Pulling the trigger on Yamaha, Pioneer, or Panasonic. Looking for help!

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Mike Camden, Aug 9, 2003.

  1. Mike Camden

    Mike Camden Auditioning

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    After much research and consideration, I've narrowed my new receiver choice down to one of the following four in my price range of less than $250 (in order of preference for which one I'm leaning towards):

    Yamaha HTR-5550
    Pioneer VSX-D812K
    Pioneer VSX-D811S
    Panasonic SA-HE100

    I need component switching (my RPTV only has two component inputs, and I need inputs for three - Progressive scan DVD, Xbox and HD TV box). I also need at least two optical and one coaxial inputs. I will use this receiver mostly movies and xbox gaming; I seldom listen to music in the area where our HT setup is located. Finally my speakers are a KLH package that is a couple of years old (I know that I need to upgrade these to for better performance, but I can't swing that until next year). My room size is 18'x20'. I prefer low to moderate volume; I never "blast" the volume. I won't be adding a sixth speaker anytime in the foreseeable future. I am looking for a good receiver that will last me several years (both in terms of features and reliability).

    Thanks for any help,

    Mike
     
  2. Josh~H

    Josh~H Stunt Coordinator

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    I won't say anything bad about the other receivers on your list, but I recently bought my first Yamaha, and I think it's a very good unit (especially for the price). I got the HTR-5660 on ebay (new in box) for $350. I'm pleased with the overall feeling of quality, the features, and the sound. I can't think of a better 6.1 receiver for the price. The 5550 isn't too different from my 5660, so I think you'd be happy with it.

    On the other hand, you might be happy with any of the others. I haven't done my research, but I'll assume they have a similar set of features. In that case, try to see/touch/listen to them all at a local store. Maybe one will jump out at you as "the one for you."
     
  3. John:Tam

    John:Tam Auditioning

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    Hi,

    I was in the market to buy a receiver also, and the Yamaha 5550 was on the top of my list cuz of the price and features. I ended up getting a Denon 1603 cuz it went on sale for $200 from 6th Ave, so you might want to add that to your list also. Sounds great and has pretty much all the features as the Yamaha unit.

    Best of luck.
     
  4. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Choosing from your list, IMO, as long as you're not going to add a 6th speaker, the Yamaha would be my recommendation. After looking for a smaller receiver for myself, the 5550 was my choice.

    I had a Pioneer 711 for a day or 2 but returned it because I did not like the fact it did not use discrete output transistors. (Note that the 8xx series might though...I haven't checked them.)

    While the Panasonic units have gotten some ok reviews, like Matthew (above) I have never considered them to be in the same class as the others. One big negative, IMO, is the fact that the Panasonic implimentation of Dolby Pro Logic II Music mode cannot be adjusted like it can be in the Yamaha (for Center Width, Panorama, and Dimension.) This limits it's flexibility a good deal. After all, there is still a ton of 2 channel music out there...

    I've had my 5550 for almost a year and have been very pleased.
     
  5. Lee M T

    Lee M T Second Unit

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    I'll throw in another vote for the Yammie. I just replaced my old Pioneer with a Yamaha RX-V640 (comparable to the HTR-5660) and the difference is night and day. I don't have any experience with the Panisonic. So I'll leave that alone.
     
  6. Mike Camden

    Mike Camden Auditioning

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    Thanks to everyone for your help. I was at Best Buy today and was able to pick up the Yamaha HTR-5550 for an incredible $170 (open box floor display but still has the full 2 year warranty). When I asked the salesguy how much, and he told me $169, my decision was made.

    Thanks again,

    Mike
     

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