Discuss Your Gaming Environments and AV Setups
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isiolia
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Re: Audiophile, Budgetphile, and Dontgiveaphile thread.

by isiolia Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:25 pm

I haven't bought a receiver (at least, for myself) in a while, but the Denon I have has been good. Main thing I'd consider is that last year's comparable X models (X1300W/X2300W) are still readily available for not a lot more than the S models you're looking at. At least from some sellers. X2300W is still more like $450 though.

Lots more info here - most of the extra features may not be compelling, outside of having a better warranty.

I was dabbling with buying a new receiver the other week, and was considering the X3300W...but it's the sort of thing I'd need to upgrade more of my setup to really benefit from (no 4k TV or source for instance, and no place to put ceiling speakers :? ). Most "problems" I've had with my existing stuff have ended up being fixed by swapping out HDMI cables. At least for a time.
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Re: Audiophile, Budgetphile, and Dontgiveaphile thread.

by Ziggy587 Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:01 pm

I have an Onkyo 5.1 right now, but I've been wanting to upgrade to this one for the past few years: https://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-NR656-C ... 390&sr=1-4

Looks like it has a huge discount price right now, I was pretty sure the usual price is closer to $500.

There's also the new(er) 5.2 model: https://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-SR373-5 ... 390&sr=1-3

edit: Looks like the 656 is the older model to the 676 (which is $500) so now the price is making sense to me.
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samsonlonghair
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Re: Audiophile, Budgetphile, and Dontgiveaphile thread.

by samsonlonghair Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:13 pm

Man, I love this Dontgiveaphile thread. I need to teardown my stereo and set it all back up again. But I have too many projects going on right now and not enough time, money, or space for everything. Guess I need to pick my priorities, huh? :lol:
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Anapan
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Re: Audiophile, Budgetphile, and Dontgiveaphile thread.

by Anapan Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:30 am

I *really* wanted to use Fibre Optic - Optical TOSLINK (Toshiba Link) set at 5.1 to transfer all the audio from my PC to my receiver. This was a mistake for many reasons that I didn't care to understand. I brute-force made it happen by buying a Creative Sound Blaster Z and using it's driver in "analog driver to digital" mode or some such thing. The driver issues and software problems I had to slog through were disappointing until I figured out how to make everything work okay. Now everything works okay, but it isn't actually even close to a 1:1 perfect reproduction. In encoding the signal to a fibre-optic TOSLINK signal, every channel is digitally compressed in order to send it as an audio-stream. It's sort of like when an RGB signal is turned into a RCA composite output. Tho the bandwidth is very high, it's still being real time compressed and decompressed through a cable.
What I purposely ignored because I wanted lasers to make perfect audio at my place is that both the coaxial and optical toslink are both lossy re-encodings of what would otherwise be a digitally perfect reproduction. Luckily my ears can't hear any difference, and I think it's cool that if I wanted I could bury an optical cable for a few kilometers and log into my computer from across town and listen to a movie 5.1 while watching it on my phone.
The thing I completely ignored is that nearly everyone's PC and laptop video card outputs a pure perfect digital signal through it's HDMI cable. Anything less than HDMI is so much worse than the perfect signal it sends.
Also, my expensive soundcard? It can easily be replaced by a cheap transcoder that takes HDMI in, powers itself off the HDMI port and outputs all 3 - Stereo RCA, Optical TOSLINK, and Coaxial digital 5.1.
I specifically got an older, very impressive receiver that the owner said couldn't receive HDMI so it was obsolete and useless. I still have some great audio equipment and to me it sounds great! I just wanted to note that all of my hardware solutions and every hour I spent trying to make TOSLINK work were wasteful and easily pale in comparison to a simple HDMI cable connection.

Even the oldest HDMI-capable onboard graphics card or motherboard is actually the pinnacle of audio output. It really doesn't get any better than that!
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samsonlonghair
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Re: Audiophile, Budgetphile, and Dontgiveaphile thread.

by samsonlonghair Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:29 pm

I feel your pain, Anapan. I went through a similar process.
Anapan wrote:The thing I completely ignored is that nearly everyone's PC and laptop video card outputs a pure perfect digital signal through it's HDMI cable. Anything less than HDMI is so much worse than the perfect signal it sends.

You're right. HDMI audio is ultimately the only reliable way to get the real-deal 5.1 audio delivered on six discreet channels.
Anapan wrote:I specifically got an older, very impressive receiver that the owner said couldn't receive HDMI so it was obsolete and useless. I still have some great audio equipment and to me it sounds great! I just wanted to note that all of my hardware solutions and every hour I spent trying to make TOSLINK work were wasteful and easily pale in comparison to a simple HDMI cable connection.

I did the same thing in the past. There's just SO MUCH cool audio gear on the second hand market that's obsolete because it was manufactured before HDMI became the de facto standard. You can walk through most any pawn shop and find cool receivers by Pioneer or Marantz. How can I walk past all those shiny chrome knobs, bouncing VU meters, and glorious wood grain to settle on some cold, sterile, black monolith of HDMI digital perfection?
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This is not mine; I just think this looks beautiful.
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This machine outputs pure digital perfection, but at what cost?


I resisted the omnipresence of HDMI like the crew of the enterprise resisted the borg, but now that I've been assimilated I find almost zero content that takes full advantage of 5.1 or 7.1 audio. :roll:

Lately I have been getting into huge wooden stereo consoles from the 1960s. I should probably take a few snapshots when I get home so that you can see what I mean.
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isiolia
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Re: Audiophile, Budgetphile, and Dontgiveaphile thread.

by isiolia Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:02 pm

samsonlonghair wrote:I resisted the omnipresence of HDMI like the crew of the enterprise resisted the borg, but now that I've been assimilated I find almost zero content that takes full advantage of 5.1 or 7.1 audio. :roll:


I assume you mean out of a computer, though it might depend on content. I think a lot of streaming stuff doesn't make a point to on PC, at least at one point making other devices the preferable way to connect. I started using my PS3 for Netflix because it was one of the first to do 1080p/5.1 streaming, for instance.

Games, far as I know, do have more of it - console versions are certainly built with surround, even if it's just effectively 4.1 sometimes.
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samsonlonghair
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Re: Audiophile, Budgetphile, and Dontgiveaphile thread.

by samsonlonghair Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:07 pm

isiolia wrote:I assume you mean out of a computer, though it might depend on content.

I'm really talking about music here. Movies and games have utilized 5.1 for a while, but it's not always obvious when they utilize six discreet channels or virtual surround.
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Re: Audiophile, Budgetphile, and Dontgiveaphile thread.

by fastbilly1 Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:50 pm

I have not upgraded the receiver yet. I did build a shelf and set it up for the projector, and route a hdmi balun in to get up to it. Receiver upgrade is going to wait until tax rebate.
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samsonlonghair
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Re: Audiophile, Budgetphile, and Dontgiveaphile thread.

by samsonlonghair Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:53 pm

I got a little fed up with how messy I had let the man cave get, so I'm tearing everything out of here and starting again. That means I get to set up my audio/visual system from scratch.

I might need to pare down a few things to get a fresh start in 2018. I have a hard time getting rid of anything, but this is starting to cross into hoarder territory. I need to consider what things I'm actually using in the man cave. Do I actually NEED to own this much old electronic junk? When I was a kid, we could never afford to buy these shiny electronic gadgets. Now I think that I'm starting to hoard all the things I always wanted but never needed: old stereos, mechanical keyboards, Macintosh computers, video games.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to own one nice stereo system. It just doesn't need to be a ton of retro a/v stuff cluttering up every corner of the room. Maybe just a one-size-fits-all surround system out of which I can play my music, my retro games, and my computer.

:idea: While I'm doing all this, it might be time to install ethernet in this room and the living room. We're going to finally get internet service at home in 2018, so I might as well have my local area network already ready to rock and roll. Maybe I can run a proper media server and run video over LAN here. That would be fun.

Also, I need to better organize my projects so that I finish one before I start on the next. Maybe I can re-evalute my workflow while I'm reorganizing my room.
Last edited by samsonlonghair on Mon Dec 25, 2017 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Anapan
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Re: Audiophile, Budgetphile, and Dontgiveaphile thread.

by Anapan Mon Dec 25, 2017 4:07 am

I'm doing the same thing - Recently the basement repairs made a ton of drywall dust that I'm doing my best to contain by doing a sweep entertainment center re-setup. I'm really glad I finally found a stable 6x2 HDMI matrix - Ebay link. This is after almost a year and 6 models that failed to perform. Possibly this is a Monoprice "Blackbird 6x2 HDMI Matrix" but after ordering that and receiving a dud I'm not sure...
In any case, that switch linked is very capable, and I fully recommend it for your audio extraction needs even tho I don't use it for that. Tests confirm it can extract all standard formats to TOSLINK without fail from all my consoles.
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