Best receiver under $400? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-29-2008, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm a little bit out of the loop, and was hoping to find out what receiver would be recommended for $400 or less. A separate line output for the main stereo left and right channels would be great, but is not required.
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post #2 of 15 Old 07-29-2008, 03:50 PM
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Onkyo TX-SR606
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post #3 of 15 Old 07-29-2008, 04:17 PM
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I think you are looking at the Onkyo mentioned above and also Yamaha 663. These are very capable receivers.

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post #4 of 15 Old 07-29-2008, 04:30 PM
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Most folks will just tell you it's the receiver that they happen to own.
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-29-2008, 04:35 PM
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Under $400 is a very small window for a decent AVR. I happen to own an Onkyo 805. I don't like yamaha and still recommended it because many people do like it.

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post #6 of 15 Old 07-29-2008, 04:39 PM
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Depends on your requirements.

You can get alot with even $300 in the form of a last gen receiver (Marantz 4001).

If you want internal decoders of the advanced audio codecs, you can look at the 663 or 606.

Alot comes down to personal preference. Many have bias towards particular brands for no (valid) reason. IMO, most sound incredibly similiar, and share many of the same internal parts.

I also own an Onkyo 805, but would equally recommend Denon, Marantz, Pioneer, Yamaha, and HK.
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post #7 of 15 Old 07-29-2008, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunbunnysoulja View Post

Depends on your requirements.

You can get alot with even $300 in the form of a last gen receiver (Marantz 4001).

If you want internal decoders of the advanced audio codecs, you can look at the 663 or 606.

Alot comes down to personal preference. Many have bias towards particular brands for no (valid) reason. IMO, most sound incredibly similiar, and share many of the same internal parts.

I also own an Onkyo 805, but would equally recommend Denon, Marantz, Pioneer, Yamaha, and HK.


Countries could start wars just fighting about the best sub $400.00 receiver out there. But, it all depends on what you need. Right now most trade magazines and pro reviewers will tell you it is the Marantz SR-4002 ($399.00 new, $349.00 refurbished). You can just type Marantz SR4002 review in any search engine, and you will find lots of excellent reviews and recommendations regarding this receiver. CNet, Playback, Good Sound, Hi-Fi, and Stereophile, are some of the trade publications that highly recommend the SR-4002. If you like music as much as your movies don't look any further than this receiver, or maybe HK.

Now, in your price range, if you want a receiver that gives "punch" to your movies, still maintaining some musicality you might want to consider Denon.

But, if you are looking to have the latest CODEC's, features, video upscaling, etc., then you want to take a look at Onkyo and Yamaha. If you are into pop music, heavy metal, rap, and the likes, and not into serious music listening, these two might be for you.
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post #8 of 15 Old 07-29-2008, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PR Audio View Post

... If you are into pop music, heavy metal, rap, and the likes, and not into serious music listening, these two might be for you.

Are you implying pop, heavy metal, rap and the 'likes' are less worthy in some fashion?

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post #9 of 15 Old 07-29-2008, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

Are you implying pop, heavy metal, rap and the 'likes' are less worthy in some fashion?

Not at all, actually I also like pop, heavy metal, etc. (not much of a rap fan). But, usually those recordings are not as good as classical, jazz, etc. which tend to be better mastered and with more attention to the instruments details, placements, etc. So, one tends not to be as picky. Obviously, in any music genre you will find good recordings, and very bad ones.
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post #10 of 15 Old 07-29-2008, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PR Audio View Post

Not at all, actually I also like pop, heavy metal, etc. (not much of a rap fan). But, usually those recordings are not as good as classical, jazz, etc. which tend to be better mastered and with more attention to the instruments details, placements, etc. So, one tends not to be as picky. Obviously, in any music genre you will find good recordings, and very bad ones.

Agreed. I am a much more discerning listener with a certain genre, where as with rock, pop and rap I don't get overly focused to imaging and soundstaging.
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post #11 of 15 Old 07-30-2008, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PR Audio View Post

But, if you are looking to have the latest CODEC's, features, video upscaling, etc., then you want to take a look at Onkyo and Yamaha.

What benefit, exactly, would these additional features give me? I thought that digital audio (whether over HDMI or S/PDIF) was pretty much standard. That said, the system in question is pretty unambitious - the SR-4002 looks perfect, though I cannot find them anywhere - refurbished or otherwise - for under $500.

Also, if only for reasons of practicality, only a 5.1 receiver is needed. However, there is a second pair of speakers in another room that would, ideally, be used for playing music simultaneously with the 5.1 system. Is there a way to do this, or would an external high-level-input amplifier be needed?
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post #12 of 15 Old 07-31-2008, 12:17 PM
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accessories4less has the 4002 new for $400 refurb for $350. If you're patient enough, wait and see if MS Live Cashback is revived, then buy it from accessories4less through Ebay. You'll get a great price, the warranty, and cash back in 60 days.

I've been considering the Onkyo 606 for a month now and I hadn't noticed the Marantz was in the same price range. Guess I have even more considering to do now...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spasticteapot View Post

What benefit, exactly, would these additional features give me? I thought that digital audio (whether over HDMI or S/PDIF) was pretty much standard. That said, the system in question is pretty unambitious - the SR-4002 looks perfect, though I cannot find them anywhere - refurbished or otherwise - for under $500.

If your player can send this audio untouched/undecoded (called bitstream and only via HDMI) you can let the 606 decode it and drive 7 discrete speakers in your theater - I guess it sounds amazing, but have never experienced it. If your player can only send 5 channels (SPDIF) or 7 channels decoded (7 channel LPCM via HDMI) or if you only run a 5.1 channel theater, you'll be perfectly fine without the latest codecs (DTS-MA and TrueHD) on your receiver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spasticteapot View Post

Also, if only for reasons of practicality, only a 5.1 receiver is needed. However, there is a second pair of speakers in another room that would, ideally, be used for playing music simultaneously with the 5.1 system. Is there a way to do this, or would an external high-level-input amplifier be needed?

You're looking for a multi-zone receiver if you want the ability to drive 5.1 in one room and 2 channel in another, and the 606 has multi-zone capability. It doesn't look like the 4002 has multi-zone. That's a higher end feature in Marantz's line of receivers.
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post #13 of 15 Old 07-31-2008, 12:46 PM
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Hello again spastic. If newer codecs are involved with the future purchase of BDP, and you are looking between Yam and Onk: The most interesting thing about the 663 is the pre-outs. The Onk line is reviewed to have a better amp, but the 60x is stuck with what it has w/o preouts. Since its 5.1 setup, you won't care that the 663 cannot matrix hi-def HT bitstreams, though it can matrix m-ch pcm. The older 605 cannot matrix either, dunno about 606.

Im using a refurbed 805, bout $600. Can matrix all, preouts, same BurrBrown DAC as the 7k Denon avp, and nearly twice the current with its Ultra amp. I use a Pana BD-30 that only bitstreams, with a 7.1 setup, so obviously my needs are not the norm.

 

 

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post #14 of 15 Old 07-31-2008, 02:15 PM
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I'm surprised nobody suggested Sonys. Pretty much all this year's models fit under $400 bill (even the top of the "entry level line" STR-DG920). Anybody care to explain what's wrong with Sonys ? I have actually my eyes on that particular DG920 receiver. It provides 4 HDMI 1.3 inputs, upconversion of analog inputs to HDMI, pretty much all the latest audio decodecs and plenty of power on 7.1 configuration.
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post #15 of 15 Old 07-31-2008, 02:45 PM
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I sold Sony receivers for an A/V store for a while and Sonys had issues with sound quality and build quality. And IMO they were butt-ugly. Maybe that's been improved with the new models. They seemed to be the most returned audio components in the whole store. Yamahas were very popular and we sold a lot of Denons but they tended to have some returns due to reliability problems.

Just my experience FWIW.

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