Originally Posted by nautilus808
Thanks for the great replies! I would like to run 5 speakers and a SVS subwoofer (PB12-NSD). I have not found speakers I like yet. I am not sure what a good speaker is. What is important to me is that I get a good subwoofer and have a reciever to power it. I want to be able to shake the room and people so that deaf people can feel it (Im serious). Many subs have the amp built in so is the output of the receiver still important? Can the VSX-918 play back HDMI audio? SI the reported 120watt output really 120watts?
I would also like one with Audyssey MultEQ since I would rely on this to tweak the sound as I dont think I will be able to.
That's a great subwoofer and it's powered all by itself so it has nothing to do with your receivers power. Yes, the VSX-918 will play HD audio over HDMI. It's overrated in power but it will still have enough power to run almost any 5 speakers to very loud levels.
Every receiver has a setup program to help you adjust your levels etc. Audyssey is just one of those programs. Pioneer has it's own as does Yamaha. They all work well...some like Audyssey some don't but you'll have that room correction program regardless of which receiver you buy.
The real question is do you care to save some money or is $500 an amount you're willing to pay even if it's going to get you features you won't use? All the receivers I mentioned will play HD audio and video over HDMI and they will all have about the same amount of power. Some people prefer one over the other but the fact is you can get a lemon with any brand. Pick your price range and just grab the one that catches your eye best...
If you really want to spend $500 then it opens up a longer list of potential receivers....among them are the Onkyo TX-SR606/607, Yamaha RX-V665,863, Pioneer VSX-01/03, Marantz SR5003 (great choice), Denon AVR-1909/789, Harman Kardon AVR-354 for starters.