Opinions on best receiver for JBL setup

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by EdAngell, Sep 28, 2002.

  1. EdAngell

    EdAngell Stunt Coordinator

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    I just bought 2 pairs of S38IIs and 2 S-centers along with a Sony SW-MA40 sub for my 6.1 set-up. I had ordered an Onkyo-TX-SR600 receiver to drive the system but when they went to ship it, it was out of stock. At the same time as they notified me, I had read about some problems with the Onkyo putting out sufficient power and how it blew another member's speakers (which were more expensive then mine) and I got cold feet and pulled the order for the receiver.

    I've got around $500 or so to spend on a receiver at this point, and my intended use is primarily home theater, so musicality is not that important to me. Here's what I'm looking at now (purchasing online is fine to stay within budget):

    Denon AVR-1803
    Pioneer VSX-D811S
    Sony STR-DA2ES
    Kenwood VR6070

    Obviously, I want to get the most "bang-for-the-buck" when it comes to HT performance, and I also want the latest sound formats (DD-EX, DTS-ES, DPLII, etc). I have a fairly good-sized room (24x12).

    As a lurker in this forum for over a year, I've seen lots of good advice and opinions come through, and hope that you would be willing to share some of those opinions on my receiver purchase. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. MikeRP

    MikeRP Supporting Actor

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    Ed:

    Have you thought about the HK 520. It can be had for about $575 off the net and its great. But you would need an extra 2 channel amp for 7.1 or you could use your old receiver and pre-out to it from the 520 for a while. The 520 is only missing DD-EX. But, I had one and its very good.

    I can't hardly go back to Kenwood anymore after mine and my brother's experience. But, others like them. I don't know enough about the others to give a good opinion.

    Good Luck!

    Mike
     
  3. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Ed:

    Of the choices you gave, if music is of no concern, the Pioneer is probably your best bet in terms of compatability with various formats, and you can get it under $400 easily. However, having played a bit with some of these units, I think the 1803 and the 2ES have it over the 811 in terms of build quality and 'oomph', and they both sound better in 2-channel (again, you're not concerned with this).

    I'm leaving H/K out because of your qualification that music isn't a huge issue. Don't forget to audition Yamahas in your price rage, which, in my opinion, sound better than the lower-end Denons and ES models (they pack more of a whallop for theater).

    --AM
     
  4. Cyrus_I

    Cyrus_I Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with Angelo. Defenitely check out the Yamaha's (RX-V630 in your price range). They have way more options and have a great rep for home theater purposes.

    Cheers
     
  5. Pablo Abularach

    Pablo Abularach Supporting Actor

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    I think if you want to save money you should go for
    Pioneer 811.

    If you want a little better reciever go for DENON 1803.

    But I think you should go for H/K AVR520 or wait for the new Marantz line to come in october, both have being said to be good receivers specially for music, but they are great for movies also.
     
  6. Stephen Houdek

    Stephen Houdek Second Unit

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    I would add Onkyo to your audition list.....the new Onkyo's have a great feature set and are excellent for HT while good for music.

    Onkyo's sound characteristics blend well with JBL speakers.
     
  7. EdAngell

    EdAngell Stunt Coordinator

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    First off, thank you for taking the time to share your opinions with me.

    Mike, the HK sounds like a nice unit, and I've looked at the specs, but I'm looking for more of a complete 6.1 setup in one box. I don't want to have to shell out for another amp at this point, and I don't have a receiver at present that I can use as a stopgap. Also, musicality is not that big a deal for me as I am mainly interested in home theater (DVDs).

    Angelo, the 811 has been on my short list for awhile now, but I haven't pulled the trigger because I wanted to make sure I've checked out all my options. I can get the 1803 for around $450 and the 2ES for $525 online so they are still in the running. Someone in the speaker forum actually has the same speaker set-up as me and just bought the 1803 and I'm waiting for his review.

    Cyrus, you and Angelo both recommend the Yamaha, and honestly I hadn't even considered it. What options do they have that put them above the other choices on my list?

    Pablo, again, musicality is not a priority for me, so the HK and Marantz line --- while arguably better receivers --- are just not what I am looking for at this time. Saving money is also not a necessity either. I am willing to spend the $500 or so, I just want to get the best bang for the buck with the speakers I purchased.

    Stephen, I had originally made my decision and ordered an Onkyo TX-SR600 to drive my speakers. It was only after the order went on backorder that I started researching other receivers. I read a few posts about the Onkyo being under-powered and it blowing anothe member's expensive speakers and I didn't want to risk it happening to mine. Did I overract to quickly? The 600 puts out 80wx6 but from what I read it's more like 35. Does this matter? Considering the speakers that I have (JBL Studios all around) is this receiver sufficient? Does it best the offerings by Sony, Denon, Pioneer, and Yamaha in this price range? Do you personally own an Onkyo/JBL setup?

    Again, I thank you all for taking the time to respond. Your assistance is greatly appreciative and indicative of the great people who frequent this forum.
     
  8. Stephen Houdek

    Stephen Houdek Second Unit

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    Ed,

    I'd say you might have jumped the gun a little bit. That story made the rounds quite a bit here and elsewhere. However, bear in mind that was only one person, there are many other satisfied 600 owners. I think you'd be surprised at the number of receivers in that price class that don't meet the advertised spec's.

    I'm completely satisfied with my 797 and there have been all kinds of horor stories about it and dropouts and ticking....Etc. I think you'd find something similar for a lot of other brands as well. Heck, even some of the Dennon's had dropout issues with the EX flags, but they didn't seem to be called out as often as Onkyo.

    I really like my Onkyo when paired with my JBL S-Series speakers. It also has the added benefit of an excellent remote. -I realize that is no big deal, but it can be an important differentiator when most receivers in a certain class perform similarly with feature parity as well.
     
  9. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Ed:

    Stephen makes an excellent point about the Onkyo line. I was using the SR600 for a short time with both JBL Northridge and Studio speakers and thought the Onkyo was a decent match for both. I just didn't like the ergonomics of the Onkyo, sort of bulky and unrefined, almost industrial, but that's my silly aesthetic sense getting in the way. The unit is very, very nice and had no trouble powering N38iis or S38iis. The dynamics for home theater are excellent and the remote is superb. You can do a whole lot worse for the price. The 2-channel stereo performance is terrific--better than the Pioneer, as good as if not better than Yamaha. The Onkyo has more high-end detail and better bass extension than the H/K 225 I played with for a while, but it's not nearly as smooth. Personally, I could have lived with the Onkyo's 2-channel sound, I just didn't like the physical look and ergonomics of the unit. Also, you get 6-channel amplification and the decoding formats you're looking for--definitely worth checking out.

    --AM
     
  10. EdAngell

    EdAngell Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the replies.

    More and more I've been feeling that I should have just gotten the Onkyo. At this point, I still might.

    I had an opportunity to get a TX-SR700 for a really, good price (rivaling online) from a reputable B&M in conjunction with the purchase of a Weber grill that my girlfiend wants, also at an awesome price, and if the deal holds, I may just pull the trigger this week on both. If it falls through, Circuit City has the TX-SR600 for sale this week ($469) and that's comparable to online purchase plus shipping with the extra added benefit of being able to deal with a local merchant if there's a problem.

    You guys are awesome, thanks again for the reassurance.
     
  11. Rob Landolfi

    Rob Landolfi Stunt Coordinator

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    Ed,

    I am an extremely satisfied Onkyo 600 user going on 5 months with nothing but good things to say about it. I have a mid-level Axiom bookshelf HT system, and the Onkyo does a great job powering it in my 20 X 12 viewing area. There's also a 9x8 bumpout that is an added challenge for the system as it's just to the right of my setup. I use my system mostly for movies, but it works great for music as well. A recent audition of my setup by a potential Axiom buyer pushed my speakers to insane levels for music, and everything was smooth. This was in stereo mode (mains both with and without the sub) due to the auditioner's preferences, and the 600 powers everything extremely well during HT. The usual material (Toy Story 2, Lord of the Rings, Super Speedway, U-571, Saving Private Ryan, Star Wars Episode I, etc) all sounds great with my Onkyo/Axiom combo, and I imagine it would with your JBL setup. Good prices from authorized dealers can be had, and CC prices of under $450 have been common. The person who posted his bad experiences with the 600 actually got the best deal from CC of anyone I know, and forwarded copies of his $400 receipt for others to price match at local CC stores.

    There have been plenty of good recommendations posted earlier, and I don't want to complicate this any further for you. Just wanted to relate my positive experience with the 600. Good luck
     
  12. Jason Hammerly

    Jason Hammerly Supporting Actor

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    you might consider the HK AVR320 for right at $400 from Harmonaudio.com. It would be a refurbed with a full 2 year warranty. I have one on the way. LAter.
     
  13. Andre Aguiar

    Andre Aguiar Agent

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    Ed,

    I just finished hooking up 2-S38ii, 2-S26ii and a S-Centerii to my Onkyo TX-DS797 and it sounds awesome. Even my father couldn't believe how good they sounded for that price and I believe the Onkyo had a lot to do with the sound.

    Yes the remote is supurb. You can control 8 devices with this thing. Its great. I truely love my Onkyo. No issues at all and the JBL's love it.
     
  14. Stephen Houdek

    Stephen Houdek Second Unit

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    Ed, I certainly hope whatever you choose satsifies you as completely as my current setup does....Just remember, when in doubt, listen to your ears and your wallet!
     
  15. EdAngell

    EdAngell Stunt Coordinator

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    If all goes as planned I am going to make my decision this weekend. Circuit City has the 600 on sale for $469 and another local B&M has it $10 cheaper. I can probably haggle that down a little more if I need to. It's the same store that will give us the combo deal on the 700 with the Weber grill (thanks to my girlfriends negotiation skills) so I am going to listen to both again and decide.

    Should I also audition the 797? Or am I better off with the newer models?

    Thanks again for all the encouragement and suggestions.
     
  16. CollinMorphew

    CollinMorphew Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a very similar set up on speakers and was faced with the same receiver decision. I decided to go with a less expensive receiver with consistent power (Pioneer 811s) with all the processing capability and use seperate amps. You should easily be able to get the 811 with a nice 2 channel amp for music listening and use the rest of the amps in the recievers for the center and surrounds in HT. As time goes on you can up the seperate amps for all the channels ( where I am now ) and have better, cleaner and more powerful sound while using the inexpensive receiver to process all the formats. Not that I really know that much or even know if I'm doing things right but, that receiver and 1 5 channel 85 watt amp ( if you wanted 1 amp doing that much on the front end) is going to be around 800 and surpass whatever receiver you get in that range. Just a thought--like I said--I am no expert and someone will probably tell me that I messed up somewhere.
     
  17. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    In not too much time, the AVR520 will be $499 shipped. That might be a pretty good choice for your setup.
     

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