What Receiver would be best for my setup? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 04-06-2009, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I've owned some semi nice speakers for years but have had an underpowered receiver powering them the entire time. I'm ready to upgrade to a mid-level receiver and my head is swirling with the options.

Here's my setup:
2 RTi8's in front (Recommended Amplifier Power 20-250 w/channel): http://www.polkaudio.com/homeaudio/specs/recent/rti8/

2 RTi6's in rear (Recommended Amplifier Power 20-125 w/channel): http://www.polkaudio.com/homeaudio/specs/recent/rti6/

CSi3 in center (Recommended Amplifier Power 20-180 w/channel): http://www.polkaudio.com/homeaudio/specs/recent/csi3/

Subwoofer: Velodyne DLS-4000R (200 watts continuous watts) http://www.velodyne.com/products/pro...2&sid=604k730i

1 and only input at the moment is a PS3 and eventually will be HD AT&T Uverse.

TV: Samsung PN50A650

Now I'm looking at spending anywhere from $500 to $800 AFTER discounts. I'm not going to be paying full price for anything. I am even considering a refurb model from various sites I've seen.

I've seen a few brand names: Onkyo, Pioneer Elite, Marantz, Yamaha, and Denon that seem to be top dogs. Why does no one really talk about Harman Kardon? Are they not a serious top player anymore? The units look awesome and cost some money so I figured more people would have them.

Anyways, my 2 front speakers can handle up to 250 watts so I'd like to maybe somehow get those powered close to that range to take full advantage of them. But the rears are the lower wattage at 125 per channel.

So what is everyone's advice for different receivers that would match my setup? It's mainly going to be used for movies, games, TV, and listening to all genres of music. I really think Onkyo's receviers are ugly as sin compared to all of the other brands but I am more concerned with Price, Features, Reliability, and Performance than looks.


Contenders from each Manufacturer:

Onkyo SR-806 http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-SR806...9227311&sr=8-1
Harman/Kardon 354 http://www.amazon.com/Harman-Kardon-...9227341&sr=1-1
Pioneer Elite VSX-03TXH http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-VSX-03...9227412&sr=1-8
Marantz SR 5003 http://www.amazon.com/Marantz-theate...9227864&sr=8-1
Denon AVR-2309CI http://www.amazon.com/Denon-AVR-2309...9228067&sr=8-2
Not sure about which Yamaha yet. Haven't found refurbs yet.
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-06-2009, 08:22 PM
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Look for an HK 354 on ebay, if you don't mind refurbished. They go for $450-500.
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post #3 of 11 Old 04-06-2009, 08:37 PM
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If you're looking for power at < $800 check out the refurb Onkyo TX-SR875 at accessories4less.com or if you can still find one the 805 will be somewhat cheaper with the same amp section.

The 806 is a good choice however onkyo scaled the amp section back from the 805. In the current lineup the comparable would be the 876 and up which is a great choice but somewhat over your budget.

Don't worry about your speaker wattage ratings, clean power will not damage a speaker, it'll never see those levels anyway.
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-06-2009, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
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What about a Pioneer Elite VSX-94TXH http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...vers/VSX-94TXH

I'm able to get that as a refurb for $800. That's not a bad unit is it? Would this be better than some of the better Onkyo, Denon, or HK models?
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-06-2009, 10:20 PM
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You can cruise the thread on the Pioneer Elites. Seems the owners like them.
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-07-2009, 12:52 AM
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To be honest you really don't have a need for alot of power, especially considering you don't even listen to music with your system. You have a TV that will upscale and has noise reduction better or as good as any of these receivers so that's not a feature you need. You have a PS3 and possibly a cable box coming which can be component so you have alot of room even having 3 HDMI inputs.

Harman Kardon has had alot of issues the past while, especially concerning use with a PS3...but that is still just the tip of the iceburg. As much as I love the look and their 'past' record of quality, reading the HK threads is like a nightmare. It's even hard to find happy owners of these receivers.

I think you would get by just fine with a Denon AVR-1909 and benefit from it's Audyssey features. You really don't need any more power than what it has...and would probably never even get it breaking into a sweat *so to speak*.

At this point you have 2 options, buy a model from last year or get a new one. Yamaha and Pioneer are both out with Onkyo now coming along too. Sure it's a bit more of a risk buying something unproven but the newer lines seem to be offering more goodies. I really don't see you needing alot of connectivity or features though, it seems like you just need a solid receiver with say 3 HDMI inputs and maybe Audyssey MultEQ and Dynamic Volume/EQ.
You could easily get away with the Onkyo TX-SR606 which is on sale for $399 right now. If you have good ventilation for it there's no reason to not consider it. It's not great at video processing but you don't need it, your TV will do better. It's got 4 HDMI inputs and Audyssey features also.
The Denon AVR-1909 would cost you about $85 more at 6ave using the aflaud25 coupon code. You might even want to see if you can find a Yammie RX-V663. I just don't see you needing to spend more than $500 considering your needs. Running those speakers for HT and TV/Games using a powerful amp is pretty much a waste of money IMO. Each to their own. Good luck.

I'd rather save a few hundred and spend it on room treatments or maybe even a library of Bluray movies, you'll still end up with the same performance in the end.
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-07-2009, 01:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danielson99 View Post

To be honest you really don't have a need for alot of power, especially considering you don't even listen to music with your system. You have a TV that will upscale and has noise reduction better or as good as any of these receivers so that's not a feature you need. You have a PS3 and possibly a cable box coming which can be component so you have alot of room even having 3 HDMI inputs.

Harman Kardon has had alot of issues the past while, especially concerning use with a PS3...but that is still just the tip of the iceburg. As much as I love the look and their 'past' record of quality, reading the HK threads is like a nightmare. It's even hard to find happy owners of these receivers.

I think you would get by just fine with a Denon AVR-1909 and benefit from it's Audyssey features. You really don't need any more power than what it has...and would probably never even get it breaking into a sweat *so to speak*.

At this point you have 2 options, buy a model from last year or get a new one. Yamaha and Pioneer are both out with Onkyo now coming along too. Sure it's a bit more of a risk buying something unproven but the newer lines seem to be offering more goodies. I really don't see you needing alot of connectivity or features though, it seems like you just need a solid receiver with say 3 HDMI inputs and maybe Audyssey MultEQ and Dynamic Volume/EQ.
You could easily get away with the Onkyo TX-SR606 which is on sale for $399 right now. If you have good ventilation for it there's no reason to not consider it. It's not great at video processing but you don't need it, your TV will do better. It's got 4 HDMI inputs and Audyssey features also.
The Denon AVR-1909 would cost you about $85 more at 6ave using the aflaud25 coupon code. You might even want to see if you can find a Yammie RX-V663. I just don't see you needing to spend more than $500 considering your needs. Running those speakers for HT and TV/Games using a powerful amp is pretty much a waste of money IMO. Each to their own. Good luck.

I'd rather save a few hundred and spend it on room treatments or maybe even a library of Bluray movies, you'll still end up with the same performance in the end.

That's an interesting post. I had never really heard anyone talk about how receivers would actually apply to how they were intended to be used. I supposed I should add that a few years down the road I'd like to use this receiver to also pump some music for basement hangout parties. That's when we have a large finished basement with games, pool, ect. So it will be used for some good music. I also currently use my speakers to workout to. I forgot to mention that assuming all receivers can be used for it. I do like it a little loud when working out. Does that add anything to my requirements for a receiver Danielson?

Thank you everyone for your feedback so far. I'm keeping everyone's posts in mind.
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post #8 of 11 Old 04-07-2009, 07:42 AM
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Well now that does affect your choice alittle then. If you're listening to music in 2 channel then most receivers will give you more than stated wpc so most receivers will still do well driving just your mains. I suppose it justifies getting an 806 or prefereably an 805, an HK 354 (read the thread first), a Denon 2309. The difference in power between those and their step down models are not much and it's not likely any would perform better playing 2 channel music at moderately loud levels but it's good to have headroom.

Just out of the 'blue' here's another option. It might cost you another $100 or so but it's the most beautiful solution possible

Get one of THESE for it's preamps
and connect one of THESE to it.

You'll have that amp for possibly the next 10 or 15 years no problem, whereas any receiver you buy will probably get outdated or lack your future power needs. Getting a cheaper receiver with a solid amp is a great way to go. No worries about technology making your amp obsolete
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-07-2009, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAWoody View Post

What about a Pioneer Elite VSX-94TXH http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...vers/VSX-94TXH

I'm able to get that as a refurb for $800. That's not a bad unit is it? Would this be better than some of the better Onkyo, Denon, or HK models?

It's a good unit. I own it and like it a lot. Plenty of power, plenty of inputs, decodes all the new HD format (DTS Master Audio, Dolby TrueHD), great sound. My only (minor) gripe is that I can't set the crossover frequency independently for each channel. And the crossover points are limited to 50, 80, 100, 120, 200 (or something like that) instead of in 10Hz increments like other AVR's. As I recall, the Onkyo's and Yamaha's are more flexible there. May not be a big deal to you. It's not really to me either, just more of an annoyance because I can't tweak it to the level I'd like. Overall, I'm very satisfied with it. Don't think you could go wrong with one for $800. SRP was $1800 when it first came out.

Awww, how cute. You measure your TV's size in inches...
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post #10 of 11 Old 04-09-2009, 01:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice everyone! Right now I'm strongly considering 2 Pioneer Elites:

The SC-05 http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU.../ci.SC-05.Kuro

and the VSX-03TXH http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...VSX-03TXH.Kuro

Does anyone have any advice or experience with these units?
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post #11 of 11 Old 04-09-2009, 08:36 AM
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I would consider Marantz. Accessories4less has them in your price range. I have the SR8002 and used Denon mainly before. Comparison in sound IMO I think Marantz has a nice warm mid range. The Pioneer Elite are probably just as good. My brother in law has the VSX-1018 and for the price it sounds great. Onkyo's Integra series compares more to the Elites, Marantz and Denon. Also NAD has built some refined receivers in the past (just don't see them anymore in my area). Never impressed by Rotel, this is all subjective since they did sale a lot of units in my area and many swear by them.

I would stick to the Elite,Marantz, Integra and Denon as first tier and the Onkyo's as only ever so slightly. HK units seem like a hard sale. When CC had them they tried steer you away from them to the Onkyo's.
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