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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all! So I am relatively new to the AV world and need some advice. About two years ago I inherited a set of pretty high end speakers. A set of Thiel CS1 L/R mains, a Thiel Center channel, a Definitive powered sub and a pair of Paradigm reference surround speakers. Being pretty ignorant to high end audio gear, for the last two years have been driving all of these with a low end Onkyo (TX-SR507) receiver. Well, a few days ago the voice coils / drivers in both of the Thiels decided to go away. I dropped the speakers off to a Thiel dealer here in town and am having the drivers replaced. The gentleman that owns the dealer has told me that I definitely want to be driving these speakers with a higher end receiver that will be better for driving a 4 ohm speaker like the Thiels. He has recommended two that are within my price point / budget range:

-Marantz SR5006

or

NAD T748

I have been doing quite a bunch of research on both of these models and quite frankly, my head is spinning and I have hit a brick wall as far as making a decision between the two. They are both apparently very good pieces of equipment. From what I understand, the NAD is well known for audio quality, but lacks the bells and whistles that the Marantz would offer. But I have also seen a lot of "talk" around the web of NAD equipment having pretty severe reliability issues. It seems to be mixed where people either love NAD equipment or they hate it. I also asked the Thiel guy about other brands / models such as Pioneer Elite and higher end Onkyo. He told me that the Pioneer Elite receivers are all digital and that in his opinion I wouldn't be happy with the sound quality and that the Onkyo stuff is good, but not in the same playing field as Marantz or NAD. So I guess I'm just looking for advice and opinions from folks that are more knowledgeable than myself and aren't trying to sell me something. So when I do go back to buy I am a little more...educated? Ok, before this turns into a novel, I'll leave it at that and look forward to any input!
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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Don't sell the Marantz short on audio quality. Marantz has always been a "music first" brand that kept up with the bells and whistels of the home theater industry.

The SR5006 is a fine receiver.

That said, NAD is a great company too, but you are correct, many of their products are bare-bones.

Onkyo makes the whole range (entry to elite) and their top tier stuff is really good; but I have always preferred the Marantz. You can't go wrong with any of these at that price point.
 

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I Agree, I have the 6005 and its a nice receiver for the money. Bang for buck I would look at the Onkyo 709. it can be found for really good prices on Newegg or at Accessories4less
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hey thanks Anthony and glad to be here. That's about what I was thinking and I feel like I was leaning towards the Marantz. So your pretty convinced that I will hear a noticeable difference in sound quality moving up from the TX-SR507 that I'm currently running?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Tony, it's funny that you mention the 709. I actually had that in my "shopping cart" at Crutchfield before I dropped off the Thiel's for repair. But when I spoke to the dealer he told me that in his opinion I would be a lot happier with the Marantz or NAD. But that 709 is almost $400 less than the NAD. Hmmm...:blink:
 

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The Onkyo 709 compares quite well with the Marantz SR5006. Both would be an improvement over the SR507 that you now have. I am a little prejudiced toward the Onkyo as I recently bought one. It had all the features that I wanted and the price was very reasonable.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah, still looking. And I can land the Onkyo NR809 for about $100 more than the Marantz and the same price as the NAD. This is overwhelming. I'm sure I'd be happy with either, but still feel the need to make an educated decision. Let me ask this. The Marantz only has pre-outs for FL, FR & Sub whilst the Onkyo provides pre-outs for the entire 7.1 system. How important is factoring this in if I decide to eventually upgrade my system with a power amp. Or is a power amp never really going to be necessary?
 

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I have a 709 as well, it has all the bells and whistels (8 HDMI in, 2 out, Audissey, etc) for a lot less than competition.

Audissey calibration is very good.
 

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As an owner of the Onkyo 809 model, I am slightly prejudiced. :bigsmile: However, I have seen it said quite a few times that Onkyo has one of the best amplifier stages available.

I am not familiar with the Marantz or NAD, but I do know that the 709 has preouts that will allow you to drive those excellent speakers with an amp should you ever fall prey to upgradeitis (and Lord knows we all do :coocoo:).
 

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Yeah, still looking. And I can land the Onkyo NR809 for about $100 more than the Marantz and the same price as the NAD. This is overwhelming. I'm sure I'd be happy with either, but still feel the need to make an educated decision. Let me ask this. The Marantz only has pre-outs for FL, FR & Sub whilst the Onkyo provides pre-outs for the entire 7.1 system. How important is factoring this in if I decide to eventually upgrade my system with a power amp. Or is a power amp never really going to be necessary?
A bit late with my 1st post it seems. :bigsmile:

Think of it this way - when reading the specs for the 809, you will more than likely see that it says 135W per channel. However, this is not 135W across all seven channels - this is across 2 channels. If you are running a 7.X system, more than likely you will be quite a bit less than 135W when running all seven. That said, you will probably find that if you ever do purchase an amp, your performance will improve dramatically.

So, to use my own as an example, I will be using 2 powered subs that are wired to the sub preouts. I will be running an Emotiva XPA-5 to drive the L/C/R and side surrounds and the 809 will be running the rear surrounds (thus getting 135W per).
 

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The Onkyo's have much larger power supplies than the competition so driving all 7 channels would still do much better than any of the oter manufactures. The Onkyo 609 is rated at 100watts per ch and was benched tested to do better then 85 watts per ch. A lot of receivers loose almost 50% of their rated output when driving all channels. Onkyo has always been very good.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah, I currently live in a relatively small (about 500 sq ft) loft apartment. Due to the layout and room size I am only running a 5.1 system. So I won't be drawing power for a 7.1, but have been told none the less that the Thiels will sound way better being driven by a good power amp. I guess at this point it's a toss up between the Marantz 5006 and the Onkyo NR809.
 

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I guess at this point it's a toss up between the Marantz 5006 and the Onkyo NR809.
If its between those two then the 809 is much better, you get THX certification giving you some very useful processing modes, The amp section is much stronger than the Marantz and you get the very best video processing up to 4K something that no other manufacturer gives at this point in that price range.
 

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Just Kurt said:
I guess at this point it's a toss up between the Marantz 5006 and the Onkyo NR809.

Onkyo will almost always beat a Marantz when it comes to bells whistles and specs, its their forte. However I highly recommend you actually listen to the Marantz as thats their forte. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
See, I'm glad I found this site. Got some good advice and my opinion and options have swayed a bunch. Now it's looking like the winner is gonna be a refurbed Marantz SR6006 from accessories4less.
 

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Congratulations on your purchase! The Marantz is well built receivers and should last a long time. Enjoy the better sound that you will get from your Thiels.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, haven't purchased anything yet. Still doing some forum hopping. But maybe this is a mistake. Too many opinions start to become overwhelming. But i did find a forum strictly based on the Marantz SR6006 and the reviews are hit or miss. A lot of people seem to really like them, but the same people also complain of several different small issues they have ran into with this AVR.

On the other hand, I found a forum based strictly upon the Onkyo NR809 and hands down, everybody raves about it. I just don't know how much of a difference the sound quality is going to be between the Marantz and the Onkyo. And what makes the $400 price difference of the Marantz worth the extra money?
 

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Well, haven't purchased anything yet. Still doing some forum hopping. But maybe this is a mistake. Too many opinions start to become overwhelming. But i did find a forum strictly based on the Marantz SR6006 and the reviews are hit or miss. A lot of people seem to really like them, but the same people also complain of several different small issues they have ran into with this AVR.

On the other hand, I found a forum based strictly upon the Onkyo NR809 and hands down, everybody raves about it. I just don't know how much of a difference the sound quality is going to be between the Marantz and the Onkyo. And what makes the $400 price difference of the Marantz worth the extra money?
Kurt,

I could be wrong (and I usually am - just ask my wife :whistling:), but I think once you get to choosing between newer AVRs, there really is no significant difference in sound quality. It really comes down to the features that are most important to you. I think this is the reason you seen so many people raving about the 809 - not only is it packed with features, it also has the best amplifier stage as well as all the preouts.

As many people have said to me - study, make a choice, and don't look back. :bigsmile:
 

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I tend to disagree that there really is no significant difference in sound quality between receivers. While I have not owned the receivers in question here I did have a Denon 4311, Marantz AV7005 and now own the Onkyo 5508 which IMO just sounded a lot better for movies.

All these are pre-amps (except the Denon 4311 but I used it in pre-amp mode) but the same amp and system was used in the same room of my home.

I would say the Denon and Marantz (which are sister company's) have a laid back sound compared to the Onkyo which might actually favor a Thiel system. If movies are you main concern then I say get the Onkyo, if music is your first priority than the Marantz.
 
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