Replacement for a Denon -EV combination?


I am looking for a little (ok a lot) of advice on upgrading my set-up at home. I am looking to upgrade from the following set-up (pieced together over the years):

AV/R - Denon 1700
Speakers - ElectraVoice 3-way floor standing speakers on all 4 corners (no idea on the model as they are about 20 years old)
CD: dbx dx3 CD Player (probably the finest piece of audio equipment ever opinion)
DVD: Borrowed Denon 900

Generally the system will be used for an 60/40 split of video to music, and I would like to run the iPod through the system (bad idea??). For me personally the reference that I have used when testing equipment has been for music Sinead O'Connor's Troy or a section from the Wagner's Ring Cycle and for video I generally like to use Blade Runner.

I am moving into a smaller place so floor standing speaker are probably out. My current thoughts are on the following comination...

AVR - ??? Prefer NAD 762 or Elite 55Tx, but I hear NAD has some quality issues (would really prefer to spend <1000) and a friend has a Yamaha 1400 which sounds good in his set-up
Speakers - KEF Q1 or Aperion Intimus (6.1 set-up)
DVD/CD - Elite 45a or 47ai (although I will keep the dbx as well)
Monitor: Sony 42XS910 plasma

Those choices probably represent the max budget for this underaking and I would like to know if this combination (epecially on the receiver/speaker combination) makes sense.

The Elite 55txi and the Pioneer Elite 47Avi are an ideal match--as they both have i-link (firewire) which makes for a great connection and bass management on DVD-Audio/SACD surround sound.

The NADT762 is excellent too. Both receivers are probably overkill in your small room. But they will still be great if you can afford them and if you ever move to a bigger place they will be good there too.
I like the Aperions a lot and you should also look at the Ascend's that are also bought online and probably are the most accurate speakers under $1K.

You could get the Ascend CBM-170 ($328/pr) in a great 6.1 surround that includes the wonderful HSU VTF-2 subwoofer at $1400 delivered. Listenin to music or surround theatre on these will be transcendant.

You could save money on a less expensive receiver--such as a NADT752 or a Pioneer Elite 53TX which will both still have plenty of power for these speakers in a medium sized room.


Thanks for the advice. I agree it is a little (or a lot of overkill), but will probably move again in a year so don't want to lock into something that can't work in a bigger room. Two question..since the Yamaha is a less expensive unit is it worth going that route? And does the i-link really improve the sound over say optical or digital coax? Thanks...

The perfomance for playing DVD Video ( a digital mode)in connecting a dvd player to a receiver is roughly the same with firewire, dvi, or optical and digital coax.

The major differences are when connecting a universal dvd player (with SACD/DVD-Audio) as they cannot be connected with digital coax or optical fibre. In non-dvi or non-firewire universal players the connections require 6 analog connections between the player and the receiver. Most dvd players have poor to non-existent bass management which is very important in SACD/DVD-Audio playback. The Pioneer 47avi has very good bass management and the i-link (firewire) connection to a 55txi or 49txi requires just one supplied cable to do the connection and it keeps the DVD-Audio in digital mode which is beneficial, as opposed to 6 analog wires. Supposedly Sony is working on making SACD digital capable too, but currently the i-link in the Pioneer Elite can still carry the signal and send it to the appropriate D/A converter and helps a lot with the bass management.

The Yamaha RX V1400 is fine if you buy 8 ohm speakers. They would probably be over-taxed in the power department if you get 4 ohm speakers. If you get 4 ohm speakers you might try a NAD T752.

Yamaha specializes in having a "zillion" DSP's--something I rarely use. I rarely use them because I prefer to hear the movie as the director wanted it experienced. But to each his own. Most receivers have more than enough DSP's anyway. More than I ever use. Having the formats (such as Dolby Prologic II, DTS, Dolby Digital, etc.) you want is infinitely more important than the DSP's.

The Pioneer Elite 53Tx can be gotten at the same price as the Yammie and you should check that out too. I think the Yammie and the 53Tx are both THX Select certified--meaning that THX certifies them for rooms up to 2,000 sq feet. Try the remotes--you will use them all the time afterall. They should also play a big part in your decision. A poorly designed remote and one that is a chore to use will adversely effect your enjoyment very much.

I would recommend getting a monitor that at least has DVI (or HDMI). An added bonus would be it having 2-way firewire, which would allow you to record on a JVC D-VHS HDTV programming. As DVI is encoded--it won't be able to record. Plus 2-way firewire potentially allows you to intelligently communicate in the future with other components that have 2-way firewire.

All good information, I am off to audition some equipment this afternoon so maybe one of those combinations will stand out. Are there other receivers that use i-Link other than Pioneer? Are there other universal players that do it as well?

Only some very expensive other receivers use i-link (firewire). There may be more next year. Pioneer also makes a $200 or so universal dvd player that is pretty good--not the quality of the 47av, but there aren't any others that are cheaper.

Don't worry about the i-link--you can get a good set up without it. If you aren't going to play DVD-Audio you can get a Sony DVD player with SACD for $150 to $300 that is very good. You will just need to have a receiver that can accept the 6 analog wire connections to play SACD--same with the cheaper Pioneer that has both DVD-Audio/SACD.

Currently Yamaha has a universal player-the 2300--but it must cost at least $800. The Denon 2900 is even better (list $999--street at about $850).

Get what you can afford---none of this is worth going broke over.

You can have a great surround experience at a reasonable price as long as you get good 8 ohm speakers.

Just remember to at least get a monitor with DVI. You just won't be able to record in HDTV without firewire. You can still get great sound without it.

After listening and looking yesterday, I think the NAD 762 or Elite 53tx would be the best choice. The only thing they appear to lack is the Component video upgrade on the switching. Unless the sales-person just didn't know. I actually heard them driving Mirage Omni-60s which sounded excellent...although I still tend to be partial to british speakers (Mission, Kef, etc). Unfortunately finding someone selling Missions does not appear to be easy so can't really compare those.

Is there any significant difference between the two oustside of the minor things like remote and the i-link?

Also a couple stores seemed to be pushing the Sony ES line (3000ES) this even in the same category as NAD and Elite?

Thanks for all the advice...
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