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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Which receiver would you choose and why? Ive narrowed down my list to these 3 because I have no need for video processing (I will use my Oppo 981).


I'd appreciate any positive/negatives you could share on these receivers and why you'd choose 1 over the other.


Thanks in advance.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddcobb /forum/post/0


Which receiver would you choose and why? Ive narrowed down my list to these 3 because I have no need for video processing (I will use my Oppo 981).


I'd appreciate any positive/negatives you could share on these receivers and why you'd choose 1 over the other.


Thanks in advance.

Those are the exact same receivers I looked at b4 I bought the 604.


I suggest you go somewhere a listen to them all. In NYC J&R has them all hooked up so I was lucky.


I picked the 604 because I wanted HDMI as I was going to purchase a LCD and an Oppo DVD and wanted to take advantage of keeping everything digital.


I listened to all 3 playing Hotel California thru pair of Polks (can't remember which ones) and the 1016 was my least favorite. Not that it was bad it's just that it didn't have the bass I liked and sounded a little weak at the same volumes with a flat tone setting in stereo.


The Yamaha sounded the best to my ears (it was the 5060 which is the same as the 659), really clear (I think the term is Bright) and good bass.


Onkyo 604 was a VERY close second with really good bass but not as bright.


I chose the Onkyo because of the HDMI and because it was cheaper than the Yammy. It's a better HDMI implementation than 1016 as the 1016 will not play any audio thru the speakers hooked up to the receiver from the HDMI. I would have to go all the up to the Yammy 6090 (1700) to get HDMI and spend 300 more dollars! I figured that any slight difference is tone I could fix with getting good speakers.


I would suggest you go audition all of them. I believe the Yamaha and Onkyo are better products than the pioneer but that's just my opinion.


If you have no need for HDMI then Yamaha would be a great choice as would be the Onkyo and if you do then Onkyo is the best because 1016 doesn't process audio. There is a work around as you have to send audio to the receiver separately but you should investigate if that is a solution you can live with.


HDMI is the way it will be. So much so that the Oppo 981 doesn't offer component out, only HDMI for the video. There's going to be a need for switching multiple HDMI inputs to the displayin fact it's that way already with a HD cable box, DVD player and game console.


That's what influenced my decision


Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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Originally Posted by HTRMikeD /forum/post/0


Those are the exact same receivers I looked at b4 I bought the 604.


I suggest you go somewhere a listen to them all. In NYC J&R has them all hooked up so I was lucky.


I picked the 604 because I wanted HDMI as I was going to purchase a LCD and an Oppo DVD and wanted to take advantage of keeping everything digital.


I listened to all 3 playing Hotel California thru pair of Polks (can't remember which ones) and the 1016 was my least favorite. Not that it was bad it's just that it didn't have the bass I liked and sounded a little weak at the same volumes with a flat tone setting in stereo.


The Yamaha sounded the best to my ears (it was the 5060 which is the same as the 659), really clear (I think the term is Bright) and good bass.


Onkyo 604 was a VERY close second with really good bass but not as bright.


I chose the Onkyo because of the HDMI and because it was cheaper than the Yammy. It's a better HDMI implementation than 1016 as the 1016 will not play any audio thru the speakers hooked up to the receiver from the HDMI. I would have to go all the up to the Yammy 6090 (1700) to get HDMI and spend 300 more dollars! I figured that any slight difference is tone I could fix with getting good speakers.


I would suggest you go audition all of them. I believe the Yamaha and Onkyo are better products than the pioneer but that's just my opinion.


If you have no need for HDMI then Yamaha would be a great choice as would be the Onkyo and if you do then Onkyo is the best because 1016 doesn't process audio. There is a work around as you have to send audio to the receiver separately but you should investigate if that is a solution you can live with.


HDMI is the way it will be. So much so that the Oppo 981 doesn't offer component out, only HDMI for the video. There's going to be a need for switching multiple HDMI inputs to the displayin fact it's that way already with a HD cable box, DVD player and game console.


That's what influenced my decision


Good luck

Thanks for the response


I was under the impression the 604 did not pass through audio. Is this incorrect? Also does it pass it through to 2 channels or to 5.1?


For the 604 dont you still need to run a Coax/Optical cable for the audio?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddcobb /forum/post/0


Thanks for the response


I was under the impression the 604 did not pass through audio. Is this incorrect? Also does it pass it through to 2 channels or to 5.1?


For the 604 dont you still need to run a Coax/Optical cable for the audio?

If you have an HDMI input into the receiver you do not need coax for audio and yes it will also play on you TV speakers. If you do select HDMI is an all or nothing decision. You can't use HDMI for video then decide to use coax.optical for audio. The 604 is HDMI 1.1 and will process whatever that spec is. I think it's 2 channel, 5.1 but not 7.1. I think you have to tell your DVD player what kind of audio to send over HDMI to get it to play on the TV properly tho'


Pass thru "Marketing Term" really means the HDMI signal will "pass thru" to the display and not be processed by the receiver. I assume that is audio as well. It's just a switch--a 21st century "A/B switch box". The problem is that the display has 2 speakers and will do only what it is capable of in reproducing sound...that mostly means stereo.


Will it play on 2 channel only. Sure, just select Stereo on the receiver. Again, I not sure of all the details so you may have to select what the dvd player sends over HDMI to get it to work...then again you may not because i sure if you hook a DVD up to to a LCD it will play sound on the 2 speakers it has.


--Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

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Originally Posted by HTRMikeD /forum/post/0


If you have an HDMI input into the receiver you do not need coax for audio and yes it will also play on you TV speakers. If you do select HDMI is an all or nothing decision. You can't use HDMI for video then decide to use coax.optical for audio. The 604 is HDMI 1.1 and will process whatever that spec is. I think it's 2 channel, 5.1 but not 7.1. I think you have to tell your DVD player what kind of audio to send over HDMI to get it to play on the TV properly tho'


Pass thru "Marketing Term" really means the HDMI signal will "pass thru" to the display and not be processed by the receiver. I assume that is audio as well. It's just a switch--a 21st century "A/B switch box". The problem is that the display has 2 speakers and will do only what it is capable of in reproducing sound...that mostly means stereo.


--Mike

Maybe Im confused. So there is no way to use HDMI and have the receiver play through my 2 Klipsch KLF 20's and KLF-C7 Center? I have an Oppo 981, Comcast HD cable, and a Samsung 4695 BTW
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddcobb /forum/post/0


Maybe Im confused. So there is no way to use HDMI and have the receiver play through my 2 Klipsch KLF 20's and KLF-C7 Center? I have an Oppo 981, Comcast HD cable, and a Samsung 4695 BTW

I edited the msg while you replyed.


Just select stereo on the receiver and it will work. I checked the manual and it will play thru the Front L/R and Sub if you have one...NOT the center. To get the center you have to use one of the surrounds modes but I think the surrounds have to be hooked up to work...I really don't know that one.


--Mike
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HTRMikeD /forum/post/0


If you have an HDMI input into the receiver you do not need coax for audio and yes it will also play on you TV speakers. If you do select HDMI is an all or nothing decision. You can't use HDMI for video then decide to use coax.optical for audio. The 604 is HDMI 1.1 and will process whatever that spec is. I think it's 2 channel, 5.1 but not 7.1. I think you have to tell your DVD player what kind of audio to send over HDMI to get it to play on the TV properly tho'


...

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "HDMI is an all or nothing decision" - I use HDMI for video along with toslink (optical) for audio all the time. Whenever a given source is playing, you can press the "digital input" selector to select any digital audio source desired (HDMI, optical, coax), regardless of HDMI pass through.


You are correct about HDMI processing only up to 5.1 (not 7.1). If the signal is Dolby Digital, you can apply PLxII processing to get the 7.1 channels, but if the source is LPCM (say, for instance, an HD DVD/Blu-ray player), then you will be limited to 5.1 channels.


I think that over the HDMI virtually every player currently available is going to send either Dolby digital bitstream, DTS bitstream, or LPCM (uncompressed) - all of which the Onkyo will handle just fine. Future players may have the options for more advanced bitstream codecs, so they may require you setting the output correctly, but for now you can likely just plug it in and go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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Originally Posted by leibniz /forum/post/0


I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "HDMI is an all or nothing decision" - I use HDMI for video along with toslink (optical) for audio all the time. Whenever a given source is playing, you can press the "digital input" selector to select any digital audio source desired (HDMI, optical, coax), regardless of HDMI pass through.


You are correct about HDMI processing only up to 5.1 (not 7.1). If the signal is Dolby Digital, you can apply PLxII processing to get the 7.1 channels, but if the source is LPCM (say, for instance, an HD DVD/Blu-ray player), then you will be limited to 5.1 channels.


I think that over the HDMI virtually every player currently available is going to send either Dolby digital bitstream, DTS bitstream, or LPCM (uncompressed) - all of which the Onkyo will handle just fine. Future players may have the options for more advanced bitstream codecs, so they may require you setting the output correctly, but for now you can likely just plug it in and go.

So if Im watching a DVD and it is hooked up using HDMI and my audio is setup over optical, will the receiver recognize the multiple sources? For example am I stuck EITHER using HDMI for video or optical for audio but not using them simultaneously? Because you said you just select your digital source but that would be two seperate sources correct?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddcobb /forum/post/0


So if Im watching a DVD and it is hooked up using HDMI and my audio is setup over optical, will the receiver recognize the multiple sources? For example am I stuck EITHER using HDMI for video or optical for audio but not using them simultaneously? Because you said you just select your digital source but that would be two seperate sources correct?

i have my HD-A2 (HD DVD player) hooked up to the Onkyo via HDMI and optical. When I watch movies (the picture is always transmitted via HDMI), I can use the optical or HDMI connection for audio. Either works fine.


Sometimes I use the HDMI for getting high resolution audio, but most of the time I use the optical connection and let the player send a DTS bitstream.
 

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to be quite honest, ddcobb, i'm not exactly sure why you would need to connect the optical connection, though. if you're using an HDMI display, then you really only need the one cable (HDMI) from the player to the Onkyo, and the one cable from the Onkyo to the TV (though the optical will work alongside the HDMI).


i have a bit of a special case because I have an HDMI projector that I use for movies, but an old SD CRT for daytime television. That's why I use the optical connection - not having the HDMI display (pj) running (during daytime tv watching) causes problems when trying to process HDMI audio. if you're always using an HDMI display, though, you can just use it for everything.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddcobb /forum/post/0


Which receiver would you choose and why? Ive narrowed down my list to these 3 because I have no need for video processing (I will use my Oppo 981).


I'd appreciate any positive/negatives you could share on these receivers and why you'd choose 1 over the other.


Thanks in advance.


I'm also in the process of choosing a receiver and have considered these three. I haven't compared them in person so I can't comment on their sound. However, they have somewhat different features that you may need to consider.


1) 8-channel preouts. Depending on the size of your room and how loud you like to play music/movies, you may want/need an external amplifier for more power than the receiver can provide. In that case, your receiver would need preouts in order to send the audio signal to an external amplifier. The Onkyo 604 doesn't have pre-outs, while the other two do. As a result, I dropped the 604 from consideration early on.


2) lip sync delay. Depending on your display, there may or may not be some lag in the video due to image processing and scaling. Lip sync delay is a feature that lets you specify a delay in the audio so that it's in sync with the video. The Pioneer 1016 doesn't have this feature. I don't know if the 604 does, but I had already dropped it from consideration.


3) 12V triggers. Depending on your setup, it may be useful to have the receiver send a signal to other electronics (such as to turn on an external amplifier). Again, the 1016 doesn't have this feature, and I don't know about the 604. As you might've guessed, I'm planning to go with the Yamaha because I don't need ...


4) HDMI input/output. This is the main feature that the Yamaha 659 lacks compared to the other two. Again, it depends on your needs.


BTW, the Yamaha 5960 is reportedly the same unit as the 659 except for the lack of 12V trigger and no zone 2 output. They are given different designation because they're sold in different retail channels. The 5960 tends to be priced more aggressively since it's sold by stores like Circuit City/Best Buy, while the 659 is carried in higher-end HT stores like Tweeter.


Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by leibniz /forum/post/0


to be quite honest, ddcobb, i'm not exactly sure why you would need to connect the optical connection, though. if you're using an HDMI display, then you really only need the one cable (HDMI) from the player to the Onkyo, and the one cable from the Onkyo to the TV (though the optical will work alongside the HDMI).


i have a bit of a special case because I have an HDMI projector that I use for movies, but an old SD CRT for daytime television. That's why I use the optical connection - not having the HDMI display (pj) running (during daytime tv watching) causes problems when trying to process HDMI audio. if you're always using an HDMI display, though, you can just use it for everything.

In what case would HDMI switching be necessary/convenient? IF everything is running to the tv via one HDMI cord where does the problem lie? Also is the 674 worth the extra money? It appears there is only a 5 watt difference in addition to the upconversion performed by the 674.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by leibniz /forum/post/0


i have my HD-A2 (HD DVD player) hooked up to the Onkyo via HDMI and optical. When I watch movies (the picture is always transmitted via HDMI), I can use the optical or HDMI connection for audio. Either works fine.


Sometimes I use the HDMI for getting high resolution audio, but most of the time I use the optical connection and let the player send a DTS bitstream.

I don't think they work at the same time while watching movies but I've never tried it. When you set up the input you select DVD as HDMI, sending both audio and video over the HDMI and everything works fine.


What you could do is set DVD as HDMI and then set CD as coax 1. Plug the coax from the DVD player into Coax 1 and then play CDs on the DVD player...Thats what I did. Or you could set CD to the SAME HDMI input and play CDs over HDMI audio.


Is this what you mean?


--Mike
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HTRMikeD /forum/post/0


I don't think they work at the same time while watching movies but I've never tried it. When you set up the input you select DVD as HDMI, sending both audio and video over the HDMI and everything works fine.


What you could do is set DVD as HDMI and then set CD as coax 1. Plug the coax from the DVD player into Coax 1 and then play CDs on the DVD player...Thats what I did. Or you could set CD to the SAME HDMI input and play CDs over HDMI audio.


Is this what you mean?


--Mike

I'm confused as to what you're confused about.



I can state with certainty that when I watch a movie I can simultaneously pass the picture via HDMI (my projector is always passed HDMI video through the Onkyo 604) AND get the sound for that movie over HDMI or Optical.


I have my HD DVD player connected to the Onkyo with 2 cables: an HDMI and an Optical (toslink). In the Onkyo setup menus, I have DVD video assigned to HDMI input 1 (see page 45 of the manual), but that is a separate setting from the "digital input," which routes the audio (see page 44 of the manual).


I can then choose, even while the movie is playing, to listen to the movie audio across the HDMI input OR the optical (toslink). Digital coax would work the same way.


The end result is that for most people it would be unnecessary, but one certainly can hook up a player with HDMI for video passthrough and Optical/Coax for audio playback simultaneously.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddcobb /forum/post/0


In what case would HDMI switching be necessary/convenient? IF everything is running to the tv via one HDMI cord where does the problem lie? Also is the 674 worth the extra money? It appears there is only a 5 watt difference in addition to the upconversion performed by the 674.

the HDMI switching is convenient when you have more than one device that uses HDMI.


For instance, If you have a HD cable box and a DVD player with HDMI, you can connect all four devices (cable, dvd, receiver, tv) with only 3 cables: 1 HDMI cable from DVD player to Onkyo HDMI in1, 1 HDMI cable from cable box to HDMI in 2, and 1 HDMI cable from Onkyo HDMI out to TV.


That is all the connections you'll need for those devices to transmit high definition video and sound; and since the Onkyo does the HDMI switching, you don't have to select a different input on your TV when switching from DVD to cable. Whenever you select DVD on your Onkyo, you'll get the DVD player's audio and video; when you select Video1 (or whichever input you configure it for) you'll get audio and video for cable.
 

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advantages of the 674 over the 604 are:


1) 5 more watts per channel

2) Ability to transmit all video connections (component, composite, s-video) over HDMI.

3) Ability to see the Onkyo onscreen setup menus over HDMI.


#2 and 3 above ensure that you only need 1 cable running from your Onkyo to your TV. With the 604, you'll have to connect both the HDMI (for HDMI video sources) and a component cable (the 604 can at least transmit composite and s-video via component)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by leibniz /forum/post/0


I'm confused as to what you're confused about.



I can state with certainty that when I watch a movie I can simultaneously pass the picture via HDMI (my projector is always passed HDMI video through the Onkyo 604) AND get the sound for that movie over HDMI or Optical.


I have my HD DVD player connected to the Onkyo with 2 cables: an HDMI and an Optical (toslink). In the Onkyo setup menus, I have DVD video assigned to HDMI input 1 (see page 45 of the manual), but that is a separate setting from the "digital input," which routes the audio (see page 44 of the manual).


I can then choose, even while the movie is playing, to listen to the movie audio across the HDMI input OR the optical (toslink). Digital coax would work the same way.


The end result is that for most people it would be unnecessary, but one certainly can hook up a player with HDMI for video passthrough and Optical/Coax for audio playback simultaneously.

I'm probably just diggin to much in the details...as long as i get sound and picture I'm happy!


--Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by leibniz /forum/post/0


advantages of the 674 over the 604 are:


1) 5 more watts per channel

2) Ability to transmit all video connections (component, composite, s-video) over HDMI.

3) Ability to see the Onkyo onscreen setup menus over HDMI.


#2 and 3 above ensure that you only need 1 cable running from your Onkyo to your TV. With the 604, you'll have to connect both the HDMI (for HDMI video sources) and a component cable (the 604 can at least transmit composite and s-video via component)

You are the man leibniz! In your opinion is the 674 worth the extra $$?


Also, thanks Mike for your responses they were very helpful.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddcobb /forum/post/0


In your opinion is the 674 worth the extra $$?
that's pretty tough to answer. for someone with the means, sure. it's a nice perk. but, if they don't mind running an extra set of component cables (alongside HDMI) to the TV, then the 604 will do just fine for those of us already at our budget.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddcobb /forum/post/0


You are the man leibniz! In your opinion is the 674 worth the extra $$?


Also, thanks Mike for your responses they were very helpful.

ddcobb,


I struggled a little with the choice of getting the 674 over the 604 and ultimately decided on the 604. As leibniz points out, the video upconversion may be important, but at what price point? I paid $450 at CC B&M, for a black 604, and I see their website now has the silver 674 for $450. Don't know if black is available, but I had to have black. The video upconversion would have been nice - it's all about priorities I guess.


I will say my new 604 is replacing a 6 yr JVC receiver, and this is my first Onkyo product. I'm a stickler for details and a bit surprised at the build quality(or lack thereof) of the Onkyo. I'm not saying it's necessarily bad, but the 'fit-n-finish', and ergonomics could have been better. I particularly noticed how the top cover flange does not fit tightly with the rear panel. You can run your finger around the entire thing and feel the gap. And none of the 4 plastic feet are flush with the bottom. These are little things I know, but do point to the lack of attention and QC during manufacturing. As the recent review in Home Theater magazine states... "it has a pretty conservative look", and now that I've lived with it for a couple of days I would have to agree. Certainly nothing to show off. The row of selector buttons is not very 'finger friendly' either. Why can't designers make them a little bigger with a slight depression for your finger to 'settle' in. And they're not even lite when active.
I guess I expected it to be more solid and weight more for an AVR in this category.


But, hey, I got HDMI capability now which is sweet indeed as I watched Superman Returns last night. I'm not fully calibrated yet and need to tweak the speaker settings a bit. My sub-woofer is not that impressive and sounds a bit 'boomy'. Adjustments are in order there too.


I'm trying to love this AVR, but there's a small voice inside my head bringing up doubts. And, I don't know if there's anything better at the price point. I can't really afford to step up to the next class-level, so it may have to continue to adorn my equipment rack for the meantime.
 
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