Typically the Denon's have more robust amplifiers, so should sound better, as THX is important to you, I assume sound quality is also. Even better than the Denon would be Marantz, HK, Arcam, Cambridge AZUR, NAD, Google "Audio Advisor" for good price references for shopping higher end brands. Best Regards
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Also take a look at Integra which is the upscale Onkyo brand - one other thought - I would look for a product that has the Audyssey MultiEQ function - IME it will do more for bringing your room together then matching the THX standard
Audyssey is a third party that basically uses the DSP as an EQ - they license various versions to OEMs (manufacturers)
Here is the page from their site listing all consumer HT receivers - maybe you can have it all!
I second "Audiobyus1's" recommendations. If you are buying a receiver in the high-end of the market, I would go with a Denon, as well as either an Arcam or a Marantz.
Otherwise, as the lower end of the market, then it's either NAD, Onkyo, Yamaha (which is what I own for right now) and H/K (one of my favorites, and is thinking about going back to...... I am looking into their AVR-354 model and is rather serious about it...... High-End Sound for under $1K).
Good Luck and Happy Shopping.
A few years back in a direct in store comparison the Integra 6.3 bettered the comparable priced Denon and the Arcam edged out the Integra in audio quality IMO. Unfortunately the nice looking Arcam was dated and lacked many features. I went home with the Integra.
I recently upgraded to a Pioneer SC-07 class D which out preforms the Integra by a wide margin in the audio section. Articulate bass, luscious mids and highs, not at all congested at higher listening levels, and without any of the typical class D issues. I'm not sure what benefit it's THX Ultra II rating provides other than a certain wattage, IMO current Codecs and room correction are far more important.
Well, I was not sure if you have to buy a receiver with THX certified if you have THX certified speakers as well.
Any of you know much about THX certification? Can you use a THX receiver with non THX speakers or the other way around?
I read somewhere if you have THX certified speakers that you need to purchase THX equiptment such as receiver, processor, dvd player, etc...
I believe you are expecting too much from the THX certification and name, which is supposed to make you believe that the electronics are somehow better for having the logo on the faceplate. Alot of it is media hype. It doesn't neccessarily mean that the amp sections in a A/V Receiver are more robust than anothers, or that ones speakers are better than those without the logo on them. As a sound field, it has been surpassed by Dolby digital and DTS. And they have been surpassed by Dolby digital-HD AND DTS- Master audio from Blu-ray. When you are watching a movie on a disc, you will find that most discs don't even have a THX audio track offered, as the newer ones outclass it.
I have a pioneer elite receiver with THX certification, though I never use that surround field. But if you do want to have it, check out the Pioneer Elite SC07 which is THX ULTRA certified and check out the price you can get if for on Videogon. I think you will be happy.
Short answer Mantaray is that you can mix and match to your hearts content. There is nothing that prevents it, and no reason not to.
THX is a performance standard, developed by Lucas Films to make sure that Return of the Jedi sounded the way the team at Skywalker Ranch (the Lucas recording studio) intended it to. Truth is it never really caught on with anybody in the consumer world but the manufacturers and the sales guys at the big box stores.
If you are concerned with compatibility, as long as you have the ability to decode THX you can play it back on any speakers. As Shiva points out, not much content is available anyway.
If you are setting up a home theater now, what you care about in the receiver is that it is HDMI 1.3 compliant, and has HDMI pass through. And that it can decode the Dolby Digital-HD AND DTS- Master audio formats that are being used on some BluRay tracks.
These are uncompressed tracks and they sound amazing.
Here is the salient part from Wikipedia:
The THX system is not a recording technology, and it does not specify a sound recording format: all sound formats, whether digital (Dolby Digital, SDDS) or analog (Dolby Stereo, Ultra-Stereo), can be "shown in THX." THX is mainly a quality assurance system. THX-certified theaters provide a high-quality, predictable playback environment to ensure that any film soundtrack mixed in THX will sound as near as possible to the intentions of the mixing engineer. THX also provides certified theaters with a special crossover circuit whose use is part of the standard. Certification of an auditorium entails specific acoustic and other technical requirements; architectural requirements include a floating floor, baffled and acoustically treated walls, no parallel walls (to reduce standing waves), a perforated screen (to allow center channel continuity), and NC30 rating for background noise.
I was looking at the Pioneer Elite SC-07 and the Onkyo TX-NR906. Anyone of you prefer one over the other?
The SC-07 seems to be a lot lighter than the TX-NR906. I wonder if the amp within the SC-07 is less quality built than the TX-NR906. Any of you either have one of these receivers or listen to them before?
that's a good question - as you know the weight is usually in the power supply, transformers and caps. would not give me a warm fuzzy feeling unless the Pio is using Class D amp technology.
I am very pleased with my Integra pre/pro which is the high end offering from Onkyo.
What will ultimately make a big difference in performance is the Audyssey MultiEQ function. Onkyo offers that in their new TX AVR series - Pioneer does not offer the Audyssey technology.
Now that I have it and have heard the difference Audyssey makes in my room - I would stretch, scheme and even wait to get it.
The only thing I would not do is buy an AVR that does not have it.
Ckorody raises a few questions. The Pioneer SC-07 does have a class D amplifier section (refer to my post above for my subjective Integra / Pioneer sonic comparison).
The SC-07 uses a proprietary Advanced Multi Channel Acoustic Calibration (MCACC) 9 band EQ. This system uses parametric / graphic equalization along with time and volume balancing. The pre and post EQ are displayed on screen. I agree with Ckorody, room correction does make a huge difference. MacIntosh is said to be taking room correction to another level with their new AVP.
The SC-07 is equipped with 192 kHz / 24 bit Wolfson DAC's and Faroudja DCDi Video Upscaling. The unit weighs over 40 lb.
Mt10425, sorry to leave you hanging out there with the B&K receiver. Anyone got the B&K 507 or audition one before? I don't know much about the B&K brand before. When I see the their logo B&K, the first thing comes to my mind is Burger King. ha ha ha
I am not trying to make fun of B&K. I just never had experience with the B&K brand. It's obviously a great brand because it does not look like they make cheap products.
I had a B&K 305 I purchased used when I first started. It was a beautifully built tank - real made in the USA stuff. Power was there but it never made magic for me...
In the manual and with tech support it was clear that B&K is oriented toward the professional installer market. They did not seem to be set-up for consumers.
The seller told me he was selling because the thing was a PITA to use. I should have listened. The user interface (GUI) is the worst (least intuitive, most confusing) I have ever seen in this type of product. Normally I would shrug it off but an AVR is exactly the kind of product that needs to be easy to use so you can take advantage of all the capabilities.
One day it didn't make music anymore. Customer Service was not particularly helpful. Nor would they provide a quote - I don't find this unreasonable - or even an estimate - but you have to think twice about shipping 65#s cross country... to pay a minimum bench fee to get an estimate.
If I had loved the unit I might have gone for it. But the real issue was that the upgrade path was limited and would still be two generations back. Naturally the unit would never have HDMI, be able to decode the new codecs etc. It was clear that I had reached a dead end and I decided that there was no point in spending any more.
I actually got a few hundred bucks for it, guaranteed DOA, which says something very positive about their reputation.
I have not looked at their site to see if they have updated their offerings. But I have to think you can do better for the money.
I have the Onkyo TX-NR905 (not the 906) and am very happy with it. I like it much more than the Denon 3808CI I had briefly. Plenty of power, easy to set up, sounds really good for an AVR. Decodes the new Hi-Rez Blu-Ray audio codecs. HDMI 1.3 switching. Quiet fan. Really good remote. Very versatile set-up options. Not to pricey.
I was looking at the Arcam 350 and it looks great. However, the power rating is pretty low (100 watts @8 ohms per channel) considering the price $2500 and weighing only 35 pounds. The 350 reminds me of the Sunfire Ultimate Receiver II which I just sold recently. The Sunfire was very lightweight (40 pounds) but producing 200 watts @8 ohms per channel. I sold the Sunfire because I bought the THX speaker systems.
For sure, all the latest Arcam products looks fantastic.
as has often been stated, an ht receiver's power specs are hugely misleading because there is no established standard for how they're published. since most consumers buy on the basis of claimed power ratings, many manufactuturers claim power ratings based only on one or two channels driven (or on the basis of all channels driven at some ridiculously high distortion level). i had a yamaha htr which claimed 100w x 5; when i read the actual lab-tested specs, it actually produced 40w with all channels driven in real-world conditions.
hk, nad, rotel and some others are much more scrupulous about their power ratings--that 75w/ch hk unit may in reality have more oomph than some japanese-branded unit claiming 130w. i would look closely at actual bench test results (frequently published in sound and vision et al) and at the dynamic headroom rating, which is a better indicia of how the receiver will actually perform. my nad integrated, for example, is rated at "only" 50w x 2, but goes to 180w for short transient bursts and never lacks for power.
all that said, if you like the hk i wouldn't be dissuaded on the basis of its printed specs.
Loomisjohnson, very good advice as I did not know about power rating. It looks like electronic manufacturers display a very misleading information for consumer.
I suppose most of us will never know what you are really getting unless you are a sound engineer and full equiptment to test out your new purchase.
I have tried to do a search on a lot of receivers but not successful at finding a website that do a full testing. Does anyone know a website that does full tech tests on home audio gear?
you've got to poke around a bit but this one is as good as any of them:
BTW the whole rating game is one of the reasons that a lot of us are doing separates - get a pre/pro with the features you want, and then get whatever amp floats your boat - anthem has a sweet one that comes up here on the Gon for $750 or so - and there is NuForce, Pass, Krell, Butler and on and on.
There is some additional cost in a set of ICs to connect the two, and an additional power cord but chances are very good that you will end up with superior sound.
I personally think that it will be at least 5 years before the current standards evolve enough that you will even begin to consider changing out the pre/pro.
The big factor is that the movie studios are very slow in releasing material that even takes advantage of the current technology. And a lot of it, like deep color, has not even been implemented. Classic chicken and the egg - the studios are waiting to see consumer demand, consumers are waiting for something they can buy...
Point being that the only reason to upgrade from todays standards will be because the content you want is only available in a new, demonstrably superior format. My bet is they are still selling DVDs in five years...
I am equally sure that you will be buried with a good amp...
Ckorody, not a bad idea regarding going separates. Let me check out some pre/pro and multi amps out there.
Man, do I need to start on a new thread for separates now?? HA HA HA
This website is pretty involving because there are not much people around you who can talk about audio equipment all day long!
Harman Kardon is coming out with a flagship model called the AVR-7550HD and has 110 X 7 watts of power.
Here is the announcement:
The Marantz SR8002 is not their NEW flagship receiver. That receiver has been out now for at least two years. We're waiting for Marantz to come out with a new flagship model that matches the rest of the models in the present line-up.
The rest of the present line-up (the 003 series) has rounded edges whereas the SR8002 still has the square and sharp edges.
It would be interesting to see what their new flagship receiver would look like when they finally bring one out.
I bought the Sony STR-DA6400ES. The short answer "it is amazing". I am still shocked at how good it sounds.
I have been listening to it in two channels stereo. Basically using it as an integrated amplifier with a built in DAC. I used it through its tos link with the Polk Audio Sirius receiver, coaxial digital with Theta and JVC transports. I used it through its analogue RCA input with Theta Gen VIIIa DAC and Audio Aero prestige SACD/CD player. Yes Satellite Radio can sound very good.
In all cases it sounded great. Competitive with $10k or + pre/power or integrated amplification. Its internal DAC is excellent.
It is smooth, fast, clear, detailed, transparent, musical, and engaging. Its sound stage is wide and deep.
It is amazing that it provides so many functions sound so good at this price. Check Michael Fremer review in Home Theater magazine and Sony web site for more details and specs.
Make no mistake about it this Sony STR-DA6400ES Receiver has a true Audiophile Hi End sound. Up there with the big names. I know it is hard to believe it but IMHO it is true. BTW I have no affiliation with any audio or video entity.