First entry level home theater system - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 07-24-2011, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello everyone,

I'm new to home theater was looking for some advise and I had a few people that I know direct me to this site. I've been looking at buying an entry level home theater system and was considering an Onkyo HTIB option, but I came across a sale on a seperate receiver and speaker bundle and was wondering if it was worth going this route or sticking with my original plans. Looking for that bang for the buck. I don't have alot to spend, but I was wondering if this was a decent deal for a starter system.

My original plan was the Onkyo HT-S5400

I came across a sale for the Onkyo TX-NR509 with Klipsch HDT-300

I can pick up both of these for $399.00

Any comments or recommendations are greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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post #2 of 27 Old 07-24-2011, 06:22 PM
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Hello! Welcome! First, what's you budget? Also, it is better to avoid HTIB systems.
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post #3 of 27 Old 07-24-2011, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Not alot. I was looking at max out at about $500. That is why I was looking at the HTIB (specifically the Onkyo). I am looking at starting out. I wanted to stay far away from those Sony and Samsung HTIB packages. Another way I was possibly considering is maybe starting with a receiver and L/R and center.

That's one of the reasons I came here. First to see if the Onkyo and Klipsch package was a good deal as a starter and secondly if there were any other suggestions.

Thanks
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post #4 of 27 Old 07-24-2011, 07:34 PM
 
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Depends on "your goal" and how big the room is you are putting this in.

Will the Onkyo/Klipsch sound better than the TV? Of course it will.

Will it shake the foundation? No it won't...

Of course spending $500 on a receiver and 2 speakers gets you "better stuff", but...it is 2.0, not 5.1.

What else, besides TV/BD will you be using this system with?
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post #5 of 27 Old 07-24-2011, 07:45 PM
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5.0 system:
http://www.fluance.com/fluan5speaks.html
Sub:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882115129
Receiver:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882115313
It's all around $629 (5.1 system) but it will beat any HTIB system.

"My English is not very good looking" - Celia Cruz

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post #6 of 27 Old 07-24-2011, 09:48 PM
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I bought a jamo 5.1 system. Honestly, I wish I would have started piecing it together. For example, like noted, 2.0 system then 2.1, 3.1, 5.1, 7.1... buy a nice pair of bookshelf speakers and a receiver. Later those speakers can be your surrounds. My 2 pennies...

Edit: here is a potential idea...

first, newegg has the best prices for Polk monitor and RTi, when on sale. Furthermore, for the month of July they offer 12 month no interest for orders over 500. (Preferred account)

Buy a pair of Polk monitor 60 for $120 each ($240 total)

Buy a onkyo 509 for $280 or used for cheaper

Total $520 and if you get a preferred account you have 12 months to pay it off

OR

step it up in the line and buy a pair of Polk RTi a3 bookshelf speakers ($280). However, that will put or total at $560. You'll get the upgrade bug and do it eventually anyway haha jk but I did
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post #7 of 27 Old 07-24-2011, 10:50 PM
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I'm honestly thinking either would be good for $399 - the receivers look nearly identical sans the 7.1 abilities on the NR509, and the lack of a second zone audio output on the kit receiver. I'd probably go with whichever (neither speaker setup is likely to be bad), you should be able to add better speakers to either.

That said, I personally would go with a receiver that features multi-ch preouts, and ideally a multi-ch line-in (essentially to ensure the receiver is more "future proof" and can have an amplifier added down the line as well) - the Yamaha RX-A700 and RX-V867 get you both, however by themselves they exceed the price of either package. You can find similar receivers from other brands (Onkyo TX-NR709, Harman/Kardon AVR3600, Denon AVR-3312CI (it lacks the multi-ch in though)). Add speakers as you can - as has been suggested. Start with your front L/R set, and then add the remaining speakers for multi-channel and a subwoofer as you feel, you can eventually add a power amp and even fancier speakers if you'd like (that's the advantage of the multi-ch outputs). It'll also be more compatible with future formats and devices, at least in theory (between HDMI and the multi-ch analog inputs, you shouldn't have issues in the foreseeable future). I would do this because it gives you more flexibility, and you should end up with a better overall configuration. Most components in this price are "HTIB" things - both receivers mentioned are found in HTIB packages, same for the subwoofer, speakers, and so on - I'm not saying any are bad, but you're still at the very bottom tier of components and generally are quite limited in terms of features and performance as a result (you also usually get the short-end when it comes to warranty terms and reliability, but not always, that said, speakers are fairly hard to kill with normal use). Middle-of-the-road is generally a better place to be.

Otherwise, I'd flip a coin between the two, unless you can find something substantive that compares the speakers - the receivers are probably the same exact thing inside, so it's down to the speakers. Again, I doubt either will be bad, but it's not like one is going to be lightyears ahead simply because it doesn't say HTIB on the box.
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post #8 of 27 Old 07-25-2011, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almangar View Post

Not alot. I was looking at max out at about $500. That is why I was looking at the HTIB (specifically the Onkyo). I am looking at starting out. I wanted to stay far away from those Sony and Samsung HTIB packages. Another way I was possibly considering is maybe starting with a receiver and L/R and center.

That's one of the reasons I came here. First to see if the Onkyo and Klipsch package was a good deal as a starter and secondly if there were any other suggestions.

Thanks

How big is your room? That would help determine things a bit.

And here is a thought:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...323&CatId=4586

Buy this now for under $500 shipped and save up for a sub for later.

I think that might work out pretty well for you, depending on the size of your room.
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post #9 of 27 Old 07-25-2011, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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It is between a med/large size room, but I'm at work right now so don't have the exact dimensions. I can post a little later. The setup is mainly for tv, games and movies. One of my concerns is that my living room is pretty open. The best way I could describe without a drawing would be that it is an L shape with the bottom being about 1/2 dining room/living room and the top being the length of the living room. Sorry if that's a little confusing.

I was looking at that Onkyo/Jamo set that was mentioned and I think I like that better than what I had found originally. The only thing I would have to do is pickup a sub when I get a little extra cash. I've seen pretty good reviews for Jamo and it looks like I'd get more for my money.

Thanks everyone for the help and any more suggestions are appreciated
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post #10 of 27 Old 07-25-2011, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walbert View Post

I'm honestly thinking either would be good for $399 - the receivers look nearly identical sans the 7.1 abilities on the NR509, and the lack of a second zone audio output on the kit receiver. I'd probably go with whichever (neither speaker setup is likely to be bad), you should be able to add better speakers to either.

That said, I personally would go with a receiver that features multi-ch preouts, and ideally a multi-ch line-in (essentially to ensure the receiver is more "future proof" and can have an amplifier added down the line as well) - the Yamaha RX-A700 and RX-V867 get you both

I would be careful going too feature rich on the receiver for now, paying for something you can't use and won't improve the performance of what you can afford seems overkill. Going to 7.1 means more speaker $$, going to pre-outs and ins with no extra amp is useless.

Yes in the future you could use those things. But if you get into this hobby, you probably will want the latest greatest AVR when you could afford to utilize those options. Because in 5 years there will be new surround standards and new hdmi standards and what you buy won't have those capabilities. As long as it can switch a few HDMI and do standards like DTS and Dolby Digital and pass 3d I wouldn't get too wrapped around the decision.

Speakers on the other hand...a) as you move up in price normally sound better no matter what AVR powers them b) can always be demoted to back channels on future system upgrades. So buying a lower member of a better line usually pays off.
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post #11 of 27 Old 07-25-2011, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neworder71 View Post

I would be careful going too feature rich on the receiver for now, paying for something you can't use and won't improve the performance of what you can afford seems overkill. Going to 7.1 means more speaker $$, going to pre-outs and ins with no extra amp is useless.

If only this logic, was logical. Unfortunately it's not possible to gain build quality or input functionality without gaining other features as well - it isn't money wasted.

Quote:


Yes in the future you could use those things. But if you get into this hobby, you probably will want the latest greatest AVR when you could afford to utilize those options. Because in 5 years there will be new surround standards and new hdmi standards and what you buy won't have those capabilities. As long as it can switch a few HDMI and do standards like DTS and Dolby Digital and pass 3d I wouldn't get too wrapped around the decision.

And for that reason, multi-channel inputs and pre-outs make sense - there are receivers from the 1990s that are still suitable in a modern environment, simply because they can connect to an external decoder or external power amplifier. The philosophy of buying a new receiver just because you're "into this hobby" is unsustainable and wasteful - buy the correct machine the first time, instead of going through a string of disposable components. No, you don't get to keep up with Mr and Mrs Jones, but you also aren't laying out money every few years as you outgrow your "temporary" purchases. Do your homework the first time, measure twice, and cut once.

Quote:


Speakers on the other hand...a) as you move up in price normally sound better no matter what AVR powers them b) can always be demoted to back channels on future system upgrades. So buying a lower member of a better line usually pays off.

Price does not directly influence quality. There are plenty of absurdly expensive speakers that sound like fud, and there are also plenty of high end/expensive speakers that will absolutely destroy some/most receivers. Ultimately there's a number of factors to consider, not just with speakers, but with everything. Again, measure twice, cut once.
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post #12 of 27 Old 07-26-2011, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by walbert View Post

If only this logic, was logical. Unfortunately it's not possible to gain build quality or input functionality without gaining other features as well - it isn't money wasted.



And for that reason, multi-channel inputs and pre-outs make sense - there are receivers from the 1990s that are still suitable in a modern environment, simply because they can connect to an external decoder or external power amplifier. The philosophy of buying a new receiver just because you're "into this hobby" is unsustainable and wasteful - buy the correct machine the first time, instead of going through a string of disposable components. No, you don't get to keep up with Mr and Mrs Jones, but you also aren't laying out money every few years as you outgrow your "temporary" purchases. Do your homework the first time, measure twice, and cut once.



Price does not directly influence quality. There are plenty of absurdly expensive speakers that sound like fud, and there are also plenty of high end/expensive speakers that will absolutely destroy some/most receivers. Ultimately there's a number of factors to consider, not just with speakers, but with everything. Again, measure twice, cut once.

I made none of the claims you attributed to me. We are talking about a $500 budget here keep that in mind.

Receiver - agreed the good stuff comes with the functionality, but the AVRs you suggest, by your own admission, are above the price by themselves. I want a Ferrari I can afford a BMW. When you are playing with this budget, I'm doubting an external decoder or amp is in the cards in the short to medium term.

As far as waste - I never buy "disposable" pieces nor suggest it. Every piece I've bought since 1994 is still in active use in my house or a family member because I did buy good stuff (save the odd VCR and 1st gen replaytv DVR). My 1st team is in my main room and then they get demoted from there.

I didn't directly connect price and performance, but I will say that 5 piece set for <$100 probably isn't worth much in the long run. Even cheap good speakers are more like $100 each. So getting a couple of those and a $200-$300 AVR is the best starting pt in my opinion for the given budget, then add the speakers as you can afford them. So I'd say his original $399 probably would be a good move.

Again we have a $500 budget.
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post #13 of 27 Old 08-09-2011, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys, I'm back. First off I want to think everyone for their advice. It all gets a little overwhelming to someone who is just getting into home theater and trying make all the best choices. I am doing this all from my Droid, so sorry of the formatting is off. I attached a basic diagram of my living room and wanted to get some more opinions/advice. I was looking to get away from the HTIB, but came across a Denon htd-591ba for $300 at BB on clearance. I figured that was a good deal with the Boston speakers, which I thought of just selling outright on Craigslist or EBay and that would just bring the total cost down of my Denon 591.

I am picking up the Jamo 606 5.0 set from Vanns in black (on sale today for an extra $50 off) Now, I'm increasing my original $500 budget slightly, maybe up to $800. I was considering these options.

1) Keeping the Denon 591 and selling the Boston Acoustics 5.1 for whatever I get for them.
2) Return the Denon and BA HTIB
a) Buy Denon 1611 for $299
b) Buy Onkyo 609 for $399
c) Buy Marantz 6005 for $449 (open box at BB) this would exceed my budget, but if it is leaps and bounds better than the above receivers I might consider.

I will also be purchasing a dedicated sub in the future, but this is what I am looking at right now.

Thanks again for all your help.
LL
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post #14 of 27 Old 08-09-2011, 09:09 AM
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Get the Onkyo 608 from A4Less for $280. Return the less-capable Denon. The Marantz is nice, but doesn't really give you anything the Onkyo doesn't, and warranty might be an issue with open box.

Save up to get a good sub later.
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post #15 of 27 Old 08-09-2011, 09:51 AM
 
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There is no "warranty issue" with an open box from BB, never has been, never will be.

The SR6005 is yes a better receiver(I'm tempted to get one for my kid to go off to college with and resell the Denon AVR 788 that I found for him earlier this summer)...

It is not as "feature" rich as the Onkyo 608 or 609(acc4less is a great place to get them)...

But the SR6005 has more connections(namely pre-out...if you'd ever use it)

Another one to look at(if Accessories4less is where you are willing to look) is the HT RC180 for $400. No it isn't 3D ready, but it is in a completely different league from the 6005 or 608/9
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post #16 of 27 Old 08-09-2011, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schan1269 View Post

Another one to look at(if Accessories4less is where you are willing to look) is the HT RC180 for $400. No it isn't 3D ready, but it is in a completely different league from the 6005 or 608/9

I don't have an issue purchasing from A4Less as long as they have a good track record. I believe they are an authorized seller of Onkyo, so their shouldn't be any warranty issues. I've seen them before while I've been looking. If 3D is the only downside, I really don't care. I'm not that interested in 3D anyways (It seems to get to me after awhile), and more than likely won't be going that route in the foreseeable future.
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post #17 of 27 Old 08-09-2011, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
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I just went to the A4Less website. I am seeing the HT-RC270 also about the same price point. I'm guessing that that is just the next years model. Are there any significant differences between the RC270 and the RC180 apart from the 3D. I do like the RC270's additional 2 HDMI inputs.
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post #18 of 27 Old 08-09-2011, 10:54 AM
 
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The HT RC180 is based on the NR807.

The HT RC270 is based on the NR708.

The main difference between a 70X and an 80X receiver is the chassis. The 50X, 60X and 70X all share the same chassis. The 80X rides on the same chassis as the 100X.
The extra power the 180 has is noteworthy. Not that you'd notice it in "real terms", but when you are watching Star Trek and the scene where they are "parachuting" down to the drill...the 270 will get through it, the 180 will breeze through it.

And that is the main difference between a one year newer receiver...the 270 has more features, the 180 is more powerful(don't judge it based on 100 vs 110, look at how much more power the 180 sucks off the wall than the 270...that translates into almost double the real power when actually doing 5.0...considering the sub powers itself)

That "power consumption" is also the main difference between the new 709 and stepping up to the 809, the 809 chews on electricity with reckless abandon(which is a good thing).

The 180/807 ran circles around their competition when they were new. When they debuted they actually sold for $900+. They kept that streak for 6 months. Best Buys up here kept stacks of both 10 feet off the checkout lines. That is how well they sold. That year, those two combined for darn near 60% of the AVR market in the $900-$1100 range. Onkyo ate EVERYBODY'S lunch with those two. That is why you still see them all over the place as refurbs. It is because of the sheer number of them out there.
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post #19 of 27 Old 08-09-2011, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
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So in other words, in the world of home theater receivers, energy star is a four letter word.
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post #20 of 27 Old 08-09-2011, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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As to the size and layout of my room per my diagram, will the Jamo 606's work well?
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post #21 of 27 Old 08-09-2011, 05:00 PM
 
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When I see "energy star" on a receiver, the same thought goes through my head when I hear an old Chevy/GMC truck roll by with the Caterpillar motor...

"What a P...."

The 606 are good speakers. You'll like them.
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post #22 of 27 Old 08-10-2011, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almangar View Post
So in other words, in the world of home theater receivers, energy star is a four letter word.
Not always. Poor power efficiency should never be an indicator of output ability or quality- there are plenty of power efficient designs out there, and I would expect to see substantially more in the future as Class D (and other switching) topologies continue to fall in price and rise in popularity (some of these designs can approach 90% efficiency, and (to continue with the Gordon Gecko theme) absolutely eat most modern components lunch for them).

That said, more robust power sources are generally a good thing, as they will ensure more power is available to the output devices. How much power you actually need is determined by a lot of factors, and I like schan's Star Trek analogy.

Click the link in my signature for references.
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post #23 of 27 Old 09-02-2011, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schan1269 View Post

Another one to look at(if Accessories4less is where you are willing to look) is the HT RC180 for $400.

Ok, I know it's been a few weeks, but I had something come up that caused me to hold off on my purchase for a couple weeks. I just got my Jamo 606's delivered today, got a great deal, open box for $350 and they look and sound awesome. I actually had them connected to the Denon 591 (mentioned above) for a couple movies before I returned it to BB. Now I went to A4Less to pick up the HT RC180 that Schan had recommended and now they are sold out. I was too slow I guess.

Now my question, since the RC180 is sold out, I was looking at the HT RC270. I can get it new right now for $375 which less than A4Less has it refurbished. I think for the features this is a pretty good price, but if anyone has any suggestions of something in the same $400 price point or less that is equal to or better I am all ears. Your help has gotten me this far, now I just need to get that final piece so I can start fully enjoying my home theater.

Thanks again.
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post #24 of 27 Old 09-02-2011, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Or how about the Yamaha RX-A800? Any thoughts?
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post #25 of 27 Old 09-02-2011, 10:00 PM
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I think you'll be alright with either of those options.

What did the Denon fail to do that had it going back? That might be worth at least being able to mark down on your own, so you can avoid whatever that problem was (or look for whatever feature that was lacking).
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post #26 of 27 Old 09-02-2011, 10:24 PM - Thread Starter
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There was nothing wrong with the Denon, it was just part of Denon/Boston Acoustics HTIB package that I picked up, so if the speakers had to go back, the receiver had to accompany it. What if I throw another receiver out there. I just found the tx-nr609 for $299. Any thoughts?

Also, I hear alot of chatter about the Onkyos overheating and having HDMI issues. Don't know if this is because they are more prone or is it just that there are so many more Onkyos out there compared to others that you are going to hear about more problems?
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post #27 of 27 Old 09-02-2011, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almangar View Post

There was nothing wrong with the Denon, it was just part of Denon/Boston Acoustics HTIB package that I picked up, so if the speakers had to go back, the receiver had to accompany it.

Ah. Didn't know that.




Quote:


What if I throw another receiver out there. I just found the tx-nr609 for $299. Any thoughts?

I think it would also work.

Quote:


Also, I hear alot of chatter about the Onkyos overheating and having HDMI issues. Don't know if this is because they are more prone or is it just that there are so many more Onkyos out there compared to others that you are going to hear about more problems?

This is an interesting question. There was a thread along these lines a while ago. I think it was titled something like "Is Onkyo the Jaguar of AV?"

Overall, in my experience, Onkyo tends to fail more. This is both from online and personal observation. I've also read some absolute horror stories about Onkyo Customer Service here on AVS.

Regarding heat, a lot of modern AVRs that I've toyed around with, or helped setup, run much warmer than I'd be comfortable with (of all of my components, only one actually runs warm to the touch, and by modern standards its probably not even on the register). I'm of the philosophy that if you treat the AVR like a computer, and set it up somewhere that it can ventilate properly, you shouldn't have problems. It should not, however, run hot enough to prepare food.

All of the models you've found will probably work fine, my personal taste is Yamaha, but the Onkyos will probably do fine (And from what I know of Onkyo models, the 270 is a higher end component than the 609).

Ensure that whatever you get, you can return within a given window if you're unhappy, but I doubt any of the models you've listed would give you too much trouble. I'd suggest ensuring whatever you get has pre-outs, multi-ch input, and whatever decoders you want. The A800 should do this (the A700 does), the 270 probably does this as well, I don't know much about the 609.
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