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Frankly, it's hell to choose an AVR

peng

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Well the key point is the reference level / the average listening level.

THX consumer level is 75db and Cinema/Theatre level is 85db
Can you post a link to the "THX consumer level...75 dB" please? I thought THX reference level is 85 dB period, never heard of a different one for "consumer level".


75 dB is, or used to be, the level some/or many AVRs/AVPs used for the RC software's sweep tone/chirp, 10 dB lower than the "reference" level, but post RC calibration, at volume 0, spl would be about 85 dB at the mmp.
 
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Elitzur–Vaidman

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The main gap with the AT300 seems to be a good RoomEQ system.... if they provided an optional Dirac licence.... especially if including the options of DLBC and ART (in future) - they would sell like hot cakes.

The market is begging for a good reasonably priced prepro with Dirac options.

All reviews of the performance seem to be positive - and the manufacturer seems reputable - but I doubt it will get much penetration in the market without RoomEQ.
How important is RoomEQ when a per-channel PEQ is available? Would per-channel measurements and corrections be as good as a quality RoomEQ implementation?
 

Barrelhouse Solly

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I’m assuming your 12” is supposed to be feet, correct? The amount of watts needed certainly could be correct if you had very sensitive speakers and listen at very low levels. Average bookshelf speaker is around 85/86db sensitivity though and if want more of a theater experience, the amount of power jumps up very quickly. In many living rooms people may not be looking at very high volume but if you have a dedicated theater room and want to listen anywhere around 80dB with 20dB peaks you will need more power and speakers that can handle it. 5 watts for a movie seems very very low. Is it based on actual calculations or measurements?
Just listening. It's a guess. The volume control is about 25% of its travel. I know a 5 watt guitar amp would be unbearably loud at 5 watts in that room.
 

srrxr71

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Nothing will be perfect but coming from several Denons, and recently a Denon 8500, 6700, to Marantz Cinema 50 -

The best sounding receiver I’ve ever used is my current Sony 7000ES. Has all the features I need and performs as well as I could ask for.
Was looking into this. Seems nice to have Sony still around and bringing out great products.

So it seems the room correction they use is proprietary. I wonder how we can compare to the others like Dirac.
 

Acerun

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I love my Denon AVR-X8500H and I won't be changing anytime soon. A lot of people seem to think Front Wide speakers are a waste of resources, but when sound moves between surround and front, it's terrific to have speakers that fill the gap. There might not be any available sources, but the processing is more than adequate.
X8500H with outboard amps is formidable.
 

Spocko

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While I do agree with those steps, I'd also include a reference to room equalization. Dirac, Audyssey and so on are incredible tools.
Agreed, and I definitely considered including room EQ (Dirac, Audyssey, ARC, etc.) as a consideration but then I realized every modern AVR over $800 has some level of room EQ so I left that out.
 

Miker 1102

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I've watched quite a bit of 4k Prime or HBO w/the accompanying ATMOS tracks (when available) and they have been nothing short of outstanding! What streaming services are "lossy only" and do you have references?
They are all lossy. The Atmos meta data is tied a lossy Dolby Digital. Your not streaming DTS like off a disc.
 

Godataloss

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Just got some flood damage that took out my AVR. Any updated advice on the home theater front. This is a pretty informative thread so I thought I'd give it a bump. I'd ideally like to keep it around $1500.
 

ban25

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Just got some flood damage that took out my AVR. Any updated advice on the home theater front. This is a pretty informative thread so I thought I'd give it a bump. I'd ideally like to keep it around $1500.
I think the best options at that price range are still the Denon X3800H or the Onkyo RZ50.
 

middlemarch

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Just got notified that Denon has a bunch of refurb models at 20% off list. I'd go for the 4800 at 1999.
 

Godataloss

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I think the best options at that price range are still the Denon X3800H or the Onkyo RZ50.
I like the price and that Dirac is included in the Onkyo, but there seems to be lots of reviews citing bugs and poor osd configuration. My I've had a couple Onkyo's (the flood damaged one is) and while the price is excellent for the power and the features, it had some issues with hdmi and audio handshakes, the remote was complete garbage, and the OSD looked like it was from the 90s.
Just got notified that Denon has a bunch of refurb models at 20% off list. I'd go for the 4800 at 1999.
Looks like that's 10% off current Amazon pricing. I'd probably just get a new unit since my experience with refurbs has been uneven. That put's it about $800-1000 over what I'd like to pay. The thing is, I'd gladly pay the $2500 if I thought it was going to be an easy and satisfying experience. My budget is based on my frustration with the current half baked surround and hdmi standards and implementation. It kills me to spend that much on something I'm going to have to fight with to get it to sound as good as my home theater did 10 years ago before ATMOS made everything a monstrously expensive pain in the ass.
 

Spkrdctr

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It kills me to spend that much on something I'm going to have to fight with to get it to sound as good as my home theater did 10 years ago before ATMOS made everything a monstrously expensive pain in the ass.
Yes, that is why I often recommend a 5.1.4 system. Easy to set up and it sounds very good for little effort. Going to 7 or 9 or 13 channels for a normal living room is crazy. Too many speakers in the room all close together. Looks like a man cave. The 5 or 7 channel set ups do a very good job overall and don't cost a fortune. Easy set up is always a huge factor for anyone not into extreme audio like we are here on ASR.
 

Littletycoon

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Yes, that is why I often recommend a 5.1.4 system. Easy to set up and it sounds very good for little effort. Going to 7 or 9 or 13 channels for a normal living room is crazy. Too many speakers in the room all close together. Looks like a man cave. The 5 or 7 channel set ups do a very good job overall and don't cost a fortune. Easy set up is always a huge factor for anyone not into extreme audio like we are here on ASR.
That's many assumptions, main on room size. What is easy in a ..4 setup? that's 10 channels, more than the crazy seven mentioned above. Going incremental from 5.1.4. to say 9.1.6 is not a big deal.
 

morpheusX

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Set a budget. Select the Denon AVR that fits the budget. Bob's you're uncle.
I would add:

- select the functionalities you need,
- make sure it has enough power for your SPL needs, when paired with your speakers (check this: https://mehlau.net/audio/spl/)
- make sure it has an advanced room correction (Audyssey, Dirac, etc)

and you're set.

And forgot things like musicality, PRAT, and those absurd audiophile jargon.
 

middlemarch

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It seems all audio related topics have been pretty well discussed, although I'm not sure the number of channels is all that hard. My experience has been that once you get everything hooked up and room correction done, that part of the AVR experience mostly works pretty well.

I say mostly, because I'd like to suggest the pain points in the AVR world, for the average non-technical person, lie mostly in the following areas:

1. Monumental, yet still obtuse, users manuals. I've had several Denons (and Sony and Yamaha) and the User's manuals, while typically complete as far as they go, are woefully incomplete in terms of describing why and when a particular feature is used. Examples: What to set the LFE level and crossover frequency to, when to use LFE vs LFE+Main, etc., etc., There is a whole body of knowledge one is expected to know at the forest level, the manual only deals with the trees.

2. The unpredictable weirdness that is HDMI, especially when things like ARC and EARC come into play. (why can't I see the on screen displays anymore when watching TV, etc., etc.), cables of varying qualities and speeds, it goes on (copy protection, aargh.)

3. The whole issue of CEC, if one should choose to use this admittedly seemingly pretty useful feature, but you'll go nuts trying to predict what will actually happen in many cases.

4. Just the sheer magnitude of formats and codecs, etc. both in the video and audio realm (just in the Dolby world alone, never mind the rarely used DTS and Auro modes).

These things are one heck of a box of tricks, probably the most complex devices in the modern home today (let's leave computers out of this).

It sure seems this whole user interface and reliability (predictabilty) area is primed for disruption, but sure as heck not by me. I think it's one of the reasons Bose and Sonos do a pretty good business.
 

dlaloum

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I like the price and that Dirac is included in the Onkyo, but there seems to be lots of reviews citing bugs and poor osd configuration. My I've had a couple Onkyo's (the flood damaged one is) and while the price is excellent for the power and the features, it had some issues with hdmi and audio handshakes, the remote was complete garbage, and the OSD looked like it was from the 90s.
The issues with HDMI/Audio handshakes are ongoing and apply to all AVR's and TV's/Sources.... the problems are mostly related to the licencing security and encryption that has been enforced along with the standards... and sadly it is on ongoing smorgasbord of changes, and a firmware update to your TV, can then cause trouble with your HDMI handshaking... (or an update to AVR or Source, etc...)

This is the downside of the whole HDMI environment - it is not limited to Onkyo - the Denon, Yamaha, Sony threads are full of similar issues!

With regards to remotes, the flagship Onkyo models used to have much better remotes - I still have the remote from my 2015 vintage Integra DTR70.4 - and it works perfectly with current Onkyo/Integra's. - But it does lack some more current buttons, which are needed when setting up... but not on a daily basis. That remote is quite large, weighty, and backlit.... and can also control the TV... much nicer! (you may be able to find such remotes for sale seperately?)
 

Godataloss

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You guys have just about convinced me to pull my old JVC 5.1 DD amp out of the closet. It could drive Dahlquist DQ 10s quite well. I think another year or two must bring some sort of sanity to the home theater milieu. I must be getting old.
 

Spkrdctr

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You guys have just about convinced me to pull my old JVC 5.1 DD amp out of the closet. It could drive Dahlquist DQ 10s quite well. I think another year or two must bring some sort of sanity to the home theater milieu. I must be getting old.
You are not getting old. The industry went forward with more channels and more adjustment capability and other items like room eq and such. In the rush to give the consumer everything, they now have to make it much, much more plug and play. Most people on ASR are into this stuff pretty heavy. We probably represent about 3% of the audio buyers. The other 97% wants plug and play to the highest level the manufacturers can make it. Right now, you need an audioholics video or two just to set stuff up correctly. Even then you can have issues. That is why a nice 5.1.2 is a good system that almost anyone can set up and get it pretty close to the "very good" level. Then if they want to add more speakers it is pretty easy. People jumping into 9 or 13 speakers have their hands full. I'm sure it will come in another 10 years, it just isn't here yet. So, the very simple and easy to set up sound bars sell like hotcakes due to the ease of plugging it in, and synching up the sub, there all done!
 

Godataloss

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You are not getting old. The industry went forward with more channels and more adjustment capability and other items like room eq and such. In the rush to give the consumer everything, they now have to make it much, much more plug and play. Most people on ASR are into this stuff pretty heavy. We probably represent about 3% of the audio buyers. The other 97% wants plug and play to the highest level the manufacturers can make it. Right now, you need an audioholics video or two just to set stuff up correctly. Even then you can have issues. That is why a nice 5.1.2 is a good system that almost anyone can set up and get it pretty close to the "very good" level. Then if they want to add more speakers it is pretty easy. People jumping into 9 or 13 speakers have their hands full. I'm sure it will come in another 10 years, it just isn't here yet. So, the very simple and easy to set up sound bars sell like hotcakes due to the ease of plugging it in, and synching up the sub, there all done!
I've been into hifi and had a surround sound system since the Prologic days. My 2 channel system is pretty nice- running Dirac and what not. I was running room correction in my home theater before the flood. I'm into it more than most probably. I just can't see devoting the time and money into products that are pretty much guaranteeing a poor user experience and dubious functionality and reliability. The fact that the user experience has seen a massive regression (I'll admit it was never all that great) in the last decade is unfathomable to me. I'm guessing most of the R&D is going to wireless surround sound solutions with amplified speakers now if Sonos hasn't tied all the patents up.
 
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