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Best digital audio receiver/amplifier?

by Josh K / November 10, 2005 5:19 AM PST

I'm planning out my media room and will need to add a digital/surround receiver or amplifier. I have the speakers and am narrowing down my choices for a TV. I can't spend thousands but I'd like to get the best sound possible. It doesn't have to have a radio.

Suggestions?

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Best digital audio receiver/amplifier?
by jcrobso / November 11, 2005 2:27 AM PST
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What about Denon?
by jacbec / November 11, 2005 4:04 AM PST

You might check out the Denon products. They are spendy but have some impressive specs. I like their built-in room calibration features, called EQ or Audyssy??sp. They also have a new product S301, I believe that allows you to plug in your Apple iPod and control all of your music with on screen menu.

Jack

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Denon is what I'm leaning towards at the moment
by Josh K / November 11, 2005 10:59 AM PST
In reply to: What about Denon?

They have some pretty amazing units.

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JUST BOUGHT THERE AVR-3805
by stewart norrie / November 12, 2005 4:17 AM PST

Also had the dealer set up the amp using a mic I also bought 5 atlantic Technology 4200 speakers along with there subwoffer Anyway this set up is awsome and sounds as good as systems costing twice as much good luck to you stewart norrie

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JUST BOUGHT THE DENON AVR-3805 AWSOME
by stewart norrie / November 12, 2005 4:08 AM PST
In reply to: What about Denon?

and Atlantic technology 4200 speakers and Subwoffer along with a old pair of cerwin vega speakers on the back wall The sound is awsome and involving. The dealer set up the system using a mic. any way this system really isn't hi-end but it sounds expensive good luck to you stewart norrie

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What about Marantz?
by jacbec / November 11, 2005 1:38 PM PST

I had Marantz equipment over 40 years ago (vacuum tube stuff) and it was top of the line back then. Haven't been able to find much info on their equipment lately.

Jack

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I remember........
by HTHMAN / November 21, 2005 10:14 AM PST
In reply to: What about Marantz?

I remember them from the 60s. At that time, I bought a top of the line Fischer 700T receiver(stll have it and it still works. Would throw it away, but it takes 2 people to lift it. Back then, it was pretty much Marantz, Fischer and Scott for top end stuff. Things sure have changed. Back then (1967), I paid 500 dollars for it-that is probably 5000 dollars in todays money. Pair those things up with the 6 foot high Altec-Lansing "Voice of the Theater" speakers and you had a system. If you wanted equipment, you went to a Hi-Fi retailer-No Best Buys or Circuit Citys back then. Life was good..

Thanks for the memories..

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Yamaha has the most features for the money
by technomojo / November 12, 2005 2:56 PM PST

I have been looking for a receiver to both take the place of a media box and provide high quality surround sound, for the panasonic industrial plasma monitor, and so far the Yamaha RXV-1600 and RXV-2600 seem to offer the most bang for the buck.

Both have two HDMI inputs and one HDMI out.

I have found very few receivers below 1500 USD retail that have two HDMI inputs and full analog to HDMI conversion, but I am still looking.

Both receivers convert analog input to HDMI and Component output, however you must choose one output or the other.
Both are THX sellect2 certified.
Both deinterlace 480i up to 480p.
Both come with automated speaker calibration using a mic.

The bigest difference that I can see is that the RXV-2600 upscales 480i to 1080i or 720p, while the RXV-1600 does not. For a monitor this is a nice feature, but if your TV does this already you could save a few hundred dollars.

Please note, however, that I am a shopper not a pro. You may be able to find something less expensive that will better suit your specific needs.

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(NT) Would you pair the Yamaha with Bose speakers??
by DieguezM / November 13, 2005 6:58 AM PST

Or go with a reciever that comes with the Lifestyle??

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That may not be possible. Proprietary Connections?
by technomojo / November 21, 2005 9:15 AM PST

Your speakers may have proprietary connections. If so, you will have to decide what you want and need out of a receiver and if your willing to sell the Bose speakers and buy others that will work with the "receiver" that best suits your needs.

If you have or plan to buy a TV or projector that already up converts your signal to 720p or 1080i, keeps the audio and video in sync, and has all the HDCP-HDMI connections you need, then you could save money on a less expensive receiver and buy better more versatile speakers.

Check out this thread on Bose
http://reviews.cnet.com/5208-6142-0.html?forumID=60&threadID=115163&messageID=1307952

Speaker Reviews
1
http://reviews-zdnet.com.com/Atlantic_Technology_System_920/4540-7868_16-31278848-4.html?tag=sub
2 You will have to sign up for free for these reviews
http://www.avguide.com/recommended/detail.jsp?category=10

In addition, If you are planing to buy one of the full 1080p tvs due out in 2006 you may want to hold off on buying a receiver, and wait for one that offers full 1080p signal processing and up conversion.

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Full 1080p
by jacbec / November 22, 2005 2:44 AM PST

I thought the new Mitsubishi 50", 62" & 73" as well as the Samsung 67" and Sony 50/60" SXRD's all were "1080p". I haven't heard about "Full 1080p", is that something different?

Jack

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Most only upconvert, But native 1080p Content is coming
by technomojo / November 22, 2005 10:03 AM PST
In reply to: Full 1080p

As far as I have been able to determine, none of the first so called 1080p TVs actually accept 1080p signals through any input with the exception of some HP models. I believe there was one White Westinghouse model, but I don't know that it is still available. The new Samsung may be another exception.

Many people don't think that 1080p is a big deal right now, but there have been some new developments in the high def DVD format war.

Instead of continuing to battle for a single HD format, electronics manufacturers and Studios on both sides have committed to releasing HD player/recorders and HD movies and media in both formats concurrently.

As a result, a wide array of 1080p content will be available sooner than expected via HD-DVD and Blue Ray. At this point, I understand that universal is the only studio not to have a licensing agreement to release media in both formats.

I have also heard that the new Xbox will also output a 1080p signal, but I have not confirmed that.

In any case, before investing multiple thousands in a home theater I want to insure that it will natively display the 1080p content that will soon be available.

I don't want to invest thousands on the cusp of 1080p just to loose detail and gain artifacts by having to connect using an interlaced or lower resolution input signal and then reprocessing it up to 1080p.

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have to upconvert most viewing
by sirroundsound / November 22, 2005 12:10 PM PST

there are a few sets available that will handle 1080P.
1080P content will be very limited. Just because HD DVD, when it becomes available, is capable, doesn't mean every disc you rent or buy will have been filmed or copied in 1080P. The vast majority of HD content on TV, now and later will not be 1080P, it takes up too much bandwidth and is a lot more expensive to deal with. There isn't any mandate forcing anyone to deliver 1080P, it was agreed that HD would consist of a variety of resolutions.

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Might want to wait for 1080p
by technomojo / November 21, 2005 9:34 AM PST

If you are planing to buy one of the full 1080p tvs due out in 2006 you may want to hold off on buying a receiver, and wait for one that offers full 1080p signal processing and up conversion.

Instead of continuing to battle for a single HD format, electronics manufacturers and Studios on both sides have commited to releasing HD player/recorders and HD movies and media in both formats concurrently. As a result, a wide array of 1080p content will be available sooner than expected via DVD.

Looks like another Beta Vs VHS style consumer choice referendum will have to settle the format argument once again.

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Simply use receiver for audio only?
by Dan Filice / November 22, 2005 2:56 AM PST

Regardless of the TV, one could take the easy route and simply us the receiver for audio-only processing. That way no one will need to lose sleep worrying about 720p, 1080i, 1080p, etc. My Yamaha has component video switching, but I don't use it. Why add yet another variable into the loop? My DVD player and cable connections go directly into my TV.

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If your Monitor, Projector, or TV of choice has a Tuner
by technomojo / November 22, 2005 9:53 AM PST

Depends on weather your Monitor, Projector, or TV of choice has a Tuner or electroics that upconvert analog and digital signals to the resolution and scanning method you desire. e.g. interlaced vs progressive.

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Dan, agree with you on this...
by sjsh / November 28, 2005 9:15 PM PST

We both agree that these days with so many digital inputs into Monitors/Plasmas Et Al there is NO need to have video options in a receiver/amplifier, it ONLY needs audio. So why is it so hard/impossible to locate a single audio only unit??? Any fixes product options for this problem? After all it's easy to buy a DVD only unit why not a slimline high quality digital audio unit? Is there one?

Regards

Sam

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Good points already
by NM_Bill / November 25, 2005 5:32 AM PST

I'm no seller, pro, and not up on possible true 1080 products in the near future - just a 50 year music lover. Hope you've allocated as much as practical to those speakers. Fine, pleasing speakers aren't necessarily tech dependent. I've upgraded systems several times - never to any ultimate, but pretty damn nice.

For really solid price/value ratio and current tech I really can recommend brands such as Denon and NAD. For the latest enhancement I am glad I checked out and found a good independent audio dealer in business for many years. Sure, he does home theater, too and actually knows pertinent stuff. Being nice but firm I got for like 8% over online, and worth it. No hustle or pressure.

Those mentioned brands I woouldn't hesitate recommending.

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Receiver/Amplifier
by btonesr / November 26, 2005 1:04 AM PST
In reply to: Good points already

I have been looking for a while now and have come accross an Onkyo receiver. It is the TX-SR803. It has HDMI, component, svideo etc. It is THX select 2 and has all the bells and whistles you might want including ipod and xm radio. It is 105 watts per channel and is less than $1000.

The Onkyo page for this is http://www.us.onkyo.com/model.cfm?m=TX-SR803&class=Receiver&p=i

If you don't need or want the HDMI you might be interested in the TX-SR703.

Ultimately you are the only one that can make the decision on what to buy.

Good luck.

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