Recommend a receiver for me! - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 26 Old 10-15-11, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Recommend a receiver for me!

Hi all,

In short, I'm looking for a bare-bones receiver with 7 high power amplified outputs and as high audio quality as I can get without spending four figures.


Here are what my exact parameters are:

-Oppo BDP-93, Epson UB6500 Projector, Speakers TBD 7.1

-Was planning to spend no more than $500, but could go higher given good reason

-Needs to provide adequate power for whatever speakers I may get next. I know i may be putting the cart before the horse here, but I'm selling my old Onkyo amp along with my Klispch Synergy setup since the sound is too harsh/bright for me and I will be using some old HTIB speakers until I figure out what I want.

-Thanks to the Oppo, I can send one HDMI direct to the projector for video and another to the receiver for audio, so HDMI 1.4 is not necessarily a must have

-I couldn't care less about any fancy networking capabilities since I use Sonos for audio and the Oppo already supports Netflix

-Other than the Oppo, the only other thing I plan to connect to it is a Sonos bridge for music. In fact, now that I think about it, if it weren't for the need to use Sonos I probably wouldn't need an A/V receiver at all...just a 7-channel amp.

Thanks for looking... Any advice is appreciated!
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post #2 of 26 Old 10-16-11, 01:12 PM
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Re: Recommend a receiver for me!

Unfortunately, manufacturers are much quicker to add the features that you don't need (networking, Netflix) than the features you want (oodles of power). I'd recommend that you start with the least expensive AVR that you can get with preamp outputs, something like the onkyo 700 series refurbed from accessories4less. It will probably have enough power for your needs, but if not, you could easily add an emotiva amp.
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post #3 of 26 Old 10-16-11, 01:44 PM
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Re: Recommend a receiver for me!

Yeah, one of my biggest pet peeve's. I'd love a high end receiver with lots of power and none of the frilly foo foo.

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post #4 of 26 Old 10-16-11, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Recommend a receiver for me!

Thanks for the input so far; I've been doing a lot of looking. The Marantz receivers seem interesting.
What do you guys think of this NAD receiver?

NAD T 747 Receiver

Seems right up my alley...focused on audio performance without all the bells & whistles that I don't care about. The power rating seemed low, but reading reviews around the web they say NADs put out a lot more than the numbers would indicate, especially when all 7 channels are driven. I have an Onkyo right now and the real-world power to 7 channels is embarassing...about a third of the claimed power.
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post #5 of 26 Old 10-16-11, 09:24 PM
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Re: Recommend a receiver for me!

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cyniclaus wrote: View Post
The power rating seemed low, but reading reviews around the web they say NADs put out a lot more than the numbers would indicate, especially when all 7 channels are driven.
I think for starters, ask yourself how often in real world application all "7 channels are driven" equally. I do believe in an adequate power supply to deal with all chanels driven, but I find that the front three (or two) speakers are much more power hungry. They're probably further away, and their average DB level is something like 30db louder. Whereas a surround might occasionally have an ear piercing 80-85db peak in an action movies, it's mostly just relegated to 55-60db type ambience effets.... on average you may not even use a watt of surround power. So who cares if all seven channels can do 70wpc? Give me a front stage that can do 500wpc, and give my surround 30wpc, and I think the results will be more likely towards success.

HOwever good ACD performance does indicate a robust power supply. So i'm not saying it's a totally useless measurement. It's important, but it's not what I look at. To me 2 channels driven, 4 ohms with a 45+ degree phase angle, is the most important measurement.

A main speaker on the other hand has potential to have dynamic peaks in the upper 90dbs or even lower 100s depending on the source content and listening preferences - in other words it's the fronts that might want anywhere from 100w to 500w of power.

Second you need to examine the impedance profile (z-chart) of your speaker to determine how much power you need.

Finally, I believe you want something with a reliable preamp out with plenty of headroom. The most reliable choice would be a dedicated processor like the Marantz AV8003, which has been measured close to 14vRMS. You can pick on up at accessories4less. The more recent AV7005 should also be a good choice, although I haven't seen measurements.

The average receiver might have preouts in the .7v to 2v range which is "close for comfort" in terms of headroom. They tend to be a throw-in feature.

One receiver that does have useful preouts is the Marantz SR6004. It's been measured close to 7vRMS. Again, I have not seen any measurements of the SR6005 preouts.

But if you really want a great processor, my gut would tell me to go with the Denon 4311. I haven't seen measurements so it truly is just a gut purchase but one thing that really sets it apart is that it has SubEQ and XT32.

However, whether you're using receiver amps or not to power your surrounds, i feel that chances are, your mains are hungry for a bit more power than what even the finer receivers can feed them. There are some mains that can be driven by receivers, but the average ones want two to four times as much power. A separate amp imo might be well worth it, as long as you have preout headroom to drive it.

I really like what i'm seeing about the Crown XLS 1500 amp.
the Emotiva XPA-3 is a popular choice.
Outlaw and ATI B-Stocks are also a good choice.
Used Parasound gear is tough to beat too.
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post #6 of 26 Old 10-17-11, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Recommend a receiver for me!

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GranteedEV wrote: View Post
I think for starters, ask yourself how often in real world application all "7 channels are driven" equally. I do believe in an adequate power supply to deal with all chanels driven, but I find that the front three (or two) speakers are much more power hungry. They're probably further away, and their average DB level is something like 30db louder. Whereas a surround might occasionally have an ear piercing 80-85db peak in an action movies, it's mostly just relegated to 55-60db type ambience effets.... on average you may not even use a watt of surround power. So who cares if all seven channels can do 70wpc? Give me a front stage that can do 500wpc, and give my surround 30wpc, and I think the results will be more likely towards success......
Wow, thanks for that detailed response! I know pitifully little about pro audio gear, so it is great to get the perspective of someone who is well versed. You make a great point about the mains needing more power; in thinking about eventual use of an amp, I was thinking I would need a 7-channel one, but it never occurred to me that I could use a receiver to run the surrounds and then use a 2-channel amp to power the mains if need be. Interesting you should mention the SR6004...that's the receiver I was leaning towards in my research before I found the NAD. Apparently it has a higher quality than the 6005 though the 6005 is much more reliable. I'll have to do a little more research and look at pre-out performance for the eventuality that I might need an amp. Finding speakers will be my next problem, and a more critical one I fear. I bought my Klipsch without listening to them and had to live with that.
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post #7 of 26 Old 10-17-11, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Recommend a receiver for me!

I'm probably going to pull the trigger on the NAD T747 in a couple of days unless I hear a compelling reason not to. The real-world 60w/ch should be more than adequate to power my surrounds and possibly the mains as well depending on what speakers I get and how sensitive they are. I might go for bookshelves on stands this time around...still got to research that side. I've got a massive MFW-15 sub, so having 12 or 10-inch woofers in the mains is probably redundant/unnecessary. If I do get something power hungry, I can always use the pre-outs on the NAD and power the mains off a separate amp as GranteedEV suggested.
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post #8 of 26 Old 10-17-11, 04:49 PM
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Re: Recommend a receiver for me!

Quote:
cyniclaus wrote: View Post
I'm probably going to pull the trigger on the NAD T747 in a couple of days unless I hear a compelling reason not to.
...How much are you paying?

Quote:
I've got a massive MFW-15 sub, so having 12 or 10-inch woofers in the mains is probably redundant/unnecessary.
eh? Not at all.

Subs are subs, but woofers are woofers. A sub handles the region from 10hz to 90hz roughly, maybe a bit higher depending on your setup and room acoustics. A woofer handles the region from 70z to 300hz roughly. They operate in different regions so I don't see it as being redundant at all.. it keeps you from compromised dynamics.

Do you really think a single 6.5" driver can keep up with the dynamics of a 15" driver at 80hz? It's going to run out of steam. I consider the region from 60hz to 300hz or so to be the most power hungry region in music and probably movies too, not including the LFE channel. Most speakers compress this region instead of play it back effortlessly.

There's a reason i'm always recommending people pick up a pair of JTR Triple 8HT-LP - you want mains that can handle the lower midrange and upper bass with aplomb, just like you want multiple subs that can handle the lower and mid bass effortlessly. below 300hz most smaller drivers really begin to lose composure, and more quickly than you'd imagine. A 10" (or triple 6.5"), 12" (or dual 8" drivers), imo, are very desirable as woofers.

I don't believe main speakers need extension to 40hz - that's redundant. But extension to ~70hz + effortlessness in the upper bass + lower midrange - is not!
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post #9 of 26 Old 10-18-11, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Recommend a receiver for me!

Quote:
GranteedEV wrote: View Post
...How much are you paying?
Spearitsound (as linked above) has the T747 for $599 shipped. I was looking at the SR6004 as well, which can be had refurbished for a bit cheaper, but the NAD is highly praised for sound quality that approaches, if not exceeds, receivers costing over twice as much. I really like the audio-centric focus of the NAD, and at the end of the day sound quality and amp output are criteria for my decision since my projector and the Oppo BD player are more than capable of handling all the video processing between themselves. Plus, the SR6004 has reliability issues (aka "Pop of Death") that I'd rather not have to deal with.

Quote:
GranteedEV wrote: View Post
eh? Not at all.

Subs are subs, but woofers are woofers. A sub handles the region from 10hz to 90hz roughly, maybe a bit higher depending on your setup and room acoustics. A woofer handles the region from 70z to 300hz roughly. They operate in different regions so I don't see it as being redundant at all.. it keeps you from compromised dynamics.

Do you really think a single 6.5" driver can keep up with the dynamics of a 15" driver at 80hz? It's going to run out of steam. I consider the region from 60hz to 300hz or so to be the most power hungry region in music and probably movies too, not including the LFE channel. Most speakers compress this region instead of play it back effortlessly.

There's a reason i'm always recommending people pick up a pair of JTR Triple 8HT-LP - you want mains that can handle the lower midrange and upper bass with aplomb, just like you want multiple subs that can handle the lower and mid bass effortlessly. below 300hz most smaller drivers really begin to lose composure, and more quickly than you'd imagine. A 10" (or triple 6.5"), 12" (or dual 8" drivers), imo, are very desirable as woofers.

I don't believe main speakers need extension to 40hz - that's redundant. But extension to ~70hz + effortlessness in the upper bass + lower midrange - is not!
Your point is well taken, and I was probably speaking too generally, but my point was that you don't need massive woofers in your mains if you have a sub. Bass being non-directional, I've always heard that the CW is to cross over your powered sub to handle at least 80hz and below to free up the mains to concentrate on efficiently putting out high quality sound. I listen to a lot of bass-heavy electronic music. Apples to oranges, perhaps, but the biggest gripe I have with my Logic7 system in my car is that even though it has two dedicated subs, it still sends bass to the little 4" speakers, which makes it impossible for the system to effectively articulate the lower midrange when the same speakers are trying to reproduce a pounding or pulsing bassline.

All that being said, my current HT setup that I'm junking cost me over $2500 from a big box store and it sounds like doo-doo, so I'm definitely inclined to listen to your advice, but I just wanted to give you the perspective I'm coming from...limited and erroneous as it may be
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post #10 of 26 Old 10-18-11, 10:50 AM
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Re: Recommend a receiver for me!

Quote:
GranteedEV wrote: View Post
Finally, I believe you want something with a reliable preamp out with plenty of headroom. The most reliable choice would be a dedicated processor like the Marantz AV8003, which has been measured close to 14vRMS.
Where did you get this spec, any info on other marantz models? Im curious what my SR8002 and the AV7005 measured. Obviously both the 8003 and 7005 are good recommendations but given their used price is about equal the 7005 seems like a no-brainer.

Last edited by TypeA; 10-18-11 at 11:10 AM.
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