Low end receiver challenge

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Joe Szott, Nov 1, 2005.

  1. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    Hi all,

    I need to find a low end receiver for my father-in-law's setup as an Xmas gift. The price would be constrained to around $200-250. He will be powering a Rocket Tykes 5.1 system with this receiver so power isn't a major concern. What he needs is a receiver that can handle DD/DTS (digital) and is the best value for the least price.

    This receiver need not be new, a few years used is fine as long as it can upgrade him to the world of digital surround sound for movies.

    Thanks...
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Used is always a good option, IMO. For a non-enthusiast who doesn’t have to have the latest and greatest features, your $250 will get you a 2-year-old receiver that was in the neighborhood of $500+ (street price) when it was new.

    Yamaha might be a good choice; I find them generally to be user friendly, which is important for a non-enthusiast. (Others may be able to recommend other user-friendly brands as well.)

    At the other end of the spectrum, Sony is about as user-unfriendly as it gets. A shame, because that’s the brand non-enthusiasts, who are typically the least technically inclined to deal with the challenges of home theater, seem to gravitate towards.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. John S

    John S Producer

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    On the cheapest decent side, you have low end Sherwood AVR's.


    Used is a great option for maximizing the bang for your buck.


    With HDTV becomming more and more a factor. Maybe find the one that has the most video handling capabilities for the amount you can spend.
     
  4. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    There's always refurbished stuff. The online Harman/Kardon outlet http://www.harmanaudio.com/ has some exceptional deals, as does www.refurbdepot.com, www.ubid.com and others.

    Since it's going to be a Christmas gift, you may prefer brand spanking new.

    Low end Pioneers in my experience offer exceptional value for the money. I've seen far too much Sony gear crap out after just a few years to recommend it.
     
  5. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    Bottom-end HK's are VERY simple and excel at everything they do.
     
  6. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    So we've been collecting our funds around the family for this communal gift, and it looks like the price tags can be raised a bit to $350.

    I was thinking about pursuing an Outlaw 1050 with this pricetag, is that a good option comapred to what else is available? Keep in mind that this would be $350 shipped, so really a $300-325 range.

    Looking at HK, Denon, Sony, and Yamaha, what older models would fall into the top of that range for maximum bang-for-the-buck?

    Thanks for all the opinions so far as well, appreciate it.


    PS - The gift recipient is a lifelong working musician, so quality of sound needs to be preserved (within the budget limits.) It's not that he doesn't have a dicerning ear, he just doesn't know much about audiophile equipment and home theater.
     
  7. John S

    John S Producer

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    Well shoot. get him an Outlaw, that would be a top notch really awesome nice piece for said described person.
     
  8. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Well, you've got at least four specific brand recommendations so far. In my personal experience it's impossible to go wrong with Pioneer, Harman/Kardon, Outlaw, or Sherwood. I'd avoid Sony. Too bad Philips doesn't make stuff like this any more, but all their stuff is now branded Marantz and probably more expensive than you need.

    I don't think you can go wrong with Outlaw. My experience with their stuff and customer service has been good.
     
  9. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    With the new H/K models coming out, now would be a good time to be looking at a 235 or 335. Should be some good deals out there.

    *edit - the Onkyo 603s are out also I believe, so you should be able to find deals on the 602.
     
  10. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    I've been looking at some Denons: 2802 and 1803 that fall in this range. Also the HK 330 from the refurb site would fit the bill.

    I'll look into Sherwood and Pioneer as well. More likely to go with Denon, HK, or Outlaw as I've had models before and can help him set it up remotely, but you never know what deals will present themselves.

    Thanks all.
     
  11. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    If you've found a 1050, I'd say go with that. It won't be up on the latest features, but it will definitely have the power to handle some decent speakers (future) and have solid musical capability. I think the Tykes should be OK for any of those receivers.
     
  12. SteveCallas

    SteveCallas Second Unit

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    I've heard a whole hell of a lot about the sound quality of the Panasonic xr55 being out of this world. It uses digital amps - I've never heard it, but it would appear to be the greatest bang for the buck.
     
  13. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

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    I own a Denon 2802 and love it. I won't however call it simple but then no AVR I've personally seen would fall into my definition of simple.

    I'd also suggest the stay-away-from Sony recommendation.

    I've owned Onkyo and Yamaha gear and liked the; a one-two year old Onkyo would be a good choice.

    Outlaw I have no personal experience with but the reputation is sterling.
     
  14. Shad R

    Shad R Supporting Actor

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    Onkyo used to make decent stuff for around 300. I havent heard anything in that price range lately though. And Denon, even though I've never heard anything in that price range. If the higher end recievers are any indication( like the 2805 I have) the denon will offer you features and options worthy of a more expensive reciever, with great sond quality to boot.
     

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