Looking for advice on receiver - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 3Likes
  • 3 Post By Peterc613
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 17 Old 11-26-2016, 11:25 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 0
Looking for advice on receiver

I haven’t looked for a receiver in a long time. The one that I have I probably bought 15 years ago that I have never really happy with the quality of sound - Sherwood RD-7106 – and it has no HDMI. I will use the new receiver for music (primary), watch TV – sports, and movies. I have more DVDs than BluRay.
I’m looking for a good cyber Monday deal on a new AV receiver – one that will have better sound than my Sherwood.

Features I want:
Sound Fidelity
AM/FM Tuner
HDMI
5.1 at least

I only use a 32 inch 3D 1080P TV (go ahead and laugh) – not really looking to upgrade to 4K in near future
For speakers, I have Polk Monitor 60s front, 15c center and TSI100 rear. I doubt I will expand to 7.2 or ceiling speakers, so Atmos doesn’t do much for me. I do have teenagers in the house, so wifi and Apple connectivity important.
Because I’m not interested in the newest greatest features, I’m okay with buying older model for a much lower price. I would prefer a model under $350.
This is what I’ve found in my price range so far
Onkyo TX-NR646 $300 (read some reviews about reliability but has a lot of features)
Yamaha RX-V679BL $350 (doesn’t include Atmos but not sure it matters to me)
Sony STR-DN850 $350
Sony STR-DH770 $215
Denon AVR-S720W $350
Yamaha RX-V479BL $300 (This is 5.1 but doubt I will use extra speakers later)
Do you have a suggestion on another model or a preference from these? If you have a preference, please share why.
ivoteforpedro is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 17 Old 11-27-2016, 12:53 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Peterc613's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Van Nuys, CA
Posts: 1,312
Mentioned: 86 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 667 Post(s)
Liked: 1112
I work with a repair service and we regularly see many of the models on your list come in for warranty repair. The problem isn't that the AVR manufacturers make bad products. Quite the contrary is true. It's just that receivers have gotten so complex and at really low production price points that almost every company's budget AVR's under $500 - $700 come in frequently for repair. It used to be that you went into a stereo shop and auditioned receivers to purchase. Manufacturers competed at different price points to design and build the best sounding and reliable piece of equipment possible within that price point. They also built he entire unit themselves with complete control over Quality Controll on all the parts. Receivers were expected and designed to be kept for longer periods of time and often handed down to the kids when dad got a new stereo.

Today people buy off the internet and usually make their choice based upon a list of features without ever listening to the AVR. The longer the list of features at a price point, the better it sells compared to other similar units on amazon. The majority of today's gotta-have features--auto-setup, GUI menus, AirPlay, iPod/iPhone/iPad compatibility, home networking, HD Radio, Bluetooth, HDMI switching, digital-to-analog converters, Dolby and DTS surround processors--are sourced and manufactured by other companies. Industry insiders refer to the practice of cramming as many features as possible into the box as "checklist design." It doesn't matter if those features are useful to the majority of buyers, or if they're easy to use; no, the features are included to make the product more attractive to potential buyers. It's a numbers game, pure and simple. The receiver with the right combination of features is judged to be the best receiver.

Every year receiver manufacturers pay out more and more money (in the form of royalties and licensing fees) to Apple, Audyssey, Bluetooth, HD Radio, XM-Sirius, Dolby, DTS and other companies, and those dollars consume an ever bigger chunk of the design budget. The engineers have to make do with whatever is left to make the receiver build quality fit within budget. Retail prices of receivers, the ones that sell in big numbers, never go up. The $300 to $500 models are where most of the sales action is, just like 10, 20 or 30 years ago, when their $300 to $500 models weren't packed to the gills with features. Something's got to go, and build quality usually takes the hit.

That's why, it doesn't really matter which company's budget receiver you get, until you get up to about $900 and over, they are all not built to last regardless of the long list of features.You will probably find more value per dollar in older audio gear used or refurbished than buying the latest budget AVR listed on the internet. The trick is to buy old enough that the price has dropped within your price range, but new enough that the feature set is still unusable.

Fortunately, the most important thing your getting from an AVR is the audio. Unless your system is more complex than 7.1 channels, the quality of the amplifier and preamplifier section is going to make the most impact on your listening experience. Video is in a state of flux right now and to buy both a receiver AND a flatscreen with the latest video features like 4K, HDR, Rec 2020 color, 4:4:4, and 10 bit processing is fairly expensive. It's more cost effective to hook your Cable/Satalite, BluRay player directly to the TV and upgrade the video as you're ready and can afford it. Spend your money on the quality of the receiver, not on a long list of features, most of which you may not use that much.

Denon had a "Ci" series or AVR's about 5 years ago that I'm my opinion were the last to have really good build quality and premium parts for under $1,000 used. They retailed for between $1,200 and $2,900, but are commonly now available used or refurbished between $200 - $500:

The best deals out there right now are a Denon AVR 3808Ci on ebay bidding now at $199 (it sold new for $1,700), a Denon AVR 4311Ci on ebay bidding now at $299 (it sold new for $2,100), a newer Denon 4520Ci on ebay now for $470 (it sold new for $1,600). They all have more power than you're using right now, but that just means it's going to run cooler with less stress on the amplifier section at lower distortion and last longer with your current speakers. They also have the power to accommodate larger speakers if you ever chose to upgrade. Look at the information posted below. You can see the difference in build quality (at 36-38 lbs) with a $1,600/$2,100 AVR from for a few years ago. All of these have better audio and larger power supplies than any of the AVR's on your list. The fact that you can buy them now for $300 -$470 only makes it a better value.


Denon AVR-3808Ci $199 ebay ($1,700 new)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Denon-AVR-AV...oAAOSwal5YIp6G

https://usa.denon.com/us/product/Hom...vers/AVR3808CI





Denon AVR-4311Ci $299 ebay ($2,100 new)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Denon-AVR-43...IAAOSwHMJYM30e

https://usa.denon.com/us/product/Hom...vers/AVR4311CI





Denon AVR-4520Ci $470 ebay ($2,500 new)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Denon-AVR-AV...8AAOSwj85YMiTl

https://usa.denon.com/us/product/Ref...sRef/AVR4520CI

Peterc613 is offline  
post #3 of 17 Old 11-27-2016, 05:14 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 0
Thank you Peter for responding. If going with a used Denon unit, it might be better to wait until after Christmas.
ivoteforpedro is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 17 Old 11-27-2016, 05:23 AM
Member
 
musicmaniac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 156
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Liked: 12
I picked up the Onkyo 646 recently and find it works well in my living room.
musicmaniac is offline  
post #5 of 17 Old 11-27-2016, 07:44 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3,000
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Liked: 123
The Yamaha 679 is a nice unit and well-priced right now. Another option is the Sony 1070 at $448 on Amazon right now. Yes, Sony. Never thought I'd recommend a Sony, but their units the past couple years are quite good.
rnatalli is offline  
post #6 of 17 Old 11-27-2016, 09:36 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
commsysman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 7,058
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1119 Post(s)
Liked: 584
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivoteforpedro View Post
I haven’t looked for a receiver in a long time. The one that I have I probably bought 15 years ago that I have never really happy with the quality of sound - Sherwood RD-7106 – and it has no HDMI. I will use the new receiver for music (primary), watch TV – sports, and movies. I have more DVDs than BluRay.
I’m looking for a good cyber Monday deal on a new AV receiver – one that will have better sound than my Sherwood.

Features I want:
Sound Fidelity
AM/FM Tuner
HDMI
5.1 at least

I only use a 32 inch 3D 1080P TV (go ahead and laugh) – not really looking to upgrade to 4K in near future
For speakers, I have Polk Monitor 60s front, 15c center and TSI100 rear. I doubt I will expand to 7.2 or ceiling speakers, so Atmos doesn’t do much for me. I do have teenagers in the house, so wifi and Apple connectivity important.
Because I’m not interested in the newest greatest features, I’m okay with buying older model for a much lower price. I would prefer a model under $350.
This is what I’ve found in my price range so far
Onkyo TX-NR646 $300 (read some reviews about reliability but has a lot of features)
Yamaha RX-V679BL $350 (doesn’t include Atmos but not sure it matters to me)
Sony STR-DN850 $350
Sony STR-DH770 $215
Denon AVR-S720W $350
Yamaha RX-V479BL $300 (This is 5.1 but doubt I will use extra speakers later)
Do you have a suggestion on another model or a preference from these? If you have a preference, please share why.

My experience over the years is that Yamaha, Sherwood, and most Sony receivers are not good-sounding, and there are good reasons for that that are design/technical issues that I won't bore you with. As an experienced electrical engineer and professor, I am qualified to know what is what in that area (and as a listener, I know what sound good and not).

Denon is somewhat better, and Marantz and NAD are Much better-sounding, but more than I think you want to spend.

The one that would answer to your needs, I believe, is the Harman-Kardon AVR 1610S, which Amazon is selling for $370.

The sound quality is good and I think it has the features you want, so I recommend it.

On the other hand, the Denon has the Apple AirPlay and should also be a good choice.

Last edited by commsysman; 11-27-2016 at 09:45 AM.
commsysman is offline  
post #7 of 17 Old 11-28-2016, 06:07 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3,000
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Liked: 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post
The one that would answer to your needs, I believe, is the Harman-Kardon AVR 1610S, which Amazon is selling for $370.
You can find the 2700 on Amazon for around $250 and although it's a previous generation HK, it's a better unit overall (better GUI, Dolby Volume, etc.) IMO.
rnatalli is offline  
post #8 of 17 Old 11-28-2016, 08:05 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 103
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
Liked: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnatalli View Post
You can find the 2700 on Amazon for around $250 and although it's a previous generation HK, it's a better unit overall (better GUI, Dolby Volume, etc.) IMO.

I am interested in HK receiver, but Amazon reviews are atrocious. Doesn't look like HK is interested in receiver business anymore.
FIQBAL is offline  
post #9 of 17 Old 11-28-2016, 11:34 AM
Member
 
zengel442's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Centerville, Ohio
Posts: 90
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I am returning a 646 Onkyo for the reason it can't communicate with my DVR very well.
There is a sound lag after FF that can be as long as 5 minutes. Granted, it does not have issues all the time just intermittantly.
Otherwise a good unit..

Frank
zengel442 is offline  
post #10 of 17 Old 11-28-2016, 12:50 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1,022
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 595 Post(s)
Liked: 190
This is what I have learnt from reading threads/posts since I became a AVSforum member.
Yamaha is a king of reliability, if you search through posts, you'll see 9 out of 10 will make that claim.
Onkyo is unfortunately on the other end of the spectrum with many issues especially HDMI.
In here, this forum, people are in favor of Denon, 9 out of 10 will recommend Denon and its sibling Marantz.
Why? Audyssey room correction.
If you go through many pages, however, you'll see quite a few issues in Denon related posts. Are they that good that you should take a chance? It's personal preference.
Just read the issues (here as well as other sites) and be prepared how to conquer them.
A lot of people claim that Denon is better. I don't know how it is.
tinhvo is offline  
post #11 of 17 Old 11-28-2016, 08:18 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3,000
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Liked: 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by FIQBAL View Post
I am interested in HK receiver, but Amazon reviews are atrocious. Doesn't look like HK is interested in receiver business anymore.
You can't really go by Amazon reviews, but generally speaking HK receivers aren't the most reliable. From what I understand, HK is getting out of the receiver business which is a real shame.
rnatalli is offline  
post #12 of 17 Old 11-28-2016, 08:54 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
kikkenit2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Redondo Beach
Posts: 3,297
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 823 Post(s)
Liked: 310
My professors were licensed engineers too. I still made it twice as far in much less time.
Yamaha sounds so bad they are #1 in sales volume and profit. Does that make them the
best? Not necessary. I agree with tinhvo after owning several yamaha and denon. Denon
has better room eq and more power along with more features and switches.

The Yamaha is slightly more reliable, but much more consistent and easier to control.
The new denon thread is being bombasted with bugs. Yamaha a trickle. Been like that
for years and when I call that out some blame me. Hilarious. Yamaha owns their own
factory in Malaysia. The others lease from other cheap locations. The parts and design
still matter more. HK hasn't made new receivers in years. NAD and CA can't get above
boutique level because they don't offer more value. If they did it would show.
kikkenit2 is offline  
post #13 of 17 Old 11-28-2016, 10:36 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 0
I went to a couple stores today to listen to different lines. I also have looked into used. At the store, I was interested in hearing the Denon x2300, since it was on sale at Frys. I liked what I heard, but now all the local Frys are out of the x2300. If this deal goes back on sale, is there any reason why not to purchase the x2300? It is a little over my original budget but not much.
ivoteforpedro is offline  
post #14 of 17 Old 11-28-2016, 11:55 PM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
afrogt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 27,703
Mentioned: 54 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2201 Post(s)
Liked: 1458
the x2300 sale ends on Saturday. Your local Fry's may get some more in stock by then. it wont have the powerful amp section of the 3808CI, 4311 or 4520 though. But none of those AVR's can do 4K or Atmos if that matters.

The 4311 closed at $299. That's great deal.

Afro GT
afrogt is offline  
post #15 of 17 Old 12-01-2016, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 0
Fry's had the Denon x2300 sale on their web today but it is only the floor demo model. I will not need the 4K or Atmos anytime soon.

$200 for 3808 sounds better than $400 for floor demo tech (might as well be used) that I will not need.

I feel like I'm 10 years late to the game.

I've done some reading on the models that Peter mentioned.
3808ci doesn't do 3D video. I have a 3D TV and Blu-Ray but normally just watch normal content. I think I only watched one 3D movie this year. Since you all have gone through the years dealing with this issue, how did you first solve it without buying a new model receiver?

If I play normal Blu-Ray does it pass through 3808 fine?
ivoteforpedro is offline  
post #16 of 17 Old 12-06-2016, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 0
So I’ve gone to a couple different local AV stores and all the high end AV receivers sound better than my current equipment. I couldn’t hear enough of a difference for me to be partial to one brand. Peter did get me to change the way I think and look at potentially buying used gear for more bang for the buck. Knowing that I don’t need 4K or Atmos, are there specific older units that have 3D video 1.4a capable that I should look at used? Since I’m looking at used units, I don’t have ability to listen to each one. With your experience, I’m thinking you can warn me about some of these that I shouldn’t look for used.
Pioneer SC-65,67,68, 75,
Denon A100/4311; AVR-x4000; (AVR 4520ci if I couldn’t find one with in my budget)
Denon 3311 – specs meet my needs but seems to have reliability issues from what I’ve read on here
Yamaha RX-A2020, RX-A2030, RX-A3020
Marantz SR7007, SR7008 (if I could get one in my budget under $400)
How would you rank these? These units have the specs that I’m looking for – do you know about reliability or other issue on why I shouldn’t look at one of these units used? Is there a unit that is comparable to these and reliable that I missed?
ivoteforpedro is offline  
post #17 of 17 Old 12-07-2016, 03:24 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
kikkenit2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Redondo Beach
Posts: 3,297
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 823 Post(s)
Liked: 310
Pretty much all these models are way better than the first post.
Especially the denon 4311. Almost nobody had problems with
that 2010 flagship model in the official thread here. I bought
mine new that year and it has performed stoutly (780 watt power
supply!) and bug free since. They are going for $1000 less than
I paid, but when it breaks I will get a repair quote for sure.
kikkenit2 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply Receivers, Amps, and Processors

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off