Need Help Finding A Good Receiver (About $800 Budget)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Derek Iverson, Feb 10, 2003.

  1. Derek Iverson

    Derek Iverson Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought a Toshiba 57" WS HDTV (57HX81) about six months ago and I haven't purchased a surround sound system for it yet. I've been looking into getting one, but I don't really know that much about them.

    Anyway, after lots and lots of research, I have narrowed my receiver search down to these three:
    Sony STR-DA4ES
    Harman Kardon AVR-525
    Onkyo TX-SR800

    I would like to hear everyone's opinions on these receivers and which one they think is the best. Right now I am kind of leaning towards the HK receiver, because of all the good things I've heard about their receivers. Their wattage ratings are supposed to be super conservative and their receivers give out twice as much power as similar competing receivers.

    I know you probably want to know about the speakers that I'll be hooking up to the receiver, but I have not decided on that yet either. I think I'll be getting JBL's or Polk's though. I'll start a new thread on this later.
     
  2. Derek Iverson

    Derek Iverson Stunt Coordinator

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    I guess I'd also be interested in your speaker recommendations as well. I think I might just get JBL's NSP1 and then slowly add and replace parts of it as I can afford it. I also think that I am going to get an Infinity IL120 subwoofer. I change my mind all the time though.

    Help me make a good decision! I want the best possible setup for my money.
     
  3. CurtisC

    CurtisC Second Unit

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    Lots of research is a good idea,make sure you have read all available reviews.Also try all at your price point,you never know what may sound best to you.It would be best if you could audition at home.good luck!
     
  4. Pablo Abularach

    Pablo Abularach Supporting Actor

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    If you get JBL speakers, the warm sound of Harman Kardon will be a good match, but I also like the SR800, very good reciever for the money.

    Try to audtion both receivers with the speakers you choose. And if you can at home, but with your choices you cant go wrong.

    Another receiver that you could look is Marantz SR7300 OSP which will be avaliable next month.
     
  5. BrianJ>Y

    BrianJ>Y Stunt Coordinator

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    I suggest you look at the Pioneer Elite 43tx($700) and 45tx($825) as well. Try to do some comparisons, let us know what you think. I myself am deciding between the HK 525 and the 43tx...maybe the 45.

    -Brian
     
  6. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    They are all winners. I own many H/K pieces and would tilt toward the 525...although the 4ES has features up the wazoo, I do not like the prospect of multi-channel power limitations being designed in. Not sure what the hell Sony is thinking. Nothing meant as a slight to the Onk 800...I'm sure it does not have the power issues of the lower models. I just prefer the H/K sound. JMO.
     
  7. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Of the 3 you mentioned... Sony 4ES. Best price/performance ratio.
     
  8. Derek Iverson

    Derek Iverson Stunt Coordinator

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    I guess everyone has their own opinion, huh? Not too many of you have an unbiased opinion either. I can somewhat understand why that is, but I just want the best in this price range, not the the best in this price range from my favorite manufacturer.
     
  9. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    If you can think used, the B&K AVR202 will slay anything new in that price range. audiogon.com had one
     
  10. Derek Iverson

    Derek Iverson Stunt Coordinator

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    There appears to be only one for sale there and it says "sale pending."
     
  11. BrianJ>Y

    BrianJ>Y Stunt Coordinator

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    Derek,

    Every opinion you're going to get will be a biased one. The fact is you can't lose with any of the receivers mentioned and each has it's own strong points. The only way for you to decide which you prefer is to listen to them and decide which features you want.

    -Brian
     
  12. TimTurtino

    TimTurtino Stunt Coordinator

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  13. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Derek, I'm a bit puzzled by your comments. Opinions are, generally, biased. Ask 5 different folks about the best receiver in a given price range, and you'll get 5 different answers.

    Which is both a great a frustrating thing about seeking opinions.

    At any rate, let me echo the theme of Tim's comments. At the $800 to $1000 price range, it will be difficult to find something that sounds bad. I recommend the Sony 4ES because, for me, it's a great combination of value and performance. I don't work for Sony, I don't carry a banner for them, I don't wear "Buy Sony" t-shirts, and I hate their annyoing TV ad campaign featuring the ordinary-citizen-with-a-Walkman-turned-astronaut. But, I like the 4ES. If you consider that opinion unduly biased, then so be it.
     
  14. Derek Iverson

    Derek Iverson Stunt Coordinator

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    Tim, thank you for taking the time to give me such an extensive reply. What I said probably did come off sounding a little nastier than I intended and for that, I apologize. I didn't mean to insult or offend anyone based on their opinion.

    To me, it just seems like a lot of people on this forum come here to talk about how great the stuff they have is so they can somehow justify their selection to themselves. Am I the only person who has observed this? Well, I guess this is kind of irrelevant.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing what you think about the Onkyo and the HK. I think it will help me with my decision. I'd be interested in hearing speaker recommendations from you since you get to listen to them all day at CC.

    BTW, does Circuit City let you listen to anything you want before you decide to buy it or are you stuck with whatever they currently have setup?

    Brian, I guess I'm going to have to make it a point to go and listen to all of these receivers and compare their features like you said. I prefer to buy off of the internet though, because it is usually a lot cheaper. I just don't like misleading the sales people at stores into believing I'm going to make a purchase. I think I'll just be upfront with them and tell them that I am just "looking." Sometimes this is kind of hard to do though and I'm sure you know what I mean. Kind of reminds me of looking for a car. Some salesmen just won't take "no" for an answer.
     
  15. TimTurtino

    TimTurtino Stunt Coordinator

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    It's the nature of the beast-- we all can't try everything, so we all know most about the stuff we have....

    CC doesn't have commissioned salespeople anymore, so that should make your life a little easier. [​IMG]

    FWIW, even when I was commissioned, I absolutely never minded talking to someone who had done research and had some basic knowledge. Nowadays, it would be so much better than cleaning. [​IMG]

    I can't speak for every CC, but I can tell you that at my sound room, if you want to listen to a speaker I have in the store, that I should be able to find some way to hook it up. There are bad equipment days, of course...

    As for speaker recommendations, I'd have to know a little about your room and your preferences, but of the stuff they sell at CC, I can generally recommend Polk speakers. There are always exceptions, and a lot depends on your room, etc. Find a knowledgeable "Product Specialist" and they'll be able to walk you through the decision process.

    Me
     
  16. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    Well, my pointing toward a B&K AVR202 on audiogon was a TOTALLY un-biased recommend. You see, I don't have it. I CONSIDERED it when it came out because of its flexible bass management but it was too much money. I don't remember a sale pending when I saw this on early Monday so somebody (some luck body) probably saw my post and snapped that puppy up. Can't blame them either. If you are a little patient you will probably see another one.

    Everyone has their own needs and priorities. Mine was bass management flexibility (at least at that time). My system has changed enough where that wouldn't be as high on the list.
     
  17. CurtisC

    CurtisC Second Unit

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    There are still more choices in the 800.oo range.Some of the avr's mentioned have known issues.Don't rush,look at ALL,there are some with little or no issues.I don't want to tell you what to buy,so do the research.Also use cc and bb as last resort not first.The products they have are ok,not outstanding.
     

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