MegaZone (zonereyrie) wrote,

Audio receiver advice requested

So, my Pioneer receiver seems to have packed it in. The sound went all crackly, poppy, and buzzy. After some swearing and rewiring I determined it is the receiver. This is all digital optical sources - I tried swapping cables around, swapping sources, and swapping inputs on the receiver. To the point the only common factor when it happened was the receiver. So, well, crap.

The good part is that the next A/V component slated for upgrading was the receiver. The Pioneer didn't do DTS, let alone newer audio codecs like Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD MA. And it doesn't have HDMI. Which was fine when I bought it since I didn't have any other devices with HDMI either. But now I have a TiVo Series3, a PS3, and another upscaling DVD/Divx/etc player, plus my TV. So I'd been planning to eventually get a new receive with HDMI conversion so I could drop the spaghetti going into my TV and run just an HDMI cable. (I still have an LD deck and a VCR, so I have component, S-Video, and composite all feeding the TV today.) This accelerates my plans a bit.

So, since I hadn't been planning on doing this yet I hadn't done a lot of looking around, but I had done some casual investigation. I did some further digging tonight after my receiver developed its issues, and I'm currently leaning toward the Onkyo TX-SR805. It has 3 HDMI inputs and one output, and I want at least 3 HDMI inputs. It does component video upconversion and analog to HDMI upconversion. It handles Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA. Basically it has all the features I need and want, near as I can tell.

So, I'm pretty much reach to pull the trigger and buy one, which will run around $700. But I thought I'd put it out there for a sanity check - any reason why I should not buy this receiver? Is there some other receiver I should be really considering instead? I'm not a stickler for particular brands, just decent products that do what I want them to do.

I'm also wondering if I should just go with the TX-SR705 or even the TX-SR606 and same some cash. Thoughts?

EDIT: After more hemming and hawing, reading reviews, going over the specs and prices, etc - I'm now leaning toward the TX-SR606. It has 4 HDMI inputs, and having the 4th could be useful as I'd full three on day one. I may well end up with some other HDMI source box - SlingCatcher, Xbox 360, etc. Who knows? And the price is ~$400, or around $300 less than the 805. I looked at the 705 too, which is a bit more than $500, but I don't see any big advantages over the 606. I don't need the additional audio inputs (no phono input on the 606, whatever would I do? *eye roll*), it only has 3 HDMI in, and I don't really need THX certification either. It has one less component video input, 2 instead of 3, but I currently only have two component devices (boxes with component out and no HDMI anyway) and I'm thinking of retiring one of them anyway. (My old Pioneer TiVo Series2 DVD combo box, I really never use it since I have a Series3 now. I may move it to my bedroom and sell off my Toshiba TiVo RS-TX20 Series2 DVD combo box - I like the Pioneer better.)

I think I gravitated toward the 805 because I'm a geek and I like bright shiny toys with all the bells and whistles, and it was the highest end model that didn't give me instant sticker shock (the 905 did). But I find that as I get older I'm more able to control the impulse and take a more rational look at things before buying.

I think I'll sleep on it, but I'll probably buy the 606 unless someone raises a red flag or points me at some other receiver that's a better deal.
Tags: advice, electronics
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