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New receiver advice needed, Bridging the gap between HTPC/components and speakers
Adiventure
post Apr 9 2012, 08:15
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Hi, first post but long time lurker (generally on the foobar side of things though). I was given a nice set of audio components a while back (along with 2 great speakers) with a minor catch: there was no receiver, and each component had at least one sizable problem. I've slowly been fixing these issues, and built a HTPC from which virtually all of my sound is being supplied. In the meantime I also put in a cheap receiver my grandparents had rotting in their attic, it did it's job and worked for a while but it appears to be on it's last legs. I'm looking to replace it with a newer receiver that can handle HDMI (currently I'm using the 3.5mm mobo jack - receiver rca), can drive my speakers (Kef 104s), and take a decent number of inputs (phono, tape, cd, + at least a couple HDMI). This is where I get totally lost. I have absolutely no idea which brands or models I should be looking at, if I am thinking about anything arse backwards, or just generally not being too bright. My price range is fairly low (broke student here), but I'd like to have an idea of what the options are across the board. Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.
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mzil
post Apr 9 2012, 15:36
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QUOTE (Adiventure @ Apr 9 2012, 02:15) *
my speakers (Kef 104s),.... My price range is fairly low (broke student here), but I'd like to have an idea of what the options are across the board. Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.
Some KEF 104s came with (or at least recommended you buy) a small, customized, outboard EQ box called a "KUBE" [maybe "KEF Universal Bass Equalizer", I'd guess]. If yours do, or you intend to get one to add on, I highly recommend looking for a receiver with a "tape monitor loop", aka "record out monitor loop" or "EPL" ("external processor loop", the KUBE being a classic example of external processor). [The KUBE is not 100% necessary, however if you have one it would seem a shame to not use it.]

This EPL feature used to be almost impossible to not find on a receiver, even introductory designs, but many if not most modern "A/V" receivers have dropped it. Audio only designs are more likely to have it, but they may be lacking the HDMI jacks you requested and of course will be stereo only, no surround sound.

Receivers are a good category to consider buying used or when discontinued by the maker since they don't really get better year after year, like computers do, they just get more features and are fairly reliable and not prone to decay or "wear and tear", even if the owner before you used it heavily.

This post has been edited by mzil: Apr 9 2012, 15:41
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