I should be able to get it for about $1400CAD.

Well, there are 1000's of miles of unshielded wire before your power cord is inserted into the mains power circuit. So you have to ask how a few feet of shielded power cord are going to eliminate any RF picked up by the 1000's of miles of unshielded wire.


Note that the power supply of the receiver has to convert AC to DC and should eliminate most of the RF by design.


Now, some will say that I should not speak up because I have not personally tested these cables. But I believe in applying reasonable logic to such products. Why would I waste time and money on something which seems to defy reasonable logic?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman /forum/post/15420283


Now, some will say that I should not speak up because I have not personally tested these cables. But I believe in applying reasonable logic to such products. Why would I waste time and money on something which seems to defy reasonable logic?

Now you're killing Tinkerbell! You fiend! Why won't you just clap your hands, instead of using logic and rationality!


But seriously folks, what he said, plus the fact that the whole point of an amp is to convert AC current into an amplified signal fed to it from the processor. If a different power cord made a difference in that, it would mean you either had a very badly designed amp or a defective one.
 

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The only way an shielded power cord is going to make any difference in your home is if you have a long run to the wall plug and the power cord has to drape over the power connectors of large motorized equipment like air conditioners, etc. Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) degrades quite quickly with distance so your receiver's power cord would need to be fairly close to the source of the interference.


You can read more about RFI here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electro...c_interference


Now having said that, there are homes/areas/cities where your power supply is simply noisy. Once interference is introduced into a power supply, it doesn't go away until the device(s) introducing the noise are addressed. If that is the case, then in those places, a shielded cord will provide little value since the noise is already in the power supply and not being introduced externally into your power cord. Shielding will only protect you from more noise coming in, it won't address the noise already present. You are much better served in this example by putting an isolation filter inline. A quick Google of "120v isolation filter" will show you lots of articles discussing this. While I'm not going to advocate one brand being better than another, some popular brands sold at A/V stores are Monster, Acoustic Research, APC.
 

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It sounds like the salesman was trying to pad the cost for his own benefit. Generally, you have to take anything a salesman tells you with a grain of salt. Better yet, just disregard until you can research it on your own. The beauty of big box stores is they let you see/feel/sample what you want before you buy it. You certainly don't go there to listen to the techno-idiots that are employed there. Back to your point about choosing a receiver, you need to determine what you can live with and without. Remember that people are more likely to talk about bad experiences than good ones. I'm in the market for a new receiver and I've narrowed down to three with a Pioneer leading the pack.
 
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