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Need New Receiver that's $500 or so

Old 05-20-09, 07:06 PM
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Need New Receiver that's $500 or so

OK, I finally have a Blu-ray player that can output bitstream HD audio (DTS-HD or Dolby TrueHD) to my Onkyo 605 receiver, however it seems that through doing some research, there are some DTS bomb issues. I have experienced some hissing and popping this evening while watching a Blu-ray of Sin City, and my firmware does qualify for an update. Unfortunately the receiver is out of warranty as I've had it for like two years, and I'm not paying two hundred bucks to get it updated. Freakin' quacks they are at Onkyo, and it's too bad, really.

I need a receiver that can take bitstream lossless tracks just like the Onkyo 605 is supposedly supposed to be able to do. I'd most likely pick this up from a Best Buy in my local area, so keep the store I'm shopping at in mind. Also, if you have any info what increments of ms the player can delay audio, that would be greatly appreciated as well.
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Old 05-20-09, 07:36 PM
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Re: Need New Receiver that's $500 or so

And here we go.....again....

1st, I guess I got a little lost. Is your Onkyo busted?
2nd, you have to pay for FW upgrades. Doesn't seem right. Usually they are free.
3rd, what speakers do you have?
4th, would you consider another Onkyo?
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Old 05-20-09, 07:44 PM
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Re: Need New Receiver that's $500 or so

My Onkyo is not 'busted', but the first line of these units, or units with firmware 1.03 experience the issues I described. The player came out when there wasn't a HD-DVD or Blu-ray player at the time that was capable of feeding it the DTS-HD or Dolby TrueHD sound in bitstream.

There are firmware updates, but the only way to obtain them is to ship it to a certified center (the closest one being 120 miles or so away from me) for about 7 days so they can apply the upgrade. Because my unit is out of its warranty, yeah, I would have to pay. And I'm sure they wouldn't pay for my shipping, either.

My speakers are 4ohms, and I can probably do about 150 watts per channel in the front and center, and probably like 120 in the rears.

I wouldn't consider another Onkyo. I think their sound production is great, but it seems their entire line of XX5's had issues not only in this regard, but with some slight slight sync issues as well. I can't invest that kind of money in them again.
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Old 05-20-09, 08:44 PM
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Re: Need New Receiver that's $500 or so

Don't worry, no receiver of $500 will approach 100 wpc, let alone more.
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Old 05-20-09, 09:42 PM
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Re: Need New Receiver that's $500 or so

Originally Posted by mzupeman2 View Post

My speakers are 4ohms, and I can probably do about 150 watts per channel in the front and center, and probably like 120 in the rears.
I was wondering the brand/model. Not the resistance.

While waiting to see what speakers you have, if your not interested in Onkyo, this would be very hard to beat for the price.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...TGUFA&v=glance

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Old 05-20-09, 09:46 PM
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Re: Need New Receiver that's $500 or so

They're Sony and I believe the floor standing speakers in the front are the SSF-5000's, SS-CN5000 for the center, SS-B1000's for the rears. I would like room to upgrade eventually, but really the most important things for me are great decoding of all the available sound formats, no sync issues, and a minimum of 3 HDMI ports, four are preferable.
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Old 05-20-09, 10:05 PM
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Re: Need New Receiver that's $500 or so

Originally Posted by mzupeman2 View Post
They're Sony and I believe the floor standing speakers in the front are the SSF-5000's, SS-CN5000 for the center, SS-B1000's for the rears. I would like room to upgrade eventually, but really the most important things for me are great decoding of all the available sound formats, no sync issues, and a minimum of 3 HDMI ports, four are preferable.
That's what I was afraid of. I'd skip the lossless, use the $500 to upgrade your speakers. I've seen some nice receivers without lossless for less then $200.

Your simply not going to be able to appreciate lossless with Sony speakers. And even if by chance you could hear the difference it won't be worth it. You will get a much bigger impact on overall sound quality by upgrading your speakers and sticking to "lossy" 5.1.

However, as few listen to this advise, the H/K I linked to has 3 HDMI's. But that receiver is probably overkill for those speakers. But it sounds so good, it should last you a long time. To get four HDMI under $500 I think you would have to get a POS Sony or the new Onkyo that you said you didn't want.

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Old 05-20-09, 10:19 PM
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Re: Need New Receiver that's $500 or so

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1218065494903

Would that really not be any good? That Harman seems nice, but I think with the one in the link I just provided I get an extra HDMI port.

I want to upgrade the speakers eventually. It ain't happenin' this year. I just bought the Oppo Blu-ray player, which is fantastic, but I like to bitstream to get the most as I can out of each and every track. I find working with bitstreamed audio is much easier to do. At least for now. The Onkyo has some nasty differentiating sync habits when clumping everything together as PCM.

As I said, I would like the best quality receiver right now for that 500 or maybe even 550 or 600 price range, because I plan to upgrade eventually. My home theater is important, and my wife knows it. But we've spent a bit of money, be it last year on my Samsung 46A550 LCD, the Onkyo reciever I got like two years ago, the Blu-ray player now (after an HD-DVD player last year), and now wanting/needing a new receiver. So for that price range, I wouldn't like to just get something suitable for the speakers I currently own, I want something I can keep a while. I'll never spend like a grand on a receiver so, that's out of the question. I'm not sure 350w of TOTAL power is going to meet those needs in that Harman you linked to.
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Old 05-20-09, 11:11 PM
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Re: Need New Receiver that's $500 or so

Originally Posted by mzupeman2 View Post
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1218065494903

Would that really not be any good? That Harman seems nice, but I think with the one in the link I just provided I get an extra HDMI port.

I want to upgrade the speakers eventually. It ain't happenin' this year. I just bought the Oppo Blu-ray player, which is fantastic, but I like to bitstream to get the most as I can out of each and every track. I find working with bitstreamed audio is much easier to do. At least for now. The Onkyo has some nasty differentiating sync habits when clumping everything together as PCM.

As I said, I would like the best quality receiver right now for that 500 or maybe even 550 or 600 price range, because I plan to upgrade eventually. My home theater is important, and my wife knows it. But we've spent a bit of money, be it last year on my Samsung 46A550 LCD, the Onkyo reciever I got like two years ago, the Blu-ray player now (after an HD-DVD player last year), and now wanting/needing a new receiver. So for that price range, I wouldn't like to just get something suitable for the speakers I currently own, I want something I can keep a while. I'll never spend like a grand on a receiver so, that's out of the question. I'm not sure 350w of TOTAL power is going to meet those needs in that Harman you linked to.
You say a lot there...

1st, don't worry about the power on the H/K. It is more powerful (in all likelyhood) then the Pioneer you linked. And more then enough to handle any reasonable speakers you are likely to get in the future (exception might be something real unusual like Maggies). H/K is one of the very few companies that rate receivers properly. Their 50 watts per channel is more then = to most other 100-150 watt per channel.

BTW, I have an older H/K receiver that is perhaps 40 watts per channel. TONS more powerful then the POS 100 watt per channel Sony it replaced and MORE then enough to fill a very large room with excellent sound.

2nd, I'm always curious why people insist on upgrading receivers BEFORE their speakers. Good speakers last forever. But every couple years there is a new latest and greatest receiver. Or connection for the receiver. Or new flashy blue light that everyone must have. Why get a receiver that is overkill for what you currently have, only to perhaps not be want you really want/need in a couple years when you upgrade speakers and it would make a difference?

3rd, If you want to spend more than the H/K I linked, they do make higher end models. The one I linked is actually their most basic model that includes lossless processing. Personally I'm not a Pioneer fan except for some of their Elite stuff. If it is not Elite, I'd almost think you were going a step down from the Onkyo. Maybe not in features, but sound quality. I'd look at H/K and Denon and a few of the Yamaha's in your price range.

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Old 05-21-09, 08:12 AM
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Re: Need New Receiver that's $500 or so

As someone who hates most things Sony, those speakers actually aren't terrible. Especially for the price. I would equate them to something like the Polk M50s.

Like Sdallnct said, I wouldn't count out the HK due to it's rated power. It will compete with most receivers rated much higher.

Why are you intent on getting something from Best Buy? You could do much better on the web.

I also would skip the Pioneers unless you end up with an Elite. You can pick up the entry level Elite from a place like Vann's for $599 shipped. Another option is the Yamaha line. The 665 can be had for around $400 if you are patient. You can pre-order the 765 from Dell right now for about $500 which is a great price. You can also find a Denon 1909 for around $600 right now and cheaper with patience.

With a limited budget of $600, opting to only buy from Worstbuy is a mistake.
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Old 05-21-09, 08:33 AM
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Re: Need New Receiver that's $500 or so

Ill take the harmans into serious consideration. I would go for the next model up from what you recommended, the 3xx one. I hear their sound quality is fantastic, although I also hear they usually rely on firmware updates and it's sort of a hassle. I could always return it w/in 30 days though if need be. What would you recommend in the yamaha line in that range, and would you recommend it over the harman or no?
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Old 05-21-09, 08:42 AM
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Re: Need New Receiver that's $500 or so

You can't go wrong with any of the receivers mentioned. My overall view of receivers right now is that Onkyo and HK seem to have QC issues. Yamaha, Denon, and the Pioneer Elites seem to be rock solid as of late.

If your budget is really $600, you can even look at the Marantz 4002.
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Old 05-21-09, 09:16 AM
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Re: Need New Receiver that's $500 or so

Originally Posted by SoSpacey View Post
Marantz 4002.

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Old 05-21-09, 09:32 AM
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Re: Need New Receiver that's $500 or so

Originally Posted by mzupeman2 View Post
My Onkyo is not 'busted', but the first line of these units, or units with firmware 1.03 experience the issues I described. The player came out when there wasn't a HD-DVD or Blu-ray player at the time that was capable of feeding it the DTS-HD or Dolby TrueHD sound in bitstream.

There are firmware updates, but the only way to obtain them is to ship it to a certified center (the closest one being 120 miles or so away from me) for about 7 days so they can apply the upgrade. Because my unit is out of its warranty, yeah, I would have to pay. And I'm sure they wouldn't pay for my shipping, either.

My speakers are 4ohms, and I can probably do about 150 watts per channel in the front and center, and probably like 120 in the rears.

I wouldn't consider another Onkyo. I think their sound production is great, but it seems their entire line of XX5's had issues not only in this regard, but with some slight slight sync issues as well. I can't invest that kind of money in them again.
I updated my firmware in my 805 with a cable connected to my laptop and 10 minutes?????
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Old 05-21-09, 09:36 AM
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Re: Need New Receiver that's $500 or so

Btw, I'm upgrading the receiver first, because of its bitstream dts bomb issue, and more importantly for me, its noted sync issues. I can put the blu player in pcm output mode, and sync the receiver to a specific output, but depending on the type of pcm quality sound being output to the rwceiver, the delay time varies. It does this in bitstream as well. The sweet spot will change depending on what the original sound encode is, and it's driving me nuts. A receiver should be able to keep the sound and video at the same sync no matter what after I set a sync delay. The onkyo cannot do this well. Not withour the pricey fw update.

I may look closer into yamahas if you say hk also has qc issues.
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Old 05-21-09, 10:28 AM
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Re: Need New Receiver that's $500 or so

I'm a huge H/K fan. I haven't read about any more problems with them lately. They had some initial issues when they first added lossless, but I haven't read much since.

I actually have two H/K's. Both several years old and both working excellent (you can see the set up I have in my media room running one). Mine don't even have HDMI. They are built like tanks and last forever. I just use a HDMI switcher to handle my HD Dish, PS3 and Toshiba HD DVD player. Yup, no lossless for me. I've toyed with idea and even have heard it in my set up. I'm now thinking a new sub would do more for sound quality then lossless at this point. I'd I certainly not step down in sound quality (the H/K's are warm, sweet and powerful).
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Old 05-21-09, 12:49 PM
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Re: Need New Receiver that's $500 or so

My understanding is harman's get released and usually end up requiring some firmware updates down the line, done by buying some cable I really don't care to spend extra money for. Doesn't mean I won't try em out.

For the person that said they updated their 805, that's great, but without further instruction you aren't really helping. I'm buying a new receiver I decided anyway, more hdmi inputs for me that way.

I wish to just have clarified that a receiver should not display vastly different sync times depending on an audio codec, right? If I test a dts-hd track and find I had to bump audio delay to 50 ms, no reason whya dolby digital stereo track should pretty much be spot on the money at 0 or 10, right? Receivers should output at the same delay no matter the source shouldn't they?
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Old 05-21-09, 02:48 PM
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Re: Need New Receiver that's $500 or so

Well the FW issue is something that effects a lot of things. My PS3 has constant FW upgrades. My HD-A3 has several as well. Heck even my projector has a FW upgrade as does my Samsung LCD in the living room. I'm sure your Oppo and Samsung have or will have them. It is just a nature of the game.

I'm surprised you have to send in your Onkyo for FW upgrade. That doesn't sound right. Though I have looked. I almost picked up that new low end Onkyo the other day. At $261 I almost couldn't pass, but did...LOL BTW, that is a heck of a nice unit (507 I think). 4 HDMI and has lossless processing.
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Old 05-21-09, 02:54 PM
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Re: Need New Receiver that's $500 or so

I knew it didn't sound right. Onkyo can just send you a disc to upgrade your FW;

Onkyo TX-SR605 Firmware Update

September 20 2007: It has recently come to Onkyo’s attention that there is a minor error in Firmware on a limited number of the first batch of TX-SR605’s
This Firmware error does not impede the working or performance of the unit in any way but, in the future, may cause a playback issue for some owners.
Because of the Firmware error a small number of units may have difficulty decoding Dolby True HD Bitstreams correctly. There is currently no source hardware on the market capable of generating a Dolby True HD Bitstream for the TX-SR605 to decode but there will be in the near future.
For those owners who have no intention of using HD-DVD or Blue-Ray this issue will be irrelevant but owners who are keen to enjoy the new HD audio formats (when suitable source hardware arrives) will need to apply a simple Firmware update to their receivers.
No other models in the 2007 Onkyo range are affected and all TX-SR605s currently with UK retailers have already been updated.
TX-SR605 owners who wish to establish whether their receiver needs a Firmware update should go to www.onkyo.co.uk where they’ll find a serial number checker.

HOW TO UPDATE THE TX-SR605
The Firmware update only takes 16 seconds to do and is carried out using a disc (which we will supply) and a CD player equipped with a digital optical output. There are three different ways of implementing the update:-
A] If you own a suitable CD player we can ship out a CD with instructions to you, so that you can update the receiver yourself (remember… it only takes 16 seconds). Alternatively it can be sent via email (please email [email protected] with ‘605 update disc’ in the subject line AND PLEASE INCLUDE YOR SERIAL NUMBER ) and burnt/finalised as an audio CD on a CD-R disc.
Here’s what you do…
1) Connect the CD-Player’s optical digital output to Optical Input 1 of the TX-SR605
2) Select «CD» at the receiver and change the input to Optical 1 by pushing the button marked « Digital Input »
3) Switch the receiver into ‘Firmware writing’ mode:
a) •Push «Standby » key while holding «Display » key
b) •Push «Tone +»key several times until you see « DSPSR605:XXXXX »
c) •Now push « CD ». In the display you will see the message: S/PDIF UPDATE
4) Now start the CD Player. After 15 sec the display will change to WRITING. If the display does not show WRITING, play the CD again.
NOTE: The vast majority of CD players with optical output will work fine but some players modify the data held on the disc so may not work correctly. In that case please try another CD player. If that’s not possible please use Update options B] or C].
5) When writing is finished «Clear »will come up at the display and the receiver will automatically switch to Standby mode.
6) Check the device to establish if it is outputting sound. Select either a digital or analogue input signal in combination with a DSP mode.
You can confirm that the DSP Firmware version has changed by:-
1. Pushing «Standby » key while holding «Display » key
2. Push «Tone +» key several times until you see « DSPSR605:XXXXX ». It should now read « 07727A ». Push « Standby » to leave this mode
3. Note – if the Firmware version number is not displayed and you see « ?????? » on the display you will first need to reset the receiver by pressing « VCR/DVR » + «Standby »
B] If you can’t or don’t wish to update the receiver yourself you can contact the dealer that you purchased it from and let them carry out the update for you (you will have to take it in to the store).
C] Onkyo will collect it from a pre-arranged address, update the Firmware for you and then return it to you. Bear in mind that because the receiver will have to be shipped to and from Onkyo you may be without use of your receiver for a period of time.
I suspect that most TX-SR605 owners on the forums will take option A] because of the speed of implementation and ease of installation but the choice is theirs.
Unfortunately owners who have purchased their products outside of the UK will have to contact their overseas supplier to make arrangements.
ONKYO UK
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Old 05-21-09, 02:57 PM
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Re: Need New Receiver that's $500 or so

That was for the UK, and is no longer a valid update method. You have to ship to Onkyo. I have seen this exact post, as I've scoured the net for a decent way to upgrade the unit myself.
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Old 05-21-09, 03:06 PM
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Re: Need New Receiver that's $500 or so

Originally Posted by mzupeman2 View Post
That was for the UK, and is no longer a valid update method. You have to ship to Onkyo. I have seen this exact post, as I've scoured the net for a decent way to upgrade the unit myself.
Ahh...ok...thought I'd try....
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Old 05-21-09, 05:51 PM
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Re: Need New Receiver that's $500 or so

I found a downloadable version of said cd from avsforum. Screwed if u brick it but I did the install, and so far this seems to be a bit better for usage. I still think I eventually wanna get a new receiver anyway though. So all ur help is not in vain! Heh. Its not a new main firmware number I downloaded, but it has a different loader in it.
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Old 05-21-09, 08:03 PM
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Re: Need New Receiver that's $500 or so

So the update fixed the DTS-HD bomb issue, but not really the varying sync times between different audio formats. New receiver it shall be. So far I think I'm checkin' out:

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-STRDG920-...2956303&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-Elite-...&s=electronics

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001BKND5W/...0&linkCode=asn

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001BNLTYQ/...0&linkCode=asn

Last edited by mzupeman2; 05-21-09 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 05-21-09, 10:49 PM
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Re: Need New Receiver that's $500 or so

The Denon 1909 is the cream of that list (except for its GUI), although the Elite might be decent, too. You could even jump to a prepro with the 605's 7.1 input, but none are quite in your price range, and/or haven't arrived, yet.
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Old 05-21-09, 11:34 PM
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Re: Need New Receiver that's $500 or so

Originally Posted by mzupeman2 View Post
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1218065494903

Would that really not be any good? That Harman seems nice, but I think with the one in the link I just provided I get an extra HDMI port.

I want to upgrade the speakers eventually. It ain't happenin' this year. I just bought the Oppo Blu-ray player, which is fantastic, but I like to bitstream to get the most as I can out of each and every track. I find working with bitstreamed audio is much easier to do. At least for now. The Onkyo has some nasty differentiating sync habits when clumping everything together as PCM.

As I said, I would like the best quality receiver right now for that 500 or maybe even 550 or 600 price range, because I plan to upgrade eventually. My home theater is important, and my wife knows it. But we've spent a bit of money, be it last year on my Samsung 46A550 LCD, the Onkyo reciever I got like two years ago, the Blu-ray player now (after an HD-DVD player last year), and now wanting/needing a new receiver. So for that price range, I wouldn't like to just get something suitable for the speakers I currently own, I want something I can keep a while. I'll never spend like a grand on a receiver so, that's out of the question. I'm not sure 350w of TOTAL power is going to meet those needs in that Harman you linked to.
I just bought that receiver a month ago. Its awesome. Go for it.
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