Kenwood VR-6060, Pioneer VSX-D811S, Sony STR-DE985 ???

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike Gratis, Dec 3, 2002.

  1. Mike Gratis

    Mike Gratis Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2002
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Since it's been a good 20+ years since I upgraded my stereo system (with the heart of it being a Nikko NA-890 Amp), and my speakers have about had it, I've come to the conclusion that it's time for a new system. I listen to a LOT of music (mostly CDs; though also through my DISH); but I'm also into DVDs and had envisioned this as being the start of a better Home Theater System (some day I'll own that widescreen HDTV). Originally, I was looking at Home Theater In A Box Systems at Best Buy (mainly Kenwood, Sony & Yamaha) and planning on spending $300-500; but I've come to the conclusion that I'd probably be better off in the long run getting a receiver that more closely matches my needs and desires and then picking up a surround speaker set to go with it. I'd still like to do this while keeping the cost in the $500-600 range, if possible.

    After doing a LOT of online reading over the last couple of days, I've pretty much narrowed the receiver choices down to those made by Kenwood, Pioneer and Sony, with the VR-6060 (though the VR-6070 looks very enticing), the VSX-D811S and the STR-DE985 being the prime candidates for consideration. Any input on these three, especially for those who have first hand experience with them, would be very much appreciated. However, I'm still open to suggestions, if there's something out there with the same features in the same price range.

    Regarding the speakers, I saw that Best Buy had three surround sound sets available for short money; the Sony SA-VE335, and the Yamaha NS-P220 and NS-AP480SW. Does anyone out there have any experience with these speakers? I've read where the Sonys' with the plastic cases aren't even worth considering..... I know that it would be great to be able to spend just as much on the speakers as I am on the receiver; but I really can't swing spending that kind of money right now (though Best Buy's no interest financing through January of 2004 makes it very tempting).

    Any input is very much appreciated, and thanks in advance.
     
  2. Steve Adams

    Steve Adams Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2001
    Messages:
    432
    Likes Received:
    0
    out of the three you listed i would go for pioneer, if you were looking at the 6070, then it would be a toss up between kenwood and pioneer. the sony is only the de series. very shady equipment.
     
  3. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2000
    Messages:
    2,684
    Likes Received:
    439
    Real Name:
    Alfie
    I haven't listened to your other selections, but I do own the 811 and really enjoy it for both music and DVD's.

    A great receiver with lots of bang for the buck.

    Alfer
     
  4. Mark.Louis

    Mark.Louis Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2002
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Of the three, I'd go for the Pioneer. It sounds good, was evaluated quite well in terms of the "real" power output (i.e., watts per channel), has the latest decoding (sans THX), and most importantly, has a full set of preouts so you can add external amplification when your HT grows (it will!). Neither the Sony or 6060 have preouts.

    Stepping up to the Kenwood 6070 gets you Circle Surround Sound, THX certification, a better remote, full preouts and multi-room. multisource. It was also rated quite well in terms of power output (compared to Yamaha & Onkyo). The THX certification seems nice, but you only get the full benefit (IMHO) when you also have THX certified cables, THX certified speakers, THX certified DVDs, etc. All this adds up to more $$. Still, I know people have said the THX does sound a little better that DTS-EX or ES. Still, these additional features weren't worth an additional $200 above the price of the Pioneer.

    One note on the Pioneer...it's stereo/audio sounds like crap unless you switch on the Midnight or Loudness modes, at which point it sounds terrific.

    Regarding the speakers, forego the packaged HT speaker systems at BB. Especially Sony or Bose stuff - they just don't sound good to me. Instead, spend $260 (on-line) for the JBL NSP1 package (one center, two mains, and two surround sounds) and pair this with a Sony SW40 subwoofer ($125 shipped from my.sony.com with 2000 points), and you will have a better system than any of the packages BB sells for similar money.

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. Bill_Wheeler

    Bill_Wheeler Auditioning

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2002
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ditto on what Mark suggested. Like you I was in search of a new reciever to replace my blown circa 1983 NAD Reciever. After much reading on these and other forums and many in-store auditions. I settled on the Pioneer VSX-D811S reciever and the JBL NSP-1 Surround Sound Speaker package. I already had recieved the Sony SA-WM40 Sub as my birthday present this past May. I lucked out and found the JBL NSP1 on clearance at Conn's Appliances for $197. The reason why these are so cheap is JBL lost a patent infringement case with Bose and was forced to redesign thier bass ports, thus the previous models were discontinued. Some people have even suggested the previous model is actually better than the redesigned more expensive version(I don't know about that personally though). The new model is the NSP1-2 (clever numbering scheme eh?)
    I purchased my reciever at Good Guys for $360 shipped, you can find cheaper but not from an authorized dealer(important for any repairs). I have the speakers but am waiting on delivery of the reciever this Wed. and I feel confident that I have made the correct choices for my Home Theater system.
    Edit: As a DISH subscriber you might also want to consider the deal on the 60hr PVR-508 Satellite Reciever/Personal Video Recorder combo, it's $199 with a TOP150 pkg and Credit Card autopay. I did the deal and am most impressed with the video it's like watching a DVD, very good PQ and no apparent loss from the live image. Now I don't have to hunt for what tape that CSI got recorded to or find out that General Hospital was recorded over this weeks episode of Enterprise! It works incredibly well, the only thing I would prefer is a 2nd tuner but that model, PVR721, is $550; a little more than I was willing to spend.
     
  6. Mike Gratis

    Mike Gratis Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2002
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the input. I've heard a few good things about the Sony DE series, and even like the ability to customize the display; but have also heard enough negative input that I may just stay away from them. That puts me leaning toward the Kenwood or Pioneer; though I've also gotten some good input regarding Denon, Harman and Onkyo receivers. As for power, I'm a little cautious of going too light on the amp wattage with some of the Denon, Harman and Onkyo, as my living room is fairly large at 15'x25', with about 1/3 of the 15' section actually opening up to 20', plus a 10' or so ceiling. From what I understand, the Kenwood remote control supports both IR/RF; so I'd hope that it could also be used to control my DISH. Seeing how long my last purchase lasted, I'm also going to lean toward a receiver that supports all of the latest sound formats (DD, DD-EX, DPL, DPL-II, DTS, and DTS-ES). As soon as I can nail down my receiver decision, I'll move on to sorting out my speaker options. [​IMG]
     
  7. Mike Gratis

    Mike Gratis Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2002
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, after more research and a lot of thought, I've decided to go with the VR-6070. The Onkyo TX-SR600 and the Pioneer VSX-D811S were really the only other two receivers that were strongly considered at the end; but I think all of the great features and performance of the VR-6070, as well as a decent price ($428 delivered from www.vanns.com , who is an authorized Kenwood Dealer) made the decision a pretty solid one.
    So now I can move on to sorting out my speaker options and making a decision there. Strong contenders are surround systems from BIC, JBL and Onkyo, though I'm open to others in the $200-400 range, keeping in mind that I'm into both music and the Home Theater experience and have a fairly large room (15x25).
     

Share This Page