HELP: mid-priced a/v receiver suggestions??

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by JimmyL, May 11, 2006.

  1. JimmyL

    JimmyL Auditioning

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    Newbie here. I'm an old stereo guy who now wants to upgrade to an A/V system but I also still want decent sound for music reproduction. When I say music I'm talking analog (vinyl and audio cassette) in addition to CDs/DVDs. I still have a vintage yamaha TT and a Nakamichi cassette deck, I'll want to connect and listen to in addition to a Sony CD player and a DVD player. I'm thinking of running my old Infinity floor standing 3 ways as B's or zone 2 and a 2nd hand set of Boston Micro surrounds for the home theatre (4 micro 90's with center and sub I picked up 2nd hand) to start. I'll be listening to music say 3/4 of the time and maybe cable/movies 1/4 so the music reproduction is very important to me. I'm looking in the $400-700 range.

    Are particular receiver brands better for music/stereo? Any receiver suggestions for this old stereo guy?? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Shane Harg

    Shane Harg Second Unit

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    I also listen to a lot of vinyl and have more of that than anything else, except for DVDs (it's about even). I also watch a lot of movies, however, and recently purchased the Yamaha RX-V2600 HT receiver and couldn't be happier. The sound on music is extremely rich and smooth as silk.

    For your purposes and price range, I would recomment something from either Denon or Yamaha. I have owned one of each and I was very happy with both. For Denon, my recommendation would be for anything from the AVR-2106 to the AVR-2806. For Yamaha, from the RX-V659 to the RX-V2500. You probably can't go wrong with anything in that range. It just all depends on how much you want to spend and the features you want. I woudn't get too hung up on wattage or THD specs. However, you will probably want at least something (for the future, anyhow), which will do 1080i video switching via component input/ouputs. Also, you will probably want something that has a phono input, so you don't have to buy a phono preamp. On Denon, that's anything from the 2106 on up. With Yamaha, that's anything from the 659 on up.

    There is other good stuff out there, to be certain, but in my own experience, Denon and Yamaha remain unsurpassed in your price range.

    My AV system started life with an old Onkyo Dolby Pro-Logic receiver. From there, I upgraded to Adcom separates, but they were extremely noisy (as in interference-type noise, perhaps because of the lack of balanced inputs/outputs), so I sold them and bought a Denon 3805. It was dead silent upon power-up and the sound quality was outstanding. After selling everything and moving to Japan, I now own the Yamaha 2600. Another smart purchase, IMHO.[​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. Scotty P

    Scotty P Agent

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    Yamaha...I have worked with yamaha before and now have finally purchased my own and couldn't be happier. To stay under $700 you could get the HTR 5890, about 2 models old (originally sold for $800, can now get at B&H Photo just under $500-still best value for $500.) I bought the RXV-2500 for $800. Advantages of that are ability to completely customize the parametric EQs used in its auto setup (and start from the auto setups settings). The 5890 makes you choose between the auto setup with parametric or doing your own thing with a 7 band graphic. Another nice feature if you have a good universal remote are the memory settings. The RXV2500 has 6 memory settings that can store a snapshot of your complete configuration. Not sure if the 5890 responds to the memories with extended remote codes. Both have zone 2 (w/video, can be powered with rear amps) and zone 3 (audio only, non powered), and component upconversion and switching.

    Check for phono inputs, I can't confirm whether either has them.
     
  4. Shane Harg

    Shane Harg Second Unit

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    Both have phono inputs. Good call, Scotty.
     
  5. JimmyL

    JimmyL Auditioning

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    Thanks, you two.

    I was hoping to hear from someone with a lot of vinyl like me and I do want a receiver w/ a phono input. I'll check into these receivers you both recommend.
    I think I've narrowed my search to Yamaha, Denon or possibly Onkyo which several people I know locally have also suggested for good audio (Onkyo TX-SR703 or 803??). Anyone have any thoughts about or experience with Onkyo, or these specific units in particular? Just to reiterate, I'll likely be listening to music mostly (2/3-3/4) in addition to movies/dvd?

    Any additional thoughts/suggestions appreciated. Thanks.
     
  6. Oren Paul

    Oren Paul Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a Yamaha Rv1400 and like it, if I were buying today I would look at the Outlaw offering.
     
  7. Shane Harg

    Shane Harg Second Unit

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    Both the 703 & 803 have phono inputs, but they are specifically for moving magnet cartridges, which (although you'd probably be okay playing a moving coil cartridge through it) doesn't work for me, since my turntable has a moving coil cartridge. I wanted something with a phono input, which spec'd out similarly to the phono preamp I was using before - Yamaha or Denon. Your situation may different, however. I just wanted to point that out. Also, the Onkyo I previously owned was not as quiet as the Denon I had or the Yamaha I own now. In all fairness, however, it was an older model (SV444) and the newer models will probably not have any noise issues, whatsoever.

    Edit:
    Okay, I feel like an idiot now. I did some more research and found out that just about all receivers with phono inputs share almost identical specs for those inputs and are configured for moving magnet cartridges (most common). After taking a good look at the manual for my Yamaha, I found that it also said "MM" (moving magnet), yet my moving coil cartridge seems to work fine with it. Now, however, I'm going to have to go back and see if I can detect a difference in sound, between playing my TT directly through the phono input and playing it through another audio input via the phono preamp. Wow, I was blind-sided by that one. While doing my research for which receiver to buy, I simply looked at the specs for the input and noticed they were similar on the Yamaha, Denon and my phono preamp. The spec for Onkyo and others simply said "(MM)," so I avoided them (though that certainly wasn't my only reason for choosing the Yamaha). Hm, learn something new every day.

    And so...Onkyo and some others may be viable options for you, but there are still other reasons I'd take Yamaha or Denon over any others.
     

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