to my ears, whatever differences exist between the japanese-branded mass market avrs aren't really cost-effective--all of $1000 or so msrp yamaha, denon, marantz, onkyo, sony etc. units do the same thing about as well--heck, marantz and denon are even owned by the same company. that said, i'd shop for price--you can get great deals on onkyo or marantz at accessories4less; amazon has some blowout prices on denon and yamaha. any of these would serve your purposes. any $$$ you save you can plow into better speakers--i really like paradigm studio series or def tech for movies, although you'll get numerous good recommendations.
for sound quality Cambridge Audio.... Pioneer elite for video upscaling
I would go with the B& W speakers and for home theater recievers check out Onkyo and Denon for best value
Marantz and Denon are owned by the same Japanese company. The Marantz line is considered their higher end..... Best of my knowledge both are made in China......
I've had a couple Denon's and an Onkyo. I prefer the Onkyo. Ease of set up and very good features and sound. I have the 905. As mentioned the Def Techs are really good for HT.
Given your options, I'd certainly look at Onkyo.
Unless Marantz has dchanged a few things in the past couple years, their video section did not upsample video resolutions over HDMI. I recall 480p being their standard when I was shopping. I wasnt thrilled with their service and support dept. either.
I settled on Onkyo 805. I didnt want a digital amp section, and I did want a good sounding unit for stereo listening opportunities. Some of their sales info however was nearly misleading if not in fact. Additional zones past the main one are all analog only. No digital connections are conveyed into the second or third zones.
It also does not convey info onto the screen if HDMI is used as the interface. With component, S Vid, and RCA (composite) it will. Of course one can go into the menu and that will appear very well indeed, regardless the interface in use.
Despite these subjective shortcomings, the 805 does a great job sonically, and with video. It does require adequate cooling though and some other receivers do too
so bare that in mind when shopping.
J River, among other online dealers sell new and closeout models all the time. Check the Onkyo usa website for authorized online dealers, or any other makers site for that info.
I wanted new at that time, with no aspirations of adding to or stepping up from it
. That idea lasted about 2 months. It is now only partially a processor as outboard amps are now connected to it. So do think about this a bit
. It seems new receiver line ups come out twice a year. Buying new is nice and all that
but if you are the sort that usually cant leave well enough alone, perhaps buying a recent pre-owned & more upscale unit may be the ticket for you. Youll get more for your $$$ that way of course and overcome the depreciation of new all in one fell swoop.
AS for speakers the more efficient and easier impedance curve they have the better. Much depends here on room size and listening levels though. I have a Sony 110wpc 10 yr old HT unit which drives speakers of 85 & 87db and both reputedly are 8 ohm units
in a 14 x 12 room and it can be made uncomfortable very easily.
Of those you mention, my favorite is Marantz, the 7200 has amplifiers that sound great and the receivers are also usually good. Denon and Onkyo is not bad, you try to compare their performance, features, watts to locate one suited to your needs more.
onkyo. sound quality is equal or better then denon/marantz plus onkyo service is much, much better.
I have had a Denon for 10 years and used it on a daily basis. Flawless, high quality build. I strongely recommend it for its quality
More info for everyone:
My budget is around $2000 for speakers and then $500-$1K for receiver.
My room is 18ftx15ft with cathedral ceiling that's about 18-20ft high.
What Def Tech's are the ones to buy?
I really like the Denon 3310 for the price and options. If I go with the Paradigm's, Paradigm recommend to match it with the Denon 3310. Now the dealer with the B&W's told me to match it with an Intega or Onkyo.
I think im going to lean towards B&W, seems everyone is recommending them because of the smooth and warm sound they produce. The only thing holding me back is Paradigms price point being at better.
Thanks again to everyone.
Also, what Intega/Onkyo would you recommend around $900?
"Also, what Intega/Onkyo would you recommend around $900?"
A used Onkyo 905 or 906.
I think you should just take a shot at whatever speakers are first on your thought list, and give them a shot. Otherwise you'll never know. Then, you can compare over time with other speakers in your system. Then, sell what you're not using later on on the used market. No problem.
Yeah, I'd lean to those Beemers over the paradigm Studio's (which I used to sell at a hifi store). Although I'm not familiar with those new B&W's - just speaking on past history).
I also personally have a pretty fair amount of experience with most of the receiver brands on the market. My experience as a hobbiest and industry guy both, is that the Denon's have historically made better sounding pieces at the entry to mid price points. They are usually musical, full bodied, solid sounding with good power (relative), are forgiving of less than pristine speaker choices, and are pretty well balanced. They also remain competetive - often surpassing - the other AV receivers on the market on up the price scale as well. Basically, it's hard to go wrong, and you can add an outboard amp to see what you're missing if you like.
I haven't had such good experience with the Onkyo's and Marantz's at the entry to mid levels. Their better pieces seemed to be on the top end of their linups, comparatively. Tastes will of course vary. But then I've had some rediculously expensive audiophile gear over the years. So I'm just referencing comparing relative to high end sounding components mostly here.
Another brand I think excells in performance (sound and video - which is where it counts) at the lower to mid price points ($350-$1200) are the excellent Harmon Kardon receivers. As and audio/videophile, you'd be barking up the wrong tree to try and convice me otherwise on these.
If I was looking at your choices, I'd be considering the 2310 - or even lesser- and adding an 0utboard amp, personally.
Another choice is looking at the EBay for the AVR354 Harmon piece. Sounds great, lots of power, EQ, HDMI1.3, True and master digital, lots to offer.
Anyway, that's my take.
One point you make in your request for input here is that this effort is geared towards a 90% video involvement, and 10% music.
Films provide a lot of content that coincides with music, yet it adds to that with real world noises. Meaning speed and presence is key. Amps with good power reserves provide that result. So do speakers with good sensitivity.
The biggest or most additive piece to the HT puzzle, besides the image size and a cohesive sound field, is the subwoofer. Somehow you gotta figure in a very good sub for a more involving experience, into the speaker budget
if not immediately, very soon thereafter..
So some decision as to the degree to which you want the audio recreated is in order too, along with the interface options available now. Namely Im speaking of HDMI.
Marantz/Denon, Onkyo/Integra, are IMHO more musically oriented appliances. Machines like Pioneer, and Sony in my exp, owning and selling them, are more adept at the HT aspect. They seem to possess more snap and sizzle than do the formers. More jump factor if you will.
Many people here are a bit more musically oriented and the posts to that effect are well represented by their voices on the receiver choices listed here already.
Warmth in the audio region can become a subtractive element if too much is added within the mixture.
Personally I feel youre pretty hard pressed to go wrong with what ever you wind up selecting by way of receiver & speaker combos. Id listen to as many setups as I could. Read as much online via the dedicated AV mags & forums, and look for flexibility, interface options, and local support if possible, along with items that fit into your budget to make your final picks.
The sub, the display, and the sound field are the key elements. Of the sound field, the front mains and center ch speakers (if a center is to be used) should be as congruent or seamless as possible. In fact if the prospective receiver will allow for a virtual or ghost center ch that will enable some funds to be freed up for say a better sub.
It will all work out for you Im sure
so just put what you can now, where you can. BTW my first decent HT rig was Sony es AV receiver + BW 600 series speakers and Velodyne sub
.. things have since changed as they always will.
What about the Onkyo TX-NR1007? Since im going to run 2 subs, would the Onkyo be better than the Denon?
+1 for Denon. I've owned Yamaha, Denon, Onkyo and Marantz. I respect Marantz and their products, but my Denon 4310CI is money.
Features and power are the normal added attractions as you move up in the line.
...and six months from now or less... there'll be another model taking the place of the one you buy now with still mo' stuff on or in it.... or so say the manufacturers.
Is a Porsche better than a Jaguar? A BMW better than a Lexus?
It all depends on how they feel to me and what I can afford at the time.
Past the esthetics their performance differences at that point will be measured usually in fractions.... not night and day lengths.
Please do get what you feel is best for you and not what some other person likes. That's always a very good approach... with just about anything. it's not life or death or anything near it, and I do understand the trepidation. IN the budget disclosed, good to very good is about all one can expect.
sold both brands for years. Denon....
I had Onkyo and HK AVR85 . I thought the HK was the bomb. I ended up buying a Hafler Dh200 to power the HK front channels. Everything was ok. Then to make matters worse I bought an old Lexicon CP3 just for kicks. OMG. The difference was staggering. It brought tears to my eyes how good this thing sounded. Now keep in mind that the Lexicon did not support DD. It didn't matter. It beat out that HK by huge margins in every sense. Never even thought about a receiver again. But in the end that upgrade fever cost me about $18,000
For most bells and whistles, Onkyo or Denon is way to go. For some bells and whistles and superior 2 channel performance, Marantz SR8002 is a better choice.
Those choices Denon w/ B&W
I used center, mains and surrounds, in my previous 5.1 system and have since replaced them with seven identical speakers and a modern 7.1 HDMI receiver with room correction. The difference in balance and the surround effect is simply stunning. With two subs tower speakers aren't needed.
Paradigm front ported Titans show up in component picks year after year. My pick for a linear amplified receiver would be the Integra DTR 30.1 which uses the Audyssey room correction. For a switching amplified receiver it would be Pioneer Elite SC-05 which uses a Pioneer graphic /parametric room corretion. Both of these have comparable choices in Onkyo and Pioneer with lesser parts quality.
With room correction you can run 7.1 in small rooms.