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Home theater receiver options...everything seems to have compromises this year...thoughts? recommendations?

Atmos from Blu-ray does not require HDMI 2.1 it's doable from HDMI 1.4 onwards.

TrueHD is usually encoded in to MAT for transmission across HDMI and must be encoded in to MAT to transmit Atmos, it's optional for Dolby Digital Plus if it's sent directly or encoded in to MAT.

Without Atmos it's just as valid to decode TrueHD in to LPCM8 inside the player and transmit that over HDMI however Dolby have successfully pressurised manufacturers, probably by making it cost more money, to remove this functionality and always encode to MAT. On all but the top end players the only PCM available is a 2 channel downmix.
Very informative, thanks!
 
DTS-X Where's the source material? I don't have any.
LINK
Over 300 DTS:X titles, Releases have certainly slowed (Last Jurassic Park was DTS:X and a few other recent ones). But there are actually many great titles in DTS:X :…. Gladiator, all Jurassic Park movies, all Harry Potter movies, Ex Machina, ET, all Bourne movies, Despicable Me Movies, Backdraft, and a ton more.
When Harry Potter was first released I only watched the first 2. I recently purchased the 4K set in DTS:X. It is absolutely incredible. It is some of the best immersive content I have heard. Lots of great stuff…
 
Hello everyone. New guy here but long...LONGGGG time lurker. I've read hundreds of Amir's posts and posts from others over the years.
What prompted me to finally register has been the rather blah reviews by a host of new receivers. I had intended to buy a Denon 4800, 3800 or similar Marantz, now the Cinema 50 or 60.

However, after initial information from reviews here and a couple other places I'm now questioning whether buying something from the current crop of "Mainstream" receivers is a good idea. I'd like plenty of HDMI 2.1 inputs, while I'm not using it now with the exception of one port, when I buy an AVR I keep it for a long time so future proofing is important. My current receiver is a Denon 4200 which I bought new back in 2015. It sounds pretty good and keeps up with my system ok.

My current setup is the Denon 4200 AVR, and a Parasound Halo 2 ch amplifier for my two main channels. My speakers are primarily Dynaudio, the mains and center are a 4ohm load, the side channels also Dyns are a 6ohm load.

The rears, a recent addition are Klipsch. Yes I'm aware they aren't tonally matched but thankfully there's not a ton of traffic on those back two channels.

My sub is a single (for now) Rythmik FV15HP.

It seems AVRs from Denon are a step back this year. The Onkyo is RZ50 also not a go. Yamaha YPAO is pretty blah and in real tests they seem to be middle of the road for the money.

I'm wondering if I shouldn't just sit tight for awhile? I'd be willing to look at things like Arcam and Anthem but those seem to get similar mixed/blah reviews from folks who actually take measurements. We do listen at reference levels some and knowing that my Dyn's are a bit harder to drive vs something like a Klipsch I do take the amp section on the AVR more seriously than others might. While it certainly doesn't have to be pristine, I'd like it to be quite good. The system gets a mixture of movies, blu ray concerts, lossless music, TV shows, music videos with the kids on YT. It also gets a lot of use. All of our sources are 4k at this point.

I'd like to know if I'm missing anything on the AVR front, integrated has benefits (WAF) but could rip the bandaid off and probably go separates but I've not really found a processor that seems great for reasonable $ either.

I'm really just at a loss unless the Cinema C50 and/or 60 happen to test really well. Marantz also has a history of coloring the sound a bit, making it warmer which I'm not fond of.

With DIRAC moving down market...finally...maybe I should give things another year and perhaps an NAD, Arcam or Anthem will have an AVR that's worth buying? Help? Thoughts?
Okay something people need to understand is Amir is measuring for engineering excellence. He is deliberately setting his bar very high over what others even good testers are doing.

But he has mentioned it before himself in his reviews a lot of his results are not AUDIBLE. Doesn't make his results not relevant but they are not audible.

If buyers are basing they're decisions to not buy something off of his very high measuring standards then they are not fully understanding the point of his tests. Which is again "engineering excellence" and also making sure companies products can do what the companies products say they can do "accountability".

Yes he didn't recommend the Denon X3800H over last years X3700H. Because he was holding them accountable for a decrease in performance compared to last years product while the company raised the price. That was fair. But the drop in performance is not AUDIBLE and in a double blind test you will hear ZERO difference between the 2 recievers.

Amir and most of us get this. So if the 2 recievers sound the same then what are you getting with the X3800H. 4 sub outs a first among AVR's. That's huge. And your choice between Dirac and Audyssey 2 room corrections in one unit. That's HUGE. No one has never done that before. Given you 2 room eqs to pick from in one unit.

To not buy some of these units due to high testing standards that Amir is deliberately setting high to push these companies accountability but that are not audible is not wise.

If we are waiting for the perfect scoring AVR before we buy you are going to be waiting a long time. Every company has to make choices to hit the bottom line. And no company is going to design such a product because they don't have to. Because what they already bring to the consumer is inaudible. And they know this. So they are going to cut costs to maximize profit.

So my thoughts are to use the measurements as a starting point pick the best gear that does what you want it to and that you are comfortable with the compromise the companies had to make between performance and profit.

If you're waiting for the perfect review to get you to buy. If your going buy the numbers alone with AVR's and pre pro's I'm afraid all of us would never end up buying anything because none of them measure well enough. But thank God they don't have too if what we are measuring is not audible.

Good luck with your purchase hope you pick something you'll be happy with for a long time!
 
AVR’S will always be a compromis.
Naw, 2ch is the compromise.
You give up having music presented in best best possible manner, a 5.1 or Atmos immersive soundfield.
Only to save a few dollars buying a basic stereo.
 
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Over 300 DTS:X titles,
Not much of a number compared to Atmos releases. Probably about the same as Auro encodes.
I in no means wish to denigrate X, I really hope Auro survives it's current financial troubles also!
I'd love to see Dolby have stronger competition. I do have one DTS-X movie title, X Machina, which I bought
some years back specifically to demo X. Glad I did, it's an excellent SciFi movie
but not the best source for a demo as it's shot 95% indoors. Maybe I'll grab that Jurassic World title.
But he has mentioned it before himself in his reviews a lot of his results are not AUDIBLE. Doesn't make his results not relevant but they thare not audible.
Good post and mostly true but I just want to mention that there are things in the measurements that maybe "AUDIBLE".
The basic DAC SINAD numbers have shown some products way down in the list that should be avoided. The weakest link
in AVR's tends to be their power amps. Manufactures specs aside, you can't expect to get SOTA audible performance from 11ch's
of amplification for $1200. LOL
 
Naw, 2ch is the compromise.
You give up having music presented in best best possible manner, a 5.1 or Atmos immersive soundfield.
Only to save a few dollars buying a basic stereo.

Hah. I think the idea was AVRs make a sacrifice in stereo performance to instead focus on surround.
 
Atmos from Blu-ray does not require HDMI 2.1 it's doable from HDMI 1.4 onwards.

TrueHD is usually encoded in to MAT for transmission across HDMI and must be encoded in to MAT to transmit Atmos, it's optional for Dolby Digital Plus if it's sent directly or encoded in to MAT.

Without Atmos it's just as valid to decode TrueHD in to LPCM8 inside the player and transmit that over HDMI however Dolby have successfully pressurised manufacturers, probably by making it cost more money, to remove this functionality and always encode to MAT. On all but the top end players the only PCM available is a 2 channel downmix.

What is MAT? So Atmos is Atmos? An AVR/Processor either supports it or doesn't with little difference between units?
 
Typically AVR loose value at an extremely rapid pace compared to quality stereo components.
 
Typically AVR loose value at an extremely rapid pace compared to quality stereo components.
True. AVR's are in a constant state of change, new codec's and such, always attempting to improve
the SOTA in immersive music presentation.

Accept for speakers, Good stereo gear from about the 80s on, is as good sounding as anything you can buy new today.
I have 5 1990's Adcom power amps in my multich music rig to prove it. ;)
 
Typically AVR loose value at an extremely rapid pace compared to quality stereo components.
Yes, mostly because all the features they have above and beyond stereo, are subject to rapid change in the marketplace, as new formats come and go, resolutions rise, etc.... Stereo is a mature (and relatively simple) format - it hasn't changed in almost a century.

We can't say that about HDMI and the various surround formats.

As long as things continue to develop at that pace - anything older than about 15 years is going to be obsolete, and will impose various limitations.

15year old AVR's have HDMI circuits with very high jitter content, at the time, lots of people used TOSLINK/SPDIF connections for audio, to work around that... (SPDIF has much lower jitter... in the current generations that has been resolved, HDMI is performing well, but manufacturers are skimping on SPDIF and it is starting to show)
15 year old AVR's may (not definite!) be able to support 1080p, but no 4k, no HDR or Dolby Vision.
15 year old AVR's won't be able to decode Atmos, Auro, any of the height channel systems, and any of the more recent encoding methods

So yes..... AVR's become obsolete relatively quickly

Speakers don't, power amps don't, stereo gear doesn't
 
I throw in the Nad T778. It has a nice slick design with a cute little screen. Dirac is well integrated (but no special Sub optimization). Soundwise Amir‘s verdict is not great. With 11 speakers humming, proper EQ may mean more than a good Sinad value. Current production units work flawless.
 
As long as things continue to develop at that pace - anything older than about 15 years is going to be obsolete, and will impose various limitations.
That's pretty generous. I would have said more like 10 years. ;)
 
Did that one come with a crank for use during power losses??? LOL
just an oversized hamster wheel, so the owner can exercise powering the AVR....

(heck I reckon that would sell...)
 
A pedalthon AVR wOOt
 
Typically AVR loose value at an extremely rapid pace compared to quality stereo components.
Only matters if you're constantly selling your gear? The real value is in the enjoyment you get from using them, and I far more enjoy my multich setups than my one remaining 2ch setup....
 
Only matters if you're constantly selling your gear? The real value is in the enjoyment you get from using them, and I far more enjoy my multich setups than my one remaining 2ch setup....
Yea, I only change out when there's some new codec or whatever I really want.
I kept my Marantz 7701 until Jan 2018 when I decided I wanted the new Audyssey Editor app which wouldn't run on the 7701.
Also I really wanted to get Atmos and the other new immersive techs so I sold it to get a 7703.
It would still be here if it hadn't been fried by a lightning strike. :mad:
I'll be honest though, I don't think the Denon replacement is long for my bench, it just doesn't warm my heart.
 
Yea, I only change out when there's some new codec or whatever I really want.
I kept my Marantz 7701 until Jan 2018 when I decided I wanted the new Audyssey Editor app which wouldn't run on the 7701.
Also I really wanted to get Atmos and the other new immersive techs so I sold it to get a 7703.
It would still be here if it hadn't been fried by a lightning strike. :mad:
I'll be honest though, I don't think the Denon replacement is long for my bench, it just doesn't warm my heart.
Denon pre-pro? Missing magic Marantz warmth? :)
 
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