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Best AV Receiver for my setup

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
I have been searching for days now, trying to find out how to pick the receiver with the best sound quality under $400, (ideally under $300).

My speakers are the entry-level Andrew Jones Pioneer speakers. I'm using front sound only, because it's a small room, so the AV Receiver only has to power two towers, a center, and a subwoofer.

Otherwise, I don't need any networking features, just the best sound I can get for under $400. The only other requirement is that the receiver have at least 2-3 HDMI ports, (but ideally more.)

All I need to hook into it is an Apple TV, a projector, and a Wii, plus three speakers and a subwoofer. (The Pioneer subwoofer doesn't have a single-output subwoofer jack, it's the normal red-white output.)

I used the Onkyo NR-515, but I'm returning it following some intractable HDMI-out issues. Need to find a replacement. I like the sound quality I got from the Onkyo, but the frustration with the HDMI constantly dropping was too much.

Let me know if you have any ideas. Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 38
Thread Starter 
I know this question has been asked quite a few times on this forum, apologies!

I just am totally unsure of how to gauge sound quality from the product spec sheets.
post #3 of 38
post #4 of 38
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Gary -- That was definitely one I was considering.

So, the list so far is:

Yamaha RX-V373 ($190, new)
Denon AVR-1612/3 ($200/$260, refurb)
Denon AVR-1712 ($310, refurb)

Does anyone have any opinions on these three Denon models vs the Yamaha?

Are there any other models anyone would recommend besides these (under $400)?
post #5 of 38
Thread Starter 
Can anyone speak to the differences between the Yamaha models?

The V373, V473, and V573 are all within my budget. Are there any appreciable differences in sound quality between these, considering my modest setup? There is also the question of the Yamaha RX-V471, which is only $10 more than the V373..
post #6 of 38
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure how I would go about hooking up my Andrew Jones Pioneer subwoofer to the V373, as it has a dedicated single-jack for the subwoofer, whereas the subwoofer I have uses the red-white split connection jack. Hm. It seems to have an audio-out port next to the subwoofer single-jack, so maybe that would work..
post #7 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crushingsitar View Post

I'm not sure how I would go about hooking up my Andrew Jones Pioneer subwoofer to the V373, as it has a dedicated single-jack for the subwoofer, whereas the subwoofer I have uses the red-white split connection jack. Hm. It seems to have an audio-out port next to the subwoofer single-jack, so maybe that would work..

Coax cable from the subwoofer pre-out to the left or right channel on the sub. It usually doesn't matter, sometimes it's the left input. You could also buy a y-splitter if you wanted.

Power isn't really an issue for you, list your most important features you want and go from there.
post #8 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryWA View Post


Power isn't really an issue for you, list your most important features you want and go from there.

Agreed.

So, the most important features for sound quality are, what, exactly?

Dynamic Volume? Dynamic EQ? MultiEQ/2EQ/YPAO? Dolby's sound suite? THX-Certification? Compressed-audio enhancement?

Any of these really matter that much? The sound source is mostly going to be Apple TV (iPhone/iPad streaming) and stuff played directly from a computer via HDMI.

All I really care about is sound quality from my small setup.

I want to go with the Yamaha you recommended, as the price is right and it has what (I think) I need -- However, I've heard rumors the Audessey suite of EQ/Volume/MultEQ helps quite a bit with the sound. Is that just voodoo?

Will I notice a difference? I had these Audessey EQ/Vol/2EQ on my Onkyo 515, so I don't want to take a step down from that if that's important to sound quality.
post #9 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crushingsitar View Post

Agreed.

So, the most important features for sound quality are, what, exactly?

Dynamic Volume? Dynamic EQ? MultiEQ/2EQ/YPAO? Dolby's sound suite? THX-Certification? Compressed-audio enhancement?

Any of these really matter that much? The sound source is mostly going to be Apple TV (iPhone/iPad streaming) and stuff streamed directly from a computer.

All I really care about is sound quality from my small setup.

I want to go with the Yamaha you recommended, as the price is right and it has what (I think) I need -- However, I've heard the Audessey suite of EQ/Volume/MultEQ helps quite a bit with the sound.

Will I notice a difference? I had these Audessey EQ/Vol/2EQ on my Onkyo 515, so I don't want to take a step down from that if that's important to sound quality.

I've never had an Audyssey receiver so I can't say anything about that room correction. However, I've had a few Pioneer's and their MCACC is pretty good.

My mentality is, some room correction is better than no room correction, which is probably blasphemy, but I also don't have 2k+ speakers yet..

You can look through ac4l.com as well, they have some refurbs but you can get a high model than you could buying new.

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/category/HomeAudio/Home-Audio/1.html
post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crushingsitar View Post

Can anyone speak to the differences between the Yamaha models?

The V373, V473, and V573 are all within my budget. Are there any appreciable differences in sound quality between these, considering my modest setup? There is also the question of the Yamaha RX-V471, which is only $10 more than the V373..
The 471 is easily worth the extra $10 over the stripped down 373. If you look at the back of them you can see that the 471 has more and better hookups. The 573 is the only one of these that has discrete amplification which is nice but depending on the quality of your speakers you may or may not notice.
Edited by Bond 007 - 1/30/13 at 8:10pm
post #11 of 38
Thread Starter 
Thanks, GaryWA & Bond007 -- Still not decided yet, but getting closer. Thanks for answering some of my questions!

Currently between Yamaha RX-471 ($190), Denon AVR-1613 ($260), Yamaha RX-473 ($290).

Leaning toward the Yamaha, but still not sure whether or not Denon's Audessey Dynamic EQ/Volume really help that much. I don't have a surround system to calibrate, just front speakers, so I don't think Audessey MultEQ would do much. However, the Dynamic Volume/EQ might be nice in a small room.

I'm also worried that it's lack of DTS Decoders on both of the Yamaha will effect the sound quality, as my sources are mostly internet-based.

The Yamahas only have DTS HD Master Audio, whereas the 1613 has DTS 96/24, DTS HD High Resolution, DTS:Neo6 (whatever that last one is..) plus it has Audessey.

Does the DTS decoding effect the quality of streaming audio?
Edited by Crushingsitar - 1/30/13 at 8:54pm
post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crushingsitar View Post

Thanks, GaryWA & Bond007 -- Still not decided yet, but getting closer. Thanks for answering some of my questions!

Currently between Yamaha RX-471 ($190), Denon AVR-1613 ($260), Yamaha RX-473 ($290).

Leaning toward the Yamaha, but still not sure whether or not Denon's Audessey Dynamic EQ/Volume really help that much. I don't have a surround system to calibrate, just front speakers, so I don't think Audessey MultEQ would do much. However, the Dynamic Volume/EQ might be nice in a small room.

I'm also worried that it's lack of DTS Decoders on both of the Yamaha will effect the sound quality, as my sources are mostly internet-based.

The Yamahas only have DTS HD Master Audio, whereas the 1613 has DTS 96/24, DTS HD High Resolution, DTS:Neo6 (whatever that last one is..) plus it has Audessey.

Does the DTS decoding effect the quality of streaming audio?

First off, I don't think the DTS decoding applies to streaming audio - but only for DTS encoded material on DVDs or BDs or hi-res audio tracks stored on USB.

Looks like the Denon is a better option as it has more DTS modes, plus Audyssey MultiEQ. But the additional DTS modes (96/24 and Neo:6) might not be relevant to your setup (if you listen to 96/24 hi-res audio, or if you ever upgrade to 5.1 speakers to use Neo:6). Power ratings are similar between the Yamaha and Denon, but the Yamaha receivers seem to support driving speakers down to 2 Ohms, whereas the Denon is most likely recommended for only 8 or 6 ohm speakers. It is however a different question entirely regarding how well the Yamaha and Denon can drive speakers rated below 6 ohms. They might technically power them, but probably at low volumes. You may want to research further about how the Yamaha receivers power <6 Ohms speakers, if that feature is important to you.

I'd personally recommend going with the Denon or the Yamaha RX-473, particularly because of Audyssey MultiEQ and Dynamic Volume features.
post #13 of 38
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Raaj -- Are there any AV Receivers you would recommend that I'm not considering right now under $400?

I'm using 6ohm speakers, so should be fine either way on that front. I'm just using a front audio system, with two towers, a central channel and a subwoofer, so I'm not sure if MultiEQ offers much, as there's not much to adjust. (Pioneer Andrew Jones line speakers)

Is there a compelling reason to go for the 473 over the 471? There's a $100 price difference, but if it's worth the investment, I don't mind at all.

Thanks for the responses, fellows!
post #14 of 38
I'm looking at the same options right now. It's very confusing. You might want to add the HK AVR-1700 to your list. It can be had for $199 at Fry's.
post #15 of 38
Those DTS modes are practically irrelevant really. Its just bragging rights for stuff that you will never use or be able to tell the difference if you did use it. All of the relevant decoders are in all of the receivers that you are looking at. I have the 671 and love it. I prefer the Yamaha over the Denon. You are paying more for the famous Audyssey that I don't even care about. The ypao on the Yamaha is basically the same thing. The Yamaha have better real world usable features.
The biggest difference between the 471 and 473 is that the 473 is a network receiver. It has built in Pandora, Sirius, Netradio etc. That is a nice feature but you may already have that in your bdp or smart tv. Other than that there is very little difference.
post #16 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt_TX View Post

I'm looking at the same options right now. It's very confusing. You might want to add the HK AVR-1700 to your list. It can be had for $199 at Fry's.
The hk is a good receiver at that price but I would spend the extra and get the 473. They are both network receivers.
Edited by Bond 007 - 1/31/13 at 9:29pm
post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crushingsitar View Post

I know this question has been asked quite a few times on this forum, apologies!

I just am totally unsure of how to gauge sound quality from the product spec sheets.
No one can really. Many of the manufacturer spec sheets are deceiving. Not necessarily outright lies but there are so many variables and they always skew them in their favor. Standard practice. Speaker companies do the same thing.
post #18 of 38
Thread Starter 
Will look at the HK AVR-1700 -- Check out this thread if you haven't already -- http://www.avsforum.com/t/1429194/the-new-harman-kardon-avr1700/90

Seems like the main downfall of the 1700 is the lack of Audyssey, but other than that is comparable to the Denon 1613 or the Yamaha 473. And at $200 seems a good deal, as the 473 is almost $100 more. Annoying that it's in-store only, though.

So, it looks like this so far:

Yamaha 471 $190
HK 1700 $200
Denon 1613 $260


Don't need networking features, so don't have to consider the Yamaha 473.

Please add any suggestions for receivers that haven't been discussed yet if you know of any. I haven't found any Marantz or Pioneers around this price point yet with comparable features, but I may have missed them.
Edited by Crushingsitar - 1/31/13 at 12:52am
post #19 of 38
Thread Starter 
The only other receivers that I've found so far that could be added to the list would be:

Onkyo TX-NR609 ($270) - Doesn't have the HDMI problems, voted receiver of the year in 2011 by cnet, I think

MARANTZ NR1402 ($290) - It's listed as 50w per channel, but I think that won't matter with my setup anyway.
post #20 of 38
Marantz are always overpriced and their quality is middle of the road at best.
post #21 of 38
Thread Starter 
Ok, so, scratching the Marantz, the updated best-picks list looks like this:

Yamaha 471 / $190
HK 1700 / $200
Pioneer 1022 / $250
Denon 1613 / $260
Onkyo 609 / $270
Denon 1912 / $340


I'm sure I could remove one from the Yamaha/HK pair and the Pioneer/Denon/Onkyo trio. None of these are really bad, from what I can tell. But usually with these kinds of purchases, you don't figure out what you want until you own the thing you don't.
Edited by Crushingsitar - 1/31/13 at 11:01am
post #22 of 38
Thread Starter 
Apparently the Denon 1912 had the Cnet Editors' Choice award in 2011, if that means anything.

And they think the Pioneer 1022 isn't as good as the 1021, for some reason.

I'm starting to think that Cnet may be suspect..
post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crushingsitar View Post

Apparently the Denon 1912 had the Cnet Editors' Choice award in 2011, if that means anything.

And they think the Pioneer 1022 isn't as good as the 1021, for some reason.

I'm starting to think that Cnet may be suspect..

The 1022 ISN'T as good as the 1021. You know why? It is the equivalent to the 921-K, and the 1122 is the equivalent to the 1021-K. You should take a closer look at the specs.

Only thing that's changed is that the model numbers got pushed down on every model, and the 1122 got a Qdeo chip.
post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crushingsitar View Post

Ok, so, scratching the Marantz, the updated best-picks list looks like this:

Yamaha 471 / $190
HK 1700 / $200
Pioneer 1022 / $250
Denon 1613 / $260
Onkyo 609 / $270
Denon 1912 / $340


I'm sure I could remove one from the Yamaha/HK pair and the Pioneer/Denon/Onkyo trio. None of these are really bad, from what I can tell. But usually with these kinds of purchases, you don't figure out what you want until you own the thing you don't.
I don't have time to look at all the specs and at this point I would guess that they are all very similar. So you have to decide what is important to you. For what you are going to be using it for I wouldn't spend over $200. These are all pretty much throw away receivers anyway. No matter which one you get you're gonna want something else in 5 years or less I would imagine. So going strictly on my opinion and gut.
Pioneer ain't what it used to be. 1 down.
Denon,s both cost too much to be worth the extra money. 3 down
Onkyo never has been what Pioneer used to be. 4 down
As much as it pains me to say it because I am a Yamaha fan, the hk is by far the best value but I think the Yamaha is the best quality.
The hk gives you more future proofing and the 471 has a proven track record. If you think you may be able to find a use for a network receiver then the hk is it. If you want a proven 5.1 that is going to sound exceptional then the 471 is it.
My 2 cents as a long time av enthusiast and recent purchaser of a 671.
Edited by Bond 007 - 1/31/13 at 9:27pm
post #25 of 38
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bond 007 View Post

This might be helpful:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1429194/the-new-harman-kardon-avr1700

18 pages... Just too much to read smile.gif

Why hasn't the Onkyo 414 been mentioned here? Onkyo's used to be really popular...

I'm looking at the similar choices to the OP, but am still confused:
- Denon 1513
- Yamaha V373
- HK AVR-1700
- Onkyo 414

Would welcome some wisdom on these choices...
post #27 of 38
Quote:
If you think you may step up to 7.1 and be able to find a use for a network receiver then the hk is it. If you want a proven 5.1 that is going to sound exceptional then the 471 is it.

The HK 1700 is a 5.1 receiver, there is no option to step up to 7.1.
post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

The HK 1700 is a 5.1 receiver, there is no option to step up to 7.1.
I realized that right after my last post. You must have posted this at the same time I was editing that post.
post #29 of 38
OK, so after the multiple posts, which one is actually the best? smile.gif

I have to say, I'm still confused as hell. I was going to get a refurbished Denon 1612, but now I concerned about the size. My old 1609 (which finally gave up the ghost last week) is very snug in my AV cabinet, and it seems that the 1612 is even bigger (depth wise)
post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt_TX View Post

OK, so after the multiple posts, which one is actually the best? smile.gif

I have to say, I'm still confused as hell. I was going to get a refurbished Denon 1612, but now I concerned about the size. My old 1609 (which finally gave up the ghost last week) is very snug in my AV cabinet, and it seems that the 1612 is even bigger (depth wise)
Have you read this thread?
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