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Recommendations for a very good HT Receiver/PreAmp & DVD

 

Unregistered guest
Hi,

Can anyone help me with selecting a receiver or preamp/amp combo for a home theater. I am going to power a HT satellite/sub system (either Gallos or Orbs). I wanted to keep the price reasonable. I want the system to be able to reproduce music and movies very well. I also want many options for outputs, so I can stick with this for while.

Right now I listen to more music than movies (about 60/40). Some DVD players I have looked into are either the OPPO OPDV971H, Denon 3910, Integra DPS-10.5, or Integra DPC-8.5

Here are some of my potential receiver/amp contenders:

- Outlaw 99 PrePro with Outlaw 7100 Amp
- Denon 3805 (as a PreAmp) with an Outlaw 7100
- Integra DTR-10.5
- Arcam AVR300
- Marantz SR8500
I also considered one of the Panasonic Digital Amps (SA-XR70).

Which of these should I choose?
Feel free to recommend other Amps, PreAmps, and/or receivers.

Any suggestions on my DVD player choices is appreciated too.

Thanks.



 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 483
Registered: Mar-05
Impressive list, the only one I'd be a little iffy about would be Integra, have heard some people compare them to DeWalt which is mainly a dressed up Black and Decker.

Might also want to add the Harman Kardon AVR-635 too.

If you go pure digital, you might want to look into JVC's new offerings, and also the new Panasonic sa-xr55. The JVCs are supposed to be better for music listening, the Pannys for HT.

A more expensive pure digital is the Harman Kardon 2005 which is just around $1K and has garnered some glowing feedback on other forums.
 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 910
Registered: Jan-05
whatever you do........

stay away from NAD unless you like 'buzzing and hiss' as background noise. The good news is that if you buy the new DVD release "White Noise", the NAD would be perfect.

Just ask edster.

HEH
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 484
Registered: Mar-05
what's "White Noise" Paul? never heard of it... Is this one of your subwoofer movies? : )
 

ZiggyzoggyOiOiOi
Unregistered guest
I haven't heard the Orb's, but I have heard (and like) the Gallo's. That being said... seems like an awful lot of power and money to only run them through a small sub/sat system. If it were me I'd probably go with a less expensive AVR and less limiting speakers - at least some decent bookshelves.
 

AVExplorer
Unregistered guest
Thanks for all the feedback. I'm am going to demo Orbs and Gallos, but I am not completely set on them. Can anyone recommend good speakers for a 5.1 setup that would reproduce music and movies really well? This will be one system dedicated to both. I plan on getting a separate 2 channel system sometime in the next couple years, but for now I wanted to build an HT system that reproduced both well.

Can you recommend one the amps/receivers I mentioned (or anhything else), speakers (besides the satellite set), and or DVD players from either the ones I've listed or others you think are good?

Thanks
 

ZiggyzoggyOiOiOi
Unregistered guest
There are literally hundreds of ways you can go on this, depending on the following factors:

1. Total budget
2. Size/space limitations
3. What type of music you listen to / do you want to be able to listen to SACDs and/or DVD-As

I'm looking at similar options to you, so you may also want to consider the Harman Kardon AVR7300, too.

One thing, though... if you're going to be using an Outlaw amp, you really don't need a 3805 - a less expensive Denon or Yamaha should have most/all of the same features if you're only using as a pre/pro. I'm thinking about buying the Yamaha HTR-5860 and pairing it with the Outlaw 755 (~$1750 total).
 

AVExplorer
Unregistered guest
My budget is open for the moment. Probably total budget for Pre Amp/Amp or Receiver, Speakers, and DVD player (with DVD-A/V, SACD, DVI, HDMI, or 1394 IEEE, and HDCD decoding if possible), for a room 20x14 is about:

- Receiver / Amp/PreAmp: $2,000-$2,500
- DVD Player: $1,500 - $2,000
- Speakers: $1,000 (looking at Gallo Micros or Orbs for 5.1 satellite system for now. That could change along with price later)

Total: $4,000 - $5,500
 

Unregistered guest
Personally, if you're gonna spend the cash on the amp, you should spend more than a grand on spekaers, for sure. Fortunately you really don't need to spend more than $500 for a decent DVD player, I'm very happy with my Samsung ID841, which was only $180 I believe. Besides, what's the point in having a powerful amp when you're only gonna use small speakers with it?

Anyways, if you have that kind of cash, I'd get the Harman Kardon AVR-7300. Top of the line, and falls within that price range.
 

Unregistered guest
Personally, if you're gonna spend the cash on the amp, you should spend more than a grand on spekaers, for sure. Fortunately you really don't need to spend more than $500 for a decent DVD player, I'm very happy with my Samsung ID841, which was only $180 I believe. Besides, what's the point in having a powerful amp when you're only gonna use small speakers with it?

Anyways, if you have that kind of cash, I'd get the Harman Kardon AVR-7300. Top of the line, and falls within that price range.
 

ZiggyzoggyOiOiOi
Unregistered guest
OK.. that's something to work with. For the DVD player you don't need to look any further than the Denon DVD-2910 or 3910. There are plenty of threads in the other forums to tell you everything you need to know about either of those. The 3910 has some extra features over the 2910, but it's also ~$500 more.

For the speakers, I definitely think you should go with at least bookshelf-sized speakers. Those micros will really be pushed to give you good sound in a room that size. You still have TONS of options, but some brands that I've either demoed, used, or read good things about (at reasonable prices for 5 speakers) include: Energy, Paradigm, NHT, M&K, Canton, Ascend, Axiom, Athena, Tannoy... the list goes on and on. You'd need a sub, but there are tons of options there too.

Receivers or pre/pro/amp... well.. that's where I'm stuck myself. The SR8500 and the H/K AVR7300 are only slightly more than the Denon 3805, and considerably less than the Arcam or the Outlaw 99/7100 combo, and neither will require another amp for the best sound. As I said before, the 3805/7100 combo is a bit of overkill, methinks. A lot of people like the 3805 by itself, and it shouldn't be stretched at all driving micros or bookshelves unless they're 4-ohm. And if you're only setting up a 5.1 system (as I am) you might be better with a cheaper receiver to use as a pre/pro and opting for the Outlaw 755 at 5x200W. The Yamaha I mentioned before can be had around $450 and the Denon AVR-1905 is a little less (B-stock units on E-bay are ~$350). If you decide to go to 7.1 down the road, you can either use the receivers amps for the SBL/SBR channels or invest in a great 2-channel for the fronts.
 

ZiggyzoggyOiOiOi
Unregistered guest
Dan...

I agree that the Samsung is a decent DVD player, but its audio capabilities are not very good at all. If he's planning on listening to DVD-A and/or SACD the Denon DVD-2910 is more than worth the difference in price over the Samsung.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 488
Registered: Mar-05
AV Explorer,

I'd decrease the allotment for the amp/receiver and DVD player, and increase it for the speakers. With a $4500-5000 budget I'd distribute it thus:

Speakers: $1500-2500
Subwoofer: $400-700
Receiver: $600-900
DVD/CD player: $200-800
Speaker stands, wall mounts, wiring, etc. $200-300
 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 916
Registered: Jan-05
A sub can make or break your HT. I'd spend more on a behemoth SVS sub if you want your HT to truly bring you into the experience.

You can then purchase 'modest' quality towers as fronts, and you wont be missing a thing because the SVS will will shake your bones more than you could ever imagine.
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 438
Registered: Feb-05
I believe that your budget looks about right. I agree with Paul that a good sub makes a difference but without high quality speakers the sub is just a boom box. Your budget for a sub can afford you several of the SV subs as well as Hsu or Outlaw. I would suggest for a CD/DVD player the Denon DVD2910.
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 439
Registered: Feb-05
It's Edster's budget that I am referring to.
 

New member
Username: Bonechillfactor

KIngston, WA USA

Post Number: 1
Registered: May-05
my question is similar to that posed by AVexplorer. I have an old Yamaha RXV 990 and am wanting to upgrade. I have been happy with this receiver except for the audio presets (rock, jazz club, etc.) I am wiring for a new home addition and I will be using Bose 501's for my mains, polk center channel, Bose sub and bose ceiling mounted cube speakers for the rear. Can you suggest a good receiver? I may also want to run side speakers for a 7.1 application. I have so far only looked at Yamaha and Denon.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 494
Registered: Mar-05
Do you still have time to return the Bose stuff?

If not, don't spend more than say $300 on your receiver...with speakers like that you're not likely to hear much improvement going to a more expensive receiver. It'd be like putting high octane gas into a Chevy Chevette.

Onecall.com has the Pioneer 515 for about $200, you may be able to find the 514 for a lot less at your local Circuit City.
 

New member
Username: Bonechillfactor

KIngston, WA USA

Post Number: 2
Registered: May-05
I only have the Bose 401's (not 501's) and I was using a pair of polk bookshelf speakers for the rear. I have not purchased the bose accoustimass speakers yet. I will be mounting these on the wall. How about the infiniti OM1 or the Cambridge 3 way surround speaker instead of the Bose?
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 509
Registered: Mar-05
Chris,

Virtually *anything* short of Durabrand speakers will be better than Bose.

If it HAS to be tiny, look into Orb Audio's speakers, have heard nothing but good things about them. They are not cheap compared to many standard sized bookshelf speakers available online but should be a lot less than Bose.

Paradigm Atoms and Titans are also other much better alternatives to Bose and also tiny, for less money.

And BTW, at the very least spend $145 shipped for a Dayton 10" subwoofer from partsexpress.com --- guaranteed to blow that Bose joke of a "bass module" out of of the water. If you can budget more a Hsu or SVS subwoofer at $400 or above would be better, but even the cheapo Dayton will be a huge improvement.

You can keep the Polk bookshelves and Bose 401s for the surrounds if you must but at least get something better for your front 3, those do 90% of the work for HT.
 

New member
Username: Bonechillfactor

KIngston, WA USA

Post Number: 3
Registered: May-05
OK thanks. I am not limited by space for the main speakers. I am pretty happy with the Polk center channel, but any suggestions would be welcome. I was looking at the Denon 3805 receiver so please feel free to suggest main speakers or anything else. I know the human ear can only hear so much, but I'd like to get a good system. I listen to alot of acoustic/jazz and also would like a smooth surround sound for movies...Thanks, you have been very helpful
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 466
Registered: Feb-05
If you are happy with your center channel try to get a good timbre match with your fronts. In other words if they still make the line of Polk speakers that center comes from then that should be where you look for fronts. It's best if you can timbre match all of your speakers including you rears. Some folks may tell you that it makes no difference but if watch concert DVD's or listen to multichannel music it can make all the difference. Good luck.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 516
Registered: Mar-05
The Denon 3805 is a superb receiver, but how much money will you have left over to spend on your front speakers and sub?

Instead of spending $900-1200 on the receiver and then having to scrimp on the speakers, I'd recommend spending no more than $400 on the receiver and then splurging on the speakers, at least $500-600 for the L/R.

For the receiver, you can get a Harman Kardon 430 or 630 or even a 2005 for around $300-500 on eBay from Harman Direct, which gives you the full HK warranty. The 630 and 2005 in particular should easily equal if not surpass the Denon 3805.

Since you already have a Polk center that you're happy with, I'd go with the Polk RTi6 for your fronts, at $340 shipped from crutchfield.com and then put $400 into a SVS PB-10 or Hsu STF-2 subwoofer.

My personal experience with surround sound is that it's really only worth it if you watch a lot of action flicks with tons of sonic razzle-dazzle (LOTR, Star Wars, Matrix, etc.) or listen to SACD/DVD-A surround music. Normal CDs still sound best on 2-channel IMO.
 

New member
Username: Bonechillfactor

KIngston, WA USA

Post Number: 4
Registered: May-05
Thanks very much Edster and Arthur for your help
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