AV AMPS - a True HD comparison. A question for Andrew or Claire

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Yes, we all know about the Onk. But there are other amps around now in the sub £700 bracket that have 1080p upscaling, 3+HDMI in, and HD sound decoding. For example, I can get the Pioneer LX60 now for £539 online (http://www.1staudiovisual.co.uk/catalog/pioneer-lx60-series-amplifier-p-2551.html). Does What Hi-FI have plans for a sound-off fight between the mid-range amps? It'd be VERY useful.....
 
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Anonymous

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Phew!! At last!! Something the Onk DOESN'T do!! The Pioneer does, though!
 
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Anonymous

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I am reliably told that it does. Absolutely 'p', not 'i'.
 
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Anonymous

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Come on guys! Will you do this? It's one of the big growth areas in HC hardware. We want to know. Some choices would be good. What about Yamaha? Denon? Sony? Pioneer? Anything but the big, ugly O-box.
 

Gerrardasnails

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Sep 6, 2007
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Casca:Come on guys! Will you do this? It's one of the big growth areas in HC hardware. We want to know. Some choices would be good. What about Yamaha? Denon? Sony? Pioneer? Anything but the big, ugly O-box.

Sorry Casca but I really don't think that the LX60 upscales. It upconverts but I'm pretty sure it doesn't upscale. I am here to be shot at.
 
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Anonymous

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I called Pioneer and they confirmed that it does upscale - even though their webpage doesn't mention it.
Also Techradar says: "And there's something else that last year's models couldn't manage - the VSX-LX60 has the ability to upscale any video source (analogue included) and output it as 1080p via HDMI." http://www.techradar.com/products/audio-visual/hi-fi-and-audio/receivers/pioneer-vsx-lx60-272800/review
 

Gerrardasnails

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Casca:I called Pioneer and they confirmed that it does upscale - even though their webpage doesn't mention it.
Also Techradar says: "And there's something else that last year's models couldn't manage - the VSX-LX60 has the ability to upscale any video source (analogue included) and output it as 1080p via HDMI." http://www.techradar.com/products/audio-visual/hi-fi-and-audio/receivers/pioneer-vsx-lx60-272800/review

I apologise - it's a great deal then!! Pioneer's advertised leaves something to be desired. How can they not mention the upscaler in the spec on it's own website - most companies copy the spec from the manufacturer's website.
 
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Anonymous

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So.... to make it easy.
Let's park the 606. yes it's cheap and yes it does a lot of stuff. OK, OK. I get it, already. I want to know what else there is, and I'm happy to pay more for a bit of design and flair (and, dare I say it 'performance'). As the song says: "There's gotta be something better than this!" What about comparing these: Harmon/Kardon AVR 355 (£750), Pioneer LX-60 (£550)(new version coming soon, I suspect), Denon 28-08 (£750), Yamaha DSP-AX863SE (£650). And surely Sony have something in the pipeline at this pricepoint......
 
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Anonymous

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Gerrards. No probs. I agree. The guy at Pioneer was very embarrassed by this. But (and this CAN be a good thing sometimes) tech guys don't write web copy!!
 

Gerrardasnails

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Casca:So.... to make it easy.
Let's park the 606. yes it's cheap and yes it does a lot of stuff. OK, OK. I get it, already. I want to know what else there is, and I'm happy to pay more for a bit of design and flair (and, dare I say it 'performance'). As the song says: "There's gotta be something better than this!" What about comparing these: Harmon/Kardon AVR 355 (£750), Pioneer LX-60 (£550)(new version coming soon, I suspect), Denon 28-08 (£750), Yamaha DSP-AX863SE (£650). And surely Sony have something in the pipeline at this pricepoint......

The new Denon AVR1909 £450 - 4 hdmi, 1080p upscale, upconverting all inputs to hdmi, front pre outs. Ditto Sony 2400es but with 3 hdmi and at £360!! I wouldn't touch Harmon Kardon though - I think you pay a premium for the name.
 
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Anonymous

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Cheers Gerrard!
I agree with you about H/K (rather the reverse of the Onkyo issue, when you think about it). Can't find any details about the Denon. Sounds terrific, but Denon themselves didn't have any specs they could tell me about. Where did you find out about it?
The Sony looks very interesting; released here in August. Called them - specs as you say, but they couldn't confirm the price.
Maybe the Editorial Team can let us know when they've put the new issue to bed.....
 

Bazzy

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Hi,ÿ

Sorry to disagree with you here, but I think Harman Kardon Amps sound great and I prefer the sound of them compared to most others in the same price bracket - unlike most, they are good with both movies and music. It's a pity that for whatever reason, they are not given more exposure in the UK - maybe if more of them were reviewed regularly against the usual brands, it would provide greater insight.
Bazzy!
 

Andy Grange

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Fingers crossed the Sony STR-DA2400ES is included in the review, as this is the only thing stopping me getting an Onkyo 606 at the moment.
 
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Anonymous

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Absolutely - although I suspect that would require a substantial degree of efficiency in supply from Sony! The people I spoke to couldn't even give me a firm date.
So, what are the core criteria?
1. Sound quality. Natch.
2. 3+ HDMI 1.3 in. As a Minimum.
3. HD Sound decoding (DTS & DD). No point otherwise.
4. 1080p upscaling. Sky and Virgin don't offer a progressive option, so this is VERY important and something the 606 can't do. Most other sources (DVD, HD-DVD, BD) can deliver 1080p anyway.
5. Design. We don't want a 70's brick.
6. Build. We don't want cheap as opposed to inexpensive.
7. Set-up. Gotta be easy. Gotta have a reasonable GUI. And a Mic!
8. Reliability. Goes without saying.
9. Price. Yes, but value for money is more important. A sensible ratio of spec:features:price is what's at the centre.
10.Energy conservation. Do we care? Hmmmmm.... Personaly, I'm sick of hearing about carbon footprints, but I'd like whatever amp I get not to run soooooo hot that my increasingly expensive power bills don't go off the scale....
 

Clare Newsome

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last thing we heard from Sony re the receivers were that they were still being UK-tuned, so i'm not holding my breath for kit in an instant. We will, of course, buy one to test if Sony can't get us one as soon as they do go on sale.
 

Gerrardasnails

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Clare Newsome:last thing we heard from Sony re the receivers were that they were still being UK-tuned, so i'm not holding my breath for kit in an instant. We will, of course, buy one to test if Sony can't get us one as soon as they do go on sale.

Play suggest that the 2400es is available from Monday (30th) at £360!
 

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