What's new

Entry level Harman Kardon, Onky, Denon receievers - are they as good? (1 Viewer)

ChrisMatchem

Auditioning
Joined
Jul 28, 2003
Messages
9
I've been looking at the Denon AVR-589, the Harman Kardon AVR 146, and the Onkyo TX-SR506. Any comments or information about how they compare to higher end models in terms of sound quality? I know they have less power and fewer i/o, but is there any drop in quality I should know about?
 

JohnRice

Bounded In a Nutshell
Premium
Reviewer
HW Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2000
Messages
18,823
Location
A Mile High
Real Name
John
You're asking if they sound as good as the high end models? No, they don't. Still, you get a LOT for your money in those models, though they are quite basic.
 

RAF

Senior HTF Member
Deceased Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
7,061
The "entry level" models from these companies are lower priced not only because they offer fewer inputs and outputs but also reflect the fact that they use weaker amps and the processing circuits don't have the audio and video capabilities of their more expensive brethren.

That said, I agree with John that you can get very nice sound and features for less money with these units as either a "starter," "dorm," "second" or call it what you will system. They exist for a reason and they offer a lot more at their price points than the "no-name" brands found on the shelves of some department and discount stores.

The key to figuring out which point in a manufacturer's line best fits your needs (and budget) is to know where the price:performance ratio gets higher than you can either hear/see or afford. This point, of course, will be different for each of us. In some ways it's a bit like the car industry. There's a wide range of choices between basic transportation and the luxury models - but all of them should at least do the job of getting you from Point A to Point B.
 

ChrisMatchem

Auditioning
Joined
Jul 28, 2003
Messages
9
I know they're not going to sound as nice as high end receivers worth thousands of dollars, what I'm trying to figure out is if those brands reputation of audiophile quality applies to their whole line, or if their lower end gear is more comparable to mainstream brands like Sony and Pioneer, which I want to avoid this time around.
 

RAF

Senior HTF Member
Deceased Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
7,061
Most manufacturers have several different "lines" of equipment targeted at different consumer price points. As is obvious, you tend to get what you pay for. I remember years ago when SONY was considered to be the TV to get - but that came with a caveat. Yes, their XBR line (I'm talking about the '80s here) was top of the line, but just because you purchased a TV with the SONY name on it didn't make it automatically a reliable and quality unit. The lower end of the SONY line was fraught with problems and the consumer had to know to look not just at the name, but at the model number.

That said, I've generally found that the Denon line doesn't appear to offer questionable components in their lower price categories. Fewer features and, of course, not the same overall performance, but still something that fits the bill (literally) where applicable. I've seen some of these units in action and the do the job that they were intended for nicely. Just don't expect a $500 receiver to be comparable to a $7500 pre/pro in audio and video performance.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Forum statistics

Threads
356,496
Messages
5,114,247
Members
144,102
Latest member
eathree
Recent bookmarks
0
Top