Energy RC System --- Best/Cheapest Receiver? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 53 Old 02-07-2011, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking for an excellent receiver that isn't too harsh on the wallet. I am more than happy to buy Used and Refurbished as long as it is in great condition.

I will be connecting my TV, Computer, and Xbox 360 to the System.


Here are the Speakers that the Receiver will be Running:

2x Energy RC-50's

2x Energy RC-R's

1x Energy RC-LCR

Sub - Still Undecided


I would like it to be a 7.1 Receiver so that I can upgrade in the future without having to buy a new Receiver.


I really like the Pioneer VSX-1020-K Receivers, however, I feel like it's a bit overkill. I can't find them for less than $350 and I figure that I should be able to get one for much less that will cover everything I need.

Is there a Receiver out there that can live up to this? I know a lot of the Pioneer's appeal are the shiny bells and whistles it has. But, it looks like an excellent Receiver.

Let me know if you guys have any suggestions.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 53 Old 02-07-2011, 07:13 AM
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Go to accessories4less and find one that will fit your budget. They sell refurbed Marantz and Onkyo's. There's also Dakmart that has a very selection of Denon's. Good luck. Example below.


http://www.accessories4less.com/make...eceiver/1.html

There's also this new H/K 1600 available for a very good price at the Egg


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882121063

If it were me I'd go for the H/K 1600. Check out the thread for them here in this forum.
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post #3 of 53 Old 02-07-2011, 09:50 AM
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The basic Best Buy Insignia 5.1 receiver has been on sale for $179.99 twice in the last two months. It has 65w (enough for reasonably efficient speakers), HDMI, and the latest blu-ray codecs. You should be able to find other AVRs in the $200-$300 range that also meet your needs. Save your money for a better subwoofer.
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post #4 of 53 Old 02-07-2011, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabigon24 View Post

I really like the Pioneer VSX-1020-K Receivers, however, I feel like it's a bit overkill.

it's not overkill, it's exactly-right-kill. How is it overkill?

And, how much less than $350 do you think it's reasonable to pay for a brand-new, mid level receiver with 7.1, HDMI switching and plenty of HDMI inputs, video conversion, iPod USB port, etc? If you don't need all of those features you can always simply slide down the Pioneer line to the 920 which sacrifices a few features is a bit cheaper.

But the bottom line is that $300-400 is basically the minimum you are going to pay for a NEW, HDMI equipped receiver with 7.1 and all the modern doodads. Obviously, if you don't NEED all the modern doodads, you can shop used and refurb and get something cheaper.

But you didn't exactly specify what your needs were beyond 7.1 and the ability to have some amount of "future proofing".... which is basically exactly what the 1020 (or equivalent Denon 791/1911, Onkyo 608, etc) provides.

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post #5 of 53 Old 02-07-2011, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Obviously, I'm not expecting to pay $50 for a decent Receiver. I am simply asking what exactly do I NEED on the Receiver? I want to pay as little as possible for a nice receiver with the features I need and will use instead of overpaying for something with "cool" features that I will never touch. Did that make my intentions a bit more clear?

I'm on a budget so I'm trying to spare as little of it toward the Receiver as possible so I can invest more into the speakers. I would love to find a nice receiver that is Refurbished or Used for a great price. That is what I meant. I'm not looking to pay nothing for the receiver, but I just want to buy what I need.

Basically, the closer to $200, the better. $350 would be the maximum I could pay. I would like to have the Pre-Outs for possible amp upgrades in the future. Aside from that, what is the Best Price to Performance Receiver out there that I can find?

I'm not sure what "needs" I can tell you about? I'm new to all of this so I am relying on you guys who know what you're doing to steer me in the right direction. I don't have any immediate plans to upgrade in the near future. The only thing I might do is add an amp for my 2 front speakers and possible 2 more surrounds for 7.1. Is that what you mean?

Thanks!
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post #6 of 53 Old 02-07-2011, 02:16 PM
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Quote:


I'm not sure what "needs" I can tell you about?

OK, here are some examples of decisions you want to make:

- how many HDMI inputs do you need?
- do you need analog>digital video conversion (so you can run one HDMI cable to the TV for all sources)? Or are you willing to run multiple video cables to the TV?
- do you need 3D support?
- do you want the ability to connect an iPod direct with USB?
- do you want a color on-screen interface (GUI)?


If you require pre-outs that's going to narrow things down considerably as they are really not an "entry level" feature. Pretty much only Marantz and Yamaha put pre-outs on their mid-priced models.

Accessories4Less.com is a great place to look for refurb deals on Marantz and Onkyo models.

If you are willing to go used / refurb you can get a higher-end model from 2-3 years ago that will have more power, pre-outs, but will sacrifice some of the newest doodads like tons of HDMI inputs, internal HD audio decoding, room correction and processing (like Audyssey MultEQ + Dynamic EQ).

For example, this Marantz 5002 at A4less: http://www.accessories4less.com/make...urround/1.html

Right in your budget range, plenty of power, pre-outs... but only 3 HDMI inputs, no Audyssey, etc.

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post #7 of 53 Old 02-07-2011, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank You, that is extremely helpful.

Honestly, I don't *require* Pre-Outs at all. The few people I've spoken to just recommended that I get them. However, I have no intentions of buying an Amp in the near future so I honestly think it would just be a waste for me. I will use the "doodads" (lol) far more than I would Pre-Outs.

HDMI: I need at least 3 but would prefer 4-5. I will be connecting my TV, XBOX 360, and Computer for now and that will leave me a few open slots if I need them.

A>D Video Conversion: I'm not sure? I don't mind running multiple cables but I don't really know what this feature does.

3D Support: Not a big deal.

IPod Connection: Definitely would like to have this.

GUI: Most definitely.

Let me know if you need to know anything else.

So, basically the only brands I really need to look at for receivers are Marantz, Pioneer, Onkyo, Denon, and Harmon Kardon? Is there a clear best in sound quality and build quality out of these?

Each brand has soooo many different models so it's impossible for me to choose one on my own. Thank You for the help.
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post #8 of 53 Old 02-07-2011, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
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I have narrowed the Receiver down to 4 choices from Pioneer and Onkyo.

Pioneer:

VSX-1020-K
VSX-920-K

Onkyo:

TX-SR608
TX-SR508

I can't decide between these, though. lol

The latter two of each brand possess the necessary features, but the upper two are extremely feature-rich. However, I can get an Onkyo TX-SR508 Refurb for $189 which is quite appealing. lol

What do you guys think the best option is?

I believe the Pioneer's are $344 and $247 Brand New Respectively while the Onkyo's are $317 and $189 Refurbished.

Can anyone break down the key differences between these 4 models to help me make a decision? For example, the Onkyo SR508 saves me a ton on my budget, but what sacrifices will I have to make. Is the 1020-K worth the extra money over the 920-K? And probably my biggest question is which is better between the 1020-K and SR608? They look extremely similar. Thanks!
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post #9 of 53 Old 02-07-2011, 05:01 PM
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If you don't need any analog to hdmi conversion, just get this Marantz 4002 refurb. No GUI interface either.
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...urround/1.html

It actually has 7.1 preouts to add an external amp too.

But if you want GUI interface, iPod interface, etc maybe the Pioneer VSX-1020 should be your starting point.

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post #10 of 53 Old 02-07-2011, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I am going to go with the Pioneer VSX-1020-K, I do believe.

It is better than the lower Elite versions such as the 30 and 31, right?

The cheapest I can find the 1020-K is $340 Shipped. Does anyone know of any better deals on it new, used, or refurbished? Thanks!
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post #11 of 53 Old 02-07-2011, 05:14 PM
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No, the VSX-1020 is almost the same as the Elite 31 except you get a shorter warranty, 1 yr vs 2 years, and a couples less features such as the RS-232 port and 12V triggers.

$340 is pretty darn cheap for the VSX-1020, how cheap do you need it to be?

Product sheet for vsx-1020
http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/ep...VSX-1020-K.pdf

Product sheet for Elite VSX-31
http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/ep...ges/VSX-31.pdf

The 31 says full color GUI while the 1020 says full color OSD. Might be a difference. Does the 1020 show the volume level on screen over HDMI? That's important to some people.

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post #12 of 53 Old 02-07-2011, 06:18 PM
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Imo the one linked below is a much better AVR than any of the ones on your list and its less money to boot.



http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882120153
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post #13 of 53 Old 02-07-2011, 07:25 PM
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What makes the RC-260 much better than the VSX-1020?

1020 has better video scaler and has an ethernet port plus iPod/USB port.

What are the advantages of the RC 260?

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post #14 of 53 Old 02-08-2011, 04:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

What makes the RC-260 much better than the VSX-1020?

1020 has better video scaler and has an ethernet port plus iPod/USB port.

What are the advantages of the RC 260?

I'm curious on this as well. I saw that one when I was looking through Onkyo's website, but I don't see much of a difference between it and the TX-SR680.
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post #15 of 53 Old 02-08-2011, 04:31 AM
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The Onkyo has a better amp section so it will test better on the bench. However, the 1020 does have some advantages.
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post #16 of 53 Old 02-08-2011, 04:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabigon24 View Post

I'm curious on this as well. I saw that one when I was looking through Onkyo's website, but I don't see much of a difference between it and the TX-SR680.

The difference is its new as compared to a refurbed that you listed. Its the same as the Onkyo 608. And as for the video scaler in the1020 what makes anyone think its any better than the one in this one. Any video processor in an AVR in this price range is useless, your display will do every thing this one will do. The only advantage the 1020 may have would be its interaction with an IPod. That would be it. Also if test reports were out on this 1020 it would probably test the same as the one before it(1019) and deliver no where near its specs which were ~25 watts/channel with only 5 channels driven. What would that be with 7 channels connected? This is why I feel its a better AVR than the 1020. There are members here that have used the 1020 and returned it for the 1120 due to its running out gas to do what was needed for movies. The 1120 is not on the OP's list due to price.
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post #17 of 53 Old 02-08-2011, 05:26 AM
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I purchased an Onkyo HT-RC260 to replace an eight year old THX receiver (which did not have HDMI and the new blu-ray codecs). It has the same amplifier section as the Onkyo 608 and drops two features from the 608 such as ability to add satellite radio. Onkyo did not pay the fee for THX certification on the 260.

You can always purchase a standalone Ipod sounddock that will connect to the receiver.
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post #18 of 53 Old 02-08-2011, 06:31 AM - Thread Starter
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What are the exact models from each Brand that I need to keep an eye out for? I'm going to try to either find one Refurbished or Used. I REALLY need to keep it in the $200-$250 range if possible as that would make everything so much easier.

I know a little about the Pioneer and Onkyo Receivers, but I would still like suggestions from them.

Aside from those, Denon and Marantz seem to be the only other Brands really worth looking into. What are their best options that would be $300-$400 new so that I could look for one used.

In the $200-$250 range, I could get a brand new Pioneer VSX-920-K or Onkyo TX-SR508, however, in the $200-$250 Price Range and $300-$350 Price Range, there is a HUGE difference in features.
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post #19 of 53 Old 02-08-2011, 06:31 AM
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Another option for the OP is to give 6ave.com a call and make an offer on the Denon 1611. They will come down on the price listed on their website. I've seen members here get that one for much lower than whats listed on their website. You have to call though. Make an offer thats in your price range and if they can't make that they will counter with one they can. Stick to your offer and you may be surprised for what you can purchase it for.
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post #20 of 53 Old 02-08-2011, 06:41 AM - Thread Starter
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What is better about that Denon than the rest? I see it is only 75w per channel which is fairly weak isn't it? Was hoping to get around 100w per channel to make sure I have plenty of power.
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post #21 of 53 Old 02-08-2011, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabigon24 View Post

What is better about that Denon than the rest? I see it is only 75w per channel which is fairly weak isn't it? Was hoping to get around 100w per channel to make sure I have plenty of power.

The 1611 will meet its specs or at least get very close to it. Video processing seems to be important although as I stated in this price range its more problems than it is good. It has the best EQ programs of ALL of your choices. Audyssey Multi-Eq that will Eq the sub, the others won't do anything for the sub. I am not an Audyssey fan, I prefer YPAO over it, but there are no Yamaha's in your price range. That's what I believe when it comes to AVR's in your price range. All will have something that will not meet your wants, so therefore go for the best in that range. Add the I-Pod deck later when you can afford it and you will be all set for quite a while IMO. There is also the H/K 1600 that can be had in your range and although it does not have the "power" you want the H/K's are tested with all channels driven and will easily or in most cases exceed its power. Besdies you don't need that much power to drive the speakers you are using at this time. The choice for me in this price range would be the 1611,1600, and then the 270 in that order. YMMV.
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post #22 of 53 Old 02-08-2011, 07:46 AM - Thread Starter
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What about the AVR-791 from Denon? It looks to be better than the 1611 and I can find it for $250-$300 Refurbed?

Marantz doesn't seem to have any offering worth buying in my price range. The SR5005 is their cheapest, nice receiver and it is still $500-$600. Am I looking over any other notables?

Denon has the 1611 and 791.

Harman Kardon is a no-go.

So, it looks like my choices are:

Pioneer VSX-1020-K
Onkyo TX-SR608
Denon 1611
Denon 791

Am I missing any other great options?

I could also go budget with:

Pioneer VSX-920-K
Onkyo TX-SR508

What do you guys think?
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post #23 of 53 Old 02-08-2011, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabigon24 View Post

What about the AVR-791 from Denon? It looks to be better than the 1611 and I can find it for $250-$300 Refurbed?

Marantz doesn't seem to have any offering worth buying in my price range. The SR5005 is their cheapest, nice receiver and it is still $500-$600. Am I looking over any other notables?

Denon has the 1611 and 791.

Harman Kardon I am still trying to read up on.

Go for it IIRC its almost the same as the 1911, a step up from the 1611. Ask batpig or jdsmoothie on this though as I don't keep up with the different models from Denon as they do. They can give you all the info you need. Either of these though are better than your initial choice IMO.
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post #24 of 53 Old 02-08-2011, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Do the Denon's sound better in your opinion?

I heard that the Marantz were great for music but they are too expensive.

With the Pioneer's and Onkyo's, most people like their sound from what I have read.

On the Denon's, I haven't heard much about their sound at all. I know most people refer to them as great receivers, but I wanted to make sure of their sound quality as well.

If someone can give me more info on the 791 vs. 1611 as well, that would be excellent.

Thanks!
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post #25 of 53 Old 02-08-2011, 08:24 AM
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Sound quality is too subjective with AVR's. So we won't even go there. There should not be a difference between the ones on your list as far as that goes. You shouldl be looking at the EQ programs with each of the brands on your list. Audyssey Multi-Eq is the best on your current list. The speakers you are using will determine the sound you hear far more than the brand of your AVR. The Eq program can and will make some difference but only if its engaged, all of these running in direct mode should sound the same. The 791 is a step up from the 1611. If you can get it for the price you want go for it.
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post #26 of 53 Old 02-08-2011, 08:34 AM
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There's this one thats a refurb from Marantz that may interest you. Go to their website and see if it will do what you want. It will fit in your budget, however I don't know much of anything else about it. It is a Marantz though.



http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/r...marantz-sr4002
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post #27 of 53 Old 02-08-2011, 08:53 AM
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the thing is, to keep it in your budget range you are going to have to decide which compromises you want to make... unless you are willing to spend that extra 100 bucks.

I can tell you that on your list of "wants", the GUI and the iPod USB direct connection will be the ones most likely to be sacrificed. At this price point the only options with iPod USB are the Pioneers and the Denon 791/1911. Pioneers were the first to integrate USB support for iPods in entry-level models and have the best implementation.

But to get your price point with the 920 (vs the 1020) you have to give up the color GUI. The 920 just has a basic black-and-white OSD that is block text.... so it won't be as "cool" to browse the iPod on the TV screen like with the 1020, where there will be a color interface with album art and stuff.

BTW, you can see a detailed comp of the 920 vs 1020 at Pioneer's website (linked).

If you want to know the difference between the Denon 1611 and 791, read my FAQ at the beginning of this thread: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1252688

The 791 model will have almost everything on your list -- 4 HDMI inputs, iPod USB port, awesome sound quality, good video processing/conversion -- but again no color OSD. To get color GUI on Denons you have to go the 89x/23xx level..... but they are more expensive in the brand new 3D-capable 891/2311 model version. However, since you don't care about 3D you could get the 2310ci refurb for $350ish..... but the Denon '10 models from last year don't have a USB port!

So, you can see it's a complex situation, where you really need to educate yourself on the different features and what tradeoffs you are willing to make. Especially because you want to get to the $200-250 price point ideally. That's why this thread started with questions about understanding your needs better.

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post #28 of 53 Old 02-08-2011, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantom52 View Post

Also if test reports were out on this 1020 it would probably test the same as the one before it(1019) and deliver no where near its specs which were ~25 watts/channel with only 5 channels driven. What would that be with 7 channels connected?

Bench tests have been done on the step-up 1120: http://www.hometheater.com/content/p...-labs-measures

Five channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 47.0 watts
1% distortion at 52.3 watts

Seven channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 38.9 watts
1% distortion at 47.1 watts

Compared to the Denon 2311:
http://www.hometheater.com/content/d...-labs-measures

Five channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 83.3 watts
1% distortion at 91.5 watts

Seven channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 66.3 watts
1% distortion at 74.7 watts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabigon24 View Post

What is better about that Denon than the rest? I see it is only 75w per channel which is fairly weak isn't it? Was hoping to get around 100w per channel to make sure I have plenty of power.

See above -- basically, one lesson you have to learn is that published power specs are generally meaningless. First of all, there is no practical difference between 80 w/ch and 100w/ch in real world use.... and second, the specs don't tell the whole story. Some brands do a better job of coming close to their specs than others.... It's basically easier to just look at MSRP and use that as a proxy for power.

For example, if the $399 Denon model says 75 watts/ch, and the $399 Sony or Yamaha says 110 watts/ch, don't believe it!! You are better off assuming that they have similar power because they are at a similar MSRP... it's more likely that the ones who publish inflated specs have LESS power than the ones who list more conservatively.

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post #29 of 53 Old 02-08-2011, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank You for the explanation and trust me I have read until my eyes burn for around a week about all of these. I'm learning, but Receivers are unbelievably complicated.

So, with the Budget SR508 and 920-K, I could save a lot. However, I think there is too much sacrificed here. Do you agree? I mean, they both seem like great receivers, but they are missing so much that the 608 and 1020 have to offer.

Stepping up to the next rung on the price range of $350-$400, it opens up a whole new territory.

(Please let me know if I left any out of this list. Marantz and Harman Kardon's units that are comparable to these are far more expensive and I don't know of any other Brands that compete.)

The Top 4 Options that have appealed to me (and are regularly compared to one another) are:

Pioneer VSX-1020-K
Denon AVR-791
Onkyo TX-SR608
Yamaha RX-V667

Did I leave any out that I should also consider? I would really like to stick with current models instead of older, outdated predecessors that have been replaced. The main reason is as technology advances, so do the products that will be connected to the receiver. The options that these 4 possess are already extremely handy and will become even moreso as time progresses.

I know you are big on Denon, but do you know much about the other 3 options listed?

From what I can tell, each has their strengths and weaknesses.

The Denon seems to be balanced and overall great quality. However, it looks to be the more "primitive" of these options. It's major strengths seem to be the Audyssey Multi-EQ and Video Processing.

The Pioneer is probably the most feature-rich of these four with all of the cool little bells and whistles imaginable for the price range. The MCACC seems to be hit or miss with most who own it. Some love it while others prefer Audyssey. Overall, it seems to be a great receiver but their is always mention of lack of power with them.

The Onkyo is impressive to me in most regards. It is a 7.2 receiver which allows for an additional sub in the future if I choose to purchase one and seems to have the most available power for the system. It has a great set of features, but seems to have some bugs in its video processing. I have read about this on several different sites.

The Yahama I am still clueless about. I haven't read much on it, but Yamaha's receivers are normally well revered so I am going to look into it some more.

Does that sound somewhat correct or am I mistaken in those conclusions?

I hate to bother you even more, but if you can just do a simple pros and cons breakdown of each choice, it would definitely help me a lot. lol

It's just so difficult to make a choice without having experience in this field. Each unit has probably 50+ specs to consider and with each choice, you will most likely be sacrificing something in order to gain something else. I have such a headache. lol

So, assuming the Budget options are ill-advised, what is my ABSOLUTE BEST choice in the $300-$350 Range (which all 4 of the other options fall into)?
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post #30 of 53 Old 02-08-2011, 10:00 AM
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The H/K 1600 is also in this budget. However it seems with those it is a hit and miss with their features, their power specs are for real though. They are known for that. The 1120 to me is a major step up to the 1020. It is a very popular AVR especially in its price range. It does do virtually everything you are asking for in your AVR. The Denon to me is the best one of your current selections due to its Audyssey Multi-Eq and other features as bench test have confirmed. The Yamaha 667 is a good buy as it does allow the addition of an amp in the future as does the Pioneer 1120. Shorten your list, go over each ones features and connectivity that you will use and go from there. So foar of the ones on your list the first one I would drop would be the Onkyo 608. No room for expansion,lesser version of Audyssey and does not do all you really want/need. So that would leave on your list the Denon's 1611/2311(2311 is the better), add the H/K 1600 and see if may do what you want. Check out the thread on all of these and go from there. At this time I feel that the Denon's fit your needs the most.
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