Best new reciever under $600.00

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Hank Edwards, Jun 11, 2003.

  1. Hank Edwards

    Hank Edwards Extra

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    Howdy from Texas,
    I was wondering what suggestions you might have on receivers under $700.00. I Currently use an entry level Sony teamed with Athena AFS-1 mains (which sound fantastic by the way), Klipsch Quintet center,(Athena center on order),Klipsch Quintet surrounds, and KSW-10 sub. I am intrested in somthing that is at least 6.1, and could power seprate speakers on my patio outside. I have searched the web, and it seems there are several in this price range. I have read the stats on the Marantz SR-4300, Denon AVR 1803, Onkyo TX-SR501, and I think HK has one in this range too. Does anyone have any real world experience with any of the above mentioned? Any and all suggestions are welcome as I live in a small town that is not friendly to 1st person auditions of new gear.

    Thanks in advance
    Hank Edwards
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Howdy to you, Hank. I'm running a Denon 1803 in my bedroom system, driving an Acoustic Research HC6 system. Very pleased.
     
  3. Mark Hedges

    Mark Hedges Second Unit

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    A lot of people like the Sony DA4ES at your pricepoint. It is available for about $600 from on line retailers.

    I cannot tell you how it sounds personally since mine arrives tomorrow but I definatly think you should consider it.

    Mark
     
  4. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Welcome! I'd also recommend the Sony 4ES.
     
  5. JeremyFr

    JeremyFr Supporting Actor

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    I'd recommend taking a look at some of Yamaha's Offerings I run a Yamaha/Energy (big brother to Athena) setup and love it the Yammy I have does not do multi room multi source but does have a 2nd set of outputs for another pair of Mains. Works great if your just looking at having the same source playing outside as well as in.
     
  6. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

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    Denon 1803 and the Onkyo SR600 are good choices and can be found for between 350-400. Onecall.com often has a good price on the Onkyo SR800, I think they have a deal that expires today in fact.

    The SR500 was a little buggy and under powered for many speakers, I dont't know about the 501.
     
  7. Mark Dickerson

    Mark Dickerson Stunt Coordinator

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    Hank:

    Hard to believe that they don't want you to audition the gear before you buy it. Guess they want you to buy the car without a test drive, too. My condolences because trying out new gear is one of the really fun things about getting a HT system.

    Receivers under $700. Here are my choices based upon a lot of shopping for something in the same price range:

    1. NAD 742 (MSRP-$649; Street-$525): The cleanest, most beautiful sound you will ever hear from a receiver. All of the sounds are right and sound like they are happening in your room, not on a TV screen. Simple to use and set up, very unpretentious (read: no whiz-bang special effects that nobody ever uses), and can let you hear things on both music CDs and DVD soundtracks that you didn't even know existed. If you wanted to get even more power, check out the 752 (MSRP-$899; Street-$725). However, NAD only has five channels, so if you absolutely have to have six channels, read on.

    2. Harman/Kardon AVR 325 (MSRP-$799; Street-$550): Warm sound, very dynamic, 7.1 channels so you can get your six channels easy. Uses quality components throughout.

    3. Marantz 6300 (MSRP-$749; Street-$675): Tough to get a discount on Marantz, but they build a quality product, with one of the better amps available. Six channels. warm sound, but never muddy.

    These are the only receivers I recommend under $700. Everyone else uses "off the shelf" parts from suppliers and they apparently do not deliver their rated power when played across all channels. Example-recently a major audio magazine tested the Yamaha 730 (MSRP $600), which Yamaha rates at 75 wpc channels. However, you will notice that in their product literature and on their website, Yamaha specifies it as 75 wpc for the fronts, 75 wpc for the centers, and 75 wpc for the rear surrounds. In other words, when testing it, Yamaha only had its cheap little power supply drive only two channels at any given time, not with all channels driven simultaneously. The Yamaha 730 tested out at a mere 39.4 wpc channel when all channels were active at the same time. This means of rating receiver power is common among Yamaha, Onkyo, Denon, Kenwood, Sony, Panasonic, and JVC. Conversely, Sound & Vision recently tested the NAD 752, rated at 80 wpc x 5 channels and the receiver actually produced over 92 wpc when all channels were driven.

    NAD, H/K, and Marantz are the only receiver manufacturers that rate their products with all channels driven at the same time. They are the only ones who will put in quality power supplies and output transitors in this price category, so that is who I would recommend.
     
  8. Dodie

    Dodie Agent

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    I can recommend HK 525. I'm using my 525 to power my B&W CM series speakers and I have no problem with it. With all the features I think you will be happy with 525.
     
  9. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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  10. Hank Edwards

    Hank Edwards Extra

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    How could I gage to true power of my Sony? It is said to be 100 watts per channel. What do you think,(oponion), the true watts continuous is. Would 100 entry level watts from Sony be equivelant to 50 watts of HK or NAD continous power? I am just trying to figure out what kind of volume change I am in for. My HT room is small, approx. 16x21.

    Thanks
    Hank Edwards
     
  11. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Hank:

    At the risk of derailing the conversation, the best I can offer is that I would use wattage ratings as a guide only. Certainly, different manufacturers use different methods of rating their AVRs, varying the number of channels or resistors, etc and so on. Phrases like "high current watts" or "entry level watts" or "clean power" are muddy enough to get us into trouble. And, for certain, different manufacturers use power supplies of varying quality, isolate components better or worse, dissipate heat better or worse, etc and so on.

    The H/K 225, for example, with 55 or 65 watts (can't recall) would likely be sufficient for your room, although I don't know what your standard listening level is. The Sony 4ES, with 100 or 110 watts (you can see how closely I pay attention to the numbers, right?), would also be sufficient. The Denon 1803, mentioned above by Jack, rated at 80 or 90 watts would also do the trick.

    I can't answer your question about "true continuous power." Sorry. But any of the receivers Mark mentioned, or the Denon 1803/2802/2803 or the Sony 4ES would have more than enough power, I imagine.
     
  12. JoeTX

    JoeTX Auditioning

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    Hank,
    I just purchased a Pioneer 912k and Klipsch RF-35 system and they sound great. I didn't find any stores in the "HOT" area that sold these speakers and therefore, I recomend that you go to Dallas or Austin. If you are planning on going to Dallas, I can recommend some stores to you.

    -Joe
    Waco, TX(Baylor University)
     
  13. Nathan Porteous

    Nathan Porteous Stunt Coordinator

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    I got a 4es sounds awsome, just one thing who cares about power when all chanels driven, how often do you have it cranked up so that they are all working at once anyway, any reciever is good as long as you like it and you like the sound. Why does everyone say this is better than that or whatever, basically it comes down to someone read, or heard from a friend or sales person or whatever that this product is better than the others there all good and find the one that fits your style and needs. I choise the 4es because it had everything i wanted normally i hate anything sony but i made an exception and am very happy. id say you cant go wrong with any of them, go th audioreview.com and start checking on some and do some research just be happy with what you pick no matter what anyone says!
     
  14. Mark Dickerson

    Mark Dickerson Stunt Coordinator

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    Angelo:

    I have opened up a Denon 2802--when I was thinking about buying one last fall. I was not impressed. It most definitely did not change my opinion. I would also note that the smallest, lightest NAD outweighs the 2802 by more than five pounds, and almost all of the extra weight is in the power supply and the heat sink for the output transitors.

    Can't speak to the Sony ES, but I had no trouble dismissing Sony based upon the sound alone.
     
  15. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Mark:

    I have no doubt that a 'price comparable' NAD has a better/beefier power supply than a 2802, but the Denon piece is certainly no slouch, and it sounds more than decent.

    As far as the 'sound' of the Sony (if it truly does have a 'sound', but that's the subject of another discussion!), you either like it or you don't, and you don't, and that's cool. But, the power supply is substantial, and the piece is well-constructed, on par with H/K, Marantz and NAD in my opinion.

    Happy listening...
     
  16. Mark Hedges

    Mark Hedges Second Unit

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    Carry around a DA4ES for a little bit and you will agree it is a very substantial piece of equipment. The transformer inside it is HUGE. And the two cast aluminum heat sinks are very impressive.

    I think that Hank should listen to as many different recievers as possible. I just think he should include the DA4ES.

    Mark
     
  17. AndyYang

    AndyYang Auditioning

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    I say H/K 325, Denon 2803, Onkyo 601, Yamaha 740 (street should all be under 700)
     
  18. JackS

    JackS Supporting Actor

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    The Nad sounds interesting. I have heard Nad's in times past and they like everything else, have probably improved. Three years ago I went through this and finally setteled on HK and Sony es. If I were to begin the process all over again, I'd begin with these two. Be sure to check out Nad also due to the very positive comments.
     
  19. Dennis Gardner

    Dennis Gardner Stunt Coordinator

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    Hank,

    If your are considering NAD, you shouldn't overlook the Outlaw 1050. They look and perform similar. The 1050 has been known to make a nice preamp when you are ready for seperate amps. Customer service and return policy is solid also. Around $540 shipped in US.

    Outlaw 1050
     
  20. Pablo Abularach

    Pablo Abularach Supporting Actor

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