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Help a First Timer in choosing A/V Receiver - Research Included

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Just bought a pair of Pioneer SP-FS51 floor speakers. I would like to create a 2.0 setup without a woofer, mostly for music (progressive house), some television and a little xbox gaming. I do use a mac/ipod touch so airplay is in consideration, but since my understanding of airplay is that it only works through itunes, I'm not sure how much value I will receive from it. Overall, I would like to purchase a receiver that can provide good, clean power to these speakers.

My receiver budget is simply "the lower, the better", so am posting my research below for suggestions. I definitely would NOT like to spend $300 on this, but wanted to post all my research here.

If possible, please recommend the best under $150, the best under $200 and the best under $250 with the highlight of each best pick over the other top pick that falls under the cheaper category. This way, I will be able to exactly see what value I will receive by spending more.

Lastly, all refurbs carry a 1 year manufacturer warranty.

  • LP-2020A+ Lepai Tripath Class-T Hi-Fi Audio Mini Amplifier - $25
  • Onkyo HT-RC330 refurb - $110
  • Onkyo TX-SR309 refurb - $129
  • Denon AVR-391 refurb - $131
  • Denon AVR-1312 refurb - $140
  • Denon AVR-1513 refurb - $169
  • Onkyo TX-SR313 refurb - $170
  • Denon AVR-1612 refurb - $175
  • Pioneer VSX-522-K - $180
  • Yamaha RX-V371BL - $190
  • Onkyo HT-R590 refurb - $190
  • Onkyo TX-SR313 - $195
  • Onkyo HT-RC430 - $198
  • Denon AVR-1312 - $200
  • Onkyo TX-SR309 - $200
  • Onkyo TX-NR509 refurb - $210
  • Onkyo HT-RC260 refurb - $240
  • Onkyo TX-NR414 refurb - $240
  • Onkyo HT-RC360 refurb - $250
  • Denon AVR-1613 refurb - $250
  • Denon AVR-791 refurb - $250
  • Denon AVR-1513 - $250
  • Yamaha RX-V373 - $250
  • Marantz Sr4003 refurb - $260
  • Marantz NR1402 Slimline refurb - $260
  • Onkyo TX-NR509 - $260
  • Onkyo TX-NR515 refurb - $260
  • Denon AVR-1712 refurb - $260
  • Harman Kardon AVR 1565 - $265
  • Marantz Sr5002 refurb - $270
  • Onkyo TX-SR608 refurb - $270
  • Onkyo TX-NR414 - $270
  • Denon AVR-1713 refurb - $280
  • Yamaha RX-V571BL - $297
  • Onkyo HT-RC360 - $298
  • Pioneer VSX-1022-K - $279
  • Harman Kardon AVR 700 - $300
  • Denon AVR-1912 refurb - $306
  • Denon AVR-1613 - $320

Thank you for your time and feedback!
Edited by slique12 - 10/9/12 at 6:33pm
post #2 of 22
The denon 1713 is probably the best bang for the buck receiver on your list. Defiantly one I would consider.

I would forget about the T-amp....bad experience for me.

The best advise I got is to get the unit with all the features you desire and the best room correction (audyssey for me) within your budget. This would rule out the really low end units on your list...ie denon 391. Multeq is the sweet spot, 2EQ audyssey on some of the low end onkyos would rule them out for me as well. The 1713 has the best version of audyssey (multeq xt) available at your price point.

Now having said that, since you are only desiring a 2.0 set up, have you considered a 2 channel receiver, something like http://www.amazon.com/Sherwood-RX-4109-Stereo-Receiver-Black/dp/B000MBUSD6/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1349778841&sr=1-2&keywords=sherwood+stereo+receiver? It may work for you and is certainly below your budget.

I am not that familiar with the non audyssey equipped recovers on your list so I cant comment on them.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 67jason View Post

The denon 1713 is probably the best bang for the buck receiver on your list. Defiantly one I would consider.
I would forget about the T-amp....bad experience for me.
The best advise I got is to get the unit with all the features you desire and the best room correction (audyssey for me) within your budget. This would rule out the really low end units on your list...ie denon 391. Multeq is the sweet spot, 2EQ audyssey on some of the low end onkyos would rule them out for me as well. The 1713 has the best version of audyssey (multeq xt) available at your price point.
Now having said that, since you are only desiring a 2.0 set up, have you considered a 2 channel receiver, something like http://www.amazon.com/Sherwood-RX-4109-Stereo-Receiver-Black/dp/B000MBUSD6/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1349778841&sr=1-2&keywords=sherwood+stereo+receiver? It may work for you and is certainly below your budget.
I am not that familiar with the non audyssey equipped recovers on your list so I cant comment on them.
Thanks for the input. Not sure if I am comfortable spending that much on a receiver just yet, though I did read some good things about the Audyssey as well.
Someone did suggest the Sherwood unit, but since its only a Stereo receiver, I assume it wont fill the requirements I listed of using with my tv and xbox.
If I wanted to stay near or under $200, anything else you could suggest and why?
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Bump.
post #5 of 22
I too would recommend the 1713. That said, I'm not too familiar with the offerings from the other manufacturers. That said, the Audyssey room correction can make a huge difference in the sound quality, and is definitely worth getting no matter which receiver you buy.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strider- View Post

I too would recommend the 1713. That said, I'm not too familiar with the offerings from the other manufacturers. That said, the Audyssey room correction can make a huge difference in the sound quality, and is definitely worth getting no matter which receiver you buy.
Thanks for your reply. If I wanted something under $150 from my list, do you have a preference? And why? What about under $200?
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by slique12 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by 67jason View Post

The denon 1713 is probably the best bang for the buck receiver on your list. Defiantly one I would consider.
I would forget about the T-amp....bad experience for me.
The best advise I got is to get the unit with all the features you desire and the best room correction (audyssey for me) within your budget. This would rule out the really low end units on your list...ie denon 391. Multeq is the sweet spot, 2EQ audyssey on some of the low end onkyos would rule them out for me as well. The 1713 has the best version of audyssey (multeq xt) available at your price point.
Now having said that, since you are only desiring a 2.0 set up, have you considered a 2 channel receiver, something like http://www.amazon.com/Sherwood-RX-4109-Stereo-Receiver-Black/dp/B000MBUSD6/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1349778841&sr=1-2&keywords=sherwood+stereo+receiver? It may work for you and is certainly below your budget.
I am not that familiar with the non audyssey equipped recovers on your list so I cant comment on them.
Thanks for the input. Not sure if I am comfortable spending that much on a receiver just yet, though I did read some good things about the Audyssey as well.
Someone did suggest the Sherwood unit, but since its only a Stereo receiver, I assume it wont fill the requirements I listed of using with my tv and xbox.
If I wanted to stay near or under $200, anything else you could suggest and why?

Just so you know, with that sherwood stereo receiver you can connect up to 5 devices via analog. You would have to connect all video sources to your TV, then analog audio out to the receiver. Should work fine, you'd just be sacrificing the digital audio and HDMI connections that multichannel avr's have, but still a perfectly viable alternative when working with a tight budget.

Also, if I were to choose one of the receivers on your list under $200, I would recommend the denon 1612. I own its predecessor, the 1611, and love it. I used it as my main HT receiver powering my 7.1 polk monitor set up (70's, 60's, 30's and CS2) until I got my onkyo 809. I still use the 1611 in the my bedroom powering a 3.0 set up (polk monitor 40's and CS1). Now having said that, for me the step up from audyssey multeq to multieq XT is worth an additional $80 - $100, so again my first choice of receiver recommendation based on your list remains the 1713. It is really, in my opinion the best bang for the buck avr on your list and it is a steal at $280.
post #8 of 22
I wouldn't want any of those $150 and under units. I'd start with the Denon 1612 at $175.

Second choice would be 1613 at $250 if you want the networking/streaming features and Airplay function.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 67jason View Post

Just so you know, with that sherwood stereo receiver you can connect up to 5 devices via analog. You would have to connect all video sources to your TV, then analog audio out to the receiver. Should work fine, you'd just be sacrificing the digital audio and HDMI connections that multichannel avr's have, but still a perfectly viable alternative when working with a tight budget.
Also, if I were to choose one of the receivers on your list under $200, I would recommend the denon 1612. I own its predecessor, the 1611, and love it. I used it as my main HT receiver powering my 7.1 polk monitor set up (70's, 60's, 30's and CS2) until I got my onkyo 809. I still use the 1611 in the my bedroom powering a 3.0 set up (polk monitor 40's and CS1). Now having said that, for me the step up from audyssey multeq to multieq XT is worth an additional $80 - $100, so again my first choice of receiver recommendation based on your list remains the 1713. It is really, in my opinion the best bang for the buck avr on your list and it is a steal at $280.
That makes a lot of sense. Since I dont plan to upgrade soon (3-4 years) if I can buy something decent now, the $75 difference between a stereo receiver from sherwood and the denon avr 1612 is perhaps a smart cost to swallow.
What surprises me as a complete noob in all this is that receivers from Onkyo and Denon that I posted for less than $150 arent even considered decent for someone looking for good sound with a simple tv and xbox hookup.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

I wouldn't want any of those $150 and under units. I'd start with the Denon 1612 at $175.
Second choice would be 1613 at $250 if you want the networking/streaming features and Airplay function.
Most people have recommended the Denon 1612 until now, so I will be looking for deals on this receiver. What do you think is a fair price for it in the current market, when buying new/refurb/used?
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Ok, so what do I need for a pair of Pioneer FS51 speakers and a receiver such as a Denon 1612?

8 banana plugs? How are the ones below?
http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=104&cp_id=10401&cs_id=1040115&p_id=2801&seq=1&format=2

Wire? What gauge? 16? The minimum length I find is 50 feet. Is this good?
http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10239&cs_id=1023903&p_id=2749&seq=1&format=2
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by slique12 View Post

Most people have recommended the Denon 1612 until now, so I will be looking for deals on this receiver. What do you think is a fair price for it in the current market, when buying new/refurb/used?


Fair price is $175-80 refurb just like accessories4less is advertising. Sometimes they have free shipping on that unit but not right now.

Crutchfield sold it new for $199-209 with a coupon code a few months ago but they no longer carry that model. Been replaced by the 1613 which cost quite a bit more.

If you happen to find a Denon 1612 in a local store like Best Buy you might be able to talk them down to $199-$225 since it is a discontinued model.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
What surprises me as a complete noob in all this is that receivers from Onkyo and Denon that I posted for less than $150 arent even considered decent for someone looking for good sound with a simple tv and xbox hookup.

None of those units $150 (Onkyo or Denon) have room correction software and it is a big plus to have for a few bucks more. The Denon's have better version of Audyssey than the low level Onkyo's, hench the reason you'l get more Denon recommendations. The Denons come with Audyssey MultEQ which uses 6 reference points and EQ's the subwoofer too. The Audyssey 2EQ on the Onkyo models doesn't eq the subwoofer.

http://www.audyssey.com/audio-technology/multeq

If you dont' care about room calibration and always plan to only use a 2.0 setup then maybe one of the cheaper models will work for you. I'd rather have the option though.
post #14 of 22
just splurge a little and get the denon 1612 for $180 from a4l and be done with it. though i just checked and the free shipping is not available anymore. so now youre at $200

brown bag a couple weeks worth of lunches and you made the money over $150 back. whats the point in stressing yourself over $50 AND getting something inferior and living with it. you will regret it every day you look at your purchase if you dont splurge and get the 1612
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

Fair price is $175-80 refurb just like accessories4less is advertising. Sometimes they have free shipping on that unit but not right now.
Crutchfield sold it new for $199-209 with a coupon code a few months ago but they no longer carry that model. Been replaced by the 1613 which cost quite a bit more.
If you happen to find a Denon 1612 in a local store like Best Buy you might be able to talk them down to $199-$225 since it is a discontinued model.

Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

None of those units $150 (Onkyo or Denon) have room correction software and it is a big plus to have for a few bucks more. The Denon's have better version of Audyssey than the low level Onkyo's, hench the reason you'l get more Denon recommendations. The Denons come with Audyssey MultEQ which uses 6 reference points and EQ's the subwoofer too. The Audyssey 2EQ on the Onkyo models doesn't eq the subwoofer.
http://www.audyssey.com/audio-technology/multeq
If you dont' care about room calibration and always plan to only use a 2.0 setup then maybe one of the cheaper models will work for you. I'd rather have the option though.
Makes a lot of sense. Ordered the Denon 1612 for $192 shipped (no tax in PA). I like that its a mfg refurb so gets a 1 year mfg warranty. Totally clueless on how to use the features, but will slowly learn the room correction software, etc.
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradymartin View Post

just splurge a little and get the denon 1612 for $180 from a4l and be done with it. though i just checked and the free shipping is not available anymore. so now youre at $200
brown bag a couple weeks worth of lunches and you made the money over $150 back. whats the point in stressing yourself over $50 AND getting something inferior and living with it. you will regret it every day you look at your purchase if you dont splurge and get the 1612
Couldnt have said it better myself, which is why just pulled the trigger. Thanks!cool.gif
post #17 of 22
good to hear. also on a side note regarding the 1 year warranty. call your credit card company that you used to buy it as some of them extend the warranty for an additional year. i know american express does
post #18 of 22
I would choose the Denon AVR-1712 for the audessey or maybe the Onkyo 509 for features.
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradymartin View Post

good to hear. also on a side note regarding the 1 year warranty. call your credit card company that you used to buy it as some of them extend the warranty for an additional year. i know american express does
I wanted to use my american express, but accessories4less does not give one the option to select american express in the drop down to pay via credit card! Good point nonetheless, will check it out.
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ace1970 View Post

I would choose the Denon AVR-1712 for the audessey or maybe the Onkyo 509 for features.
Thanks, I ended up purchasing the Denon 1612 an hour or so before your reply. Hoping this is sufficient until I get serious about sound in a few years:)
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by slique12 View Post

I wanted to use my american express, but accessories4less does not give one the option to select american express in the drop down to pay via credit card! Good point nonetheless, will check it out.

They do however, give you the option to use Paypal and an Amex card can be assigned to a Paypal account.
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Thanks, I ended up purchasing the Denon 1612 an hour or so before your reply. Hoping this is sufficient until I get serious about sound in a few years:)

You are very welcome. Glad to see you purchased something you will enjoy.
Quote:
They do however, give you the option to use Paypal and an Amex card can be assigned to a Paypal account.

This is a great idea!
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