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Receiver upgrade suggestions?

Discussion in 'Receivers and amplifiers' started by bill_g71, Mar 3, 2004.

  1. bill_g71

    bill_g71 Member

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    My old Onkyo Integra TX-890 is getting a little long in the tooth, although it still sounds great. Problem is I've accumulated enough video gear that a receiver with better video switching capabilities would be very useful.

    I'm looking for something in the $1500-2000 range with very clean sound as 2-channel stereo is still the primary use for the system.

    Here's my system:
    Onkyo receiver
    DCM Time Wonder 3 stereo speakers
    Sony ES CD changer
    Sony SLV N900 VCR
    Sony NS725P DVD
    ReplayTV 5040 DVR
    Sony 32HS510 HD monitor

    Definitely not a system to mortgage the house for, but it serves my needs. I'll probably add digital and/or HDTV cable in the next year or so along with a DVD recorder.

    I'd like a receiver that can handle component video switching so I could untangle some of the rat's nest of Monster cables behind the rack. I have a large stockpile of tapes I'd like to transfer to DVD so I definitely need composite video capability as well.

    Haven't done any serious research yet, so any help I could get pointing me in the right direction would be appreciated.

    Great forum, AfterDawn, and I'm glad to see the A/V rooms added.

    TIA,

    Bill
     
  2. Damon1

    Damon1 Regular member

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    Since you already have a lot if sony components, what about some of the sony es av receivers, they've come leaps and bounds in the last 3 years with respect to 2 channel audio.

    I would suggest the STRDA300ES, in Australia it retails for about $1800-$2100 (rrp is 2299.00) so if
    your in the US you can probably get it cheaper.this is the link for the reciever on the aussie sony site.

    http://www.sony.com.au/homecinema/catalog/product.jsp?id=STRDA3000ES

    something like this would be the way to go as I'll say you'll have a hard time finding a 2 channel amp with alot/any composite video inputs/outputs.

    Happy Shopping!!
     
  3. DaOsT

    DaOsT Regular member

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    for cheap electrical stuff in the north of england I always go to richer sounds a pretty decent place well the liverpool branch is anyways
     
  4. Prisoner

    Prisoner Guest

    I bought a Kenwood 7070, it is capable of THX and has 2 component in and one compent out. I go it on discount for $720 Can. An amazing deal at Best buy. It even has 6channel in suport for SACD or DVD audio.
     
  5. Mattrage

    Mattrage Regular member

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    Unless something has changed, THX is not a mode/format, but rather a certification.
     
  6. Prisoner

    Prisoner Guest

    That is basically what I ment. To see the reciever I am talking about its:
    http://www.kenwoodusa.com/product/product.jsp?productTypeId=55&sortBy=price&productId=2532

    This quote is why I used the term capable
    This should be all the info you need, at the site. This is a really good receiver.
     
  7. bill_g71

    bill_g71 Member

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    Thanx, all!

    Like I said, just starting to check into this, figured I'd have to go multichannel anyway.

    Then, speakers.....

    It never ends, does it?

    Bill
     
  8. DaOsT

    DaOsT Regular member

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    lmao no it never ends but theres great additions out there
     
  9. Prisoner

    Prisoner Guest

    Mostly it just starts with the reciver. I picked this one up in Dec 2003, then speakers. Now looking at upgrading my tv. I have amazing dvd player, souround sound, and it all runs into my 1974 Zenith 2 TV. The second zeith with colour, amazing the thing is older than me and required yellow composite to RF cable convesion then 75ohm RF to 300ohm paired wire conversion. Surprisingly the picture is actually really good. THe older ones are hard core. But I am thinking of going new.
    I also saw a fairly cheap Sony receiver that is similar to my Kenwood. Its not THX, but does have Neo6 (I think now is better).
    http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/pr...&sku_id=0665000FS10028613&catid=&newdeptid=10
    or the cheaper Sony with out Neo:
    http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/pr...id=10551&logon=&langid=EN&dept=10&WLBS=fsweb5
     
  10. bill_g71

    bill_g71 Member

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    Prisoner;

    You just gotta get a new TV, man!

    I limped along for years on a Sanyo 21" that didn't even have AV inputs, and when I got my Sony I couldn't believe it! I wasn't really in the market for HDTV, but I got this one on closeout from Best Buy at a price comparable to a standard 32" so I just couldn't turn it down.

    The video on standard cable is great, especially with the line doubler technology Sony uses, and the component video display is fantastic on my DVD and DVR.

    Check it out next time you're in the store, I think you'll like it.

    Bill
     
  11. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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    Last edited: Mar 9, 2004
  12. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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    Bill, im your man for this topic. Firstly, id like to apologise for it being in one sentence, enter key broken and <p> paragraphs not working in HTML. I believe what you are looking for is this: Forget THX Certification for now, unless you can work it into your budget. More importantly, is getting the best amplifier and speakers you can afford. Firstly, Marantz, in my opinion, is the best there is for a home user like you and i. I just bought an amazing 6.1 Marantz SR5400 for £299 from Richersounds.com which supports all the current high quality Audio formats for movies. However, the new SR7400 (£449) and SR8300 (£799 = THX Certified) are all amazing. In terms fo speakers, Monitor Audio are absolutely amazing. If you can afford a pair of Silver 6's for teh Front left/right at £599, a centre speaker Monitor Audio Silver 10i £229, Pair of Monitor Audio Silver SFx Surround (£395) and a one rear bookshelf speaker of your choice (if you want 6.1 not 5.1 surround). Thats £1672 for that whole system with the speakers mentioned and the SR7400. If you want the SR8300 it will be an extra £350. However, I personally would rather get a subwoofer for a true cinematic experience. Get the Monitor Audio FastBass FB110 and you will love it. That is all you need. Trust me, you will think you have died and gone to heaven. Unfortunately i only have Gale 30 series home cinema speakers £500 for the whole set (not including subwoofer). I bought a £299 Yamaha sub. The system i just specified is a dream system for me. Its what you want, trust me my friend. If you get it and live in the UK, promise me i can come visit and hear it you lucky bugger ;-)
     
  13. Prisoner

    Prisoner Guest

    Oriphus I see your a fan of Monitor Audio, What do you think of JBL? I like Energy speakers for Left and right front, A good JBL subwofer and either Polk or Energy for the back sets. The Font Centre being either Polk or Energy. I only have a Quest system, but I would love to add a JBL Sub, and Energy Center. Surprisingly the Quest are really good for front and rear left and right. The Quest sub is crap through.
     
  14. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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    Im a very big fan of Monitor Audio. I feel they produce the best clarity frequencies over any other speaker in each of its price brackets. I only wish i could afford a pair of GR10 (Gold Reference 10's) which i have heard in a demo room and sound out of this world with a 7.1 System (all Monitor Audio GR series speakers and Marantz 9300 with power Amplifier).

    JBL are very very good speakers also, but i feel they are designed for a different customer, not Home Cinema or Hifi. Go into any good classy bar and night club, and chances are they will have a cracking load of JBL speakers. Their subwoofers are to die for.

    Polk speakers are fairly good speakers, but i dont see them as anywhere near the quality of the Monitor Audio. In fact, they are probably closer to a par with Gale speakers, which are very good also. They also do good car stereo speakers i believe. On Energy speakers, i really like the C-9's, but compared to a monitor Audio GR10, i know what i would take. Unfortunately, we are limited by our funds. I would be happy forever with a Pair MA Silver 6's, a Silver Centre, and 4 Silver Surround effects. Add that to a Marantz DV8400 and Marantz SR8400 and i would be the happiest man alive (if you threw in an Optoma H76 projector lol).
     
  15. Prisoner

    Prisoner Guest

    To directly answer the original posters question, Don`t just look at a new receiver as your speakers are where the sound is. I have heard good stuff and bad stuff through the speakers I have tested with my old 1970`s reciever. This was amazing reciever for stereo but now upgraded to THX, you can really tell the difference between speakers. So don`t forget to add the speaker setup into your budget.
    I like Energy, my dad had a pair and we cranked them up to full. We were testing out the insulation on his cottage, and that didn`t affect the sound quality at all! So I have been a fan since. I do agree JBL are amazing, my compaq 8770 pentium 200 can with JBL speakers and I still haven`t heard beter form a computer.
     
  16. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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    I got a nice set of Harmon Kardon with my computer and sound great :)

    Prisoners point is a very valid one. There isnt really much point in upgrading to a cracking set of speakers with an older amplifier (no matter how good it was in its day). The whole method of generating the frequencies and power the drivers has been changed. In days gone by (5-10years+), RMS wattage was seen as the main driving force of a speaker (it still is today), however, there is also a lot more emphasis on the drive units and the speaker material and inner cone materials in producing great sound.

    Also, there isnt much point in getting a cracking A/V receiver and keeping older stereo or even 5 speakers. My advice, if you cant afford to go the whole hog now, whay not wait a while until you can and you will undoubtedly be a happy chappy for another 10 years or som :)

    By the Onkyo Integra TC-890 was a cracking amplifier...not a fan of Sony amps though, not really professional enough for me, more consumer orientated. Most of the general consumers would never of heard of Cambridge Audio, Marantz, Denon, Onkyo, etc. I like it that way. No bells and frills, sometimes you are lucky to get an LCD screen. Thats less things to go wrong, all metal parts and a great system that will last....
     
  17. Prisoner

    Prisoner Guest

    I think if his primary use if for only 2 channel stereo audio, then going for a system that has amazing stereo, and can suport all the new DTS should be good. I don`t think you have to go too highend, Kenwood, Harman Kardon, ete Receivers are pretty good. I do agree that Sony receivers aren`t the best. My old 1970s one was a Harman Kardon, really nice. But Bill_g71 go full out on the front left right speakers and get a good amp. IF you don`t have too much money, you can build it up. The key components for you from your original post seem to be the front speakers and the receiver, I think you should focus there. Then as money permits upgrade to the other speakers for surround sound.

    Oriphus, my Notebook has Harman kardon speakers. Not bad but a little tiny. they don`t compare to the JBL, I still plug them in when at home.
     
  18. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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    Agree with that. The most important thing is the amp, then the Front L/R speakers, then a centre or sub. After that, add when money allows. Prisoner - we should start a thread for bantering on lol
     
  19. bill_g71

    bill_g71 Member

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    Prisoner/Oriphus,

    My thoughts exactly! First an amp, then good stereo speakers, then maybe surround speakers, but I've only got a 12'x12' media room with a poor traffic pattern, so I'm real limited in layout for rear surround speakers, and remodeling the basement is something that's on my to-do list but not real soon...

    I'm a big fan of Sony's TVs and transport equipment, but I've never been real fond of their amps. Remember reading a few years back in Stereophile they were entering the high-end market with a pretty good set of speakers, and their ES transports have always been great for the money, but haven't kept up with the market for several years to know anything about what they have available in amps now.

    I remember listening to a pair of Energy 3-ways about 8 years ago, and they were impressive for a $1200/pr speaker.And my son still has his Monitor 1's I gave him when he went off to college, and they have some nice speakers, too. But I think I'm going for speakers in the $2-4K range, so I gotta do some serious auditioning

    I'm not sure I like the bipolars in my room, but I want to listen to the Martin-Logan Aeon2's, I heard them briefly at a local shop and they are pretty sweet. Also want to check out the Thiel 1.6 or whatever is current in that price range. I also remember a pair of Infinity's that I fell in love with 6 or 7 years ago, big 'stat towers with a side-fire woofer that were around $3500/pair. Wish I could remember the model #, I'd love to pick up a used pair.

    Anyway, I've got a lot of research and listening to do before I drop this kind of cash, but at least there a several good stores here in Atlanta to check out.

    Thanx for the advice and I enjoy the bantering, too. Oriphus, I'm glad you got your keyboard fixed!

    Bill
     
  20. Prisoner

    Prisoner Guest

    Wow, looking at 2-4K range. One day I wish I had that kind of money. In that range JBL would not be a problem you couldn't buy B&O, but there a little over priced.

    I frogot about you keyboard Oriphus, I could have mailed you one. I have a stack of 10 here. But a banter thread might be good. I have a wish list, but as I can't pay for the TTC to get into work in the morning, my price limit is much lower.
    I was about to recomend getting a cheap system like mine Reciver $700, Quest surround sound speakes $200. Total is less than $1000, only major beef is the subwoofer, but when I have the money I will replace with a JBL.
     

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