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I Need Advice on a $500-$1,000 Receiver (1 Viewer)


Second Unit
Apr 24, 2002
Hello Experienced Enthusiasts,

I am in the process of upgrading my Home Theater with a new receiver. I currently have a very low end Pioneer Receiver that I cannot wait to get rid of. I will give you my system as it is now, then the receiver that I am considering purchasing. If anyone can add any insight or advice as to which model might work best for me, I would be very grateful:

Receiver: Pioneer DSX-557

Front Channels: Definitive Technology BP-2000

Center Channel: Definitive Technology CLR-2002

Rear Channels: Definitive Technology BP2X

DVD Player: Pioneer DV-414

TV: Toshiba 32"

Remote: Home Theater Master MX-500

Environment: I live in a town house with a very large, open living room and vaulted ceilings. Within the next few years, I plan to move into a house. I am also an avid video game enthusiast and have a Playstation 2 and Nintendo Gamecube hooked up to my system--my wife loves my hobbies.

I am most seriously considering the Harman/Kardon AVR-520, mainly because I have several hundred dollars in gift certificates to Circuit City, but also because it has received very good reviews and seems to be very exapandable for future components.

I have done plenty of research on-line about different receivers in the price range of $500-$1,000, but it is difficult for me to compare the true value of models. Any recommendations are very much appreciated, even if you have recommendations as to the ideal setup of my system or if you have a particular favorite brand. As a true novice, I was a fan of Pioneer receivers (whether that was a good choice or not is another issue), but now as a novice-intermediate, I would like to find a brand that I have a lot of confidence in. Thank you all for your help.

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
May 22, 1999
Hi Rob. Welcome to HTF!
For receiver recomendations, the "Receivers" fourm is the more focused group. I'll move the post over there for you so we dont have duplicates.
I have the identical front speaker setup and have used 2 different models of Yamaha receivers to drive them.
DefTech is not a hard-to-drive speaker so people have had equal success with Dennon and other brands as well. So if you've done the research, (and assuming nobody has a negative recomendation), the HK 520 might also be a great choice.
(Half the fun of this hobby is researching, studying and anticipation. Sounds like you will fit right in. :)
Good Luck.

Wayne McRae

Stunt Coordinator
Dec 28, 2000
Welcome Rob.I have almost the exact speaker setup as you.The two receivers to take a look at,as well as the HK are the Denon 3802 and the upcoming Onkyo 700.I had a Denon and it sounded great with the Def-techs but I have moved on to seperates.The key to all of this is to listen for yourself and decide what sounds best to you.You can get all the specs from Denon and Onkyo's websites.Good luck.


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