Yamaha vs. Sony vs. Denon vs. Onkyo?!?!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark.Louis, Oct 10, 2002.

  1. Mark.Louis

    Mark.Louis Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi to all from a brand new member. Am about to make the jump into the HT arena by upgrading my 18-year old Pioneer receiver. I am NOT an audiophile, can't seem to hear the differences in tone and quality that others hear, and plan to listen to music vs. watch movies about 50/50 each.

    I have reviewed, read reviews, listened to, etc., several receivers in my price range and have narrowed the search down to five...the Yamaha HTR-5560, the Onkyo TX DS-595, the Denon 1802, the Panasonic SA-HE200, and the Sony STR-DE985. So far the Yamaha has a slight advantage, but maybe only because the Best Buy guy was so enthusiastic about it and because of its overwhelming positive reviews on audioreview.com.

    The Sony, Panasonic, and Yamaha seem to come with more features, bells, and whistles, but I know these are mass market receivers that tend to be of lower quality. I plan on matching this with the JBL SCS150 or JBLNSP1/Sony SA-WM40 speaker packages.

    Can anyone give me some insight about their personal experiences with any of these receivers, that would give me more information on which to base a decision?

    Many thanks in advance.
     
  2. Jeff.bart

    Jeff.bart Stunt Coordinator

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    Based on those choices, I'd say go with the ... wait! See, it depends on how much you want to pay. Online, you can get the Yammy htr-5560 for a little over $300, but at Best buy it costs $500. If you are willing to pay that much, get the yammy rx-v 1300 instead for about $600. the HTRs are the mass-merchandize version of the rv-v line, which are sold by dealers. Lot of similarities, but rx-vs usually have a few extra, small nice things thrown in. If you dont want to pay much more than $400, take a look at the new kenwood 6070.
     
  3. Jeff_Fitz

    Jeff_Fitz Stunt Coordinator

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    Mark:
    IMHO the heirarchy of audio brands goes like this...
    Level 1
    - Kenwood, JVC, Panasonic, Pioneer, Sony
    Level 2
    - Denon, Harmon Kardon, Kenwood Sovereign, Marantz, Onkyo, Yamaha, Pioneer Elite, Sony ES
    Level 3 and above
    - Brands that can not be considered entry level
    As far as the receivers you are looking at, here are some more opinions...
    Sony STR-DE985 - You can do much better for the price
    Panasonic SA-HE200 - 6.1 channels. Lots of options, quality is a question mark
    Onkyo TX DS-595 - Last year's model. Good solid receiver. Onkyo has had some quality problems with the replacement for this one (TXSR600). Not sure if the same problems occured on the 595 or not.
    Yamaha HTR-5560 - 6.1 channels. Full set of pre-outs. Great for home theater. More DSP's than you will ever use. Nagging question on this one is all-channels driven performance. Someone on this board ran a test on this model and found that it put out 27 watts/channel all-channels-driven instead of the advertised 75 watts.
    Denon AVR-1802 - Last year's model. Solid all around performer for both music and home theater. Preouts for the front three speakers only. Remote is supposed to be awful.
    Perhaps you could give us some requirements like your price range and the features you feel you need and we could suggest some other receivers to look at. In the meantime, check out the buyer's guides at
    http://hometheater.valuecanuck.com.
    Hope that helps,
    Jeff
     
  4. Jose G

    Jose G Supporting Actor

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    I think jeff is on the mark and very objective. I'm going to be less objective- out of the bunch go for the denon, especially for HT. I would also recommend the HK recievers for 50/50 music/HT. I think they give you true power ratings, sound great, and can be bought for a good price- seejandr.com for some great deals. Good-Luck!
     
  5. Mark.Louis

    Mark.Louis Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the help. I'll try to elaborate on my "requirements," but again I am a newbie so I may mispronounce or butcher some terms.

    First, I don't have cable or satellite TV, and don't envision getting it in the future. The 6 or 7 channels work fine as we really don't watch much TV, just rented movies. Hence, I don't need lots of digital inputs. Just enough for a CD player, DVD player, and Gamecube would be fine. Heck, we even got rid of our old JVC tape deck.

    I am not a big fan of all the different DSP modes that Sony and Yamaha seem to offer. Perhaps my ears are just not sensitive enough to appreciate them.

    I would like component video input and some preouts, but not essential.

    I am willing to spend up to $500, but not any more...my wife would divorce me.

    What I am looking for is a good quality receiver that will last, will play both movies and music cleanly and accurately, and will pump out enough watts to fill a 15 * 21 living room with 12 foot ceiling and one side completely open to the kitchen and breakfast area without distortion nor obscene volume levels. Having 4 different kinds of "Hall" DSP mode is not as important.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  6. Jose G

    Jose G Supporting Actor

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    Mark, I bought the HK225 for about $350- shipped. The 320 is up for $399.99 right now. I even think the HK125 will fit the requirements you just mentioned, but I know the 225 will for sure and it should be less than the 320. Don't get to caught up in the power ratings game- may companies overstate their power. I feel HK gives true ratings, and I can attest that the sound quality is superb, distortion free (as long as the speakers can handle it, of course). My wife was happy about the money I saved, loves the sound, and the look has grown on her. When the unit is on, it beautiful; when it's off- it's not much to look at. In my case it's in an armoire so it doesn't really matter when it's off. Take care and good luck.
     
  7. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Mark:

    My two cents...

    Stick with Yamaha, Denon or H/K in the $500 and under range. I agree with Jose'--the H/K 125 would likely be all that you need, but the 225 would give you a little more insurance, power-wise, and would fill that room with terrific sound in theater and music. Despite what you'll read about remote controls, DSP's, power supplies, etc and so on, in this price range the large similarities outweigh the small differences by an order of magnitude. Yamaha, Denon or H/K would all serve you fine, and I'd be choosing among those brands.

    -AM
     

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