A/K AVR-525 or Onkyo TX-SR601

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Bertrand-R, Jun 29, 2003.

  1. Bertrand-R

    Bertrand-R Agent

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    Hello everybody. This is the first time i send a question.
    I usually speak french so excuse my poor english writing.
    It's time for me to upgrade my eleven years old Yamaha RXV-850(Pro-Logic only)and the two models i was looking at was the A/K AVR-525 or the Onkyo TX-SR601. The Onkyo is about 250$ cheaper than A/K. We do HT 90% of the time. What do you think??

    Thanks
    Bertrand
     
  2. Lee M T

    Lee M T Second Unit

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    Hello there, welcome to the forum. I'm pretty new around here myself, as far as posting.

    The two receivers you are looking at will both work very well for home theatre use. But the H/K is a superior reciever, in this case...in my opinion. Take a look at the back of the H/K here and the back of the Onkyo here. There's a pretty good difference. Including the addition of preamp outputs on the H/K, which is significant in my opinion. Always the ability to add extra power to this reciever via external amps. The H/K also has more inputs and outputs, including 1 additional digital input on back. Plus H/K has a mode that will let you setup your speakers in a fashion to balance the sound at your prefered listening location. There are many other goodies too. The Onkyo is no slouch though, but I think the H/K is the real top dog here.

    It boils down to how much you really want to pay, and what features you really have to have, and what features you may want just in case you get extra gear down the road. If you know you'll never add extra amps, then the preamp outputs on the H/K may be no big deal to you.

    If it were me and I had the money, I would be all over the H/K in this case.
     
  3. Mike_Gr

    Mike_Gr Stunt Coordinator

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    If I had to choose between the two, I would without any hesitation pick the H/K 525.
     
  4. David Ruggiero

    David Ruggiero Stunt Coordinator

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    I vote for the Harman Kardon AVR-525. I just bought this unit myself last week, and I am extremely happy with it. Sounds great for music and home theater. Really makes my Jbl speakers (4 s-38's front and surrounds, plus jbl s-center) sing. Movies sound great, music sounds great (both cd's and dvd audio) and the remote can also be used to work your other gear as it is a learning remote. Harman Kardon also has an exclusive surround mode called "Logic 7" which many people find to sound superior to Dolby Pro Logic 2. Not to mention it will set all the volume levels for your speakers automatically. I replaced a Sony receiver that was part of a "home theater in a box" with the AVR-525 and the difference was incredible.

    HK all the way! [​IMG]
     
  5. HienD

    HienD Stunt Coordinator

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    The H/K is the better receiver by far. But your not really comparing apples to apples. In Canada the AVR-525 retails for $1799cnd while the tx-sr601 retails for $750cnd.
     
  6. MikeNagy

    MikeNagy Stunt Coordinator

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    Here's what's left of my high school French classes:
    Combien de temps voulez-vous garder votre nouvelle receiver? Depuis vous a gardé votre Yamaha pendant onze années, je recommande le H/K. Il sera plus future-proof. Ok, enough of that, lol. Like Hien said, the comparison is not apples-to-apples. the H/K is in a completely different class from the Onkyo. It will sound better, it will give more power to your speakers, it has a greater and better selection of inputs, etc etc etc. If you can afford it, definitely do with the H/K. You'll thank yourself later.
     
  7. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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    Though I like the sound of my Onkyo 600, it took three units and several months of fighting to get one that worked right. Apparently Onkyo has had some problems with some of the manufacturers of their components, so their product line for the last two years... well... has sucked. And now the one person I know of who picked up the 601 got one unit with noise in two channels, then exchanged it for a unit with noise in every channel (and ended up with a H/K instead). Before this, Onkyo has had problems with LFE not being handled correctly in some of their units.

    Basically, right now I wouldn't recommend Onkyo unless you want to end up putting it in for service at some point in the near future. I don't think they've worked out the problems with their receivers. The H/K will do everything you want and then some, and sound great doing it.
     
  8. Bertrand-R

    Bertrand-R Agent

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    Thanks for all the reply.
    MikeNagy: Your not bad with french you know.
    My first choice was the H/K but the seller give me a second option with the Onkyo.
    I was thinking buying the AVR-525 at Crazy Eddie in NJ.
    Is price is $683us (about $900can) there will have no shipping because i will pick it up at the warehouse (we are going to Wildwood for vacation).

    Is Crazy Eddie a good place to buy? Any good or bad story about it? Is it a good price?

    Bertrand
     
  9. Matt Lee

    Matt Lee Agent

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    This thread has brought an interesting question to mind. Looking at both of these receivers, I noticed the H/Ks seem to have relatively low wattage claims compared to other brands. I'm wondering, would you say this is because they're more accurate in what they claim their receivers are capable of, whereas Onkyo and well, a lot of different brands, have been known to occasionally have trouble reproducing the amounts of power they claim?

    I ask because, while the H/K mentioned is clearly in a higher class than the Onkyo model, the H/K is only 70 watts per channel, where the Onkyo is 85. Both are @ 8 ohms, 20hz-20khz (though I don't see a mention of whether or not thats with all channels driven). I expect a lot of fudging from lower end receivers (who never seem to rate anything under 100 watts) but figured these brands would at least be a little closer to accurate. Thoughts?
     
  10. Ben LG

    Ben LG Stunt Coordinator

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    Bertrand, I have bought some expensive equipment from crazy eddies before that arrived with no problem and in great condition. Where are you located? If you are gonna spend up to that much, might as well go to http://www.jandr.com/JRProductPage.p...uct_Id=3654233. They have the 525 for only $16 more at $699 with free shipping, I have never had a problem shopping there for almost a decade now. If you go to pick it up in store you will be charged tax so maybe ordering online is better depending where it will be shipped to. I havent stopped by at J&R for awhile so I dont know if the 525 is in the showroom, you should call in if you want to check it out before you buy.

    Ive been browsing around for receivers recently and noticed the 525 and J&R seems to have it reasonably priced, correct me if Im wrong. In the past I would only check out the models they have on display and the only two reasons I would buy from them is if they were the only ones who had a specific item I wanted or if I was spending a huge sum of money (I feel safe buying from them). Other than those two reasons I used to never consider buying from them because of their prices but nowadays its a different story. You get decent prices and most importantly, a sense of safety ordering from a brick and mortars store that have been in business for a very long time. I should also mention crazy eddies has been around too but I have seen negatives reviews stating that some new items were not actually new or show signs that the box has been opened before.
     
  11. Bertrand-R

    Bertrand-R Agent

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    Hello Ben LG, i live in Sherbrooke in the province of Québec. The price of crazy eddie at $683 include the sale tax of NJ, when i called the lady said that the tax have to be charge, shipping or not. The price for shipping is $68, so if i use the shipping the final price will be $751. We are going on vacation and it is right on our way. Maybe a couple miles detour.
     
  12. MikeNagy

    MikeNagy Stunt Coordinator

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    Matt, you are making the assumption that Onkyo and H/K measure their output wattages in the same way. Someone had a comparison table of output wattages and %THD's of older receivers and amps online, but the page was on Yahoo/Geocities and had 3583280 pop-ups, so I mirrored it on my webspace: http://www.managy.net/ratevsac.htm Look at how in every test, the H/K's output more watts than they were rated at, and the measured distortion was much less than was advertised. H/K does not over-state its specs.

    Even if the Onkyo did put out 85 watts of power vs the H/K's 70, I would still never buy it. Why? Because the H/K is simply a higher-class receiver than that Onkyo is. It has higher quality components and algorithms, it weighs significantly more, etc.

    The Onkyo is more of a budget entry-level receiver (if $450 can be considered "budget") and I think you can do better for that amount of money anyhow.
     
  13. Chris Sherman

    Chris Sherman Second Unit

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    Bertrand,
    I agree with the rest of the guys on this one . I'd take the 525 over the 601. In fact I'd take an HK 125 over the Onkyo 601. The new units are simply not up to snuff in the amplifier section. I've bought Onkyo receivers exclusively since my days of pro logic and laserdiscs , starting with a 414 pro, still used daily by my nieces. I also have a 656 and a 676 model years 1999 and 2000 respectively. They sound excellent and have very ample power reserves , so when I was shopping for a bedroom unit recently naturally I went with a new Onkyo. I could'nt return that unit fast enough it sounded nothing like the Onkyo I'm used to hearing . You really have to crank the volume control way up to get any useable ouput and even then it sounds strained. I bought a HK AVR225 and love it . It's unbelievable to me the build quality and feature set of the 225 , which can be had from Jand R for $350.00 . I used to put Onkyo in the same class as Denon, Marantz and HK, now I'd place them in the class of Kenwood, Sony and Pioneer ( regular line not ES or Elite). I'm really sad to say this but Onkyo receivers have gone downhill bigtime, IMHO.
     
  14. David Ruggiero

    David Ruggiero Stunt Coordinator

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    Bertrand,

    I highly recommend that you get the HK AVR-525 from J&R instead of Crazy Eddies. I don't work for J&R, and I have nothing against Crazy Eddies (but I have heard bad things about them), but the simple fact is that J&R is an authorized dealer and Crazy Eddy is not. Harman Kardon will not honor your warranty if you buy it at Crazy Eddies. J&R is right in Manhattan so I think you will be close by on your vacation.
     
  15. Matt Lee

    Matt Lee Agent

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    Thanks, Mike and Chris. That's definitely changed what I'm planning to do for a receiver. I'm not planning on buying for a few months, as for now we're going to be using my roommate's receiver with my speakers in our apartment, Panasonic SA-HE100K [​IMG] which should do for now, but when it comes time to buy MY receiver I intend to go a few steps up the HT ladder. I was thinking about the 601 since I'd heard the power problems might have been addressed with the 01 models, but now I'm thinking it might be worth the extra $ to move up to that H/K with everything you mentioned and the fact that it can handle seven channels.

    I'm hoping to audition a few receivers before I buy anything of course, but it never hurts to have things narrowed down a bit.
     
  16. Richard Little

    Richard Little Stunt Coordinator

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    You might want to check http://www.resellerratings.com/ before buying anything online. Unrelated to this thread, I was looking at CrazyEddies a couple of days ago and decided it would be to my advantage to pay more and buy locale. I haven't been burned in a while on mail-order/online but when I did, it sure hurt and often times there is very little you can do about it to recoup the loss.
     
  17. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Is it just me, or are you comparing apples and oranges? And I'm not referring to the "Onkyo" versus "H/K" issue, I'm referring to the feature-set of these AVRs.

    Focusing on the differences: the 601 is a 6-channel AVR; the 525 7-channel. The 601 has 1 coaxial digital input; the 525 has 3. The 601 has no coaxial digital outputs; the 525 has 1. The 601 has one set of multichannel inputs; the 525 has 2. The 601 has preamp outputs for 3 channels; the 525 has outputs for all channels. The other significant difference, as you mention, is the MSRP. Many or all of the diffences might make a major difference in your thinking.

    As far as a wattage rating and 'sound' comparsion... No comment.

    My point is that you're comparing objectively different beasts. If you need the features the 525 provides and the 601 lacks, then it's a simple decision. Perhaps you should be comparing the 601 to something else.
     
  18. MikeNagy

    MikeNagy Stunt Coordinator

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    Comparing receivers solely based on features is just about as ignorant as buying a Toyota over a BMW solely because the Toyota comes with a 6-disc changer and the BMW doesn't. Receivers in the same price category have about the same features, and what makes them different is the wattage output (which is not necessarily the same as the wattage rating) and how they sound. Granted, the Onkyo 601 and the H/K 525 are not in the same price category, so of course the H/K 525 has more features than the Onkyo 601. Anyone who can read could tell you that. What someone usually wants when they are asking for reccommendations between two products is other people's thoughts on things that AREN'T obvious from looking at a spec sheet. And this is, in the case of a receiver, wattage output and the sound of the unit.
     
  19. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    To use your analogy, then, it makes as much or as little sense to compare the 601 to the 525 as it does to compare the Toyota and the BMW. It's not simply an issue of price category: it's an issue of the type of machine we're dealing with. It seems far less than 'fair' to compare the 601 to the 525 in terms of wattage output or 'sound'; it would be much more equitable to compare the 525 to a more comparable piece in the Onkyo line (the 700 or 800; I don't know, I'm not an expert in either product line).

    Yes, receivers in the same price category tend to have similar features and specifications (and, to my ears, the same 'sound'; you don't agree, and that's fine). But, these two receivers are not in the same MSRP category, and thus they do not have similar feature sets.

    So, then, I think we are saying the same thing.
     
  20. HienD

    HienD Stunt Coordinator

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    "Yes, receivers in the same price category tend to have similar features and specifications" I would like to add, "only if they are in the same class" IE: H/K, Denon, Marantz, Onkyo. A non elite pioneer would have way more features then a similar priced H/K. d912k and avr125 anyone? Sound quality is a different story though.

    Also, The comparison being made here is not like comparing Toyota to BMW, it's more like comparing a Toyota Echo to a Honda Accord V6.
     

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