Receiver Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeremy B., Jan 18, 2003.

  1. Jeremy B.

    Jeremy B. Stunt Coordinator

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    I am putting together my first surround system on my new Mits 46809. I was originally going to go with the Onkyo htib 650 system. The reason I was doing this was because I know nothing about putting together separate components for a system, and reports showed that this system was pretty darn good out of the box. Another major thing of it was that it was fairly inexpensive, roughly $420. Because of all the talk of the "problem" with the Onkyo receiver included in this system, I am being driven away from it now. Can anyone recommend a good head unit, that will not break my wallet. I am looking for a system in the same price range (obviously its not going to be top of the line, and I'm not looking for that). I will be purchasing from HHGregg here in Indy, as I can get a discount there. I believe they carry Onkyo, Harman Kardon, JVC, etc. Thanks for all the input!
     
  2. AaronJB

    AaronJB Second Unit

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    The speakers that come with the HT650 (model SKSHT-500) are quite nice for the money, if kinda big (they cost about 250 for the set). If you are looking for an inexpensive set (and size isn't an issue), these are worthy of consideration.

    As for the reciever, the Panasonic SAHE100 (around $250) or Pioneer-811 ($399 or sometimes closer to $300) are good bargain choices that deliver good quality for the money and are feature-rich (both are capable of 6.1, for example).

    Putting together a system of separate components is really no different than putting together a "Home Theater in a Box" system like the HT-650. You still have to connect your DVD player and all of the speakers, like you would with a HTIB system.
     
  3. Jeremy B.

    Jeremy B. Stunt Coordinator

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    Would you recommend pairing up the Panasonic or Pioneer receiver with the onkyo speaker set? It is going into a 14' x 12' room, where i set watching the tv long ways. Size isnt a huge issue, but somewhat is. I am basically trying to get as good quality as I can for my money, but still trying to hover around the $500 mark, as the Onkyo setup is already. I am new to this, so a little cheap $200 system would probably sound good to me, but I do not want to go extremely cheap if you know what I mean.
     
  4. Jose G

    Jose G Supporting Actor

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    Try a "HTIB" search here on the forum. There have been alot of threads on this and a few really good recommendations. I can't remember what they are- that's why I say do a search. The HTIB will be great for you and much better than a mini system costing $200. In fact it will blow that away. If you want to blow the HTIB away- Get an entry level receiver and these
     
  5. Jeremy B.

    Jeremy B. Stunt Coordinator

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    Jose,

    I've been reading on HTIB's for the last couple months, and narrowed it down to the Onkyo 650, and then Kenwood 505. I was all set to go and purchase the Onkyo, when I started reading about problems with the receiver that is included in the setup. Now I feel like if I go back to the Kenwood, I am settling for an inferior setup to the Onkyo?
     
  6. Jose G

    Jose G Supporting Actor

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    Oh, I forgot the sub: get the dLS 10 from PartsExpress for $100. As far as the receiver. I think an HK125 will do just fine, but shop around for the best price- maybe JandR.com or the 225 if you can swing it.
    Now the HTIB wll save you some cash and effort, but the trade off, in my opinion, is worth it for an entry level component system. Good luck, and although I just presented all these other options, don't forget that the HTIB will most likely be just fine -it just that look at what you can get for a little more! Again- Happy hunting!
     
  7. Jose G

    Jose G Supporting Actor

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    If you feel a $200 mini will be fine for you- I don't think it will from what you've said- then the kenwood will probably be fine also, but I don't know enough about the HTIB systems to recommend between them. I'm sure others here will come forth with good info.
     
  8. AaronJB

    AaronJB Second Unit

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    I have the Panasonic, the Onkyo speaker set (lucked out and got it for $185 at Circuit City due a sale and their price-matching program. It goes for $250-300 there usually) and the Onkyo back surround (an additional $40 from Onkyo's website) working together in harmony. The Pioneer seems like a better choice for a bit more money, but if you want to go for the lower price, the Panasonic is a very nice bargain.
    The Onkyo speakers are large (the 150-watt subwoofer that comes with the set - which goes for around $150 alone - is kind of a beast at about 30 pounds), but I've managed to fit them in to a 11ft x 11ft room fairly well.
    Panasonic SAHE-100 basic pros/cons:
    Cons:
    * Spring Clips for center/surrounds connection. Front mains have posts.
    * To be quite honest, the remote sucks. Not backlit, not glow-in-the-dark, not really much of anything. Still, I can at least switch between sources with the remote, make basic adjustments and +/- volume.
    * Gets pretty warm. I have it in an open cabinet and although it does get warm, the unit has never overheated, even when I've pushed the volume for long (and I mean, all day) listening periods. Overall, you just need to keep it in an open area.
    * DSP Sound Modes are pretty useless. Any two-channel listening will be perfectly fine in PLII or NEO-6. I don't think too much of the simulated "surround" modes.
    Pros:
    Unofficial DD-EX. Clicking a button on the front turns on an equivalent to Dolby Digital-EX. Likely, Panasonic didn't want to pay for licensing rights.
    DTS ES/NEO-6. The reciever plays both official DTS Matrix and Discrete (the display on the reciever will note either "Matrix" or "Discrete" when the program first begins), as well as NEO-6. The reciever has correctly read all DTS-ES flags on the DTS-ES DVDs I've tried.
    There is amplification for 6 channels (rear surround, l/r surrounds, l/r fronts, center) (the unit advertises 6x100w, but it's apparently - see Sound and Vision - been tested for more along the lines of 6 x 70w). In an 11ft x 11ft room, this is more than enough to get the room thumpin'. The addition of the 150watt subwoofer beyond the 6x70ish receiver makes for a thunderous experience in my small room.
    PLII: Pro Logic II.
    Lots of connections. Looking at the back of the reciever just now, I saw one digital coax input, 3 optical inputs and one optical output. 5.1 channel analog input (for DVD-Audio) and more.
    Fine sound across the board: I've been pleased with the unit's sound quality for CD, DVD and DVD-A playback. DVD movie playback sounds very good to my ears, even at high volume. I've also been pleased with listening to network television in either DTS-NEO 6 or PLII.
    Radio reception: Although I'm sure this varies with many factors, I've been pleased with the radio reception on this unit, which is more consistent than any previous radio I've had in this room.
    Build quality: Although its bigger brother (the SAHE200, which goes for about $499) is supposed to have better overall build quality, I'm very pleased with this 25 pound unit, which feels and looks substancial.
    Easy Hook-up: Almost forgot, I was very pleased with how easy it was to hook this up. It took me an hour and really, that was only because I was taking my time to make sure I plugged everything in correctly and securely.
    Like I noted before, the Pioneer is well-liked and probably a better choice, but personally, I have no regrets about this machine and am very pleased with it.
     

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