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Finally! A Great "Bargain" Reciever
Jun 24, 2009 (Updated Jun 26, 2009)
Review by oldtimer2
Rated a Very Helpful Review
I have waited forever to buy a newer more modern receiver for my home. I had bought a Sony STR-D790 Home Theater 5:1 Receiver way back in 1993. It still worked just fine but never got over the fact it had NO adjustments for simple things like manual bass & treble. Seems insane but that's how it came. And now with a PS3 and so many other items like my cable DVR etc. that utilize HDMI cables, I figured it was time to take a chance and prices are now so cheap I took a chance.
Recommend this product?
I read reviews everywhere and was going with the Onko TX-SR606 but noticed this new much smaller & cheaper unit. My living room (in a private home) is about 18 feet long by 15 feet wide. We have a sub-woofer but I don't care for a ton of bass, just enough for "effect" and don't like extremely LOUD sound, but need "clear" sound. I could find no reviews for this new unit but decided I had to take a chance anyway.
What are the specs?
Details: 80 watts x 5 into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.08% THD Dolby® TrueHD, DTS-HD™ Master Audio, Dolby® Digital Plus, DTS-HD™ High Resolution Audio, DTS-HD Express, Dolby® Digital EX, DTS-ES™, Pro Logic® IIx, and DTS Neo:6 decoding iPod® integration (requires optional DS-A2x iPod dock) Audyssey 2EQ auto speaker setup (microphone included) Audyssey Dynamic Volume mode to maintain steady listening levels Audyssey Dynamic EQ™ for fuller surround sound at lower volumes Music Optimizer for improved sound quality with compressed music files dual-room/dual-source audio (powered and line-level stereo audio output for 2nd room; using powered 2nd-room output allows stereo audio in main room) high-current amplifier design 192kHz/24-bit digital-to-analog converters for all channels multibrand remote sleep timer 17-1/8"W x 5-15/16"H x 12-15/16"D Connections: 1080p-compatible HDMI digital video switching (4 in, 1 out) HDMI version 1.3a with support for Deep Color, x.v.Color, lip-sync, DVD-Audio, SACD, and HDMI-CEC with compatible video sources and TVs component video switching: 2 in, 1 out digital inputs: 2 optical, 2 coaxial 4 audio/video inputs, including: 1 front-panel input with composite video 3 rear-panel inputs with composite video 2 audio-only inputs no phono input audio preamp outputs for connecting an external amplifier to power surround back speakers front-panel minijack for connecting a portable audio player 1 set of main speaker outputs-Weight: 19.6 pounds-Color Name: BlackTuner Technology: Digital
I got it and prepared for the nightmare of figuring out how to configure everything after almost 20 years. I also had ordered HDMI cables so this was going to be a best guess common sense try first. If I failed? I would read the manual....To my surprise, it came complete with a page of peel & stick labels to place on my existing speaker wires which I didn't even use but how handy! I placed the new unit right on top of my old one. Took all the speaker wires and simply swapped from old unit to new. Then, unplugged one component at a time and routed to where I expected it should go. Sadly, there is NO provision for a phonograph unless is is amplified. Mine is not so not part of the new system darn it. Now, I tossed about 16 cables into a pile I would no longer need and replaced that mess with just 3 HDMI cables. But would it work?
Turned it on and found it worked. I noticed a fairly loud CLICKING sound as the receiver identifies the source of the needed sound and automatically "adjusts" to its preset sound field that it believes best. It doesn't bother me but that clicking happens every time you switch from once source to another. After 2 months with it, it still catches me off guard as it does it's thing. I then tried all my components and all was well. An even bigger surprise! I listened and navigated the menu system that I personally have had a bit of trouble adjusting to but I am 60 years old so maybe it's just me. But as I began trying to set up MY choices as opposed to defaults, I got pretty screwed up for about a week or two. I finally got everything just the way I liked it. I ended up using the preset levels except I bumped up the Bass tp +8 and the Treble to MAX at +10. I also adjusted my center channel UP a bit and lowered my rear channels a tad to get everything to sound best to MY old ears anyway. So I do modify all settings some but just find the auto set up feature with the microphone (that came included) pretty awful for me.
Testing it with my PS3 and a game I play about 60 hours per week ( Sorry, I am retired!) I noticed the very first minute how much more alive ALL the sound & picture were. Simply no way to describe the difference. It's like I went from a 19 inch black & white TV to a new big screen high def super system. Simply an amazing improvement. And this is where I noticed I was able to change & set MY preferences for both bas & treble. Now I am In Heaven.
So I am done right? Uh, nope. I finally open the instruction about a week later. BIG mistake.....Now I see it comes with a microphone to use to allow it to use it's own computer to set up the optimal "sound" for your room. So I hook it up & off I go. 15 minutes or so later, this remarkable procedure is done. I start my game again and hate it! Try a couple BluRay movies and hate it! So I now spend a couple days figuring out how to return it to where I had it manually. Those of you more savvy may only need a couple minutes but I struggled and got a bit confused.
So here I am about 3 months into this new receiver. It is without doubt the best improvement to my system I have made. And the cheapest too. I would give anything if I hadn't waited so long but then it would have cost hundreds more. I simply love this unit. LOVE IT! Little did my wife ever suspect she would see the day she would get home from a hard day at work to find her 60 year old husband worn out from 16 hour days on a Playstation 3 with those speakers blasting and the cats hiding.....
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Amount Paid (US$): 344.00
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