Which reciever? On a budget. Please help.

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by ChrisLazarko, Aug 13, 2003.

  1. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    Ok, well next week I plan on picking up my new reciever. Just to get one thing out of the way I will be buying from a place like Tweeter or 6th Ave because that is about the best within 50 miles of me... and I don't feel comfortable purchasing online.

    My budget is about $300-400. I have been looking at the Yamaha system especially and they seem to capture my eyes the best. Everyone says they have the best DSP's as well, no matter what there price range.

    Currently my setup is the Klipsch Quintet (4 satellites, 1 center) and a Polk Audio PSW-250 subwoofer. I plan on upgrading my center speaker with a Klipsch SC-1 from there Synergy line and then moving my Quintet satellite to the back, but that is a few months away.

    What I am looking for is a 6.1 system and unfortunatly HK does not offer any of those and to me HK is just too overpriced. I see them giving no advantage over a Yamaha reciever. I have also looked at other brands like Denon, Onkyo, Panasonic, Pioneer, Kenwood, and 2 or 3 others. Please any help is appreciated, and the more opinions the better!
     
  2. GlennRB

    GlennRB Auditioning

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    I suggest taking a closer look at Harmon Kardon receivers. They offer several useful features that the others you mentioned don't. Logic 7 processing (which is a nice option to have for some source material) in addition to the regular stuff like Pro-Logic II. Also, the remote controls have a built-in sound pressure level meter for automatically adjusting speaker levels. They call this EZset.

    Another great feature (that other manufacturers are copying now) is the speaker set-up shown on the display. It allows you to see at a glance whether the input signal is multi-channel or stereo, whether the output is being sent to all speakers or just the mains and sub, and whether your speakers are set to large or small (crossover setting). It's a great feature.

    In my opinion, HK is the best bang for the buck.

    Have fun.
     
  3. Josh~H

    Josh~H Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris -

    I found the Yamaha HTR-5660 to be an excellent value at $350, and I've been very happy with it. However, I should note that I've read numerous times that people don't like to pair Yamaha's with Klipsch speakers. I have no evidence to support this except the opinions of others who seem to be very picky about sound.

    I'm not taking sides on the issue, but people constantly claim Yamaha's impart a "bright" sound to speakers, and apparently Klipsch speakers are typically already "bright". The implication is that the combination makes for a too bright sound that is fatiguing to listen to. Again, I refuse to comment on whether I think this is true, because I have no idea. Just food for thought.
     
  4. Greg Thomas

    Greg Thomas Second Unit

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    HK does offer 6.1 processing, just not in your price range. The 325 and up have this feature. Their receivers are not overpriced but if you read the power ratings you might feel this way. But in actuality the HK has more power than those other receivers because they rate their units with ALL CHANNELS DRIVEN continuously instead of one or two. Pick up a HK receiver and see how heavy it is. It will weigh much more than a competing unit due to the huge power supplies. It has a lot more power in reserve than you think.

    And the sound is cleaner and not as bright as Yamaha IMHO. I have a Yammy receiver also and many of those soundfields are useless.

    Listen to as many receivers as you can before making a decision. Your ears will be the best judge.
     
  5. The Void

    The Void Agent

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    I'll second the Harman/Kardon. I too was in the market for a quality budget reciever. I got in on the onecall deal a couple weeks ago and got a new H/K AVR325 for about $386. This reciever has everything I could want and more. It has more than enough power for my Wharfedale Sapphire fronts and Wharfedale Diamond 7.2 surrounds. The sound is great, natural, not bright or harsh, and crystal clear. It goes loud with no signs of distortion. It sounds awsome with music as well as home theater.

    At your pricepoint I think I'd look into the AVR325 or higher and possibly refurbs. Starting at the 325 they include 7.1 preouts so you can add an external amp later. You can get a great deal on H/K refurbs right now if you are comfortable with refurbs. I'm leary of refurbs but others have had lots of success with refurbished units.
     
  6. Greg Thomas

    Greg Thomas Second Unit

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    Yep, onecall has the factory renewed HK 325z for $386. They come with full mfr warranty, 2 years parts & labor. Jason got a brand new one at that price on a special deal a few weeks back. Perhaps you can get 6ave to match?

    http://ww1.onecall.com/PID_19088.htm
     
  7. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    Well I like the sound of the Harmon/Kardon's but unfortunatly I think the price is just too much for me. I don't see what they include that makes them so much better than say the Yamaha. I don't see any A/B switching for speakers incase I decide to put something outside... I like them though alot but I think the price is just too far for me, I am just looking to upgrade my entry-grade reciever right now.

    Currently I own a Panasonic SA-HE70.
     
  8. Josh~H

    Josh~H Stunt Coordinator

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  9. Greg Thomas

    Greg Thomas Second Unit

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  10. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    Thank you guys for helping me out.

    I have been looking at a place called SoundCity by my house for a while now and have visited there store a few times, I also plan on probably buying my new reciever here.

    The Harmon/Kardon they offer that I would most be able to afford is the AVR225, which they list at $329. Is this a reasonable price for this reciever and does it include the "multizone" as it is called? Thank you for all your help, everyone in this Forum has been a big help in making my decision. I appreciate anything you could recommend.
     
  11. Greg Thomas

    Greg Thomas Second Unit

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  12. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    Right now i'm leaning towards the HK and the Yamaha overall. I love the HK stylish panel and all these extra features it has such as Logic7 and it's presetting microphone in the remote thing, SPL I guess it is called. The Yamaha just seems to have a more fair deal though...
     
  13. Edwin_C

    Edwin_C Stunt Coordinator

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    I read that you're not comfortable making online purchases, but give J&R a shot (www.jandr.com). The store is based in Manhattan, and it's not a online-only retailer. They're also an authorized Yamaha dealer, so the product will come with a warranty. I've had nothing but good experience with them, but if you're not comfortable doing an online or over the phone purchase you can always go to the store. Overall, it'll be much cheaper then Tweeter.
     
  14. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    Well a place in New Jersey would be nice, although I guess Manhatten would be alright but is about a 1hr. drive. Anybody know any good places in Jersey before I should travel to Manhatten?
     
  15. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    Chris,

    Any interest in a used HK 520? I have one that was just replaced by separates, so it is gathering dust. Still under warranty (originally purchased at oncall.com) until next year as well. Was a great receiver, only ever had one problem with it and the warranty fixed it no questions asked for free. Might be a nice bump up in power for you from the models you are looking at in that price range.

    Anyway, if you have any interest send me a PM. It's just sitting here, doing nothing in my house [​IMG] Would like to know that an HTFer is getting the full use out of it rather than go eBay.
     
  16. Lee M T

    Lee M T Second Unit

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    I agree with going towards the Yammie or the H/K as well. Both of those were in my long list of options too. I had a budget of $500 or less and other than a solid unit that sounded well, I had to have three specific features and Yamaha was the only one to offer that for the price. I ended up with the RX-V640 and I am really impressed. I know it blows my old Pioneer out of the water.
     
  17. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    Well my main decision is definantly either HK or Yamaha right now. I unfortunatly cannot afford a higher line of HK as they seem to rise at about $200 for each grade up and it is quite a chunk of change.

    The Yamaha best catches my eyes with lots of sound processors and features... I will have to take a closer look at the Yamaha's and HK with the Quintet speakers I currently own at the store. I know Bestbuy is a bad place to try speakers out but the guy told me they use all Yamaha recievers for there Demos. I gave it a listen and it did sound a bit bright but once the sub was added it sounded pretty good I have to say...

    Just my opinion though... I am still having a hard time deciding what to get though, I really like the Yamaha and the HK... I just wish I had more money to spend.
     
  18. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

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    I think people have to find out for themselves if they like the so called "bright sounding", or "warm sounding" thing. I always thought that live concerts are bright sounding. I prefer my system to sound as much like "live" as possible so I prefer the so called "bright sounding" equipment, as long as they are not overly bright/brighter than "live concerts". I agree that it is subjective, it really depends on the individual's preference. I guess this is one of the main reason why there are many HK fans, but there are also Yamaha fans, even Sony ES fans........one brand is not necessarily "better" than the others just because they are "warmer" or "brighter".
     
  19. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    well i'm talking about the quality of parts used in the system. I want to make sure i'm getting my money's worth here and not some BS. I guess the Yamaha, HK, and the more expensive and well known brands are better than just a plan old sony reciever or panasonic.
     
  20. GlennRB

    GlennRB Auditioning

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    One more thing to suggest that might help your decision - have a boo at the manuals. They are available online for HK and Yamaha receivers.
     

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