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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, first post here.

Here's the situation: I'm starting to put together a home theatre system, and I'm looking for some advice from the great collective wisdom of the interweb. I'm an audio engineer by trade so I'm used to exceptional sound quality, but I'm not into spending huge money at home, at least not yet.

Currently I'm trying to get a great stereo system together and then build it up to 5.1. I already have an old pair of powered studio monitors that I'm going to use for fronts, but I need a receiver first. Now all the receivers I see out there today seem to be 7.1 and low powered. So I am looking for a 5.1 system with a good feature set(2-3 HDMI inputs, a couple of s/pdif inputs etc), high power (at least 110W, preferably 140-150W), and relativly inexpensive (under $1000). Also to add to this, my studio monitors are powered units so a receiver with pre outs would be nice as well. Am I dreaming? Should I just go and buy a cheap Yamaha receiver and be done with it? Does anyone make such a product?

To add to all this, it would be nice to have a unit which is DTS HD/Dolby Digital Plus capable, as I'll be adding a Blu-ray player to the mix soon.

For a system like this, do people usually go with discrete amps as opposed to an all in one receiver amp combo? If so what receivers are commonly used with discrete amps that have this kind of feature set?

Thanks for your input.
 

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The HDMI 1.3 AVR's that decode the new audio codecs are all 7.1 as far as I have seen. You seem to be spec'ing out a Yamaha RX-V3800 :spend: except that it is a 7.1 chan AVR. So what! If you only use 5.1 speakers then the AVR has more power supply reserve for the actually used channels.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the suggestion. I was actually looking at the V3800, but it's a fair chunk more than I was looking to spend. It looks like a great receiver, and it's good to know that I need to be looking for HDMI 1.3.
Is that true that if not all channels are being used, that the amps unused outputs are bridged over into the outputs that are being used? That seems very unlikely to me, but would be a cool feature if it worked.

The more I'm looking into this, the less I think that a integrated AVR/amp combo is going to be found to do what I want. What do people who use external amplification use for receivers?
 

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The best bang for buck right now is the Onkyo TX SR805 it sells for under $800 and has all the features you are asking for including HDMI 1.3, 130watts per ch using a Push Pull amplifier and a huge power supply.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The best bang for buck right now is the Onkyo TX SR805 it sells for under $800 and has all the features you are asking for including HDMI 1.3, 130watts per ch using a Push Pull amplifier and a huge power supply.
Wow that looks to be perfectly exactly what I'm looking for! Thanks for the suggestion. Just for due diligence... Is there anything else out there that even comes close to competing with this?
 

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Is there anything else out there that even comes close to competing with this?
Not for the price, Both Denon and Yamaha have receivers in this class but either cost more for the same options or are sacrificing something in power or options.
There are at least 6 members on here that have the 805 including me as well as several who have the 875 and 905 and none of us have issues with it and love it.

By the way Welcome to the Shack.
 

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Welcome to the Forum Hanwell!

Something it looks like you haven’t considered, in order to deliver the best experience, home theater speakers should be voice-matched. Typically this means identical speakers for the main channels, or at least speakers from the same model line. As I heard one salesman put it, "You don’t want that jet flying overhead to sound like a Piper Cub by the time it gets to the back of the room.” With the front speakers, when you have sounds panning from the center to left or right, it can be a distraction when the tonal characteristics change as the sound moves, especially with voices.

So, that could be a problem when you add the extra speakers to your system. If you’re “married” to those powered monitors you might want to pick up another one for the center channel, since the three fronts are the most important as far as voice-matching is concerned. But that means your receiver will need a center channel RCA output in addition to the L/R.

Also, I would expect studio monitors, which are designed for near-field, to sound a bit soft on high end when used in a hi-fi system.

Regards,
Wayne
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi guys. Thanks for your responses.

Wayne: I definitely agree about the voice matching, and eventually I will have a fully matched 5.1 set. I'm certainly not married to my reference monitors, and I won't be buying anymore of them. They're really more of a stopgap effort. Since I can't afford to get the system that I would like I'm just buying it in pieces. Starting with the receiver and using my existing speakers. Then I'll add a sub, and the some rears and a centre, and then replace the fronts. Even if I did decide to get three more studio monitors, the Onyko does have pre outs on every channel.

As far as near fields being a little light on the top end at 10 ft, yes you're somewhat right, but these particular monitors have built in EQ shelving, so I can boost the highs a little bit to compensate if need be.


DS-21: Thanks for your response as well. Personally I don't put very much faith in room correction algorithms. In my experience a little bit of EQ can't do much to overcome poor quality acoustics. Can't change physics unfortunately. If my room does need some treatment after the renovations(and it probably will, It's just a living room) then I'll invest in some proper room treatment.

In regards to power, as I said above, I'm not going to be keeping my powered studio monitors forever, and I'm trying to think to the future at what speakers I think I will have, so I don't have to buy another receiver. I'm thinking about the Paradigm Monitor 9's or 11's, both of which would work wonderfully in the 130-150w range.

On a side note, I don't really understand why so many home theatre systems vastly under power their speakers. For studio or live work it's optimal to have 2-4 or even 10 times more power in your amp than your speakers are able to "handle". That way when ever you need a quick power spike for a loud transient, the power is there without pushing the amp to it's limits, thus more accurately reproducing the sound wave. And unless you're running at ear splitting levels these transients aren't going to damage your speakers. Now I understand some people have kids around who don't know to turn things down when LF drivers start reaching out and smacking you in the face, but here it's just me and my wife doing all the listening, so those kinds of extended SPL's, aren't going to happen.


All in all I'm very glad to have found this forum. The people here seem very friendly and knowledgeable, and I can see myself spending lots of time here as I put my system together.
 
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