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

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

Post by mikekohut » Mon Oct 13, 2008 4:32 pm

BTW, anyone aware of this new offering - just came upon it....

http://aventhusiast.com/audio/receivers ... introduced
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Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by OBI56 » Mon Oct 13, 2008 4:49 pm

mikekohut wrote:BTW, anyone aware of this new offering - just came upon it....

http://aventhusiast.com/audio/receivers ... introduced
This is the infamous Chinese built TGR that is the cause of all this controversy on here in this past 10 months. Elan shifted all production to China when they bought out Sunfire from Bob and changed the looks of all the models to the new style. Since January, Sunfire has slowly been shutting down all of its US procuction, first closing the plant, then moving sales and now service to Elan's Kentucky location leaving only the half dozen person R&D team in Washington State.
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Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by BillD » Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:06 pm

And putting Rita and Mylinda out of work.
It should sound like it isn't there!
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Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by mikekohut » Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:49 pm

The TGR-401 may have more bells and whistles and connectivity - dunno. But, I think it took a big hit in the cosmetics department. It took a significant hit in the power department, too - from 200x7 to 150x7.

Also, from what I understand the TGR-III was made in China, as well - right? Was not controversy already stirred up prior to the TGR-401?

Lastly, is this alleged or perceived controversy quality-related in any way? Or did the controversy flare up because of change in ownership, alone?
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Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by frankieD » Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:14 pm

Mike, sorry I didn't get back to you on the SH. I was away from the computer. I'm glad others chimed in (great forum huh) to answer you.

I see a lot has been said so I will only tell you I am Very happy with my TGIII and I don't care where it was made. The onscreen was easy to use & set up. The phono input was an extra plus except that I had to buy a new cartridge (my TT had been in a closet for 20 years).

I highly recommend Sunfire.

I paid $1300.00 for mine last Jan. They have come down a lot with one going for around $900.00 recently.

Good Luck, FrankieD

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

Post by mikekohut » Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:47 pm

Cool to see all the replies and $900 for a TGR-III sounds great if it is in 9/10 condition. The question is...

...if the TGR-III is $900, and yet the Ultimate I or II can be had for significantly less, which would be the better buy and for what reasons? What do the newer models offer?

Seems like the TGR-401 is a significant downgrade - with power, anyway.
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Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by TNRabbit » Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:54 pm

Like I said, the only real 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). The inputs, remote, Sonic Holography, and everything else but the ProLogic IIx are the same.
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From FrankieD's lips to your ears: Sunfire - a quiet box of endless power.

Sunfire TG-IV/400~7 Amp
Carver SD/A-360 CDP
Benchmark DAC-1
Sony SACD/DVD-A
Active bi-amp: Ashly XR-1001 & 2 Rane PEQ-15s
Main: HotRodded AL-IIIs
Sub: Klipsch RT-12d
Center: Sunfire CRS-3c
Surround: Sunfire CRS-3 (x 2)

OconeeOrange wrote:"Gary likes to play it 'loud' as do I. His system begs you turn it up until you die"

RIP WIlliam B. Dibble, 1948-2012. I'll miss you my friend.

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

Post by mikekohut » Tue Oct 14, 2008 6:05 am

Yes, sorry to be so dense, TNRabbit - seriously. Well, do you think the volume and bass mgmnt upgrades are significant? I doubt I would ever find myself using pro-logic anything - that seems like a silly upgrade.

Also, FrankieD... I read in a review of the TGR-III that the volume on the remote - if you hold it down - can really increase quickly and can damage speakers - you notice anything?
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Re: Sunfire Receivers and all that I need to know...

Post by TNRabbit » Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:20 am

"Well, do you think the volume and bass mgmnt upgrades are significant? "

The thing I like about the bass management is you can set different crossovers for the Main versus Center/Surrounds (i.e., 100 hz for the surrounds/center and 40 hz for the mains). That's a personal preference only you can answer.

"I read in a review of the TGR-III that the volume on the remote - if you hold it down - can really increase quickly and can damage speakers - you notice anything?"

Well, the volume from the remote starts slow & jumps into overdrive if you hold it down. I tend to click it one at a time when I get up to the higher range, but yes, it can FLY to the top if you're not careful. It only has to happen to you once! Incidentally, you can set the maximum gain so know one blows your speakers. I have mine set to -20 db for my Klipsch speakers. They're so damn loud at that volume you couldn't stand it anyway....
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From FrankieD's lips to your ears: Sunfire - a quiet box of endless power.

Sunfire TG-IV/400~7 Amp
Carver SD/A-360 CDP
Benchmark DAC-1
Sony SACD/DVD-A
Active bi-amp: Ashly XR-1001 & 2 Rane PEQ-15s
Main: HotRodded AL-IIIs
Sub: Klipsch RT-12d
Center: Sunfire CRS-3c
Surround: Sunfire CRS-3 (x 2)

OconeeOrange wrote:"Gary likes to play it 'loud' as do I. His system begs you turn it up until you die"

RIP WIlliam B. Dibble, 1948-2012. I'll miss you my friend.

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

Post by BillD » Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:37 pm

To further Gary's point, I'd like to be able to adjust my volume in ½ dB increments. One dB is quite a bit. Also, if you are running BIG speaks for your mains and little speaks for your center and surrounds, you need separate adjustments for their crossover frequencies. SO, the short answer is yes, they are good upgrades, but maybe not for the price (you decide).
It should sound like it isn't there!
There is a difference between hearing and listening...
Making life enjoyable through expensive electronics.
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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 mikekohut » Tue Oct 14, 2008 6:41 pm

Thanks guys - it is really helpful to sort this stuff out with assistance.

So, here is my current thinking but feel free to check me if you think I am off...

1) The TGR-III looks different and is nice, but perhaps the only true benefit of this unit is the HDMI which the others don't have, but it isn't HDMI that carries an audio signal and perhaps is also limited in other ways as compared with other receivers so it maybe isn't a true worthy upgrade.

2) I don't know of any other upgrades the III offers beyond what is stated in point #1, above - FrankieD, do you know of any? Sorry if my memory is short, and my mind tired.

3) I am weighing both the I and the II and I guess the III, too, if someone can convince me why to go for the III (btw, the III is available new on Audiogon for $1649 new w/5-year warranty right now). The question is what should one expect to pay for a great condition I? And what about a deal on the II? How much more for the II would you think, at this point? And how much less would these units likely be than just going for the new TGR-III, as quoted above?

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

Post by frankieD » Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:05 pm

The only thing I know is that the III was all digital and can be upgrades with a cd. Gary & Bill are the experts. I get the feeling that the III was a step in the evolution but other than the digital I don't know why.

If you look around and have patience I'm sure you will do better than $1600.00. Mine was just back from Sunfire in the box with a warranty. They are out there.

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

Post by BillD » Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:06 pm

From an aesthetics standpoint, I like the rounded shape of the older units. I like that they are USA made, for whatever that's worth (less counterfeit components, perhaps). If you're gonna do HDMI, I think you should do it right, and pass the audio too. Still, you get higher bitstream rates with S/PDIF, so I'd probably go that way anyway.

Therefore, in the scheme of things, if I were starting from scratch, I'd get a TGP-IV and a 400 ~seven (what Gary has), a TGP-III and a 400~seven (what I have), an Ultimate Receiver II, an Ultimate Receiver I, then a TGR-3 and finally a TGR-401

EDIT: I'd add a 600 ~ two (or any of its variants) to the mix for ribbons if you get one of the receivers.
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 mikekohut » Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:10 pm

Great ideas, guys.

Well, if I go the Sunfire route it will definitely be a receiver - I want an all-in-one solution to my A/V life, and the reason I am considering Sunfire is its' reputation in 2-channel stereo and its' power, power, power - I don't know of any other receiver with this kind of power at an affordable price and I am used to a lot of power.

How much power am I used to? Well...

Currently I run a Cambridge Audio receiver (540R) and I have connected to it a Carver AV-705x which drive three surrounds and then two of its' channels are bridged to my center channel speaker. The stereo channels of my system are driven by a TFM-75. My speakers are B&W surrounds, B&W center, and B&W 604 towers (tweet, mid and two 8" woofs).

Frankly, despite the size of the tower speakers, the TFM-75 is way overkill on this setup as the towers are not inefficient and get plenty loud and punchy hitting even just a 50 steady watts on the meters. As a result, I am thinking of downsizing in tough economic times and selling off all the above-said electronics for a receiver and regaining some cash.

I use HDMI right now, yet I only have my Dish DVR connected directly to my TV, which has only one HDMI input, by the way. My Cambridge Audio 540D DVD player does not have HDMI and right now I have no other need for HDMI - perhaps it will stay that way, but a Blue Ray or HD DVD player that plays CDs well would be nice in the future, I suppose. HDMI is real uncertainty for me - the benefits of it now over component video is the real issue. If I must have it in the future, I am thinking I just upgrade the receiver later, perhaps.

And so, that is my situation. If I do this switcheroo, I want to clear as much cash as I can, but want to be sure and make the right call in terms of what to sacrifice on a receiver and what not to. Frankly, my only real attractions to the Sunfire are the power and my suspicion that the SQ in stereo mode is better than I'll find in receivers of similiar price. If I am wrong on this, then I am open to other ideas, too. Clearly, connectivity-wise, and feature-wise, the Sunfires are lacking compared to the new Onkyo's, Denon's, Marantz, etc.; however, my main love is music and so, again, I consider the Sunfire.

Actually, I am secretly hoping that even with those awesome Carver amps, the Sunfire receiver will outperform my current setup even at a lesser cost given my current source is a $700 msrp receiver that is 2 years old and probably has a street value of $300-$400, at this point.

Any and all thoughts welcome! :)

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

Post by weitrhino » Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:43 pm

Send me the TFM-75 :D :D :D :D :D :D

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