Yet another receiver comparison.....

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by David_Mos, Jul 30, 2003.

  1. David_Mos

    David_Mos Auditioning

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    Good evening to all in HTFland!!

    I have recently discovered the joys of this forum and I couldn't resist myself...I wanted to consult the great mass of knowledge that is Home Theater Forum. I'm ready to purchase my first real home theater receiver and after due research, I can't seem to decide between the Harman Kardon AVR525 and the Pioneer Elite VSX-45TX. I've auditioned them both, albeit with different speakers, and I was thoroughly impressed both times. I sampled the H/K with some Infinity towers (not sure which model) and in my opinion it sounded superior to the Onkyo TX-SR800 (which up until that point had been in the running). Next, I heard the 45tx driving some really nice KEF towers (again not sure which model) and IMHO it bested the Denon 3803 which was also on my short list. Truth be told, I had my mind set on the H/K and then I had the bright idea of going to listen to the 45tx [​IMG] . Now I'm torn between the two!! I figured I'd ask for you folks' opinions to try and make a decision. Hehehe...the funny thing is to my ear, I know I can't go wrong with either one and the main thing truly holding me back from just buying the H/K is the ever-popular MCACC. Is it really as brilliant as everyone says it is? Is it worth the price difference I can't seem to shrink between the two? I suppose I should add that I'm a 60/40 movies/music kind of person.

    I welcome any and all comments/comparisons/opinions and experiences you're willing to share.

    Cheers,
    David
     
  2. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Having owned a 45TX since last December I can say that in my opinion MCACC is very much "all that."

    My previous receiver was a very respectable and incredibly adjustable Sony 333ES, adjustable crossover on each channel, manually adustable equalizatin, etc. Hours of fine tuning with AVIA tones and sweeps and RS sound meter did not produce nearly as good sound as 6 minutes with the Pioneer's MCACC. It actually sounded like an expensive speaker upgrade had occurred.

    The remote's a bit intimidating at first glance but is in reality very easy to use. It's the first "universal learning" remote I've actually been able to use instinctively to operate almost my entire system.

    All that being said, the HK 525 is also a very nice receiver. It was on my short list along with the 45TX and Denon 3803, but the MCACC swayed me toward the Elite and after my experience with it I'm glad I chose it.

    The 45TX is starting to be available at some local retailers for $900ish, about the same as the HK, and can be had online for $700 or so. I paid $845 plus shipping from an online dealer last December. Best price I could find on the 525 was $925.
     
  3. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    Onecall is out of the AVR325s, so they are substituting the AVR525 for a $160 price premium...still an awesome promo, comes out to about $550-600 when all is said and done...and from an authorized dealer, what more could you want? (I want them to ship to Canada, but I humbly digress [​IMG])
     
  4. NicholasL

    NicholasL Second Unit

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    I know Elite receivers are not authorized online, but if there is any site that is as reliable as it comes (not to mention next day shipping) it is www.soundpros.com. I've listened to both and I prefer the 45TX (which is also why I own one, though it has been demoted), and I didn't even care about the MCACC. I always thought tweaking was half the fun. It's a tough call, the HK or Elite, maybe your dealer would take the time to hook up the same pair of speakers to both units?
     
  5. MikeWe

    MikeWe Agent

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    I just went through the same decision making process and went with the Pioneer over the HK 525 and Sony 4ES. My decision to go with Pioneer over the HK was primarily because of the calibration feature of the Pioneer and my concern over fan noise in the HK. It may not bother some people but I think it would drive me nuts.

    The Pioneer authorized can be had for $730 or so delivered, the HK for about $640, so the cost differential isn't that great.
     
  6. Jon_Welker

    Jon_Welker Second Unit

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    David,

    I have a 45TX for about 4 mos. now, and absolutely have not looked back. Yes, MCACC is "all that" and a bag of chips, to add to Steve's comment. And the I've become extremely happy with the remote. Very easy to use and program other components into. It took me about 30 min. to program my satellite receiver, dvd player, TV, and CD changer into it. I use it for about 50/50 on HT/Music. Very good musical receiver, with plenty of options for listening. Also, extremely good for movies. Another thing I like to comment is that it is an absolute workhorse. I've had the thing running all day at times, and it didn't even bat an eye. Unfortunately, I did not look into the 525 when looking at receivers, but the HK looks like a very decent model as well. In the end, with these 2 high quality receivers, it really comes down to what features matter the most to you.
     
  7. David_Mos

    David_Mos Auditioning

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    Thanks to all for the input. Tough call!! And Onecall's current special for the 525 sure puts the pressure on!! For the sake of price comparisons though, I haven't been able to find the 45tx at an authorized price below $900 (MikeWe: would you mind posting where you saw it for $730?). Also, it seems soundpros has phased it out in favor of the 53tx. Hmmm....decisions, decisions.
     
  8. MikeWe

    MikeWe Agent

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    David,

    I sent you a private message.

    Mike
     

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