which receiver?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Matt:Brunmeier, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. Matt:Brunmeier

    Matt:Brunmeier Stunt Coordinator

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    All right, I'm looking to get a new/used receiver at around $400.

    The thing is, I need something to power 5 Selenium 15CO1Ps. For both home theater use and music/party usage. I've looked at the new high end Pioneer (the VSX-1015TX) but it seems like there's some speculation about how good it actually is?

    I've also taken looks at some Sonys. The DE-998 and one from the ES line as well. I sort of ruled out Harman Kardon out early but should I be looking at that too? It didn't seem like they would push those speakers too well without buying the expensive ones.

    I really want something with most of the latest DTS stuff, and preouts are a plus to keep it expandable. It has to have a fair number of digital/analog inputs obviously as well. 7.1 or 6.1 are acceptable (I only have 5 speakers, but down the line.. who knows! I'm hoping it'll last me)

    I do NOT need lots of fancy video conversion stuff. I tend not to use my receiver to do anything with video so it isn't a big deal to me. If it has it, it's a plus though I guess.

    Any help you guys could provide would be awesome...

    Thanks!
     
  2. Matt:Brunmeier

    Matt:Brunmeier Stunt Coordinator

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    k I'll make it simpler..

    Pioneer VSX-1015TX

    Marantz SR-5500

    Sony STR-DE998

    Sony ES STR-DA2000ES

    OR
    Harman Kardon AVR-335

    I have owned a couple of sony receivers and really liked the way they sound, which gives an instant boost to the Sonys. I've also been a victim of the dreaded protector mode on them though.

    I mostly need something that can cleanly drive 5 large speakers at unreasonable levels of volume and still be very precise for home theater use.

    SO.. is that easier?
     
  3. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Sounds like you need an amplifier, not a receiver.
     
  4. Matt:Brunmeier

    Matt:Brunmeier Stunt Coordinator

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    yeah but I don't have a receiver with preouts and I'd rather not compromise by getting second-rate stuff, which it seems I'd have to do if I wanted to get an amp/receiver combo at the same price.

    Right now I'm leaning towards the AVR-335.

    It's a helluva lot less advertised power than the others, it's only 55w/channel, but the power consumption says maximum it'll suck up 890w, which is almost 130w/channel. I'm sure there's power drawn for other things, but most of it is going to the speakers, and HK is known to be conservative on their power ratings. It's also a fantastic receiver, with a full set of preouts that allow me to add an amp further down the road if it comes to that.

    It also looks great and has some good specs.

    The pioneer on the other hand says maximum it's at 480w power consumption, which is less than it's rated for. I think that's typical. (this is sort of a second-hand number btw, I'm not sure exactly what it is).
     
  5. Paul Mor

    Paul Mor Stunt Coordinator

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    IMO you can't go wrong with the AVR 335. I've listened to it hooked up to Polk LSi 7's which are 4 ohm and it's my understanding that you need lots of power to push them, but I thought the 335 did a good job. It's a really nice unit.
     
  6. John S

    John S Producer

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    I've taken to the Yamaha 5890, just over your budget, but the pre/pro section is really robust, and I am finding it to have more muscle power output wise then other AVR's in that range price wise.
     
  7. Matt:Brunmeier

    Matt:Brunmeier Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll give that one a looksee too.

    I'd rather break my budget by a little bit and get something excellent that'll last me through college and into another HT setup than pay $100 less for something that.. won't.

    note: Just looked, that Yamaha says it pushes 140w/channel, and has really good numbers (THD wise and everything) but it still says it only pulls 500w from the wall.

    it just seems weird to me.
     
  8. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Matt,

    Over the years, well the last 3-4 years, I've owned a lot of receivers. Actually, 8 or 9 receivers. Each of them have their own pros and cons.

    While the standard advice by most is to recommend that one listen to the receivers within showrooms. However, for me, I've found this less than ideal. The showrooms provide you with a general concept of the sound, but are not always indicitive of how it will perform in your environment. That is why, for me, the receivers being in my home was a must. Sure, some of it was blind buying and when it came time to sell, I've taken some hits. Then again, audio is very much a hobby and a big part of my life - so, I have no regrets.

    In my travels, I picked up an H/K AVR-125 a few weeks back. While it is, or was, the lowly receiver in the H/K lineup as it only featured 40 or so watts for 5 channels. I think in 2-channel mode, that goes to 60 or 65 watts. But, when using it with speakers that are actually not very efficient - 88dB or so (not efficient when compared to a 93dB speaker, IMO) - the H/K can really deliver.

    With that being said, someone is selling an H/K AVR-630 on Audiogon for only $450 + shipping. It appears to be in very good condition - in fact, the pictures still reflect the protective plastic still being on the front panel and on the remote.

    Best of luck to you. [​IMG]
     
  9. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Matt

    It is good you are looking at power consumption on receivers as they are a general indication of what the receiver can put out.

    I would point out that as much as 50% of the current drawn is converted into heat, with some major exceptions, notably, the Sunfire and perhaps some of the other digital designs.

    With traditional receivers, weight is also a kind of rough barometer of how beefy the amps are. Units that draw a lot of current also tend to be heavy.
     
  10. Matt:Brunmeier

    Matt:Brunmeier Stunt Coordinator

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    WOH, that HK 630 is a crazy deal. All the HKs I've seen on audiogon have maintained their price really well, I'm surprised he's only asking $450.
     
  11. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    I kind of thought the same thing. However, every now and then, there are bargains out there. [​IMG]
     
  12. balzac

    balzac Agent

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    If you search that HK 630 on Ebay, you'll find that HK Direct has refurb units for around that same price. I think they come with the standard factory warranty as well!

    Matt, I'm also in the same market and price range as you and I think that if I don't go towards the 335 or 630, I'll probably be looking at the Pioneer 1014 or the Yamaha V550, which gets great reviews. However, I think that nothing comes close to touching the HK's looks and overall sound. The power is severely under rated as well. I don't know why they do it, but HK's ratings should be double what they are listed as. Maybe its like RMS and Peak measurements?

    Anyway, good choices, I just posted the same question in this forum and I'm hoping to get some good responses.
     
  13. Matt:Brunmeier

    Matt:Brunmeier Stunt Coordinator

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    HK lists their power ratings with all channels driven, whereas other manufacturers list the peak ratings to an individual channel. It makes a very considerable difference.

    That 630 was (unfortunately) sold. I'll check ebay tho, sounds good.
     
  14. John S

    John S Producer

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    Of the Yamaha 5890's real output power, I can only say it provides reference level much better than like say a Pioneer 1014 does given the same speakers / same room.
     
  15. Joseph_Rock

    Joseph_Rock Auditioning

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    To be honest, out of experience, I wouldnt consider a brand (receiver) outside of Onkyo Denon or perhaps Yamaha.....dont even think about a Sony if it's a non-ES model.

    If you want to get more expensive, sure, you can look at the likes of Onkyo's own Integra or perhaps NAD or Cambridge, but for more affordable products, I believe (and has been relayed to me by reliable sources in the industry) that Denon and Onkyo are making perhaps the best receivers today.

    Just my two lousy cents.....
     
  16. Matt:Brunmeier

    Matt:Brunmeier Stunt Coordinator

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    this is pretty dead but I figured I'd update.


    I ended up going with a refurbished Harman Kardon AVR-630 from harmanaudio.com Got it for about $500 before shipping. I really like the 630, and I've heard good things about these refurbed ones from harmanaudio. Still I'm pretty anxious to get it and hook it up.

    Should have it in a week.
     
  17. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

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    Be careful with those numbers, for example:

    H.K. AVR335's spec say its maximum power 890W, but if you look at the picture of the back plane on P7 of the manual,
    it says power input 120V 60 Hz 370W.

    http://manuals.harman.com/HK/Owner%2...M%20lo-res.pdf

    Now this is not that much more than the Sony STR-2100 ES that says Power consumption 420 VA. The point is, HK provides both "maximum power consumption" and just "power input", whereas most other enty/mid level receivers only provide "power consumption", no information about "maximum". If you do a search you will find that this power consumption thing has been debated many times before.

    By the way, the 335 weighs 0.1 kg heavier than the 2100ES. You may want to search for some reviews that include bench tests for the 335, the 2000ES,or the 2100ES (I believe Sony has gone back to analog). If you like the Sony sound, the 2000 or 2100ES may be powerful enough for you. You shouldn't have to worry too much about the protection mode issue with the ES series. The 335 may not get you more power neither.
     

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