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bigdawginva 12-01-2008 05:44 PM

New Member Here With Another Upgrade Question
Hello everyone and I'll apologize up front for the length of this post.

I am in the market to replace my aging, non-HDMI system and would like your help. All of my audio components are 15-25 years old and purchased through AAFES when I was in the Air Force. Although I'm 51 years old I have moderate technical abilities since I build my own PCs, setup all 3 HDTVs we own, put together my own rack system. My abilities, experience and knowledge are certrainly nowhere near the folks here.

Pioneer VSA-1000 Amp (1989)
Pioneer F-445 Tuner (1989)
Pioneer GR-777 EQ (1989)
Pioneer RG-2 Dynamic Processor (1983)
Pioneer SR-303 Reverberation Amp (1983)
Pioneer CT-M6R Multi Cassette Deck (1991)
Pioneer PD-DM802 Multi CD Deck (1993)
Pioneer DT-500 Timer (1983)
Bose Accoustimass-5 Series II Speakers (1992, I think they'd qualify for 2.1)
Pioneer PDP-4350 43" Plasma HDTV (2005 so it's more like an EDTV)
Monster Power HTS 3600 MKII Power Filter (2005)

While these components were fairly top of the line 15-25 years ago they've outlived their usefulness in today's HT-HDMI environment. Three years ago I had to jury rig cables just to get the plasma connected to the amp. While it may seem I'm brand-tied to Pioneer I am not but none of these components has ever failed. I plan to replace the amp/tuner/reverb/eq/DP with a current av HDMI receiver. While I can afford almost any priced unit I will not spend $2-6k on one. I'd like to keep the price in the $400-1,000 range. Key features for me are:

Ease of setup and use
Ability to run my plasma, Comcast HD Cable Box, CD Deck, speakers
Video enhancement for the older plasma TV
Quality sound (although I am not the aficionado many here are)
Price/Quality (Not crazy about spending $2,000 but will lay out the $$ for a Onkyo 906 if that's the best bang for buck)

I have been reading articles and forums for days to the point I'm at analysis paralysis. Onkyo, Dendon, HK, Yamaha, Pioneer, etc. It's worse than choosing Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan, etc. I realize everyone has their own personal preference and will consider recommendations with that understanding. Before this post I had decided to buy the Pioneer VSX-1018 ($419) but the more I read about other makes the more undecided I've become.

Thank you in advance

bluextatic 12-02-2008 09:47 AM

Re: New Member Here With Another Upgrade Question
I personally own an H/K Reciever and in fact, this is my third one and obviously I think very highly of them. I have the AVR 645 which listed for $1499.00, which seems to be out of your price range. For four or five hundred, I think that you could get either the previously mentioned Pioneer 1018 or say a new Yamaha RX-V663 which is a receiver that I think is a very good choice. I have heard nothing but excellent reviews about Yamaha. I would then opt for maybe an OPPO DVD player ( they all have HDMI) and then say a six or eight piece speaker package that includes a subwoofer . There are many very good speaker systems out there for that price. Someone in this forum could probably help you there. (I have all large speakers) that I picked out, and they don't all match. The DVD player would only set you back a few hundred and then if you could fork up about six or eight hundred for the speakers, you would have a dynamite package for under sixteen hundred. Sometimes I wish that I would have done that and been happy, but everyone knows how that goes. I am over eight thousand now and I want more and more. It never ends. I know you should be very happy with what I have suggested, and it does leave the option for you to go in any direction that you may want.
Good Luck and keep us posted with what you do.

bigdawginva 12-02-2008 01:53 PM

Re: New Member Here With Another Upgrade Question
Thank you for replying. I was beginning to wonder if I'd get any replies but I can understand those not wanting to read such a long email. I have been reading about the HKs, as well and their ease of use with the quick start guide and such, but don't see many posts here regarding the HKs so I assumed they were a no-go. With your speaker recommendations I take it that you're not high on the old Bose I have. I'd like to try a 6 or 8 speaker system but I'm just not sure where they'd all go in my family room. The Bose sit on top of a custom built in-wall unit. I suppose I could place the 6 or 8 on the empty shelves left by the old stereo pieces. When we bought the Pioneer Plasma we also bought a Toshiba SD-5980 progressive DVD player so I hadn't considered replacing that as well. I read posts and articles for 4 hours last nite and 2 hours this morning. What few brain cells I had are gone.

wes 12-02-2008 03:05 PM

Re: New Member Here With Another Upgrade Question

Originally Posted by bigdawginva (Post 19003)
I am in the market to replace my aging, non-HDMI system and would like your help.

Bob if you want good quality and very reasonable prices check EMOTIVA YOu get 30days mone back guaranty and quality products...

bigdawginva 12-02-2008 05:08 PM

Re: New Member Here With Another Upgrade Question
Thank you for the reply. Once the UMC-1 is released I could pair it with the XPA-3. Certainly worthy of consideration. I wasn't aware of this company.

bluextatic 12-03-2008 05:02 AM

Re: New Member Here With Another Upgrade Question
I really like the Harman/Kardon receivers. They can compete with about anything in their price range. Mine has HDMI, logic7, EZ set speaker calibration, xm radio, usb for streaming, and a huge and heavy powersupply, that puts out lots of clean power.
The main reason that I keep coming back to harman/kardon is the sound and ease fo use. In my opinion, HK's sound the best,
even better than Onkyo, and Denon, and anything else outthere in the same price range. I have heard the Denon 3806, and the Onkyo 803, and the Yamaha's. I think that the Yamaha's sound close to HK, but HK has more brute power. ( THIS IS ONLY MY OPINION). I talked to a Harman/Kardon rep the other day and he told me that HK is coming out with a new flagship model in about eight months. Can't wait to see that. My next upgrade will probably be seperates since there is really no place to go from where I am at now. I most certainly will be looking at Emotiva and Outlaw. They both have some impressive stuff, at unheard of prices. As far as Bose speakers go, I would not ever buy them for my system, but a lot of people must buy them or Bose would be out of business. I think that anyone that buys Bose, could do much better for their hard earned money. Good luck! By the way, I have Polk Audio RTi10's for my fronts and all Infinity Beta Series for surrounds in a 7.2 configuration.I use a Beta 360 for center.( A huge speaker) They sound great together. Don't forget to use good wire and interconnects, as they are very important to the overall sound of your system.

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