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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Feb 29, 2012 8 comments
I have a pair of Focus Audio FC8 speakers and a pair of PSB Stratus Silveris, both of which have a nominal impedance of 4 ohms. I'd like to get a new receiver in the $1500-$2000 range capable of driving these speakers that also provides Audyssey or some type of room correction. Can you reccomend some receivers, keeping in mind the 4-ohm speakers? I'm curious about Pioneer's class-D receivers, but I'm not sure how they handle 4 ohms.

Jerry Zaleski

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 18, 2009 7 comments
Manual Labor
I purchased an SPL meter to level the speakers in my 5.1 surround system. I read an article in Home Theater magazine about how to use this device, but I'm still not sure how to do it. For example, I'm not sure where to put the dial—do I start at 80 or 120?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Aug 29, 2011 8 comments
I am in the market for an A/V receiver in the $500 price range. With such a variety of brands, it is hard to pinpoint one. I have a medium-size room, and I am planning to use two Definitive Technology BP-8020ST floorstanding speakers. I don't want to clutter my room with speakers in every corner. I will use my receiver to watch TV and my DVD player and VCR, no iPod or iPad. I have looked at user reviews on Amazon, and every receiver has some 1-star ratings, which tells me the technology is not that advanced yet since they break so often. Could you recommend any reliable receiver or amplifier for my setup?

Alex Frisch

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 29, 2011 0 comments
I have a Harman Kardon AVR 146 5.1 receiver. Which surround mode (Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS, DTS Neo:6, or Logic 7) will provide the most enveloping sound without cranking up the surround speakers? I'm currently using Dolby Digital, and while the rear speakers are supposed to provide ambient sound, I find them lacking. I use a sound meter to set the Channel Adjust levels and a tape measure to determine the distance to the sweet spot for the Delay Adjust settings.

Brian Porter

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 20, 2010 Published: Jan 21, 2010 3 comments
Video Degradation
In your response to Richard Zeddun, you wrote:
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 07, 2012 13 comments
My Pioneer VSX-35TX A/V receiver just died. I'm looking for a new receiver in the $500 range, but I'm having a hard time finding any that have, among other things, a digital-audio output. Why is that important? I have a Pioneer TRE-D800 wireless headphone transmitter that does 5.1 audio, and it can accept either optical or coaxial inputs. Another consideration is that my Pioneer Elite PRO-510HD RPTV has no HDMI inputs, so I need a component-video output. I want a receiver that can grow from here, so 3D pass-through is a must, and 7.1 audio would be a bonus.

I'm interested in the Pioneer VSX-1122, but it doesn't seem to have all the outputs I need. The Pioneer Elite VSX-52 has exactly what I'm looking for, but it's $400 out of my range. What other brands of receivers should I be looking at, or am I just plain screwed at my current budget?

Chris Friebus

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 15, 2012 4 comments
If an A/V receiver does not have DTS-HD or Dolby TrueHD decoding capabilities, can the Blu-ray player provide high-resolution audio to the receiver? I have a Sony BDP-S570 Blu-ray player and STR-DA3300ES AVR, which cannot decode the advanced audio formats.

Don Sigman

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Apr 17, 2009 9 comments
Generous Offer?
I currently have a B&K AVR507 S2 receiver. It is a great receiver, but it does not have HDMI, DTS-HD, or Dolby TrueHD. When I purchased this receiver, I was told I could upgrade when possible. Now, B&K says this is not possible and is willing to give me a $1000 credit toward a new B&K. What can I do to get these features or do I have to buy a new receiver?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 21, 2012 4 comments
I am very close to pulling the trigger on an Oppo BDP-95 Blu-ray player. Is there any benefit to using the XLR stereo outputs even though my Marantz SR7005 A/V receiver does not have such inputs? Is it worth buying XLR-to-RCA cables to take advantage of those connections?

Emmanuel Margetic

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Al Griffin Posted: Nov 06, 2013 3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com.

Q I have a legacy AV receiver (Integra DTR-7) and am considering replacing it with a separate preamp/processor and amplifier. I’ve noticed that some preamps only have RCA outputs, while other, more expensive preamps also have balanced XLR outputs. Is there a noticeable difference in the sound quality when using balanced XLR cables versus unbalanced cables? The length of the cables needed to connect the two units would only be 1 meter. —Ed Mendelson / via e-mail

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 22, 2012 20 comments
I am contemplating a 4.0 setup with two subs in the left and right front speakers using just the bass management of an Oppo BDP-95 Blu-ray player. If I set the left and right front speakers to Large, is the LFE channel redirected and divided between the left and right front channels? Can the center channel be totally re-directed and divided between left and right front? If the surround and back left and right speakers are set to Small, can the low frequencies from those channels be re-directed to the left and right front? Finally, can all these conditions be met simultaneously?

Michael Soderback

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 30, 2009 10 comments
Burning Desire
I have a pretty fancy home-theater system, and I use DirecTV as my broadcast source. I would love to be able to burn widescreen HDTV shows to a DVD. My first choice is to burn DVDs in widescreen high def. My second choice would be to burn DVDs in widescreen, even if not high def. At this time, is there a good high-def DVD burner I could buy? Price is not an issue.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 25, 2012 9 comments
I'm getting an awesome deal on a 7.2 speaker setup from Klipsch and I need to find a receiver that can drive them properly.

Here are the speakers I'm getting:

  • 2 KF-28 floorstanding speakers
  • 1 KC-25 center-channel speaker
  • 2 KS-14 surround speakers
  • 2 KB-15 bookshelf speakers
  • 2 SW-450 subwoofers
I've spent some time trying to figure out exactly what I need in an AVR, but I'm not confident that I know what I'm doing. I've been thinking about the Yamaha RX-A2010, which allows for 9.2 channels, so I had planned to use the extra two channels to bi-amp the KF-28 speakers, as they are equipped with dual-binding posts. Is this receiver powerful enough to drive these speakers properly?

Kyle Sigo

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 25, 2012 2 comments
I have a Sony KDL-32M4000 LCD TV, which has a native pixel resolution of 1366x768. It can accept a 720p or 1080i video signal, but not 1080p. So which looks better for watching Blu-ray, 720p or 1080i? The TV seems to auto-select 1080i.

Jim Irwin

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 23, 2012 13 comments
I have a Cambridge Audio 540R V3 receiver, Panasonic DMP-BD210 Blu-ray player, Pace RNG200N HD/ENP cable box, and Panasonic TC-P42ST30 plasma TV. The guy at the store where I bought the two Panasonic products told me to connect the cable box and Blu-ray player to the TV with HDMI and connect the TV's digital audio output to the receiver with a Toslink cable. I am new at all this, but I do not think this is the best way to have the best sound considering my receiver—which, by the way, can only deal with video via HDMI, not sound. What do you think ?

Luc Lesage

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