Which brand has the most reliable/best built receivers? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 07-29-2008, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
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This thread talks alot about better sound quality and options, however what brand generally has the most reliable/best built receiver units? I was told by an electronic service shop that Yamaha receiver are the best built, what has been other peoples experiences?
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post #2 of 29 Old 07-29-2008, 10:32 AM
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I will report my experience with Yamaha receivers.

Yamaha RX-570. I think I may have had to replace a board in it; probably under $100. I think the input selector may be slightly flakey, losing left or right on one input. Anyways, I felt it worked very well over 15 years.

Yamaha RX-770. Bought on ebay; I had to replace the backlight. Some noise in the volume control as is common. Works fine.

Yamaha RX-V795a (guessing on model #). My first Dolby Digital receiver. As far as I know this still works perfectly; at least it did when I gave it to my nephew. I am not sure how long I used it for.

Yamaha RX-V657. This is a sweet receiver. Component video upconversion, DD, DTS, DPLIIx, DTS ES...I am still using this in my bedroom system. I have recommended the RX-V663 to many people due to my assumption that they maintained pretty similar circuitry as they move to the 659, 661 and now the 663.

Yamaha RX-V2700. At the time of release this was Yamaha's most complex receiver with the possible exception of the Z9. It's about two years old. It's main problem is that HDMI has been known to stop working if it gets too hot. And it DOES run hot. I have not lost HDMI since last summer. They may have fixed this issue with the RX-V3800 because I saw a service bulletin which addresses the issue by replacing some components. I have not heard of whether the 3800 has any heat related issues.

It's unclear why these newer models run so hot. I don't think it's the 7.1 factor. The 2700 does sport a rating of 140x7 which likely means a pretty big power supply. But I don't think that's the whole story. Adding a deinterlacer chip, a video processor chip an HDMI receiver chip, and various other chips may also have an impact - you know how hot CPUs can run.

Hopefully all this heat is not reducing the lifespan of the receiver. I leave mine on most of the time because I believe (with not much proof,) that electronics don't love being turned on and off all the time. I have been slammed for that belief, so don't place much stock in it

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #3 of 29 Old 07-29-2008, 10:41 AM
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I've heard the exact same thing from the smartest person I've ever talked to. Builds his own laser equipment, audio equipment, etc. He said that the damage usually occurs when a cold piece of equipment is turned on. Ex: light bulbs.
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post #4 of 29 Old 07-29-2008, 10:44 AM
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Of course, caps and transistors are not lightbulbs

My 2700 has not failed yet, though

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #5 of 29 Old 07-29-2008, 11:30 AM
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Denon is #1 with Yamaha running a close second.

For sound, Harman Kardon would join with this group as well.


<><

RTR
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post #6 of 29 Old 07-29-2008, 11:44 AM
 
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I've owned 2 Yamaha's, a Denon, a Rotel, a Sherwood/Newcastle and I am on my 2nd Pio. Elite. All of these owned over the last 7 years.

Every one of them worked flawlessly.

I really don't understand all the problems now a days with receivers or HT equipment in general. It seems like every product that comes out has problems or malfunctions or needs firmware or software fixes. What ever happened to being able to by a product, plug it in and have it work smoothly and last?
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post #7 of 29 Old 07-29-2008, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan711 View Post

I've owned 2 Yamaha's, a Denon, a Rotel, a Sherwood/Newcastle and I am on my 2nd Pio. Elite. All of these owned over the last 7 years.

Every one of them worked flawlessly.

I really don't understand all the problems now a days with receivers or HT equipment in general. It seems like every product that comes out has problems or malfunctions or needs firmware or software fixes. What ever happened to being able to by a product, plug it in and have it work smoothly and last?

My theory is that they reached a complexity threshold. They likely need more time than they are alloted to throughly test it and work out the quirks. Companies like Yamaha, could of course, slow down their release schedule from six months to a year - but the odds of that happening are low.

We can only hope that manufacturers get better at making the modern AVR. Their experience with HDMI and advanced video processor chips should be increasing. In theory, they should be able to address some of the issues in earlier HDMI receivers

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #8 of 29 Old 07-29-2008, 12:04 PM
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No problems for ten years with a Yamaha receiver and the last ten with a Denon AVR-3300.

Just bought a Pioneer VSX-1018.....I've had it a little over a week...so far so good.....
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post #9 of 29 Old 07-29-2008, 12:09 PM
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I have not had good luck with Pioneer receivers - non Elite.

Every Pioneer product I have owned worked fine until the warranty expired & died soon after.

The Yamaha gear I have owned worked out of the box and for years to come. I ended up replacing the Yamaha receiver due to features, but it still runs fine and all features work fine.

I have found that things change so quickly that it does not make a great deal of sense to invest big bucks in a receiver. You'll likely be back in the market in a couple of years due either new sound formats or new connections.
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post #10 of 29 Old 07-29-2008, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aydu View Post

I have not had good luck with Pioneer receivers - non Elite.

Every Pioneer product I have owned worked fine until the warranty expired & died soon after.

The Yamaha gear I have owned worked out of the box and for years to come. I ended up replacing the Yamaha receiver due to features, but it still runs fine and all features work fine.

I have found that things change so quickly that it does not make a great deal of sense to invest big bucks in a receiver. You'll likely be back in the market in a couple of years due either new sound formats or new connections.

It's interesting the different experiences people have. My brother-in-law has a Pioneer regular line receiver that he has had for years....beats the hell out of it....even has his DVR on top of it in a rack enclosed on three sides and it works great.

As to things changing rapidly........maybe now, but the only real siginficant changes in the last ten years have been HDMI......and now the new audio codecs.....more minor (at least to me) are HD Radio and Internet Radio.
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post #11 of 29 Old 07-29-2008, 12:36 PM
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I've been a Denon owner for the last 15 years, at least and so far, not a single issue

Regards, Chuck
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post #12 of 29 Old 07-29-2008, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
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What about Onkyo Receivers? I am really debating on either getting a Onkyo, Yamaha or Denon. They all sound good to me, but what about build quality and reliablity?
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post #13 of 29 Old 07-29-2008, 03:52 PM
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I have owned 2 Yamahas, 2 Pioneers, 2 Onkyos (presently an 805), 1 Sony, 1 HK, and 1 Denon (been at this hobby for a while). All have performed flawlessly with the exception of one Pioneer (1014) that just up and locked up on me one day and would never turn on again. In fact, I still have both Yamaha units that are in bedroom systems, and one of them is close to ten years old if not a tad older. I think every brand out there that we are discussing makes a fine unit and I would buy any of them. Of course, you are bound to get the defective lemons from anyone.
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post #14 of 29 Old 07-29-2008, 03:57 PM
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I really would like to say Denon as I have one for 5 years that I haven't found an issue yet, but I'm a bit hesitant to flat out put out a claim because technology changes so fast that what's included in today's models are far more and complex than what was included in the older models. My Denon surely cannot do what most, even entry level models of today's newest can do. Maybe reliable is due to the fact that mine's a Denon or maybe the needs of 5 years ago were not as challenging as today's, or maybe a little of both.
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post #15 of 29 Old 07-29-2008, 05:08 PM
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I have owned Sony, Pioneer, Kenwood, and Onkyo (twice). I just bought an 805 recently which had reliability concerns. Why? I love the sound of Onkyo and the feature set is just unreal at their price point.

I would worry less about reliability and focus more on sound. Buy an extended warranty if it helps you sleep better. In 5 years time you will probably need to upgrade to the new 2160p HDMI version 1.6c!

I had no problems with any of the old receivers and the all got a lot of regular use.

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post #16 of 29 Old 07-29-2008, 05:33 PM
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I have owned almost every major brand over the last 30 years. The only components I have had fail were two NAD componenets back in the late 80's. They both failed soon after repair as well, and more than once. It's the only brand that I avoid for reliability concerns.
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post #17 of 29 Old 07-29-2008, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

My theory is that they reached a complexity threshold. They likely need more time than they are alloted to throughly test it and work out the quirks.

I think this is the whole thing in a nutshell. Increasing complexity means more can go wrong. To add to your second comment, at some level it becomes impossible to thoroughly test something to work out the quirks. Many of the quirks will only become evident after enough people are using the piece in different setups and in different ways.
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post #18 of 29 Old 07-29-2008, 06:10 PM
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I have had a Denon,Onkyo,Integra,Pioneer,Sony ES and Yamaha over the years and they
were passed down to friends when I upgraded and suprisingly they all still work. The
electronics that did fail were tape machines 1 from sony and 1 from Teac so in all
I have had good luck with them all but I usually buy flagship when I bought.
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post #19 of 29 Old 07-29-2008, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Straw_man View Post

I think this is the whole thing in a nutshell. Increasing complexity means more can go wrong. To add to your second comment, at some level it becomes impossible to thoroughly test something to work out the quirks. Many of the quirks will only become evident after enough people are using the piece in different setups and in different ways.

I'll disagree with this. The problem is you, and me, and the OP, and everyone else. We want the latest and greatest technology, and we'll buy whatever comes out first. So, I own an electronics company, and you own one, and I put out my new 2160P HDMI 2.3a compliant receiver with the new REON video upconversion chip - a tech walking up to you in a meeting saying "Mr. Strawman - we have a few issues with our receiver that we'll need to research a fix for, it will be another 6 months" well, Mr. Strawman will blow a gasket, fire his tech, and launch his new receiver to compete with me.

I mean after all, the battle is getting our equipment in peoples homes, not whether or not it works properly. That's what the firmware fixes are for.

Trust me - they do enough R&D to know what's going on, it's just that Mr and Mrs. Investor doesn't care about, they just want to see their shares go up up up, and the only way that can happen is with the product being sold.

The alternative it to wait your 6 months, launch your product 'bug free', only to see my company come out in another month or two with the new 4320P 20,000 watt 12.3 channel super duper receiver that makes your 'brand new' receiver obsolete.

In the retail world - it's called FTM - first to market. As consumers, this is the price we pay. Look how Onkyo, a company that went really down hill, rebounded with their 'new' stuff.

Now, OP - as mentioned about Yamaha, I have a Yamaha - a TOTL 1070. It's 15, 16 years old now. Thing's a tank, works as well as the day I bought it. No features as it's all analog, no HDMI, no DVI, no Component, no upconversion at all. It has inputs for VCR, LDTV, CD, PHONO, etc.

What's really nice about it is I'll bet it's still going strong 10 years from now, and after about 25 years, there may be a market for it and I can sell it for a decent amount.

For now, I want to mothball the thing and get one of these 'new' receivers with all the latest and greatest crap (that btw - is already obsolete, we just don't know it yet. That's how fast things move!) that will need a firmware fix and will (hopefully) die on me in 5 years or so which means I'll have to replace it with the next latest and greatest receiver which is already in devleopment as I type this.

My other receiver is an HK 520 AVR. It's about 6 years old now I think. I've had to replace the remote control (under warranty though - I bought the extended warranty for it) and every once in a while (usually when I'm not in the room but it did happen once when I was in the room) the volume knob just decided on it's own to go up, and up , and up, and up and up up up up up up. Thank god the H/K power is pretty clean and doesn't clip that much as my speakers (three different sets) have all survived this phenomena.

Between the two for reliablily, I'd go Yamaha

Sound - H/K

Not sure what I'll buy to replace the Yammy. Been bouncing around the usual - Pioneer, Yamaha, Denon, Onkyo, and H/K. I do know I want:

4 HDMI inputs
easy access to the guts to do a firmware upgrade
SACD/DVD-A compatability
All the latest sound decoders, including the HD sound formats
Multiroom capability
preouts for option to use an external amplifier

I'd like as a bonus

Option for 'side front speakers'
Second sub output (or even a .4 )

I'd like to pay less than $300 for it if I can. Why not, I've read enough thread here about people wanting a 7.1 speaker system and a receiver for $500 that can do all that, so I'm entitled

Will probably need to add another zero though

"it's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it"
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post #20 of 29 Old 07-30-2008, 09:28 AM
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Very well said and I agree with you; especially this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kpt_Krunch View Post

....................
I mean after all, the battle is getting our equipment in peoples homes, not whether or not it works properly. That's what the firmware fixes are for.


.......

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post #21 of 29 Old 07-30-2008, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aydu View Post

I have found that things change so quickly that it does not make a great deal of sense to invest big bucks in a receiver. You'll likely be back in the market in a couple of years due either new sound formats or new connections.

So True..

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I quickly slipped it into my trusty PS3, and started playing.


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post #22 of 29 Old 07-30-2008, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kpt_Krunch View Post

I'll disagree with this. The problem is you, and me, and the OP, and everyone else. We want the latest and greatest technology, and we'll buy whatever comes out first. So, I own an electronics company, and you own one, and I put out my new 2160P HDMI 2.3a compliant receiver with the new REON video upconversion chip - a tech walking up to you in a meeting saying "Mr. Strawman - we have a few issues with our receiver that we'll need to research a fix for, it will be another 6 months" well, Mr. Strawman will blow a gasket, fire his tech, and launch his new receiver to compete with me.

I mean after all, the battle is getting our equipment in peoples homes, not whether or not it works properly. That's what the firmware fixes are for.

Trust me - they do enough R&D to know what's going on, it's just that Mr and Mrs. Investor doesn't care about, they just want to see their shares go up up up, and the only way that can happen is with the product being sold.

The alternative it to wait your 6 months, launch your product 'bug free', only to see my company come out in another month or two with the new 4320P 20,000 watt 12.3 channel super duper receiver that makes your 'brand new' receiver obsolete.

In the retail world - it's called FTM - first to market. As consumers, this is the price we pay. Look how Onkyo, a company that went really down hill, rebounded with their 'new' stuff.


The FTM concept must be taken into consideration obviously, but it is not as simple as you state. If you ran a business with the philosophy that you described, you would not be in business long. If your first to market products are so buggy that they fail to perform, "Brand Loyalty" will not be your friend.

There are many examples of people waiting for their trusted brand(s) to release new models incorporating a new technology. Maybe impatiently, but waiting none the less. I would argue that these represent the majority. People that need to have the latest and greatest serve a valuable function but they are a small part of the buying public, IMO.

The FTM as a solid advantage, regardless of the quality of implementation becomes a bigger factor when dealing with major technology upheavals (like HDMI on pre pros that can act as more than switchers for instance), or a new product never before available (like Squeezebox and similar). But even in these cases it has to have a certain level of ease of use with minimal down time or the glory will be short lived.

Companies must rely on people who need to have the bleeding edge technology as soon as it is available. You can engineer it and test it in any number of conventional ways, but if it is a very complex machine, with lots of new features and capabilities; then only when it is in the hands of novices and techies using it over time in the many possible ways that novices and techies will use it, can some of the quirks surface.
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post #23 of 29 Old 08-01-2008, 08:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastgt79 View Post

What about Onkyo Receivers? I am really debating on either getting a Onkyo, Yamaha or Denon. They all sound good to me, but what about build quality and reliablity?

Let me speak from experience. I wouldn't take an Onkyo receiver if someone gave one to me. I had 2 "lemon" Onkyo receivers in a row. The 606 is a classic example of Onkyo marketing vs quality. They will give you an amazing amount of features(4HDMI inputs) at a great price, that's the good news. The bad news is that you will have problems with them and "waste" your time trying to fix them or be without a receiver while it's being repaired. My time is valuable to me and listening to my audio equipment is a "hobby", not a job. Buying an extended warranty doesn't help resolve the loss of your receiver, the loss of your personal time unhooking all your speakers and components.

Let me also address another myth, the "quality" of the sound of an Onkyo. Just about every decent contemporary receiver has enough features that will enable you to tailor the sound to your desires, IF you utilize those features. If you want to spend your time addressing a "hum" or "pops" or any number of Onkyo problems, then buy the "great deal".

If money is the driving force, you can pick up the Yammy 663 for under $400(see 663 thread). If you want some innovative features and quality, pick up a Denon 1909 or a heavily discounted Denon 988, like I did.
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post #24 of 29 Old 08-01-2008, 10:28 AM
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Thats funny, I had 2 Onkyo receivers, one right after the other work flawlessly.
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post #25 of 29 Old 08-01-2008, 10:38 AM
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Quote:


I really don't understand all the problems now a days with receivers or HT equipment in general. It seems like every product that comes out has problems or malfunctions or needs firmware or software fixes. What ever happened to being able to by a product, plug it in and have it work smoothly and last?

With margins so low, something has to be cut to save costs and QA is always the easiest thing to eliminate from a production budget.

Sadly we do not test things like we use too at all!!

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post #26 of 29 Old 08-01-2008, 10:40 AM
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Thats funny, I had 2 Onkyo receivers, one right after the other work flawlessly.

The Onkyo AVRs run the hotest out of all of them so I suspect that has to increase the failure rate. Heat is simply not a good thing over a long period of time and I doubt most people ventilate properly.

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post #27 of 29 Old 08-01-2008, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedking View Post

Just about every decent contemporary receiver has enough features that will enable you to tailor the sound to your desires, IF you utilize those features.

If money is the driving force, you can pick up the Yammy 663 for under $400

Nailed It..

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I quickly slipped it into my trusty PS3, and started playing.


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post #28 of 29 Old 08-01-2008, 10:50 AM
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Quote:


If money is the driving force, you can pick up the Yammy 663 for under $400


+1 simply the best for under $400 new.

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post #29 of 29 Old 08-30-2008, 08:37 PM
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Oh-Oh! Just ordered from Amazon for $499! Where to find for <$400? Thanks.
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