Undecided between 2 AVRs

NewGuy781

Novice Member
Hello all!

I am trying to decide between 2 receivers to use for music and for home theater and I would very much appreciate your insight.
(I am not sure if this qualifies as bargain since I'm just looking for opinions; please advise and I'll add the prefix.)

So, I currently have a Yamaha RX-V430. It sounds pretty good, but with music I sometimes feel it's missing some bass, mids, and overall quality/fullness when compared to a much older Sanyo stereo system (same speakers).

So I am considering to switch to a Pioneer VSX 520 S/K (used and comes with a 5.1 S-HS00 set up) but I don't want to switch and end up with the same humpf-missing feeling.

So the Pioneer (apart from hdmi inputs) is a newer model than the Yamaha, but well, new does not seem necessarily better anymore to me, hence my hesitation :p

If anyone has experience with these brands and/or has any spec-based opinions between these 2 receivers I would really appreciate it :D

I am of course going to go test and listen to the Pioneer before getting them, but I would also like some extra technical input in order to help me make a decision.

And regarding testing, any tips for testing are welcome; maybe a file/link/etc for a good quality home theater test it would be great! YouTube ones I have heard might not be so good due to all the compressing involved, but if I'm wrong please let me know :)

Thanks in advance!
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
I think you are going down the wrong path.

To get an AVR that sounds good for music, as well as movies, you need to be looking at an Arcam or Nad AVR, and starting price point of around £850, which is for a clearance Nad T758v3.

If you don't want to spend that much on an AVR, you are better off investing in a decent speaker switch such as the Beresford TC7220:


Which will then enable you to use any AVR for movies, and any stereo amp for music, and just share the speakers between them with the switch.
 

NewGuy781

Novice Member
I think you are going down the wrong path..

Which will then enable you to use any AVR for movies, and any stereo amp for music, and just share the speakers between them with the switch.

Ah ok, I think I see what you mean.. So at budget prices dedicated avs is the way to go basically?

Then in that case I can get one of those switches.. But then in the home theater camp, which model would be better in your opinion?

Thanks! :D
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
If budget is an issue, I would keep your current AVR for home theatre use, and put any available funds into the switch and a stereo amp for music.
 

NewGuy781

Novice Member
Do you mean that nothing below 800 is worth it? There is a budget but meaning +500 into an av for now isn't necessary cause I'm not an audiophile nor have 1k speakers.. :zonked:

Or where you specifically talking about avrs that can do both?
I ask cause I already have a good denon avr for music, albeit an oldie, which I like a lot. And was thinking about changing the home theater because the Pioneer I found "seems" good and comes with 5.1 set up.
So my revised question was about if the Pioneer would be an avr "upgrade" or not really.

About the switch.. I mainly use devices such as chromecast/roku/dvd which connect to the TV via HDMI and then via coaxial to the Yamaha avr. Is that switch to connect in between the TV and the avrs? To me it seems it's to toggle between speakers and avrs only so I would have to connect tv/dvd/etc to both avrs? I've never heard of those switches so sorry if it's a dumb question :D
Thanks!
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
Connecting your devices directly to the AVR via HDMI would be an upgrade as you would get HD audio. However, you need to make sure that any AVR that you buy to do this will be able to passthrough the video okay to your TV.

Do you watch 4K content, with HDR?

My opinion is that used AVRs are more trouble than they are worth. Lots of things can go wrong with an AVR, and technologies change a lot. Rather than used, maybe look for a previous model that is being sold off cheaper as the newer models are just released. Then you get fairly up to date tech and a warranty.

Which Denon AVR do you have that you like for music? Denon AVRs usually sound terrible for music, so, a standalone stereo integrated amp will almost certainly sound better.

The switch is for you to share a pair of speakers between an AVR for home theatre and a stereo amp for music.
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Do you mean that nothing below 800 is worth it?....

Or where you specifically talking about avrs that can do both?
I’m pretty sure @Rambles is not suggesting that avr’s under 800 is not worth it. However when it comes to both musical ability and movies, there are some brands that are better at it than most and are at a much higher price bracket than the Pioneer. As well as above mentioned, Marantz avrs are regarded well with music. But you are looking at the higher end ones.
It is also down to expectations as you have shown. To you, the older Denon avr sounds better with music than the Yamaha. Two different makes, one better with music. some one may say the reverse. For myself, if an 1.5k avr not doing it for me then there is little chance I be satisfied with a entry level avr .
Some folks say more of the older avrs (pre-hdmi) do sound good with music across the ranges than newer versions. Since current features like HDMI, internet, Wi-Fi, bluetooth, etc , weren't around then (and less channels), more money went into the components.

So my revised question was about if the Pioneer would be an avr "upgrade" or not really.

IMO, Not for music if that is the main aim. An equally price stereo amp will get the job done better, again IMO. If you can demo both types at the same time then you can tell for yourself.

The switch as explained, sits between the 2 amps - Avr and Stereo amp. Both will share the same front speakers. All visual sources can stay on the tv as is or connect to avr for HD Audio and the tricks that provide. All music sources connect to the stereo amp. There are selector button on the switch to swap between the amps. I’ve had the same switch and it is a great bit of kit for such situations
 
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NewGuy781

Novice Member
Connecting your devices directly to the AVR via HDMI would be an upgrade as you would get HD audio. However, you need to make sure that any AVR that you buy to do this will be able to passthrough the video okay to your TV.

Do you watch 4K content, with HDR?
Oh God, so how do I know about that passthrough, even with a new store-bought one? This is another new thing for me :D

I don't watch 4k stuff yet since my current TV does not support it (It's HD ready, up to 1080p), and the Netflix 4k content currently available where I live is not worth the upgrade yet.. So only if I see enough local 4k content in streaming services I wont be changing the TV this year at least.

Which Denon AVR do you have that you like for music? Denon AVRs usually sound terrible for music, so, a standalone stereo integrated amp will almost certainly sound better.

The switch is for you to share a pair of speakers between an AVR for home theatre and a stereo amp for music.

I think I misused terms saying "AVR". I have an old Denon PMA-300V, and it's only for audio input, so a quick google search said it's a "stereo integrated amp".. Sorry my bad :)
I mean it's not a 1k Hi-Fi stereo, but sounds quite good compared to all other commercial** stereos I've tried (read: kenwood, sanyo, aiwa, pioneer, sony, panasonic, etc., so not expensive ones)

Ah ok, I see, then I thought wrong about the switch, thanks for clarifying. :)
 

NewGuy781

Novice Member
I’m pretty sure @Rambles is not suggesting that avr’s under 800 is not worth it. However when it comes to both musical ability and movies, there are some brands that are better at it than most...
It is also down to expectations as you have shown...
Some folks say more of the older avrs (pre-hdmi) do sound good with music across the ranges than newer versions. Since current features like HDMI, internet, Wi-Fi, bluetooth, etc , weren't around then (and less channels), more money went into the components.
Thanks for the feedback! I didn't know that most AVRs don't do well with both, this was new to me as I thought that the point of an AVR was to have a "all in one" solution. But yeah, it makes good sense what you say about the new features and where money goes to building these things. Thanks! :)

IMO, Not for music if that is the main aim. An equally price stereo amp will get the job done better, again IMO. If you can demo both types at the same time then you can tell for yourself.

The switch as explained, sits between the 2 amps - Avr and Stereo amp. Both will share the same front speakers. All visual sources can stay on the tv as is or connect to avr for HD Audio and the tricks that provide. All music sources connect to the stereo amp. There are selector button on the switch to swap between the amps. I’ve had the same switch and it is a great bit of kit for such situations
Thanks for the clarification too on the switch, I'll keep it in mind!

Ok, so then maybe for music I will stick to the for now Denon.. and for home theater do you think the Pioneer could be considered an upgrade?

Thanks! :D
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
It will be an upgrade in terms of features. I.e. HDMI, HD audio digital inputs, etc. Not sure about anything else.
That Pioneer model is approaching 10 years old if not there already.
You might be better off putting the funds towards a newer model and take advantage of latest features. Might even sound better.

If you state your budget then appropriate suggestions can be given.
It will also help to list the speakers you are currently using.

The shs100 5.1 speakers, I haven’t heard and so cannot comment on them but just looking and reading up on them, you can do better. I reckon you should take a little more time and build up your set up in stages if funds are not available to obtain all at once.

Oh and a system does not have to be 1k to sound good. Even at 1k it can still sound dire if the matching between amp and speakers is not taken into consideration. If correctly match, a setup costing much less can sound great.
 

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