Onkyo 602 vs. HK 330 vs. Pio 1014

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by LloydM, Dec 27, 2004.

  1. LloydM

    LloydM Agent

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    I have not done any research at all on recievers lately, but I picked one up from the local Circuit City today. I picked up the Onkyo 602 and it is a great improvement over the Sony that it replaced. However, once I got home and started reading reviews, it appears that I should have went to BB and purchased the Pio 1014. Do you guys feel that it is worth the trouble of returning the Onkyo to CC and swapping it for the HK or the Pio? Or should I just keep the Onkyo and be happy?

    I made a hasty choice today, so its a good thing that CC has a 30 day no questions asked return policy. [​IMG]

    Lloyd
     
  2. Nigel Hooper

    Nigel Hooper Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes run don't walk. The 1014TX was picked over the 53TX, SR7400 and Yamaha 1400 for SQ by a prestigious German testing mag. It performs way beyond it's price. The Onkyo isn't close to the same league.
     
  3. Pat_TL

    Pat_TL Stunt Coordinator

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    I say keep the Onkyo; I have the TX-SR600 and although SOMETIMES I speak of its power delivery issues, the unit is beautiful and beautifully built....the all-aluminum black faceplate, un-cluttered button layout, the FEEL of the controls....Onkyo, in my opinion, is making the best home theater receiver products right now, sitting next to Denon. Of course, Im talking at a certain price point; once you get to Onkyo's top of the line $2,000 and up models, Im sure THOSE kick ass, too, but you could probably begin looking at stuff from Integra (Onkyo's upscale division) or brands like Adcom.

    I would, from personal experience and advice, avoid receivers from the likes of JVC, Kenwood, Technics/Panasonic...I would also not consider Pioneer, although it is being discussed here, although I WOULD consider Yamaha....I was always pleased with their two channel stereo receivers, as I was with Onkyo's two channel power amps and receivers, and would buy a Yamaha surround receiver if it were my third choice. But first would be a Denon or Onkyo.
     
  4. James Phung

    James Phung Second Unit

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    Get the 1014. You're not going to find a better receiver under $500 that is as powerful and with the features that the 1014 has that you can get for $400 shipped (and authorized). 110x7 wpc all channels driven, MCACC automatic speaker setup along with auto EQ settings and composite/svideo to component video transcoding.

    The 1014 is a rebadged pioneer elite 52tx, its in a much higher class than the other regular pioneer avrs.
     
  5. DorianBryant

    DorianBryant Screenwriter

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    I would keep the HK strong in the mix. They are all great receivers and it will be very difficult to beat the Pioneer at that price. I went with an HK 235 and got it shipped for $330. I am not saying it is better than the Onky or 1014 but it is a great receiver as well. Logic 7 sounds incredible with my JBL's and far superior to DPL IIX...IMO
     
  6. Pat_TL

    Pat_TL Stunt Coordinator

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    When I was shopping for my surround gear --- and this is just from surface observation --- at J&R Music World in downtown New York City, I observed all the demo receivers in their demo rooms, and the Harmon Kardons seemed....I dont know....just somehow "cheaper" than the rest...some of the buttons felt like, or in some cases were, going to fall off any minute; the build quality just didnt seem to be there ever since the company kind of moved out of specialty and into mass market...
     
  7. DorianBryant

    DorianBryant Screenwriter

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    Sorry but how can a 36 pound receiver have a cheap feeling???

    I can understand when people thought my Panny XR50 was cheap but....

    I have owned in the past few months Pioneer Elite and Onkyo, both decent receivers. All are mass market. I am not about to get into a "this one is better than that one" as they all have some good attributes.

    At this price point the only way to compare is to listen to them in your environment. i found distinct differences in sound with them all. Try them out.
     
  8. Pat_TL

    Pat_TL Stunt Coordinator

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    No, without getting into the WEIGHT of these units, I am saying that the H/K "felt" cheap on the OUTSIDE with regard to the buttons and LOOK of the build quality; thats all. It was just my OPINION of the unit; doesnt mean I am necessarily right or wrong. I preferred the look and feel of the Onkyos and Denons over the other brands. Some folks are fans of certain makes, thats all.
     
  9. LloydM

    LloydM Agent

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    Thanks for the imput so far guys. I know that there is no right or wrong answer, but after reading a couple of threads about the Pio I decided that it may be worth it to go ahead and return the Onkyo.

    As it sits right now, the reciever that I purchase will be the source for my HT for the next 5 years or so, because I just dont have the coin to spend on new units every other year. I know that a good set of speakers would really wake up my HT, so that is going to be my next step in the build. I just want to make sure that I have a solid foundation that wont leave me missing out on anything.

    Still undecided...

    Lloyd
     
  10. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

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    HK has a good reputation for sound quality. If you can in fact get the AVR235 for $330, it will be a tough choice between it and the Pioneer 1014.

    Here's a link to the HK site's full-line brochure:
    http://manuals.harman.com/hk/Product...04BROCHURE.pdf

    According to this table, the 235, 335,435 weighs 28,31,39 lbs respectively. Yet according to the individual brochure, the 235 weights 33 lbs, 35.2 in the carton with all accessories and packing. This is probably an error, shipping weight is usually at least 6 lbs heavier than the weight of the receiver itself.

    Still, 28 lbs is quite substantial, (the top part of the enclosure does seem not very rigid) for a 50W X 7 receiver. Of course HK always rates their power output conservatively.
     
  11. DorianBryant

    DorianBryant Screenwriter

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    They are all decent receivers.

    Shiu, yes I had 33 pounds for weight in the brochure.

    Pat, certainly wasn't disputing your right to an opinion, just the aspect that HK is "cheap" but still not wanting to get into a thread of one receiver being better than the other-all opinions!

    I almost ordered the Pioneer as well. Even though the HK was rated at only 50 watts, it is still enough for my JBL's. I also love logic 7. The HK has a built in SPL meter in the remote to adjust levels. I thought this would be cheesy but it works quite well.

    Best advice is to let your ears decide.
     
  12. Pat_TL

    Pat_TL Stunt Coordinator

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    It's simply the first reaction I had to the H/K's when I saw them....they are most likely far from cheap once you start looking inside, but I was of the opinion that the Onkyos looked and "felt" better-built.
     
  13. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

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    A friend of mine has an AVR225, it has no problem driving his 5.1 set up that includes a 10" Velodyne PASSIVE subwoofer. Being a major upgrade, I would think that the 235 will do even better, the power supply will likely be beefier, in order to handle 7.1.

    Unless you have a large room and inefficient speakers (say, >86 dB), DorianBryant is right, don't worry about the conservatively rated 50 X 7. If you need more power later on, you can use the 7.1 pre-outs to drive a 2,3,5 or 7 channel power amplifier. As others mentioned, it boils down to which one sounds better to you.

    Dorian, I wonder if HK uses an apparently thinner gauge enclosure (just the top part) by design, just to help dissipate heat. HK models do tend to run hotter. They consume more than 100W idling.
     
  14. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    I find it interesting that you mentioned your observations. While I do like H/K receivers, I was out a few days ago with relatives looking at audio gear. They are nowhere near the audio "nutness" level where I am. However, when they saw the H/K receivers, they kind of expressed the same observations. I think H/K with their volume knob gives the impression that the receiver is cheaply made. For most people, this will never be a problem, because the remote control is frequently used for changing volume levels.

    When comparing the #30/#35 series of receivers to the previous series - #25, etc., the newer models do have a cheaper feel to them.

    Finally, though, people should buy what they like to hear. Personally, I wouldn't let the cheap plastic volume knob of an H/K receiver hold me back from making a purchase - if the sound was great. However, other people do buy things on appearance.
     
  15. Pat_TL

    Pat_TL Stunt Coordinator

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    Interesting Wayne. Thank you for sharing that story. It seemed, when I was shopping for my gear in demo rooms at New York City's J&R Music World, the issue of the H/K model receivers went beyond just the volume knobs; all the buttons on the products just seemed like they werent going to last more than a month or so with heavy abuse...just touching some of them caused some switches and knobs to "flex" and feel weak; I just wasnt impressed with the floor models of these receivers. Of course, they were floor models so perhaps that had something to do with it...
     
  16. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Pat,

    Wow, I'm floored...never heard anyone say that about the H/Ks before, in fact I've always thought they have the most stunning looks of any receiver I've ever seen...definitely the best WAF! However I've never sat there and played with the controls so you could be right about the buttons feeling like they're about to fall off.

    The Onkyos look nice, too, as do the Pioneer Elites. My Marantz, I'm sorry to say, is very plain-Jane.
     
  17. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Lloyd,

    Dunno if you've already returned the Onk but here's my experience with the Onkyo 601 (identical to the 602 except for being 6.1 not 7.1), which I shipped back to J&R in favor of a Marantz sr5400 after about 2 weeks.

    Very good-looking, solid-feeling, loaded with sound-tweaking features, and best of all VERY user-friendly and intuitive interface, well-written user manual. Excellent for HT.

    However since I'm about 70% music and 30% HT, I chose the Marantz...the Onkyo's musical performance wasn't bad but there was something about it that just didn't do it for me, the Marantz sounds much warmer, richer, more expansive. Its 90wpc rating is said to be far more conservative than Onkyo's 85wpc which is often described as optimistic. It took me a lot longer to figure out though, the remote control is sometimes iffy, and on occasion I do notice two or three digital drop-outs during a DVD movie. Also cost almost 50% more, but for the musical performance I'm happy with it. Just depends on your priorities, is all.

    I've never auditioned the 1014 but never had a bad experience with Pioneer receivers. The downside with Pioneer is that they are usually even more convoluted to set up and use than Marantz, my Pio car receiver took me a good 3 weeks to finally figure out all the features, its manual was useless. Similar experience setting up a Pio VSX-514 for a friend.
     
  18. LloydM

    LloydM Agent

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    Well, I havent returned the Onkyo yet, but I did pick up the Pioneer today and its set up now. Going to watch a few movies/dvd's with it and switch back. See which I like more.

    The downside with the Pioneer is that I have 3 optical digital sources and the unit only has 2 optical connections in the rear. The other is in the front and cannot be used with any of the component settings on the reciever. I have to figure a way to power the Xbox, Voom box, and DVD player without going through the hassle of changing all kinds of things. Any suggestions? As of now I have the DVD player and Voom box plugged into the box component and optical sources on the receiver.
     
  19. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    With the connections: you might want to try using digital coaxial connections as well, I was told they are actually better than optical ones. I just use a normal coax cable and a pair of F-connector plugs, something like $2 each at RadioShack.

    Also I would think that Xbox probably sounds fine using even component RCA analog plugs, but then again I'm not a gamer. The two devices I would most want to be digitally connected are the DVD player and (if you have one) separate CD player.

    Let us know how the 1014 and Onkyo compare, I'd be very curious to hear what you think in terms of both HT and music sound quality. I never even looked at the 1014 until well after I'd already bought the Marantz, and all the glowing reviews here have made me a little restless if you know what I mean! [​IMG]
     
  20. Nick Bum

    Nick Bum Stunt Coordinator

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    To me it looks like the Pioneer has alot of distortion. Shit my old pos sony has less dist than this pioner. .09% seems high to me. But other than that it seems to have nice hook ups and looks like a real deal im kinda thinking about it to power my speakers but i think the distortion might be a bit much.
     

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