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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking at upgrading my current receiver.
I have researched the following models and am looking for opinions.


a) Yamaha 5-Channel 3D Ready Home Theatre Receiver (HTR4063) $449.99

b) Denon 5.1 Home Theater Receiver (AVR-591) $479.99

c) Pioneer 5.1 Channel HDMI 3D Home Theatre Receiver (VSX-820-K) $399.99 currently $30 off

The prices given are from Future Shop. ( I am limited to there as that is where I have gift cards for)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for that information.
I forget sometimes about the price matching. I am looking out for the flyers online and other online stores etc to see what I can find.

Also, I have looked at various reviews on the net. The Yamaha was released in June 2010 so there aren't many reviews out there yet.

Thanks
 

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Between those three, even as an avid Pioneer fan, get the Denon.
 

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at that price range, the sound quality without any processing are virtually identical, so I'd go with features and/or cosmetics.

Yamaha have SCENE feature which I find to be amazing if you use BD player to play BD, DVD and audio CD so you can have up to 4 different SCENEs for each input so say if you want to play BD you'll use HDMI 1 Scene 1 set to straight surround, and for DVD you'll use HDMI 1 Scene 2 set to surround + 70mm Cinema DSP, and for CD you'll use HDMI 1 Scene 3 set to Pure 2ch mode.

Also I've always been a fan of Yamaha DSP. So if everything is equal (such in this situation), I'd go for Yamaha due to its quite realistic DSP quality and SCENE convenience.

With Pioneer you'll have to go to the menu, change surround modes, exit. Far less convenient.

As far as Denon goes, their cosmetic is the prettiest. So again, if the sound is equal anyway, you don't care about DSP or SCENE convenience, I'd go for a pretty-face, which Denon is.

The only plus from the 820, IMHO is the iPod connection, which in my case means almost nothing because the iPod's DAC is actually better than the 820 DAC.

Once you to go Pioneer VSX-1025 (FS exclusive), then I can wholeheartedly recommend the Pioneer due to its far better auto calibration, Marvell upscaler, etc etc etc.
 

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Hi Surgent....I bought the Denon 591 from FS a few weeks ago to replace my dying Harman Kardan 220 and though it was loaded with great features for it's price point I found the sound quality severely lacking for a high current unit. My wife who is no audiophile couldn't stand the sound, she said it was too "tinny" which I agreed....guess she's more an audiophile than she cares to admit :) I really tried to love this unit & played & tweaked with the settings untill I finally admitted defeat and returned it last week. I ended up going for HK 1600 for $499 at FS which is pretty lacking in terms of future proof ability but the sound quality is much more pleasing to mine & my wife's ears.

Good luck with your purchase!
 

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orbit11, you may prefer the "warmth" of the HK sound. Did you run Audyssey with the mic in various positions on the Denon?
 

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Hey 57....yes the cozy HK "warmth factor" did occur to me almost immediately after hooking up the Denon. I was really shocked to notice the difference right away when I popped in Porcupine Tree's new live bluray "Anestetize". It sounded horrible to me compared to my old HK. But I did give it 29 days to grow on my ears but in the end it wasn't doing it for me....even my wife hated it which really suprised me! As soon as I hooked up the 1600 it was music to my ears again!:)

I did try the Audyssey setup maybe a dozen times in various postions....played with the tone settings....tried manual settings etc. I really wanted to like the Denon, loved the features it's loaded with but in the end my ears & wife won out! :) Now all I have to do is convince her I need the 2600 instead before the 30 days are up due to the fact they are releasing a 1.4 firmware upgrade with that unit & up this coming fall.;)

Thanks for the suggestion though!
 

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One thing Audyssey setup is notoriously susceptible to is the placement of the mic with respect to the centre channel. If your centre does not have a clear path to the setup mic (eg. a coffee table obstructs the sound) you will get a lot of sibilance and tinniness in the result. If you look in a straight line path from the mic to the centre if there's anything obstructing it, that would explain the Audyssey result. If it's a table, move it out of the way when you set up the first position or adjust your speaker angle to try and get line of sight between the two.
 

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...which is pretty lacking in terms of future proof ability
At that price point, it's better to go with a good basic unit that has a good amplifier. Lack of features can always be worked around but too many work-arounds indicates that a higher priced unit is required. My experience with Denon is that their higher end models ($2000 and up) are excellent but the cheaper models can be beat easily by other makes. I've heard some good things about Yamaha in this price range. My somewhat dated experiences with HK were all bad (every unit self destructed in less than 2 years.) I wouldn't touch Pioneer due to the bad things I've heard from others but that info is very dated. Also, be aware that FS has "exclusive" models with some brands. They are basically relabeled versions of similar models but the relabeling prevents price matching. You might be able to find the same (or slightly better) receiver cheaper elsewhere.
 

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One other thing to consider with a receiver - reports of issues with HDMI handshaking. I know there are other discussions about this, so I will let one of the mods point you there.

I recently purchased the Pioneer VXS920, and have it installed using HDMI cables from the 8500HD and HTPC to the VSX920, then HDMI from the VSX920 to my Samsung TV.

When using the PVR, the TV has a real problem with the video, and flickers all over for a second or two almost every time you change a channel. This is something I was unprepared for, and spent so much time screwing around trying to get rid of the issue by changing the setup on the TV and the 920 that I was no longer able to return the receiver.

I do not want to start a discussion about this issue - just relaying details as a cautionary tale for your purchase. Every combination of components will be different, so I would suggest lots of research.
 

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rfielder, what setting do you use for the HD box? Native resolution or Upscale-to-1080?
If you use native resolution, every receiver will give you this "problem" in various degrees.
 

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Just a couple of points about the HTR4063. This is a discontinued model so it should be cheaper. This is likely a liquidation price that is available elsewhere and not a real FS sale. (Check online liquidation sites, they often have discontinued receivers for half price.) Newer models will meet newer HDMI specs which might reduce or eliminate the problem described above. The HTR4063 is not a high current receiver. High current models will drive a wider range of speakers and typically sound better. Stepping up 1 or two models will provide high current capabilities.
 

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No it wont. If the problem is due to the cable box sending native resolution, everytime you change the channel you will un-handshake and re-handshake and that causes the delay.
 

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IMHO, Denon & Pioneer are good AVR if you are willing to pay the price for their higher end (I heard many good thing about Pioneer Elites but you have to get your wallet out. Along with paying for the highe end you are also paying for the brand name). When it comes to the average Joe AVRs, Denon and Pioneer are definitely not in the game (not a good bang for the buck).

I am a Yamaha fan for very simple reasons, they've been in business for many years and have proven track record. Yamaha has been serving the musicians, audiophiles and along with HT enthousiasts. Yamaha is also a good bang for the buck when you consider what you get for the money.

I am too familiar with HK products but I heard good comments. I heard their stero receiver is a good performer. If I were to move away from Yammie I might consider HK as my second best option or maybe for the second rig.
 
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