Home Theatre Nerd Forum?
October 19, 2010 3:54 PM   Subscribe

Recommend me an excellent home theatre forum and/or standalone DTS decoder.

I've been building stereo speakers for a while and my current project is a 6.2 system with 3-way active crossovers on each of the 6, which means I can't make use of the usual receiver-inna-box with integrated amplifiers.

What I would like is a receiver with all the usual bells and whistles but no amplifiers. I'm aware of the Technics SH-AC500D but would like something a bit more modern, more than 5.1 channels and with support for the newer stream formats. HDMI video-signal switching and CEC etc would also be good.

If you've got a receiver recommendation, that's cool, otherwise I want to know where knowledgeable people (enginerds!) hang out to talk about HT stuff - something like diyaudio.com but not aimed at speaker design.
posted by polyglot to Technology (5 answers total)
Best answer: Don't completely disregard A/V receivers in-a-box - my Yamaha V-667 has preamp outputs for 7.1 sound (manual can be found here). It's kind of silly to pay for the amplifiers inside it, but you get HDMI switching, etc. and it wouldn't surprise me if it's cheaper than standalone DTS decoders, which probably target a higher price point.

Good luck, sounds like a cool project!
posted by pombe at 4:00 PM on October 19, 2010

Best answer: A buddy of mine who was really into home theater used to swear by AVS Forum for the really in-depth, nitty-gritty stuff like this. If you don't find an answer here, that's where I'd go next.
posted by pocams at 4:03 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

AVS forum is very good- areas of discussion for almost everything.

Check out a Panasonic sa-xr57- I think it has all the switching you want, and possibly will do what you want with the crossovers. I have the slightly less-featured 55 version, and it sounds awesome. (Uses the TriPath power amp chipset that all the people were raving about. Truly amazing clarity, and that's using 20 year old speakers. You can turn it all the way up, and no noise.) Even if you don't ultimately use it for this project, I'll bet you find a place for it. And it's probably fairly inexpensive used out there, to try out.

Seems like they have a new one out, sa-xr700, that also looks to have the features you want. Can't vouch for the sound though, I think it is using a different chip for the amplifier.
posted by gjc at 4:43 PM on October 19, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks all, you're right that I could use a classic receiver with pre-outs and the amps therein could happily run some older speakers I've got and could put in other rooms.

I'll check out AVS.
posted by polyglot at 12:30 AM on October 20, 2010

Denon and Marantz both make stand-alone surround processors -- their least expensive ones run about $2500 I think. I've also worked with Lexicon, Anthem and Integra surround processors which are great but more expensive.

I'm not rich, so I run pre-outs from a "just good enough" Marantz surround receiver into an external amp to drive my left & right speakers. Marantz is pretty good about including pre-outs on their stuff. Onkyo makes decent not too expensive receivers, but it seems like you need to get high up into their line to get pre-outs included.
posted by Ultra Laser at 8:19 AM on October 20, 2010

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