Audio receiver or home theater system

A few years ago I purchased the RCA RTD207 to use with my TV when watching movies, listening to music and such. Recently the receiver stopped working, but the speakers are OK.

I'd like to stop using only the intrinsic TV audio and attach some speakers. I have been looking on amazon.com for some audio receivers, but find it difficult to find one for me. The reviews for the more acceptable products seem to be around the price of buying a home theater system with a receiver and speakers included. Although, I would have extra speakers here if I went with a complete system.

I'm confused about which option to go with. What is a good choice for me? I already have a separate DVD player to replace that functionality of the RTD207.
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  1. most often, buying a receiver that comes with speakers is going to yield quality somewhere.
    it could be the speakers.. it could be the receiver.. or it could be both.

    doing it manually piece by piece gives an opportunity to create something higher quality.
    sometimes a receiver can be made to specifically match the character of the speakers.
    so hooking up other speakers to the receiver might sound a bit funny.

    i dont know of any companies that are trying to provide a high quality home theater system as a complete set.
    (not saying some businesses dont match things together that can also be sold seperately.. and then sell the bundle for a discount)

    the complete box set doesnt get much attention because they are provided to be quick and cheap to satisfy an urge.
    obviously some are more rewarding than others.

    receiver must have's:
    time delay (distance from speaker to listener.. or speaker to wall)
    equalizer
    low distortion

    if you need the new surround sound formats or the old surround sound formats on DVD only.. that is up to you.

    when you dont know how to use an equalizer.. it is best to find the measurements of your room to find the notes that echo the loudest based upon the distance of the walls (the size of the room you are in)

    this website can calculate some frequencies for you if you enter the room dimensions.
    give the lowest ones possible a 2-3-4dB decrease on the equalizer.
    or
    if you have a look below, you might see that there are lots of highs that are ringing and the low end needs a boost to try and keep up with the higher notes.

    you dont have to use an equalizer.. but the time delay is helpful without much effort needed.
  2. anwaypasible said:
    most often, buying a receiver that comes with speakers is going to yield quality somewhere.
    it could be the speakers.. it could be the receiver.. or it could be both.

    doing it manually piece by piece gives an opportunity to create something higher quality.
    sometimes a receiver can be made to specifically match the character of the speakers.
    so hooking up other speakers to the receiver might sound a bit funny.

    i dont know of any companies that are trying to provide a high quality home theater system as a complete set.
    (not saying some businesses dont match things together that can also be sold seperately.. and then sell the bundle for a discount)

    the complete box set doesnt get much attention because they are provided to be quick and cheap to satisfy an urge.
    obviously some are more rewarding than others.

    receiver must have's:
    time delay (distance from speaker to listener.. or speaker to wall)
    equalizer
    low distortion

    if you need the new surround sound formats or the old surround sound formats on DVD only.. that is up to you.

    when you dont know how to use an equalizer.. it is best to find the measurements of your room to find the notes that echo the loudest based upon the distance of the walls (the size of the room you are in)

    this website can calculate some frequencies for you if you enter the room dimensions.
    give the lowest ones possible a 2-3-4dB decrease on the equalizer.
    or
    if you have a look below, you might see that there are lots of highs that are ringing and the low end needs a boost to try and keep up with the higher notes.

    you dont have to use an equalizer.. but the time delay is helpful without much effort needed.


    recievers must have's
    low distortion totally agreed
    equalizer maybe
    time delay don't know not familiar with this and would it not change with different speakers?
    and I'd add high current (amps) to run low impedence speakers and also enough watts to run those speakers
    also a decent tuner if you listen to the radio and a phono preamp if you listen to records
    and ample connections to handle speaker and source needs
    curious on how the time delay works with different speakers
    thanks,
    dave
  3. time delay is a delay of the signal prior to being output to the amplifier.

    if your speaker and amplifier combination works, the time delay will also work.
    there isnt a loss of amplitude, meaning it wont matter if the speaker moves in and out 1 inch or 1 millimeter.

    the digital sound processor will simply 'hold' the signal from being sent to the amplifier for whatever the amount of time is programmed into the delay.
    it's not extensively complicated, especially when compared to 'side' 'middle' 'rear' settings for rear speakers.
    even worse would be 'low' or 'high' settings for speakers to tailor the sound for speakers on the ground, again for speakers on a stand, and also for speakers mounted up close to the ceiling.

    the signal processing is different, but a simple time delay is a valid generic tool to compensate for any speaker height or placement.

    there have been times when the speakers are equal distance from the listening position, and the time delay between the two speakers seems 'offset' by a very small amount.
    the sound is fatiguing when you are listening for accuracy, because the difference is perceived as an annoyance.

    i suppose it could be possible that the amplifier is showing some delay between right and left (or front and rear)
    but more likely, it could/should be the speaker wires being unequal length.
    your speakers might be equal distance from the listening position, but the amplifier/receiver might be located on one side (far left or far right)

    i'm sure there are people who can tell you how important a ruler is.
    if you dont have a ruler, use a piece of string.
    time delay for speakers are equally important.

    when you start talking about the surround sound formats and the audio mastering.. its very possible to be suffering from ill effects of soundwave misalignment because of the different distances of the speakers.
    when you position yourself to listen to the speakers.. you want your room to be an empty slate for the audio mastering to simply load up the audio and go with perfect results.
    being time aligned certainly helps.
    i've heard changes with using only the front left and right speakers.

    if you have ever read into studio mastering, there is a sequence of effects called 'scoring'
    and this is where the audio producer adds left/right stereo effects.. but could also be considered up close or far away (distance of sound) effects.
    sure, these effects can be done manually with stereo microphones to ease the pain of artificial panning/scoring artifacts.
    but
    being time aligned can/does make a high quality 'effect' sound less valuable or worthy.

    it isnt a function of 'easier' and could be compared to other examples.
    some people put bigger rims on their car to get a better grip on the road.
    some people lift their vehicle up to help drive through the snow.
    the reason it is done is a principle for what is trying to be achieved.
    for instance, a four-wheel drive vehicle to plow snow compared to a two wheel drive vehicle that often spins the tires while trying to push the snow.

    i wouldnt say equal distance from the listening position is perfect.. because different lengths of speaker wire could give rise to a reason of making an adjustment as little as 1 inch or even 1 cm
    one could hope the speaker cables arent adding any delay.. because that would speak highly of the wire industry.
    but
    maybe longer runs of speaker wire increase the chance/need.
    and
    once you have the ability to use time delay, you wont necessarily need your listening position to be centered into the middle of the room.

    dont get me wrong, there are people who are stubborn and try to build a room that doesnt require any such use of these 'optimization' tools.
    their key principle is to optimize the room with construction.
    some aim for complete optimization.. other's aim for a partial optimization.
    the reality is, some of these construction workers simply build the room to 'carry away' the excess soundwaves to a portion of the room where the soundwaves can die without being heard while dieing.
    the soundwaves might go up into the ceiling.. or around a corner into a hallway.

    it would be embarassing for these construction workers to build the room complete, and then see a speaker wire causing a time delay.

    people have different opinions, and time delay shouldnt be viewed with an opinion.
    you either need it or you dont.
    and with that said, you would have to see the many installations already in use.
    i dont know if people would be surpised or shocked to find that their system could use half a ms of delay somewhere because of the amplifier or speaker wire.
    i do know i have listened to a lot of radios without time delay.. and looking back, those listening experiences seem inferior to a large degree simply thanks to the time delay.

    you can try out some time delay for free on the computer.
    doesnt matter if you wear headphones or laptop speakers.
    because you can pull one side of the headphones off an inch and add an inch worth of time delay to hear the synchronization established.
    it is kinda funny.. because if you pull one side of the headphones away, you can adjust the side of the headphones still touching your head to be on time with the other side that isnt touching your head.
    or
    you could input a distance value for both sides and let the software perform its function.


    sometimes i sit back and relax, to think about the people who dont know what the improvement sounds like.
    i think about how strong the new bond can be between the person and audio gear, thanks to the new happiness.

    i find it a little bit hard to give an example of such a change.
    a difference between using a performance chip on a vehicle.. compared to getting the computer custom programmed, this might prove to be enough difference.
    or
    adding a turbo or supercharger to a vehicle that previously didnt have either one.. this might prove to be enough of a difference.

    i have come to realize, people can be picky about the water they drink.
    but
    there are times when the two different people can simply appreciate and agree on some aftermarket filter applied to tap water.

    i have had speakers in locations that measure different distances to the listening position.. that means time delay is really really marketed for me and my situation.
    based on my results.. i would also suggest a small bump of delay to compensate for any 'irregularities' from the amplifier or speaker wire (or even the crossover inside the speaker)

    i really think people without it are missing out on the experience of surround sound.
    just plug 'em in and turn it on has proven to be the wrong way of trusting the audio industry again and again.
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