Next obvious Q: Receiver with opt-in? :)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by mkrishnan, Jun 7, 2004.

  1. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #1
    So based on today's announcement, I'm thinking I'm going to need a 2nd wi-fi router (one for home and one for my lab office at school or possibly my parent's place). I was thinking of getting a cheap non-Apple G router (Netgear or Linksys) but now I'm thinking of the new Express....

    So :) my current stereo setup:

    1) Technics receiver, pro-logic (not digital), ~550 watts total, okay, not discrete amps or anything.

    2) Pair of Bose direct-reflecting bookshelfs, set of CAW satellite speakers for surround sound, with base module

    3) Pioneer 100 disc changer

    I don't watch much TV anymore, basically never use the Pioneer anymore, didn't even hook up the CAW speakers in my last apartment of 3 years because I didn't like pro-logic (not enough channel differentiation).

    So, what do y'all recommend in terms of reasonably priced receivers (maybe <$400-$500) that can handle at least two channels, and possibly 5.1, that include optical inputs that are compatible with the new AEE?

    Also what do people think, is it worth it to bother with optical outputs to stream compressed AAC files? :(

    Ahhh, what fun little problems we have in our world. ;)
     
  2. keysersoze macrumors 68000

    keysersoze

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    NH
    #2
    Well, I got a Kenwood Receiver about 4 years ago that has opt-in, dolby DTS decoder and all the bells and whistles for $300. I'd say you could get a really nice receiver... check crutchfield.com.
     
  3. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    Thanks! $300 isn't bad at all. Kenwood is pretty livable. :) I'm a little mad at Crutchfield at the moment bc I bought a receiver for my car with an aux in for my iPod, and they set me up on an Aiwa rebate, which Aiwa refused to honor. :( And I was too busy to raise much hell about it.... I hate rebates anyway.

    But I'm just figuring, along the lines someone else said, if the assumption is correct that the DAC is in the AEE with everything else (and the PC only streams *digital* audio), then I'm thinking it'd be nice to have a better DAC elsewhere, i.e. my receiver....
     
  4. Elbeano macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Location:
    PA
    #4
    I don't think you can buy a receiver that doesn't have a built in DVD player that also doesn't have optical in. So you shouldn't have anything to worry about there. You're not going to find anything under 600 or 700 dollars that is more powerful than 100 watts per channel either. That means the difference between a 5x100 watt 300 dollar receiver and a 600 dollar one with the same amount of power is just going to be additional inputs or something to that effect. My friend has a sony that has 2 component inputs, and like 4 optical inputs. However, he doesn't use both of the component ones, and he only has 2 optical devices. I, on the other hand, got a sony package deal at best buy that was 300 dollars with all of the speakers, including a powered sub and all of the cables. It only had one optical, but I got an optical splitter with 6 inputs at radio shack for 100 bucks (not cheap, but gets the job done very well). Consequently, he's jealous. Not because mine is better, but because it's almost as good as something he paid well over 2,000 dollars for.

    I don't know where exactly I'm going with this, but I think I'm basically getting at not spending more than 300 dollars on a receiver. I would also personally consider getting one of those package deals in the 300-500 dollar range that includes speakers and a powered sub. Then try to sell whatever you have now, unless you have some speakers that you are very attached to. Mostly because if you have a pro logic system now, depending on how many speakers you have, you may end up having to buy more. One sub purchased individually can set you back a few bills. That's on top of whatever receiver you end up getting.

    Just something to think about. It might also be nice to have 2 receivers. One for your iTunes, and another one to add to your home theater. Remember, the optical connection is not going to improve anything over what you already have since the source material (music from iTunes) is only in stereo. It's just going to make sure it's as good as it can possibly be, but you're going to be wasting the 5.1 because there is no way that you can output dolby digital or DTS anyway. If you have a decent system, even if it's not 5.1, it could still sound about as good as whatever you had in mind with an optical connection. For example, I hook my PB up to my stereo with just a good old headphone plug to stereo RCA cable adapter. It sounds better than hooking up my PC with the onboard optical from the motherboard. That could have been because the onboard stuff sucked, but I think it's still a decent example. Basically my 320k mp3's sound better through non digital means than my "Windows Media Lossless" (800-1200k) songs did through optical.

    Allright, that counts as an official Bean rant, coming in at just over 500 words.
     
  5. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #5
    I don't think you meant a "built in DVD player" - most receivers don't have built in DVD players. Almost any receiver on the market has at least 2 optical digital ins.

    Also, there are plenty of receivers under $600-700 that pump more than 100 watts/channel. 95% of users don't need more power than that. Try cranking a 100 watt max source up all the way - your ears will hurt. Sony makes great receivers that last. Onkyo and Denon make great ones too - but are a little more pricey.

    [From Bestbuy.com] Here is a 7.1 receiver from Sony for $299

    [​IMG]

    And another 6.1 version for $199 (only 2 opt inputs, 1 coax)
    [​IMG]
     
  6. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #6
    Wow! I had no idea optical inputs had become so common. I think I'm staying away from the built-in DVD and combo-with-speakers options though. I definitely don't care for the sound of those speakers vs. reasonable bookshelf units....
     
  7. Elbeano macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Location:
    PA
    #7
    I did, in fact, mean a receiver with a dvd player built in. They are very common now. Every major manufacturer makes one. Basically the unit has the dvd player in it, and the places to plug in the non powered speakers. The disadvantage to these products is obviously expandability. Most of them lack anything but the video outputs, so they don't have either a coax digital or optical in. That was the point I was making about those, they would not have optical in, because it's unnecessary if the decoding is done in the same unit for the 5.1.

    Also if there are any name brand receivers that are putting out more than 100 watts (at 8 ohms) per channel for under 600 dollars, I'd like to see them. As soon as you move to 120 watts or above, you're looking at a whole new price ballpark. That was the point I was making on that issue though, if he has the speakers then those would be great options.

    However, if he would have to buy more speakers (which means potentially more wire and all the other fun little nickel and dime things that add up when putting together a home stereo) that 200-300 dollar receiver that doesn't come with anything more than the unit is going to quickly cross his price limit because of everything that goes along with it. I was presenting the option of one of the speaker/receiver packages in combination with an optical switcher as an alternative to just buying a receiver and anything else he might need to take a dolby pro logic system to something that is completely 5.1.
     

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