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#1 of 28 OFFLINE   JasonS

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Posted September 30 2001 - 02:29 PM

I'm going to finally upgrade from DPL, and was wanting opinions. I think I'm going to keep it between the following 3. The wife usually doesn't like it too loud, so volume isn't really that big a concern. I'm mainly interested in clean amplifiers. I'm choosing between the Onkyo 494, the Yamaha 5440, and the Kenwood vr-507. I want to keep it at the $300 price point, because the wife and I are expecting. Which of these would you suggest? Are there any others I should consider?
Thanks for your help.

~J
~J

#2 of 28 OFFLINE   Rob Robinson

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Posted September 30 2001 - 05:47 PM

I like my Harman Kardon AVR110, which is about in that price range.

#3 of 28 OFFLINE   SamRoza

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Posted September 30 2001 - 06:39 PM

I'd look away from Kenwood at all costs and look into finding one of Pioneer Elite's older line(VSX-26tx, 24tx, etc.). They sound great, and they won't fry like the Kenwood will.

Sam
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#4 of 28 OFFLINE   Thomas_Berg

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Posted September 30 2001 - 06:50 PM

last year's Onkyo 575x is still being sold at onecall.com for ~$290. i'd go with that.

and i'd also look away from Kenwood here.

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#5 of 28 OFFLINE   JasonS

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Posted October 01 2001 - 02:46 AM

I'm not trying to be confrontational, but why go with the 575? It has slightly more power, and no DPLII.

~J
~J

#6 of 28 OFFLINE   Bobby T

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Posted October 01 2001 - 09:01 AM

I'd say look at the Denon 1602 or 1802 and I also say stay away from Kenwood.
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#7 of 28 OFFLINE   JasonS

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Posted October 01 2001 - 09:02 AM

Thanks for the input. I have about $40 in gift certificates from Crutchfield, so I'll be buying it there. I don't have that extravagant a system, so I don't need that many in/outputs. I mainly want whichever will give the cleanest power. The wife does not like watching movies too loudly, but I occasionally want to crank it when she's not around. DPLII is also a good benefit, since we still ahve quite a few cassettes. I figure the Yamaha would have to have killer sound quality, plus a soundfield similar to DPLII.
~J

#8 of 28 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted October 01 2001 - 09:13 AM

I've got the Onkyo 696 which I like a great deal. I give a cautious endorsement of the 494, since I like Onkyo but don't know how different the 494 is from the 595 & 696.

The Kenwoods have got generally good reviews for their price-class. From what I've read, I'd probably go with that if only spending $300.

It may come down to your attitude about buying. If buying a car, would you buy a loaded Chevy Cavalier or a base-model Honda Civic? Replace Cavalier and Honda with Kenwood and Onkyo, respectively, for your stereo choice.

#9 of 28 OFFLINE   KevinQ

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Posted October 01 2001 - 09:26 AM

Interesting explanation.
For cars, I would choose Civic for its reliability. But for electronics, is there any big difference in terms of reliablity? I really doubt it.
I would choose Kendwood for the PLII.

#10 of 28 OFFLINE   DaveN

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Posted October 01 2001 - 09:30 AM

I have the Onkyo 494 and I think that it sounds great. Everyone knocks this receiver because you have to "turn it way up" in order to get loud volumes. Big deal. For a budget receiver, this thing has some very clean power. I have been thoroughly impressed. (To give you some perspective, my main system is based on the Denon AVR-5700)

Good luck and happy shopping. Congrats on the baby! (Boy is your life going to change!)

David

#11 of 28 OFFLINE   SamRoza

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Posted October 01 2001 - 09:50 AM

Never had anything but problems with any kenwood products. I have no faith in the components used in them, or the quality of build.

And I didn't suggest buying a used piece of equipment, I simply recommended-for $$ sake-purchasing an older model since money was an issue.

So I don't think my advice was misleading.

Sam
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#12 of 28 OFFLINE   JasonS

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Posted October 01 2001 - 09:51 AM

Hey everyone, thanks for the help. Now I can't decide between the Kenwood and the Onkyo. Bottom line: Which will sound better? Or....would the Yamaha?
~J

#13 of 28 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted October 01 2001 - 09:57 AM

in order of preference...onkyo, yamaha, then kenwood. just my .02

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#14 of 28 OFFLINE   Albert M

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Posted October 01 2001 - 11:50 AM

Kenwood or Onkyo. I went with the Kenwood because of the center width, dimension & panorama features in DPL2 music mode, these are not on the Onkyo. Both are good for the money. My buddy has a Kenwood receiver that is well over 10 years old, it sounds amazing considering it is so dirty. I swear he has never cleaned the thing.

#15 of 28 OFFLINE   Dan_Myers

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Posted October 01 2001 - 01:21 PM

I would recommend Onkyo based on my 575x but if you want a kenwood or Yamaha you could get the Kenwood VR507 with DPLII for $255 or the Yamaha HTR5440 for $254 or the 575x for $275 all at onecall.com and still have your $40 to spend on something else at Crutchfield.

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#16 of 28 OFFLINE   Scott O'Keeffe

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Posted October 01 2001 - 01:27 PM

Don't know too much about the Onkyo's or HK's but I'd stay away from Kenwood. I had 2 of em fry.

It's been Denon ever since...

Just thought I'd join the Kenwood sucks party.

#17 of 28 OFFLINE   SamRoza

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Posted October 01 2001 - 02:12 PM

Sean, the VR-2080 I bought was "new". It took one week before it was inoperable. I exchanged it(unfortunately I was stuck on the cool remote...Aaaah, youth), It worked good for maybe a year until it fried itself up again. I returned it, it was repaired, and now I'm on number 3...but I don't use it and I hardly get to enjoy it because I know it'll destroy itself in no time at all.

Sorry, Kenwood is at the same level as Sony's regular product line. Want a trouble free system? Try Denon or Pioneer Elite, or Yamaha or Onkyo.

Sam
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#18 of 28 OFFLINE   Travis D

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Posted October 01 2001 - 03:40 PM

What is this "fry" talk? My parents still have a stereo Kenwood receiver from the frigin 70's and is still sounds great IMHO. Then again, comparing 70's to 90's is apples and oranges.

Still, my neighbor has a VR-407 he bought last year and in so many words I say it is awesome. Especially for the price. I'm also going to be picking up 507 or a 509 sometime soon.
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#19 of 28 OFFLINE   SamRoza

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Posted October 01 2001 - 04:31 PM

Apples and oranges Travis. My favorite receiver growing up was a 1970's Kenwood.

This "fry" talk is the receiver deciding to come on one day and whether it be a fuse or an amp stage, not functioning. Fry=smoke, smell, or no work. All of the VR-2080's I've had died deaths just liek that.

And like I said, I baby the one I still have with some crappy magnavox speakers so I don't push it too hard so it can decide to break again, because the extended warranty I purchased(as I said, youth...) is now up. But that warranty came in handy with this unit! I've ended up with 2 new units and one repaired unit.

Sam
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#20 of 28 OFFLINE   Jon_R

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Posted October 01 2001 - 10:34 PM

If you want clean power stay away from the sony str-de line. I had the str-de445 and while feature rich, it was hissy. I eventually sold it on ebay for $150 and picked up a denon avr-681 for $200. The 681 is the "specialty version" of the 1601. No one has ever shown me there are actually differences between the two.

For what its worth, shopping.yahoo.com has a denon 1602 for $259 here

Its $294 shipped. You could use your gift certificates for wires or something.

BTW Denon doesn't like things bought online fron non-authorized dealers but I have heard mixed stories on honoring warranties.

Just an idea.

Good Luck,
Jon