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Best Budget receiver under $300?

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
Been looking at Yamaha, Pioneer, Sony and Denon.

Which one is the best for the money. Looking to replace and Old Yamaha HTR-5060 which has no HDMI. That is reason for upgrade. Otherwise Its been very good to me.

If this helps it will be paired with my Paradigm bookshelf front/center speakers.
post #2 of 44
Thread Starter 
Does it even matter in this price range? 5.1 is plenty I don't need/want 7.1 so thats no issue here. The main reason I'm looking at lower end is because I have a mid-high yamaha receiver that unfortunately doesn't have HDMI and I have never used any of the extra features like soundfields or anything, so why spend the extra $$$. I want better sound but no HTiB. I have decent speakers already too.

I just want a receiver that has good clean sound and has HDMI. My choices are below. Can anyone recommend any of these? I've been happy with my past yamaha receiver, but the HK is tempting. I have always wanted one of those.

These are the receivers I have been looking at....

Pioneer - VSX-522-K

Yamaha - RX-V373BL

Sony - 980W

Denon-AVR1513

Harman Kardon - AVR 700
Edited by polymath - 1/29/13 at 6:42am
post #3 of 44
I've been researching a TON for the last month on this very issue. Here are some tips I've learned:

Eliminate Pioneer and Sony right away. Poor sound quality and reliability.

The Yamaha, Denon and HK will all have excellent sound quality. Depending on the size of your room, you have to determine how much power you need. The 373 does NOT have discrete amps per channel, so it won't get that loud.

For $199, you can still snag an HK 1700 (the step up from the 700) if you can find it at Best Buy or Fry's.

Honestly, I'd get the Denon though. It has discrete amps and top notch sound quality. Accessories4Less has it refurbished with a 1 year manufacturer's warranty for $139. You can't be that with a stick.
post #4 of 44
Thread Starter 
I was kinda leaning toward HK or Yamaha based on reputation in case of the HK and I do have an older Yamaha receiver I have been very happy with, it just doesn't meet my needs anymore. I am not real familiar with Denon products, but I have heard a lot of mention of them. That's one heck of a deal. One that may be worth trying out for the price. I have never been a big refurb guy thought as I have heard 2 schools of thought about refurb products.

1. Can't trust something that already broke
2. Refurb products are better than the original because they had to meet strict standards when getting fixed.

After looking at pictures, I don't know if I'm missing something or not but the Denon "looks" pretty cheap compared to the HK or Yamaha which have banana plugs and such. Only push button speaker connections on the back of the Denon and not very many inputs.
Edited by polymath - 1/29/13 at 7:26am
post #5 of 44
I agree about the spring clips on the 1513. You might consider the 1612 for $199. That has banana plugs and adds Audyssey MultiEQ - the best EQ in existence.

Make no mistake - the Denon is a very nice piece of equipment.
post #6 of 44
Thread Starter 
Dang it. Now you got me looking at 1 step up! LOL

I don't think I want to go with an older model though. Now looking at the 1613 which is $399. UGH.

Is the 1613 that big of an upgrade over the HK at $299 or the Yamaha?
post #7 of 44
I agree with the Denon votes, Audyssey imho is better than MCACC and YPAO.
post #8 of 44
Thread Starter 
OK after doing much research today, I think I'm sold on Denon now smile.gif

2 questions.

1. Anything wrong with buying refurbished? On that same website I found the newer model for only $60 more and $140 less than brand new. They are listed on Denon's website as an authorized refurb dealer.

2. I know somewhere I have read about certain receivers pairing well with speakers and others that do not. My front speakers and center channel are paradigm. Is this a good pairing?
post #9 of 44
Just a hair over your $300 budget is the 1713 and less than the 1613 at new price. It is refurbished but most often those are store returns that worked perfectly but for whatever reason the purchaser sent back - and the stores send back to Denon for full credit. With Audyssey XT its a definite step up from mult-eq.
post #10 of 44
Here's my opinion:

If you can find the HK 1700 for $199, that's a steal. If not, I'd say the Denon 1612 is your best bet. Don't worry about it being last year's model. In the A/V world, model like (e.g. 16xx) trumps model year any day of the week.

The Yamaha v473 should also be considered - that's $289 at Amazon.

As far as the 1613 vs. 1612, it adds networking capabilities which is nice for future proofing. Although the v473 and HK 1700 have networking features. Makes it easy to update firmware and stream music, etc.

If you don't need networking, you can snag a Yamaha v471 (last year's model) new for $199. It all depends on your needs. But for that price, I'd get the Denon 1612 personally.
Edited by bgstewar - 1/29/13 at 11:55am
post #11 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by polymath View Post

OK after doing much research today, I think I'm sold on Denon now smile.gif

2 questions.

1. Anything wrong with buying refurbished? On that same website I found the newer model for only $60 more and $140 less than brand new. They are listed on Denon's website as an authorized refurb dealer.

2. I know somewhere I have read about certain receivers pairing well with speakers and others that do not. My front speakers and center channel are paradigm. Is this a good pairing?

1. Nothing wrong with it at all. People on AVS buy refurbed units at Accessories 4 Less all the time - highly recommended website. Usually the box has just been opened but nothing has been touched. I wouldn't hesitate. Plus they still come with at least 1 year warranties.

2. It doesn't matter. All these choices will sound good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 View Post

Just a hair over your $300 budget is the 1713 and less than the 1613 at new price. It is refurbished but most often those are store returns that worked perfectly but for whatever reason the purchaser sent back - and the stores send back to Denon for full credit. With Audyssey XT its a definite step up from mult-eq.

The OP said he's using this receiver to power two bookshelf speakers. I don't know how he'd benefit from paying a premium to get Audyssey XT, which is more geared towards 5.1 home theater setups where you want to get the acoustics perfect in the room they're in.

If the OP is just looking for a budget AVR to power two bookshelves, any unit mentioned would suffice. Unless he's looking to upgrade at some point in the future...
post #12 of 44
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all your help everyone!

I haven't seen a HK1700 anywhere for $199, but I may keep looking. I think I'm liking the '13 models from Denon a slight bit better than the '12 models due to the fact that they come with Airplay unless I'm missing that in my reading. Again Future proofing...

I cant see what major difference there is between the 1713 and 1613 though. You'd think the 17 would be better, but from what I see it has less power and 1 more HDMI input?? Weird.

Looks like the 1613 might be the one for me. I will just have to decide if risking a refurb purchase is the way to go to save some bucks and stay in budget. Now just to steer clear of the Marantz refurbs on that website. LOL

Thanks again!! Once I decide I'll update with my purchase. smile.gif
post #13 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by polymath View Post

Thank you for all your help everyone!

I haven't seen a HK1700 anywhere for $199, but I may keep looking. quote]

http://www.frys.com/product/7372554
post #14 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgstewar View Post

1. Nothing wrong with it at all. People on AVS buy refurbed units at Accessories 4 Less all the time - highly recommended website. Usually the box has just been opened but nothing has been touched. I wouldn't hesitate. Plus they still come with at least 1 year warranties.

2. It doesn't matter. All these choices will sound good.
The OP said he's using this receiver to power two bookshelf speakers. I don't know how he'd benefit from paying a premium to get Audyssey XT, which is more geared towards 5.1 home theater setups where you want to get the acoustics perfect in the room they're in.

If the OP is just looking for a budget AVR to power two bookshelves, any unit mentioned would suffice. Unless he's looking to upgrade at some point in the future...

Maybe I mis-represented what I will be powering.

Fronts: Paradigm Focus Bookshelfs v.3
Center: Paradigm CC-170
Rears: JBL small bookshelfs
Sub: SVS PB10-ISD

Sorry for any confusion
post #15 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by polymath View Post

Thank you for all your help everyone!

I haven't seen a HK1700 anywhere for $199, but I may keep looking.

http://www.frys.com/product/7372554

Ahhh thats why I missed it. Don't have and Fry's here in Michigan and its "in-store only"
post #16 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by polymath View Post

Maybe I mis-represented what I will be powering.

Fronts: Paradigm Focus Bookshelfs v.3
Center: Paradigm CC-170
Rears: JBL small bookshelfs
Sub: SVS PB10-ISD

Sorry for any confusion

My bad. That changes things somewhat.

The 1713 adds 5 watts per channel and Audyssey XT, which is better than the Audyssey Multi on the 1613 (but both trump any EQ by any other manufacturer). And one more HDMI input.

If you are really looking to stay under your $300 budget (don't forget about that!), then I'd go with either the Yamaha v473 for $289 or the Denon 1613 refurbed for $259 on A4L. Very similar features. The Denon will sound better and have more power, but both will sound phenomenal compared to most other budget AVRs.
post #17 of 44
i'm trying to decide on something at $249 for someone as well

they have an old receiver w/ no hdmi and i think the hdmi ports will help them a lot because they struggle (frustrated) with switching sources.

leaning heavily toward the denon avr-1513. all the wireless media etc features of others is just not important.
Edited by awaters2879 - 1/29/13 at 12:40pm
post #18 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgstewar View Post

My bad. That changes things somewhat.

The 1713 adds 5 watts per channel and Audyssey XT, which is better than the Audyssey Multi on the 1613 (but both trump any EQ by any other manufacturer). And one more HDMI input.

If you are really looking to stay under your $300 budget (don't forget about that!), then I'd go with either the Yamaha v473 for $289 or the Denon 1613 refurbed for $259 on A4L. Very similar features. The Denon will sound better and have more power, but both will sound phenomenal compared to most other budget AVRs.

I've always found the Denon's under powered /underwhelming when in the same price range as a Yamaha or Onkyo.......IMHO of course.
Edited by GrooveRite - 1/30/13 at 7:24am
post #19 of 44
Thread Starter 
To complicate matters further does this Marantz NR1402 receiver trump all of the above mentioned?

It has much less power to the speakers, but I could only assume this is much cleaner/better power? Or is is this receiver too underpowered?
post #20 of 44
+1 for the HK AVR-1700 at $199 if you can find it. Very happy with mine. I traditionally buy Onkyo, and have several I love, but wanted to try the lighter amp technology in the HK, and have no regrets. Power to spare, modern inputs, Airplay, plenty of HDMI inputs, easy user interface and on screen menus over HDMI...and, $199...(Frys/Best Buy)...don't forget to leverage price match....
post #21 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by polymath View Post

To complicate matters further does this Marantz NR1402 receiver trump all of the above mentioned?

It has much less power to the speakers, but I could only assume this is much cleaner/better power? Or is is this receiver too underpowered?

Marantz is does not over-exaggerate their wattage like most other companies do. That is a nice unit, but limited on features (no networking/airplay, no analog). You're basically paying a premium to get a smaller receiver. If that's not something that's important to you, you can get a better, more featured receiver for less money.
post #22 of 44
Thread Starter 
For what its worth I thought I'd let you guys know that I decided to go with the Yamaha V473.

I found it at amazon for $289 which fits in my budget. The reviews have been very positive from what I've seen and while I was leaning toward the Denon 1613 it is over $100 more than the Yamaha. While I really would like to get the Audyssey instead of the YPAO but I don't feel that with the price difference its not that much of an edge. My current older yamaha has served me well and still no issues to this day, its just outdated. PLUS when I went to the store to compare the two, I like the overall look and feel of the Yamaha better than the Denon with one exception. The remote. I can live with that.
post #23 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by polymath View Post

For what its worth I thought I'd let you guys know that I decided to go with the Yamaha V473.

I found it at amazon for $289 which fits in my budget. The reviews have been very positive from what I've seen and while I was leaning toward the Denon 1613 it is over $100 more than the Yamaha. While I really would like to get the Audyssey instead of the YPAO but I don't feel that with the price difference its not that much of an edge. My current older yamaha has served me well and still no issues to this day, its just outdated. PLUS when I went to the store to compare the two, I like the overall look and feel of the Yamaha better than the Denon with one exception. The remote. I can live with that.

Great choice - that's what I would've taken given the ones you were considering (for whatever that's worth).

I have a fix for you not liking the remote. Get a Logitech Harmony. BEST decision ever!
post #24 of 44
they went w/ a refurb Denon AVR-1613 from accessories4less. under $250 with shipping and extra hdmi cable EMP-HDMECL3.
post #25 of 44
Thread Starter 
So I've got the Yamaha v-473 all hooked up, Did the YPAO setup (which was really easy btw) and it looks and sounds pretty damn good.

One question I have though. Yamaha receivers volume control start at like -80dB and go up to 0dB. Compared to my older Yamaha receiver (HTR-5650) which I believe has less power it seems like I have to turn the volume much higher to enjoy movies and tv. On the older receiver I regularly would have the volume at like -40dB on the receiver and with this new one the volume needs to be at around -20dB or higher to enjoy it.

I don't know if its the receiver, if I need more power or what. Either way it makes no sense to me considering I am using the exact same speakers as before. Thoughts?
post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by davboy View Post

+1 for the HK AVR-1700 at $199 if you can find it. Very happy with mine. I traditionally buy Onkyo, and have several I love, but wanted to try the lighter amp technology in the HK, and have no regrets. Power to spare, modern inputs, Airplay, plenty of HDMI inputs, easy user interface and on screen menus over HDMI...and, $199...(Frys/Best Buy)...don't forget to leverage price match....

I would love to buy that particular HK at $199, but it looks like it is no longer on sale.

Quote:
Originally Posted by polymath View Post

For what its worth I thought I'd let you guys know that I decided to go with the Yamaha V473.

I found it at amazon for $289 which fits in my budget. The reviews have been very positive from what I've seen and while I was leaning toward the Denon 1613 it is over $100 more than the Yamaha. While I really would like to get the Audyssey instead of the YPAO but I don't feel that with the price difference its not that much of an edge. My current older yamaha has served me well and still no issues to this day, its just outdated. PLUS when I went to the store to compare the two, I like the overall look and feel of the Yamaha better than the Denon with one exception. The remote. I can live with that.

Congrats on your decision. Yamaha's are excellent.

~~~
post #27 of 44
Well I am pretty much in the same boat... I too have been doing research for a few weeks now and have narrowed my choices to the

Yamaha RX-V473BL or Denon AVR1613

both on sale for 299 or less at best buy.

Honestly the most important thing to me is the sound quality for blue ray movies, which one is better. Second is the Airplay and smartphone app to run everything.
post #28 of 44
Hello. Saw this thread and thought I would ask. I'm researching a budget system after I refoam my old Boston Acoustics Series II speakers. Which budget receiver would work well with these? I also want HDMI in it too. Haven't looked into budget subs yet, will ask that in the appropriate thread. Thanks.
post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1sttim312 View Post

Well I am pretty much in the same boat... I too have been doing research for a few weeks now and have narrowed my choices to the

Yamaha RX-V473BL or Denon AVR1613

both on sale for 299 or less at best buy.

Honestly the most important thing to me is the sound quality for blue ray movies, which one is better. Second is the Airplay and smartphone app to run everything.

I'd pick the Denon because it seems like Audyssey XT is a better product than YPAO.
Edited by arnyk - 8/30/13 at 7:30am
post #30 of 44
This receiver doesn't have XT, rather just MultEQ. I own the 1613.

But still better than YPAO in my opinion and you have different crossovers for the front, center and surround speakers plus EQing of the subwoofer.
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