A friend is having me find him a sub-$200 7.1 receiver for a speaker set that he purchased, Onkyo SKS-HT870. It would need at least 3 hdmi inputs, preferably 4. I'm hoping either new or refurb. I'd rather not recommend a used unit.
The only one that I could find that I typically would recommend is a refurb Onkyo R590. He also linked me a new Sony STRDH520 but I didn't see any dynamic volume or EQ features attached to it. These features aren't required but I think it would be a perk if we could have them within the $200 budget.
Do you guys have any other suggestions?
I would go with no.4 followed by no.3. I have experience with both. Room correction makes this choice easy. MultiEQ on the 791 vs basic MCACC on the 921 which won't do much more then measure distance and set trim level. You would need to step up to the 1021 to compete.
I would agree that the Denon 791 is the best choice but I don't think I can convince him to add an additional $70 to his budget.
I understand, budget is budget...but you should argue that $270 now is less than $200 now + $270 later when he/she realizes how lacking the the other 2 are. Just saying...
Maybe it is worth waiting a few xtra month as most manufacturer's new lineup will be out and kicking most likely resulting in last year's model starting to be discounted.
Pass on the 7503 - the amplifier section is nothing to write home about.
Kick your budget up another $100 and get something that will do the job right the first time; don't buy the absolute cheapest component available. If that's too much to swallow, return the speaker set and go with an HTIB/multimedia set (which will fit into the budget more easily and work quite well).
I'm unsure of the exact specs of the onkyo speaker set you said your friend purchased. With that said, I believe each may be rated at 6ohms.
The Sony strdh520 requires 8ohms. I have one, I got what I paid for. The eq consists of bass and treble. Despite its shortcomings, I'm content with it for now. I simply purchased it to test 7.1 at an entry level.
I initially had a few 6ohm speakers connected while I pieced together my speaker set and had 0 problems. I also never cranked it passed 50% until I had more suitable speakers.