How to choose the right receiver.

Palmz

Auditioning
Joined
Jan 13, 2007
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7
Real Name
Michael
I've been looking for a receiver for a little while now and have become quite frustrated. I'm looking at spending about $500-600USD.

So far I have considered the Onkyo 604, the HK-AVR245, the Denon AVR-887 and a couple of Yamaha models. How do you pick one over the other? They all seem to be good name brands with good reputations, and a decent feature-set. How does one pick? What is significant about each of the respective brands? Why would I want one over another?

I listen to easy listening stuff that is very vocal i.e. Josh Groban, Michael Buble, Jack Johnson, John Mayor, as well as Dave Matthews, Harry Conick, others.

I also watch a lot of movies.
 

Shane Harg

Second Unit
Joined
Feb 14, 2006
Messages
291
In my experience (I used to sell electronics), for your price range and listening tastes, I would lean toward Denon. I own a Yamaha, myself, but I have owned and demo-ed lots of Denon receivers and in my opinion, it is a good compromise in both sound and quality between high-end components and a solid HT amp. Well...it is a solid HT amp. LOL.
 

Karim Nogas

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
132
When the feature set and price are all similar, try and demo the receiver with your equipment (not always possible). It really comes down to what sounds the best to you.
 

Palmz

Auditioning
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Jan 13, 2007
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7
Real Name
Michael
I am leaning toward the Denon, but I can get a way better deal on the Onkyo. The Onkyo sounds a little flatter to me than the denon, not neccessarily in a bad way, but the denon just seems to pull out those intricate details more to me, and I like that. I can see why people would preferr the Onkyo sound though, for their tastes.

I guess what I'm wondering is, are there kind of trademark sounds that each of these brands tend to put out? Does the HK have a warmer kind of presence as well? Or is it a little brighter like the Denon? For all I know the general tone of the receiver could change quite a bit even within the brand.

I heard the Onkyo 604 powering some Klipsche RF-62's and it really seemed to tame down the harsh horns in the Klipsches, leading me to believe that it's a warmer kind of noise than the denon. I heard the Oknyo 804 (much more expensive) powering the same speakers and it really didn't sound any better, or have any different tones. The guy there said that this is simply because the Klipsches are so efficient they need very little power to drive them. I will be using Mission 780 Bookshelves for the first few months with this receiver and with their silk domes I'll want something that will liven them up a bit, as I generally like a speaker with a metal tweeter.

Urrgggg.
 

Shane Harg

Second Unit
Joined
Feb 14, 2006
Messages
291
I've owned everything from Onkyo to high-end Adcom separates and I can tell you that the Denon 3803 I owned was just as accurate as the separates, but quieter and SMOKED just everything else I've ever owned. I always got an ever-so-slight hiss coming from those separates when nothing was on except the power, but the Denon was dead silent. The Yamaha (rx-v2600) I currently own compares very favorably to the Denon.

I remember an HT demonstration that left a HUGE impression on me (and this was before the turn of the century) was a Denon receiver powering a set of B&W Nautilus speakers in 5.1, on the opening sequence of Air Force One. Ever since then, Denon has always been my favorite amp and B&W, my first choice for speakers. And not JUST because of that demo, but because they have always won me over in subseqent demos and always gave me the best sound in my own configurations. Just my $0.02.
 

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
5,182
I have Yamaha, but I would have Dennon in my rack without hesitation.

Since the receiver will become the central hub of your entertainment system, it's actually more important to have lots of connection options instead of raw-watts like people used to believe.

Some things to consider:

- Add points to any receiver if it offers HDMI switching
- Add points to any receiver if it up-converts signals to the HDMI output
- Add points to any receiver if it up-converts signals to the component outputs.
- Add points to any receiver if it has more than 2 HDMI inputs or 2 Component inputs
- Add points to any receiver if it has a test-tone feature to help calibrate the speakers
- Add points to any receiver if it has front input jacks for an iPod or XM/Serious sat radio
- Add points to any receiver that has 5-way binding posts for speakers instead of spring-clips.
- Add points to any receiver that has 5.1 analog outputs so you can add outboard amplifier.
- Add 1 point if the remote is good. Add another if it comes with both a full-remote, and a smaller, simpler remote that is not cluttered with setup buttons.
- All else being equal: the heavier receiver will likely have a heaftier transformer and run cooler & last longer.

Hope this helps.
 

junebug

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Jan 18, 2007
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11
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Leclerc Nesifort
if I was you I would go with the Denon because of the watts they all have just about the same feature so with that the 100 watts per channel at 8 ohms is pretty good I have H/K avr 140 it feel like it has more power but not much more. all of them are nice systems but if you can test them out do it oh yeah the power comes in handy for a large rooms
 

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