$500 for Receiver / sub ...comments?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by scott-a-a, Jun 9, 2003.

  1. scott-a-a

    scott-a-a Auditioning

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    A very LOW BUDGET ... I'm finally going to replace my old Kenwood ProLogic 7040 with a DTS receiver.

    I'm planning to spend 300-350 on the receiver and 100-150 on the sub.
    I am thinking of either Pioneer 812K / 912K or OnkyoTSXR-501.

    For the sub, not much to choose from except Sony / KLH ???

    I know there may not be much to discern under these limits, but I'd appreciate any feedback.
     
  2. Mark Dickerson

    Mark Dickerson Stunt Coordinator

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    Scott:

    I have a much better solution. First, go to One Call (www.onecall.com) and get a Harman/kardon 125 for $322.49. Far better receiver with a much better power supply than the units you mentioned. One Call is an authorized dealer, so you get the full warranty protection. Second, go to DMC Electronics (www.dmc-electronics.com) for a factory refurbished PSB Alpha Subzero for $199. This is a much better sub than the Sony or KLH. Alternatively, One Call has a Velodyne VX10 also for $199. Still a better sub than the Sony or KLH, by far!

    I know this totals $521.49, which may be over your limit, but it is close enough to stretch.

    Good luck.

    Mark
     
  3. scott-a-a

    scott-a-a Auditioning

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    Mark,

    Thanks for the suggestion, I just might go that way. I've read many other positive references to HK but was concerned that the 125 does not have component video I/O ... means nothing to me now, but I'm concerned that I might want it later. I guess I lean towards sacrificing some quality for functionality. What are your thoughts???
     
  4. Mark Dickerson

    Mark Dickerson Stunt Coordinator

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    Scott:

    I orginally thought I wanted the compenent video throughput, but everyone, and I do mean everyone, that I have talked to who is in the business has convinced me that it really has no value. Their argument is that you need at a minimum 100 Mhz of component video bandwidth to avoid HD signal degradation. Given the great displays that are already on the horizon, you don't want to be degrading the video signal. Now I know some people will want to repsond to this and say that they don't see any degradation, and compared to standard TV, a degraded HD signal still looks great, but down the road when we become more accustomed to HD, we will notice. The sales reps who have done this for years have pulled me aside to show me how to spot degraded signals and it is noticeable.

    On the Onkyo, the video bandwidth is only 50 Mhz, which isn't bad, but certainly not future proof. On the Pioneers, I believe the bandwidth is a mere 10 Mhz (which is really silly because the S-Video jacks do 6-8 Mhz already!). I mean, what's the point?!

    Everyone here, from the chain stores to the high end audio salons, are telling their customers to bypass the receiver and directly connect your DVD, Satellite receiver, etc., directly into the display. This avoids the degradation issue and actually improves your connectivity because, get this, the OSD from the receiver cannot function through the component video output port! You have to use composite or S-video connections to use your receiver's OSD. So, for example, if you like seeing bar along the bottom of the screen when you adjust your volume so you can actually see as well as hear your relative volume, it won't work through the component video jacks on your receiver.

    So, I wouldn't sweat the lack of component video ports. Just get the best receiver sound you can from the receiver, whose one true job is to get you great sound. Anything else is purely gravy. Or, to put it into your words, I would not sacrifice good sound for some believed functionality. But in this case, you actually improve your functionality by not having the component video ports and getting the use of the OSD to setup your receiver. I know this seems strange, but hey, whoever said Japanese audio companies were logical?

    While I like the Onkyo, I like the H/K so much more. In my mind, the Pioneers are just not competitive. Of the three, only H/K actually delivers its rated output over all channels driven at the same time. Always go with quality--it is the most future proof decision you can make.

    Mark
     
  5. HienD

    HienD Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a pioneer vsx-d711 and find the amps to be weak and thin sounding. Can't power my 4 x 6ohm speakers that well. The onkyo will definitely sounds better then the pioneers. At least with my speakers.
     
  6. Thomas Nichols

    Thomas Nichols Stunt Coordinator

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    As an owner of the 125, I find that it is the perfect receiver for me. It has more than enough power. I do not miss the component video switching. When I do upgrade in the future, I will certainly keep this as my bedroom system. I love it.
     
  7. Bill_San

    Bill_San Auditioning

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    Here is another idea.

    Go to http://www.ecost.com and get an HK 225.
    Pay one of three prices: $185 or $235 or $345 for HK refurb, open box, or new, respectively.

    Then go to:
    http://electronicsemall.com/yamysnatsoun.html

    and get the Yamaha YST-305 Subwoofer for $183.

    Sub has Dual 8" cones, 200 watt-active servo amp, small footprint, controls on front panel, adjustable high cutoff filter 40-140 Hz, pretty massive at 50 lbs.

    Sounds great for music (quick and clean) and goes darn low and loud for HT in my average-size room. Astounding build quality for the $$--A great deal. Tons better than KLH (haven't heard the well-regarded Sony). I have one, bought from source above, good service.

    My folks bought an open box HK 525 from ecost. It was perfect and arrived in 4 days. I bought a Sherwood/Newcastle 956 from ecost. Also 4 day arrival from order date. Couldn't be happier.

    Could hit the budget including shipping.

    --Bill
     
  8. Vincent_S

    Vincent_S Second Unit

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    I would say either the Onkyo or H/K. I had an Onkyo 575 and loved it.
     
  9. John Hagan

    John Hagan Auditioning

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    I recently picked up the Onkyo tx-sr501. It truly is a bargain. Sounds great, setup is a breeze and the price is right. Onkyo has done right with this one.
     
  10. Jack_TN

    Jack_TN Stunt Coordinator

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    You might want to check out the Harman Audio store on eBay too.

    http://www.stores.ebay.com/harmanaud...pt1/index.html

    The refurb HK 320 generally seems to go for around $340 - $350, but after bidding on several, I got one for $330. They have most of the other models too.

    Jack
     
  11. Kevin McCurdy

    Kevin McCurdy Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll go against the majority and put a vote in for the 912K. I was recently looking for a receiver at or below the $300.00 price point and I chose the 912k. At it's street price it's a receiver full of features.

    It has most of the current surround formats available (Stereo/Direct,6-channel stereo, DD, DD-EX, DTS, DTS-ES, DTS NEO:6 (Cinema & Music) DTS 96/24, Pro Logic II(Music & Movie).

    Multi-channel input, Dual 48-bit DSP processors, front AV inputs including an optical digital input, MCACC(auto calibration).

    If down the road power becomes an issue it has preouts for each channel, so you can add seperate amps. The component switching bandwidth is 5-40 mhz, so it is currently capable of performing HDTV switching functions (I believe 40 mhz is needed for HD signals). If you desire to do so.

    It's been running in a bedroom system for a few weeks and I'm happy with it's performance.

    It does have weak points. Manual, remote, Amplifier Section THD Spec.s

    I'd really look at the options you want and then go listen and decide for yourself. HK's are fine products as well and I wouldn't rule them out, but for me I was looking for the latest features in a unit for $300.00, so I took a chance on the 912K and have not been disappointed with my decision.
     
  12. scott-a-a

    scott-a-a Auditioning

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    THANKS EVERYONE -- I was on EBAY and saw an HK125 refurb by the manuf. direct and got it for $202.50 (+15 shipping and 10 for CA tax). Of course, I'm glad to be under budget, but greedily thinking maybe I should've tried to land a HK 225 or 320!!!

    Now I just have to resolve cabling and a subwoofer.
     

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