Help selecting new AVR - upgrading from H/K AVR 230

Steven Larson

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Mar 9, 2004
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116
It has been a long time since I shopped for home audio equipment. I have had a Harman/Kardon AVR 230 since 2004, and it has been a fine receiver. I currently have a 5.1 speaker setup, with Polk speakers for everything but the sub, which is made by SVS. I use a PS3 for my blu-ray player and games, and also have an X-Box 360 and a Wii. After doing some remodeling and having to disconnect all of my electronics, I realized just what a pain in the rear it has been not having HDMI on the receiver. I started researching receivers, and as usual, the choices are overwhelming. What I would like is a receiver that has great audio and video with HDMI inputs. I just received an Ipad as a Christmas present, so I don't have much experience with it yet, but Airplay sounds like it would be a really cool feature. Being able to connect to internet via wi-fi or cable. And though I have made do without it, I would like to have a phono input as I have a Pioneer turntable that I would love to start using again. Having an easy front input for an Ipod would be nice also. I also see several AVR's with THX certification, and don't know how important that is, if at all. There is an Onkyo, the NR809 that seems to be a good deal, at Amazon right now for $646, but it does not have Airplay. The Sony STR-DN1030 is getting good reviews for the most part, and is pretty inexpensive given the features it has. CNET also recommended the Onkyo NR616 as a really good value, but they mention there are concerns about Onkyo reliability in their review. I have never really thought about Sony for receivers, so don't know what their reputation is in that area. I have liked the sound of my H/K, but from the reviews, it seems there are some issues with their products the last few years. I would like to stay below $800, if possible. What models would you recommend? Thanks in advance!
 

schan1269

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Onkyo doesn't do Airplay because of Airplay's issues with 2nd zone(as in on most AVR Airplay has to be active on the 5.1 side...to be active on the Zone 2 side). Onkyo gets past the "Zone 2 snafu..." by doing it USB. Otherwise tough to compete with the price of the 709/809. Pick which has the "other" features you are going to use. Don't be fooled by the "extra" 25 watts either...meaningless. IF you need 2 USB...then that is a good reason for the 809.
 

Steven Larson

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Joined
Mar 9, 2004
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116
Thanks for the information. I have read that there has been quite a bit of internet chatter about the reliability of Onkyo receivers the last couple of years. My brother-in-law has also been shopping for a receiver for their home, and has heard the same from salespeople at a local a/v store. Any thoughts on that? Maybe I should stick with Harman/Kardon....
 

schan1269

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Like has been discussed on this forum 50+ times...and there is an entire thread devoted to "Onkyo reliability problems" over at AVS... The facts. 1. Onkyo has owned, and I mean owned, 40% of the AVR market(even without the help of Integra) for 6 generations of AVR(back to when X05 were the model numbers). 2. Of the 10 top sellers this year. Onkyo has 7 of them. 3. Make/sell the most, you have the most total failures. Ask Toyota the last couple of years how it feels to be the "worlds largest" automaker. Nobody makes AVR to "last" like they used to. The worst offender of "what it used to be" vs "the crap they sell with the name still stuck to it" is Elite. Elite, 10 years ago, meant something. If you are worried about reliability...don't buy one. By anybody. You'll find people with Denon that died on the "latest update". HK that lost the video on HDMI. Pioneer that smoked 2 weeks out of the box. The last couple of years, Denon(not their fault) has helped the cause in Onkyo's quest for 50% market share. Denon is still recovering from the earthquake/tsunami. Their "new" XX13/20 products might, might...have them back to being competitive. It is hard to choose a Denon at $1000, when you can buy an Onkyo that "does more" at $500*. *For a while a couple weeks back, Amazon was selling the TX NR809 under $500.
 

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