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Gear / Technical Help => Playback Forum => Topic started by: ashevillain on July 17, 2017, 03:24:44 PM

Title: Receiver recommendations? (on a budget)
Post by: ashevillain on July 17, 2017, 03:24:44 PM
Just wanted to see if anyone had any recommendations for a receiver? Preferences:

- Less than $200 would be ideal but could possibly go higher...
- HDMI pass through
- Don't really need 5.1 or 7.1...2-channel is enough for me at this time but I don't want to disqualify more channels. A 2.1 setup might be ideal if that is even such a thing these days.
- Bluetooth would be nice but not a deal breaker.

The basic impetus for this is that we have a TV with no outputs (didn't even know such a thing was ever made). So I'd like to plug a Fire TV stick into a receiver so I can get audio from there and just pass the HDMI through to the TV. This might be just a temporary solution as I will probably revamp everything A/V related at some point.

Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Receiver recommendations? (on a budget)
Post by: voltronic on July 17, 2017, 04:43:37 PM
I've been extremely happy with the Denon AVR-S710W (http://referencehometheater.com/review/denon-avr-s710w-review/) for the past year.  I only use it with 2 channels, but it was one of the least expensive receivers that included Audessey (which I find works extremely well).  The setup routine makes it very easy to configure what speakers you do or do not have.  It works flawlessly in all HDMI duties including ARC from my TV, has bluetooth, WiFi, Ethernet for remote streaming, and the sound quality is outstanding.  Again, I'm only running 2 channels but I can fill my entire open-concept first floor with any reasonable SPL.  We just went through the extended LOTR discs again this past weekend and it was phenomenal.

It retails for well over $400, but I purchased mine refurbished from Accessories4Less for under $300.  Normally I stay away from refurbished, but what I received appeared to be a completely brand new, unused unit.  They don't seem to have the S710W at the moment, but they do have the very similar S720W (http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/denavrs720w/denon-avr-s720w-7.2-ch-x-75-watts-networking-a/v-receiver/1.html) and S910W (http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/denavrs910w/denon-avr-s910w-7.2-ch-x-95-watts-networking-a/v-receiver/1.html).
Title: Re: Receiver recommendations? (on a budget)
Post by: dyneq on July 18, 2017, 04:22:12 PM
I was going to make the same recommendation as voltronic! It's not impossible to find really nice 2 channel receivers, but since they're not as common, you generally will pay more than for an AVR that can play stereo just fine.

My 2003-era Denon 6.1 receiver recently died. I replaced it with the Denon AVR-S720W this week. So far, I'm extremely happy with it. I do use it for a 6.2 surround setup for films, but also frequently listen to music in 2.2 (I just built 2 18" subs, but that's for another thread!).

Also like voltronic, I bought mine refurbed from the same place. It carries a Denon 1 year warranty, so I didn't feel like it was a huge risk. Came to me looking brand new and had all of the brand new accessories. I paid about $60 over your budget, but still feel like it's a great value for something I can use for music and films.

To address your other items in your wishlist: the HDMI pass through works great, and it supports ARC if your TV does (my projector does not). I tested the bluetooth and it works fine. They are also releasing firmware upgrades periodically which is a nice bonus.
Title: Re: Receiver recommendations? (on a budget)
Post by: twatts (that "Pants" thing is so lame...) on July 18, 2017, 04:27:17 PM
https://asheville.craigslist.org/ele/d/denon-avr-home-theater/6160380779.html

Terry
Title: Re: Receiver recommendations? (on a budget)
Post by: voltronic on July 18, 2017, 09:21:17 PM
I was going to make the same recommendation as voltronic! It's not impossible to find really nice 2 channel receivers, but since they're not as common, you generally will pay more than for an AVR that can play stereo just fine.

Exactly.  I was upgrading from a mid-1970s 2-channel receiver, and really needed something that would handle all the HDMI switching and be future-proof to go with the new TV in the new digs.  The way I found to do the video switching I needed was to buy something with way more audio channels than I need.  It turned out to be the right decision.
 :headphones:

The basic impetus for this is that we have a TV with no outputs (didn't even know such a thing was ever made).

I missed this part earlier.  What TV is this that?  Sounds like a great excuse to buy a new TV!  I have a great recommendation if you're interested.
Title: Re: Receiver recommendations? (on a budget)
Post by: lsd2525 on July 19, 2017, 10:30:32 AM
https://asheville.craigslist.org/ele/d/denon-avr-home-theater/6160380779.html

Terry

Damn. that looks alright....
Title: Re: Receiver recommendations? (on a budget)
Post by: twatts (that "Pants" thing is so lame...) on July 19, 2017, 10:36:39 AM
https://asheville.craigslist.org/ele/d/denon-avr-home-theater/6160380779.html

Terry

Damn. that looks alright....

I used to use Craigslist to buy used gear all the time.  It was cheap, easy, and I could usually drive over to the seller and test out the stuff before buying... 

Terry
Title: Re: Receiver recommendations? (on a budget)
Post by: ashevillain on July 19, 2017, 02:06:24 PM
Thanks for the suggestions!
Title: Re: Receiver recommendations? (on a budget)
Post by: ashevillain on July 19, 2017, 03:29:37 PM

The basic impetus for this is that we have a TV with no outputs (didn't even know such a thing was ever made).

I missed this part earlier.  What TV is this that?  Sounds like a great excuse to buy a new TV!  I have a great recommendation if you're interested.

It's a Samsung H4003 LED TV. I had never heard of a TV without any outputs...makes no sense to me.

It's my girlfriend's TV. I haven't owned a TV in probably 6 years. I would love to replace it but that's a rabbit hole I can't afford to go down right now...just bought a house that needs a lot of work so my money is all tied up at the moment. Might buy a new one when the big box stores run their Super Bowl sales in Jan/Feb.
Title: Re: Receiver recommendations? (on a budget)
Post by: voltronic on July 19, 2017, 03:42:12 PM

The basic impetus for this is that we have a TV with no outputs (didn't even know such a thing was ever made).

I missed this part earlier.  What TV is this that?  Sounds like a great excuse to buy a new TV!  I have a great recommendation if you're interested.

It's a Samsung H4003 LED TV. I had never heard of a TV without any outputs...makes no sense to me.

It's my girlfriend's TV. I haven't owned a TV in probably 6 years. I would love to replace it but that's a rabbit hole I can't afford to go down right now...just bought a house that needs a lot of work so my money is all tied up at the moment. Might buy a new one when the big box stores run their Super Bowl sales in Jan/Feb.

It has a stereo output on minijack.  That's pretty typical to just have an audio output on a TV. 

My old Toshiba Regza LCD was like that, so it was set up as the switchbox for everything and its audio out went to the old Technics receiver I mentioned earlier.

So does this now negate the need for a new receiver?
Title: Re: Receiver recommendations? (on a budget)
Post by: kindms on July 19, 2017, 04:02:14 PM
I have a class A 2 channel Musichall Mambo I would let go for very very reasonable $. I bought it from another TSer a while back. It has some heavy dings on the fins and the back of it got mashed pretty good (it happened during shipping to the buyer before me). The ONLY issue is the left channel is a little touchy and sometimes will drop out. turning up the volume corrects the issue. Its just sitting at the moment. The thing is heavy as hell. built link a tank. If you are interested in a Class A let me know. You could probably have someone correct it but I have just never spent a lot of time looking at it or for pro repair. I went with Outlaw Audio mono blocks instead with a tube pre to replace this unit.
Title: Re: Receiver recommendations? (on a budget)
Post by: lsd2525 on July 19, 2017, 05:05:22 PM

The basic impetus for this is that we have a TV with no outputs (didn't even know such a thing was ever made).

I missed this part earlier.  What TV is this that?  Sounds like a great excuse to buy a new TV!  I have a great recommendation if you're interested.

It's a Samsung H4003 LED TV. I had never heard of a TV without any outputs...makes no sense to me.

It's my girlfriend's TV. I haven't owned a TV in probably 6 years. I would love to replace it but that's a rabbit hole I can't afford to go down right now...just bought a house that needs a lot of work so my money is all tied up at the moment. Might buy a new one when the big box stores run their Super Bowl sales in Jan/Feb.

It has a stereo output on minijack.  That's pretty typical to just have an audio output on a TV. 

My old Toshiba Regza LCD was like that, so it was set up as the switchbox for everything and its audio out went to the old Technics receiver I mentioned earlier.

So does this now negate the need for a new receiver?

I've got an Element 60" that has the 1/8" out. I was surprised that it didn't have a couple of RCA's. I had to use a 1/8>dual RCA's to connect it to a receiver. Kind of a pisser :yack:
Title: Re: Receiver recommendations? (on a budget)
Post by: ashevillain on July 20, 2017, 07:17:12 AM
It has a stereo output on minijack.  That's pretty typical to just have an audio output on a TV. 

No, it doesn't. There seems to be a lot of different sub-models of this TV. This one has no outputs whatsoever. Trust me.

Edit: It's more specifically a Samsung LED TV UN32EH4003F (http://www.samsung.com/us/video/tvs/UN32EH4003FXZA-specs)

Thanks for the recommendations...I'll definitely look into them.
Title: Re: Receiver recommendations? (on a budget)
Post by: voltronic on July 20, 2017, 01:24:51 PM
It has a stereo output on minijack.  That's pretty typical to just have an audio output on a TV. 

No, it doesn't. There seems to be a lot of different sub-models of this TV. This one has no outputs whatsoever. Trust me.

Edit: It's more specifically a Samsung LED TV UN32EH4003F (http://www.samsung.com/us/video/tvs/UN32EH4003FXZA-specs)

Thanks for the recommendations...I'll definitely look into them.

OK, that's not the exact model that came up when I searched.

That's completely nuts that a TV made in the HDMI era exists without audio output of any kind.
Title: Re: Receiver recommendations? (on a budget)
Post by: lsd2525 on July 21, 2017, 11:41:40 AM
It has a stereo output on minijack.  That's pretty typical to just have an audio output on a TV. 

No, it doesn't. There seems to be a lot of different sub-models of this TV. This one has no outputs whatsoever. Trust me.

Edit: It's more specifically a Samsung LED TV UN32EH4003F (http://www.samsung.com/us/video/tvs/UN32EH4003FXZA-specs)

Thanks for the recommendations...I'll definitely look into them.

OK, that's not the exact model that came up when I searched.

That's completely nuts that a TV made in the HDMI era exists without audio output of any kind.

You're right. My GF has a 32" Toshiba or LG that has 0 audio outs. Guess they save $0.50 on production costs
Title: Re: Receiver recommendations? (on a budget)
Post by: kindms on July 21, 2017, 01:45:11 PM
It has a stereo output on minijack.  That's pretty typical to just have an audio output on a TV. 

No, it doesn't. There seems to be a lot of different sub-models of this TV. This one has no outputs whatsoever. Trust me.

Edit: It's more specifically a Samsung LED TV UN32EH4003F (http://www.samsung.com/us/video/tvs/UN32EH4003FXZA-specs)

Thanks for the recommendations...I'll definitely look into them.

OK, that's not the exact model that came up when I searched.

That's completely nuts that a TV made in the HDMI era exists without audio output of any kind.

You're right. My GF has a 32" Toshiba or LG that has 0 audio outs. Guess they save $0.50 on production costs

i grabbed an LG from my grand father after he passed same deal. I was surprised to only have HDMI (1 port) to work with.
Title: Re: Receiver recommendations? (on a budget)
Post by: voltronic on July 21, 2017, 03:53:46 PM
It has a stereo output on minijack.  That's pretty typical to just have an audio output on a TV. 

No, it doesn't. There seems to be a lot of different sub-models of this TV. This one has no outputs whatsoever. Trust me.

Edit: It's more specifically a Samsung LED TV UN32EH4003F (http://www.samsung.com/us/video/tvs/UN32EH4003FXZA-specs)

Thanks for the recommendations...I'll definitely look into them.

OK, that's not the exact model that came up when I searched.

That's completely nuts that a TV made in the HDMI era exists without audio output of any kind.

You're right. My GF has a 32" Toshiba or LG that has 0 audio outs. Guess they save $0.50 on production costs

i grabbed an LG from my grand father after he passed same deal. I was surprised to only have HDMI (1 port) to work with.

1 HDMI and no audio out?  Where I come from, we call that a "computer monitor".
Title: Re: Receiver recommendations? (on a budget)
Post by: OOK on July 21, 2017, 05:09:42 PM
I was going to say this is easy get yourself a nice T-amp, but I just re-read your post.. you need hdmi...  If it was just two channel music play back you can't beat a good t-amp.

Peace OOK
Title: Re: Receiver recommendations? (on a budget)
Post by: kindms on July 21, 2017, 06:12:43 PM
It has a stereo output on minijack.  That's pretty typical to just have an audio output on a TV. 

No, it doesn't. There seems to be a lot of different sub-models of this TV. This one has no outputs whatsoever. Trust me.

Edit: It's more specifically a Samsung LED TV UN32EH4003F (http://www.samsung.com/us/video/tvs/UN32EH4003FXZA-specs)

Thanks for the recommendations...I'll definitely look into them.

OK, that's not the exact model that came up when I searched.

That's completely nuts that a TV made in the HDMI era exists without audio output of any kind.

You're right. My GF has a 32" Toshiba or LG that has 0 audio outs. Guess they save $0.50 on production costs

i grabbed an LG from my grand father after he passed same deal. I was surprised to only have HDMI (1 port) to work with.

1 HDMI and no audio out?  Where I come from, we call that a "computer monitor".

Ya i was kind of pissed as I wanted to put it in the guest room and got a soundbar for it. Only to discover no 1/8 optical or anything. So I went and got a 1st gen amazon firetv and used that for the optical out to the soundbar. So its fine now but had to get extra HW
Title: Re: Receiver recommendations? (on a budget)
Post by: 108Ω on August 27, 2017, 01:40:45 PM
You may want to Google "AGPTek HDMI to HDMI + Audio converter"

There are others, usually between $10 and $40, depending on features and output options
Title: Re: Receiver recommendations? (on a budget)
Post by: Hypnocracy on September 15, 2017, 11:17:03 AM
You may want to Google "AGPTek HDMI to HDMI + Audio converter"

There are others, usually between $10 and $40, depending on features and output options

Wow...never knew anything like that existed...there are even 5.1 SPDIF models (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YHS5E6Q/ref=asc_df_B00YHS5E6Q5170979/?tag=hyprod-20&creative=395033&creativeASIN=B00YHS5E6Q&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167122786755&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=7432504143743316917&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9009601&hvtargid=pla-306465974601)

Title: Re: Receiver recommendations? (on a budget)
Post by: ashevillain on January 12, 2018, 10:25:53 AM
Just in case anyone is interested I went with the following (and it sounds great for a budget rig!):

(1) Denon AVR-S530BT

This thing has a lot of features that I don't use. It does do exactly what I needed it to do as far as the FireStick goes and exactly what I need it to do as far as playing music via Bluetooth goes. I haven't found it to be noisy at all but it's just in my living room, not a dedicated listening room. Also, I'm only running 2-channel ... eventually I'll flesh out the system to a full 5.1, most likely staying with Polk. A couple things I'd change if I could ... I'd love to be able to listen to music and watch something (like sports) at the same time (this might be more a function of having the FireStick plugged in to the receiver and not the TV). And if it had a better Bluetooth interface, that would be great as well.

(2) Polk Audio T-50

Ended up paying too much for these. Best Buy will have them on sale for $99 if you can time it right. I just missed the sale and the sticker price was $150. I ended up getting Best Buy to price match New Egg, who had them for $120 at the time. They sound pretty amazing for both movies and music, even without a dedicated subwoofer. Honestly, I can't even push them as far as the point of distortion because it's really loud (old man status, get off my lawn!).
Title: Re: Receiver recommendations? (on a budget)
Post by: lsd2525 on January 12, 2018, 12:37:08 PM
Just in case anyone is interested I went with the following (and it sounds great for a budget rig!):

(1) Denon AVR-S530BT

This thing has a lot of features that I don't use. It does do exactly what I needed it to do as far as the FireStick goes and exactly what I need it to do as far as playing music via Bluetooth goes. I haven't found it to be noisy at all but it's just in my living room, not a dedicated listening room. Also, I'm only running 2-channel ... eventually I'll flesh out the system to a full 5.1, most likely staying with Polk. A couple things I'd change if I could ... I'd love to be able to listen to music and watch something (like sports) at the same time (this might be more a function of having the FireStick plugged in to the receiver and not the TV). And if it had a better Bluetooth interface, that would be great as well.

(2) Polk Audio T-50

Ended up paying too much for these. Best Buy will have them on sale for $99 if you can time it right. I just missed the sale and the sticker price was $150. I ended up getting Best Buy to price match New Egg, who had them for $120 at the time. They sound pretty amazing for both movies and music, even without a dedicated subwoofer. Honestly, I can't even push them as far as the point of distortion because it's really loud (old man status, get off my lawn!).

Love the Polks. I've had a set of LS-70's for years.....still sound great. http://www.hifi-classic.net/review/polk-audio-ls-70-118.html