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Receiver Recommendation <$300

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
My beloved Pioneer SX 1010 has stopped working, and rather than refurbing it I think I'll probably just buy a new receiver.

I don't have an interest in doing a separate pre-amp, so am looking for a receiver-type unit with multiple analog (i.e, RCA) inputs. I'll be using it as a stereo with a CD player or an MP3 player, but I don't mind recommendations that include entry-level HT receivers. I don't own a turntable or any vinyl, so phono input is not needed.

Do you guys have any recommendations in the $300 price range?
post #2 of 7
I'm a big Denon fan. For stereo take a look at the Denon DRA-697CI for $299.

If you want a HT receiver, you can look at the Denon AVR-1912 also $299.
post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by bprjam View Post

My beloved Pioneer SX 1010 has stopped working, and rather than refurbing it I think I'll probably just buy a new receiver.
I don't have an interest in doing a separate pre-amp, so am looking for a receiver-type unit with multiple analog (i.e, RCA) inputs. I'll be using it as a stereo with a CD player or an MP3 player, but I don't mind recommendations that include entry-level HT receivers. I don't own a turntable or any vinyl, so phono input is not needed.
Do you guys have any recommendations in the $300 price range?

The last receiver I bought was a Yamaha V371 AVR. Frankly, I chose it from among the rest after quite a bit of research because of a killer price.

After looking at the specs, reviews and tech tests I didn't see a lot of important differences among the top brands. This seems like a very competitive area so the weak have already died.

It replaced a 2 channel receiver. It slipped right in and it was easy to set up as a 2 channel replacement for the old receiver that had died. Some menus had to be accessed and it took a little while before accessing the menus I needed became familiar.

There was an immediate improvement in sound quality because it had modern bass management and instantly integrated nearly ideally with my subwoofer and 2 main speakers. It also had built in equalizers which the old receiver lacked.

It even had much nicer speaker terminals!
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
I ordered the AVR-1912 and got it set up last week.

To be honest I wasn't that impressed with the sound out-of-the-box, though the connectivity, setup, and controls on the receiver were great. The highs were harsh, there was very little low end, and the midrange was overpowering. I was starting to wonder if I made a mistake in purchasing this amp.

On Saturday morning, I decided to run the Audyssey autosetup. WOW, the resulting audio quality was an amazing improvement. Over the last 2 days, I can't stop listening. Even the high-quality MP3s (I do -V2 LAME encodes) coming out of my dock are wonderful. The harshness of the highs are absolutely gone, the bass response is now present, and the balance between the mid, low, and high are just right.

It's only been a few days, but so far I am happy with the receiver. Thanks for the recommendation, BllDO!

One of these days I may even set up the receiver in bi-amp mode, which I didn't realize I would be getting with this amp.
post #5 of 7
Good to hear you like it. Happy to help.
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by bprjam View Post

I ordered the AVR-1912 and got it set up last week.
To be honest I wasn't that impressed with the sound out-of-the-box, though the connectivity, setup, and controls on the receiver were great. The highs were harsh, there was very little low end, and the midrange was overpowering. I was starting to wonder if I made a mistake in purchasing this amp.
On Saturday morning, I decided to run the Audyssey autosetup. WOW, the resulting audio quality was an amazing improvement. Over the last 2 days, I can't stop listening. Even the high-quality MP3s (I do -V2 LAME encodes) coming out of my dock are wonderful. The harshness of the highs are absolutely gone, the bass response is now present, and the balance between the mid, low, and high are just right.
It's only been a few days, but so far I am happy with the receiver. Thanks for the recommendation, BllDO!
One of these days I may even set up the receiver in bi-amp mode, which I didn't realize I would be getting with this amp.

I found the exact same thing occured when I had my first denon. At first blush everything was a little harsh and analytical. Then I ran audyssey and it smoothed out the highs. I bet is you look at the resulting eq curve (you can see a simplified replica of it through you reciever and display) you'll see highs rolled off in the upper bands, some bass boost (depending upon speaker), and it pretty much left my midrange alone. But mostly it was rolling off the highs. Like me you have a 'bright' room. I haven't investigated room treatments because its also our living area and the WAF wouldn't be good for adding room treatments, so I just use audyssey which I'm happy with.
post #7 of 7
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