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Do I Need a $1000 Receiver? (1 Viewer)


Stunt Coordinator
Feb 16, 2009
Real Name
I have a Harman-Kardon AVR 146 that I bought new in the fall on sale for $268 Canadian (about $215 U.S.). At the time I was not sure how deep I wanted to get into home theatre and wanted to spend more of my budget on speakers. Running six KEF speakers now, including a subwoofer- things sound pretty good to me. I don’t need to crank it up too much to get the sound level I desire. I listen to HD T.V. and DVDs (often music DVDs). I don’t have Blu-ray yet but probably will by Christmas. I don’t listen to the stereo (AM/FM) much and only listen to CDs sporadically. No game playing on the Panasonic 42” plasma television. Room is 17 ft by 10.
The AVR 146 has:
40 Watts per channel or 30 with surround mode
Sampling upconversion to 96 kHz

gene c

Senior HTF Member
Aug 5, 2003
Bay area, Ca
Real Name
Look at the H/K 3550. It retails for $999. What you get is 75 wpc X 7, 1 more digital input, 1 more hdmi input-vs 1.3a with DolbyTrueHD and DTS-Master Audio, DCDi video processing, Multi zone, a learning remote, EZSet EQ, and 10 lbs more weight. And there's probably a few more little things that I didn't quite notice.

Whether that's worth $700 or not is debatable. For you, I'm guessing it isn't.

I really like H/K's lower end models because they use the same internal components as their upper end units, just not as many. That means the performance is still very good. Most entry level receivers use sub-par parts to keep costs down but performance goes down as well.

I'd say a $400-500 receiver would yield the best value for most consumers. Things like DDTrueHD/DTS-MA and auto setup/eq's are well worth the extra cost. The higher end stuff should be left to those who are willing to pay a lot more for features that most people really don't need but want them anyway. I fall into that category myself

If you really like the 146, make sure you get a BluRay player that decodes the new HD formats and sends them thru the analog outs like a Panasonic 80 or Samsung 2550. Luckily, the 146 has 5.1 channel analog in's.

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