Total Overhaul...assistance choosing the perfect a/v receiver. HELP!



First and foremost, I am looking to replace my receiver (currently PIONEER – VSX-D712). With my budget and new found demand for quality, I have short listed my A/V receiver choices to the following:

1) Marantz 7400
2) Denon 3805
3) Onkyo TX NR801
4) YAMAHA RX-V2400

This purchase should last me several years. My next upgrade will be quality loud speakers. Leaving nothing to waste, I will replace current towers speakers to surround, slowly phasing out the junk. Even though my short list is full of 7.1 systems, I am more than willing to consider 6.1 or 5.1 systems with the same features and quality sound as the makes and models listed.

Listening Space / Environmental Breakdown: 1200 sq ft loft with 600 - 700 sq ft of open area with the audio unit placed at one end with 20 ft cathedral ceiling overhead.

Please consider my music preferences are electronica (house & techno), alternative rock, and jazz. My movie collection is gathering steam; however please curb your opinions towards a receiver detailed for musical quality, clarity and richness. I am also very busy streaming radio and MP3 stuff from the internet as an alternate to my CD collection.

Current Problems: 2-speaker stereo sound empty and strained when pushed at higher levels. The surround sound speakers sound weak and feel choked during movies. I suspect the problems could be improved with a better quality a/v receiver rather than upgrading speakers. Here are the specs on the receiver & speakers.

Current A/V Receiver: Pioneer - VSX-712 –
Power output (stereo): 100 w per channel (20-20000Hz, THD 0.2% ohms)
Power output (surround): 100 w per channel (1 kHz, THD 1.0% ohms)

Current Tower Speakers: Sinclair Audio (Canadian Made) 2-way tower speakers
Impedance: 8 Ohms
Sensitivity: 88 dB
Frequency Response: 42Hz – 22 KHz
Max Power: 150 Watts
Drivers: 6.5” aluminum clad cone woofer
Tweeter: 1” Polymer Integrated Soft Dome
Dimensions: 37.5 x 8 x 13.5
Weight: 43 lbs each

Current Surround Speakers: Sinclair Audio (Canadian Made)
Impedance: 8 Ohms
Sensitivity: 86 dB
Frequency Response: 60Hz – 22 KHz
Max Power: 100 Watts
Drivers: 5” aluminum clad cone woofer
Tweeter: 1” Polymer Integrated Soft Dome
Dimensions: 13.5 x 7 x 10
Weight: 15.5 lbs each

Amplifier Power: 125 watts
Driver: 8”
Frequency Response 35 – 150 Hz
Dimensions: 14 x 12.5 x 13
Weight: 30 lbs
X-over Freq: 50-150 Hz

Accessories: 14 gauge speaker cables / Monster Power HT800 (clean power filter) / Digital feed from CD/DVD – receiver / CD/DVD Player Pioneer DV-363 / Hitachi 47" widescreen HDTV / digital satelite / Monster cables

Hopefully someone would be so kind to assist me in achieving the ultimate sound considering my space with emphasis on loud music listening (within the list manufacturers provided or same price range).

If you really have the time, I will be looking for matching speakers in the future ($500 - $800 USD). Or I should START with the speakers?

Many thanks,

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First Recommendation

Quite frankly, with that extremely large area, I would look for the most efficient 12 inch 3 or 4 way speaker system I could find first. The speakers that you are currently using might be ok for a smaller room but not for the size hall that you are using.


Audioholic Chief
Onkyo Fan

My apartment is about the size of your loft...except with less open space. My taste in music is very similar to yours, and my onkyo handles everything nicely. If I were to listen to my music at the maximum volume before distortion kicked in I would be getting a noise ordinance violation ticket everyday. Since you also mentioned streaming audio, the 801 would be a great fit for you since it was designed with this kind of technology in mind. In short, you could do a lot worse than going with the onkyo, they’re solid units. But the best advice one can give is try before you buy. Good luck!


Final Decision

Thanks everybody for their stacks of information & insight. I've decided on the the following.

Receiver: Marantz 7300 OSC
Loud Speakers: PSB Image 6T

I also found a buyer of all my old stuff, this way I can start from stratch with a much better sounding unit which is unique to my demands and suitable for my listening area. My Pioneer receiver 712 and Sinclair Audio 5.1 H/T speaker set is one year old. I managed to get $800.00 CAD for my receiver & speakers. This $800.00 will pay for the speakers (someone posted that great deal on PSB speakers, thank you!) and I will finance the Marantz 7300 OSC with 12 equal payment with no interest from a local dealer.

Next step (in quite some time) will be a sub, maybe even the PSB SubSonic 6T, which is a 12"er and matched very nicely with the PSB Image 6T.

Once again, thanks everyone for their input. I am well on my way to having MY ultimate system for the numerous house parties I will be having.

Youngbuck has earned his first stripe, what do you think?
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