Good,cheap stereo receiver??

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Jeff-Watson, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. Jeff-Watson

    Jeff-Watson Stunt Coordinator

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    I am no audiophile by any means but have mastered most if not all of my amateur 5.1 theater skills. What I am trying to do is get a recommendation on a good inexpensive stereo receiver for a small music only stereo setup. This unit will be powering a pair of Rat shack lx550 bookshelfs and small 8" Polk sub. Vintage? New? Separates? Any suggestions will be fine as long as I can stay in a $250 ballpark. Thanks in advance.

    Jeff
     
  2. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Jeff,

    Do you need the tuner? If not, you may want to look into stereo integrated amps.

    Otherwise, check out Onkyo's TX-8211 (50 watts/channel) or TX-8511 (100 watts/channel). Both of these are high current stereo receivers with very smooth sound; as good as my Cambridge Audio A500 integrated amp. They also have phono input as well. The worst thing on these receivers are their speaker outputs.....spring clips.

    Onkyo's upscale division, Integra Research, also feature a stereo receiver.

    http://www.integrahometheater.com/mo...s=Receiver&p=s

    Don't know if you can get this for around $250.00 though.

    You should check out Sherwood Newcastle's RX-765 stereo receiver....MSRP $250.00

    http://www.sherwoodusa.com/prod_rx765.html
     
  3. Steve Adams

    Steve Adams Second Unit

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    if you can find one, a marantz classic reciver would rock. I have a 2240 and this thing sounds amazing! but the items mentioned above are great too...esp. the sherwood.
     
  4. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Jeff: Tweeter used to sell (a search there turned up nothing) this Pioneer Elite integrated, the A-35R. And its MSRP is exactly $250. [​IMG] It is "only" rated for 45 watts per channel but this wattage from my own Pioneer SX-6 receiver from 1983 provided lots of volume in many different sized rooms, with speakers with up to 12" woofers (Radio Shack 3-way kit).

    As bad as radio is these days, tuners are useless as far as I'm concerned. But for some reason, here in America integrateds have traditonally been quite unpopular. But over in Europe for example they are everywhere.

    I've also always wanted to own a simple but high quality stereo music-only system and periodically check what's available in my price range, but it looks like I would be buying a voltage adapter to do so. [​IMG]

    Check these out from:

    Pioneer

    Arcam

    Yamaha

    Technics (they used to have more but I guess after Technics got the axe over here.......)

    And most of the above models--including the A-35R--still include loudness controls. [​IMG]

    LJ
     
  5. Ben LG

    Ben LG Stunt Coordinator

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    Search on ebay for some vintage amps, there were a couple of mint marantz integrated amps up for bid recently. I picked up a 1070 for $150 and my jaw dropped to the floor the first time I heard it. Comparing the 1070 to marantz receivers Ive owned up to the $1k mark and a recent rotel integrated amp, there is no contest. [​IMG]
     
  6. Jeff-Watson

    Jeff-Watson Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all of the help so far. Keep it coming.[​IMG]
     
  7. Mark Russ

    Mark Russ Second Unit

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    Jeff for the $300 or so range, the obvious choices new are the Onkyo and HK models.

    The Onkyo will have a better tuner and video switching (if you would need that).

    The HK does have a subwoofer output and 5 way speaker wire binding posts instead of spring clips (that is my biggest gripe about the Onks). Also pre-amp outputs (I think).

    If you can go up to $500, the NAD C740 model will kick the snot out of either of them. They only rate it at like 35 watts per channel, but it peaks at 140 or something like that.

    I wound up buying an open box Onkyo 8211 from Circuit City for $100. It was a no brainer at that price. I concluded that it would be much better for my office rig than any of the mini or micro systems out there.
     
  8. RobWil

    RobWil Supporting Actor

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    I also agree with the vintage Marantz's. Not only do they look cool, they perform admirably....plus they will only appreciate in price. For your set-up you could probably go with a 2220 receiver which can be had for around $75-$125 on ebay. I have one and it kicks butt for a small set-up.
     
  9. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    The Pioneer Elite A-35R can be found on the net for about $160.00. Go to yahoo.com, and run a search in the shopping section under A-35R. You will see that it can be had for about $160.00. However, Pioneer Elite components are not supposed to be available over the internet, so beware. But based on what I've read about the A-35R on audioasylum.com and head-fi.org, it's a great little amp. Also have phono input and detachable power cord (mod time!!).

    Otherwise, Sherwood has an upgraded stereo receiver in its regular line that may sound good and be economical....

    http://www.sherwoodusa.com/prod_rx4105.html

    A cousin of the Sherwood Newcastle stereo receiver I posted above, according to Jeff of Sherwood, who post here quite a bit.

    There has been a number of stereo receiver introductions lately....JVC just announced a new stereo receiver. So new that pics are not even available on its website.
     
  10. Steve Adams

    Steve Adams Second Unit

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    if you are looking for something cheap. I have an old pioneer/realistic 2 channel receiver that sounds pretty well like my marantz 2240. it has a wood cover on it and everything. very sharp lookin unit, I would sell for about 100.00 plus shipping. great unit. breaks my heart to sell, but I have tooo much stuff now....

    let me know.
     
  11. Jeff-Watson

    Jeff-Watson Stunt Coordinator

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    The Pioneer looks good. That seems to be the best cost to performance value. Any other thoughts on the Pioneer or other options. I am leaning unless someone tips me back.
     
  12. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Three Denon stereo receivers (includes a new $250 model)

    Danny: I'm not surprized more stereo receivers are becoming available now. Even though I am a fan of surround music, stereo still sounds good (duh) and many times one just doesn't have the space to set up a full-blown surround system. And watching movies in stereo can still be very rewarding--for me the rear channel special effects stuff is mostly just a bonus.

    Maybe the audio companies will go on a retro kick and do another "wattage war" like they did in the late 70s. Even Radio Shack joined in with a 120 watt/channel monster (we're talking real watts, not this wimpy 1kHz/.9%THD stuff).

    LJ
     
  13. Jeff Hipps

    Jeff Hipps Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm biased, but I do recommend that you take a look at the Sherwood RX-4103. It's rated at 105 W x 2, has all discrete amps, even has A/B speaker switching. It's widely availble. I think Circuit City's everyday price is under $100.00.

    Jeff
     
  14. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    LanceJ,

    I guess I am surprised because no matter which electronic chain you go to, it's all surround sound. If you mention you are looking for a stereo receiver, the sales staff will think you are from Mars. But it looks like manufacturers are getting back into the stereo receiver arena. And companies like Onkyo, Yamaha, Sherwood, and Denon all have more than one stereo receiver model.

    I personally do not have a surround sound system. My system is good old 2 channel stereo. I don't have the room for surround sound. Plus, a powered sub will cause trouble for my turntable.

    Jeff,

    What's the difference between the RX-4100 and the RX-4103? I am still looking for the RX-4105.
     
  15. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Years ago I got a Harman/Kardon HK3270 stereo reciever for my home office/music room, and I've been thrilled with its performance ever since. My brother liked it so much that he got one too for his project studio. I would recommend looking into Harman/Kardon offerings, they offer excellent performance and are in your price range.
     
  16. Jeff Hipps

    Jeff Hipps Stunt Coordinator

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    Danny:

    The RX-4100 and RX-4103 are the same. Only the model numbers are different. The RX-4105 has revised board layout and slightly better specs. The Newcastle RX-765 has a larger power transformer, improved tuner, 5-way binding posts and a 3-year parts and labor warranty. The warranty on the Shewood Home Audio receivers is 2 years parts and labor.

    Jeff
     
  17. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

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    Are there any affordable stereo receivers that have a digital optical input?

    Why you might ask? I'm thinking of putting together a 2 channel system for my office and I'd like to hook up the modified XM skyfi with the digital input.

    Brian
     
  18. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    BrianAe:

    No, there aren't. There are some high-end pieces with digital inputs that (must) do D/A conversion, and I've seen photos of a new Sony "digital integrated amp" (available in Japan only); very pricey.

    Perhaps you could find an external D/A converter on the used market? Or, you might find an AVR that's "good enough" for stereo which will, of course, have digital inputs.
     
  19. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Brian: I guess I'm still a little confused about the digital input thing. If you're worried about the receiver doing internal analog-to-digital conversions, I am not totally sure of this but a plain-jane stereo receiver probably isn't going to do this since no surround processing of any type is going on (in fact, one of those Denon receivers makes a point of mentioning it has a motorized volume control). And anyway, XM uses a compressed audio format so it's not exactly audiophile quality in the first place so one extra AD/DA conversion (if that actually happened) isn't going to make any audible difference.

    The only time I would worry about digital conversions is when dealing with high quality systems like the hi-res formats, cassette (i.e. Dolby S encoded tapes) or vinyl and they were handled by really cheesy converters.

    I honestly don't see a manufacturer ever equipping a stereo receiver with digital inputs. If someone was concerned about having a high-quality convertor, there are many aftermarket/standalone DACs available, priced from around $200 to the stratosphere.

    LJ
     
  20. DaveHo

    DaveHo Supporting Actor

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    Since the Pioneer A35R has been mentioned a few times, I'll chime in. I picked up one of these off the marketplace here for $100 and frankly it wasn't even worth that. One of the worst sounding amps short of a cheap receiver I have ever heard. Was using it with a pair of v2 Paradigm Studio 20's in a modest 2 channel bedroom system. Dull, lifeless, no imaging or soundstage whatsoever are just a few of the words I can use to describe how awful it is. Even my non-critical wife, whose normal comment to new equipment is "Sounds great", remarked how bad it was. I replaced it with a NAD integrated C370 which is spectacular, albeit a bit above your price range. Maybe a more modestly price NAD would suit you.

    -Dave
     

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