Newbie looking for budget receiver recommendation

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by db9, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. db9

    db9 Auditioning

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    New to HT and not much background.

    I'm looking for receiver recommendations around the 300$ mark. Budget

    system that connects to cable source, SAT, phono, VCR and DVD.

    Currently have old Marantz stereo connected to 4 old speakers. I will

    replace the speakers and because of the new room (12 x 20, hardwood

    floor, cathedral ceiling - 12 feet at the highest point and no where

    to run wires) I am considering the Polk or Yamaha speaker bar, this

    is a hit in performance I know.

    Down the road I will get a 40 something LCD or DLP and update the DVD

    player (currently a Pioneer 578) to a DVD with a recorder replacing

    the VCR.

    Suggestions to a common question

    Thanks

    Stephen
     
  2. MaxL

    MaxL Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Messages:
    503
    Likes Received:
    0
    hi there-

    check out this onkyo on sale under $300. there's a lot to choose from at this price and not a ton of difference in general. models from yamaha, pioneer, onkyo worth looking at. for a small increase of $50 or less you get to entry denon and marantz, arguably better build and maybe sound quality. the hard thing to find at this price on an AVR will be the phono in and this onkyo's got it.

    good luck
     
  3. Guy Usher

    Guy Usher Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    780
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've got a baby Yamaha (5940) that I just sold. . .I think I paid 229.00 for it and she was killer. . .Much more power than I figured it would be.. .
     
  4. John Brill

    John Brill Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oh, there is always a place to run wires [​IMG]

    Hardwood floors, you probably have baseboards and quaterrounds right? In my upstairs family room, this is where I run the wire, in behind the quater rounds.

    Another option is dependant on what's underneath this room? If it's the basement, any way to run the wires down the wall to the basement, run them accross the room and back up another wall? Really not that difficult to do with electrical fishing wire.

    As for receiver recommendations, you could probably get an Onkyo 604 at that price range.

    Best of luck!
     
  5. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 1999
    Messages:
    2,714
    Likes Received:
    0
    Your best bet is to hold off a few weeks... just a few weeks, mind you! Why? The Onkyo 605 is coming out. Yes, it does MSRP for more than your current budget ($499), but not by much. You will definitely find it streeting on the internet for less. Save up a little, and I bet it'll be worth it.

    It has HDMI 1.3 inputs and decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio lossless besides uncompressed, multi-channel PCM. These are essential features for a Blu-ray player (which also plays DVD's). Yes, HD-DVD is cheaper (from the player side of things), but from all acounts Blu-ray has the better chance of winning (more sales, more studios, and more manufacturers besides just Toshiba) and you are much more likely to find a high resolution lossless or PCM audio track (beats the paints off of normal DTS and Dolby Digital lossy audio) on Blu-ray than HD-DVD due to specs. and space issues.

    The new Samsung 1200 and the upcoming Sony Blu-ray players both look promising, and if you wait a few months the prices will probably drop.

    Don't waste your money on yesterday's technology when the new 2007 models are right around the corner!
     
  6. tgraham

    tgraham Extra

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Harman/Kardon has a great receiver for $299. Model AVR-146. I have the older version of this the AVR-110 and I love it. I paid a lot more for it at the time but this reciever would do you well.
     
  7. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
    HW Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes Received:
    0
    One thing to consider... no entry-level receiver is going to have a phono pre-amp stage these days... unless your phono has one built in you'll need an external phono pre-amp to give you line-level outputs to the receiver.

    That said, the Onkyo SR575 should be a good choice when it becomes available, or the SR604 now. I would reccomend HDMI in one form or fashion for upgradability.
     
  8. Milner

    Milner Auditioning

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Also look at the Yamaha 659. Lots of features for the price!! They have been a good deal for a while, but with the new models coming out, there are even BETTER deals to be had. Sub $300 is easy to find!
     
  9. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 1999
    Messages:
    2,714
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you have ANY interest in high definition media (I'd go with Blu-ray, personally), I still wouldn't consider any other budget receiver but the Onkyo 605 to start. By going with outdated models you're just setting yourself up to upgrade yet again fairly quickly.

    As for DTS Master Audio lossless decoding, no HD players have this on board. This necessitates a receiver with HDMI 1.3 inputs and DTS MA decoding... and a player with an HDMI 1.3 output.
     
  10. MaxL

    MaxL Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Messages:
    503
    Likes Received:
    0
    i see the point, but i disagree at this budget. get something in your budget now and when you get into HD sources, when the bluray/ hd-dvd thing's a bit more sorted and the HDMI standards are better integrated, upgrade your AVR.
     
  11. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
    HW Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes Received:
    0
    50% of BluRay Discs have Uncompressed PCM... 10% combined have TrueHD or DTS-HD Master... I wouldn't consider DTS-HD Master or TrueHD decoding a deal-breaker in a receiver... I would expect more players to add decoding for these (the Panasonic has added via firmware update) the same way DVD players added Dolby Digital and DTS decoding via 5.1ch analog outputs.
     
  12. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 1999
    Messages:
    2,714
    Likes Received:
    0
    100% of Fox & MGM titles are DTS Master Audio. Sony is moving towards Dolby TrueHD in order to put 20 bit and 24 bit tracks on their discs (according to paidgeek, a Sony insider, on AVS Forum-- and looking at the specs of future releases). Lionsgate has DTS-HD. Only a handful of players have TrueHD decoders (not even that; I think it's only two) and zero have DTS Master Audio decoders.

    PCM looks to me like a stop gap measure. As studios cram more and more stuff on these discs and cater to outside regions with ONE release (meaning more language tracks), those that do want to put great audio on the discs will have to look at either Dolby TrueHD or DTS Master Audio lossless to save space.

    To me it's disingenuous to tell a newbie that they should plunk down money on out moded equipment when the price of a new receiver with these features is within reach if they only saved a little bit more (and shopped around for a deal or sale, or pre-release/pre-order sale).
     
  13. MaxL

    MaxL Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Messages:
    503
    Likes Received:
    0
    it's not at all disingenuous. it's entirely genuine. it's the point of view i have and use in my own setup, quite happily i might add. for the record, the OP doesn't currently have any HD gear, and plans on upgrading "down the road" to things also not necessarilly HD (granted the monitor/ TV will almost definitely be).

    the fact that by the next holiday season there will be hundreds of titles with these newer audio and video formats doesn't inherently mean we all need to have the latest equipment to play it on. i'd give regular old DVD at least 2 years, probably more. hell they've barely stopped releasing new movies on VHS.

    no DVD to HD discs is not the same leap as VHS to DVD, and i expect many players to be backwards compatible for years to come, but i'd still buy a non-HD, non-HDMI receiver today... for myself... to use for years to come.

    so i will go on, genuinely, sincerely advising people on tighter budgets to go ahead and not buy the latest thing, but the ones with the most/ best functionality they can afford and that fit their current needs.

    i'm not saying your suggestion is wrong, just that mine is valid as well.

    also if you look around these forum pages, you will find plenty of indications that HDMI is not yet sorted.
     
  14. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
    HW Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's extremely easy to find DVD players that decode Dolby Digital and DTS now... why would you think it would be any different for DTS-HD Master and TrueHD for the next generation disc formats? The early round of original DVD players lacked decoding but it was a feature that was quickly added and soom became comoditized... the same will happen with DTS-HD Master and TrueHD, ESPECIALLY as the number of combo players grow (with TrueHD and/or DTS-HD being player requirements for HD-DVD).
     
  15. MaxL

    MaxL Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Messages:
    503
    Likes Received:
    0
    i agree that the new standards will be adopted relatively quickly. there is no arguement there. the question is, when you don't have anything using the new standards and you want to buy a new receiver on a budget of about $300, as is the case with the OP, what do you do?

    i see 3 options:
    1) buy older technology within your budget now, and upgrade later, when you're ready to make the switch.
    2) buy the newer/ newest technology that you can afford now.
    3) wait for the next technological feature(s) to become available within or near your budget, then buy.

    i happen to support option 1. other people may prefer options 2 or 3. the fact that there will be large numbers of discs and players supporting a new standard available in a matter of weeks doesn't mean we need to have them immediately. personally, i'm of the mindset for electronics, computers, cars, etc. that you buy n -1 not n (where n = the newest technology). this is because prices have come down meaning you're not paying the big "new" premium, and bugs have been worked out, meaning you're not the guinea pig.

    there's nothing stopping the OP from buying a new player in a few months and using it with an older receiver. it may not have its full functionality, but the other components of the system can be upgraded over time. i'm sure there are plenty of people out there happily running HD content into monitors that don't do 1080 anything over non-HDMI cables.

    there's nothing wrong with getting the latest gear and technology if it's what you want and you can afford to upgrade annually or more frequently. but it is not necessary.
     
  16. MaxL

    MaxL Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Messages:
    503
    Likes Received:
    0
    also, that shiny new onkyo 605... it doesn't have a phono input. the OP wants one. i know you can get a phono preamp for under $100, but boy that budget is going out the window fast.

    so, hmm, wait a few weeks to blow my budget on a piece of gear that doesn't let me use what i have now, out of the box, without spending more $$, but does give me features i don't need and can't take advantage of yet without buying other new gear.

    or

    buy a receiver now, in my budget, that allows me to use everything i have now and will let me use new gear as i upgrade, just maybe not to its full potential.

    yup, tough decision.
     

Share This Page