Question Budget AV Receiver comparison

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Tomathee, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. Tomathee

    Tomathee
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    Hi folks, I've been looking around and saw recommendations in various places about getting a Yamaha YHT1810 as a beginner system (receiver+ 5.1 speakers). Now I've looked around a bit further I've noticed a couple of features mentioned that subject to budget I'd like but I'm not sure it includes, there was a page on richersounds website but it's not working now and an old forum post I read elsewhere had contradicting answers.

    First is active subwoofer output, the argument I read was that if I wanted to upgrade either sub or receiver I'd have to do the other at the same time because that model doesn't (or does?) include it. Also that the parts are pretty much worthless if I did upgrade (again, on the if it is a passive sub and the amp doesn't support active). Second is HDMI pass through, which I understand would allow watching of e.g. Sky through the normal TV speakers without having to switch on the receiver, would keep me in the good books if rest of the household didn't have to find an extra remote or do any setup to put kids TV on in the morning etc. I couldn't find confirmation, so I'm either googling the wrong terms or it's named as a different feature, again if it has it?

    Should it come to pass that it has none or only one feature then I'd look at maybe going further separate and buying the receiver and speakers apart. I've noted the Onkyo TXSR252, Denon AVRX520BT and Pioneer VSX531 which I believe from reading specs and reviews all have both of those features but again not 100%. They go off talking about things such as 4k pass through which I don't know if it is the same thing. I'm also at a bit of a loss in deciding which is the one to go for, should I choose that route, stumbled on these features I'm now looking for so I don't know what else might be of interest in swinging it. I'll also have to start looking at speakers from scratch, see what I can squeeze from the budget.

    Thanks for reading and assisting.
     
  2. dante01

    dante01
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    The YHT1810 package does come with a subwoofer included. The issue may be that the included sub is passive as opposed to active? Modern AV receivers do not now include inbuilt amplification for a passive subwoofer so if you ever replce the receiver with a new one and still want to use the speakers you got with the YHT1810 package with that receiver then you'd also need to buy a new standalone active sub in order to do so. You'd also be very limited at to what you'd be able to replace the passive YHT1810 sub with if you ever wanted to replace the YHT1810 speakers with better speakers. The YHT1810 receiver cannot be used with an active sub and lacks the sub pre out required to connect one.

    Entry level Yamaha receivers do not include the HDMI passthrough in standby capability you'd get if buying a higher tier model.

    The Yamaha RXV381 or the 383 which replaces it would include sub pre out for use with an active sub, but not the passthrough in standby ability. You'd need at least the Yamaha RXV481 or 483 if wanting this ability. Yamaha term this STANDBY THROUGH and it is listed in their manuals under the HDMI settings.

    How much can you afford to spend on a standalone AV receiver and 5.1 speaker package?
     
  3. Rambles

    Rambles
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    The YHT1810 does come with a passive subwoofer, but has a sub pre-out so you do have the option of adding a powered (active) sub if you want to.
     
  4. Tomathee

    Tomathee
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    Thanks for replying so quickly, helpful info but a similar issue;

    I had a look further into the models I listed using the 'standby through' phrase as was mentioned and it seems the Onkyo and Denon do have it (from official/third party manuals) but not so sure on the Pioneer, all have active sub output (from RS website). I think I'll have to stick to £400 for it all as a limit, that would get me probably the Denon (£150) rather than the Onkyo (£180, unless I can find something to justify the extra £30), what would I be looking at for jumping up to the models you recommended, not sure I can swing pushing towards £500 when my original plan was half that.

    Then as a brief look at speakers, either at the cheaper end Denon SYS2020 (£150 but seems very small speakers, especially central one), Pioneer S-HS100 (£120), or pushing up to Onkyo SKSHT528B (£230) or Canton Movie 75 (£280), I guess if I can settle on a receiver and get it out of the way first as I have absolutely zero experience of speaker shopping.
     
  5. dante01

    dante01
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    You ideally want to be budgeting at least twice the price of the AV receiver for the 5.1 speakers. It would be even more preferable to treble the budget for the speakers if wanting to get the best you can achieve from the setup as a whole.

    Also look at bundle deals whereby you get quite sizable discounts if buying both the receiver and the speaker package from the same retailer at the same time.

    Here one example, but I'd not really rate the speakers as being the best for use with that receiver:
    Yamaha RX-V481D with Yamaha NS-P40 Home Cinema System
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  6. Rambles

    Rambles
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    @Tomathee Have you listened to any systems yet, and are you absolutely sold on a 5.1 system? For your budget you are really coming in at the lowest range of AVR's and 5.1 speaker packages. If they sound good to you and meet your current needs, then that's great. But, if you are hoping to upgrade from there, I worry that the AVR will not be powerful enough to drive any bigger speakers that you try to upgrade to.

    You might be better off getting a soundbar / soundbase for now and waiting until funds allow for you to have a bigger budget to start building a 5.1 system that has future expansion options. Or, even get a good stereo amp and speakers and sticking to that.

    Before you splash the cash, how about booking some demo time at a local dealer (eg Richer Sounds) or whoever you have local to you, and asking them to demo you £400 worth of equipment in both 5.1, stereo, and a soundbar, and see what you think?
     
  7. pat clancy

    pat clancy
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    Can I suggest you have a look in the classified here for an av amp and 5.1 speaker set up. You will get a really decent set up a lot cheaper.
    Avoid a sound bar or sound base if you want 5.1 surround sound.
     
  8. Tomathee

    Tomathee
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    Thanks for the suggestion, I've had a look at a few websites and bundles, adds a bit more searching to see if the included amp has certain features but could be promising. Out of interest why is that not a good match up, due to the speakers not being 2 or 3x the price of the receiver?

    Not visited anywhere yet, wanted to be armed with a bit more info and shortlist first. Definitely after 5.1, previous owner of the house we just moved into left the cabling and due to decorating I've had a use it or lose it ultimatum. To be honest several years ago I had a Sony all in one which did the job well enough for me. I'm not the most discerning listener and whilst I could in theory throw more money at it than the budget I'm considering the amount of usage and other things due to surface and need the cash, whilst leaving the door open to upgrade in future.

    Thanks, I've had a brief look, some may be promising but it's difficult comparing the features of a several year old model against a newer one. For instance I don't know what HDMI 1.4 loses out on compared to the currently available models.
     
  9. dante01

    dante01
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    Because there are at least five of them and an active sub, the speakers should logically always cost more than the receiver powering them. If you use the 3x rule of thumb then you usually end up with a good balance. The resulting speakers are then normally good rnough to exploit that receiver's audio abilities, but not so expensive as to exceeed those abilities. THe speakers influence how the audio sounds more than the receiver or amplifier does so you don't really want to compromise too much when it comes to the speakers. Speakers can also be kept and used with a newer receiver and usually last someone a lot longer than the receiver does.
     
  10. dante01

    dante01
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    Any version of HDMI prior to the current HDMI version 2.0, 2.0a and 2.0b versions will lack the ability to handle UHD 4K video, mainly because HDCP 2.2 digital copyright protection cannot be implemented with the older versions. You'd also need a relatively recent version of HDMI if wanting HDR10 metadata passthrough. You'd need the most current versions if also wanting the ability to passthrough Dolby Vision and or HLG HDR metadata.

    HDMI version 1.4 brought with it the ability to passthrough sequential 3D video and optional features such as the HDMI return Audio Channel (ARC).
     
  11. pat clancy

    pat clancy
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    Yes totally agree. The speakers make a big difference.
     
  12. pat clancy

    pat clancy
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    It depends on what sound format you want. Normal Dts and Dolby 5.1 are still excellent sounding.
    Or if you want Hd sound(I can't tell the difference from Hd sound to standard dolby 5.1) those amps tend to cost more.
     
  13. Tomathee

    Tomathee
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    Cheers guys, I've browsed the classifieds and tried to pick out some speakers, which should meet my budget and be a better match than buying new. I think I'll go with a new receiver though as it became difficult to establish features and what might be missing with all the varying ages of things available. Probably the Denon I mentioned towards the start as I couldn't find reason to spend an extra £30 for the Onkyo or Pioneer, however depending on the speakers i end up with could aid jumping to the Yamaha mentioned, which had things to justify the extra. Obviously I can't try out these from the classifieds so which sound like a good/better deal than others, in the view of more expert opinions, as I found it difficult to separate them with googling.
    Onkyo SKH410 (two separate pairs approx £80 each would have to find a central and sub)
    Kef E305 (5.1 but kinda blows the budget at £450)
    Kef 5005 (5 speakers, £250 so budget also blown once sub is added)
    Boston acoustics sound wave xs (5.1, promising at £150)
    Kef 1005 (also 5.1 for £150)

    There was probably others but I didn't have time to look at every advert and I'm on limited internet until sky gets activated. I guess the point to check is that something like those and the aforementioned receiver is a better setup than same receiver plus around £300 on a brand new set of speakers.

    Thanks as ever
     
  14. Rambles

    Rambles
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    Good work, seems that things are moving forward. The satellite speakers with an entry level AVR should work fine.

    Just be aware that if, in the future, you want to upgrade the speakers to full size bookshelf or floorstanders, you will almost certainly need a new AVR. The entry level ones that you are looking at will not be able to run a full size system very well.
     
  15. Tomathee

    Tomathee
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    Cheers, floor standing will be a ways off with little hands around to knock it over etc. Bookshelf perhaps, but given the timeframes and budget I'd rather stay basic on the receiver and have it on the speakers.

    I seem to grow the list as quick as I eliminate options. The receiver is still between the original 3, nothing really to separate them but I will at some point go into a shop and see if they can explain/show me the difference. Speakers I've looked closer at the classifieds and still remaining are the Kef 5005 set from my earlier list (with a sub to add), and two pairs of Q Acoustics 2010 that I saw earlier (missing centre and sub). The others have either since sold or didn't get brilliant reviews (however they were reviewed at a much higher price, so if compared to a set selling new at a similar price to their advert I don't know if it would improve on how they would compare). I also had another look at shop bought sets, for the peace of mind, seem to have crept up in budget to including Tannoy HTS101XP and Wharfedale DX1 SE on the shortlist.
     
  16. Tomathee

    Tomathee
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    Cheers, floor standing will be a ways off with little hands around to knock it over etc. Bookshelf perhaps, but given the timeframes and budget I'd rather stay basic on the receiver and have it on the speakers.

    I seem to grow the list as quick as I eliminate options. The receiver is still between the original 3, nothing really to separate them but I will at some point go into a shop and see if they can explain/show me the difference. Speakers I've looked closer at the classifieds and still remaining are the Kef 5005 set from my earlier list (with a sub to add), and two pairs of Q Acoustics 2010 that I saw earlier (missing centre and sub). The others have either since sold or didn't get brilliant reviews (however they were reviewed at a much higher price, so if compared to a set selling new at a similar price to their advert I don't know if it would improve on how they would compare). I also had another look at shop bought sets, for the peace of mind, seem to have crept up in budget to including Tannoy HTS101XP and Wharfedale DX1 SE on the shortlist.
     

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