2-channel now, 5.1 in ~4 years, what receiver to buy?

Discussion in 'Beginners and Audiophytes' started by ConceptuWeasel, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. ConceptuWeasel Audiophyte

    ConceptuWeasel
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am modernifying my system with a new TV and receiver as they are 12 (Toshiba 55H70 RPTV) and 24 years old (NAD 7140 stereo receiver) respectively. I have mostly picked out the TV (probably one of the Panasonic ST plasmas) but need to showroom them to see plasma vs. lcd and if I can tell the difference between that and the cheaper ones.

    The main problem is figuring out the receiver. The room in my current house is too small for a 5.1 system and I am pretty happy with my Epos 2.0 speakers right now, but I will be moving in about 4 years and would like to upgrade to a true home theater setup with a 5.1 system (space, budget, and wife conditional though).

    Should I get a decent (~$400-700) 5.1+ receiver now since I need a new one anyways, or should I buy a budget stopgap to hold me over for the next couple of years?

    I have been streaming audio with an old Airport Express and would like to keep streaming audio in some fashion, but don't see myself streaming video too much. I've got a PS3, Boxee TV (got it for free!), and U-Verse receiver to hook up right now.
  2. DD66000 Senior Audioholic

    DD66000
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    636
    Likes Received:
    94
    As you will not be able to add to your current speaker system for about 4 years, I would say get another stereo receiver. In four years time, no telling how much change in AVR tech might take place. So if you get an AVR now, by the time you are actually able to use it for more than stereo, there may very well be newer AVRs you would rather have, as they would have more/better features.
    Look at the HK3390, 3490 receivers or the Outlaw RR2150.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. ImcLoud Audioholic Ninja

    ImcLoud
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    Messages:
    4,767
    Likes Received:
    1,278
    Location:
    N.E. CT
    I agree, I wouldn't invest in any gear that will not see its intended use for a half decade, now...

    How about something like an integrated amp? What do you use as a source?

    If you only have rca outputs from your sources, grab a pair of APA150s and use them as mono blocks, then in a few years when you get your 5.1 you can buy an avr with preouts and let your apa150s power your front left and right {which is better for music}...
    They are on sale rite now... I own a few and they sound really good, this is one of the audiophile best buys in my opinion, bridged they will drive most speakers to caveman levels pretty easily...
    Dayton Audio APA150 150W Power Amplifier 300-812
    • Like Like x 1
  4. bikemig Audioholic Chief

    bikemig
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Messages:
    858
    Likes Received:
    169
    Location:
    (middle) earth
    I'm using an AV receiver for a 2.1 HT set up because of the various digital inputs. You need to decide what you plan on connecting to your receiver and it may be that an AV receiver is a better choice since you have a PS-3, an AE express, and boxee to connect.

    If you plan on sticking with a 2 channel rig, the HK 3490 is a really solid choice esp. since it has a digital input. The AE express you are using will sound noticeably better once you connect it digitally using a mini-toslink to toslink connection. Onkyo makes a stereo receiver with multiple digital inputs (the TX 8050) and a pretty capable amplifier also with multiple digital inputs (the A-9050).
    • Like Like x 1
  5. KEW Audioholic Ninja

    KEW
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Messages:
    4,902
    Likes Received:
    1,782
    Location:
    Jowjah
    I'd say get a Denon AVR-1712 from Accessories4less.
    DENON AVR-1712 7.1 A/V Surround Receiver | Accessories4less

    Reasons I suggest this are:
    1) I do not not think you will find a more capable amp section in a stereo receiver for $270 (the power supply and capacitors designed to power 7 channels is shared so you have extra reserves when running only two channels).
    2) Planned obsolescence - the AVR is the item in a HT system which is most prone to becoming obsolete, so you shouldn't put much money into it (or a stereo receiver).
    3) You can go ahead and benefit from the Audyssey MultEQ XT in your 2.0 system.
    4) This is a decent enough AVR that you can complete your 5.1 HT system with it (then buy an up-to-date AVR later as you figure out what you really want). It will also allow you to go ahead and start building your 5.1 system. For example, you might want to add a center channel and sub sometime before your move.

    The 1712 has a "pure direct" setting which allows you to bypass all DSP features (essentially making it a simple stereo receiver)
    KEW,
    • Like Like x 3
  6. ConceptuWeasel Audiophyte

    ConceptuWeasel
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had imagined sending everything through the receiver before going to the TV, but I guess I hadn't realized that I could just send all the A/V (HDMI) to the TV and then use the digital out from the TV to get back to the receiver for the audio. I don't think that should hurt the signal as it is staying digital. The Airport Express could go straight to the receiver or I could just get one with built in networking.

    In that case, I should start looking at decent stereo receivers and could even go the used route since I don't need the latest decodings and streaming capabilities, mostly used for surrond sound. Thanks for the suggestions so far.

    In terms of sources, my only pure audio (non-A/V like PS3) sources are the Airport Express and occasionally, straight from an iPod. I guess I'm too young to have a dedicated CD player or turntable.

    The only source I have that doesn't allow simultaneous analog audio out is the Boxee TV as it's only connection is a single HDMI cable so I could live with analog only. But life would be much easier with at least one digital in for the TV audio return so that I don't have to switch inputs on the receiver and the TV each time, and deal with greif from my wife, the current setup is not exactly user friendly.

    @KEW
    I had put the Denon 1712 towards the top of my list for the A/V receivers, along with the Marantz 1413/1613 (good sound quality) and one of the Onkyo's (lots of features). I will keep that option open, but start looking at stereo too.
    I do also like the ability to have room correction built in, I have not gotten that far in my audio leanings and the wife would certainly object to most room treatments.
  7. ConceptuWeasel Audiophyte

    ConceptuWeasel
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    The HK and Denon TX 8050 receivers are looking more attractive since they seem to be just about the only stereo receivers that have digital inputs.

    I do have an external tuner for FM so I could go with an integrated amp, but those also rarely have digital. Thanks bikemig for pointing out the Onkyo A-9050 and receivers.

    That would leave the final option to get a standalone DAC and buy whatever receiver/amp I want, even going vintage.

    Or I could just get rid of the Boxee TV and go fully analog for audio...
  8. mtrycrafts Audioholic Slumlord

    mtrycrafts
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Messages:
    15,752
    Likes Received:
    1,327
    Welcome is in order:D

    My question to you is why replace anything now since you have a stereo setup if you will be setting up a 5.1 or maybe even a 7.1 setup in 4 years or so?
    In 4 years you would be replacing the 2 ch. receiver, again. In 4 years you may be into 3 D perhaps?

    What is lacking today that you desperately need to fix?
    • Like Like x 1
  9. ConceptuWeasel Audiophyte

    ConceptuWeasel
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    My NAD 7140's volume control is starting to go. It was cleaned ~8 years ago when my dad handed it down to me and now it is starting to drop a speaker more frequently. Sweeping the volume and balance knobs help, but it is driving us crazy. Haven't gotten around to trying to clean it myself yet. Being over 20 years old, it obviously doesn't have a remote so that is another usability concern. Simplifying the system is also a goal. Ideally, it would have one remote and thing to switch to change sources. I don't mind too much, but the other half does.

    Funny thing you brought up 3D, my wife is now attempting to veto all TVs with 3D because it is stupid and pompous to have as a grad student... Haven't convinced her that nearly all good TVs come with it nowadays and it generally isn't an "option" you pay extra for. The Samsung EH6000 perhaps being an exception. Might also have to reduce the budget for the TV too...
  10. ConceptuWeasel Audiophyte

    ConceptuWeasel
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh, and thanks for the welcome!
  11. lsiberian Audioholic Overlord

    lsiberian
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Messages:
    12,171
    Likes Received:
    3,155
    Location:
    On A Bridge in Fort Worth
    Your receiver could be as good on the amp end as anything you are looking at, but If you want a great stereo receiver go HK. They make a great stereo receiver.

    Buying a 7.1 is silly. They might invent something incredible in the next 4 years so don't buy with that in mind.

    For a universal remote(which is a must) check out e-cost.com for a cheap harmony deal.
  12. KEW Audioholic Ninja

    KEW
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Messages:
    4,902
    Likes Received:
    1,782
    Location:
    Jowjah
    Please explain your logic here.
    I see AVR's (such as the Denon 1712 for $270 I recommended) as price competitive with stereo receivers, plus they include a DAC and the capability to properly cross to a sub.
    It is true that this is a refurb unit, but the high volume of AVR's in the market makes these readily available.
    What do you lose to a stereo receiver?
    KEW,
  13. mtrycrafts Audioholic Slumlord

    mtrycrafts
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Messages:
    15,752
    Likes Received:
    1,327

    In that case I could recommend a reasonably priced 2 ch receiver for the interim. When you are in the new home 4 years from now, your listening room will have a say so as well what you are willing to implement. Perhaps your spouse will have a change of hart as well, who knows;)

Share This Page

  • EMPTek.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
  • CEDIA