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Onkyo TX-NR901 vs Harman Kardon AVR 7300 vs Pioneer Elite VSC-56TXi

 

New member
Username: Briand

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jun-05
I am building a basement home theater and could use some help choosing a receiver. I have narrowed it down to pretty much the following three receivers but could use some help decided since I am a relative novice to home theater equipment:

1. Onkyo TX-NR901
2. Harman Kardon AVR 7300
3. Pioneer Elite VSC-56TXi

Can anyone give me some purchasing advice and reasons I should choose one over the other? I plan to watch mostly movies, a little HDTV, and some broadcast TV with the home theater.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 696
Registered: Mar-05
Personally I'd take the Onkyo off the list and add the Harman Kardon DPR-2005 pure-digital receiver to your list instead.
 

New member
Username: Briand

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jun-05
Thanks for the advice. I checked out the Harman Kardon DPR-2005 at their site. Looks like an interesting choice. What do you think of HDMI? My projector (Panasonic AE-700U) has HDMI as an input and I was looking at a few Marantz models (SR8500 Receiver and DV7600 DVD Player) that also have HDMI. Then all three components would connect that way. Is that something that is very important or is the Harman Kardon DPR-2005 still a better choice?
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 699
Registered: Mar-05
I'm afraid I can't really help you much on the HDMI question because my TV is a very humble and ancient 20" Panasonic curved CRT that only has composite video inputs, LOL.

For more info on the HK 2005, do a search on the avsforum.com --- it seems to be the only all-digital receiver on the market with higher end build quality and hardware.

As for why I tend to advise against Onkyo receivers, you might want to look at this link:

http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Hollow/3401/ratevsac.htm
 

T2T
Unregistered guest
[quote]As for why I tend to advise against Onkyo receivers, you might want to look at this link: [/quote]
The only issue with that chart is that the receivers listed are over 2 years old. I'm not trying to stick up for Onkyo, but their newer receivers are better performers.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 709
Registered: Mar-05
T2T,

true, but the Onkyo 901 which Brian was considering is on that list. I can understand if they're fudging the numbers on the entry-level models but the 901 is their second-best receiver.

BTW have you seen any benchmarks for their newer models?
 

New member
Username: Briand

Post Number: 3
Registered: Jun-05
Hi guys,

Thanks for answering my post. I spent about 3-4 hours today surfing the net learning all I could about a/v receivers mostly focusing on Pioneer Elite, Onkyo, Harman Kardon, Denon, and Marantz. I am more confused than ever.

I know I want to spend around $1000 on the receiver and $600 on the DVD player and I have not come to any conclusions! This is frustrating. I really don't know what features are the most important. I would like a THX receiver with HDMI inputs and outputs but it seems like those just don't exist at this price point yet.

I came across several models due out in the next month or so which may have THX and HDMI, but I am not sure they are worth waiting for or will even come out on schedule. They are:

Yamaha RX-V4600
Sony STR-DA7100ES
JVC RX-D702B

Anyone have a ton of experience and can tell me what to do at my price points???
 

Joanna928
Unregistered guest
Not sure if THX even matters...good sound is good sound period, what in the hell does George Lucas have to do with it? (I hate most of his films anyways, LOL.) IMHO it's more of a marketing gimmick than anything.

For what it's worth, I have a Logitech 2.1 computer speaker system that's "THX Certified"---but it still sounds like crap compared to my non-THX home system.

PS. What did you find out about why HDMI is such an advantageous feature?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Xsound

Myrtle Beach, SC United States

Post Number: 80
Registered: Sep-04
It appears that Pioneer is going to be introducing the next version of the VSX-56txi sometime soon (Possibly this fall). It will include HDMI as well as continue with Firewire. That way you could get the new version of the 56 and get the Elite DV-59ai and use the firewire for a 1 cable hook-up of SACD and DVD-A sound (instead of the 6 cables normally required.) as well as enjoying the benefit of HDMI
 

New member
Username: Briand

Post Number: 4
Registered: Jun-05
Xsound,

Thanks. Maybe I should just buy a less expensive a/v receiver now and replace it in the fall when Pioneer comes out with their new model with HDMI. What do you think about the Pioneer VSX-1015TX. It seems very nice and about $600 less. Maybe get that one first and then upgrade later.
 

ZiggyZoggyOiOiOi
Unregistered guest
The VSX-1015TX lacks some features compared to other similarly priced units that may or may not be important to depending on the rest of your system:

1) It only offers a single crossover point of 80kHz for bass management. Yamaha, Denon, and H/K all give 60 and 40kHz crossover options on the low end, and 100 and 120kHZ on the high end. Depending on your speakers, the extra crossover settings may be valuable.

2) The 1015TX also does not offer an AV lipsync function. If you're running a front projection system and/or using a DVD-player with video processing (such as upconverting) you may need a lipsync feature to get the audio matched up with the video. Once again, Yamaha, Denon, and H/K all offer that feature.
 

New member
Username: Briand

Post Number: 5
Registered: Jun-05
Ziggy...

Can you recommend which models in the Denon, Yamaha, or H/K line-up I should consider that have these features?

Joanna...

I have been reading that hdmi is the wave of the future for passing digital video and audio signals. You can read about it at www.hdmi.org.
 

ZiggyZoggyOiOiOi
Unregistered guest
Brian...

H/k AVR235 and up (and if you don't already know, don't discount the 'low' power ratings on H/K receivers)
Yamaha RX-V657 or HTR-5860 and up (perhaps lower models, too.. haven't looked at below these)
Denon AVR-1905 or 785 and up (perhaps lower models, too.. haven't looked below these).

All are around $350 +/- from authorized dealers and closer to $300 for refurbs or from unauthorized web dealers.
 

ZiggyZoggyOiOiOi
Unregistered guest
And Brian... FWIW, from the Outlaw Audio website re: HDMI

Q. Why does the Model 990 have DVI switching instead of HDMI?

A. At this time we believe that the more stable DVI format is a more appropriate choice, since it is well established and totally compatible with HDMI from a video standpoint. Unfortunately, HDMI is still a moving target, with the 1.2 specifications still awaiting final release. More importantly, there is a big unknown regarding the specifications of the "next" version of HDMI that will allow transport of Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD data streams. (Indeed, the actual specs for the two codecs, themselves, have not been released either.) At this time it is impossible for the Outlaws or anyone else to know if a hardware, rather than software upgrade will be required to accommodate those two new formats on HDMI and with existing DSP engines. Quite frankly, we preferred to select a viable digital video format that is useable today rather than risk a high-cost solution that appears not to be ready for prime time.

 

New member
Username: Briand

Post Number: 6
Registered: Jun-05
Ziggy,

That's interesting reading from Outlaw Audio. I think that DVI sounds like the right format until the HDMI horizon is settled. You also made my decision a whole lot easier since I am not a big fan of Lucas' films either. And the comment by Joanna about her THX computer speakers is pretty funny! I am going to check out the models that you mentioned tonight and see what I come up with. Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to my posting. It means a lot to me to get your help!!!

 

ZiggyZoggyOiOiOi
Unregistered guest
Brian... no problem at all. I don't know the answer about the HDMI myself, but I had seen that info from Outlaw and thought I'd pass it on. I run a DVI cable directly from my DVD player to the projector (which does not have HDMI input), so it doesn't matter much to me either way.

The best thing you can do is decide how much you want to spend, then look at what's out there in the range you're considering to try and decide what's right for you. I have a budget of around $2k for my receiver, but decided my best 'bang-for-the-buck' is the H/K AVR235 to be used as a pre/pro with the Outlaw Audio 755 amp. That combo is well within my budget, gives me all the bells and whistles I need for now, all the power I could possibly want, and gives me the flexibility to upgrade the pre/pro when/if I need to to keep up with technology. But that's the right decision for me, as my speakers LOVE power.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 714
Registered: Mar-05
I second what Joanna said about THX...in fact, we probably have the same Logitech system! (Z-2200, Joanna?)

The little blurb from Outlaw is interesting...I tend to view all the hullaboo about fancy connections with a fair bit of skepticism. Kind of like the alleged HUGE difference between EDTV and HDTV...I've seen both side by side and they are virtually indistinguishable! So much marketing propaganda/techno-babble going on these days, sigh.

Right now my CD player is hooked up to my pre-amp with good old-fashioned RCA analog cables instead of the optical cable and it sounds just fine. Ditto for my DVD player being hooked up to my TV with a composite video cable.
 

Unregistered guest
you guys are dorks.
Buy the HK AVR635 and the HK DVD22 or 31 if you are into dvd-audio. The whole thx computer speaker thing has nothing to do with what the thx on the onkyo 801 recivers and up means or does. (It's just sound processing, and it does some cool stuff to the sound)
And get off of the HDMI bandwagon. You don't need to try and get this plug. Most people cannot see a difference between dvi/hdmi and a set of good component cables and you will not find a decent receiver with hdmi/dvi for a $1000 well, at least not for another 2 or 3 years. I've owned an Onkyo, HK and a Yamaha. All good brands in their own way.
Remeber that you need to think of user friendliness when you buy all of this crap.
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 747
Registered: Feb-05
I hook up the HDMI directly to the TV from my Denon DVD2910 and the 720p and 1080i picture is unreal. In a whole different league than with the component video hookup.
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