Best $500-$1K Receiver for HT?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Joe Szott, Sep 23, 2002.

  1. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    First off, let me say thanks to everyone here that continues to help this newb look into Audio components for the first time. Your help is appreciated and invaluable!
    So after replacing all the speakers (4) in my setup to JBL S36s' and a Sii center channel, I wanted to look into what level of receiver to couple these with. They all rate to around 150 watts or so FYI. Obviously, I want the best sound I can find for the price, but otherwise important features would be: 5.1 DTS, power, clean sound, home theather use primarily, and reliability. 7.1 or other features are nice, but not system sellers or limitators for my needs.
    Here's the ones I've been thinking about:
    * Denon 3802 (of course). So many people like it and it seems so well regarded that I have to put it on the list.
    * Pioneer vsx-45tx Elite. Read the other thread here talking about this receiver and thought it worthy of checking out. Price may be too high though as $1K is the absolute limit here.
    * HK 520. Again, seems to be a real popular box at the price point.
    * Outlaw 1050. Seemed like a very solid product for the price, but I can't find many personal opinions of them online. Anyone own this and can rec it? Is 65 watts per channel too weak for the speakers I have set up?
    Any other suggestions or opinions on these models is encouraged. I want to go into Soundtrack or some sililar place to hear before I buy, but wanted to separate some wheat from chaff so I could focus when I got in there. Opinions of the outlaw are especially needed, since I really can't go anywhere to hear it beforehand.
    Thanks,
    Joe
     
  2. MatthewK

    MatthewK Stunt Coordinator

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    May I suggest you add the Sony DA4ES to your list?
    Many people seem to think it is a great receiver for its price point and in some threads it seems to get the nod over the 3802.
    Personally I have the 4ES and love it. Chose it over the Denon 3802 for the:
    -multi-zone video capability
    -sound quality (I liked it better... sorry somewhat a newbie and don't know how to elaborate)
    -5 year warranty
    -It will support my HT upgrades in the future better (50hz component video out whereas Denon has 27hz if I am right... Regardless it is below the 30hz "recommended").
    You can find it around $660 shipped ($999 retail) so it satisfies your price point as well. There is a comparison of features of the 3802 and 4ES by Secant on avsforums here, if you are interested.
    In response to your criterion:
    -IMHO sounds very "clean"
    -5.1 DTS (Yes)
    -110W x 7 channels (7.1)
    -Excellent for HT (IMHO)
    -Reliability: 5 YEAR warranty!!!!!
    Matthew
     
  3. Rich Wenzel

    Rich Wenzel Supporting Actor

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    the outlaw ratings are more conservative than most manufactures ratings.

    in the 500-1000 range, if sound quality and music quality are very important, i would recommend

    yamaha rxv1 (1000ish)
    outlaw 1050 (500)
    rotel 972 (sub 1000)
    marantz 7200
    NAD T752/761

    if i was going for features
    i would look at the same yamaha as well as newer models (like the 2300)
    denon 3802
    onkyo 797
    maybe the NAD T752 as well
     
  4. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    the Pio Elite 45TX i'm testing now is simply an amazing piece for the price. you can get it for (i think) under $900 shipped online, and for the money i think it's the best out there.

    i'm currently comparing it with the Rotel '1055 (which is a few hundred more) and they are both very, VERY good units. i'd recommend the 45TX over the Denon 3802 anyday, and i think it's a much better buy than the year-old Outlaw.

    i'd look at the 45TX, the H/K 520, and the NAD receivers. those are your best bets now IMO.
     
  5. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    If you like the 3802, take a look at the 3801. You can get it for around $500 used and $600 new. The only difference is the 3801 doesn't have DPLII, but i don't see this as an issue since i prefer NEO:6. I'm currently looking at upgrading my Pioneer VSX-D811S with the 3801.
     
  6. JohnBrianW.

    JohnBrianW. Stunt Coordinator

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  7. Matt Jesty

    Matt Jesty Second Unit

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    While I have previously owned (and sold many) Denon pieces and like the sound and flexibilty of the ES...I WOULD HAVE TO SAY THAT the Yamaha's have most of their positive attributes and add a degree better in reliability and sound quality......I am happy to sell,install, own and fiddle with the RXV1300, 2200,2300, 3000, 3200, 3300, AND RXV1, ALL of WHICH handily fall in your price range.........
     
  8. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    Joe,

    Listen to all of the receivers recommended here if you can and make a choice. I prefer the Denon 3802 and HK 520 over the Yammies and Sonys, eventhough, that 6th avenue offer is hard to beat for the RXV1. The RXV1 is on a higher level than the HK520 or the Denon 3802, so you definitely must consider it just for that price. I have never liked the sound of music on the sub 1k Yamahas, but that's just me. Also, be aware that the Denon 3803 is coming at years end, and if the rumors are true, Denon will throw us quite a curve ball with it this time around. I can't wait.

    Reg
     
  9. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    Hi Folks,
    Thanks all for the help, given me lots to think about.
    We already have an aging Yamaha that we like, but we both want to try something new this time around. I believe our old model is the RX-V690, which was good in the day. Our needs these days are 90% TV/DVD and 10% music anyway, so Home Theater is far and away the main need.
    Well I dragged the S.O. over to Soundtrack last night and checked out what they had available. They had the Denon 3802, the Pioneer Elite 45tx, and the Sony 4ES hooked up. Well, the sales guy was pretty inept as it took him 30 mins to get a demo of Top Gun running at all. We were very suspicious of what we heard given his ability, but out of what we did hear and see the Pioneer was the most impressive. Looks, functionality, and sound were all very good -- I think I would need to hook it up in my home to get any idea of actual sound quality (he really sucked there.) The Denon was second, can't say we were too impressed with the Sony.
    We then came home and reviewed some info online, couldn't find much on the NAD or Sherwood, S.O. doesn't like the HK 520 silver/black front [​IMG] Hey, you have to make the boss happy too, right? One thing we noticed was that the Pioneer also has a 43TX, which seems to only differ by the backpanel I/O and manual vs. auto calibration. That one is a good possibility for us as well.
    Discovered a friend of mine owns the 3802, so I might ask him to bring that over so we can sound test it on our setup too. If I could find a shop willing to let us sample a Pioneer Elite, that would be groovy.
    Still vaguely considering the Outlaw, but since you really have to buy it to sample it and it is slightly less feature rich (plus our uber-remote doesn't have codes for it), we won't go there unless we want an extreme value system (too late!)
    Anyone know of a good stereo place in Denver? I tried BestBuy, Sears, Big Picture, and Soundtrack, but most either had no selection or a poor listening setup.
    PS - When are the new HK 52x and Denon 380x models coming out? Seems the Pioneer Elites just hit the shelves, and the guys in Soundtrack were really pushing the 3802 to everyone that came in there (made me suspect they need to move stock for a new model.)
     
  10. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    One more Q for the Pioneer folks, can you hook a VGA into that RS232 and run a desktop to your TV through the Receiver? Seems like if you could, then this would be a fantastic HTPC helper...
     
  11. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    bump
     
  12. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    All it says in the owners manual of the 45TX for the RS-232 port:

    "This is a future-oriented port that has the possibility on inputting and/or outputting information to/from the receiver."

    DJ
     
  13. BradJudy

    BradJudy Stunt Coordinator

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    Joe,
    There are some good places to check for audio in Denver (I'm in Boulder). I was recently at MoonDance Audio on South Broadway and I know they carry Energy, JM Labs, and Krix speakers. As for multichannel receivers I can't remember which they carry at the moment.
    A little farther north on South Broadway is one of the several ListenUp stores (http://www.listenup.com). They focus mainly on Rotel and Denon for receivers. Their speakers are primarily B&W and Mission.
    There is also Sound Hounds on Alameda (I think) I haven't been there for years, but that's where I bought my Paradigm speakers some time ago.
    There is Cherry Creek Audio http://www.cherrycreekaudio.com/ but I've never been there so I can't say much.
    In Boulder I mainly visit Recycled Audio who carries Marantz and NAD electronics (I am currently waiting for them to receive the new NAD 752 receiver - my likely choice for receiver in the range you are looking at, but I'm more of a 50/50 split). For speakers they carry Paradigm, KEF, and Kinima.
    I'd be happy to give you some more details if it would help.
     
  14. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    BradJudy,

    Thanks, that helps a lot! I had found MoonDance in the Yellow Pages but hadn't called or visited yet. I will need to take a day this weekend and audition some receivers down South. I should be able to find what I need out of this list, very appreciative.

    -Joe
     

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