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Beginner Build, Best Receiver Under $500?


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#1 of 14 that boy asad

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Posted December 28 2010 - 06:14 PM

I have just purchased the Panasonic TC-P42G25 and I already have a pair of Polk Monitor 30 BookshelfSpeakers... All of this going into a room that is 14' by 14'. Eventually I will get tower speakers for the front and move the bookshelf in the rear. I am going to be only using the tv/home theater 75% for gaming and movies, 25% music... Which receiver should be best to get?


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#2 of 14 gene c

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Posted December 29 2010 - 04:44 AM

In your situation I would drop the budget to $300-350 and get even better fronts or preferably a bigger/better sub woofer. Your room isn't that big and Polks are relatively easy to drive so you don't really need a lot of power. My favorites in that price range are the Onkyo 508/608 and Denon 1611. The Yamaha 467 and Pioneer 920/1020 would also work but they seem to have less powerfull amp sections, regarless of what the specs say. But the professional reviews really like them anyway.


The H/K 1600 might fit your budget but the others tend to offer a bit more for the money. Marantz is pretty much out of budget.


If you don't mind factory refurbished models, with warranty, then ac4l.com sells Marantz and Onkyo's and Dakmart.com handles Denon. H/K sells their own on it's ebay store. Sometimes at relly good prices if you win the auction.


If you didn't know already newegg.com has real good prices on Polk Monitors.


"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 14 that boy asad

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Posted December 29 2010 - 01:18 PM

well, im planning on getting a sub but thats a different budget matter... the fronts i dont mind waiting for.



#4 of 14 gene c

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Posted December 29 2010 - 02:55 PM

Well, if you really want to spend $500 on a receiver then the Pioneer-1120 is on Amazon for $499. Ac4l has the Onkyo-708 factory refurbished model with a one year warranty for $470 + shipping.


Onecall.com has the Marantz 5004 for $499 but it's last years model and doesn't support 3-D. The Denon 1911 is a step up from the 1611 but it can be had for under $400 if you look around. The 2311 is over budget as is the H/K 2600.


New? Get the 1120. Refurbed O.K.? Then look closer at the 708. Looks like it's between those two.


Download the manuals to see if there's something in them that catches your eye. And remember, if you buy from an un-authorized dealer the warranty may not be honored should something go wrong. At least spring for a SquareTrade warranty. And I doubt you'll be able to find these prices in a store.


"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 14 that boy asad

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Posted December 29 2010 - 04:01 PM

what would be a better choice...

Onkyo TX-SR608
Denon AVR-1911
Denon AVR-791
Pioneer VSX-1120-K
Pioneer Elite VSX-32
Yamaha RX-V667



#6 of 14 gene c

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Posted December 29 2010 - 05:00 PM

The Denon 1911 and 791 are just about identicle.


So is the Pioneer 1120 and Elite VSX-32 except for a couple of minor things and the Elites orange display and 2 year warranty (the 30 matches the 920 and the 31 the 1020).


Denon has Audyssey which might be just a bit better then MCACC and YAPO, but I find Denons hard to setup and use, the manual is horrible and the remote even worse. But the features and performance are top notch.


Onkyo also has Audyssey but it has the lessor 2EQ version vs the Denons MultiEQ. It will make a difference. But Onkyo's are very easy to setup and use and the remotes and manuals are good enough.


Pioneers are the best looking of the bunch and have a ton of features but only allow a single crossover setting for all speaker groups which might be a problem if you have larger fronts but tiny rears. On the plus side you can store up to 6 MCACC settings including those you manually set. So one set for movies, one for surround music, one for two channel stereo, etc.


I don't know much about Yamaha's but they, like Pioneer, offer a lot for the money. But sometimes their lower end receivers can fall a bit short of power then the specs say. Probably not a problem but just thought I'd mention it.


Of those listed I'd go for the 1120 or 1911 but they're all good. Study the features and see which one works best for you.



"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.
 
 

 


#7 of 14 that boy asad

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Posted December 29 2010 - 05:27 PM

I would like to have ARC and I don't know if THX would be worth it or not, also... what would have the best audio DAC processor?



#8 of 14 gene c

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Posted December 29 2010 - 05:56 PM

I know the 1911 has Audio Return Channel and I'm 90% sure the 1120 does as well but Pioneer updated it's website recently and of course, it's not as good as it should be.


The THX logo looks nice on the front panel but whenever I've pushed the THX button on the remote I've been less than satisfied with the results. I wouldn't worry too much about it.


As for which has the best DACS I'd really have no way of knowing. It's difficult to find out exactly what's in most of these receivers. Some may say Burr-Brown or Wolfson but each maker has their own levels of chips so without knowing which one's in it you can't say which is best. Does it have the best Burr-Brown DAC or just a mid-level one? In any event, receivers in the same price range will sound close enough that you probably couldn't tell the difference anyway. Marantz and H/K might, might have a slight upper hand in that regard but I'd have a hard time proving it. MCACC vs Audyssey vs YAPO etc would make more of a difference. Again, don't worry too much about it.


Usability and features are things to be concerned with.

"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.
 
 

 


#9 of 14 that boy asad

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Posted December 29 2010 - 06:06 PM

So, as of right now... it looks like Denon 1911 and Pioneer 1120 is the way to go?!


after reading a couple of reviews on the Onkyo - seems to be a very user friendly, all around receiver but reliability/longevity is in question and also not as powerful when doing 5ch surround



#10 of 14 gene c

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Posted December 29 2010 - 06:16 PM

Never heard about Onkyo losing power with 5 ch surround. Entry level Yamaha's and Pioneers, yes (the 1120 is O.K.).


Onkyo's do run pretty hot sometimes and heat is a big enemy of electronics. Pioneers and Denon's seem to run pretty cool. I have a Pioneer Elite 94txh by the way. Had a VSX-32 for a bit but sold it yesturday. Decided to keep my H/K 7200 in that room.


I really like the Onkyo 508 (under $300) and 708 (over $550) for their price and feature set but Denon and Pioneer seem to have the upper hand in the $350-$500 point with the 1611, 1911, 1020 1nd 1120. All of this is just my opinion, of course Posted Image .


"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.
 
 

 


#11 of 14 that boy asad

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Posted December 30 2010 - 02:52 AM

is there a big difference between Onkyo TX-SR608 and TX-NR708?



#12 of 14 gene c

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Posted December 30 2010 - 03:36 AM

Little more power, internet conectivity, more advanced version of Audyssey (DSX), 4 ohm stable, phono and s-video inputs, multi-ch inputs (for DVD-A/SACD) Pre-Outs, 12 volt trigger for Zone 2, Ethernet and RS-232 ports, Internet radio and Streaming.


That's quite a bit. BTW, the 1120 has most of this stuff as well. The 1911 doesn't.


"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.
 
 

 


#13 of 14 that boy asad

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Posted December 31 2010 - 05:54 PM

the local best buy has the Denon AVR-2809CI for $399... is that good compared to the ones on my list?



#14 of 14 gene c

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Posted January 01 2011 - 04:46 AM

The 2809 is at least two years old but was a very good receiver, in it's day. It is hdmi 1.3 and does have Audyssey Dynamic Volume and EQ but from what I remember it's video processing wasn't the best.


Denon dropped that model from their linup going from the 2311 to the 3311.


It might be as good as some of the others in certain ways but a lot has changed in two years. Even if the 2809 has what you need right now the urge to upgrade would probably come much sooner.


I would take the 2809 over the 667 or 608 but others might think differently.



"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.