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Under $500 AVR with pre-outs and 4ohm capability

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I am looking for an AVR for about $500 that will handle 4 ohm speakers and that also has pre-outs (in the event I decide I need more power). Refurbished is fine. I'm considering the HK 354 or 3600; and the Onkyo 707. All of these seem to have what I need and I am wondering if there is anything better in this price range. Also, which is better between the Onkyo and the HK. Onkyo has audyssey, but I'm likely going to have a 3.1 set up and am not sure if audessey would make a difference.

One more thing, I do plan on getting a 3d Plasma in the next year and wonder if it is worth it to wait for AVRs with HDMI 1.4 to come out (and drop in price) or just go with HDMI 1.3. The only downside to 1.3 as far as I can tell will be that I will send the signal directly from the source to the tv and the audio to the AVR seperately. The upcoming Onkyo 608 with HDMI 1.4 is the right price but it has no pre-outs and will not drive 4 ohm speakers.

Thanks, John
post #2 of 7
No such thing as a $500 AVR that will properly handle multiple 4u speakers. So plan on getting a decent amp and go with whatever AVR has the right front end for your needs. The Yamaha V665 and V765 can both be had well under $500 on sale, and prolly lower as the new 567/767 models emerge in a couple months. The 765 would have enough power to handle 2-3 4u speakers, the 665 maybe 2 if not pushed very hard. Neither will be a shining example of dynamic headroom on 4u loads. Using a separate amp allows you the option of upgrading the AVR to a later revision without spending a lot on power yet again. The newer Yamaha models will pass HDMI 1.4.
post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSchulte View Post

I am looking for an AVR for about $500 that will handle 4 ohm speakers and that also has pre-outs (in the event I decide I need more power).
Thanks, John

In that price range you won't find anything that works well with 4 ohms. You have to either go with $1000+ units (THX Ultra certified), or get cheapest AVR with pre-outs + separate power amp for all channels (this combination again gets you into $1000 territory).
post #4 of 7
I think the question is best answered by the speakers you are wanting to drive. If they are flat panel tower Magnepans then I'd advise you to get an external amp.

Some 4ohm speakers are easier than others to drive. When my AVP needed to be sent in for replacement last year I put my (then) bedroom AVR - an Onkyo 506 in it's place. Since it had no pre-amp outs I couldn't use my external amp so the 506 had to drive four 4ohm speakers (cc was 8ohm). It did ok - never overheated or shut down and is still alive with a nephew. The 4ohm speakers were Emotiva ERTs front and ERD surrounds - and an 8ohm AV123 Bigfoot center. The 506 is certainly not rated for 4ohm duty but it did fine. I never pushed it but I didn't baby it either.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'll be driving magnepan MC1s. So while they are Magnepans and are not that efficient, I don't think they present the same problems as the larger Magnepans present. I'm leaning towards the Onkyo 707 which is rated to run 4 ohm speakers and has pre-amps so I can add an Emotiva amp.
post #6 of 7
The 707 is a very decent AVR and is rated for 4ohms. AFAIK none of the HKs are 4ohm rated - but you could pick up a 3600 at auction - Harman Audio is beginning to sell off their refurbished ones on ebay. This may have the effect of driving the price down on the 354 which has very similar amp specs as the 3600. I think any of the 3 would be an excellent buy.

Looking at the specs of the MC1 I don't think you'd have any problems driving them with any decent AVR.
post #7 of 7
I ran Magnepan MMG-W's for over a year with an Onkyo 706 with excellent results. When I bought the 706 there was a comparable model in the Yamaha line that would run 4 ohm speakers; however, after demoing them A/B, I preferred the cleaner sound of the Onkyo.

dn

P.S. Just upgraded to separates...
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