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Help me pick a 6.1 receiver... (1 Viewer)


Sep 30, 2002
Hi all,

Looking for some advice or suggestions. I'm getting ready to build my home theater from scratch, and I'm trying to decide on a receiver that I will build it around. Here are my priorities:

1.)6.1 capability
2.)affordable price (less than $800)
3.)S-video switching
4.)dynamic range adjustment (like Pioneer's "MidnightMode")
5.)Dobly Digital optical input

This will be used purely for movies, not music. I'm more concerned with getting the features I want, than with getting the receiver with the best sound quality.

Any suggestions?


Supporting Actor
Jan 17, 2002
Your "wants" list is pretty much standard in all price ranges. Since you stated an interest in S-Video switching, You may want to decide by how many S-video inputs you require. The last decision would be how much money you want to spend.

Michael Reuben

Senior HTF Member
Feb 12, 1998
Real Name
Michael Reuben
5.)Dobly Digital optical input
A suggestion, based on having seen a lot of posts here: Look for a unit that has both coax and optical inputs. Your current need may be for optical, but you never know what you may acquire in the future. And make sure that there are enough digital inputs for future expansion (I'm currently using 5), and that they're freely assignable to any input source.


Stephen Hopkins

HW Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Jul 19, 2002
Most any 6.1 receiver on the market today will have ALL the features you listed, from the $250 Pioneer 812K to the $775 Pioneer Elite 45TX. The features you mentioned are pretty standard across the board. When you transition from the $250 - $500 range into the $500 - $1000 range, you start to see large improvements in sound quality and more specialized features added (room adjustments, video conversion, ect). What you need to decide is weather you want to save money and get an entry level receiver that fits your criteria, or go up toward your spending limit and get a receiver that has better sound, better build, and more specialized features. Alot of this will depend on what speakers you match with the receiver. Most members agree that you should spend more (up to 2 times) on your speakers than your receiver. Better speakers will make a more noticeable difference that a better receiver in most cases.

That said, if you're looking for some good receivers to look at i'll throw out a few:

Entry Level ($250 - $500):
Pioneer 912K - $300 online
Kenwood 6060 - $304 online
Panasonic HE200 - $305 online
Denon 1803 - $321 online
Kenwood 6070 - $330 Best Buy
Sony DA2ES - $415 online
Denon 2802 - $420 online

Mid Level ($500 - up):
Harman Kardon 325 - $543 online
Sony DA4ES - $540 online
Denon 2803 - $568 online
Harman Kardon 525 - $642 online
Pioneer Elite 43TX - $646 online
Denon 3802 - $740 online
Pioneer Elite 45TX - $775 online
Denon 3803 - $805 online

Hope this helps :)

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