Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Sunfire Home Theater Discussions and Questions
mikekohut
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Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by mikekohut » Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:15 pm

Okay... first off, I haven't been around for awhile so I'd like to extend a hello greeting to all those Carveraudio forum members who've I've gotten to know online over the previous couple years - hey! That Carverfest seems to have really taken off and it would be fun to make that.

Second, a question... contemplating an all-in-one solution for the main room and looking at the Sunfire receiver. Looking at a used one given the cost, but what do I need to know regarding the various versions, etc.? I would buy an old one, if it meets my needs, as I don't want to spend any more than necessary - right now I run 6.1. And so, some questions I am pondering - feel free to weigh in on any or all.

I read somewhere that the older versions actually sound better, but is this just people saying that because they only like US products?

If the US products are better, when did they start making in China?

If the US products are better, is this related more to SQ, reliability, or even both?

When did Bob sell and did they drop in quality then? Or not?

Did the overseas production coincide w/Bob's sell-off?

Has their been any reliability issues with any particular model years?

When did they begin making HDMI with these units?

Is it really true that the HDMI on Sunfire receivers carries no audio???

What, if any, real advantage is there to HDMI?

Can I buy the very first version of this receiver and be happy?

And, maybe just the simple question I should ask: What version of the Sunfire receiver would you buy and why?

Okay, no more questions! :)

Many thanks,
Mike
"Watch those meters dance...."

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Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by frankieD » Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:29 pm

Welcome back Mikeohut.

I don't have all the answers to your questions but I bought a TGIII and one significant factor is that the III & newer are all digital. The SH is done digitally and is cleaner/better. I'm very satified with this pre-amp both 2 chan & HT. It is dead silent and so far continues to impress me.

I'm sure BillD & TRabbit will chime in they are the Forum experts on Sunfire.

Take your time as they are getting cheaper pretty fast.


Good luck, FrankieD

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Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by mikekohut » Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:16 pm

So, Frankie-
SH = ?
The TGR-III also has the newer/better remote, yes? At least it seems like I remember something like this. Does your III have HDMI of any kind? HDMI audio?

What would you consider a good price? I am looking at nothing better than 8/10 and 9/10 preferred for a III?

Thanks,

Mike
"Watch those meters dance...."

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Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by BillD » Sun Oct 12, 2008 8:19 pm

I was going to say that you can't really go wrong with a Sunfire Ultimate Receiver like THIS one. It's USA made and combines a TGP-III with a 200x7 amplifier. Bang for the buck, you can't get much better than that.
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Sunfire:Theater Grand III processor, Ultimate Receiver, Cinema Grand Signature 400 ~ seven, True Subwoofer Mk. II, D-10 Subwoofer

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Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by mikekohut » Sun Oct 12, 2008 8:43 pm

Yes, saw that one... any drawbacks? What do you think it is worth?

What about A/V connections, menus, and any other? Anyone out there have one?
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Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by BillD » Sun Oct 12, 2008 8:55 pm

It doesn't have HDMI connections, but (I have a TGP-III) I don't need them. My TV has three HDMI inputs, and I only use two (unless I'm watching a NetFlix download movie, when I use the output on my laptop into the third one). I have one from my HD DVR/Cable box and one from my Oppo. I run S/PDIF from the DVR to the TGP and both S/PDIF and 8-channel (for SACD) from the Oppo to the TGP.
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Making life enjoyable through expensive electronics.
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Sunfire:Theater Grand III processor, Ultimate Receiver, Cinema Grand Signature 400 ~ seven, True Subwoofer Mk. II, D-10 Subwoofer

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Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by mikekohut » Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:16 pm

My TV has only one and I use it for my Dish Network DVR - I guess I'd only need more if I did the Blue Ray thing???
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Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by Jag_97470 » Sun Oct 12, 2008 11:22 pm

[quote="mikekohut"]Yes, saw that one... any drawbacks? What do you think it is worth?

AudioGon Bluebook actually list this pretty high. Released in 2002, New $4495.00, Used $2870.00, the last data in 2007 showed a low at $1690.00 and High at $3720.00.

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Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by TNRabbit » Mon Oct 13, 2008 4:18 am

I saw an Ultimate Receiver II go earlier this year on ebay for less than $1k. With all the Sunfire gear being sold from the factory lately, prices have dropped dramatically. I paid $2k for an UR I about 20 months ago. Both I & II models are U.S. made. The TGR is the new, Chinese-made unit. Don't know much about it.

The main difference between the I and II is .5 dB (versus 1 dB) increments in the volume, and upgraded bass management (you can set separate crossover frequencies for the Main versus Center/Surround channels). Check my review here for the UR I:


viewforum.php?f=46
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From FrankieD's lips to your ears: Sunfire - a quiet box of endless power.

Sunfire TG-IV/400~7 Amp
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Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by mikekohut » Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:57 am

Yes, TNRabbit-
Nice review - thanks. Here is some info cut and pasted from a completed eBay auction on the Ultimate Receiver II distinguishing upgrades from the I:

"The Ultimate Receiver II adds Dolby® Pro Logic® IIx to its array of numerous surround modes including Dolby® Digital, Dolby® Digital EX, DTS®, DTS-ES®, DTS Neo:6®, and user-configurable all-speaker stereo. It also includes an incredible digital implementation of Bob's wildly successful Sonic Holography® Imaging, that substantially adds to the acoustic space of any stereo recording.

The Ultimate Receiver II's control system takes into consideration the needs of the modern AV system. New in version II is video format conversion that automatically up-converts composite to S-video, and S-Video to component video to keep you from having to change inputs on your TV.

The Ultimate Receiver II’s remote is a powerful new preprogrammed and learning LCD-based design. The Ultimate Receiver II includes an RS 232 communication port to allow easy operation from any custom control system.

The Ultimate Receiver II also includes an AM/FM tuner with 40 presets, an eight-channel input for DVD-Audio or SACD, a Phono stage, a digital output which is active for ALL analog and digital sources (even the phono input!) and much, much more."

Here is some info on the TGR-III I found interesting and thought I would share (read down for bulk of Sunfire commentary):

http://www.hometheatermag.com/floorloudspeakers/607ap/
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Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by BillD » Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:00 pm

Basically, it added Dolby Pro-Logic IIx — the rest are in both.
It should sound like it isn't there!
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Making life enjoyable through expensive electronics.
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Sunfire:Theater Grand III processor, Ultimate Receiver, Cinema Grand Signature 400 ~ seven, True Subwoofer Mk. II, D-10 Subwoofer

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Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by mikekohut » Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:40 pm

BillD wrote:Basically, it added Dolby Pro-Logic IIx — the rest are in both.
Then perhaps the only truly significant differences between Ultimate I and II might have to do with:

1) the feature set of inputs and outputs; and
2) the remote

???
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Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by BillD » Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:46 pm

Is the remote different?
It should sound like it isn't there!
There is a difference between hearing and listening...
Making life enjoyable through expensive electronics.
_________________
Carver: C-4000 & C-1 preamps, PSC-60 preamp/tuner, TX-11a tuner, M-400 (2), C-500, M-500, M-500t, M-500t Mk.II, A-500x, AL-III loudspeakers (2 pr.)
Sunfire:Theater Grand III processor, Ultimate Receiver, Cinema Grand Signature 400 ~ seven, True Subwoofer Mk. II, D-10 Subwoofer

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Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by gdb » Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:01 pm

[quote="mikekohut"]So, Frankie-
SH = ?

Mike, you've probably deduced by now that SH= Sonic Holography, but in case you hadn't,that's what it's abbreviation is. :D Geoff

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Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by mikekohut » Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:59 pm

SH = sonic holigraphy

No hadn't clued in on that - thanks, Geoff! Okay, so far I am not seeing any advantages to the new units but I still am a bit unclear on the two major issues that remain unresolved in my mind; again:

1) input/output feature set
2) remote (if different)

Oh, and perhaps linked to the remote issue would be "on-screen menu-ease".... any thoughts on any of these things?

I gotta say... I do like the looks of the new China-made unit. Here is a review of it:

http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/receiv ... ver-3.html
"Watch those meters dance...."

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