Receiver for SKS-HT540 - Recommendation Needed

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Receiver for SKS-HT540 - Recommendation Needed

Post  krishna_ksvs on Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:07 am

I bought the speakers without knowing they need a receiver and now dying to decide on the receiver Sad I dont know anything about sound systems and am a Novice. I am having a real hard time deciding what would be a proper suitable receiver for my SKS-HT540 7.1 speaker system. May be Onkyo should post best compatible receivers in all price and feature ranges for the speakers they sell and viceversa. A cross compatibility sell across different brands like Yamaha/Sherwood etc also might be best from a customer perspective. Can you please suggest me? Frankly speaking, after reading through hell a lot of user reviews of various products of Onkyo and other brands, the TX-NR609, 709, 809 seem to be closest suitable choices but did not have best user feedback on most sites, which worries me. HT-RC360/370 also may not be best fit, are they? Please suggest from a customer satisfaction perspective. Is there any assurance these would work well if bought? I dont want to end up in nightmares people are crying about out in the user reviews. I dont also want to spend a lot of money for the sake of the speakers just purchased, I would rather return them if the receiver is not affordable

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Re: Receiver for SKS-HT540 - Recommendation Needed

Post  td854 on Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:22 am

I personally use these speakers, they sounded amazing with the TX-SR607 which is probably cheap now but doesn't support HDMI 3D passthrough. Using them now with the TX-NR609 I picked up at a local best buy store (warning: only stores with a Magnolia center actually sell this in house) for $400 and they sound pretty close to the same as before. Whichever receiver you buy just make sure you run Audyssey. Audyssey can make lower end speakers like ours sound much better that they do out of the box. Also be aware that Onkyo receivers run hot and will need ample clearance above it or it will not last as long. I've had absolutely 0 problems with my 607 but i did have to get my 609 replaced 10 days after buying it but that's just how it is sometimes, I'm still keeping it because it's much more feature rich than my 607. If you have any other questions about how I have things setup just let me know, been using these speakers for about 2 years now, we just got a set of the HT870s downstairs which are a bit more expensive than our HT540s but I personally think the 540s sound better.

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Re: Receiver for SKS-HT540 - Recommendation Needed

Post  krishna_ksvs on Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:46 am

td854 wrote:I personally use these speakers, they sounded amazing with the TX-SR607 which is probably cheap now but doesn't support HDMI 3D passthrough. Using them now with the TX-NR609 I picked up at a local best buy store (warning: only stores with a Magnolia center actually sell this in house) for $400 and they sound pretty close to the same as before. Whichever receiver you buy just make sure you run Audyssey. Audyssey can make lower end speakers like ours sound much better that they do out of the box. Also be aware that Onkyo receivers run hot and will need ample clearance above it or it will not last as long. I've had absolutely 0 problems with my 607 but i did have to get my 609 replaced 10 days after buying it but that's just how it is sometimes, I'm still keeping it because it's much more feature rich than my 607. If you have any other questions about how I have things setup just let me know, been using these speakers for about 2 years now, we just got a set of the HT870s downstairs which are a bit more expensive than our HT540s but I personally think the 540s sound better.

There you go... had to replace 609!!! Runs extremely Hot. Some user reviews posted on sites like Amazon crib about HDMI failures after the Amazon's 30day return period, which could be scary. 709 has better reviews because of lesser problems than 609, but still it has scary reviews. You may have to spend a lot of time every now and then making support phone calls, shipping returns, not having a replacement receiver for a few weeks during repairs etc... scary. I am wondering if these are one-offs or if many people have these issues. Seems like they are happening like a pattern to multiple people.

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Re: Receiver for SKS-HT540 - Recommendation Needed

Post  td854 on Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:48 am

Yeah but see, when you have to replace something within the first few weeks of buying it, either it's defective or you're doing something wrong. The 609 doesn't get extremely hot, though around the HDMI board it does seem quite hot, overall it is much much cooler than the 607. I use very quiet fans on my receiver to prolong the life as I did on my 607. I don't know where they put the sensors, but in the service readout the 609 reaches roughly 30C which is nothing, and my 607 ran at 45-48C under the same conditions (no fan it would hit 58C.) The only thing I wish is that the internal fan on the 609 ran all the time or most of the time because kicking in at 60C is too high.

Anyway, I used to work in retail electronics for a couple years. You would not believe how many defective products go out from ALL brands. You can blame it on bad QA, bad shipping or handling, or cutting corners but in the end it will always happen to someone somewhere which is exactly why i took it back and got the same thing and not something different. I think one thing a lot of consumers aren't aware of is as electronics become more complex they may need special care. It used to be you could just take all your electronics and stack them on top of each other and voila, a stereo, but that just doesn't happen anymore, cooling of components is important, and though I go to the extreme with it, a single fan running all the time on a low setting can make a world of difference.

Here's how mine is set up and I'd like to explain why. The entire rear of the unit is covered, I got this stand long before this receiver but below the shelf above it there is a gap that lets air into the receiver, these fans pull air out the front and through the back. I could use one and it would do the job but it would look strange to just have a single fan sitting there, I could also put it on the inside but that would void the warranty and there's already one in there but like i said it doesn't activate til it hits 60C (pointless.) Despite how intimidating it looks it really makes no noise whatsoever and the entire receiver; top, bottom, and sides are completely cool to the touch no matter what volume level I have it at or how long it's been on.



Anyway I'd love to have a 709, or 809 and even higher model but they are exceedingly expensive. My 607 has lasted 2 years with 0 issues and so far my exchanged 609 has had no issues unless you count the green flash when i turn on a device which as noted by the admin here is working as intended (guessing it's the HDMI initializing a new input.)

Anyway in the end it's up to you, just remember that people are much more likely to post the smallest bad experience on the internet than they are to post the smallest (or even largest) good experience, take it with a grain of salt and purchase whatever you think is right and within your budget.

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Re: Receiver for SKS-HT540 - Recommendation Needed

Post  krishna_ksvs on Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:35 am

td854 wrote:Here's how mine is set up and I'd like to explain why.

I think I should really thank you and also congratulate you for your sincerity in answering and the concern demonstrated to explain. I am ready to put up fans like that, a little sensible sacrifice of beauty for the sake of quality and longivity of the product... to keep the assembly cool. But next come the questions - How did you power them? Where did you get them? Costly? Can I do that myself or need a technician to set it up for me? If this is done do you think the HDMI board failure and any other problems are less likely to happen [which others were reporting]?

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Re: Receiver for SKS-HT540 - Recommendation Needed

Post  td854 on Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:03 am

This is what you power them with:

http://www.amazon.com/Coolerguys-110v-Molex-Power-Adapter/dp/B000MGG6SC

I'm using an old power supply that is hidden in the image but this is much more compact and serves the same purpose.

I got the fans for free, as a previous computer tech (now unemployed) I got lots of fans, I have even revived fans from being completely seized up. The fans are 120mm x 120mm x 25mm which is the standard "120mm" computer case fan. The fan grills are usually not included and there are other options that are more aesthetically pleasing such as:

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/6860/flc-kik-108/Kikboxes_Triple_120mm_Laser_Cut_Tribal_Flames_Grill_-_Black.html

If you want to ensure your fans are not noisy there are a few things you should think about. First of all you can either buy low RPM fans that are just plug and play and hopefully they will be quiet enough/push enough air, or you can buy any fan speed and a fan controller which would plug directly into the power unit, these can be cheap or expensive, I think mine was about 20 bucks. There are 3 major options in fans ranging from cheapest to most expensive, cheapest being noisiest and shortest lifespan and expensive being quietest and longest lifespan. These are; sleeve bearing, ball bearing, and FDB (Fluid Dynamic Bearing.) Sleeve bearing fans are the most common and they can be extremely cheap (think 5 bucks) but they will most definitely make vibration noise, ball bearing prices range anywhere from 9-15 dollars, and FDB are 16+. To keep the fans quiet against the metal you will need to either get rubber grommets to raise them up or fan silencer gaskets which are basically just a square piece of rubber or silicone that absorbs the minor vibrations between the grill of the receiver and the fan, these cost anywhere from 2-5 dollars depending on whether they are rubber or silicone, I used pieces of black foam insulation that is adhesive on one side in each corner because I have no money and had it laying around from another project Razz . You will also need extensions for the power cables which are cheap from any sort of online PC customizing store, or you can use a 3-way Y-cable like this one:

http://www.moddiy.com/products/modDIY-Sleeved-Fan-Y-Cable-Splitter-30cm-(3%252dPin-to-3x-3%252dPin).html#.Tw_ys29SQkQ

and use a simple fan controller to make all the fans speed up/slow down at the same speed. As for a technician, I'm not sure if they could do anything like that and if they could it would be overpriced as they'd have to come to your home, these aren't physically attached to the unit they just sit all cozy right up there on top, it's very easy to manage yourself, everything is setup so you can't plug one thing into another the wrong way. Now for the big question of do I think it will reduce failures. Well I personally believe it will, in all electronics heat is the enemy, there is no electronic device that I know of where this is not true. When you look inside the unit, and I'm sure units of other brands as well, there are no heatsinks on the chips that govern the HDMI board and therefore no way to dissipate heat away from them apart from airflow. When there is 0 airflow the heat will linger and heat the metal, the circuit board, and to a very small degree it will insulate the component causing the heat to rise to a point where it can be radiated which would be its maximum temperature. Unfortunately because of how receivers are designed there is a lot crammed back there around the HDMI board so there are pockets where heat can stay and potentially not dissipate as quickly. This setup solves that problem by keeping the air moving at all times. I cannot say whether or not other peoples' units HDMI failure was due to their own ignorance, poor design by Onkyo, or just simple manufacturer defect in their specific unit. I'm not an engineer, all I know is that heat in any form is detrimental to electronics and removing it will do nothing but good in the end.

One last thing I'd like to mention is that there are alternatives to doing this "custom" like this, i DO NOT know how well they work but they look promising and I would purchase them to try them out if I had money. I'll list the two I found to be most useful for this application:

http://www.amazon.com/Antec-Profile-Component-Theater-Products/dp/B000QJ4ZE2

This unit has 2 blower units that pull air straight up and blow it out the back of whatever alcove you put it in, obviously in my situation I don't have room for it. If the place you're putting your receiver does not have airflow out the back you can probably turn this unit around and have it blow straight out the front. It's made of a strong composite material I believe so you can actually place another device on top of it without creating additional heat for the unit below.

http://www.coolerguys.com/codublfancoc.html

This is my second choice, think of it as a package that has everything you need to do it "custom." You can place the blowers wherever you want, above the HDMI board would be best similar to how they're pictured here:



You can turn them to blow whatever direction and it even comes with a speed controller in the package. Depending on how much these vibrate you may or may not have to use some sort of rubber material at the contact points to reduce noise, but depending on your distance from the receiver you may not hear it at all. You can buy self-adhesive rubber nubby things at any home depot or lowes.

I hope it all works out, let me know if you have any questions or need any more links/suggestions if you decide to go the full custom route. Here's an image of my setup, it's not that bad really is it? Razz (the blue lights next to the receiver are the fan controller dials)



(sorry for crappy phone pictures)

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Thanks for the Information

Post  OnlyDanny on Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:32 pm

As of today, I am still waiting for my Onkyo 619 to arrive. Crying or Very sad I was going through this forum and found your informative post. I very much agree with you about heat issues in elctronic equipment. I am certainly going to set up my system to reduce the heat in receiver and vicinity. I have a PS3 and using self made pedestal to get air underneath the unit. Now with your provided links, I should be able to do better for both of these units. I have to cut out the card board in the back of the rack though to blow the air out. That $40 Blower setup from Cooler Guys is worth every penny to extend the life. I care not if it is not so aesthetic. Once again, thanks for the information.

Danny

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