New HT Reciever or something

Discussion in 'Home Theater PCs & Equipment' started by Brian_B, Feb 14, 2018 at 3:26 AM.

  1. Brian_B

    Brian_B Gawd

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    So we "remodeled" our living room with our TrumpTax money. New furniture, new TV, put Hue bulbs all over the place, swept up the dust bunnies, etc.

    Wife is now complaining that my older Yamaha receiver is too complicated/clunky, it's a big box in our HT setup, and it puts off some heat when it's running.

    I admit it was overkill when I bought it - a RX-V1600 THXsomething 7.1 with 3 zones and a crapload of (older) inputs. Although it's a bit dated now, I still think it sounds plenty good enough. It's probably 12 or 13 years old, and overall I've been happy with it.

    I was single when I bought it, got it to power a pair of decent enough B&W mid-sizes for stereo (which I had bought a few years earlier than this receiver even). I threw a Boston 12" on it for sub and listened to mostly just music and computer for the longest time -- it was the first time I could really tell an MP3 sounded different from an uncompressed source.

    When I finally hooked it up to a TV, I just threw a Polk center channel on it I had laying around or stole from a roommate - and ran it that way for years. Just recently I hooked up a small set of rears - nothing remarkable there other than they squawk when they are supposed to and I had them laying around too.

    I currently use inputs on the TV - it has 4 HDMI, at the moment I don't need more than that. Right now I'm just running Optical out from the TV to the receiver. I don't change the input on the receiver, I don't use any of the crazy DSP sound modes, I don't use any of the additional zones or B Speaker sets, I don't use the rear presence channels.

    I appreciate good sound but I'm not audiophile-level at telling the difference. My living room setup isn't the best for optimal home theater sound anyway. My wife could care less what it sounds like, and probably would just prefer the sound out of the TV if it would do rear channels.

    So for now I've just told the wife I don't want to spend any more money, but I've started a bit of research since she's all but given me permission to buy something fun.

    I'd like to keep 5.1, given that I'm wired and installed with speakers for that now. Apart from my B&W's fronts, the rest of the speakers aren't really anything to speak of. I don't run inputs through the receiver, which makes me think I could just use an amp, but I don't think there's an amp out there that really does 5.1 until you get into the extremely expensive audiophile level gear. For the room I'm in, the 120W of my RX-V1600 is already more than enough, but I don't know that going down as low as 50W would be quite enough to make it all sing.

    I'm half tempted to just get a decent sound bar and take my B&W's and use them somewhere else. The way I had to set them up after the remodel I lose a lot of the stereo imaging as they are too close together underneath the TV. I don't know that I would get anything out of 7.x Atmos though, or if it will be like a lot of Dolby things and only supported in a couple of showcase films and never to be mass adopted. I do like having the rear channels now that I have them set up.

    I could swap over to HDMI ARC.... I could probably run that now, my current Yamaha has HDMI 1.0 inputs, but I don't think it would be any different than the current TOSLINK I'm running and would burn an HDMI input on the TV. I could just upgrade to a newer 5.1 Yamaha/Onkyo/Denon/etc that wouldn't be expensive - not sure that I would necessarily need any bells or whistles from any of the upper tier models, but maybe I don't know what I'm missing out on.

    Sound bar is probably the least complicated option, but I think I would end up spending a good deal more for lower sound quality than a decent, adequate receiver and my existing speakers. Wife could probably care less about audio quality though, she's in it for convenience.

    Budget, all in under $1k for everything if I end up replacing some speakers or get a system... if it's just a receiver/amp, probably under $500. I'm leaning toward just keeping the current receiver and telling my wife to make the Harmony remote (which I hate) work it. Any ideas?
     
  2. Verge

    Verge [H]ardness Supreme

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    Separate amps are definitely the way to go, but you'll need a processor as well to feed them signals, and they are big, bulky, and produce heat.

    Have you tried the harmony stuff that works through a cellphone? It's stupid, slow and inefficient but from my experiences, women like it. I can't stand, but it's a compromise. Soundbar won't compare to B&W's with a boston sub, no way. Depending on the motif, i think B&W's look great.
     
  3. Brian_B

    Brian_B Gawd

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    Thanks for the suggestion, I just picked one up and will see if it works for her. I'd be happy enough to keep using what I got.