Yet another "help me choose a receiver" thread

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Justin_P, Mar 14, 2005.

  1. Justin_P

    Justin_P Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello all,

    I just wanted to pick the collective brain here at HTF...

    I plan to be in the market soon for a new a/v receiver. I've had a Yamaha HTR 5460 for almost 3 1/2 years now, but it has developed an annoying buzz over the last several months. I've gotten to the point where I can ignore the buzz successfully, especially given that I have moved into an apartment and I need to keep the volume down, but I really want it GONE (I've tried all of the usual trouble shooting tricks - no luck). I had been planning to get this year's model of my faithful friend, the HTR 5760, until I started reading about the Dolby Headphone technology, which is not offered on any Yamaha gear. This tech would be really great for me considering that I work odd hours and normally watch movies late at night when I need to be the quietest.

    It seems that the only reasonably priced receivers that have Dolby Headphone DSPs are Harman Kardon. I have no experience with HK's products except for one time that I watched a movie on one of the HTiB systems years ago. I was impressed then, but I've never really given HK a thought.

    So here come the questions:

    Are the HK AVR235 and AVR335 good, reliable, receivers? Does anyone here have one?

    Is Dolby Headphone worth the money, considering that I live in an apartment and need to be quiet?

    The HK receivers do not have phono jacks (very important to me), will a $30 external phono amp do the job as well as a built in one?

    I want to stay in the $400-$500 range - does anyone have any other suggestions for receivers to look at?

    Thanks in advance for your help!
     
  2. MikeGee

    MikeGee Second Unit

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    Honestly dude... I just got the Pioneer 1014tx and for the price i would never look anywhere else. Its not as flashy looking as a HK. But its got wicked awesome sound quality and enough power to make your head spin. If not the 1014tx then wait until the 1015 comes out within a month or so. It should be retail about 500$
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    External phono amp is probably as good if not better than what is included on many receivers. IMO, the Dolby headphone feature did not impress me all that much. It's cool, but not so amazing that I would say it should be a primary purchase criteria.

    1014 seems to be the hot one on this forum right now in that price range, and specs vs price it's a good bet. I'd also consider Marantz, Onkyo and Denon, and if you were happy with it, Yamaha, in your price range.
     
  4. Justin_P

    Justin_P Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, I can't believe I was totally oblivious to all of the Pioneer 1014tx praise going on here at the forum. That thing looks like an AMAZING beast of a bang for the buck, and should fit the bill nicely... If Dolby Headphone doesn't pull me one way or the other.

    I admit that I haven't tried out Dolby Headphone yet, but I'm going to give it a try this evening with the pre-encoded track on the T2: Extreme Edition DVD. I'm hoping I'm not impressed. It just sounds like a great way to enjoy movies without bugging other people.

    However, if I am impressed, is the HK a decent choice? Are their any other solutions? I know some of the receivers offer "headphone theater" and various other similar sounding modes that aren't the licensed DSP, but provide the same effect...

    Are there any fans of Dolby Headphone out there on the forum?

    Thanks again!
     
  5. Justin_P

    Justin_P Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I checked out Dolby Heaphone last night...

    It's pretty cool, but not a deal maker. I think I'll be looking at getting the Pioneer 1014tx.

    Justin
     
  6. Chuck_J

    Chuck_J Extra

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    Good choice Justin!!
     
  7. RichardCK

    RichardCK Extra

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    I own the avr-335. I am extremely happy with it. I auditioned a Denon an Onkyo and a Pioneer elite all in the same price range, to replace a Yamaha. I have to say the HK stood well above the other choices. Very rich sound and no listening fatigue even at high volumes. And is alot louder than the rest even with it's way over coservitive power rating. I also love the Dolby headphone feature.
     
  8. Justin_P

    Justin_P Stunt Coordinator

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    This thread has brought me to a conclusion!

    I'm not sure which part of buying a new receiver is harder:

    Securing the funds to do so, or choosing between all the great product that's out there...

    [​IMG]

    Oh well, I guess it's all part of the fun!

    I'll keep looking for a little while - it doesn't seem that anyone locally caries the Pioneer (at least not for a reasonable price), and I really prefer to buy my electronics from brick and mortar stores where possible, so I might end up with the HK or another Yammy for reasons of shear convenience and sanity.

    That AVR 335 is looking pretty tempting :-b...

    Thanks all for the input!
     

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