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Discussion Starter #1
I wasn't planning on getting a new avr/processor for many more months, but I've got an old 2 channel NAD that crapped out on me finally, so I've decided that I'll be retiring my Outlaw 950 to the 2 channel system and I need to purchase something more up to date to fill it's void. I've not been following the AVR/pre-pro world for quite some time as I've been involved in other aspects of audio, so I'm a bit out of touch.

The system it'll go into is 5.1 with no plans to increase to 7.1 any time soon and the mains are all active with a PS3 providing the DVD/cd/BR. Since the speakers are all active, I don't really need any built in amplification, plus I have a bunch of amplifiers that are unused right now anyway if I did want to switch to passive speaker, so a pre/pro would be fine. Seems like they don't offer very good value compared to receivers these days though.

The main priorities that I have besides the obvious usual stuff are...

1. It must have a full set of pre-outs
2. It must have 1080P video upconverting
3. A decent set of HDMI 1.3 inputs. 3 at a bare minimum I guess.
4. Room correction EQ/software
5. This isn't absolutely necessary but I'd like it to be firmware/software updateable too.

I'm not stuck with a certain budget, but I do value bang for the buck and I'd like to keep it as thrifty as possible. I figure around the $700-$1000 range should be able to get things done.

As far as the built in room correction software...everyone seems to be enamored of Audyssey, but how do the others like MCACC, YPAO, EMO-Q and whatever Sony is calling theirs compare? If they are relatively comparable, I don't want to disqualify a brand just because they aren't packing Audyssey.

There are a bunch of models that seem to fit my basic requirements. So far I'm looking at these mostly...

Pioneer VSX-23TXH

Onkyo TX-SR707 or 807 (Also the RC-180 looks like a good deal?)

Denon 3310ci (this would be stretching the budget a little)

Yamaha RXV-1065 or HTR6280

Emotiva UMC-1 (I like this unit but I'm not sure if it has everything that I would want? Also it is STILL not released.:foottap: No other processors in this range come to mind either.)

Let me know if I'm missing the boat completely, or if there are reasons that I should favor one over the other, or should be looking at something else entirely? Currently I'm leaning towards the Pio...
 

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Hello,
Given your situation, a truly fortuitous one, I would go with an Onkyo PR-SC885 or PR-SC886 refurbished from Accesories4less. With no need for amplification, might as well get a SSP instead. Here is a link for the earlier PR-SC885 that is 200 Dollars cheaper:http://www.accessories4less.com/mak...-Channel-3-Zone-Preamplifier/Processor/1.html
According to the site, there is only one 885 remaining. Awesome value. Originally 2K.

The PR-SC885 is quite similar to the 886. The 886 adds ISF Calibration modes, Audyssey Volume, and a few other features, but nothing groundbreaking.

If wanting to see reviews, also search for the Integra DTC 9.8 (885) and DTR 9.9 (886) as they are pretty much identical. The Integra's do offer a longer warranty, but I prefer the hidden door of the Onkyo and omission of the silver volume knob in the Onkyo.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Correct me if I am wrong but I thought that the Onkyo 707 and 807 and most lower to mid end receivers do not upconvert any of the analog signals to 1080p I thought they only usually go up to 720P. The Onkyo 876 and up do however upconvert everything to 1080p. The 876 is a fantastic receiver even as a pre-pro it has a ton of features including lots of very useful THX listening modes and of course the Reon chip for video processing.
 

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Outlaw audio also sells the Onkyo PR-SC886. It's to cover their bet that the model 970 will be a flop because it took so long to get to market (that it may be obsolete by then).
 

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I will second the notion of getting the Onkyo 886 pre/pro. I own the Integra counterpart, the DHC-9.9, and I am happy with it!
 

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Hey Josh, were you happy with the 950's audio performance and features? Is the video capability the only reason you want/need to upgrade?

If I were wanting/able to spend extra money, the new emotiva preamp looks really nice for the price, and they are taking extra time to eliminate bugs prior to release-which is likely next month. Technical support was good when I had a question the other day.
 

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Emotiva's release has been pushed back further and further, so it's possible that it could be pushed back again. Their service and quality of products are great, nonetheless. If it does come out next month and is available, it certainly would be a great contender for your needs!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys. I'm way out of the loop on the state of the current AVR/processor field. Too much time reading about acoustics, subwoofers and speakers.

I've scratched out the UMC-1, because I can't wait for an undetermined amount of time for it to come to fruition.

Ironglen,

The 950 has been good to me, but it doesn't have the latest features in video, auto EQ and HD audio. Since my NAD 3150 gave up the ghost I now have a 2 channel system with no source unit. This is where the 950 will be going. I'll be killing 2 birds with one stone by getting that system back operational and also upgrading my main 5.1 HT.

Tony,

I have no idea about the video upconverting in the Onkyo 707 and 807. The literature made it seem as if they did convert analog signals to 1080p. I defer to your judment there. I'm not up to date on the latest developments in video over the last couple of years either. :hide:

I've received a pretty good offer on a Denon 2809ci that seems like it'll fill the bill. What do you guys think?

I've also been recommended the Onkyo 876 multiple times so I'll check that out as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I tell you what Jack...I'm digging what I see on the Onkyo 885/886.Especially the XLR outs:T I know that it seems to be the de-facto standard processor right now, but for some reason I thought it was like $1.5K, so I didn't even consider it. Hmmmm...Decisions.
 

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Josh,
The MSRP of the 886/9.9 is around 2 Thousand Dollars. Luckily, there are refurbished units available for less than half. Really nice processor, awesome price.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Yep, they are great processors! I've not had any major issues since I got my 9.9!

Regarding the Denon, they make good units. I only wish I could afford their AV1HDCI pre/pro, but that is too much for me right now.

The Onkyo/Integra line is a great alternative, especially for the budget oriented.
 

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I love my Denon receiver (3808). Wonderful unit, and as such that's what I recommend to everyone. One thing to look in to with regards to budget is that you can usually get a better price from their dealers. They won't let them post lower prices, but you can call and get them. I got like 40% off the posted price when I called 6th Ave (an authorized dealer). So look in to that and maybe you discover they are more in your range.

As for room EQ, I've only got experience with Audyessy and YPAO. YPAO I'm not thrilled with. It works ok, but nothing special. My Yamaha that I have in my living room has it. I'm not using it with good speakers out there, but then I don't think I'd want to. It's corrections are fairly coarse. My Denon has MultiEQ XT and man that is 100% worth the price of admission. Did an amazing job fixing the bass problems I have (big dip at 30Hz followed by big spike at 40Hz because of the room) and just generally made the speakers a bit more neutral. Real pleased with the results.

I can't say on the other ones, all I can say is that MultEQ XT works extremely well in my experience, at least when paired with good speakers.
 

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Hello,
Josh, if that PR-SC885 is still available for 799, I would honestly jump on it. The good thing about the refurbished units is they almost always have the newest firmware. In the case of the PR-SC885, this is important as early units had issues with the Reon video processor. These were actually major issues in that it altered the color space and the user video controls were disabled pre firmware 1.04.

Post 1.04, these units handled video quite well. In fact they were excellent. Later firmware updates addressed unlocking Audyssey Pro. Audyssey Pro usually involves having a Specialist Installer come over using a much more advanced Microphone and takes room correction to an entirely other level. Incorporates special curves and much more. Somewhat spendy as I believe it is 200 Dollars just to unlock Audyssey Pro. That is the license for it. This money goes directly back to Audyssey.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm battling with myself between the 885 for $800 plus shipping or the 886 for $999 and free shipping. Hmmm, I figure a $170 dollar difference...:spend:
 

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Josh, I really dig the upgrade in features between the 885 and the 886, so it's a no brainer to me to choose the 886. You gotta weigh the extra features to see if the cost is worth it for you.
 

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Hello,
For a 170 Dollar difference, I really might go that way myself. I suppose it depends on how tight your budget is. The ISF modes and Audyssey Volume upgrades to the 886 are really nice to be sure.
For that difference, the juice well might be worth the squeeze.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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I really can't wait until the newer models, the replacements to the 886 and 9.9, start coming in as refurbs. I actually want to make the upgrade to one of those, preferably the Integra 80.1, but the Onkyo counterpart would be good, too.
 

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Hello,
John, I cannot blame you. Being able to upgrade firmware via ethernet is truly a beautiful thing. Especially with the difficulties in upgrading prior Onkyo/Integra's, which unless very able, required sending in for upgrades.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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That's one thing I SORELY miss with the Denon 4308CI I had. Network firmware upgrades? You're right, the ability to upgrade in the comfort of your home, without much hassle is SO worth it. I remember I had an experience with my Pioneer Elite receiver where it needed a firmware upgrade. Long story short, it took over 2 months to get it back. I didn't even get my same unit back, I got a refurb. Why? Because the technicians tried and tried and tried without any luck of upgrading my unit's firmware, so I decided instead of waiting for a repair one, to take a refurbed that Pioneer offered
 

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The Onkyo processors are great pieces of kit and for Home Cinema they excell, the new 5507 looks interesting and has a very high spec, but like others have already mentioned the 885 and 886 prices are very hard to ignore considering what you get :spend:
 
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