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  1. #1

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    Default AVR selection for my first try at a "good" setup!

    Hello all - 1st post here, long time lurker. I am glad to have found such an active community. I am attempting to start building my first decent surround system, primarily for blu-ray, video games, and a bit of music as well. I have had a 5.1 AVR from RCA (professional series ~100w/channel) that I got from my Dad used about 5 years ago. It's probably 10 years old :-). Along with that was a mix of his old speakers for front/center/sub and some new Polk RC80is that I put in the ceiling. I have a great-room style living area, around 16' x 16'. Hardwood. So - really time to upgrade!

    I started my research and began with a CS20 which is hooked up now, and have a pair of Tsi500s and a PSW125 on the way. Due to the nature of my living area, I hope to keep the RC80is in the ceiling for rears (if they will be ok) or possibly integrate them into a 7.1 setup??? I am hoping I have a decent group of speakers put together, but I am now looking for an AVR. Budget-wise I would like to stay between $500-$750, but I am not in a hurry and quality is important if it needs to cost more I will wait. I have been looking at Onkyo, but am open to all suggestions.

    Hopefully I hit all the important details - I did some searching so hopefully this won't be a total re-post. I really appreciate any/all help! Point me in the right direction?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    I'd look into the Pioneer 1120 or anything with pre outs. If you have the option it might be worth considering sending the PSW125 and opting for the PSW505 instead.

  3. #3

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    If you are not going 3D anytime soon I suggest a used vsx94txh or a SC-05. This will get you into a very nice receiver. You can also look for a used VSX21txh which is a fantastic receiver and a perfect match to your system. These are all Pioneer Elite receivers.
    Dan
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  4. #4

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    Redarding the PSW505 - I looked at that but found a good deal on the PSW125, and liked that it matched the TSIs. In either case it's a Polk refurba and can't be returned.

    I will check out those receivers tonight - i'm surprised no mention of Onkyo, mainly since google searchs of "TSI500" frequently brought up mention of Onkyo AVRs. Didn't think much of Pioneer.

  5. #5

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    Checked out those last night - look pretty good, although I think I will want a new receiver vs. used.

    What does 3d have to do with my AVR? Not really interested in 3d anyways, but figured I would ask. My speakers will be here by the end of the week, I can hardly wait. Can anyone comment on how my existing rears will work with my newer purchases?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by myrr View Post
    Redarding the PSW505 - I looked at that but found a good deal on the PSW125, and liked that it matched the TSIs. In either case it's a Polk refurba and can't be returned.
    The sub doesnt have to match anything. You can purchase a non polk sub and it will be fine if you wanted.

    So even if you went with something from Definitive Technology, HSU, SVS, ect your fine on that.

    Personally go big or go home on the sub. I own a PSW125 with a set of Monitor 60's and wish I spent more on a better sub myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by myrr View Post
    What does 3d have to do with my AVR? Not really interested in 3d anyways, but figured I would ask. My speakers will be here by the end of the week, I can hardly wait. Can anyone comment on how my existing rears will work with my newer purchases?
    In order for you to watch 3D movies everything in the video stream needs to be 3d capable (blu-ray/dvd player, reciever, and TV) in order to pass the signal right since 3D requires HDMI. I believe its just an easier way than saying HDMI version 1.4.

    The only other way you could do 3D would be to go HDMI from player to TV and then optical/spdif to your reciever. Doing that however would take you from 5.1/7.1 to stereo so its pointless.

    That help explain the 3D part better?
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  7. #7

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    Sure does - in either case I am stuck with the sub now, as it's a refurb from Polk, and 3D won't interest me until I pick up a new TV... replacing my 58" Panny is not going to happen for a long time.

    I am interested in an AVR that will stream Pandora, etc so I think I will use that to narrow down my choices. Am I correct that I want to stay ~100w a channel for my AVR to power the Tsi500s?

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    Check out the Onkyo TX-NR708 or 808. Most recommend getting an AVR with pre-outs in case you select speakers that want more power. I have an 808 and couldn't be happier with it.
    Polk Audio SDA SRS 2.3TL
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    I currently own a Onkyo, and have had a Pio Elite in the house as well. I love how easy the Onkyo is to set up and use, but the Pio I had did blow it away as far as sound quality, especally my center channel during movie playback. With that being said, the Pio I had was a few steps up from my current AVR. Like said above, get something with pre-outs, I believe that most AVR's that have the networking feature your looking for will have pre-outs. I think most will agree that anything in that 700ish range will power your Tsi's just fine, and with preouts will leave doors open down the road to upgrade, which you WILL want to do. (If your anything like most of us!) Good luck!

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    @ myrr--
    you've been given alot of good options and advice so for now keep doing research and decide for yourself. You will probably be satisfied w/ the sub and can wait to upgrade later. As far as recvrs w/ streaming pandora cap-- I'm not sure which ones do, prob most that are network capable; however, a large # of blu ray players that stream netflix and other apps will also have pandora. I'm using my LG550 to stream netflix, pandora, you tube and other stuff and find it a simple solution. Best of luck.
    Polk LSiM 703's
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  11. #11

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    if you don't mind going "used", there's a lot of good priced pioneer elite's on e-bay right now. I just picked up a used vsx72txh, and couldn't be happier.
    50" samsung dlp
    receiver... pioneer elite vsx72txv
    front... polk tsi400's
    rear surrounds... polk tsi100's
    center... polk csi3
    subs... psw150..... 2 of them.
    surrounds.....polk owm3's

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by myrr View Post
    Sure does - in either case I am stuck with the sub now, as it's a refurb from Polk, and 3D won't interest me until I pick up a new TV... replacing my 58" Panny is not going to happen for a long time.

    I am interested in an AVR that will stream Pandora, etc so I think I will use that to narrow down my choices. Am I correct that I want to stay ~100w a channel for my AVR to power the Tsi500s?
    Just buy a blu-ray player that streams Pandora...then you get blu-ray, pandora, netflix or blockbuster and allows you to use HDMI. Then you get it all.

    Its much cheaper that way lol....
    Advice is free, the Flea Market is earned - F1Nut

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  13. #13
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    There is a Marantz SR6003 for $469 at AVSforum.com listed as mint condition. It has all the latest bells and whistles with pre-outs for external amplification.

    That other nice feature is it has two HDMI outs. I use this to go to both my LCD and Projector.

    Enders suggestion is a good one. Get a player that has all the functions you need. You may even want to consider a HTPC. I love having 150+ movies at a few button presses, Pandora (or other streaming services) Netflix, plus you can install a cable tuner card and get rid of the cable box.

  14. #14

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    Thanks for all the advice - it's much appreciated. Lots of good ideas here. I actually have a Squeezebox that does Pandora, but I may move that to elsewhere in the house. I like the idea of having a future-proof receiver, so i'll check out those w/ preouts.

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    Future proof ?? No such animal, unless you have a crystal ball.

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    Never future proof, but I usually get 5 to 10 years out of equipment. Obviously not counting new technology i must have.

    Having pre-outs does allow any speakers to have the power they need.
    Polk Audio SDA SRS 2.3TL
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  17. #17

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    Is adding an external amp for the Tsi500s only for listening to Stereo sources, or does this apply to 5.1, 7.1 etc?

  18. #18

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    Right now I am looking at Onkyo and Pioneer, but also Denon as well (suggested by a friend). Any thoughts on a Denon AVR?

    ...and thanks everyone for your input!

  19. #19

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    Well everything is hooked up, and it sounds great! I was surprised that my current AVR doesn't suck that bad. Perhaps when I upgrade I will be blown away -

    I set it up as follows, if anyone can provide feedback on this.

    Fronts set to "large"
    Center set to "large"
    Surround set to "small"
    Xover set to "100Hz"
    Sub set to "plus"
    LCF set to "on"

    On the sub itself it's about 70% volume, and opened up all the way on the LPF. The sub sounded better with the phase at 180.

  20. #20

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    I think when you get a new AVR you will be very impressed with having all the new features like 7.1 DTS-MA and True HD audio and of course 1.4 HDMI capabilities. Remember to look for an AVR with pre-outs:) As for your settings on your AVR now, may I suggest setting all the speakers to "small" and crossover to 80hz. Let the subwoofer 's amp work for those bass notes, this will take some of the load off of the power supply in the AVR and should help your system sound a bit better when you're watching a movie with a lot of action cranked up. I'm not familiar with those old RCA receivers with the subwoofer setting for "plus". When it comes to getting the most from your sub, so much depends on trial and error placement. Let us know if we can help you out with other questions.
    Last edited by Polkie2009; 02-19-2011 at 04:16 PM.

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    Here's pic - thanks again everyone for the input.


  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Polkie2009 View Post
    I think when you get a new AVR you will be very impressed with having all the new features like 7.1 DTS-MA and True HD audio and of course 1.4 HDMI capabilities. Remember to look for an AVR with pre-outs:) As for your settings on your AVR now, may I suggest setting all the speakers to "small" and crossover to 80hz. Let the subwoofer 's amp work for those bass notes, this will take some of the load off of the power supply in the AVR and should help your system sound a bit better when you're watching a movie with a lot of action cranked up. I'm not familiar with those old RCA receivers with the subwoofer setting for "plus". When it comes to getting the most from your sub, so much depends on trial and error placement. Let us know if we can help you out with other questions.
    That was my one doubt, going all small, or just the surrounds to small. I will have to listen again, maybe my ears are tricking me. Ah and the crossover only goes 100-150-200, so I set it as low as possible.
    Last edited by myrr; 02-19-2011 at 04:25 PM.

  23. #23

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    Very nice setup myrr! I understand now why you set it at 100 hz:) You are going to be very happy with a new AVR,how soon do you think you'll be getting one?

  24. #24

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    when you get a new receiver you will be BLOWN AWAY! I had a yammy v630 witch was about 10+ years and upgraded to a yammy rxa-2000 and was blown away. I never heard my speakers sound so good, especially my 12 year old rt16's. It's good you got your speakers before your avr because now you will hear your new speakers open up with a newer recever. If your interested in the yammy line, i got mine at best buy for 1050 and it has all the bells and whistles you'll need.
    Good Luck!
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  25. #25

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    Thanks guys - I was afraid the TSIs would be too big, but they look pretty good IMO. I've been doing a lot of reading... I think I will most likely purchase in the next 3 months or so, I am focused in on the Denon AVR-3311CI, which can be found for ~$800 if you wait for coupons, sales, etc.

  26. #26

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    The 3311 is a good receiver..My brother was going to get the Denon 3311 but after seeing and hearing mine he ended up getting the yammy. here's a link to avs about all types of receivers
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=90
    Yamaha rx-a2000 AVR
    Polk csi5 Center
    Polk rt16 Main
    Polk fxia6 Rear Surround
    Paradigm Micro Rear Back
    Onkyo bookshelf Front Presence (for now)
    PSW 450 Front Sub
    DSW MicroPro 4000 Front Sub
    DSW MicroPro 2000 Rear Sub
    Samsung c6300 60 inch LED
    Sony BDPs370
    Room Size 15x30

  27. #27

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    To be perfectly honest the only reason I haven't looked at Yammys yet is because a buddy of mine bought one (I don't know the model #) a couple years back and I didn't like it at all. Of course that was a HTIB... so all bets are off there.

    Also, I have heard that Yammys are a bit "bright" with Polks? Read that here somewhere. I prefer a warmer sound; Denon and Onkyo seemed to be the choice for that. In either case, I will read up more on the Yamaha.

  28. #28

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    true,, mine was a little bright, but adjusted it out
    Yamaha rx-a2000 AVR
    Polk csi5 Center
    Polk rt16 Main
    Polk fxia6 Rear Surround
    Paradigm Micro Rear Back
    Onkyo bookshelf Front Presence (for now)
    PSW 450 Front Sub
    DSW MicroPro 4000 Front Sub
    DSW MicroPro 2000 Rear Sub
    Samsung c6300 60 inch LED
    Sony BDPs370
    Room Size 15x30

  29. #29

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    I Had a Yamaha v-863 and it was good for h/t but I didn't like it for music. I sold and replaced it with my current avr and have been very happy ever since. Like everthing audio,it will depend on what sounds good to you.


    Tim
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    Bluray: Oppo BDP-93
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  30. #30

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    Part of the fun of this journey is using the pre/outs for swapping out external amplifiers,cables,speakers etc.. in the quest for that right synergy. One of the nice things I like about this new Denon3311 is the Audyssey DSX circuitry:)

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