High-end Vs. mid -end


It's hard to believe that 10 years ago the THX logo were only available to high-end receivers. Now in the digital sound era as the new generation of DSP chips and DD/DTS decoders are mandatory to every home theater equipment, everyone can enjoy the full power of the digital world. Today you can find a THX select receiver for less than $600 (Kenwood vr-6070 for a example)with the latest technology in decoding processing built-in that can rival in sound quality even some of the biggest cinema auditoriums aroud the nation. Well it's time to get it on, let's see if you can send your best home theater configuration to square off vs. the high-end big boys. It will be fun.

I think my Pioneer VSX-D811S can blow out of the water any Sony receiver in terms of price, features and sound quality. Sony Who? Sony What?

Jake D
For me Yamaha are the best receivers, they have superior sound compare to other leading brands, features and price are no problem. Yamaha receivers have the best DSP processor in the market and the dsp fields can be use with DTS or Dolby Digital. I have a Yamaha HTR-5590 and the sound quality is simple amazing.

Good points C,

Interestingly, when I was shopping for a new receiver I checked out all the usual supects (Onkyo, HK, Denon, Yamaha, Kenwood, etc) feeling like for my budget ($1000) that I could get a really nice receiver.

After a bunch of comparisons, listening sessions, and tolerating salesfolks, I started to think that maybe I needed to look a bit higher (a lot of up-selling). I swallowed some of the "high-end" guys malarkey and started listening to and actively spec'ing what they were billing as "mid-fi" (that is, not a Sunfire or Krell, which they considered hi-fi) with brands like NAD and Arcam.

Before I tell you what I found out about the NAD and Arcam, I will tell you that a certain "hi-fi" store in Boston considers all "theater" amps junk. Yes, across the board, the audiophiles considered every major brand that I mention above as absolute junk (I think we all know better).

Anyway, even as I'm told that Denon, Onkyo, Yamaha, and HK are junk this same guy is pushing the stuffing out of his NAD and Arcam "theater" receivers. The fact is the NAD and the Arcam are virtually the EXACT SAME reciever (the rep told me) and they are consistently underpowered, under-featured, over-priced and, in the case of NAD struggle with quality control issues (T751, 761).

The audiophiles are really quick to categorize recievers into "the japanese brands" and everything else.

C, I think you hit the nail on the head when you say that many living rooms possess as much, and sometimes more, cinema technology than most cinemas. I've done acoustic consulting at a couple of older Boston cinemas and the audio infrastructure of many of them is abhorrent (though some like the Mugar Omni theater is jaw-dropping).

Simply put, a decent M&K system running off a HK7200 or Denon 5803 would eat many a theater's lunch

The high-end guys...whatever. All I know is that with some good research and a little diligence in shopping (onecall and ebay) you can have an unreal system for very short money!

*jake, I was this close (finges really close together) to getting the 5590, glad to hear you love it...I didn't know you could apply the DSP to DD and DTS...neat!

M. Redfield
I think C have a good point. I'm always doing research from all leading brand's and one point that that I would like to clarify is that not always a $1.000+ receiver is better than a $$$ less receiver. People need to look at price features and quality. Some big companies tend to rise prices for little things like more DSP sound fields or front inputs for s-video or brand logo bold in gold to give you a small example. I have to admit I don't spend over $1.000 just to have THX logo or 100+ dsp modes. The fact is that some companies like Kenwood,Yamaha,Onkyo, Pioneer just to name a few are taking a new approach on what consumers are looking, for example Dolby Digital & DTS are mandatory for every home theater equipment, even you can find now a Dolby Ex/DTS ES with good dsp processor and 90w+per channel for $399.00. Does that means mid-end is crap? I don't think so. the way I see it High-End is over hype. I have a Denon avr-3802($699) with polk artiv70 speakers ($750) and my friend says it sound better than his Sunfire pre-amp.

Hello to everyone reading this:

May I have anyone's views on Pioneer VSX-D1011-G or VSX-D2011-G.

My Avr-4802 can kick any pre-amp butt. Viva La Denon

Al Holland

How many pre amps have you compared to your 4802?

My best HT experience was when my dealer let me return a 4802.

Mike Polland
This is to that so called Denon guy. I don't know
if you have ever listen to a Bob Carver Sunfire pre-amp but if you do your Denon Avr-4802 will sound like a $1.99 pair of headphones from Wal-mart.

Phil Krewer

Anon you must have taken too much LSD when you were younger. While I would agree that some of the very top receivers approach low end separates. The best thing you could use your 4802 for would be as a pre/pro for the sound processing compaired to most separate setups.


Michael Coll
I'm going to buy a new receiver for the first time and I would like to get some response on which receiver should I get for less than $1000.00
I'm looking for features like Dolby Ex/DTS-ES and THX Select, please some advice. Thanks

Hello Michael
You can get the following receivers for less than 1k: Denon Avr-1803/Avr-2802/Avr-3802. Viva La Denon!

Tim Cardona
The new Kenwood Vr-7080 is schedule to hit the stores at the end of April. The Vr-7080 have some minor changes, now it features 20.000hz-20.000khz 100 x 6ch at 0.07% THD in surround mode except for the surr. channels that are rated at 0.2% (L/R). Stereo power is now 110w x 2 ch at 0.07% THD. It seems now that Kenwood is listening to music lover's. The Vr-7080 has a new silver finish color with aluminium front panel. Dolby EX/DTS-ES/THX-EX/PL II/SRS/5 DSP modes/ are all handle by a 32-bit SHARC processor. 10 audio inputs/5 Digital inputs/1 Digital out-put/ Pre-outs are for L/C/R/R. Surr/Back Surr. Right/Back Surr. Left/L. Surr & Sub-Woofer/6ch input. Video component signal switching is now 54 mhz instead of 10 mhz as the Vr-6070 (thank God). My Kenwood sales representative told me about a new feature called Cinema Bass for Dolby Digital & Dts (tentative that could be a new Speaker EQ II). I'll keep everyone inform of new changes.

Well - This is a very interesting thread...I believe the reason why I (and so many others on this board) have been able to snare receivers and the like within the $700-1200 categorty is attributable to two words: Internet and Margins. As we all are aware, the internet boom has been a boon for consumers (somewhat less so for newer entrepreneurs). We no longer no longer have to rely on benevolence of our local high-end a/v retailer for pricing and advice. And even for those of us who did not buy online, the very fact that Denon/HK/Onkyo/etc know that online operations are selling legitimate example at a deep discount to the MRSP clues them in to the fact consumers are now aware how HIGH their margins really are for this "high-end" equipment. Apparently, the policy of not honoring the warranty crap hasn't detered many folks from buying from these discount retailers. So I believe they decided it was best to give more in the way of features and performance to the "mid-level" stuff, as this is a much cheaper incremental cost than taking a 40% haircut, or damaging your dealer network, etc...we'll see how this strategy works for 'em

Just my $.02


Any idea what the target price will be for the VR-7080?


Tim C.
The suggested retail price for the Vr-7080 could be $600-$700 and it should be available at the end of June 03

Tim C.
Like to know new info from Pioneer 2003 line of products? I will be posting new specs on next week. You'll be amazed by the new mid-end receivers line-up.

Eric Powell
I heard rumors that Yamaha and Sony are developing a new DSP chip based on 2.4ghz technology that will be capable oh handling new surround sound formats like SDDS. Does anyone has new information?

Eric Powell
I heard rumors that Yamaha and Sony are developing a new DSP chip based on 2.4ghz technology that will be capable oh handling new surround sound formats like SDDS. Does anyone has new information?

Caesar Cardona
Well, Eric:

Sony could be launching SDDS (Sony Dynamic Digital Sound) in upcoming months on their new line of receivers but this format still exclusively to theaters. I think Columbia/Tri-Star DVD's are likely to have the new SDDS flag since Sony owns the 2 film companies and also SDDS is a proprietary sound format from Sony. This format is almost like Dolby Digital exept that SDDS use an array of 5 front / 2 surround and sub woofer speakers. We have to see and wait if Sony will make some new changes for home theater application because of new formats like DTS-ES & Dolby EX. Movie lovers are getting into 6.1 & 7.1 but SDDS is the only true 8ch digital format set-up with a specialize decoding process for Left center and Right center channels fully discrete. Right now Sony has no current plans to develop a consumer version of SDDS. I just heard rumors that Sony is thinking very seriously in the introduction of SDDS for home theater application as soon as 2004 since DVD's and home audio equipments are taking America by storm. So this means SDDS could be the real contender for rival formats like DD EX & DTS-ES. Regarding to the DSP based on 2.4ghz technology I heard this will be future for home theater. This chip can process all audio format up to 16 channels (you heard right), High Definition T.V. & High Definition DVD signals with ease.

I think the Kenwood VR-7080 is now moving to my listning list. I was interested in the 6070 but it had some flaws that concerned me mainly the bandwidth of the component video switching. I was looking at a Pioneer VSX-d912k. I guess I can wait for the Kenwood to come out before buying. Any more info on the Kenwoood Tim?


Caesar Cardona
Well we do have seen the new Vr-7080 on kenwoodusa.com official site. The control remote now looks more atractive and it's good to see that the Vr-7070 will also feature THX application. The silver finish is a blast and the active EQ it's now handle by the DSP. It's now a agood time to upgrade.

Tim Cardona
Sorry to keep you waiting for so many days Jonathan, I was on a business trip. Well It seems that Kenwood have been listening to customers, the Vr-7080 will now support a better RF remote control, I was a little surprise for the final specs. I was hoping that these new models were having better THD% in surround mode and a bit more powerfull output power. The good thing that the Vr-7080 & the Vr-7070 are both THX Select. The Actice EQ is now handle by a separate 32-bit DSP that will minimize back noise and will make the receiver operate with low distortion. If you have the Vr-6070 my recomendation is KEEP IT! unless you are attracted by the silver look and the new blue lighted RF control and some minor changes on the 7080 & 7070. keep posting!

Any folks that could give me information on Pioneer Model VSX-D2011-G about its performance will be highly appreciated. How it costs now in the market and if the price is right. Thanks and long live to all contributors.

I need help deciding on a reciever. I am planning on buying a klipsch reference packageII / KWS15. Here are the specs of the system.

RF-3II Towers = Crossover Frequency:1975Hz Sensitivity:98dB @ 1 watt/1 meter Power Handling:225 watts maximum continuous (600 watts peak) Drive Components:Two-way system using one 1" (2.54cm) K-105-K titanium dome, magnetically shielded compression driver with a 90°x 60° Tractrix Horn and two 8" (20.32cm) K-1038-S aluminum cone, magnetically shielded woofers

RC-3II Center = Power Handling:150 watts maximum continuous (400 watts peak) Drive Components: Two-way system using one 1" (2.54cm) K-105-KV titanium dome, magnetically shielded compression driver with a 90°x 60° Tractrix Horn and two 6.5" (16.5cm) K-1085-SV aluminum cone, magnetically shielded woofers

RS-3II Surrounds = Power Handling:110 watts maximum continuous (400 watts peak) Drive Components: Two-way system using two 1" (2.54cm) K-106-K titanium dome, compression drivers with 90°x 60° Tractrix Horns and one 6.5" (16.5cm) K-1086-S aluminum cone woofer.

KSW15 Subwoofer - Features: 15" bass reflex, tuned port enclosure Bridged Amplifier/Switching Hybrid (BASH) discrete MOSFET outputs Dynamic Power: 800 watts 2 second ON delay, 15 minute OFF delay Frequency Response: 24-90Hz±3dB Maximum Acoustic Output: 121dB 1/8 space 1 meter Low Pass Crossover: Continuously variable from 40-120Hz, 24dB/octave slope above 120Hz Inputs: 2) Line level RCA phono jacks 1) Line level dedicated LFE channel input (non-filtered) 2) High level speaker terminals Outputs: 2) Line level RCA phono jacks with switchable high pass filter between 50 and 100Hz, 2) High level speaker terminals with fixed high pass at 100Hz, 6dB/octave slope Phase: Switchable 0-180 degrees Drive Component: K-1072-K 15" (38.1cm) driver

I'd like to spend somewhere around $1,000 dollars on the reciever and be able to come close to maxing out the system when I like.

The other kids in my dorm next year are going to be pissed as hell when I crank that up early in the morning.

Peter Schroeder
Can anyone confirm the VR-7080 has video component signal switching above 10mhz? Crutchfield lists it as 10mhz, but I've read several posts here that say it is higher.

I am considering a new receiver. I have narrowed my search to a Yamaha RX-V3300 or an Arcam AVR200. My TV room is 24x18 with a 17 ft. ceiling. Please let me know which receiver would perform the best in this type setting. Thank you for your time.
« Previous Thread Next Thread »

Main Forums

Today's Posts

Forum Help

Follow Us