Why I'll never buy Denon again.. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 02-11-2012, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Purchased a Denon AVR-4306. Manufactured in 2006. MSRP around $2K, IIRC. I bought it after a guy traded it in in early 2009. The problem described below started in 2010.

After it's out of warranty, sometimes sound comes out sometimes not. Always works when in tuner mode (and sounds fantastic when it works), but try to run DVD, TV, Bluray, it's a crap shoot whether sound comes out. Normally would come out eventually, after it warmed up. Later, that wasn't the case.

Take it to the repair shop, and the repair shop determines that one/some (I was never clear on that) of the boards have intermittent connections.

Denon previously sold the boards for $300.

When Denon started were running low on boards, they jacked the price to $600.

This is what the shop told me their experience has been with purchasing the boards.

When I needed the board, Denon was sold out. No opportunity to pay $600 to get it working again, which a few years ago I would have done to get it working again.

So, I now have a really heavy, formerly valuable, Denon piece of garbage.

This was my first receiver that was what I consider expensive.

I will never buy Denon again.

I like to buy nice stuff and keep it a while. I know stuff breaks, but when the manufacturer chooses not to support their product, the lose me as a customer.

Not sure how common this is, but the shop indicated they have has several other customers swear off Denon after finding out their relatively recent equipment couldn't be repaired.

I like to buy nice stuff and keep it a while.

Just wanted to get this out there to help others with their purchase decisions.
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post #2 of 28 Old 02-11-2012, 09:04 AM
 
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So you buy a used piece of equipment that was 3 years old when you bought it, so with todays technology probably outdated, and after it starts acting up you wait 2 years to get it fixed? And you expect Denon to carry circuit boards for a 6 year old product? Yeah you just joined, first post is a bashing of a product, seems kind of trollish to me. Good luck in whatever else you buy
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post #3 of 28 Old 02-11-2012, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSDTrainer View Post

So you buy a used piece of equipment that was 3 years old when you bought it, so with todays technology probably outdated, and after it starts acting up you wait 2 years to get it fixed? And you expect Denon to carry circuit boards for a 6 year old product? Yeah you just joined, first post is a bashing of a product, seems kind of trollish to me. Good luck in whatever else you buy

I glad you posted this, because for one, I really have no idea what the OP is talking about?
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post #4 of 28 Old 02-11-2012, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikeguy64 View Post

Purchased a Denon AVR-4306. Manufactured in 2006. MSRP around $2K, IIRC. I bought it after a guy traded it in in early 2009. The problem described below started in 2010.

After it's out of warranty, sometimes sound comes out sometimes not. Always works when in tuner mode (and sounds fantastic when it works), but try to run DVD, TV, Bluray, it's a crap shoot whether sound comes out. Normally would come out eventually, after it warmed up. Later, that wasn't the case.

Take it to the repair shop, and the repair shop determines that one/some (I was never clear on that) of the boards have intermittent connections.

Denon previously sold the boards for $300.

When Denon started were running low on boards, they jacked the price to $600.

This is what the shop told me their experience has been with purchasing the boards.

When I needed the board, Denon was sold out. No opportunity to pay $600 to get it working again, which a few years ago I would have done to get it working again.

So, I now have a really heavy, formerly valuable, Denon piece of garbage.

This was my first receiver that was what I consider expensive.

I will never buy Denon again.

I like to buy nice stuff and keep it a while. I know stuff breaks, but when the manufacturer chooses not to support their product, the lose me as a customer.

Not sure how common this is, but the shop indicated they have has several other customers swear off Denon after finding out their relatively recent equipment couldn't be repaired.

I like to buy nice stuff and keep it a while.

Just wanted to get this out there to help others with their purchase decisions.

If you like the 4306 that much..
Why not buy another another 4306 for parts, there are many for sale on-line..
For example, here is one listed for $120 on E-Bagger...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Denon-AVR-43...#ht_500wt_1076

Be advised that due to the latest advancements in HD audio & video & connectivity, AVRs become obsolete quite rapidly..
And their real market value drops big time..

Just my $0.02..
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post #5 of 28 Old 02-11-2012, 09:51 AM
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Everyone has their reasons for liking a certain company over another. Personally, given your situation; I would chalk it up to buying used, and if I kept the unit in an enclosed cabinet, I'd also learn a lesson not to do that (not sure if you did, but heat kills boards). However, if your experience is enough for you to dislike Denon for time being, that' fine Onkyo and Pioneer will welcome your dollars.
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post #6 of 28 Old 02-11-2012, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSDTrainer View Post

So you buy a used piece of equipment that was 3 years old when you bought it, so with todays technology probably outdated, and after it starts acting up you wait 2 years to get it fixed? And you expect Denon to carry circuit boards for a 6 year old product? Yeah you just joined, first post is a bashing of a product, seems kind of trollish to me. Good luck in whatever else you buy

Well Said.

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post #7 of 28 Old 02-11-2012, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
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I figured I'd get flamed, but thought getting my experience posted would perhaps help others in their purchase decision.

Purchased it in early 2009, and I started to get it fixed in 2010, when it acted up. It wasn't in a cabinet and had nothing on top of it. Thank you for letting me know not to do that though.

And if you have the money to pay $2K for the latest new receivers, glad you have a great paying job.

And you are right, I should have posted this this past summer, when it came back from it's second six month stay at the repair shop with the bill reading,"over 1,000 connections re soldered over 8 hours, boards out of stock, still not fixed, no charge".

Not remotely interested in any Denon product, eBay or not, with bad solder connections.
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post #8 of 28 Old 02-11-2012, 11:57 AM
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Onkyo it is for you. Been using denon products since the early 90s and they are still running strong. Phew

No subwoofer I've heard has been able to produce the bass I've experienced in the Corps!

Must..stop...buying...every bluray release...
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post #9 of 28 Old 02-11-2012, 12:23 PM
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The problem is, any brand could have this happen. You just had bad luck, bought a used receiver, it crapped, parts weren't available and here you are with nothing to show for it. Just bad luck, could have happened with any used brand you bought. No company usually has tons of old parts for old receivers laying around. And you could get a lemon with any brand you buy. Better luck next time. I don't currently own a Denon, but I've owned two top-tier models in the past and they performed outstanding.

Quote:
Of course, I got it modified with the TK-427, which cheeks it up another, maybe, 3 or 4 quads per channel.
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post #10 of 28 Old 02-11-2012, 12:35 PM
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Every brand has failures. Read the threads on other ARVs and you'll see that all of them have people reporting failed units.

I had a Polk sub and an Onkyo AVR fail last year. Both were 12 years old. I replaced the Polk with a Rythmik and the Onkyo with another Onkyo.
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post #11 of 28 Old 02-11-2012, 01:16 PM
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When you buy used, you are buying someone else's problems, unless proven otherwise...
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post #12 of 28 Old 02-11-2012, 01:42 PM
 
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I wouldn't say that, I owned a Denon 3803 and sold it after 7 years. It always performed like a champ, and after I realized I should have asked more for it. Also a Paradigm sub and an Anthem pre amp I sold and all were just sold for upgraditous!

But there are those out there who do try to unload damaged goods I suppose.

To the OP, sorry to hear of your experience, Denon is usually quite good, the only other issues I've heard from them is some of their higher end dvd or universal players crap out. If you need a new receiver, any current 600 or so receiver will rival what you had with the 4306, with maybe a little less power. Take your time and research the models you're interested in.
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post #13 of 28 Old 02-11-2012, 01:47 PM
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I don't think the problem with parts has anything to do with whether Denon wants to provide them or not. As with the bulk of their higher end lines most or all of the components were being built in Japan.
The horrific situation over there no doubt affected their production facilities and personnel to a dramatic degree. As they trickle back to normalcy you'd have to think their first priority would be to supply new product parts and back-orders before heading down memory lane.
Frankly, it could be possible they can't re-tool to make those parts again, and I wouldn't blame them given the human tragedy they've had to deal with and which should obviously take precedence.
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post #14 of 28 Old 02-11-2012, 02:17 PM
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Manufacturers are only required to repair or replace items under warranty. They have no obligation to keep parts around for products that are no longer under warranty. Every manufacturer stops making parts that are no longer needed for warranty purposes. You can get parts for AVRs that are out of warranty from the manufacturer, but that's only because they had the parts left over after the warranty period for the units expired.

Denon hasn't wronged you in any way. You bought a used receiver that worked fine when you originally purchased it and then it broke. No one misled you or failed to honor an agreement with you.
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post #15 of 28 Old 02-11-2012, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KidHorn View Post

Manufacturers are only required to repair or replace items under warranty. They have no obligation to keep parts around for products that are no longer under warranty. Every manufacturer stops making parts that are no longer needed for warranty purposes. You can get parts for AVRs that are out of warranty from the manufacturer, but that's only because they had the parts left over after the warranty period for the units expired.

Incorrect...
Certain states have statues that mandate that spare parts must be available up to a minimum of 7 years after the product has been manufactured..

Just my $0.02..
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post #16 of 28 Old 02-11-2012, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joehonest View Post

When you buy used, you are buying someone else's problems, unless proven otherwise...

I disagree with that.

I sell things all the time just because I want more megapixels on my digital camera, more features on my AVR, etc.

And in this modern world, people sell things all the time because they need the cash.
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post #17 of 28 Old 02-11-2012, 02:51 PM
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I see less people with fairly new Denons not working than some other brands I won't bother mentioning.

I would have no problems buying a Denon.

My Yamaha remote control went bad after 3 years...first time I had a remote control fail on any product I spent more than $80 on. I don't blame Yamaha...it happens I guess (it's not a total failure, the volume buttons are not working right, and dissaembly and cleaning did not resolve.)

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #18 of 28 Old 02-11-2012, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post

Incorrect...
Certain states have statues that mandate that spare parts must be available up to a minimum of 7 years after the product has been manufactured..

Just my $0.02..

I know that law applies to products like motor vehicles in most states, but are you positive that it pertains to consumer electronics? If so, does that law cover items purchased on the used market? Doesn't sound right to me!

Cheers,
SB
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post #19 of 28 Old 02-11-2012, 05:01 PM
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That varies by state, but similar statues exist on many countries. In Norway for example, you can generally expect that consumer electronics manufacturers will not just support/repair the product for 5 years, but are required to provide warranty gurantees for about that long. It's a good way of weeding "lemons" out of the market.
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post #20 of 28 Old 02-11-2012, 06:16 PM
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In Quebec (with one of the world's strongest consumer protection laws), ALL warranties follow the object under warranty (does not stop with the initial buyer). And there have been many cases when courts have ruled that manufacturers must offer some form of support (even so far as a full-value replacement) for things that are out of warranty but within a window of "expected useable lifetime" of the specific object. One locally well-covered (in the media) case some years ago had a court requiring that a big box furniture store replace a TEN YEAR OLD leather couch because the leather had started to disintegrate in an unusual fashion.

There are a number of companies who simply refuse to offer products or services in Quebec because of the consumer protection law. This doesn't mean there are no lemons or issues for consumers, but they are generally fewer than elsewhere in the country.
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post #21 of 28 Old 02-11-2012, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotcheckBilly View Post

I know that law applies to products like motor vehicles in most states, but are you positive that it pertains to consumer electronics? If so, does that law cover items purchased on the used market? Doesn't sound right to me!

Cheers,
SB

The law varies from state to state..
But a few states do have the 7 year requirement for CE products, and if the brand doesn't have the replacement parts then they have to make some counteroffer of another product. But as we all know in the CE category, with its rapid obsolescence fixing an older product is in most instances not feasible or cost-effective..

Regarding the automotive comment and implications...
Here the federal EPA standards are triggered for emission requirements, which is 7 years that includes exhaust, electronic, computer and fuel systems..
Also some states like CA have even longer periods such as 8 years for emission components..

Just my $0.02..
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post #22 of 28 Old 02-11-2012, 07:01 PM
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You are definitely going to teach Denon a lesson by not buying anymore of their used gear.

Seems to me you should be upset at your shop or the dude who sold it to you.

Denon recently repaired an AVR of mine in less than 2 weeks including shipping both ways.
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post #23 of 28 Old 02-11-2012, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slare View Post

Denon recently repaired an AVR of mine in less than 2 weeks including shipping both ways.

Same here, although it may have been closer to 3 weeks. While my AVR was still in warranty, the damage may or may not have been caused by a nearby lightning strike which would not have been covered. Denon did not charge me for the repair, and I had no complaints.
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post #24 of 28 Old 02-11-2012, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSDTrainer View Post

So you buy a used piece of equipment that was 3 years old when you bought it, so with todays technology probably outdated, and after it starts acting up you wait 2 years to get it fixed? And you expect Denon to carry circuit boards for a 6 year old product? Yeah you just joined, first post is a bashing of a product, seems kind of trollish to me. Good luck in whatever else you buy

funny I can get 9 year old parts form Yamaha.....

OP

if you are handy with ye ol' soldering iron you can more often than not fix those boards yourself. Cold solder joints are common place on a lot of electronics.

All you need to do is search for " how to repair insert PCB board model here" or "common problems with insert PCB board model here"

PCB = Printed Circuit Board

Strong or weak in the end we are all dead
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post #25 of 28 Old 02-26-2012, 08:08 AM
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I'm surprised how many people are taking Denon's side here. Dealers, perhaps?

I fully agree with the OP that Denon reliability and customer support is not good enough for the prices they charge for their products, and have a similar aversion to future dealings with the company. Furthermore, a 4306 isn't THAT old, and was like a $2000 box new. So to my mind one is justified in expecting perhaps a little bit deeper spare parts bins than a company might keep for a $300 box.

My opinion is colored by the service I've personally received from Denon. I've bought a fair number of Denon components. Over the last half-decade, an AVR-4306, an AVR-4308ci, an AVR-3808ci, the Feature Upgrade (Audyssey DynamicEQ, etc.) for both of the '08 models, and a pair of AH-D2000 headphones. Going back further, I even had Denon head units in every car I owned from 1994-2009 (currently have two DCT-950R's and a DCT-A100. I only stopped using the Denons because by 2009 I discovered that McIntosh HU's could take a Clarion iPod adapter. McIntosh makes the only car HU's that are more pleasing to my eyes than Denon's offerings. (Sonicallythey're all interchangeable parts. One pays a premium for looks more than anything.) I'm not apt to do so in the future.

Here's a summary of the two experiences I've had with Denon customer service over the past two years.

(1) While they were a current in-production item (which I believe they still are) my AH-D2000 headphones lost a screw. Their unipivot design isn't terribly well engineered, and the ear cup falling off because the screw falls out is a fairly well-documented occurrence. I called them, and asked them to send me a new screw and washer (the washer is rectangular and not a standard size) for them. They wanted me to pay to ship my headphones to NJ and fix them. I pointed out that it would be cheaper and easier for everyone if they could just put a screw and washer in a small envelope and mail it to me. They also claimed that it was a rare issue, and they'd never heard of it being a problem before. (In response to which, after mine was fixed, I sent them an e-mail entitled something like "what you know (or should know) about AH-D2000 failures." with a number of links to customers commenting on the issue) Eventually, after several e-mails and calls, they did relent and just sent me the damn screw and washer. Now I'm careful with the headphones, and end up having to tighten the screws about once every 3-4 months to avoid a repeat. Now, they're great sounding headphones, and comfortable. Aside from that design flaw I love 'em.

(2) Christmas 2011, the digital audio board of my 4308 went out. It would only pass audio in Pure Direct mode, from analog inputs. Nothing over HDMI (audio-wise; video-switching worked fine) and nothing over optical or coaxial digital either. I called them, and they directed me to a local authorized repair center. Turns out it'll cost about $550-650 to fix. IF they have the parts, which they weren't sure of. Denon was unwilling to fix it gratis. OK, the box is maybe 8-9 mos out of warranty. My solution was to toss the 4308 to the curb and buy an Anthem box to replace it. I also then sold my 3808 on craigslist, because I didn't want to have anything to do with them any longer. (The 4306 I sold when I bought the 4308.)

Yes, electronics sometimes break. Even great ones. For example, two weeks ago my Oppo BDP-83 - which everyone from Lexicon and Ayre to end-users agree is a great machine - developed a sticky loading tray. I called Oppo to inquire if they had a local authorized service center. After all, it's well out of warranty, as I purchased it when they first were released. I wasn't asking for a freebie. However, their CS person literally apologized to me for having trouble with their product, and issued an RMA for me. I sent it to them. They e-mailed me the RMA in an e-mail that expressed "regret" my Oppo product needed service. I sent it to them. They e-mailed me again when they received it, and expressed "regret that my Oppo product required service." THREE AND A HALF HOURS LATER, I received a second message, again expressing "regret," and informing me it was fixed, with a FedEx tracking number. In the box was a detailed description of what was done, a further expression of "regret," and informed me of the repair warranty. Oh, and they issued me new original packing material, and even put the unit in a new tote-bag. (I sent it in non-original packing material, I think from a Pioneer Elite DVD player I used before the Oppo. For some reason, I lost the Oppo box, but still had the Pioneer one.) End result: whenever I'm looking for a new disk player (or other audio part), I'm going to see first if Oppo has something to fit my needs.

And IMO, companies selling four-figure AVRs and $300 headphones need to behave more like Oppo than Denon.

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post #26 of 28 Old 02-26-2012, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikeguy64 View Post

I figured I'd get flamed, but thought getting my experience posted would perhaps help others in their purchase decision.

Purchased it in early 2009, and I started to get it fixed in 2010, when it acted up. It wasn't in a cabinet and had nothing on top of it. Thank you for letting me know not to do that though.

And if you have the money to pay $2K for the latest new receivers, glad you have a great paying job.

And you are right, I should have posted this this past summer, when it came back from it's second six month stay at the repair shop with the bill reading,"over 1,000 connections re soldered over 8 hours, boards out of stock, still not fixed, no charge".

Not remotely interested in any Denon product, eBay or not, with bad solder connections.

Once you get burned, logic doesn't necessarily apply any more, although I think you have to give the brand some slack when you buy used. I think Denon does make some fine products, but because I got burned some years ago, I won't buy Denon anymore either. It's more emotional than logical. And because audio companies are now conglomerates, you don't have a lot of choices:
D&M Holdings makes Denon, Marantz, McIntosh, Boston and Snell + a bunch of pro-audio companies.
Harmon Industries owns Harman-Kardon, JBL, Mark Levinson, Infinity, AKG, BSS, Crown and some pro-audio.
Audiovox owns AR, Audiovox, RCA, Jensen, Advent, Terk and Klipsch.
Inkel makes Sherwood.

But to make matters worse, Pioneer and Denon AVRs below $1300 are designed/assembled by Inkel.
Onkyo AVRs below $1500 are designed by an independent Korean company who also does design for Harmon Kardon.
Onkyo's are assembled in their own Malaysian factories, but HK, NAD, Marantz and Teac are assembled in Chinese factories.

This is one of the reasons why receivers across different brands seem so much alike.

I can't even remember what the Denon product was that failed for me - it might have been a very high-end cassette deck or it may have been an early high-end CD player. It was probably around $800 back in 1990, which is $1387 in 2012 dollars.

It had a one year warranty and just out of the warranty, the entire unit failed. It would power up, but it was solenoid operated and none of the solenoids worked. I suspected it was some logic chip that failed. Denon wouldn't repair it, even for a fee and the repair shops I took it to couldn't get parts.

So no more Denon for me either.

I've had other products from other manufacturers that have lasted "forever". I had a 1985 Sony CRT TV that was still working perfectly when I got rid of it last year (no one wanted it, not even for free). I have a Crown D75 power amp that I bought in 1978 , an Apt-Holman preamp from 1980 and a Kenwood turntable from 1980 that all still work perfectly and a few years ago, I sold a Technics CD player that had to be from 1988 or so that was still working perfectly, sounding great and had some nice cueing features that today's CD players don't have. I also had a Technics or Teac (can't remember which) high-end cassette deck that had built-in alignment features that I had for many years and was "perfect" when I sold it.

So products can be built to last, but most manufacturers don't bother to make them that way anymore, not even on the relatively high end.

(Not that I'm so happy with the Pioneer SC55 that I bought recently. It's not defective in any way, but I don't happen to think it sounds very good.)
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post #27 of 28 Old 02-27-2012, 10:28 AM
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I can understand where the OP is coming from. zoetmb has is 100% right.

My receiver is obsolete, but I am not ready to get rid of it. It was obsolete before the warranty was up. When I buy something like a receiver, I expect to get more than a few years out of it.

Not everyone's hobby is keeping up with the latest AV equipment. Some people are happy with what they have. Some people don't have the money for it. Some people also don't feel the need to keep up with their neighbors. Why just because you cannot or will not buy a new AVR every year mean that you are stuck with garbage? Whatever happened to QC?

I have some stereo equipment that is 30+ years old, still going strong.
I realize things were simpler then, but MFGs actually cared about what their name went on. Now they just toss junk out on the market and hide when you try to seek support.
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post #28 of 28 Old 02-28-2012, 05:30 PM
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Is it that time of year for spring and never again thread?

Some observations and questions come to mind -

To the OP -
Could the unit have been misused/defective before you bought it? Did you pick up the unit or was it shipped?

Have you contacted any other repair facilities about the issue/parts availability?
I would certainly call one or two other places and describe the issue and see if they have available parts. Now if it is a solder issue on one of the boards/electronics that can be tough to repair with today's soldering methods. Check out an xbox 360 ring of death thread about poor soldering and boards needing replaced.

Have you thought about a used receiver with similar features for a lot less than the repair part would cost, have you looked down that road?
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