~$500 Receiver comparison?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ryan Muldoon, Mar 4, 2002.

  1. Ryan Muldoon

    Ryan Muldoon Auditioning

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    I am planning my first HT setup, and right now the big variable is which receiver to buy. For speakers, I am planning on Axiom M22Ti's for mains, then M3Ti's for rears and center, and an Adire Rava subwoofer. I don't have an HDTV, but I would like to purchase something that will last for a while, so component video seems like a nice thing to have. I'd also like Dolby Pro Logic II, as it sounds like it would make normal TV viewing more enjoyable.
    I have been considering the following receivers (with approximate prices), and would love to get people's input:
    Denon:
    AVR-2802: $560
    AVR-1802: $363
    Harmon Kardon:
    AVR 520: $690
    AVR 320: $530
    Onkyo:
    TX-DS600: MSRP $530
    TX-DS676:
    Marantz:
    SR-7200 $629
    I realize that this is a pretty broad price range, and obviously the more expensive models are going to be nicer. But my question is more about where the "Sweet spot" might be. The Onkyo 600 looks great, except that it doesn't have preouts (preouts seem like a nice upgrade path). The Denon 2802 looks great..but how does it compare to the Harmon Kardons or the Marantz? Do the 192 bit DACs sound noticeably better than the 96 bit DACs? Of course, I'd like to spend as little as I can to get great sound, but I don't want to settle for something that is definitely "budget" sound, as I'd like to have it for at least a few years. So, considering my likely speaker setup, are there any suggestions? I'm probably going to use this for home theater more than music, but I would still like to have good-sounding music. Right now, the only inputs are a digital cable box and a panasonic rp-56 progressive-scan dvd player. Any thoughts would be great. Thanks!
     
  2. Scott H

    Scott H Supporting Actor

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    My first choice for a receiver to audition at this price point would be the Outlaw 1050, which isn't on your list. But, DPL2 is not important to me.
     
  3. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    For the money, the H/K 320 gives not only superb sound but a full upgrade path including 7.1 pre-outs (you should not NEED more power unless you have a very large space) and an 8 channel input. Also PLII and Logic 7...Kinda hard to beat.

    If not the 320 then I would shoot for the 2802. Sound quality needs to be demoed so do try and listen for yourself somewhere with your own CD's and DVD's.
     
  4. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    I'll echo Scott on the OUTLAW 1050, but I don't care about DPL-II or DSP modes, generally.

    You'll find fewer digital doo-dads on the OUTLAW, but it decodes DTS, DD-5.1 and 6.1, and Pro-Logic, plus a two-channel bypass mode (thru the L/R main 5.1 inputs) for pure, unadultered 2-channel sources. IMO, for $499 the OUTLAW will give you better sound quality than any of the other receivers you're looking at, plus DD-6.1 and more bass management flexibility. 30-day home trial with only shipping fees to lose... and I'm betting you wouldn't be sending it back!
     
  5. Ryan Muldoon

    Ryan Muldoon Auditioning

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    The outlaw 1050 was actually my original choice, but a lot of people have been saying that dolby pro logic II is pretty nice. And if I'm going to be investing money in 5 speakers, it would be nice to be able to hear out of all of them, if it turns out that I like that. ;-) If Outlaw put out a 1055 with DPLII and maybe some component video, I'd buy it in a second. I'm still considering it though...
    Has anyone had any experience with the Marantz? How does it compare to the Harmon Kardons? Or the Denon 2802? It seems like the HK AVR 320 is at the very least worth a great deal of consideration.
     
  6. ChrisAG

    ChrisAG Supporting Actor

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    I haven't heard the HK or Outlaw, but IMO the Marantz has better music sound than the other ones mentioned.

    Early units had lots of problems, but these have allegedly been fixed. Make sure you can return it (or any other make) if you get a defective unit.

    I wouldn't buy online for this reason.
     
  7. Matthew_Judd

    Matthew_Judd Extra

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    I am also looking at these reciever and I am currently leaning towards the upcoming Onkyo 600. Of course, last week I was sure I'd get the Denon 2802 and the week before I was set on the Outlaw [​IMG]. I agree, if Outlaw had DPL II (which I want to try out) I'd probably get that. Outlaw really needs to start fleshing out their product lines.
    BTW another reciever I have looked at is the Yamaha HTR-5490. I haven't read much about this receiver yet (haven't had time) but I have seen it for sale for $550.
     
  8. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    if you can fing the yamaha rx-v1200 for around 600$ i would highly recommend it. it sounds (to my ears) much more dinamic than denon 2802. you can't beat the quality of a yamaha. it has everything you are looking for in a recever plus probably a few more. i would opt for the 1200 and not the 5490 though because the 5490 does not have preouts. we are getting the rx-v2200. we may still get the 1200 but we like the extra power and the remote with the 2200 can do macros. plus we found a good deal on it. but you can't go wrong with the 1200. the new yamahas do not sound nearly as bright as the old ones. i heard things with the yamaha that i literally could not hear with the denon. although denon in my estamation would be my second choice. anyway best of luck to you. also try to demo all of these receivers with your speakers. that makes a huge difference.
     
  9. Jedd

    Jedd Second Unit

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  10. John A. Casler

    John A. Casler Second Unit

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    The 320 does have ProLogic II (I have the manual right here)

    HK has their own "Logic 7" which is similar so they have a tendency to look at DPL II as an "also ran" but not significant, when Logic 7 is available.

    It works with "any" two channel source material

    JAC
     
  11. Derek_R

    Derek_R Auditioning

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    By far, the Denon 1802.

    CheapHomeTheater.com deamed it as the current leader of AV Receivers under $500

    I just notice a small pop noise when I turn up the volume sometimes. Anyone else notice this?
     
  12. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the cover post JAC. I prefer Logic 7 myself but a lot of people seem to be hung up on DPL2.

    Jedd,

    With 7.1 inputs and 7.1 pre-outs you have full, predictable upgrade paths both in current and future decoding and in amplification. Just 'yesterday' there was no 6.1...now it is here bigtime. You have to look ahead. And at this price it's really not costing anything extra.
     

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