Need professional opinons...

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Larry_S, Aug 26, 2003.

  1. Larry_S

    Larry_S Agent

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    I am buying a Mitsubishi WS-55313 TV.
    I have purchased Fluance AV-HTB Surround speakers.

    I am looking at receivers, and I have narrowed it down to the 3 following:

    Onyko TX-SR 701
    Yamaha - HTR-5660
    Yamaha - RX-V640

    I would like some opinions on which to go with. I will have a satellite box as well as an Xbox.

    I will additionally be looking into DVD players, if anyone can recommend a comparable unit to go with one of the 3 choices.

    Thanks! This is a great forum!
     
  2. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    Well the two Yamaha's you have stated are both the same units. One is sold through a mass merchant (HTR line) such as Bestbuy, CircuitCity.

    The RX-V series is sold through authorized dealers, other than that they are both the same and feature the same components.

    Also, I don't know if you can look at HarmanKardon but for that price range you would be able to pick up an HK AVR-225 which is a very nice unit, I also currently own one myself.

    I like the HK over both of those units, just my opinion. If you are deadset on not looking at anything else then I would pick the Yamaha over the Onkyo, more features.
     
  3. Greg Thomas

    Greg Thomas Second Unit

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    I feel so good that Chris has become an HK evangelist. I'd like to think that I and others contributed to his choice of the HK AVR-225. I am also an HK owner and its a very nice sounding unit with plenty of power in reserve.

    Larry, you can get the HK 325 for $569 right now at Circuit City if you prefer to buy locally. This is probably less than the Onkyo 701. If you buy online you will find it ever cheaper, as low a $386 for a factory renewed unit. Just remember to purchase from authorized dealers. You might even find the HK 525 at that price online which I feel would be far superior to the Onkyo or Yamaha units. The HK's offer Logic 7 processing which I feel is even better than Dolby PL2 and DTS:Neo, which are also included on the unit. The 325 also has adjustable bass management for all speakers while the 525 offers bass management for analog sources such as DVD Audio and SACD. Plus the HK's offer 7.1 vs 6.1 on the other units.

    If you're determined to choose either the Onkyo or Yamaha, I'm not sure which way I'd go. I own a 3 year old Yammy and I think its rather bright when compared to my HK. Never owned an Onkyo so I can't compare. I think the Onkyo cost much more that the Yamahas you have listed. Take some of your favorite CD's and listen to the units and decide what you like best.

    What's your budget?

    Since you have HDTV we'd recommend a progressive scan unit. Will you be interested in SACD or DVD Audio? Pioneer makes a player with both format and progressive scan for around $175. http://ww2.onecall.com/PID_20037.htm

    Sounds like you have 3 devices that use component inputs with your satellite receiver, xbox and DVD player. You may be able to plug them all directly into your TV, I dunno. If not, make sure you have a receiver with component video switching for two of the devices.

    Happy shopping.
     
  4. Larry_S

    Larry_S Agent

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    Well, I am here to learn, so I'm not dead-set on anything. I appreciate the responses, and I will take them to heart. I have read so much about electronics lately, it makes my head want to explode!

    I will definitely start looking for an HK325 or 525, depending on the price. I wasn't aware those were in my league lol.

    Heck, at Best Buy, they want like $470ish for the HTR-5660. I would much rather up the price a bit and get a unit recommended from you folks.

    Hopefully after I purchase it, I can set it up with the knowledge I have gained from these forums. If I end up in a twisted bundle of monster cable on my living room floor, I will give you a shout! [​IMG]

    Thank you!

    Sincerely,

    Larry
     
  5. Greg Thomas

    Greg Thomas Second Unit

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    If you buy Monster cable, you may be spending too much. You can get comparable or better speaker wire or cables for less by going with lesser known competitors. Check some of these sites first.

    AR Pro Series at http://www.ac4l.com
    http://www.partsexpress.com
    http://bluejeanscable.com/
    http://bettercables.com/

    Just post a note asking about cables and you'll get tons of responses. Monster cables is where Best Buy, CC and others make their profits. They're not bad cables but you can do better for less.
     
  6. Larry_S

    Larry_S Agent

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    Thanks again for the information! I will review all of these now.

    This place rocks!

    Oh, by the way....I picked up my AVR325 yesterday, and I'm ordering the Pioneer DVD today!

    Thanks again!
     
  7. Joel McIntosh

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    I have gone through three receivers over the last two weeks: (1) Onkyo TX-SR601 ($499), (2) H/K 525 ($799), (3) Onkyo TX-SR701 ($719) (I returned the 601 because I decided I wanted more power). I'll discuss my experiences with the latter two. In comparing the sound quality between the Onkyo and the H/K 525, I think you will be happy with either receiver. Both produce rich, realistic sound. Furthermore, don't be fooled by the fact that the H/K 525 has its wattage per channel rated at less than the Onkyo. The two companies determine their wattage in different ways, and both receivers offer similar power. Personally, I wouldn't go nuts over the H/K's Logic 7 features. I compared Dolby to Logic 7 several times, and couldn't hear a difference. Others say they can, so you may want to experiment. The 701 has THX. Like Logic 7, I'm not sure how much difference this really makes. The big, fat, huge difference for me came down to easy of configuration and use. The Onkyo was a breath of fresh air over the H/K. CONFIGURATION: the H/K took me hours of jacking with to configure. You can't get the test tones to play long enough on one channel to get a good manual sound meter reading, and the automatic sound adjustment system that comes with a built sound sensor on the remote is a joke and gave me way-off readings. So I shifted over to the Avia test tones DVD and finally got things settled there. However, for some reason, even when I set the speaker size to "small," the receiver still sent bass information to the front L/R speakers and the subwoofer so that I couldn't calibrate the subwoofer properly (furthermore, there is no way to calibrate the subwoofer without having your own test tone disk as the H/K skips this speaker in it's internal test). Then, after shutting off the receiver, I found that some of the speaker configuration I had set earlier had changed for no apparent reason. The Onkyo took me less than 10 minutes to calibrate. REMOTE: Both remotes can learn, so you can set them up as your all-in-one remote. The Onkyo remote is very usable. It includes a bank of "Mode" buttons for controlling your equipment and a separate bank of buttons for switching to different sources. The H/K groups these concepts in one, so if you want to turn-on your TV, turn on your cable box, and turn on your receiver, and then route all this to "Video 1," you have to do all sorts of jimmy-rigging of your remote's source buttons. Finally, I had no trouble coding in the codes for all of my source equipment in the Onkyo. The H/K only managed to control one other source -- forcing me to manually teach it to control the other sources (I didn't get to this latter step as I freaked out at that point and took the thing back to Circuit City). FRONT PANEL: the front panel of the Onkyo is much easier to use. I love the intuitive source buttons. The H/K seemed overly complex and hard to navigate to me. CONNECTIONS: I think the H/K had an additional digital coax, but you may want to check me out on this. Also, as I think I recall that the H/K had a digital coax up front where as the Onkyo only had an optical in front. The H/K also comes with an additional remote for controlling zone two, but you need an IR hook-up to make this of practical value. I didn't like the way the H/K located the video inputs on one side and the audio on the other. I had to buy male/male adapters and extra cable to get my X-Box's audio cables to reach far enough away from the s-video cable to reach the input slots. OK, there are my 2 cents worth. I obviously chose the Onkyo 701 and am very happy with it.
     

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