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Best Bang for your Buck Reciever


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9 replies to this topic

#1 of 10 OFFLINE   rob2010

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Posted December 13 2010 - 07:50 AM

Hey everyone, im brand new to this forum and i seek your expert knowledge :). Im looking for a good AV receiver for around $400-$1000. Im open to any brand as long as it can do what I want. Heres a list of the sort of things im doing with this home theatre:


Hooking up PS3, xbox, cable box via HDMI

5.1 Surround sound

Possible building a HTPC to hook up



Note:Not doing anything related to 3-D television (dunno if this changes anything). I am also not planning on doing anything multi-room or anything so those features arnt needed at all.


Thats all the stuff i can think of off the top of my head, lemme know if theres any other factors that are important. Thanks for reading!



#2 of 10 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted December 13 2010 - 10:28 AM

 How big is the room? What speakers and sub woofer are you using?  Are you willing to buy on-line? Factory refurbished?


I don't know much about that HTPC thing but even the simplest of receivers can do the other two things. The $1000 mark is a tough spot for receivers these days since the $500-$800 ones do almost anything you need anyway.


In the +/- $500 range the Onkyo 508/608/708, Denon 1611/1911, Pioneer 1020, Yamaha 567/667 and the H/K 1600 are all very good receivers.


Higher up the ladder the Denon 2311, Onkyo 1008, Pioneer 1120 and Elite 32/33,  H/K 2600 and Yamaha 1065 and 1900 all have more stuff but do you really need any of it? I'd say stick closer to the $500 mark if you can and put the savings towards better speakers, sub woofer or room treatments.


Browse the manufacturers websites, use the "Compare" feature and download a few of the manuals.





"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.
 
 

 


#3 of 10 OFFLINE   rob2010

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Posted December 13 2010 - 10:56 AM

The room is about 300-400 sq feet. im using about 5 year old speakers 2 NHT towers, centre, a 12'' sub woofer and two bookshelf speakers in the back. If the price is right im willing to buy online. Factory refurbished im not too fond of but it seems like a lot ppl like buying refurbished receivers (eventho I tend to stay away from refurbished electronics but receivers might be a different case?) My #1 important is sound quality of course, new features mean nothing to me unless I know i can get high quality sound. Im still a bit confused on how some receivers can get up to thousands and thousands if it seems like $500 ones will suffice.



#4 of 10 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted December 13 2010 - 01:55 PM

It's the law of diminishing returns. High end receivers cost so much because they don't sell anywhere near as many of them as they do the bread-and-butter $4-$500 ones.


A few years ago you had to get the super expensive ones to get things like Dolby Digital and DTS processing, component video switching, 7 amplified channels, Audyssey room correction, hdmi, hdmi 1.3, etc. Now, all but the very cheapest receivers have all of this stuff, even hdmi 1.4. Higher end receivers might have better DACs, larger power supplies, Digital amplification, sturdier chassis, gold plated terminals and features like Sirrius/XM radio, USB and Ethernet inputs, advanced versions of room correction software, etc. but do you really need that stuff? If so then that's great. but if you don't then there's not much reason to buy them.


There is, IMO, an increase in sound quality from some entry level receivers to the flagship model. For example, in the past Yamaha has used Burr-Brown dacs in only the front two channels of the less costly receivers, with generic ones on the other channels while higher priced receivers got BurrBrowns for all channels. On the other hand, I believe H/K uses the same dacs in all their receivers, regardless of cost. I'd love to have a Pioneer Elite SC-09. But I doubt it would actually perform 5 times as well as my 94txh. Twice as well maybe, but not 5 times. On the other hand, a few years ago I replaced a Pioneer 1014 with a 59txi and the improvement was very noticable. But I bought it used so the price wasn't that much more.


Buying a factory refurbished receiver like a Marantz or Onkyo from ac4l.com is a good way to save some money if your on a budget. Just make sure the dealer is also factory authorized or the warranty might not be honored.



And remember, receivers aren't un-like anything else. They also sell hundreds of thousands of Mercedes, BMW's, Lincolns, Cadillacs and Jaguars every year when Fords and Chevys would suffice.


Just buy something that fits your needs and your budget, but don't get carried away with it.






"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.
 
 

 


#5 of 10 OFFLINE   Dave Moritz

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Posted December 26 2010 - 06:14 AM

There are many things to consider when compairing low end and upper end recievers.


Quality of DAC's

No of inputs and outputs

Quality of internal amplifiers (sound quality and performance)

Features


Keep in mind you have to select a model that will hold up to what you can live with audibly and will perform at the same time.  If you go with a Onkyo keep in mind that many of there models run hot and I would not keep them in an enclosed space!  Onkyo has a lot of bang for the buck but IMHO has horible customer service.  Depending on your needs and how big your room is and the power requirements of your speakers and how loud you like to listen to it, this will dictate what you should get.  Now you could get a $500 reciever and it could work out great or you could end up out growing it in less than a year and regreat buying it?  Most recievers costing more are going to use better DAC's even if there are from the same maker.  The more exspensive models will not only use better quality amplifiers but they will have better current cappacity and more robust power supplies.  Less expensive models may not offer 5.1 or 7.1 analog outputs or even 5.1 analog inputs.  They also offer less HDMI, digital and analog inputs and outputs so just make sure you will have enough inputs and outputs for now and the future.  I would find as many brands that you can listen to at a retailer as you can, be willing to spend some time doing some crittical listening and bring cd's and dvd's that you watch and listen to alot.  By doing this it will be easier to point of any differences in sound on one receiver vs another if you know the music really well!


While you do not need to spend $5k to get something that sound good and performs, do not be affraid to push the limit on what you can afford.  Keep in mind that if you get a reciever that  performs well it still is not as important as your speakers!  I can take a really good reciever and make it sound like crap!  If your speakers are not very good the best reciever in the world will not sound very good and you will not be happy with it.  You can also make a low end reciever sound better than it is by hooking up some really good efficient speakers, but a low end reciever will still show it's limitations when you push it to hard.  Also selecting a reciever high enough up the chain that offiers multi channel outputs will allow you to add external amplifiers as needed down the road.  Do your research and ask alot of questions and listen to as many models as possible.  Do not be affraid to go to specialty shops along with chain stores, go to places that have a big selection along with the specialty shops.  I find that best buy is not the greatest place to shop for a/v gear in general.  If you live in Arizona, Colorado, Utah or Nevada I recomend Ultimate Electronics to be a place to check out.  In California how ever with the loss of Good Guys you are better off at many of the specialty shops like Audio Concepts or Sound Factor.  For low end to mid end you can find some decent models at Fry's Electronics.


Supporter of 1080p & 4K video / Supporter of Lossless PCM, Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio / Say No To MP3 & WMA / Say no to Bose & LG!
 

 


#6 of 10 OFFLINE   Dave Moritz

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Posted December 26 2010 - 06:28 AM

Tried to edit my post but since it wouldn't work here is my add on to what I said above.


Generally I stay away from JVC, Kenwood, Sherwood and regular Sony receivers!  While I own Sony gear and one of them is a Sony ES that I am very happy with I actually do not like the Sony ES receivers that much.  IMHO the Sony ES reciever line is lacking in the amplifier section in sound, current and power supply!  As far as my home theater you will not find a Sony ES reciever until they beef up the amplifier section and improve the sound.  They look nice, they have a nice gui and offer alot of inputs and outputs but while there are worse receivers out there than the ES line up I just personally will not recomend them.  If you have one or are shopping and you like the sound from an ES and it does everything you need, hell by all means buy it!  If you like it you have to live with it, not me so what I say is only ment for consideration.  If you like the ES than it is a good choice for you and that is all that matters.  Hell I am a critical listener and am picky and my Altec A-7's I use for my main stereo speakers are very efficient they will still show when a reciever is harsh sounding or muddy sounding.


Supporter of 1080p & 4K video / Supporter of Lossless PCM, Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio / Say No To MP3 & WMA / Say no to Bose & LG!
 

 


#7 of 10 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted December 26 2010 - 01:05 PM

Best bang for your buck is an older model or refurbished receiver, or a used receiver if you don't need the "latest and greatest" tech.  A web site I like is http://www.accessories4less.com - they have older model and refurbished gear from Marantz and Onkyo.


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#8 of 10 OFFLINE   winniw

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Posted December 30 2010 - 04:04 PM

Which speakers are you going to use with this receiver?



#9 of 10 OFFLINE   davidMac

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Posted January 10 2011 - 12:51 PM



Originally Posted by Philip Hamm 

Best bang for your buck is an older model or refurbished receiver, or a used receiver if you don't need the "latest and greatest" tech.  A web site I like is http://www.accessories4less.com - they have older model and refurbished gear from Marantz and Onkyo.


After many hours/days of research this is the route I took. I also did not want 3D and decided buying a Onkyo factory refurbished from what seems like a trusted company (AC4less) was the way to get more bang for the buck. I was able to get a Onkyo 807 for $469.00, very high quality, all the features and a lot of power.



#10 of 10 OFFLINE   elus89

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Posted September 05 2011 - 02:02 PM

Tried to edit my post but since it wouldn't work here is my add on to what I said above.


Generally I stay away from JVC, Kenwood, Sherwood and regular Sony receivers!

What's wrong with the Sherwood receivers? I ask about Sherwood specifically, because in my brief research (mostly on Amazon) they were the only model that offered Energy Star compliance along with my requested feature set. I had read the upconversion for video was good as well. I have no expertise however, so what ever advice you supply may be quite helpful.