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HT Receivers under $700 (1 Viewer)


Apr 22, 2003

I need some advice for buying a Receiver and speakers.

The first issue is how powerful? The size of the TV Room is only about 3m x 5m.. fairly medium-sized room. Some of the Home Theatres setups (Panasonic, Sony) have 30 or 40W RMS per speaker. Then you have some really expensive receivers which have 100-130W RMS per speaker. What should I be aiming for ?

The second issue is price. Whats a good brand under $700? Whats a good brand for speakers ?

I was told that Sony and other Japanese big brands simply re-badge some crappy speakers, so professional brands like JBL are better.

Vince Maskeeper

Senior HTF Member
Jan 18, 1999
Use the Vince Maskeeper research method, if you're serious. ;)

Go to the Receivers area on this forum and do a search for for "$700".

You'll come across threads that are similar in nature to your question. By reading those threads you'll now have a handful of products in the price range to check on.

It might has some basic pros/cons of each in the course of the initial discussion, jot that down next to the brands you're considering.

Then going back to the search and plugging in these products one at a time (and try variations, for example: Pioneer VSX-D711, VSX-D711, Pioneer VSXD711, VSXD711, D711) you will find discussions on each product you search on.

These posts you'll find are usually posts from current owners talking about what they like/dislike or posts from people who are shopping like you-- and often you will find them comparing these receiver to other products in the same price range. If you come across a new product mentioned in your range, add it to your list and do a search on it.

Add to your notes the issues raised in the comparisons- any pros/cons you come across for each product.

The you can check those choices here to get better info on features, etc:

By the time you're done, it might take and hour or three, you will have a nice list of every product in your price range, and probably a good list of features and pros/cons for each-- and probably some links on where to buy and where to get the best price. You will have compiled your own research, and will very confident in your decision! You should end up with a very clear picture of what's of there, and what's the best deal.

Leave the search on the FASTEST setting, as this will yield only recent posts (you can change it to slower if you don't find many returns on your first search)-- and you should have plenty of info if you take the time to read everything that comes back and actually take notes.

Repeat this process in Speakers area, you'll be surprised how effective it can be.

I've done this using this forum several times- and once I narrow it down to 2-3 choices- then i might start searching the web for reviews to make the final decision-- but I can usually get a much better idea from the people who use the product everyday than i can from a reviewer who's site/mag is supported by ads from the manufacturer.

But start with the Vince technique of research listed above, I'll be you'll be surprised what you'll find with a little homework!



Senior HTF Member
Aug 19, 2002
You seem to have been pointed in a very good direction by Vince in terms of research, and by the inklings you've come with already. The cheesy brands are just that, cheesy, but cheap, and there are deals to be had for affordable recievers (just a couple hundred). 700 bucks can get you a very nice receiver from some of the better and more popular brands. I don't want to regurgitate the "i bought this brand so it's the best" thing, so I'll mention a bunch of popular receivers. Denon, Harmon Kardon, Sony ES (not regular sony), Pioneer Elite (nor regular pioneer), Marantz, Outlaw (internet-only), Yamaha, and I'm sure i've forgotten some others. That's a lot of brands with even more models, but you should be able to narrow some down based on what feautures you want, and then on the sound. In terms of what you're aminig for, $700 should get you a very fully featured unit with plenty of power for all but the most demanding speakers, and even then, unless you like to damage your hearing on a regular basis it's not a problem. More power is better, the problem is the watts they tell you really may not reflect real performance, performance with low-ohm speakers, and the overall sound. Be wary. Some receivers are dead honest and thus may seem underpowered, when all the competition is reaching for the sky and probably does no better, or perhaps worse than the competition. If you go with one of these more popular brands, power shouldn't really be an issue.

As for speakers, a budget is good to get help, but there are TONS of speaker brands out there. Most of the Best-Buy type brands are pretty crappy. I don't know if they're rebadging stuff, I don't think they are, they are just cheap, and crappy sounding. JBL is better, but (flame suit on) there is better out there. Check out the speaker forum, there's tons. And speakers are a much more involved purchase, because they really do all sound very different, and personal taste REALLY comes into play. Get a big list and go audition.

Clark F

Mar 11, 2003
I did research reading messages and doing searches as Vince described. I settled on a couple of brands I liked and then found a local A/V store that carried a brand of speaker and receiver I was interested in - Paradigm and Yamaha. I auditioned them and liked what I heard. I bought a Yamaha RX-V630 for $500 and Paradigm fronts, center and sub for $1,000 (and used old speakers for surrounds). I am very happy with the sound - both for HT and music. My room is about 22' x 15' and volume is plenty loud at -40 db. I usually have volume at -45 db or lower.
Hope this helps.

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