Up until about a week ago, a Sony STR-DH810 was my A/V receiver. Once I got some decent speakers (Jamo 426 5.1 setup) and a BIC F-12 sub, it started to come together nicely. I noticed, however, that my receiver ran a bit warm when I really wanted to push the speakers hard for a movie or while listening to music for extended periods of time (perhaps because the speakers are 6 ohm). So I started looking and saw the Harman Kardon AVR 1700 deal -- $200 at Best Buy. The power numbers were less (on paper -- 110W per vs. 110W per), but I heard Sony liked to fudge their numbers a bit. Figured for $200, it couldn't hurt to roll the dice on a receiver by a company with a great pedigree. I've had some video flickering issues with the HK (random, to some degree) that I might be willing to overlook/work around/get a replacement for in the hopes that it will eliminate them. At times, I like the sound better with the HK than with my Sony. At other times, I don't. It depends on what I'm watching or listening to. I think the "crispness" is better on the HK, but I like the "surround" effect on the Sony better. In the meantime, I was able to secure two more NIB AVR 1700s (I was able to flip one earlier today for a small profit). So I could do one of a few things:
1) Take my current HK back (the one with video flickering issues) and see one of my NIB ones has the same issue.
2) Give up on the HK AVR 1700 completely (by taking them back or flipping them) and go with my Sony ... OR ...
I got a Pioneer VSX-522-K today from Best Buy. Open box priced at $168. A $50 off $100 purchase MasterCard coupon made it $118 + tax. I know it's not a high end Pioneer, but...for the price, it was too hard to pass up.
Long story short (and I thank you for sticking with me this far), which of the following would you opt for? Here's my needs/likes/etc.
Something where my receiver doesn't run warm (it was the reason I started looking in the first place, but if people don't think it's that big of a deal, I can learn to live with it). I don't need 7.1. So although my Sony can do it, it's probably excess for me for the foreseeable future. Airplay is a REALLY cool feature -- I love it about the HK. The closest thing I can do with my Sony is I have a DMPORT (digital media port) dock where I can dock my iPhone and it plays my content through my receiver. It's not wireless, but...an upside is that it charges my iPhone while it plays. I don't have any video flickering issues with my Sony, but perhaps I just got a bad HK and a NIB one will resolve that. I don't currently need more than three HDMI inputs and don't use any composite or component inputs.
So what would you keep? What would you sell? What would you take back? Why? I'm not a hardcore audiophile, but I'm trying to get a lot of bang for my buck (up to about $250).
Sony STR-DH810? (110 W / channel "on paper"; 7.1; DMPORT music; four HDMI inputs)
Harman Kardon AVR-1700 at about $215? (100 W / channel "on paper"; 5.1; DMPORT music; six HDMI inputs; Airplay; vTunes; currently experiencing video flicker issues primarily via PS3 -- have tried changing HDMI cables, etc. with no luck)
Pioneer VSX-522-K at about $125? (140 W / channel "on paper"; 5.1; iPhone USB connection, but I assume this will only allow music from iTunes library on the iPhone and no streaming of other music -- i.e. Pandora app, SiriusXM app on my phone; 4 HDMI inputs)
To throw one more monkey wrench into the mix, some people have suggested the Pioneer 1022K. Amazon and Newegg have it for $239 for another day or so, no tax, free S&H for me. So by the time I returned an HK to BestBuy and got my $200 + tax back, this wouldn't be that much more and would be in my budget. It has airplay and a few other features (that I may or may not use). Reviews are kinda hit/miss on Newegg's site, but...
What do you guys think? You've been doing this longer than I have (in most cases). And apologies if this is in the wrong forum.
Thanks in advance!