H/K 325 OR 520 OR Onkyo TSR600

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Grant_Siemens, Jan 21, 2003.

  1. Grant_Siemens

    Grant_Siemens Auditioning

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    Ok I have to admit I have been browsing this forum for about 3 months... Loving every minute of it. Finally registered. So here goes my first post.

    I'm looking into replacing my existing receiver (JVC 888VBK). I have done my homework, at least I think. What I found is that the JVC which I thought was very good is not. Looking to get something more upscale.

    My research for a new receiver has come down to these three choices.
    H/K 325
    H/K 520
    Onkyo TSR600

    My questions are:
    Which reciever would you choose out of these three?

    Would I be able to tell that much difference between the power between these three, especially betwen the 325 compared to the 520?

    I have read some compaints about the Onkyo not living up to its name in the past, but also read problems about the 520......?

    I have found the 325 and 520 for around $488--$540.00 While the Onkyo is right around $449.00. I want the best bang for my buck and really when I initially set out to find a new receiver my budget was only around $400 max. I'm pushing my limits on my budget. I should also add that I have looked at the Kenwood VR6070, just not to keen on another Jap branded receiver.

    My current setup for speakers are as follows:
    Mains -Infinity RS-5's
    Center -Cerwin Vega LC-6
    Rear Surrounds -Infinity RS-3's

    THANKS!
     
  2. Brian_Tho

    Brian_Tho Stunt Coordinator

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    If I had a choice I would replace the Onkyo on my list for the str-de985, a very good receiver. The onkyo is not that good of a receiver. According to some of the forums on the net including this one! I tested all the harmon kardon products they are very nice, but I like the Sony over them though. I know thats got to be very hard to hear, but the truth shall set you free. Now heres where I base my decision - I am not a audiophile, I do not know how to break down the sound quality, I just know what my ears tell my brain. Thus far they have led me back to sony. Quality, Features and most important RELIABILITY! I could be wrong take my post with a couple grains of salt.
     
  3. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    If you can swing it, I'd buy them in pairs and listen to them at home, and then return what you don't like. A couple of trips back and forth to CircuitCity or Mom-and-Pop-Audio will be worth it in the end.

    I suggest demoing the 325 against the Onkyo first; if the 325 wins, then it ought to be relatively easy to decide between it and the 520. If the 325 loses, you have no other decision to make.
     
  4. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Repeat post, sorry.
     
  5. TimothyE

    TimothyE Stunt Coordinator

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    I just made that decision about two weeks ago. After having the Onkyo 600 and the HK 325 in my home for a week, it was the HK AVR-325 hands down.

    I wanted the pre-outs: Onkyo didn't even them, the 520 only had 5.1, the 325 has 7.1.

    I wanted HD component switching: The Onkyo and 325 both have over 45 MHz bandwidth (recommended). I could be wrong, but I don't think the 520 was over 30 MHz.

    I wanted true sound: The Onkyo sounded on the strong side in the frequencies below 150 Hz, and though the sound was quite good, it was obviously less CLEAN than the 325 and the 520.

    Our home theater is about 13' wide by 30' long by 8' high and we watch most DVDs with the volume set at -15 dB to -20 dB, and it really fills the room with sound. If we really wanted volume to bring the cops over, I'd get more amps, but it can go much, much louder than what we enjoy.

    The AVR-325 is a high current receiver, so it can get relatively warm (I measured 111°F 1 inch above the case), but I've never once seen or heard the fan run.

    I can't recommend the HK high enough! It's $499.99 at Costco, but the store manager at the local Circuit City said he could do a pricematch at that price. I kept the Costco unit because they have a ridiculous return policy (no time limit).

    Tim
     
  6. Babek

    Babek Stunt Coordinator

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    I would recommend Onkyo.
    I, myself just purchase the Integra dtr 5.3 (which is a higher end version of the onkyo) and its awsome. I've also heard the sr600 and both those HKs. My local audio expert told me about how HK is going down now and he auditioned both receivers to me. Go with onkyo, you won't regret it. And for those who think Onkyo's sound 'too alive', there is a feature available called cinema filter which can correct that.
     
  7. Jose G

    Jose G Supporting Actor

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    Grant- all of these posts go to show you "different strokes for different folks." Who said that anyway?
    Angelo's advise is best- try them all, at home, with your speakers- which has the most to do with what you will hear from your receiver anyway. Truth be told- you will probably be happy with any of these choices, could come into some QC issues with any of these units, "one never knows." Who said that? [​IMG]
     
  8. Babek

    Babek Stunt Coordinator

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    That's true, the thing to do is go to a store or something, preferable a specialty audio store, and listen to different receivers. That's what I did before deciding on the Integra, and it took almost 4 hours.
     
  9. Grant_Siemens

    Grant_Siemens Auditioning

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    Thanks for all the replies. I will see if I can get both receivers and try them out in my HT room. I'm really leaning towards the H/K 325 now but not sure. I will try and pricematch the 325 @ CC. Wondering if they will beings there is not a Costco in the same city.... guess it never hurts to try.

    Did some checking around for the 325. Found the cheapest online @ J&R. But they would not pricematch costco....
     
  10. Grant_Siemens

    Grant_Siemens Auditioning

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    UUUUUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRRRR.... I can't decide between the 325 and the 520! The Onkyo is out, didn't like the sound....
     
  11. Jonathan_D

    Jonathan_D Stunt Coordinator

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    Grant,

    I pondered the same thing. I then considered whether I would do 6.1 or 7.1 sound *immediately* and whether I was willing to compromise the difference in power ratings between the two. I wound up going with the AVR 520 because I wasn't ready to invest the money, time and energy (involved in installing as well as explaining to my wife) and didn't want any compromise on the power *and* quality of the amplifers.

    The 520 *will* do 6.1 or 7.1 with an outboard amp and with its compliment of pre-ins and outs it can easily accomodate future needs (wants). Frankly, its a killer unit.
     
  12. JohnSer

    JohnSer Stunt Coordinator

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    Grant, it is a tough choice, between 325 and 520. If your room tends to be on the large size and/or speakers are not that efficient, you could probably use the extra umpf in the 520. But, you need to weigh that against the DD-EX and if you will actually install center surround speakers.

    I have a 520 (replaced Onkyo 575X) and very happy with its performance, especially on music. My current room is not that large (12' X 16'), but my speakers are not that efficient. There is also no chance of adding center surround, in this room. A dedicated room is at least 2 years away, and who knows if an upgrade will be needed by that time, anyway. The 520 has the main-ins, which means it can be easily used as a seperate amp, which may extend its usefulness.

    I have not had it go into standby mode or dropouts during playback, as some others have had. I do have a start-up pause on older CD tracks (search for the thread on that), which if it really bothers you, can switch over to CD analog inputs. I don't know if the X25 series fixes that annoyance. The only other annoyance is the remote (325 the same?), with its small buttons and layout. These things are minor for me, the 520 has it where it counts, and that is sound quality.


    JohnS
     
  13. Grant_Siemens

    Grant_Siemens Auditioning

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    Johnathan and John you made me really think some more. I measured my current HT room. 11 X 11.5, small but we are only renting at this time. Definately not any room to add a sixth or seventh speaker at this time, but hopefully there will be room when the time comes to move to a house.

    The 520 sounds like the ticket, MORE power, able to add an external amp later on. At least I will have DTS-ES, just hope it gains more attention that DD-EX. Ordered the 520 from Onecall, J&R was about the same price but they used UPS for shipping which would mean I would wait even longer!More than I had planned for but well worth it in the end (I HOPE). Now just needing an excuse to tell the wife why I had to go above and beyond my budget....

    THANKS!
     
  14. JohnSer

    JohnSer Stunt Coordinator

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    Let us know how you make out with the new machine. Sorry, can't help with the excuses. None of mine ever worked, included her own tactic "Honey the original MSRP was $900+, it was such a great deal..."! Take it on the chin, and smile on the inside when you watch your first movie or listen to that first CD. [​IMG] Enjoy.

    JohnS
     
  15. TimothyE

    TimothyE Stunt Coordinator

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    Congratulations Grant! When your wife sees the contented smile on your face, she'll accept the cost - mine did.

    Tim
     
  16. Jonathan_D

    Jonathan_D Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey, my excuse worked pretty well. When we were married (1984) we were given good bit of cash and had some left over after the honeymoon. I had been using a Dynaco SQ-80 that I had built from a kit in 1973 and wanted to purchase some new amplification. So, after much discussion :b we shopped around and wound up buying an HK integrated (PM650 I think - still have it [​IMG] ) for around $400 plus tax (no internet for leverage in those days, me boyos).

    Since then I have had a couple of receivers (DPL and then DD) but nothing the quality of the HK. This time I wanted quality - sound I would be happy with on music as well as HT. So, when comparing receivers and considering what I wanted to spend I wound up checking what $400 in 1984 would be in *today's* dollars. After adding 4% sales tax to the $400, 416 1984 dollars translates in 722 2003 dollars. I shared this with my wife and assured her I had no intention of spending $722 on a receiver - the $500 for the HK 520 wound up being no big deal after that! [​IMG]

    BTW, Gene, you were probably smart to go with OneCall. It took *10 days* for me to get mine from JandR. Their website went from reading "usually ships in 1 to 2 business days" concering the 520 to "usually ships in 3 to 5 business days" the day *after* I placed my order. It did *not* ship until the 5th business day (which put it 7 days after I placed the order), though UPS was unusually fast after that. That's not really that long to wait, but, boy, shopping the Internet sure does teach one something about "delayed gratification".
     

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