What would I gain if I went with an AVR? Anything? I suppose the sub is a non issue, since I would be using the larger Polk speakers anyway. I did note that the Arvicka soundbar is 60dB vs the Vizio is 100dB. And THD is 1.0 with the Vizio vs 2.0 with the ARVICKA. So the Vizio would be louder and cleaner. Not that I could probably ever tell the difference!
It includes a separate small subwoofer and has WiFi capability. And is a brand name, which I'd prefer for support/warranty.
Personally i think there are far better options for way less money. If I were in your position, here's what i would do:
A lot of people who are serious about home theater have switched over to receivers that have hdmi inputs and outputs. The result of that is that there are a ton of very good used 5.1 receivers (without hdmi) out there for very cheap (like $75). All you need is one that accepts 'optical in' and that has a remote so you can control the volume. I would get one of these. That, an optical cable and your polk speakers (nice to have those!) would give you very nice stereo sound.
In the future (or perhaps now, depending on your budget), you could pick up a sub, and surround speakers (you already have a center). Then you'd be set for 5.1. Actually if you got the sub 1st ... you could use it to turn stereo sound into 2.1. I would forget about using that center speaker until you had surround speakers and a sub.
You mentioned playing music ... but you didn't mention what form your music is in ... are you playing cds or do you have digital files on your phone or whatever?
As mentioned, I had no intention of building a system. I primarily just want to be able to hear TV/movies. I'm perfectly fine with the Echo and little Bluetooth speaker for music (but it will be nice to be able to hear it thru the Polks!). However, an AVR would give me the flexibility to add things down the road if I wanted to do so. I already have some small speakers I could use as surrounds. But running speaker cable in this house isn't going to be easy, so that is way down on my To Do list, if at all. Probably should go with wireless for that application. But then I guess I'd need an AVR capable of wireless? I very well may want to put some speakers out on the deck though. Is there anything special I need to look for in an older AVR? Other than digital optical in and either 3.5mm (and use a 3.5mm to RCA adapter cable) or RCA outs?
Before Matt recc a soundbar, I actually searched Craigs for an older AVR. I don't live near a large town, and the best I could find was closer to $200 for what I think I needed. I'll take another look though.
" Is there anything special I need to look for in an older AVR? Other than digital optical in and either 3.5mm (and use a 3.5mm to RCA adapter cable) or RCA outs? "
When you say "and either 3.5mm (and use a 3.5mm to RCA adapter cable) or RCA outs?" you mean ins...right? ... or am I confused ... is this so you can plug your phone/tablet/laptop/whatever into the receiver?
"anything special I need to look for in an older AVR?" Optical in, remote, headphone jack (the plug will probably be the bigger type but converters down to 3.5 mm are cheap). Also ... given your plans for speakers on the deck .... many receivers have support for 'A' and 'B' speaker systems - often 'A' has speaker connections for 5.1 and 'B' has connections for stereo. Having a 'B' option on the receiver would be ideal for the deck.
I'm still 'in the dark' about how your music is stored. I was thinking though ... if you're like me and have them as digital files (mp3s etc) ... here's a thought. Most newer tvs have a media player built into them so ... you could simply copy your files onto a usb stick ... plug that stick into the tvs's usb port ... run the media player and enjoy the music through those polks! ... word of warning though ... it might be hard to go back to the 'little bluetooth speaker' afterwards lol.
I agree ... $200 is way too much for these older AVRs ... not that they don't put out $200 worth of quality sound ... it's just that the lack of hdmi connectors makes them a bit awkward for home theater - that's precisely why so many are being replaced. Well that and the fact that many serious home theater buffs now want 7.1.
Although as said there are older non-hdmi recievers that will do what you want.
I have an old Panasonic sa-he70 in the garage, If I were USA & lived near you I'd give it away just to see it get some use again.
A receiver will give you much more freedom with your setup , the ability to run those polks & the centre properly (& surrounds if you have them)
The ability to add more sources & a whole lot more future proofing.
I would say though that spending the extra buying something fairly up to date like that pioneer would remove the news to ever think about upgrading anything again.
The only reason you'd ever have to replace it is it actually breaks.
Unless of course you do find a real second hand bargain.
After the holiday weekend...
if I got the Pioneer avr, I assume I'd only use that and not my emotiva amp. I think I'd prefer to use the amp, since I already have it. Still not 100?%, but I think I'm going with the Arvicka sound bar. That will save me the work of running speaker cable out on the deck! But I'll see what the better half says about Bluetooth.
You posters the same link twice.
I'm a little confused with the insistence of wanting to use your current amp if you go the avr route.
The avr's themselves will 99% likely offer better sound quality than your current amp.
You're right. So I'm now thinking either soundbar for $100. Or the Pioneer Matt suggested (VSX-531) for $200 new on Amazon. Or maybe the Denon AVR S510BT for $175 refurbished on Amazon. I guess I could use the headphone out jack on either of the AVR's and use a 3.5mm to RCA adapter cable to run the signal to the Emotiva amp. But I guess that is a waste of an amp. I should probably just sell the Emotiva amp. Or for the sake of simplicity, get the soundbar and be done with it.
I think I'll go with the Denon then. One final question... if I wanted to try running the Emotiva amp along with the Denon AVR, could I run a 3.5mm to RCA adapter cable from the headphone out on the Denon AVR to the Emotiva? Would that work?
If you really wanted to use the emotiva then yes you could use the headphone out to rca.
If you can get the denon for $175 that's a really great buy.That was a $300 reciever on release & got rave reviews , general consensus was that on sound quality it matched stuff that cost around the $500 mark.
I think I probably underestimated your emotiva amp in a previous post , It does look to be a very good quality amp.
That said you are not going to notice a difference in sound quality using those old Polk 7 (as good as they are) & the sources you're using .
The denon will be good enough on its own.
I've got another Denon AVR and yes, it sounds good. I would hope for the same from the cheaper Denon. I have to agree with you that I won't hear any difference in the sound using the Monitor 7 Polks. I would have loved to have gotten nicer speakers, especially given the size of the room. But my wife was dead set against any floor standers, so I was forced to go with large bookshelf speakers. I almost bought KEH IQ3's, but decided to go with the larger Polks instead, just due to room size.
I'm going to try the Emotiva once I get the Denon AVR. Just to compare the sound between the two. I've always heard you lose something going through 3.5mm. So I don't know that I'll get the full possibilities of the Emotiva with that adapter cord hookup. But worth a try at least. If I can't tell any difference (which I suspect I won't), then I guess I should sell the Emotiva and just use the Denon AVR. Or if they sound 'almost the same', maybe I can use the Denon for the mains and run deck speakers from the Emotiva. Probably resulting in blown deck speakers.
Thanks to both of you for your help. I would have never gotten to this point without it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Just curious... are you both located in England or Australia?
I'm from Canada - but I lived in the UK for 12 years or so.
I think the Denon was a very good buy ... all reviews I've read are glowing. To really test it ... use something plugged in via HDMI .. the blue tooth input will be good but not as good. Hopefully, they will include the calibration mic ... it's not really needed for your 'stereo setup' but it will be worth it's weight in gold when you move to 5.1.
Thinking of 5.1 .... again i would start with a sub (nice that your system supports 2 of them) because you could use it instantly to get 2.1 sound. When you have it, remember to change the settings of your polks from 'large' to small.
After that, I would look for some surround speakers and then you could use them with the center speaker to enjoy 5.1 - this is when that denon will really come into it's own!. Thinking of quality - the surround speakers are the least important - good speakers are always nice but you could skimp a bit here if need be ... the most important speaker will be that center one - it will carry most of the dialogue etc - hopefully the one you have is good. The polks will make very nice front speakers. Personally I like bass, so i would suggest a reasonably good sub ... I've never had 2 subs so I'm not sure how advantageous that option is ... I would leave the 2nd sub for last ... if ever ... the 2nd sub carries the identical signal to the 1st so without it you aren't losing anything - i think the idea of the 2nd one is to help eliminate any sound blockages that a couch or chair etc might cause on the 1st one.