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A/V Receivers help/information

Discussion in 'Receivers and amplifiers' started by anikun07, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. anikun07

    anikun07 Member

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    Hello, I know the topic gets asked over and over again, but Ive been looking at many sites trying to understand the specs about receivers. Im still not certain about what are good values when looking at specs. Im getting started at looking for an A/V receiver but want to do my homework first so that I understand what Ill be buying. I know if I asked "Whats a good receiver in $$$ price range?" many of you would say none, so Im not asking something so vague. I am hoping I can find a bargain or sale at around the $300 mark, less is always better if the value is still there. Ive looked at different specs for Onkyo, Yamaha, and Denon receivers, but I dont truly understand the differences. I know there are different numbers of input/outputs but the speaker ranges are what I dont have an understanding of. I found this an ONKYO TX-NR509 on Newegg and I'll use it for an example (not a "Should I get this?"). For the important specs like power output Ive read that 8 ohms is pretty much standard and is something to look for. 6-ohms requires more juice to power the same volume. This unit has measurements for 8 and 6 ohms. Is that for the speakers that will be connected to it? Ive read that 20-20,000 Hz is the range to get too, but I dont know the difference between that and 1 kHz, is it a trade off? I know its a good idea to find a receiver with a pre-amp out, is that for if I were to want an amp or is that for connecting a sub? Im guessing the latter. Also, I forget what the percentage rating is exactly, loss of clarity? But the lower the percent the better.

    My last question right now is that it looks like the mid priced receivers are mostly 7.1 systems. Im only really interested in 5.1. I live is a smaller home and our living room is about 14x14 so theres no need for 7 speakers. Are 5.1 mid priced (~$500) receivers still common or is it just 7.1 now? I did read on various sites that the side speakers arent necessary to have connected.

    Im looking to eventually upgrade from my Sony HTIB. I know they compromises of true quality in a box, but at the time it was perfect for my setup and still works well now. But I think Id really enjoy better sound to enjoy watching films. Oh, and I remembered another question I had. Some receivers have upscaling as part of the video to the HDTV, if my DVD player already upscales is there any conflict? I would imagine not. Perhaps the benefit of an A/V receiver that does upscaling could be for my Wii or PS2. My TV is a 32-inch 720p, so its not at all necessary to upscale to 1080.

    I would really appreciate any help and information you guys could offer me. Im pretty decent with computers and TVs and the like, but sound is something Ive never gotten in-depth with and its tricky finding good sources of information.

    Thanks in advance!!
     
  2. JVC

    JVC Active member

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    The Onkyo, Yamaha, and Denon are all good stuff. If you have a preference for one of those, go with it. I, personally, have an Onkyo. Onkyos tend to give a little more bang for the buck now days. I would stay away from Sony. They make good tvs and blu ray players, but receivers aren't their strong point. Stay completely away from Bose!

    I wouldn't worry about the 20-20,000 Hz stuff. Any decent 8 ohm speaker should work and be just fine for you, especially with the budget you have. You're not after high end stuff. You also probably won't find a receiver with the "pre-outs" you mentioned, in your budget. All receivers come with a subwoofer connection. The "pre-outs" are for adding an external amp, for more power, in case you have or get 4 ohm speakers.

    There's passive and powered subwoofers. Passive ones use the receiver to power them, and usually not as strong or as good as powered subs. Get a powered sub. You'll be happier in the long run.

    You may have trouble finding a 5.1 system now days. You can use a 7.1 receiver in a 5.1 system. BTW.....the two side speakers are very important! They are the rear speakers in a 5.1 system, even when using a 7.1 receiver. What sites said they are not necessary to have? They are idiots, and I'd like to tell them so. When using a 7.1 receiver in a 5.1 system, it's the back surround speakers you don't use. As I said, the surround speakers (sides) are the rear speakers in a 5.1 system. They should be placed on the sides of the seating position, and just behind the head, even if 5 ft. away. You don't really want them behind you.

    One more thing.
    It doesn't matter very much what size the room is, when deciding to go with 5.1 or 7.1 surround, as long as the speakers are calibrated right. A lot of the newer receivers have the auto calibration software built in. I know for a fact that the Audyssey software in Onkyo and Denon is very good, and I suspect the YPAO in Yamahas is probably good too. Don't go with 5.1 just because you think the room is too small for a 7.1 system. I, personally, am set up with 7.1 and like it a lot. I listen to tv in 7.1 surround (Dolby Pro Logic IIx). Good luck!
     
  3. anikun07

    anikun07 Member

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    Thanks JVC! I was just browsing different models and was wondering about video in and audio in. In a situation like having my computer connected to the receiver, it would be using HDMI and S/PDIF Coaxial inputs on the receiver. If the back of the receiver has a yellow composite and a digital coax for AV3, does that correspond with HDMI 3? Or is it more common just to have the computer video signal go directly to the TV and the audio going to any available input?

    Thanks for your help!
     
  4. JVC

    JVC Active member

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    If the computer only has a composite video output, I'd go straight to the tv with it. If it happens to have an HDMI output, I'd go to the receiver with it, and use component cables from sat box to receiver, since the sat doesn't output 1080p anyway. If the receiver upconverts all inputs to HDMI (doubtful with your budget), you're good as mentioned in previous post. If not, you'll need to also run a set of component cables from receiver to tv, if you use component from sat box to receiver.

    As far as what audio input goes with what video input, you determine that by how you assign digital audio inputs in receiver's setup menus.
     
  5. JVC

    JVC Active member

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    double post........
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2011

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