What features should i look for, in an AVR 5.1?

ssf

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Cheers for that.

Funnily, as someone who found musical bliss with a 3W amplifier, i find even 50W to be more than enough power for most speakers. But point taken that 50W in an AVR is not the same as 50W in a 2-ch amplifier or integrated: there does seem to a lot of fudging going on with the specs when it comes to receivers. And i tend to be very sensitive to clipping/distortion, so this is a timely reminder to not be so blase about power with the AVR as i am with music amps.
The Denon x1700 is rated at 80 watts @ 8 Ohms, 20hz - 20Khz, 0.08% THD, 2 channels driven. All channels driven, this amp should be doing around 55 to 60w. As I said earlier, I have heard this receiver and for listening at the levels specified by you, this should be more than enough.

Unlike a two channel amp, an AVR has the ability to set the crossovers to the speakers and let the Sub handle the difficult to drive frequencies. Get a decent sub and a good center channel and you should be quite happy with the power section of an AVR like the Denon x1700 at the levels that you listen to.
 

Donivlapog

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Yesterday the transformer near our home exploded and we were left with Genset power backup only for 24 hours that drives just a few essential stuff like tubelights and fans. I did not switch on the TV and AVR at all. Used my Sony 5.1 HTRT3 hooked to cellphone via bluetooth. A stereo performance was only achieved and some say its good for music. But something was missing. When the power came back, through spotify when i played the same in my AVR plus 7.2 channel speakers, it was a world of difference. I dont know why stereo is preferred for music when it sounds better on multi channel. Maybe it is different with a freestanding 2.1 channel and not a downmixed stereo output from a 5.1 sound bar.
 

vkalia

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The Denon x1700 is rated at 80 watts @ 8 Ohms, 20hz - 20Khz, 0.08% THD, 2 channels driven. All channels driven, this amp should be doing around 55 to 60w. As I said earlier, I have heard this receiver and for listening at the levels specified by you, this should be more than enough.

Unlike a two channel amp, an AVR has the ability to set the crossovers to the speakers and let the Sub handle the difficult to drive frequencies. Get a decent sub and a good center channel and you should be quite happy with the power section of an AVR like the Denon x1700 at the levels that you listen to.

Yeah, anything that puts out 40-50 clean watts ought to be more than enough for my listening volumes. Gonna audition the X1700H next week, if i get time.
 

vkalia

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Yesterday the transformer near our home exploded and we were left with Genset power backup only for 24 hours that drives just a few essential stuff like tubelights and fans. I did not switch on the TV and AVR at all. Used my Sony 5.1 HTRT3 hooked to cellphone via bluetooth. A stereo performance was only achieved and some say its good for music. But something was missing. When the power came back, through spotify when i played the same in my AVR plus 7.2 channel speakers, it was a world of difference. I dont know why stereo is preferred for music when it sounds better on multi channel. Maybe it is different with a freestanding 2.1 channel and not a downmixed stereo output from a 5.1 sound bar.

Depends on what you listen to and what you are used to, i guess. To me, the idea of having music coming from behind, as opposed to in the front where the musicians are, sounds strange. What music were you listening to?
 

ssf

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Depends on what you listen to and what you are used to, i guess. To me, the idea of having music coming from behind, as opposed to in the front where the musicians are, sounds strange. What music were you listening to?
I don't like DTS-X for music. It does get music from all over.

Auro-3d is a lot better. The surround effects are very subtle.

Two channel music is not always realistic either. Drum rolls from left speaker to right, for one. Voices floating from one to the other and between speakers etc.

Anyway, OT for this thread.
 

vkalia

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I don't like DTS-X for music. It does get music from all over.

Auro-3d is a lot better. The surround effects are very subtle.

Two channel music is not always realistic either. Drum rolls from left speaker to right, for one. Voices floating from one to the other and between speakers etc.

Anyway, OT for this thread.

Yeah, if the same voice moves over, that would be weird - unless it is meant to re-create a live performance. Thankfully, most of my listening (orchestral stuff, rock and metal) does not have that.

What does music sound like with 3D, out of curiosity? Does it give the feeling of an echo/reverb to simulate a concert hall?

(OT is fine now - the question has been answered :))
 

k-pad

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Cheers for that.

Funnily, as someone who found musical bliss with a 3W amplifier, i find even 50W to be more than enough power for most speakers. But point taken that 50W in an AVR is not the same as 50W in a 2-ch amplifier or integrated: there does seem to a lot of fudging going on with the specs when it comes to receivers. And i tend to be very sensitive to clipping/distortion, so this is a timely reminder to not be so blase about power with the AVR as i am with music amps.
Then, I'd really suggest go directly to the X series or the equivalent SR series...
My 3700 is terrific when driving three 87 dB speakers up to 95 dB in a small room at a distance a shade under two metres... But I really worry where I will hit the ceiling when I add another pair of 87 dB surrounds and a couple of more cheaper Atmos speakers.

Of course, will update my experience once I am there...

Cheers and best!
 

k-pad

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Yeah, if the same voice moves over, that would be weird - unless it is meant to re-create a live performance. Thankfully, most of my listening (orchestral stuff, rock and metal) does not have that.

What does music sound like with 3D, out of curiosity? Does it give the feeling of an echo/reverb to simulate a concert hall?

(OT is fine now - the question has been answered :))
:D Thanks for being such a sport VK...

+ @ssf

I've been lazy with my set up and listen to mostly jazz-pop-rock-hiphop in a three-channel set up. I love the fact that the vocals are always anchored to the centre, unless where they are meant to be off-centre., which also gets done nicely

I have so much come to love this set up.

My natural instinct is that I would be spooked if I listened to music in surround. But I guess I will soon experiment with that too... But my feeling is that it will not work.

On the other hand, if your vocals are nailed to the centre channel, then I guess it could be an enjoyable experience if the rest of the music is from around you.

It's all just theory as of now, but I suspect it will give a club feel (indoors) and that is not necessarily a bad thing. I doubt it would give a concert feel, which I think only a great two-channel will give.

+ @Donivlapog
 

Donivlapog

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Depends on what you listen to and what you are used to, i guess. To me, the idea of having music coming from behind, as opposed to in the front where the musicians are, sounds strange. What music were you listening to?
Illayaraja, AR Rahman, Harris Jayaraj music from spotify app in my phone paired to htrt3.
 

ssf

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What does music sound like with 3D, out of curiosity? Does it give the feeling of an echo/reverb to simulate a concert hall?
To answer your question, I switched to Tidal on Amazon Firestick 4K and scrolled down to the ATMOS section. The amount of albums in Atmos in Tidal made me feel that they could be up-mixed rather than originally recorded in Atmos. Played a few albums and my Receiver recognized the source as Atmos in Auto mode.

The surround sound effects were different with different albums. Some sticking to the front soundstage while others were gimmicky in their presentation. Overall, a different presentation over two channel music.

Then I came across the album 'Believe' by Andrea Bocelli. Although not a devout Christian by any long shot, thought it was appropriate for a Sunday morning listen. Switched to Auro-3d from Atmos. This is where for me, in my room, the magic happened. Music was now no longer tied to any speaker. It was as if Andrea Bocelli was in the room doing his magic. I know this sounds like a cliché but that is the only way I could explain it. Amazing Grace with Alison Krauss was, well, amazing. The singers are in front of you, music not tied to any speaker but just playing majestically in the room, I really could not ask for more.

If our sound engineers can do the soundstage magic with two channels, imagine what they can do with 9. They should be able to pull the musicians away from the speakers and into the room and place them wherever they want in the room. I wonder if this will happen anytime soon though. As of now, they seem pretty happy to play the lead from the right surround channel and the piano from the left !!!!
 

vkalia

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To answer your question, I switched to Tidal on Amazon Firestick 4K and scrolled down to the ATMOS section. The amount of albums in Atmos in Tidal made me feel that they could be up-mixed rather than originally recorded in Atmos. Played a few albums and my Receiver recognized the source as Atmos in Auto mode.

The surround sound effects were different with different albums. Some sticking to the front soundstage while others were gimmicky in their presentation. Overall, a different presentation over two channel music.

Then I came across the album 'Believe' by Andrea Bocelli. Although not a devout Christian by any long shot, thought it was appropriate for a Sunday morning listen. Switched to Auro-3d from Atmos. This is where for me, in my room, the magic happened. Music was now no longer tied to any speaker. It was as if Andrea Bocelli was in the room doing his magic. I know this sounds like a cliché but that is the only way I could explain it. Amazing Grace with Alison Krauss was, well, amazing. The singers are in front of you, music not tied to any speaker but just playing majestically in the room, I really could not ask for more.

If our sound engineers can do the soundstage magic with two channels, imagine what they can do with 9. They should be able to pull the musicians away from the speakers and into the room and place them wherever they want in the room. I wonder if this will happen anytime soon though. As of now, they seem pretty happy to play the lead from the right surround channel and the piano from the left !!!!

Thanks for that detailed description - sounds interesting…. I will see give it a shot once i get the surround system set up.
 

Donivlapog

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To answer your question, I switched to Tidal on Amazon Firestick 4K and scrolled down to the ATMOS section. The amount of albums in Atmos in Tidal made me feel that they could be up-mixed rather than originally recorded in Atmos. Played a few albums and my Receiver recognized the source as Atmos in Auto mode.

The surround sound effects were different with different albums. Some sticking to the front soundstage while others were gimmicky in their presentation. Overall, a different presentation over two channel music.

Then I came across the album 'Believe' by Andrea Bocelli. Although not a devout Christian by any long shot, thought it was appropriate for a Sunday morning listen. Switched to Auro-3d from Atmos. This is where for me, in my room, the magic happened. Music was now no longer tied to any speaker. It was as if Andrea Bocelli was in the room doing his magic. I know this sounds like a cliché but that is the only way I could explain it. Amazing Grace with Alison Krauss was, well, amazing. The singers are in front of you, music not tied to any speaker but just playing majestically in the room, I really could not ask for more.

If our sound engineers can do the soundstage magic with two channels, imagine what they can do with 9. They should be able to pull the musicians away from the speakers and into the room and place them wherever they want in the room. I wonder if this will happen anytime soon though. As of now, they seem pretty happy to play the lead from the right surround channel and the piano from the left !!!!
How much does an Auro 3D supported AVR cost?
 

ssf

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I think Auro-3D is available by default in the Marantz 8xxx series but SR 7xxx series should be able to download and install it. I installed it on my SR7010 for 13,000/- odd if I am not mistaken.
 

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Oh, I forgot about that. Could be a great buy, seeing that OP is in Bangalore.
Yes, SSF but am not sure if it supports the latest IMAX format. Yet it would be a good buy if it is in good condition having most of the bells and whistles & if one is not too picky.
 
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headcase

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Agree...get this AVR if still available. Can't get better around that price. Rest can continue as it will only be an add on thing after this.
(Pun: Buy first regret later)

With this u will end up with 7.0.2 eventually. At least u'd wanna.
Best would be to start with 3.0 then add 2 rear surrounds. And then 2 Atmos in front or ceiling whichever possible. Then side surrounds if u will.
Keep the sub last as u may not even require.
Try to put max money on front & centre.
AVR must hv dialogue enhancer feature. U'll love it.
 

vkalia

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As an update - I convinced my wife that our weekend movie night and occasional series binges are worth a good setup. The watershed moment was when we went to get recliners and she agreed that the home theater versions were comfier than the lower-profile ones we were looking at. One thing led to another, and we ended up dedicating the smaller spare bedroom for watching TV.

I picked up the speakers fairly quickly, but getting an AVR took a while - between watches, bicycles, scuba and audio, pretty much every interest of mine seems to be facing supply shortages. Anyway, finally found a good deal on an older AVR last week, and the cabling/installation was completed yesterday.

So now I have a Denon X1500H, PSB P5s front, P3 rears, P3 height and a C10 center, paired with a Taga something-or-the-other subwoofer for a 5.1.2 setup. I figured, if we are setting up a separate space for watching the TV, might as well go with Atmos. And this all started with me considering a 2.1 soundbar for my TV.... talk about scope creep!

Anyway, wanted to thank everyone for their help.
 

Parag Karani

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There is little to differentiate in terms of features when it comes to audio video receivers.
I'd pay less attention to the features and focus more on the quality and power of the AVR, speakers.
Most AV receivers will process or decode anything you throw at them. Some will add the benefit of Apple Air Play, Spotify streaming, etc. All of them have some variant of auto room correction. At the most you want to get 5 channel pre outs, if you want to add an external amplifier at a later stage. You'll be heading into a bit more clutter with this so I'll leave that with you. Its not a priority. An AVR with a solid power section and well matched speakers will negate the need for adding a power amplifier.

Focus on 4K for now. We are nowhere near 8k telecast at the moment and even if that changes in the next 2 years, you're looking at a very expensive screen.

Don't cheap out on loudspeakers. Ensure the front channels are good and well matched in terms of specifications. For you're room size, even a bookshelf will work but they need stands so floor space is taken anyway. For surround, even a cheap Polk ES10 will suffice. Get a good sub woofer. Placement is crucial. Ideally; position speakers where the tweeter can be at ear level when seated. This includes placement of the center channel.

Good luck.
 
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