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Thinking about a new receiver (need suggestions)

Old 10-12-08, 02:47 PM
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Thinking about a new receiver (need suggestions)

I don't know if I'll have the cash to do it this year, but I'd still like to get something in mind to know how much I'll need, and in case I see any good deals at Xmas time. lol

Current receiver: Onkyo TX-SR604
My ideal receiver:
  • Preferably under $1000
  • 5.1/7.1
  • Bitstream with HDMI and decoding of everything
  • Must output ALL video coming in (composite/s-vid/compononent) from the HDMI
  • Must output ANY resolution thrown at it -- My SR604 refuses to output video with a Nintendo64 plugged into it
  • Must have an obscene amount of inputs and easy access to them. I'm thinking at least 4 or 5 HDMIs. -- My SR604 annoys me because it only has settings for 4 video devices despite having enough different composite/component/etc inputs to hook up like 12.
  • Front inputs not necessary, but if they exist I'd prefer they weren't locked down like the SR604. You can't set Video #4 to anything but the front inputs. Meaning you can only set the 6 hi def (HDMI/component) inputs to Video 1-3. Too limiting for me.
  • Menus on the TV screen. I would expect all receivers to do that by now, but you never know. My old Sony one didn't.
  • I'd love an RF or Bluetooth remote. I'm quite tired of IR. Not a deal breaker though.

Last edited by Viper187; 10-12-08 at 03:16 PM.
Old 10-12-08, 03:04 PM
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I know of no receiver that meets your "ideal" request.

Maybe the newest Onkyo comes close, but don't think so. And certainly not on the budget I'm "thinking" you are talking. Tho when you say "not a lot of cash", not sure what that mean. You better put in a $$ amount to get any useful responses.

What speakers do you have? And do you plan on upgrading them as well?

Oh and for your "ideal" receiver, should it have good quality sound? Or do you care? LOL

(sorry bad joke left over from previous threads). Tho since you mentioned Sony receiver, maybe not a silly question.

Last edited by Sdallnct; 10-12-08 at 03:08 PM.
Old 10-12-08, 03:13 PM
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I'm thinking under $1000. I'm keeping my existing speakers. 5x100w and a 75w sub I don't really use.

I saw a picture of a Denon one before that had a decent amount of inputs. This was a year or two ago though.

Last edited by Viper187; 10-12-08 at 03:15 PM.
Old 10-12-08, 03:21 PM
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Well, you have some problematic requests. The obvious choice is the 606, same level as you have, under $500. It's ridiculously popular and handles the first three items you list. But let's look at the other items.

- ANY resolution. Not going to happen. I only know of a couple devices that can do that, and they start at about $2500. That would be external scalers, MAYBE the top Denon receiver with a Realta processor, but the top Onkyo only has a Reon and I know it doesn't. However, why doesn't the N64 work? I've never had that problem with my Onkyo 898, with either component or Svideo. Mine is about 4-6 gens before your 604. What connections have you tried from the N64? Also, despite what I said, the 606 (and your 604) should handle any standard TV resolution, which the N64 should be giving it. I think you have a weird issue rather than a standard "feature" of the 604.

- Lots of inputs. The only way to get a lot more inputs is with a lot more money. But frankly, even the $5000 Denon doesn't have THAT many more than your 604. All receivers have a set number of usable inputs, usually between 4 and 7. The extra connections are just for options, they don't give more named inputs in the menu. However, you might be able to use the extra connections through careful usage. With mine, I can often plug in 2 devices to a set of inputs. One with component video and digital audio, a 2nd with Svideo and analog audio. The trick is to match the sources up to their wiring needs. And know that digital comes before analog.

You can also use external switches for extra inputs. Some can be seamless with IR control.

- Front inputs. I think this will always be locked down, regardless of mfgr. See the prior issue about physical inputs vs named inputs. That's just how it works.

- Menus: They all do this, now. Should through HDMI, too. Pretty sure the 606 does.

- RF remote. Not common, easier just to spend $40 or less on RF extenders.
Old 10-12-08, 03:27 PM
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Oh, and if you do spend less than $500, take the rest of your budget and get one of these:
http://www.svsound.com/products-sub-box-10nsd.cfm

You have no idea. Really. From what you said, you don't have a subwoofer, not really. This is a SUBwoofer.
Old 10-12-08, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Viper187 View Post
I'm thinking under $1000. I'm keeping my existing speakers. 5x100w and a 75w sub I don't really use.

I saw a picture of a Denon one before that had a decent amount of inputs. This was a year or two ago though.
But what speakers are they?
Old 10-12-08, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
Well, you have some problematic requests. The obvious choice is the 606, same level as you have, under $500. It's ridiculously popular and handles the first three items you list. But let's look at the other items.

- ANY resolution. Not going to happen. I only know of a couple devices that can do that, and they start at about $2500. That would be external scalers, MAYBE the top Denon receiver with a Realta processor, but the top Onkyo only has a Reon and I know it doesn't. However, why doesn't the N64 work? I've never had that problem with my Onkyo 898, with either component or Svideo. Mine is about 4-6 gens before your 604. What connections have you tried from the N64? Also, despite what I said, the 606 (and your 604) should handle any standard TV resolution, which the N64 should be giving it. I think you have a weird issue rather than a standard "feature" of the 604.
I don't know what native N64 resolution is, but the SR604 simply said "Not supported mode" when it was connected with the composite cable. I've seen my PS2 do the same thing though when booting the Action Replay. I think it was on s-video. PS2 games are fine, but not the AR for whatever reason. The TV supports it when plugged in directly, so why not the receiver? I don't get it.

Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
Oh, and if you do spend less than $500, take the rest of your budget and get one of these:
http://www.svsound.com/products-sub-box-10nsd.cfm

You have no idea. Really. From what you said, you don't have a subwoofer, not really. This is a SUBwoofer.
I don't really have space for or desire a sub. I rarely plug mine in.

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
But what speakers are they?
Sony speakers that came with a home theater in a box. They sound fine to me. I can't justify blowing money on anything better. This is a bedroom, btw, not a movie theater. They serve their purpose.
Old 10-12-08, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Viper187 View Post
I don't know what native N64 resolution is, but the SR604 simply said "Not supported mode" when it was connected with the composite cable. I've seen my PS2 do the same thing though when booting the Action Replay. I think it was on s-video. PS2 games are fine, but not the AR for whatever reason. The TV supports it when plugged in directly, so why not the receiver? I don't get it.
Like I said, that is just weird. Composite only has one possible resolution with the system in place in the country, and that is standard NTSC 480i. Same for Svideo, for that matter. I guess I'm assuming you're in the USA. In Europe it would be standard PAL 525i, still only one choice.

I can't say what these games might be doing.
Old 10-12-08, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
Like I said, that is just weird. Composite only has one possible resolution with the system in place in the country, and that is standard NTSC 480i. Same for Svideo, for that matter. I guess I'm assuming you're in the USA. In Europe it would be standard PAL 525i, still only one choice.

I can't say what these games might be doing.
U.S./NTSC... My VCR (Sony SLV-N55) actually has the same issue. I can't see the status (blue) screen or the menus, but I can see movies when they're playing.

Edit: Looked up N64. The resolutions it could supposedly output are 256 224, 320 240, and 640 480. Could that be a problem when the receiver is trying to output everything upconverted to component? Maybe component standards don't allow the lower resolutions and the receiver can't resize?

Last edited by Viper187; 10-12-08 at 04:59 PM.
Old 10-12-08, 06:10 PM
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Well, those lower game resolutions shouldn't be the actual signal. To match with TVs, it is still technically 480i. But obviously something is wrong.

There have been growing problems with upconversion in receivers, seems like yours is very touchy with the signal. I think they are better now, but I haven't played with it myself. I imagine there would owners threads over at AVS for many receivers you might look at.
Old 10-12-08, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Viper187 View Post


I don't really have space for or desire a sub. I rarely plug mine in.



Sony speakers that came with a home theater in a box. They sound fine to me. I can't justify blowing money on anything better. This is a bedroom, btw, not a movie theater. They serve their purpose.
Well, IMO, you are silly to spend a grand on a receiver with those speakers and no sub. And IMO your waisting getting the "newest and all audio formats" with those speaker and no sub.

You would be better off in overall sound to forget the newest formats, get a decent sounding receiver, upgrade your speakers, get a decent sub and if you need HDMI switching, just get a Monoprice 5 X 1 HDMI switcher. The monoprice has remote, so you can integrate it into a universal remote (like the harmony) and it will be seamless. Your budget would be about the same only you would have better sound.
Old 10-12-08, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
Well, IMO, you are silly to spend a grand on a receiver with those speakers and no sub. And IMO you're wasting getting the "newest and all audio formats" with those speaker and no sub.
I agree completely. There's no point in chasing the new high-res audio formats if you're going to use crap speakers, and Sony HTiB speakers are the definition of crap, no offense. You're just not going to hear an improvement.
Old 10-12-08, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by sdallnct View Post
well, imo, you are silly to spend a grand on a receiver with those speakers and no sub. And imo your waisting getting the "newest and all audio formats" with those speaker and no sub.
+1
Old 10-12-08, 10:30 PM
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Well, I'm not spending $500 on a goddamn sub. How much would a decent set of speakers cost? btw, I like the inputs on the Denon 5805, but that's obviously too expensive.


p.s. Is there any online store that's better with shipping on these types of items? I don't like these places that don't make any effort to prevent things from getting FUBAR in transit. Are packing pellets/etc really that expensive?

Last edited by Viper187; 10-12-08 at 11:15 PM.
Old 10-12-08, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Viper187 View Post
Well, I'm not spending $500 on a goddamn sub. How much would a decent set of speakers cost?

(
What exactly are you trying to do? Are you trying to get the best overall sound for the money? You trying to completely integrate your system? You mentioned this is a bedroom room system, is this your main system? If it is "only" a bedroom system, why spend a grand on a receiver? What exactly is wrong with your current system.

I guess many (including me) would question why you would be willing to spend a grand on a receiver and not $500 on on a sub. What do expect that grand receiver to do for you?

Speakers on a budget. Lets see; the usual suspects are recommended overall:

I think you can get the SVS 5.1 speaker system for a grand or there about.
http://www.svsound.com/products-sys-sbs_black.cfm

The basic KEF system is about $550 (I have the Celestion set up that is kissing cousins to this and enjoy it)
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...-Silver/1.html

Also speakers from Klipsch, Polk, NHT, Boston Acoustics, Mirage, Definitive Technology are some favorites (I'm sure I'm missing some). Though again with no offence, most would argue about anything is an upgrade from the Sony.
Old 10-12-08, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
What exactly are you trying to do? Are you trying to get the best overall sound for the money? You trying to completely integrate your system? You mentioned this is a bedroom room system, is this your main system? If it is "only" a bedroom system, why spend a grand on a receiver? What exactly is wrong with your current system.

I guess many (including me) would question why you would be willing to spend a grand on a receiver and not $500 on on a sub. What do expect that grand receiver to do for you?
It is my main system. Mainly, I want everything upconverted to HDMI output (without those resolution issues I mentioned), and everything plugged in. I'm always out of inputs. I don't like compromising between inputs on the TV and inputs on the receiver. I'd also like to see one with a bluetooth remote, but I guess nobody does that yet. What I don't need is all this multi-zone shit they all advertise.

Last edited by Viper187; 10-12-08 at 11:42 PM.
Old 10-13-08, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Viper187 View Post
It is my main system. Mainly, I want everything upconverted to HDMI output (without those resolution issues I mentioned), and everything plugged in. I'm always out of inputs. I don't like compromising between inputs on the TV and inputs on the receiver. I'd also like to see one with a bluetooth remote, but I guess nobody does that yet. What I don't need is all this multi-zone shit they all advertise.
What do you see as the compromise of using inputs on your TV? Have you thought about a HMDI switch box? As an example, my surround receiver has no HDMI inputs. Yet I currently have three HDMI sources (HD Dish box, HD DVD player, PS3). I use a Monoprice HDMI switcher for video (its output goes to my projector). Then each of the digital audio (optical or coaxial) goes to my surround receiver. Since my Harmony can control everything (except of course the PS3), it is a seamless set up.

Sure one day I'll upgrade to get the newest audio. But not until I can upgrade my speakers and sub.
Old 10-13-08, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
What do you see as the compromise of using inputs on your TV? Have you thought about a HMDI switch box? As an example, my surround receiver has no HDMI inputs. Yet I currently have three HDMI sources (HD Dish box, HD DVD player, PS3). I use a Monoprice HDMI switcher for video (its output goes to my projector). Then each of the digital audio (optical or coaxial) goes to my surround receiver. Since my Harmony can control everything (except of course the PS3), it is a seamless set up.

Sure one day I'll upgrade to get the newest audio. But not until I can upgrade my speakers and sub.
Why is it so much to ask to be able to plug everything into 1 box and switch between it easily? Get an HDMI switch? Ok, but I still only have like 3 optical. What do I do when I'm out of those? ANOTHER switcher? bullshit. I want the least amount of cables possible. HDMIs, component, whatever all to 1 box and video out via HDMI. Even if I bought a slightly better receiver and used my old one as a pass through, I'd probably still find limitations. Like I'm pretty sure my SR604 won't pass along the HDMI audio, not sure about optical/coax. For that matter... Most receivers, even some of the $1000+ models, STILL only have 2 HDMIs. That just pisses me off. All that money and they can't even throw 4 or 5 on? What's the point?
Old 10-13-08, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
The basic KEF system is about $550 (I have the Celestion set up that is kissing cousins to this and enjoy it)
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...-Silver/1.html
Anyone know how these compare to Orb's satellite speakers?

http://www.orbaudio.com/
Old 10-13-08, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Viper187 View Post
Why is it so much to ask to be able to plug everything into 1 box and switch between it easily? Get an HDMI switch? Ok, but I still only have like 3 optical. What do I do when I'm out of those? ANOTHER switcher? bullshit. I want the least amount of cables possible. HDMIs, component, whatever all to 1 box and video out via HDMI. Even if I bought a slightly better receiver and used my old one as a pass through, I'd probably still find limitations. Like I'm pretty sure my SR604 won't pass along the HDMI audio, not sure about optical/coax. For that matter... Most receivers, even some of the $1000+ models, STILL only have 2 HDMIs. That just pisses me off. All that money and they can't even throw 4 or 5 on? What's the point?
The point is it cost what it cost. You are correct, some of the best receivers in the world (say something like an Outlaw) for limited inputs. Why? "What's the point"? The point is good sound. That is the point.

Just how many digital AUDIO inputs do you need? As mentioned, I have three HDMI's sources with three digital audio outputs. If I wanted to hook back our old PS2 or a VHS receiver, I could use the inputs on the receiver.

Dispite using a HDMI switcher, my system is seemless thanks to my Harmony remote. You wouldn't even know I had a switcher if I didn't point it out. I love the sound of my older H/K. That is why I'm not in a hurry to upgrade.

Last edited by Sdallnct; 10-13-08 at 07:39 PM.
Old 10-13-08, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Geofferson View Post
Anyone know how these compare to Orb's satellite speakers?

http://www.orbaudio.com/
I have not heard the Orb. I am a KEF pimp and love them. This basic system is just that, basic. Oh it is good. And if you look around you can probably find reviews telling how good they were when they sold for a grand.

KEF is a British speaker maker. They make excellent products and I highly recommend them. If you budget permits go up a level or two and they are really sweet. Don't underpower KEF, they like good clean power.
Old 10-14-08, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
Just how many digital AUDIO inputs do you need? As mentioned, I have three HDMI's sources with three digital audio outputs. If I wanted to hook back our old PS2 or a VHS receiver, I could use the inputs on the receiver.
Yes, that is the question at this point. Viper, what exactly are you trying to plug in?
Old 10-14-08, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
Yes, that is the question at this point. Viper, what exactly are you trying to plug in?
Well, just off the top of my head...
PS3 -HDMI
Xbox 360 -HDMI
Toshiba A3 HD-DVD player -HDMI
DVD recorder -component
VCR - composite
PS2x2 -Svid/composite
Xbox (old) - Component
PC - DVI/VGA

Obviously, the 5 named inputs on this SR604 don't cut it. Maybe if the damn things would automatically catch the analog inputs when the digital aren't there it'd be tolerable. Still, 1 HDMI device too many, and I'd like to get component cables for the PS2s. What the hell am I gonna do when new game systems or anything come around? How bout if I pickup another N64, Dreamcast, etc? When I think "future proof," I think about actually having inputs free to buy more stuff. Is there something around with shitloads of inputs and all HDMI output that's more like a switchbox? I only seem to see switchers for a specific type of input when I look around.
Old 10-14-08, 09:06 AM
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The Denon AVR 2809CI could be what you are looking for

http://usa.denon.com/AVR-2809CI_Lit702.pdf

http://usa.denon.com/ProductDetails/4484.asp


Again, like the others said, I would budget in new sub + speakers too.
Old 10-14-08, 11:35 AM
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That's a little expensive for my taste. I'm not ruling it out though. Just for argument sake, what's the cheapest unit I can get with at least 2-3 HDMIs that upgrades all input signals to HDMI? It'd also be nice if it could intelligently select its input source. i.e. When HDMI/component/optical isn't sensed form the assigned input, then show analog input if there is any. My 604 would be halfway tolerable if it did that. btw, what changed from HDMI 1.1 to 1.3a? I noticed my 604 is only 1.1.

I looked up the 606 and it's somewhat appealing. Hard to believe it has less component inputs (and optical) than the 604 though. WTF!? If I actually have room to keep both receivers, I could conceivably use the old one as a switcher (as opposed to buying one). I dunno. Seems stupid to spend so much and still not be totally satisfied. The 705 has 1 more optical, but still only 2 component. Don't they expect people to actually hook stuff up to these things?

Last edited by Viper187; 10-14-08 at 11:51 AM.

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