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Best AV Receiver in the $400 to $700 Range?


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22 replies to this topic

#1 of 23 OFFLINE   Floyd

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Posted October 19 2008 - 03:04 AM

I am struggling over which receiver to get to replace my old Harmon-Kardin av receiver. I am getting a new HD TV(either the Sony 52XBR6 or the Samsung 750) and would like to upgrade to a HDMI capable receiver to upgrade the system. I currently have 5:1 and do not plan to go to the 7:1 but I wouldn't rule it out. If you have any suggestions I would greatly appreciate it. I have been looking at the HK, Onkyo, Yamaha, and Denon receivers and can't seem to pull the trigger. Can you help?

#2 of 23 OFFLINE   SherardP

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Posted October 19 2008 - 04:17 AM

Sure can Pioneer Elite 94 or the new SC05. Good luck.

#3 of 23 OFFLINE   Alon Goldberg

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Posted October 19 2008 - 05:43 AM

Before making any recommendation, a few questions for you:

1. What speakers are you driving?
2. What are the dimensions of your room?
3. What are your sources (e.g. DVR, Blu-Ray, Gaming Consoles, etc)
4. How many HDMI inputs are you ideally looking for?

I'm curious why Shepard recommended the Pioneer Elite receivers? The VSX-94TXH and SC-05 both retail for $1,800, far exceeding your budget

The most popular AVR on this forum in your price range is the Onkyo TX-SR606

Cheers,
Alon

#4 of 23 OFFLINE   Floyd

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Posted October 19 2008 - 01:32 PM

I'm driving Infinity Alphas with a matched Infinity center speaker and subwoofer.
The main room is about 15 ft wide by 20ft long.
I mainly use Directv DVR and watch only HD, I am getting the Sony Blu-Ray player, and will use the Wii. I only think I have 2 HDMI right now but could grow.

Thanks for your help. I really don't want to pay as much as the Pioneer Elite costs.
Thanks again.
/s/ Floyd

#5 of 23 OFFLINE   Alon Goldberg

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Posted October 19 2008 - 01:44 PM

Hi Floyd, the Onkyo 606 will have no trouble driving your Infinity's, this AVR is a strong choice and offers good value for your money

Cheers,
Alon

#6 of 23 OFFLINE   bosawx17

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Posted October 19 2008 - 02:01 PM

Denon-1908 in my opinion...Yamaha RX-V663 isn't too bad either...

#7 of 23 OFFLINE   Brent Hutto

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Posted October 19 2008 - 11:05 PM

To second the recommendation for the Onkyo TX-SR606 you can easily find it on sale somewhere on any given day for the low end of your price range. Not only is a solid-performing AVR with the ability to switch HDMI sources it has the miraculous Audessey 2EQ setup feature (plus Audessey's DynamicEQ which is also nice in some circumstances). I am a total believer in the 2EQ or MultiEQ as the way to get the most of real-world speakers set up in a real-world (i.e. not always optimum) room environment.

And of course the 'SR606 decodes all the latest HD audio formats so you don't need a Blu-Ray player that can do all the decoding, just one that can "bitstream" the HD formats to the receiver via HDMI which almost all current players can do.

#8 of 23 OFFLINE   Ed Moxley

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Posted October 20 2008 - 12:35 AM

I'm probably going to get the TX-SR706 (a step up from the 606).
My main reason being that it has a phono input, and the 606 doesn't. I like to listen to my vinyl albums occasionally.

Also, the 706 has 3 optical inputs and 606 has 2.
the 706 does 1080p upscaling, and 606 doesn't (with today's tvs, probably no biggie)
the 706 has pre-outs and 606 doesn't, except for sub, of course.

Just a few differences that may, or may not, make a difference to you. The 706 is still in your price range. Posted Image
http://www.amazon.co....506364&sr=1-31
Samsung HL61A750 (LED DLP)            Onkyo TX-SR805
Oppo BDP-83 Blu ray                                  Polk Audio LSi9
Polk Audio LSiC                                  Sony SS-MB100H
SVS PC12-NSD (Sub)                       ...

#9 of 23 OFFLINE   Alon Goldberg

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Posted October 20 2008 - 02:30 AM

Hey Ed, not to discourage you from the 706 (and not to step away from the original poster's question!), but you may find that phono stage's on AVR's in this price category to be quite thin. I'd highly recommend considering a dedicated phono stage, for instance a Cambridge Audio 540P or 640P, which offers strong performance and a very reasonably priced solution. What turntable do you presently own?

Cheers,
Alon

#10 of 23 OFFLINE   Speedneeder

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Posted October 20 2008 - 09:12 AM

Perhaps one to consider is the ONKYO 806? $699 at Amazon.

Any feedback?

#11 of 23 OFFLINE   Ed Moxley

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Posted October 20 2008 - 10:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alon Goldberg
Hey Ed, not to discourage you from the 706 (and not to step away from the original poster's question!), but you may find that phono stage's on AVR's in this price category to be quite thin. I'd highly recommend considering a dedicated phono stage, for instance a Cambridge Audio 540P or 640P, which offers strong performance and a very reasonably priced solution. What turntable do you presently own?

Cheers,
Alon

My turntable is a very old one. I bought it in the late 70s. It's a Pioneer PL-514. Awhile back, I got a new belt and cartridge for it. My receiver died, so the TT didn't get a lot of use. It's still in pretty good shape.

I'm thinking it's going to be a little while before I can get the receiver, so we'll see what happens. I want a tv too.
Samsung HL61A750 (LED DLP)            Onkyo TX-SR805
Oppo BDP-83 Blu ray                                  Polk Audio LSi9
Polk Audio LSiC                                  Sony SS-MB100H
SVS PC12-NSD (Sub)                       ...

#12 of 23 OFFLINE   Floyd

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Posted October 20 2008 - 03:36 PM

Thanks everyone. In my case I don't have a turntable anymore so that doesn't matter.
From the posts I presume we are down to the Onkyo 606 or 706 and the Yamaha 663. The 606 and 663 appear to be out there for from $350 to $375 and the 706 is about $200 more. It doesn't appear the 706 is worth $200 extra, do you?
What should I buy the 606 or the 663?
Thanks for all your help. This is a great forum to help guys like me!
Thanks again.

/s/ Floyd

#13 of 23 OFFLINE   Aaron Gilbert

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Posted October 24 2008 - 08:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SherardP
Sure can Pioneer Elite 94 or the new SC05. Good luck.

Eh? The VSX-94 is $1300 and the SC-05 is $1800. I thought $700 was the maximum?

My suggestion is the Onkyo 805, which can be had for less than $600. The amplifiers and power supply in the 805 are very much stronger than the 806. Otherwise the units are comparable, except that the 806 has two additional HDMI inputs (total of five!), but loses a component video input.

#14 of 23 OFFLINE   Floyd

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Posted October 31 2008 - 11:12 AM

I've waffled again! Now I realize the Onkyo 806 does upconversion to 1080p from all sources, not just HDMI. I love the audio but the videophile in me tends to rule. I really dig the truly dynamic picture that leaps off the screen.
Do you think the 806 is worth the extra money.

#15 of 23 OFFLINE   Bluzman

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Posted November 01 2008 - 06:49 AM

No, unless the scaler in your TV is a real POS. JMO

#16 of 23 OFFLINE   Floyd

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Posted November 01 2008 - 09:38 AM

Sorry, but what is POS? I am either buying a 52" 1080p Samsung 750 or the Sony XBR6.

#17 of 23 OFFLINE   mylan

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Posted November 01 2008 - 10:03 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd
Sorry, but what is POS?

Slang term: Piece Of Sh*t
I know enough to know I don't know enough!

#18 of 23 OFFLINE   mylan

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Posted November 01 2008 - 10:46 AM

To be more specific, no the 806 would not be worth it. The scaler in those tv's are quite good, there is no need to upconvert through the receiver. The only reason to run video through it would be to gain switching of your sources and a good universal remote would take care of that.
Also, reread post #13 as to the benefits of the 805
I know enough to know I don't know enough!

#19 of 23 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted November 01 2008 - 10:57 AM

Quote:
Also, reread post #13 as to the benefits of the 805
In addition to what's in post #13, the 806 no longer uses Burr-Brown dacs which the 805 has. The 805 is hard to beat @ the closeout pricing (except the 875 when Frys had it for $799 a while back).
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#20 of 23 OFFLINE   mylan

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Posted November 01 2008 - 02:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by gene c
In addition to what's in post #13, the 806 no longer uses Burr-Brown dacs which the 805 has. The 805 is hard to beat @ the closeout pricing (except the 875 when Frys had it for $799 a while back).

Wow, that I did not know, it sounds like the newer model is a step back in more ways than one!
Have you considered a Denon 2309? It retails for $849 but I have heard of some screaming deals online.
I know enough to know I don't know enough!


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