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Please help me in finding an audio receiver to fit my needs!

by manacok / October 8, 2009 1:03 AM PDT


I am looking for a setup (or at least the receiver) to accomplish the following:

Receiver would go in my kitchen, and would ideally mount under a cabinet (so slim profile, bottom venting a plus, and I still have good counter space under it), it can be audio only if that helps. I need it to have at least 2 (A/B) speaker set outs, and it only needs to be 2 channel. I would need it to have an optical in and an analog in at least.

My deck is right behind my kitchen wall, so my goal is to have some speakers inside, and some outdoor speakers running here too. The input sources would be either iPod or MacBook.

I could realistically spend around $600 on a receiver that could accomplish all of this. The slim profile is very important and will be of huge importance to my wife, who ultimately decides what I can and can't put into the kitchen.

Thanks in advance!

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What are the max
by givemeaname / October 8, 2009 4:10 AM PDT

dimensions it can be?

The biggest problem will be bottem vents, remember heat rises.

Yes $600 is more the you need for this really, maybe better to get a $400 2 zone stereo and use the extra money for better speakers.

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How about stowing it in a bottom cabinet somewhere and
by minimalist / October 8, 2009 4:25 AM PDT

getting an RF remote? (Logitech Harmoney makes a few) Or use iTunes to feed it via an airport express and use an iPod Touch or iPhone connected to your wireless network as a remote to control the music? (it controls volume and selects speaker zones too)

Taking away the bottom venting and ultra slim profile would mean you could choose just about any receiver you like.

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Thanks for the reply
by manacok / October 8, 2009 6:28 AM PDT

When you say that the iPhone remote can select speaker zones, you mean it can choose Airport Express zones right? I didn't think I could use one Airport and one Receiver, and have the remote change between receiver zones correct? Not that it's a huge deal, I do like this solution a lot because I feel its more flexible and open to further expansion (i.e. second floor).

One question, if I went with this, and used the Airport Express on an existing 802.11g network, rather than making it the access point to use 802.11n, would the audio quality degrade when using mini toslink to connect to the receiver instead of analog? I would hate to have to move my modem up to the kitchen as well.

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Sorry about that.
by minimalist / October 8, 2009 9:47 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks for the reply

You are correct. You can control the overall volume from the iPhone/iPod Touch but you'll still have to manually switch the speaker zones on the receiver itself. Unless you want to get a Harmony RF remote to control the receiver in addition the the apple remote which would control your songs which seems like overkill considering its just two Zones.

If its just an occasional thing, I'd probably just live with switching the zones on and off manually and control everything else with the Apple remote. Its a nice solution nice because you can take the remote outside with you and control the music from there.

On caveat, wired connections generally work better than wireless ones. My microwave cuts out the airport stream all the time. I eventually ran a cat 5 cable under the house connecting my living room and the computer area so all my devices are wired now.

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