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Discussion Starter #1
I need to get some speakers for a sound system (I've never had one) and figure I might as well do this right instead of getting a bandaid fix and then upgrade. So I'm going to get a pair of B&W speakers for the front and then build up on them gradually with center, woofer and back speakers.
I need a good reciever and consider myself naive and novice in this area. Most recommendations I get are toward Denons, specifically the AVR 2803 and AVR 3803 recievers.
Anybody have any experience with these items?
Cheers,
 

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My Denon receiver (pretty sure it's an AVR 2800) is fine, no problems, easily drives my NHTs and setup was not too painful (considering all of the inputs and outputs of a modern system). The remote is what I would call adequate - it does everything it needs to do, but it's not fancy or elegant. It's a learning remote so you could operate most of your other components from it, but kind of a pain to switch from one mode to another, so probably not worth the trouble. What else do you want to know ?

BTW, if you want a true, true universal remote, check out the Harmony Remote:


http://www.harmonyremote.com/sept_catalogue/item4.htm

I have one of these, and it really is outstanding - small, easily programmed and allows you to put away all of those other remotes. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the input, as far as what I want to know, I'm not sure. I got turned on to B&W speakers by a friend who has pair and sound fidelity was very high and it sounded rich. I just don't understand enough about recievers (and can't compare them side by side like speakers) to be able to make an educated decision. So I'm at the mercy of the sales person.
 

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I think Denon has a reputation for good, solid receivers - but there are lots of other ones out there as well. You just need to get as much info, and listen critically to as many systems (within your price range) as possible. Personally, I like the magazine Home Theater for its' reviews and information on products, upcoming changes in the industry/standards etc.

If you can, find a good A/V shop in your area with people that you can talk to and trust, and then buy from them so you'll be supporting them and they'll still be around when you want to upgrade, etc.
 

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I've always felt that the job of a "receiver" from the speaker perspective was to amplify.

That's easier said than done. Every amplifier "colors" and filters the signal in some way. Some people will pay MAJOR $$$ to get an amplifier that is "clean" = less coloring & filtering. Some brands have reputations for coloring in a certain way. Denon seems to have a pretty good reputation for being flat (equal coloring) across the spectrum.

Much like an Elise. Less coloring & filtering of the experience = MORE FUN!!!

Ha! I got some car content in here!!! :)
 

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Babak:
what B&Ws are you getting? I have two Harman/Kardon receivers and they are absolutely excellent (AVR7000 & AVR320). I used to work for Harman so we got huge discounts, otherwise I wouldn't be able to afford both receivers. LOL I'm really not familiar with Denons, although they are very good from what I hear. Maybe I can help you decide what speakers to get if you'd like.
 

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I own a 3803. Good receiver for money.
Take a look at 3805 now. Has one more component input. (Wish I had another HD input now.)
Nice choice with B&W. Should perform well in all situations.
Good luck.
 

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Have the Denon 3802, it's pretty good. Main thing you want to look at does it cover all the major formats, inputs/outputs. At those price ranges the spec are pretty close( as long as you stay with the major players), so I'd say it a bit more about the ergonomic and style. Speakers, using the B&W DM601S3 in the bedroom, for a main system the next one up 602S3 or beyond would be a better choice.
 

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I agree with Khamai -- invest the bulk of your receiver dollar in the amplifier portion. Processing circuitry (like computers) can become "yesterday's newspaper" very quickly.

Having worked high-end audio whiile in school, I consider myself qualified to comment on this issue. While admittedly old, my experiences with Denon products are good. You may also want to try looking at NAD (nice simple designs), or B & K (if your wallet allows).

An integrated amplifier is another option, as these usually have a more robust amplification section, and you're not paying for frills that detract from the overall sound quality. The pricier products, such as B & K's integrated amps, allow for processor upgrades in the future, as technologies develop. You may pay a bit more up-front for an upgradable design, but you'll probably never have to replace it.

Hope this helps... :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm going to go with 602.5's for the front since they have a cabinet, an ASW600 woofer, 601's for the back and a three piece center channel.
As to listening critcially, it was easy for the speakers in the traditional setting of the home theater room. However, much harder for recievers since they usually have a couple of the at bets hooked to the system.

I'm leaning toward the 2803 from Denon since the price diff will allowe me to get either better back recievers or update the fronts. The room is a large room with hardwood floors so filling it with sound is going to be difficult secondary to the reflected harmonics from the wood.
 

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babak said:
room is a large room with hardwood floors so filling it with sound is going to be difficult secondary to the reflected harmonics from the wood.
Highly recommend dealing with that issue. Larger throw rugs. More absorbing material such as wall hangings, plants, etc. I found it very tiring to listen to my system with hardwood floors and that is a large factor in the remodel we are doing, to add carpeting to the main room.
 

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Randy's absolutely right, you are going to need to "treat" the floors with a rug. Recent back-issues of Home Theater have some good information about room acoustics, you might want to check it out. Basically you could have the best system in the world but if your room is too "live" (too much reflection from hard surfaces), it's going to sound like sh*t !
 

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mikester, I'm also running with NHT speakers (VT2, VS2a - center, L/R rear & superone xu- center rear). Which version are you using? Really like the 2.9 music series but they didn't do well with soundtracks. Hope we're at least getting different color Elises. :p
 

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2.5's up front left and right, matching model (forget the number) center channel and SuperZero's left and right surround. For the low end, I've also got one of the original series of Bob Carver's Sunfire True Subwoofer, which is pretty impressive for its small size, plus it's self-powered.
 

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My audio system is fronted by a Rotel amp and preamp. Excellent sound.

My home theatre receiver is from: Outlaw Audio . I have their Model 1050. I'm quite pleased with it. Check them out.
 

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Denon Receiver

I'm running one of the older Denon AVR 3300 models, and I really like the features for the price, especially ability to switch multiple component video sources, and various digital audio (coax and optical). Only problem I ran into (fixed under warranty) was overheating. Pretty aggressive thermal cutout, had to send it back for a factory do-over on the fans. It's noisier now, but at least it doesn't keep cutting out.
 

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Larry, Mike: love your setups. When I was looking for a system, I agonized between the two systems you have. They are slightly better in their intended fields, but can go both ways. I then fell in love with the Monitor Audio silver series. It would have been great...then some Boston Acoustics speakers run my a Yamaha receiver showed up in the living room, purchased by another family member. There was no convincing them to switch. :(

Has anyone heard NHT's latest offerings?

- J

PS: Besides autos, this can also be a very rewarding, but expensive hobby. 1 Elise vs. 1 Complete HT system. Whoa!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the idea about the rug. I've got just the perfect one for the job. I'm planning on splitting the room with a sectional couch. As to walls, they are full of large paintings and photographs. This is going to be fun.
 

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I am just finishing up a dedicated home theater. I perviously had a Denon and loved it, but when buying this time the sales rep got a Denon, Pioneer Elite, HK, Marantz, one other I forget and did a back to back comparsion. Wow what a difference in tone quailty I had no idea. Oh, all tone controls set to neutral. My order of preference was Pioneed Elite, Marantz, Denon, others. I went in saying I wanted another Denon can came out buying the Elite (a good Lotus name by the way). So my setup is Definative Tech speakers, Runco projector, 110 inch Firehawk screen, Pioneer Elite integrated amp with DD 6.1/sythasized 7.1, and Pioneer Elite DV-45 player. Everything will be done on Thursday of next week and then the movie parties start.
 

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Vantage- From what I recall NHT went with a module approach with the Evolution line, haven’t given them a listen but from the few write-ups they seem to be pretty good systems.

Have been sidetracked by the video end lately. Got a TV about a year ago that picks up HD broadcast. Had been watching off the air. Then a few months back the cable company started offering HD. Haven’t watched DVD’s much for a while. Had the old set ISF calibration, will get around to it soon enough. For those that haven’t taken the plunge the sets are getting affordable and there’s enough programming to make it wroth while.

James- That should be a fun setup.
 
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