Originally Posted by BBigJ
...That leaves the Yamaha R-N500 as the only other stereo receiver with Airplay, and it seems perfect except the price is about $200 too high. ...There are a lot more options if I open up to 5.1 or 7.1 receivers ..., but since this won't be hooked up to a TV, setting it up might be hard (although hopefully a one-time problem).
In my view you don't get into good sounding AV Receivers until you get up around $1500 and above. I heard some Focal 836 on a $2200 Sony, they sounded as good as I could have ever hoped for.
The real problem is that you are buy and paying for a lot of things you don't need. Though you can't fairly break an amp down to price per channel, it does lend some perspective to how thinly you are spreading your money.
A $500 Stereo amps is worth $250 per channel. A $500 AV Receiver, if we count the additional electronics is close to a 8 channel amp. That means each channel is worth about $62. Based on common sense and common logic, which do you imagine sounds better, a $250 amp or a $62 amp? Again, it is more complex than that, but that does illustrate the point I'm trying to make.
Further a 700w (total) AV Receiver will have a 500w power supply. There is some sense to that, but the fact remains, it is under powered. A 200w (total) Stereo amp will likely have a 300w power supply, it is over powered.
My philosophy is - If you want a Music system, buy a Music system; meaning a Stereo. My stereo, which is a bit unusual, does a stunning job for movies. It bring both the Thunder
and the Lightening
to movie sound tracks.
Now, you can do what you want. No skin off me. But my advice is, if you want a music system, and you want to maximize your money, then buy a stereo system.
Others are free to disagree, but they will never change my mind on this issue.
Conversely, if you want Surround Sound, you absolutely must buy a AV Receiver, and a Subwoofer. For the record, I do not have a Subwoofer and I still get thunderous bass.
While the Yamaha is a bit high, the Harmon HK3770 is about $100 cheaper (from memory). Tons of power, lots of features. I've never had any Harmon Amps, but I use a Harman DVD-49 Universal DVD Player
for CD Playback, and I use a Harman BDP-1 Universal BluRay Player
for DVD and BluRay playback. Both have great quality and reliable playback.
The previous amps, the ones that these current amps replaced, were very well like for those seeking maximum value for their money. I've not really heard of any reliability issues with the previous version of these amps. The Harman HK990
, the flagship model, was and is highly praised for its sound quality and its feature set. I'm not overjoyed by the appearance, but then I favor silver brushed metal fronts.
Again, I can't make the decision for you. All I can say is that the Harmon are very high value, and the previous version were very well liked by those who have them.
My previous amp was a Yamaha RX-797
(100w/ch), a very nice warm amp at a very attractive price. Today, it would be similar to the Yamaha R-S700.
Yamaha R-S700 -
Again, in every system, in every room, we are compromising something in favor of something else.
Right now, the price seem pretty consistent on the Yamaha R-N500
There is some fluctuation in the price of the Harman Kardon HK 3770
; from $310 up to about $600, with $349 to $449 being the most common -
For what it is worth.