Help on Receivers for Speakers

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by SeanV, Jul 9, 2003.

  1. SeanV

    SeanV Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 23, 2003
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    I am setting up my first HT center. I'm replacing my Bose 901 (gifts) with new speakers so my system will look like this:

    Sony 32" Flat Trinitron Wega
    JVC Prog Scan DVD
    B&W 602.5 S3
    B&W DM600
    B&W LCR60 S3

    I have a Sony STR-DE685 receiver that I was going to replace because it didn't work with the Bose. Now I am getting rid of the Bose so I figured I can still replace the receiver. Here are a few of the ones I'm considering:

    HK AVR525
    Denon AVR1082 or AVR2803
    Onkyo TX-SR701

    Does anyone have any suggestions/opinions on this. Your input is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance
  2. Mark Dickerson

    Mark Dickerson Stunt Coordinator

    May 10, 2003
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    My suggestion:

    The Harman/Kardon 525 is a great receiver, with great detail and power, but I think it is a bad match with the B+Ws. Both the H/K and the B+Ws have a very warm, reserved sound, but it may be too much of a good thing when paired. I learned this lesson the hard way when I paired B+Ws with a Kyocera stereo receiver about 15 years ago--after a while, I just didn't listen much any more because the enjoyment had gone out of my system. It wasn't a bad sound, it just didn't interest me.

    Both the Denon 2803 and the Onkyo 701 are also fine products, but to my ears, neither has the same resolution and detail of sound to take full benefit of the quality of the B+Ws. The B+Ws are very accurate and capable of producing a lot of sonic nuances from the program material that other speakers simply ignore. So, I think you should get a receiver that is capable of delivering the detail to allow you to hear all of the program material and neither the 701 nor the 2803/1082 can deliver the small details in my experience. Furthermore, neither has a particularly strong power supply for this price level.

    Instead, I would highly recommend that you look at the NAD 752 and the Marantz 7300. I have been comparing receivers for the past 8 months, and these two stand out (along with the H/K 525) as better sounding than the competition in the under $1K category. In particular, I have compared the NAD directly against an Onkyo 700 and Denon 2803, and I found the differences in some program material to be staggering. With the greater detail of the NAD or Marantz, you will get more enjoyment out of those really nice speakers you have (I am very envious--nice speaker system!).

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