Some help on which AV Receiver

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by iainkane, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. iainkane

    iainkane
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    Messages:
    52
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ratings:
    +0
    I've already had some help on the speakers front, but wondered if I could get some advice on an AV receiver.

    So here is where I am up to, I have been having a look at speakers and AV receivers. So far I have seen enough to blow a small mortgage on which obviously I am not keen on doing. I've seen quite alot of speakers and even if my budget won't stretch to kef kht 5005's then I think I might go for one of the kef egg sets, going to speak to Richersounds and maybe see if I can hear some of them.

    Now stage 2 av recevier. I have seen quite a few with lots of cool things like wireless pc connectivity for internet radio and upscaling etc along with all of the technical input output info. Some basic questions given my current connectivity requirements which would ideally be

    TV
    Sky+ / HD
    PS3
    DVD Recorder
    iPod Dock of some kind - maybe Onkyo DS-A2X iPod Docking Station (on creativeaudio is it any good)
    some sort of wireless laptop connectivity - saw something on creativeaudio as well

    I want to use this as a complete integrated entertainment system.

    How many inputs and outputs do I need allowing for some space for future upgrades, and what sort of inputs?

    What sort of ratio of price of receiver to speakers would be normal and is it worth spending extra on the receiver or the speakers? I think basically if you were to spend an extra £100 or £200 would you get the biggest improvement in performance by spending it on the receiver, speakers or a bit of both?

    What sort of extras would be most benficial to have on the receiver, 7.1, upscaling, bi-amping (what is this I've seen it mentioned?) andthing else?

    Thanks again for all the help so far, its an interesting learning curve.
     
  2. rwniel

    rwniel
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1,050
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ratings:
    +232
    Sky+/ HD - component/hdmi for video with optical digital for sound
    PS3 - hdmi with sound/video over a single cable provides the best quality output with blu ray movie soundtracks. There are a number of soundtrack formats such as TrueHD which can't be carried over optical. That would lead me to suggest you looking at both popular AV receiver choices as a starting point (i.e. the Onkyo 605 or Sony DG910) of which there are numerous threads already.
    DVD recorder - depends on model but probably component connection and ideally some form of digital connection for sound; either optical or coaxial will probably be available (depending on model).
    Ipod Dock - one of the pair of the RCA phono stereo connections plus in the case of the Onkyo DS-A2X a composite for video (- this model naturally integrates well with the Onkyo 605 amp).
    Wireless laptop connectively - same as the Ipod dock (i.e. a pair of rca phono inputs), or sometimes an optical/coaxial digital connection is available depending on model. The creative option you might be thinking of is the Creative X-Mod Wireless would use the former (- the transmitter part plugs into a usb socket on your laptop with the separate receiver plugging into your amp).

    Both amps mentioned would have sufficient connections for the sources mentioned, plus in the case of the Sony AV amp an extra hdmi input and an extra optical digital input. You'd have a spare component connection for future use, plus a number of remaining inputs for stereo sound sources. Additionally it's not the end of the world running out of connections anyway since as a last resort there are various switching solutions for video or audio you can add, or converters to change an optical digital connection to coaxial digital for surround sound and visa versa.

    I'd suggest that a 5.1 surround system is enough unless you have a very large room; the extra speakers (6.1 or 7.1) are basically for filling in the space for rear surround effects. It doesn't have any implications for the front speakers (as there will still be left/right and centre dialogue speakers in all instances). Bi amping involves one amp taking care of the lower frequences (i.e. bass) and the other taking care of the midrange/treble as opposed to using a single amp via a crossover in each speaker which is the more general setup. You can tell whether speakers will be suitable for bi amping as they'll have 4 binding posts on the back rather than the usual two; there'll also usually be a link between the top and bottom pairs to switch between bi-wiring and bi amping. On an amp that provides 7.1 surround output you can often use the rear channels as an alternative. They work on the basis that crossovers waste quite a bit of power and therefore degrade the signal, but if this is your first surround system it's not something I would concern yourself with TBO.

    Going to demo a few different speakers is a good suggestion once you have set your overall budget; expect to be spending around £500-£700 for an av receiver/5.1 surround speaker package plus suitable cables. You can of course spend a lot more. It's not always that one particular speaker package is 'better' than another as such, just that it introduces a different kind of "tone" to the sound being output which a particular person prefers. Or it may be that some packages are more easily stand/wall mounted than others. So there are a few considerations that you have to match to your own individual requirements.

    Robert
     
  3. iainkane

    iainkane
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    Messages:
    52
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi Robert

    Thanks for all this, think I need to spend some time and research all these alternatives. I've seen and looked at the Onkyo 605 and it seems great. I'll review the Sony one and see what I think of it.

    I'll let you know where it goes but £500 was a rough budget but its good to know a really good set up is achievable on that budget.

    Iain
     
  4. iainkane

    iainkane
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    Messages:
    52
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi all

    I was wondering if you could help me, I have been looking on richer sounds and creative at av receivers. I had been looking at the Onkyo 505E mainly, but I had seen Denon 1507. The Denon was coming in at £120 instead of £250. How does the Denon compare with the Onkyo and is it worth speding the £250 instead of £120 as the Denon seems to have what I need in terms of input output etc. I have about £500 ish for the system and I am wondering if saving £130 on the receiver and spending it on the sub and speakers would be a good move?
     
  5. rwniel

    rwniel
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1,050
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ratings:
    +232
    The Denon AVR1508 is probably the AV amp more closely comparable to the Onkyo 505 given that it has hdmi inputs and sounds broadly similar; if you're happy to connect hdmi sources directly to your television (leaving the amp just to handle surround sound) then the AVR1507 is still a good model. Obviously you would be losing out on being able to handle 'high def' sound formats from the PS3 (over the Onkyo 605 and the Sony DG910). The AVR1507 is quite a bit cheaper because it's an older model and hence stocks are being cleared - that's not to say it's a bad amp. You may well prefer it for music over the 505. If I had to try and describe the difference between the Denon 1507 and the Onkyo 505 I'd say the latter has a bit more 'kick' to it. Maybe consider the Denon AVR1907 instead (another clearance model) since it comes in somewhere inbetween the two?

    It's tricky to give absolute recommendations though, because you would need to decide which combination of amp/surround speakers had the best 'sound' and other features for your specific tastes. That's not to say that demoing them in a store is going to mean they would sound the same in your own room anyway as there are many factors that influence things.

    Robert
     
  6. iainkane

    iainkane
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    Messages:
    52
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ratings:
    +0
    I was just wondering about the Hi Def sound, would that still work with 5.1 speakers or would it need 7.1?
     
  7. rwniel

    rwniel
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1,050
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ratings:
    +232
    No it doesn't need 7.1; it'll work with a 5.1 setup.

    Robert
     
  8. iainkane

    iainkane
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    Messages:
    52
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ratings:
    +0
    So what are the differences between high def sound and normal audio output?
     
  9. rwniel

    rwniel
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1,050
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ratings:
    +232
    Here's a summary and explanation of the different soundtrack formats you might come across; high def soundtracks are encoded (on hd dvd/blu ray disks) at higher bitrates and better, sometimes uncompressed formats. They should be closer to the original master soundtrack recording.

    Robert
     
  10. iainkane

    iainkane
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    Messages:
    52
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ratings:
    +0
    Can I ask, if I was to go for a lower end receiver with more expensive speakers with the intention of upgrading it in 12 - 18 months what would the impact of this be? I am just thinking that the receiver part of the setup is the electronics bit and I would guess looking at different speakers would tend to fall faster than the speakers, therefore making iit a beter idea to hold off short term.

    Is there any chance of damaging new high quality speakers with a poorer quality receiver, if so then its not worth taking the chance and I'll just hang off a bit and save up a bit more money to splash out all in one go.

    It is just that my plan off attack is to get a complete entertainment setup in my new house, moving to a rather nice open plan apartment in a couple of months, and I don't think I could justify £1k on it at the moment. However, I could accept £500 - £600 at the moment for good speakers and a low end receiver with a chance to save another £500 or £600 for an upgrade to one of the Onkyo's or something similar in a year or so. It also means that I can but the little bits like iPod dock and new sub as I go along. Although subs are a lot more than I thought they would be.
     

Share This Page

Loading...