First off, just to clarify my level of knowledge (or rather lack thereof, for that matter) - I'm before the purchase of my first ever REAL home theater system so I think you can get the picture
Here are my 2 big problems. Actually, it's one HUGE problem and one not so huge, but still important. I'll start with the smaller problem. 1. Is the Pioneer VSX-1122-K the best option for my needs (and budget)? What I DO care about is
- 6 Ohm speaker support
- a minimum of 2 optical inputs (that's a must for some reasons)
- at least one coaxial S/PDIF input (not crucial, though)
- preferably 7.1 support (7.2 would be an extra, but 5.1 is a no-go; even if I would use a 5.1 sound system, I want the extra room for improvement)
- 3D ready (not really crucial, but if I'd need to pay $10-$20 extra, I would)
- Price of around $600 (I'd leave some room for flexibility, but let's say $800 would be the maximum... of course, if the best receiver in the world in this range would cost $815, I would pay, but $500-$600 would really be nice).
Of course, I won't even mention the ability to handle Dolby TrueHD etc. as I don't believe that there's any receiver out there in the $500+ range that would not support the most common formats. What I DO NOT care about is
- support of any device which name starts with a lowercase "i" (I remember when about 10 years ago, I've been just looking at receivers and everywhere I could find lots of useful info about its specs, but today, now that I'm actually ready to buy one and have started my research a couple of weeks ago, I've ended up watching product presentation videos where in 5 minutes, they're talking about how many iPhones, iPads, iPods or iPots you can use with a receiver and then between 4:56 and 4:59, I can see one screen with the really relevant stuff... moo baby moo? So to make it clear - iStuff compatibility is completely irrelevant to me
- size of the receiver
I can't think of anything else, so let's say - anything not listed in the "I care" section, I do not care about.
So here's the big question - is the Pioneer VSX-1122-K
the best I could get or maybe there are other receivers (doesn't have to be Pioneer) that would meet my expectations listed above and, for example, trade all the Apple-related gimmicks for better quality of the device?
I must say that the first receiver I "fell in love with" was the Sony STR-DN1030
, but unfortunately, it says "8Ω - 12Ω" (I'm gonna need 6Ω most likely; why "most likely" - later) on the back and 240W... now, as I've said - I'm quite new to this and they claim that it has an output of 7 x 100W... but takes 240W. Sounds to me a bit like a perpetuum mobile - you can harvest almost 3 times more power from it than it takes? In Pioneer case it says 550W so I can imagine that if I drive a 7-speaker system with 30-40W it won't struggle a bit.
So that's my "small" problem. Now - the HUGE problem: 2. How can I buy the Pioneer SP-PK52FS speaker system... in Europe?
A great incentive to buy a receiver right now was my discovery of these speakers. I must admit I didn't hear them personally, but I just found very positive reviews about them (in fact, I couldn't find one negative), some say they sound so good that they could be compared with some $2,000 systems... and a 5.1 set of those Andrew Jones' designed speakers (that is - a pair of floor-standing fronts + 1 center + a pair of bookshelf backs + a sub-woofer cost... about $600
It sounds too good to be true, but again - I could not find one bad word about them, only claims that at this price, it's the best sounding system you can get.
OK then, let's buy it, right? Well... I can't
I'm in Europe and I've just tried to go to Amazon's check-out which only confirmed my worries - "5 out of 5 of your items can't be shipped to your location". I've contacted European Pioneer and the US Pioneer. In the EU they don't know if or when they might be for sale, neither the US do and the US Pioneer will not ship it to me even if I would agree to cover all shipping costs
So this is more a logistic question - is anyone here from Europe and have faced such issue? Is there some US store which wouldn't mind shipping to the EU? Or maybe someone knows some good forwarding... companies, you know - ones that give you a US address to ship to and then forward the package to any international address? If so - are they really so good and secure that you would be ready to buy a (sizable) speaker set through them?
What I worry about right now is that if I would wait, let's say, a year to see if they maybe will be available in Europe and they won't and for some reason Pioneer may not sell them anymore, I'd miss out on them. Now they're still relatively new in the US and I can imagine that more stores may still have them in stock.
There's one more issue - I can't get the sub-woofer anyway because it can't handle the European 220V (it's 110V only).
Of course, if anyone happens to know a set of really good speakers with the sound quality of the SP-PK52FS and the similar price ($200 for 2 floor standing speakers, $200 for 4 bookshelf speakers and $100 for a center speaker) - I'm all ears.
Thanks in advance for any help.