Home Theatre Receiver technology?

bousozoku

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Jun 25, 2002
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Things have changed a lot since my current Yamaha receiver and its outboard Dolby Digital decoder from the late 1990s.

  • Dolby Pro Logic has been improved twice to Pro Logic IIx, I've seen.
  • dts decoders are usually a part of even minimal receivers now.
  • Dolby Digital seems about the same but has increased from 5.1 to 7.1 at even moderate prices.
  • Video upconversion is fairly standard, though only to S-Video on inexpensive receivers.
  • More expensive receivers often have Burr-Brown video DACs.
  • Multiple digital inputs are standard.

Are there technologies of specific interest that I should be seeking? I'd much rather stay with Yamaha since I know what to expect but I won't say that I won't consider other brands. I'm thinking that more than $800 is too much but it depends on how compelling the equipment is. $1000 would definitely be too much.

Thanks for your help!
 

eva01

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Feb 22, 2005
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I bought a 6.1 DTS sound system approximately 4 years ago, it is yamaha and cost about 400 dollars.

It is great. I would personally look into at least 6.1 with DTS

Mine

http://www.yamaha.com/yec/products/HTIB/HTR5650.htm

that is the 5650, i own the 5560 personally and it has been great

it came with component video and s-video also digital audio (coaxial and optical)
 

ksz

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Oct 28, 2003
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A very timely question. We're in a transition to high-def with the recent release of HD-DVD players and Blu-Ray later this month. Being sandwiched between the source and display, AV receivers are now stuck between a rock and a hard place. I think this is not a good time to be buying a new AV receiver for these reasons:

1. New audio formats like Dolby Digital and DTS HD (high bit rate versions) are not supported over HDMI 1.1 or 1.2. They are expected to be supported over HDMI 1.3 which we hope will be ratified in summer. If you're not willing to wait, be sure to buy a receiver with a 7-channel analog input.

2. Sony is delaying its new line of AV receivers until HDMI 1.3 is ratified. It is unlikely that existing AV receivers will be upgradable to HDMI 1.3 unless they are card-cage designs like some of the Theta, Meridian, and Onkyo models.

Having just purchased a Toshiba HD-DVD player and ordered a Samsung H710AE DLP projector to replace my aging Sharp 9600U, I am perfectly willing to wait until HDMI 1.3 is ratified.
 

jsw

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Mar 16, 2004
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What sort of setup are you looking to use this receiver with?

I've been happy with Yamaha, but I've been happier, both in low end and mid-to-high end, with Onkyo and Denon.

Since I can never seem to throw/give away good equipment when I replace it, I have an Onkyo receiver from 1983 which still works very well, and a Denon from 1990 which is also a trooper. My non-audiophile ears enjoy both brands equally well.
 

eva01

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ksz said:
2. Sony is delaying its new line of AV receivers until HDMI 1.3 is ratified. It is unlikely that existing AV receivers will be upgradable to HDMI 1.3 unless they are card-cage designs like some of the Theta, Meridian, and Onkyo models.
do not get Sony products for sound, whatever you do bouz i wanted to hurt myself for getting a sony receiver originally and watch it die in 45 days
 

jsw

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eva01 said:
do not get Sony products for sound, whatever you do bouz i wanted to hurt myself for getting a sony receiver originally and watch it die in 45 days
Agreed. 100%. Sony makes many good products (I've enjoyed their TVs). But... their audio equipment inevitably dies just after the warranty expires.
 

bousozoku

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Well, I'm planning to use it with an LCD t.v. that accepts 1080i but really only displays up to 720p. It has DVI, Component video, S-Video, Composite, and cable inputs. I couldn't care less right now about HD DVD/Blu-Ray players at this point. I'll wait until the dust clears and a single player will either handle both or the surviving format.

The speaker matter is something else entirely. I have a set of Bose 901 series VIs in the front but since newer receivers do not have pre-out/main in connections, I can't use them since correct use requires the active equalizer. I'll probably just keep them with the current system in another room.

I don't have a working turntable at this point, but I've got plenty of vinyl. I'll probably buy a Stanton turntable with optical output and use that. I'm not looking for incredible sound from vinyl. If the receiver doesn't have a phono input, I don't think it'll really matter.

The only Sony audio equipment I've ever bought were cassette decks. I still have one from the early 1990s.
 

eva01

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Feb 22, 2005
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The speakers that i plan on getting next to replace my aging bose are either yamaha or the 301 series from bose for the front and rear.

I don't know why (but everyone here says otherwise) but i enjoy my bose speakers a lot.
 

bousozoku

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eva01 said:
The speakers that i plan on getting next to replace my aging bose are either yamaha or the 301 series from bose for the front and rear.

I don't know why (but everyone here says otherwise) but i enjoy my bose speakers a lot.
Not everyone says bad things, but usually only the people who've actually worked in music and know sound say nice things. The cliché (wannabe) audiophile crowd doesn't Think Different. :rolleyes:

If I can determine the brand and size of a piano with the Bose speakers and not with some of the "much better" brands, I'll continue to skip the much better brands.

I have 601s in the rear but those have been discontinued. I may head down to the Bose Factory store here to see if they have any left.
 

eva01

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Feb 22, 2005
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i will say my stepfather has all cambridge soundworks speakers and they are very nice as well. Much older than my speakers and sound very nice. Those are the only three companies i would get audio equipment from presently. bose, yamaha and cambridge soundworks.

well enjoy getting your soundsystem up to date ^_^
 

yg17

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Aug 1, 2004
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I just bought a Yamaha 5.1 home theater in the box system for $400 from Best Buy. It's probably too low end for your needs, but its great for me, a college student who has a small room, and won't have money for a HDTV until at least after I graduate. The receiver, which is available seperately, model HTR-5835 sounds awesome, and has a metric shitton of inputs, including 2 optical and 1 coaxial.


After finally getting some toslink optical cables yesterday, I'd say digital input, whether its optical or coaxial, is a must. It's got awesome sound quality, I have my PowerMac connected to 1 optical input and I play my iTunes music over it and it sounds awesome. My PS2 is connected to the other optical input, and since I use it to play DVDs as well, I get 5.1 surround sound over that single cable (compared to 6 cables for analog 5.1 inputs). Plus, it sounds better.

As far as DTS goes, I have no idea what it means or what it does. All I know is that some of my DVDs have them, my receiver decodes DTS and it sounds awesome.
 

jsw

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Mar 16, 2004
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My philosophy about speakers is that the best speaker for someone is the speaker that sounds best to them. Bose is an odd case because so many people love/hate them because someone else told them they were supposed to love/hate them. Sheep.

I've always loved their "real" speakers but never been a fan of their "Acoustimass" line, but that's just me.

And the 901s? Classic (in a very real sense)! I love the sound and the look.
 

bousozoku

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Obviously, I love the sound, having an all-Bose speaker setup. I'd never choose their receivers or their Acoustimass line. If I go with something else, it would probably be Infinity as a quick first choice. I love a live sound. Perhaps, that comes from spending so much time behind the piano. Most people prefer the perfect studio sound.

I have a desktop Cambridge Soundworks Dolby Digital system for the computer that has never worked well, so they won't be on my list.

I'm really interested in newer sound fields, especially those created by Yamaha. Their Stadium sound field is always great during NCAA basketball season. I've seen that more music is coming in Dolby Digital format so that leaves less guesswork for the receiver.

Just once, it would be great to have audio and video quality at the same level, at the same time.
 

ksz

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Oct 28, 2003
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jsw said:
Agreed. 100%. Sony makes many good products (I've enjoyed their TVs). But... their audio equipment inevitably dies just after the warranty expires.
I have owned a bunch of Sony ES gear in the past and it never failed. Be careful about making generalizations. (Bose has felt the fury of generalization; whether it is deserved or undeserved is up to each listener to decide.) At any rate, I would expect most manufacturers to delay new high-end models until HDMI 1.3 is ratified. I want my new AV receiver to last at least 5 years.
 

TheMonarch

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May 6, 2005
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82-120-045-01.JPG.jpg

Let me tell you, the receiver alone is worth the price. I love this system.

Quick summary:
7.1 system
3 x Optical in
1 x Coaxal
4 x Component, Svideo, Composite
1000 watts, 10", 230 watt sub.
THD = 0.08% [Good thing, some Sonys are 10% at the same price range]

$400-500, depending on where you buy. Model: ONKYO HT-S780
 

Abstract

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Dec 27, 2002
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I don't think there's enough of a difference between 2 quality companies to worry about which receiver I get. I would worry about which type of sound the particular receiver is better suited for (some people like to listen to orchestras and such, others just pop/rock albums, for others it's movies and rock, etc), look at the types of inputs, and that's all. (I don't know or care about Dolby standards) I have the same philosophy for speakers......get it depending on the type of sound you're best suited for.

They're all quality nowadays, even if you buy Bose. You really don't have to spend ginormous amounts to get a lot back.
 

GroundLoop

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Mar 21, 2003
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For me, when it comes to speakers, there are only two words in my vocabulary...Definitive Technology. But then again, I have always love the warmness of bipolar and dipolar sound.

They can get a little pricey, but I will never get another brand of speaker.

Hickman
 

bousozoku

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Abstract said:
I don't think there's enough of a difference between 2 quality companies to worry about which receiver I get. I would worry about which type of sound the particular receiver is better suited for (some people like to listen to orchestras and such, others just pop/rock albums, for others it's movies and rock, etc), look at the types of inputs, and that's all. (I don't know or care about Dolby standards) I have the same philosophy for speakers......get it depending on the type of sound you're best suited for.

They're all quality nowadays, even if you buy Bose. You really don't have to spend ginormous amounts to get a lot back.
As long as it doesn't make me listen to Polka or Country, I think that's true. :D
 

jsw

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Mar 16, 2004
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ksz said:
I have owned a bunch of Sony ES gear in the past and it never failed. Be careful about making generalizations.
Point made, the ES line is considered to be very well built. I just shy away because of personal experience with all of my non-video Sony equipment. But I'd agree that the ES line is worth looking into... although I'd still go Onkyo or Denon in that price range.
 

dcv

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May 24, 2005
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jsw said:
Agreed. 100%. Sony makes many good products (I've enjoyed their TVs). But... their audio equipment inevitably dies just after the warranty expires.
Perhaps you were just unlucky. I've had my Sony A/V receiver for about 5-6 years now and never had any problems with it. I'd definitely buy Sony again.
 

ksz

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Oct 28, 2003
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On the subject of Bose, my parents bought a pair of floor-standing models somewhere in the mid 1980s (not the 901, but probably the 601s iirc). I still remember something truly remarkable about them: They were able to clearly reproduce reverberations from the crash of cymbals in a rendition of March of the Toreadors (Carmen, Georges Bizet). I played that CD on my B&W Matrix 804s, but the B&W did not come close, although the B&W does most other things far better. For some types of music, I used the Bose as a reference!
 

ksz

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Brian Hickman said:
For me, when it comes to speakers, there are only two words in my vocabulary...Definitive Technology. But then again, I have always love the warmness of bipolar and dipolar sound.

They can get a little pricey, but I will never get another brand of speaker.
My folks now have a pair of the big Def Techs with a 6 or 8 inch powered sub in each of the two main speakers. They truly rock the house. Music also plays very well on the bipolar speakers. The design is similar in some ways to the "Direct / Reflecting" idea patented by Bose decades ago. Nevertheless, I enjoy the more focused sound from my B&W 804s; these gems truly sing. Of course it helps to have good electronics up the chain to the source CD.
 

bousozoku

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ksz said:
On the subject of Bose, my parents bought a pair of floor-standing models somewhere in the mid 1980s (not the 901, but probably the 601s iirc). I still remember something truly remarkable about them: They were able to clearly reproduce reverberations from the crash of cymbals in a rendition of March of the Toreadors (Carmen, Georges Bizet). I played that CD on my B&W Matrix 804s, but the B&W did not come close, although the B&W does most other things far better. For some types of music, I used the Bose as a reference!
They re-create live sound better than most and for movies, I think they're great. If people want to listen to metal, Bose is definitely not a good choice but JBL is.