AV Receiver - what feature could you not live without?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by helvetica, Jul 14, 2015.

  1. helvetica

    helvetica
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Messages:
    99
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Ratings:
    +5
    Choosing an AV Receiver soon, I'm at the entry level end of the budget, and I'm tempted to go for the very cheapest Yamaha / Pioneer / Onkyo but just wondering is it worth stepping up a model or two for a specific feature?

    E.g. Bluetooth, Ethernet port, wifi, 6 HDMI ports etc. What feature set was worth the upgrade for you?
     
  2. Rick84

    Rick84
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Messages:
    2,577
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Doncaster
    Ratings:
    +627
    It's the sound that matters to me so which ever unit sounded the best within a given budget. Then probably actual connectivity, not bothered about bluetooth, wifi etc.
     
  3. helvetica

    helvetica
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Messages:
    99
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Ratings:
    +5
    I only have experience with NAD and Pioneer, do you have any thoughts on which of the three I'm looking at might have the best sound, or is it too objective? Buying online so I can't get into a store for a listen myself.
     
  4. masopa

    masopa
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2003
    Messages:
    94
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Ratings:
    +17
    I'm afraid to say if you're used to high end stereo audio with NAD etc, you're likely to be somewhat unimpressed with an AVR's capabilities at reproducing high fidelity sound.

    Don't get me wrong, it's totally listen-able and enjoyable but it's not high quality. Think about the economics - you're splitting your spend between a fairly complex decoder, a pre-amp managing 7+ channels rather than two and seven or more power amp units plus a PSU capable of feeding all that. Each of the latter might only cost £20-25 each in a £300 system!

    Get out and listen and pick one you like.

    I have an ancient AVR with few features and don't miss Bluetooth or streaming as I have other devices which do that. A good universal remote is handy though...
     
  5. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
    Distinguished Member AVForums Sponsor

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2002
    Messages:
    28,930
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    The Borders
    Ratings:
    +3,573
    'None of the above' - as others have said sound quality counts way above any of the 'features' you list.

    A bit more background on current system, room, room layout and why the search for a budget AVR would be handy.

    Joe
     
  6. Rick84

    Rick84
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Messages:
    2,577
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Doncaster
    Ratings:
    +627
    If your unable to demo then you'll have to rely on the returns policy of the company your buying from. In a way it's a good thing because you'll get to have the AVR in your home to make your own mind up.
     
  7. helvetica

    helvetica
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Messages:
    99
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Ratings:
    +5
    The room is a 10m x 4.5m basement. An Optoma hd141x will project to the long wall. Mordaunt-short premiere will provide 5.1 sound. Polished Concrete floor, and hollowcore ceiling provide echoey acoustics! No furniture in there yet which might help. My current amp has no HDMI so I need an AV amp. I'm broke after building a house but no AV receiver means no AV! So I'm getting the cheapest new one I can find. Any advise would be greatly appreciated lads.
     
  8. Rick84

    Rick84
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Messages:
    2,577
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Doncaster
    Ratings:
    +627
    Is "new" a must ?
     
  9. helvetica

    helvetica
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Messages:
    99
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Ratings:
    +5
    No but here in Kildare (near Dublin) there are VERY few decent amps for sale, for a reasonable price, and shipping costs from the UK where there is a much larger selection puts a value 2nd hand receiver into new money territory.
     
  10. Rick84

    Rick84
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Messages:
    2,577
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Doncaster
    Ratings:
    +627
    Ah ok, fair enough.
     
  11. masopa

    masopa
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2003
    Messages:
    94
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Ratings:
    +17
    I'm a bit unclear - apart from the MS speakers and projector, what other kit do you own that you could put in there? You mention NAD and Pioneer - what are these (amp/DVD etc.?)

    I'm just wondering if there's some alternative solution to buying a (being honest) fairly crummy AVR when maybe you can use some of the capabilities of your existing kit, even if just on the front mains?

    What's your maximum budget for an AVR?
     
  12. helvetica

    helvetica
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Messages:
    99
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Ratings:
    +5
    My NAD is 20 years old, stereo speaker setup, and in need of repair - I only mentioned it in terms of experience I have with brands. The Pioneer VSX-415 is a great 5.1 system, but no HDMI ports, so I have to use a HDMI switch to collect all of my sources and spit them out to my non-HDMI Panasonic plasma with a HD fury cable. You know what, let me list the gear I have, and the setup I'm trying to achieve:

    amp: Pioneer VSX-415 (5.1, no HDMI, audio only)
    Projector: Optoma HD141x (still in the box since xmas)
    TV: Panasonic TH-42PA50EY 40" plasma (no HDMI, component / scart in)
    Speakers: Mordaunt-Short premiere 5.1
    Sources: sky box, PS3, will add more sources later.
    In-betweeners: Source to TV; HDMI switch, HD fury HDMI to component
    Sources to amp; optical audio cables direct to amp

    So a bit of a wirey mess in our current tv room really.

    New house setup-

    Basement room:
    TV: Projector ceiling-mounted to make a 4.6m diagonal image.
    Sources: PS3 for games & movies
    Speakers: MS 5.1
    Amp: ? could use Pioneer but have to keep all the HD fury mess, or get a new HDMI receiver
    Restrictions: If I want to hide the gear behind an MDF door, will the PS3 work? Need an IR repeater, or move the PS3 outside the shelf.

    living room room:
    TV: Plasma TV.
    Sky tv, might get an apple tv, or move the PS3 up here when I get a PS4.
    Amp: ? could use the built-in TV speakers for now? or use the pioneer if I get a new AV receiver
    Speakers: stereo. I have some old tannoys, and some sony speakers, they'll do fine for now

    Other details: We have a comms shelf ion another room, where the phone, broadband, coax cables come in from outside. Should I put the sky box in here with an IR repeater over cat6 cable, or just put one in each room we want it in?
    I have one cat6 cable going from the comms area to the living room, and one to the basement, so I could use this for an IR repeater

    Sorry I know this is complicated, but I don't know the best setup, and I have run out of money to buy new AV gear, so I suppose I want to get the best out of what I have, while leaving room for future upgrades.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015
  13. helvetica

    helvetica
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Messages:
    99
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Ratings:
    +5
  14. Member 581642

    Member 581642
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    11,106
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +2,501
    Any plans for other rooms having Video or Audio ?

    PS3 is fine behind a door BTW
     
  15. helvetica

    helvetica
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Messages:
    99
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Ratings:
    +5
    Apart from the living room mentioned above, the other rooms will eventually get sonos speakers and google play or apple music. No other video needed for the foreseeable future.
     
  16. Member 581642

    Member 581642
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    11,106
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +2,501
    You will need the Cat6 for Internet connection I suspect so i recommend in this case to have the Sky boxes near the TVs.
     
  17. helvetica

    helvetica
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Messages:
    99
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Ratings:
    +5
    I think where I'm at now is how does my old pioneer compare with the entry level Yamaha / Onkyo. I can't remember what I paid for it at the time but it sure seemed expensive!
     
  18. Member 581642

    Member 581642
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    11,106
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +2,501
    Yamaha is our brand of choice, try one would be my recommendation.

    Bargains if you are quick on the x77 models as they jump on the 4K bandwagon, 677 at £249 at richer sounds
     
  19. simonlewis

    simonlewis
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Messages:
    4,705
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    stockport
    Ratings:
    +1,757
    Would you be considering dolby atmos or DTS:X ?
     
  20. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
    Distinguished Member AVForums Sponsor

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2002
    Messages:
    28,930
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    The Borders
    Ratings:
    +3,573
    I would stick with what you have - a new AVR may be a little tidier around the back (who's looking :)) but overall it's not going to make much of a difference to your sound playback.

    Do you have the option to experiment with the Sub position?

    What screen are you going with - if it's a dedicated room a fixed AT screen built out to a false wall with speakers hidden behind it will work best.

    Joe
     
  21. George Sinanis

    George Sinanis
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2014
    Messages:
    857
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    46
    Location:
    Northampton
    Ratings:
    +172
    "I couldn't live" without a "good" room correction function/ system.

    For me Anthem's ARC is one of the best out there and can make average speaker setups to shine.

    Highly respected is Audyssey as well.
     

Share This Page

Loading...