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Looking for Advice on Good, Reliable Receiver for Home Theather

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
All -

I am new to this web site and forum. I am looking for advice on purchasing new home theater equipment. This time, I am purchasing separate components.

I bought a Panasonic SC-HT900 HTIB back in Dec. 2004. This past July (2008), it quit working. Cause: burned circuit board. Literally. Apparently the circuit board within the receiver / DVD / CD player over heated and burned even though the receiver / DVD / CD player had plenty of circulation. The one thing I noticed is that there was no venting on the receiver / DVD / CD at all. The entire receiver was encased in metal. The Panasonic authorized repair center said that there was no way to fix this and that they see this often in HTIB's. They chalked it up to poor design and having the receiver do too many things. Nonetheless I was livid at Panasonic. The best they could do is offer me a cheap discount on the junk I already had. Forget it. The repair guy at the authorized Panasonic repair center said I was much better off going the separate component route. All I know is that my parents had a stereo / speakers for like 30 years and it worked great. I want the same.

So, I am in the market for home theater components, beginning with a receiver. For the entire system, I am really not looking to spend more than $1500. This includes: receiver, DVD / CD player, 5.1 speakers (including sub). If I have to get a 7.1 receiver so-be-it; I just won't use the extra 2 channels.

I am looking for a good receiver that's going to last me. I want one that is reliable, full-featured, able to scale (will not be out-dated right out of the box), affordable, and produces good sound. I appreciate music probably more than watching DVD's. Throwing out price right now, what would be a good, quality brand? I have heard so many things about Onkyo. What other receivers are good. The main attribute I am looking for is quality.

Now, taking price into account, I would like to think I can get a very good receiver in the $500 range. Taken that into account, what would be some good options?

Any and all advice is greatly appreciated!! If anyone else has a great home theater within the $1500 range that they LOVE, please let me know. I would love to know your specs.

Thank you.
post #2 of 24
For receiver the Yamaha rx-v663, which can be had for right around $350. For a dvd/cd player I'd recommend the PS3, which you can buy at Dell.com for $308 right now. So that only leaves $842 for 5 speakers and a sub, which IMO wont buy you much. Even a small eD sub like the a2-300 is $350, which now leaves you only $500 for speakers. That would be a lil tough.
post #3 of 24
There is a thread in the HTIB section of the forum that is stickied that might be useful to you. It was started in 07 but it does get posted to so you might have to do some mining for info. heres the Link
post #4 of 24
The last post in the thread I linked above has these Energy Speaker package for $399 with free UPS ground shipping . So with what I recommended you would be slightly under your budget.
post #5 of 24
OK....let me give this a shot....$1,500, eh?

OK....5 of these...
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...00/htm200.html about $700 shipped.

One of these.....http://www.svsound.com/products-sub-box-10nsd.cfm...about $450 shipped.

And, one of these....http://www.accessories4less.com/make...urround/1.html

Can't argue the PS3, but we're on a budget..... so, let's try this...

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...e203229-rLink6

Or, if you're near a costco.....the very highly rated Panasonic BD 35 is on sale for $249 in the current coupon book.

Or, keep everything above except the speakers and go here......lots of options......

http://www.acousticsounddesign.com/s...er-systems.cfm
post #6 of 24
Or if you stretch your budget by about $400 ********** has this Speaker Package on special. From the reviews I have read these are some good speakers. I run the Rocket line of speakers from them and I love them. This special runs thru the end of this month if I am not mistaken.
post #7 of 24
Just noticed...he didn't say he need a BD player.....we can shave a little more off......

One of the best DVD players made right here.....
http://www.oppodigital.com/dv980h/default.asp

Or, really get down and dirty to go for this.....
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001415EQ4
post #8 of 24
Here's the $1,500 system I would build today:

- Blu-ray, Sony BDP-550 from Amazon $325
- receiver, Marantz sr4002 from Vanns $300
- sub, PA-120 sub from eBay $230
- fronts, KEF iQ5 in walnut from Vanns $360 (or $400 in black)
- centre, KEF iQ2 in walnut from Vanns $100 (or $150 in black)
- rears, iQ1 in walnut from accessories4less $250) (or $200 in black from Vanns

Total: $1565 plus ship accessories4less

Ooops, I forgot the DVD player; will edit further and include a Blu-ray player (you don't want just plain DVD at this point)

Edited: but I would try to add a little more for a better sub (like the SVS I used to have there, or a HSU STF-2 or a Paradigm DSP-3100 or a eD A2-300); I might also to see if I could find a Panasonic BD35 instead of the Sony for Blu-ray
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by phipp01 View Post

Or if you stretch your budget by about $400 ********** has this Speaker Package on special. From the reviews I have read these are some good speakers. I run the Rocket line of speakers from them and I love them. This special runs thru the end of this month if I am not mistaken.

That would be very good......would have to cut a few more corners, but very good nevertheless.
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by phipp01 View Post

Or if you stretch your budget by about $400 ********** has this Speaker Package on special. From the reviews I have read these are some good speakers. I run the Rocket line of speakers from them and I love them. This special runs thru the end of this month if I am not mistaken.

\\
x2 on the speaker package...then:

panasonic BD35 can be had for around 200 at costco or online.
and check out 6ave to see if the 25% coupon for avr's is still going..grab a denon 1909 for $450 shipped...
post #11 of 24
Onkyo is definitely not a good, reliable receiver brand.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by donoman View Post

onkyo is definitely not a good, reliable receiver brand.

+1
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundrSQ View Post

\\
x2 on the speaker package...then:

panasonic BD35 can be had for around 200 at costco or online.
and check out 6ave to see if the 25% coupon for avr's is still going..grab a denon 1909 for $450 shipped...

OK but why the BD35? Why not go with the PS3 for $308? Its the 80 gig with wi-fi and freeshipping. You get a BD player, upconverting DVD player, stream music from your PC yhrough it. I just think thats a better way to go for a little more money.
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by rick240 View Post

Here's the $1,500 system I would build today:

- Blu-ray, Sony BDP-550 from Amazon $325
- receiver, Marantz sr4002 from Vanns $300
- sub, PA-120 sub from eBay $230
- fronts, KEF iQ5 in walnut from Vanns $360 (or $400 in black)
- centre, KEF iQ2 in walnut from Vanns $100 (or $150 in black)
- rears, iQ1 in walnut from accessories4less $250) (or $200 in black from Vanns

Total: $1565 plus ship accessories4less

Ooops, I forgot the DVD player; will edit further and include a Blu-ray player (you don't want just plain DVD at this point)

Edited: but I would try to add a little more for a better sub (like the SVS I used to have there, or a HSU STF-2 or a Paradigm DSP-3100 or a eD A2-300); I might also to see if I could find a Panasonic BD35 instead of the Sony for Blu-ray

Very good presentation. Thats a decent setup
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by graphicguy View Post

OK....let me give this a shot....$1,500, eh?

OK....5 of these...
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...00/htm200.html about $700 shipped.

One of these.....http://www.svsound.com/products-sub-box-10nsd.cfm...about $450 shipped.

And, one of these....http://www.accessories4less.com/make...urround/1.html

Can't argue the PS3, but we're on a budget..... so, let's try this...

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...e203229-rLink6

Or, if you're near a costco.....the very highly rated Panasonic BD 35 is on sale for $249 in the current coupon book.

Or, keep everything above except the speakers and go here......lots of options......

http://www.acousticsounddesign.com/s...er-systems.cfm

A Marantz 5002 for 299 ? Holy crap thats a steal
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by phipp01 View Post

OK but why the BD35? Why not go with the PS3 for $308? Its the 80 gig with wi-fi and freeshipping. You get a BD player, upconverting DVD player, stream music from your PC yhrough it. I just think thats a better way to go for a little more money.

Phipp....I've got no issue with a PS3....for all the reasons you state. Matter of fact, that's the way I'd go. But, we're pinching pennies here And, he didn't state he was looking for a BD player.

Truthfully, I've been using the PS3 as a DVD player, too. And, I've got an OPPO. I'm finding on some DVDs, I actually prefer the PS3 over the OPPO. Those I don't, the difference is so slight, it doesn't matter.
post #17 of 24
Maybe an exercise in futility. The OP joined AVS, made one post, then checked out.
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by graphicguy View Post

Maybe an exercise in futility. The OP joined AVS, made one post, then checked out.

LOL I noticed that too. Oh well we tried.
post #19 of 24
Well, regardless of OP this is a good thread, with great suggestions.
post #20 of 24
glad someone found it useful. Actually, it was kind of a fun exercise.
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
All -

Well, here we are ... a year later. For anyone still monitoring this "thread". I did end up purchasing a HT system this past August (2009). I gave it to myself for Christmas this year.

Here is what I bought after extensive research and talking to some local audio experts. I ended up buying the components from Ovation here in Indiana. They gave me a nice discount since new models were coming out in the Fall.

Components:

1. Marantz SR5003
2. Oppo DV-980H
3. Paradigm Atom's
4. Paradigm PDR-10 (sub)
5. Paradigm ADP-190 (surrounds)

I spent over budget of course, but with all the new cables I bought through Monoprice, the total came to around $2000. I spent more than I wanted but I think I got a great setup. I did spend more on the speakers and thought it was money well spent.

I did not go with a center speaker for now. After speaking with the Ovation guy, he really sold me on going with larger "bookshelf" speakers as opposed to "satellite" speakers. I am glad I did ... the sonic clarity and range is very noticeable compared to what I had before! I auditioned several satellite setups (i.e. Take 5 Energy) and always came back to the Paradigms.

I just wanted to update this thread even though it's over a year old. Hope someone sees this

Thanks for all the advice!!

Rick
post #22 of 24
Nice setup. Did you skip the center just for money reasons?
post #23 of 24
Awesome choice with the receiver and oppo. Would have done the rest different myself.
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
Jim McC - Yes and no. I was trying to save some money. But after auditioning the speakers (both movie and music wise) I was happy with the way the voices were when watching a movie through the front speakers. Also, the way my family room is, it's tough to setup a center channel speaker. However, this could change in the future. For now, it's all good.

I am just amazed at the clarity of the speakers compared to what I had.

MStrickland1988 - Thanks. Yeah, if I had an unlimited budget, I might have gone a different speaker route, maybe. The Atom's get great reviews from a lot of HT mags. I have been tweaking some of the Audyssey and Marantz settings ... just a bit. What I am finding is the Multi-Channel Music mode is the best for just playing straight music. I am not a fan of Pure Direct ... plays shallow to me. I received the Beatles remastered box-set (stereo) for Christmas. I just started listening to the first disc. Man, it sounds great. I can't wait to get to the other discs where better recording techniques are used.

Thanks for the posts and your thoughts!

Rick
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