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Audio receiver advice requested - MegaZone's Safety Valve — LiveJournal
The Ramblings of a Damaged Mind
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: ,
Current Location: 42.308929N 71.795328W
I am: tired tired
Current Media: quiet

solipsistnation From: solipsistnation Date: June 29th, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)

There are too many little icons at the bottom of the product page there. That's always a bad sign.

Anyway, 7.1 audio is SO last-century. You definitely need at least 11.1.

Also don't forget your important audiophile upgrades.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: June 29th, 2008 04:28 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
The little icons thing is endemic to the market it seems. All the major brands slather the icons on to show what they support, and it isn't the hardware vendors that are always the issue, but the plethora of different standards which all have their own license and logo/icon.

That's 11.*2*! Don't forget the second sub channel, that's crucial. Reminds me of the GweepCo Wall of Sonic Hosement.

Oh yeah, I need to pick up some aligned-atom, xenon-shielded, gold-braid cables - and then I can hang myself with them for being a fucking idiot. ;-)
solipsistnation From: solipsistnation Date: June 29th, 2008 06:36 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)

What with all the middleware going into computer games these days, they tend to get slathered with icons too. SpeedTree, PhysX, etc etc etc.

Also, you don't need the fancy cables! You just need the Intelligent Chip.

Try to ignore how it's basically a GameBoy cart with a mostly-etched circuit board. It's totally quantum dots! FOR REALS!
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: June 29th, 2008 09:30 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Our patented PlaceboTech™ makes CDs better!
From: ninjarat Date: June 29th, 2008 09:58 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
If you want to get into the audiophile range, look at NAD's offerings. They make good equipment without a lot of stupid, useless "features" to jack up the prices.
finstergrrrl From: finstergrrrl Date: June 29th, 2008 10:05 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
this may seem like a weird question, but did you try using contact cleaner under the knobs??