Help me pick my first reciever!

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Johan_relen, Aug 2, 2003.

  1. Johan_relen

    Johan_relen Extra

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    This is my first post here, after having looked around some for a few days.

    I've just gotten interested in HT after visiting girlfriends brother, he had some nice speakers and a larege TV, nothing special but it was a completley new thing to watch a movie there. That's the reason I'll have to buy a reviever and some speakers to be able to watch a movie and really enjoy it again. But because I don't know a lot about HT I could really use some help, I don't want to buy something that I'll regret with my hard earned cash (I'm a 17 year old student...).

    I live in Sweden and have about the equal of $1250 us to spend. I think I'll go with a reciever and front speakers for that although if there are any good set of surround speakers in my range, that's always positive. The system will be used for both my HT and music needs.

    The recievers I've considered are:
    Marantz SR-6200 $600 us
    Yamaha RX-V740RDS $600 us
    Onkyo TX-SR600E $550 us
    Yamaha RX-V640RDS $550 us
    Harman/kardon AVR-3550 $550 us (no 6.1 ability is a con here)
    Marantz SR-5200 $500 us
    Denon AVR-1803 $500 us
    I've also found a decent deal on Yamaha RX-V1200RDS costing $800 us but that won't leave much for the speakers.

    When it comes to speakers, I'm completley lost. All I know is that there's two alternatives, either I'll buy two front floorstanding speakers or a full surround system. Problem is that I don't have that much money to spend, only about $650-750 us.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Those are all fine receivers, Johan (and welcome to HTF, by the way).

    Your first task, though, is to decide which speakers your budget can accommodate and then to match them with the receiver that has the appropriate power and feature set that works best for you. I'd also recommend starting with a fullblown surround suite, and you can find (discounted) suitable speakers for your budget (offhand, the Energy Take 5.2 and Acoustic Research HC6 come to mind).
     
  3. Lee M T

    Lee M T Second Unit

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    Hey there,

    As far as receivers go, it looks like you already know what you're talking about. [​IMG] Any of those options are going to be great. If I were the one spending the money, I would probably lean more toards the Marantz, Denon, or Yamaha selections. I like all three very much and all three were just recently in my list on a new receiver. I chose the Yamaha RX-V640. The reason behind that was fairly simple, it was the only receiver in my price range that had enough digital inputs, componenet video ins/outs, and preamp outputs. Otherwise the three brands were fairly consistent as far as other features, quality, power, and sound. While the Yamaha is slightly more, lets say punchy in sound, I tend to like that. The Marantz has a bit warmer sound, which I like as well. LoL...It's stressful isn't it?

    As far as peakers go, I'm still learning as well. I would advise you to buy main speakers first and wait and get the rest of the speakers later. You'll end up with a much better sound at the end of the day. $600 will buy you a great set of main speakers. I'm not sure about exchange rates, so I'll just let you know what speakers have really good prices here in the States. Paradigm Performance & Monitor series, Athena Audition & SCT series, Axiom Audio.com (not sure if they ship outside of the US and Canada). Those are just a few of the really good speakers out that that can be had at nice prices.

    Good luck,
    Lee
     
  4. Neil G

    Neil G Auditioning

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    Recievers:
    All the recievers you've listed are in the same price range, so all you need to do is do comparison testing using the same speakers and choose which one you like the most. Ask the sales person what the major differeces each receiver has. A lot of people here will recomend brands that they like (what they like might not be what you like). Look at the following things:

    - how loud will you play it, how big is your room (will the receiver have enough power?)
    - what will you connect to the reciever? DVD, VCR,PVR,satalite, game system,Digital cable, CD (will the receiver have enough inputs for everything you have?)
    - Is you're TV limited to what output comes from the receiver?
    - listen for clarity of dialogue.
    - listen for the spaciousness of the sound (can you tell the sound is coming from the speaker, or do your walls disappear and the sound surrounds you.

    Usually the receivers that will give you the most features for your money are the Yamaha and the Onkyos. To get the other brands with similar features you won't have enough for you're speakers.

    Speakers:
    If you are going to use them for watching movies don't expect just using the fronts (virtual surround) to sound like having a full set of surround speakers. Your speakers and speaker placement also play a big part in the sound you will get. If you plan to only use fronts maybe you can save a few bucks by getting discounted previous years models.
    For you're budget I would recommend Athena speakers. If you like the sound of the Audition or SCT series, then listen to the Point 5 system. All Athena's lines use the same tweeter, some people here slight differnces with the product lines. You can get the Athena speakers for around $600, which includes the center 4 surrounds (with a built in wall mount bracket!) and a sub.

    Have you also looked into the cost of speaker wire, stands/ mounts, s-vid cables, component cables, toslink wire, surge protector?
     
  5. Johan_relen

    Johan_relen Extra

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    I've contacted a guy who's selling his audio pro black diamonds, with a woofer and front in the same series and surround speakers of another series by audio pro (image 11) total price $750 us. That seems like a really good deal to me. Problem is that I can't audition many recievers where I live, mostly yamahas sold here, and from what I've heard people think they're to bright for the black diamonds. That leaves Onkyo, Marantz and Denon, non of which I can test [​IMG] That's why I have to buy from recommendations and how many ins and outs they have.

    All these recievers have similar specs when it comes to power output, does anyone here know if a certain brand usually marks way to hight or even to low?

    BTW I've enough money leftover for needed cables.
     
  6. Mark Dickerson

    Mark Dickerson Stunt Coordinator

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    Johan:

    The Black Diamonds are a good choice, but I have to agree the Yamaha is too bright for that speaker. I would suggest the Marantz or a Pioneer Elite for the Diamonds. They are both warmer and smoother than a Denon or Onkyo (I have a Denon so I know). I am aware that Pioneer Elite is not a brand they sell in Europe, but I believe it is sold as the Pioneer 2011. Another brand that would work well is NAD, which I have heard recently and been very impressed by the sound. It is warm and smooth, but also has a clarity that I rarely hear in a receiver (and that was the NAD bottom of the line 742).

    Jack is entirely right to suggest you select your speakers first and then get a receiver to match. Good luck.
     
  7. Johan_relen

    Johan_relen Extra

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    First of all, thanks for all the replys, they're making my life a lot easier!


    Will a Marantz 5200 have enough power for the Diamonds? Could buy a 6200 but it's about a $100 us more expenisve.

    Nad 742 costs more than the 6200 and I need to save as much cash as possible, want a new HD.
     
  8. Jason.Soko

    Jason.Soko Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a 6200 for $500 if you want [​IMG]
     
  9. Johan_relen

    Johan_relen Extra

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    Jason.Soko: Are you happy with your 6200? Does it have the bug that makes you miss the first instants of a CD? And most importantly where do you live?
     
  10. Jason.Soko

    Jason.Soko Stunt Coordinator

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    Honestly I've never noticed it miss the first split second of a track. But of course that doesn't mean it is not occuring. It is a great receiver nonetheless, it's just time for an upgrade.

    I live in New York, USA.
     
  11. Johan_relen

    Johan_relen Extra

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    To bad I live in Sweden... [​IMG]

    Will a 5200 be enough to power the whole set of speakers?
     
  12. Jason.Soko

    Jason.Soko Stunt Coordinator

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    I know I will probably get flamed around here. But I know what it was like to be 17 and have little valuable cash. If you are just looking for a surround system I was seriously consider a theater in a box solution. With $1200 you could pull it off, but honestly it is not even worth it. Settle for $600-700 in a box solution and it will server it's purpose very nicely. Especially if you are planning on attending college, they are compact, sound fairly good and you won't blow your budget that you will need for other things, like food!

    Just my opinion, from my experiences. I'm 23 now, just landed a really good job, and NOW I am buying some real toys.
     
  13. Johan_relen

    Johan_relen Extra

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    I'm the kind of person who goes all the way with this sort of thing. I seriously don't think I'll buy more equipment then this for several years and I want decent sound during thoose years. The speakers I'm about to buy are pretty nice stuff (I like them a _lot_) and they are worth much more money than I have.

    The main reason though to buy a nice reciever and nice speakers is that I'd like to be able to listen to music as well, with a standard theater box there's no way music will be as enjoyable as with these.

    Looks like I'm defending myself here...not needed but it's probably partitially to convince myself. Thanks for your input, it made me think for a while if a really _have_ to have this and I feel I do.
     
  14. Ben LG

    Ben LG Stunt Coordinator

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    I thought Id jump in cause I was browsing around Harman audio. If you dont mind refurbished, check out harmanaudio.com, they have a pair of Infinity IL40's going for only $190 which I was considering and also take a look at accessories4less.com for the Marantz 6200 at $399.

    I agree with Lee that getting a good pair for the main speakers first is more important if you dont have enough cash yet, quality over quantity [​IMG].

    ~Also wanted to add from my own experience, the Marantz definitely outperforms the Onkyo SR600.
     
  15. Jason.Soko

    Jason.Soko Stunt Coordinator

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    Well I guess this depends if you want a home theater first or a stereo first.
     

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