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Finally Need A New Receiver, Or An Amp (1 Viewer)


Stunt Coordinator
Dec 28, 2011
Suffolk, VA
Real Name
Hello All,

After 21 years of faithful service, my Harman/Kardon AVR-300 has finally bit the dust. And it hasn't even fully bitten the dust, it's popping the circuit breaker which I believe is a sign that the insulation has degraded to the point where electricity is heading to ground, and now I'm having to decide what to do next. My dream has always been to go with separates, and I could have realized that dream through Emotiva, but I read some not so good things about them last night. Apparently their quality and customer service has been turning people off, and I really don't want to set my self up for disappointment if I can avoid it. That, and they stopped making the $700 surround processor that I had been eying for a while. They're lowest cost processor is now $1,200, and I was hoping to pay that for both the processor and the amp, so I think that option is out.

I feel that my options are to buy a new receiver, or buy a 5 channel power amp and control it with either the processor on my existing receiver, or with my old Oppo blu-ray player. Here I go again, circling back to Emotiva because of the price, but their BasX A5 is what I would be looking at for a power amp. Do any of you have experience with this amp (and company), and can you recommend it? I don't have a lot of money to throw at this, $1,200 would be the absolute max and I'll have a hard time justifying that cost with the Mrs.

The receivers that I'm considering are H/K (because the current one treated me so well for so long, but I know that they lag with features and conveniences), Denon (audiophiles seemed to rank them consistently descent over the years), Pioneer (again, seem consistently descent), and Onkyo (seem to be on again/off again with the audiophiles over the years). It will be powering a 5.1 surround system which consists of old Paradigm speakers; Titan bookshelfs are the main drivers. It gets used to watch TV broadcasts more than anything these days, but we watch a lot of movies, so this puppy will get used and abused. The only time I listen to music anymore with this system is when the wife and kids aren't around, which isn't very often, so that's not much of a consideration.

That all being said, what would you folks recommend I do? I'm open to other receivers other than what I've listed above, they're just what I know and have heard to be good. Looking forward to whatever advice I can get, and thank you in advance.

Best regards,



Bounded In a Nutshell
HW Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Jun 20, 2000
A Mile High
Real Name
I'm at work, so I can't do too long a response at the moment, but here's a general rundown to get you started.

If you want to go with separates, the only way that'll be possible within your budget is with some used gear, at least for the preamp. The good news is, there should be plenty of them available for a good price. Just be cautious of people over valuing their gear.

I have a lot of experience with Emotiva, and they have been an interesting company through the years. Their quality control used to be lacking and often there's seemed to be little planning in their product lineup, but it's gotten a lot better in the last few years. The A5 probably is the only choice within your budget, or used. Take anything you read online regarding Emotiva with a grain of salt. It's one of those companies that has always drawn a lot of haters, who often have never even been in the same room as a piece of Emotiva gear.

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