Receiver quality internally. Opinions

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Brad_c_g, Aug 1, 2003.

  1. Brad_c_g

    Brad_c_g Agent

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    About a year ago when I purchased my first HT I did as much research as I could. During my research I noticed internal design "flaws" from one brand to another. I talked to a non commissioned person at Best buy. He directed me away from all of there recievers that the sell believe it or not. He pulled out a Sony and explained to my why he didn't recommend them. I ended up going with a Denon reciever.

    Now this is what I was told/learned during my research:

    If you look through the vents on the top of the reciever you can see all the chips, etc.. on the Sony's and Yahmahas amplifier and chips and right next to each other. If you look through the top of Denon, Harmon Kardon the chips and amp are seperated by the heatsink. This design is superior because it doesn't allow the reciever to get too hot over time. The amp on the Sony will heat up and after a few hours the quality of the sound will not be as good and you can hear crackle in the speakers some times. I started looking at the brands seemed, Denon, H/K, Technics, Onkyo and the ones that weren't were pioneer, Sony, Yahmaha.

    Anyone got any opinions on this?
     
  2. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    My suggestion: get out of best buy.

    Although it looks like you got a half-knowledgeable fellow, and honest enough to recommend you not buy there. Different recievers have different build quality, different sounds, and different features. The better brands out there are better built, and better sounding, and well worth their cost, rather than the cheapos that host more features, and inferior quality. Good places to start are Marantz, Denon, HK, Onky/Integra, Sony ES, Pioneer Elite, Outlaw, Yamaha, etc.

    A good internal layout is important, and good shielding to keep crosstalk and noise floor down. A good power supply is also important, which adds significant cost and weight. Obviously other things, like DACs and amps count too, and all these things are areas that better units will accel at.

    Stepping up a little, the higher end units from these manufactureres, and others like Rotel get to be very nice indeed. Beyond that you enter the world where separates tend to be the best.
     
  3. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Brad, to a point, I agree with you. One can indeed tell something about the quality of a receiver by looking "under the hood". Units with small, cramped interiors, stamped metal heatsinks and integrated circuit outputs are clear signs of compromised designs.

    But don't forget that inexpensive units by definition must have compromises. Let's face it, they are designed to a price point and still need to make money for the manufacturer and the seller. They're going to be smaller, they won't have cast aluminum heatsinks and the often don't have discrete output transistors.

    Do these entry level units all sound bad because of these limitations? IMO, I don't think so. If one is aware that these units have limitations, and uses the unit within these boundaries, then I think most of us would get along fine and be quite pleased. One thing that is important is that going upward in these lines does buy better quality. So you do get what you pay for. As an example, compare the guts of a DE Sony receiver against an ES model. The differences are very apparent.

    As far as the brands you found lacking versus the ones you were impressed with, I don't know exactly what to say about that. (I "assume" (and you know what they say about that) that you were basically talking about lower, more entry level priced models.) I'm never comfortable in universally stating that one brand in general is low in quality. I will say that my list of good, quality entry level brands does not match up with yours. My list would be based on personal experience, features, the overall build quality of the unit along with the brand's reputation at this price level.

    Bottom line, IMO, is that I do not blanketly agree with your BB salesperson. They have some lower end models that are decent units. Just do you homework and buy on sale...
     
  4. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    "If you look through the top of Denon, Harmon Kardon the chips and amp are seperated by the heatsink. This design is superior because it doesn't allow the reciever to get too hot over time. The amp on the Sony will heat up and after a few hours the quality of the sound will not be as good and you can hear crackle in the speakers some times. I started looking at the brands seemed, Denon, H/K, Technics, Onkyo and the ones that weren't were pioneer, Sony, Yahmaha."

    While this explanation is almost total bunk, it is possible to judge the construction quality of a receiver by looking at it. And the construction quality might have something to do with the sound quality.
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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  6. StephenL

    StephenL Second Unit

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