Looking for HT receiver suggestions that are Full-Range friendly

Are there any receivers out there that will play nicely with full range speakers? My only requirement is that it has HDMI switching so I can run one cable to my HD TV...and I'd like the price to be reasonable.

The goal would be to run full-range speakers for front/center/surround but I'm looking to buy a receiver first. The speakers I will start with will be my frugelhorns for the front and uFonkens in the rear. This will be temporary until I build some other speakers (hopefully a matching set as I've seen discussed in other threads).
 

steviedon

Member
2009-02-28 4:09 pm
I'd look for something with a low-ish damping factor, as it seems to work well with FR drivers. I dont know what you view as affordable but, I myself use an Onkyo tx-sr607 with good results.....this years model is 608. I'd be more helpful if I knew what you view as reasonable price wise.
 
$300-500 is probably a good range.

I was glancing over specs at Crutchfield and saw that some 7 ch models allow 7-ch surround sound or bi-amp front stage. Does the Onkyo have that option? I don't think the wife wants a plethora of speakers strewn about the room so I would only need a 5 ch system if it doesn't have the bi-amp option.

So do you find yourself using the Onkyo receiver when listening to 2-ch music or do you have a dedicated amp for that?

I guess my price range depends on how much use i'll get out of it. If the amp stage of the receiver leaves me wanting to buy something else for music duties I'd rather dish out a few extra bucks on the receiver so i could be happy listening to both music and movies....if such a receiver exists. If not, then I might as well go cheap and save for a nice 2-ch amp for music.
 
Get a receiver that can decode Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio, then you can have the best fidelity (unless you have a disc player that decodes them and want to do the whole umpteen analog connections thing).

I've been very happy with Denon equipment for many years. Marantz also has some new models that look quite nice.

Most receiver lines now "step up" to 7 channels-I think just to have something to talk about.

For fullrange compatibility, a key thing would be the residual noise level. But that is seldom specified, instead signal-to-noise would be a key spec. Thing is, it can depend on the processing mode and so forth. All receivers should have enough power to drive sensitive speakers, but if your impedance is low you want something built very strong: big power supply and capacitance etc. (I'm not aware of any great mid-price Class D receivers yet)

Built-in frequency smoothing could be good for a fullrange. I'm not sure if the Audyssey EQs go up so high in frequency.
 
$300-500 is probably a good range.

I was glancing over specs at Crutchfield and saw that some 7 ch models allow 7-ch surround sound or bi-amp front stage. Does the Onkyo have that option? I don't think the wife wants a plethora of speakers strewn about the room so I would only need a 5 ch system if it doesn't have the bi-amp option.

I have a yamaha rxv-663. It allows me to bi-amp my fronts.

I currently use this for music duties also in pure direct mode. Makes a big difference in sound, it basically switches off all the unnecessary electronics. Still leaves me wanting more, so I will get dedicated stuff for music when budget permits.
You might want to get an avr that allows you pre-outs (output from the pre-amp stage of the avr, unamplified signal). so that later if needed, you can use a separate power/integrated amp, without having to buy two sets of speakers.
 
Great info guys...this is stuff i wouldn't have thoight of. I'll do a little more shopping and research and check back before i purchase.

Have you considered looking for a good used AVR? Craigslist, Ebay, and even Freecycle can greatly increase the "bang for the buck" of your budget. I even got a mint condition Denon AVR 3300 via Freecycle! I don't use it for two channel stereo, as I have a dedicated system for that (everything; amp/pre-amp, speakers, source components, etc.), but this older Denon AVR does very well for my 5.1 HT setup (Note: I'm not quite as picky with HT as I am with two channel stereo). And, it was free!

Even if you can't count on getting as lucky as I did with this particular Denon AVR, I see good AVRs on craigslist and Ebay all the time, and if you can find quality used components, you'll nearly always get more for your money--especially in the $300-$500 range.

Good luck!
 
Given your price range & feature requirement, i suspect that all that are available are broadly similar in their happiness with a FR.

You are better to flip the question around, and say -- what FRs are happiest with a typical budget HT receiver. Often this is where lower efficiency is probably an asset.

And i would look at an amp with 4 ohm capability... althou the guy i trust at the local hifi emporium says that even thou the Denons he sells say 6 ohm minimum, they are just fine with 4 ohms. If you can get something with pre-outs (rare in that price range) you'll have greater future flexibiliy.

Your uFonken are likely fine with whatever you get, if your FH have FE126, they won't be as happy.

dave
 
I don't know where you are, but in just a couple of seconds, I found this on the Seattle craigslist:

Denon 5.1 Home Theater System with 650 Total Watts

A quote from the ad:

"BRAND NEW: Denon's AVR-391 A/V receiver features Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby Pro Logic IIx with Music, Cinema and Game modes, and it is combined with Denon's SYS-391HT 5.1 channel home theater speaker system ; HDMI 1.4a Includes 3D Blu-ray Compatibility; Equipped with 4 HDMI inputs, the AVR-391 includes the latest HDMI 1.4a specification, with support for 3D pass-through (Broadcast and Blu-ray). "
 
I agree with Dave - at this price range most offerings are going to be very similar with regards their behaviour with full range speakers. Personally, I don't think you should choose your receiver on the basis of the speakers either - choose it on the features you need for HT and overall quality within your budget.

My HT uses Moon Onken speakers based on FE127 (now obsolete driver) which sounds great with a tube amp but are a bit forward with SS and for that I have included a baffle step compensation circuit between my HT amp and the speaker comprised of an inductor in parallel with a resistor. It works fine.
 
I was thinking of building some Fonken167's for the HT...so should I save my pennies and get a higher grade A/V receiver? Should I look for something with pre-outs so I can hook up a different amplifier stage?

I actually don't use an HT receiver. I bought a Sony blu-ray which incorporates a decoder. It's quite common I believe. Many like this were made, because there are people who already have receivers in their homes that can't work with the lossless sound format on Blu-ray so Sony and others wanted to allow these people to upgrade from DVD to Blu-ray without too much pain. My blu-ray player has all the analogue outputs on the back and I use a DIY (of course !) SS amplifier to power my speakers.

It doesn't give me remote control over the volume and I'm going to be receiving a new HT receiver as a gift shortly. I figure I can always open the box and generate a DIY pre-out option if I want to do it badly enough.

It's also been my experience that 90% of the bass you need can be safely entrusted to the front L & R speakers, the centre and surrounds don't need to be as big as 167's.
 
... a new HT receiver as a gift shortly. I figure I can always open the box and generate a DIY pre-out option

Since the earliest days of my HT i've always had a separate Technics HT decoder/DAC and have become addicted to the separate function. If/when i upgrade it will to be an HT pre-processor. In my budget it would be an Emotiva or Outlaw, but have also given thot to hacking an HT receiver, since the others would still stretch my budget.

dave
 
It's also been my experience that 90% of the bass you need can be safely entrusted to the front L & R speakers, the centre and surrounds don't need to be as big as 167's.


of course there will be many to opine that a real (not phantom) centre is the most important speaker in the whole HT rig, and that underscaling it much from the L & R will severely compromise dynamics and continuity of "voicing" etc. :crazy:

I'll admit I've still got a cheapie Denon AVR1610 unopened in a box waiting for the inspiration to set it up. Unfortunately that would mean revising the carefully crafted Zen like simplicity of the current single source, 2.0 channel rig which is "efficiently" fit in a low-boy entertainment cabinet

This was acquired to enable HDMI source switching to accommodate another recent acquisition -Apple TV streamer, and maybe even a Blu-Ray ( I've got a total of 3 DVDs, none of which have been played in at least 3 yrs, but may yet get excited about spinning video discs) . My last attempt at HT receivers was coincidentally a model called AVR1601 ( at least 5 yrs old?), but it's amazing the huge difference in feature set, functionality and cost between the two - including a wide range of filter/ XO points for all three front row channels, Audyssey EQ etc. - I may need to hire a 13yr old to help set it up. :rolleyes:

Anyways, I'll probably try was thinking of trying one of the FE127E Fonkens for CC - the opening jest aside, with appropriate filter points and my listening levels it would probably be a close enough match sonically to the 167 Fonkens currently running L & R - but then there's the question of subs etc....