3 sub $500 9.2 Receivers...which to choose? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 25 Old 01-06-2019, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
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3 sub $500 9.2 Receivers...which to choose?

I'm moving and it's a good time to upgrade my 20 year old HTIB setup to a something/anything else.

My primary location is a living room approx 11 x 13 (standard 8 foot ceiling). I'm set on a 5.1.2 setup with cheap but ok speakers.
Majority of use will be for TV/Movie viewing off fios and netflix.

I was all set on getting a Sony STR-DN1080 due all the good reviews out there but after a lot of soul searching, i'm leaning towards a 9.2 receiver to future proof my new place. After reading a bunch of threads that referenced A4L, I went there and there are 3 sub $500 receivers that are 9 channel + can handle atmos (and all the other newer tech).

Onkyo TX-NR787, Onkyo TX-RZ630 and Pioneer VSX-LX303.

For the same price, I would assume the 630 > 787 since the RZ is a better/higher product line. I'm not really familiar with the Pioneer at all.

I'm really just looking to go with a simplish 5.1.2 and then maybe expand or use zone2/3 for multiple room music playback (during a party/bbq or whatnot).

Any recommendation on which way to go?
Be kind..i'm new to this and looking for an relatively easy install..
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post #2 of 25 Old 01-06-2019, 06:31 PM
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I would choose the Pioneer out of those three.
Haven't been too crazy about the way the Onkyo's sound, especially with cheap speakers.
The Onkyos may sound better with expensive speakers (who knows).

There are some weird bugs in some of the Onkyo adjustments as well, especially if you like to custom tune things.
I think the Pioneer has more capability in that respect, and I'm pretty sure it will sound better OOTB.

They are the same company now, but that doesn't mean they are the exact same products.

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post #3 of 25 Old 01-06-2019, 07:15 PM
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Onkyo owns Pioneer Home Theater so some of those receivers are very similar with the exception of the room calibration software. Pioneer uses MCACC while Onkyo uses AccuEQ

The RZ630 and NR787 look exactly the same on the back panel but might as well get the RZ630 since you get a 3 year warranty.

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post #4 of 25 Old 01-06-2019, 08:26 PM
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I too have been researching all 3 of these receivers plus the Integra drx-3.2 because I have 5 zones that were wired to only 2 locations in my home. So I was shopping for two budget 9 channel receivers. Glad I waited, during my research I found out that Pionkyo now has a kool new feature called Flareconnect, which can control multiple zones and even has a wireless speaker system to go with it.

Take a look at this thread, starting at response #131. The Amazon reviews seem pretty good for the rz630, 787 and lx303 but since I trust AVS forum members, I reached out to actual owners, John Stephens, rkskydancer and bungi43. They all seem to love their new pioneers (lx103, 503 and bungi got an lx502).
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/90-re...-thread-5.html

As afrogt said, the rz630 and the 787 are the same (no video upscaling) and the Integra drx-3.2 and lx303 are the same (w/video upscaling). The rz630 and drx-3.2 are the only two that mention playing digital sources in zone 2 (hdmi inputs 1-3) which is an awesome feature. However, I also though about getting the x4400 to do 3 zones and another cheaper receiver to do zones 4-5, but for me, it really comes down to the fact that the lx103/303/lx503 often go on sale at Frys, which means I can get 2 (new) flareconnect receivers (16 channels) for about $800.

Sorry for the confusion! Hope that helps?

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post #5 of 25 Old 01-08-2019, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eriksells916 View Post
Take a look at this thread, starting at response #131. The Amazon reviews seem pretty good for the rz630, 787 and lx303 but since I trust AVS forum members, I reached out to actual owners, John Stephens, rkskydancer and bungi43. They all seem to love their new pioneers (lx103, 503 and bungi got an lx502).
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/90-re...-thread-5.html

As afrogt said, the rz630 and the 787 are the same (no video upscaling) and the Integra drx-3.2 and lx303 are the same (w/video upscaling). The rz630 and drx-3.2 are the only two that mention playing digital sources in zone 2 (hdmi inputs 1-3) which is an awesome feature. However, I also though about getting the x4400 to do 3 zones and another cheaper receiver to do zones 4-5, but for me, it really comes down to the fact that the lx103/303/lx503 often go on sale at Frys, which means I can get 2 (new) flareconnect receivers (16 channels) for about $800.

Sorry for the confusion! Hope that helps?
Argh! I think that between the RZ630 and the 787 - I might as well get the 630 (better parts/whatnot). So if it's between the rz630 and lx303: Both have flareconnect and all the features that i'd need to get a 5.1.2/5.1.4 working. I'm not sure that I can compare the RZ630 to the LX303 and truly understand the differences - so I do appreciate the nod towards the Pioneer...at last moves the needle a little bit towards the lx303.
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lx503
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post #7 of 25 Old 01-08-2019, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by medic459 View Post
Argh! I think that between the RZ630 and the 787 - I might as well get the 630 (better parts/whatnot). So if it's between the rz630 and lx303: Both have flareconnect and all the features that i'd need to get a 5.1.2/5.1.4 working. I'm not sure that I can compare the RZ630 to the LX303 and truly understand the differences - so I do appreciate the nod towards the Pioneer...at last moves the needle a little bit towards the lx303.
MCACC has a lot more settings than AccuEQ, which can be good or bad depending on how automated you want things or how likely your are to tweak settings. Neither really EQs the sub(s), the Onkyo has a nice 9 channel EQ that you can save 3 persets, not sure about the Pioneer.

I have the RZ820 and find that the GUI is nice, easy to use a pretty straight forward. I just don't think that auto room correction is all that important other than make it easy to set levels and distance. Your speakers are much more important than the room correction. I can't tell a difference with AccuEQ on or off.

Maybe you should download the manual for each and read both to see more or less what they would be like to set up and use everyday.
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post #8 of 25 Old 01-08-2019, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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lx503
Can't afford 503...only the 303.
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post #9 of 25 Old 01-08-2019, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Maybe you should download the manual for each and read both to see more or less what they would be like to set up and use everyday.
That's a really good idea. I feel like i'll spend the time to get it setup and then never really touch it...Just turn on the tv and let it power itself on (arc) and enjoy. In that case...ease of use might be the tipping point!
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post #10 of 25 Old 01-08-2019, 03:41 PM
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Yes all of those will give you 5.1.4 except the rz820, which is capped at 5.1.2. Based on @Kini62 good reviews, that would be a good 7 channel option as it also got the flareconnect update in Jan 2018.

But yes you can still all 3 of those 9 channel receivers on sale at AC4L for the same price, if you don't mind refurbished? The kissing cousin Integra drx-3.2 is there too for $80 more (same features as the lx303).

Keep us posted!
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post #11 of 25 Old 01-08-2019, 06:39 PM
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I had the 787 for a couple of months and switched to a Denon 4400 and I found the sound and the new advanced accuEQ to be very good. After EQ on both units the sound is too similar to tell a difference without an A/B comparison. Not surprising since speakers probably make the most difference in sound.

Anyway, can't speak about the Pioneer but I would recommend the Onkyo products based on my experience. I suspect you will be very pleased with any of the choices.
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post #12 of 25 Old 01-17-2019, 11:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Someone sent me this link: https://www.zkelectronics.com/compar...nkyo-TX-RZ630/
Does a great job of comparing the 2. Makes me lean towards the LX303...
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post #13 of 25 Old 01-18-2019, 09:18 AM
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That zke electronics comparison tool is flawed, don't use it. jdsmoothie is the king of receivers maybe he will chime in.

I too am on the fence about these two receivers as well. From my research the only differences I found between them are that the pioneer has a video upscaling engine and the front panel has hdmi and usb input and mcacc basic room correction software.

Just to throw a wrench in things, the beast vsx-lx503 is now on sale at Frys for less than both of those. https://www.frys.com/ads/page25

Keep us posted!
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post #14 of 25 Old 01-18-2019, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eriksells916 View Post
That zke electronics comparison tool is flawed, don't use it. jdsmoothie is the king of receivers maybe he will chime in.

I too am on the fence about these two receivers as well. From my research the only differences I found between them are that the pioneer has a video upscaling engine and the front panel has hdmi and usb input and mcacc basic room correction software.

Just to throw a wrench in things, the beast vsx-lx503 is now on sale at Frys for less than both of those. https://www.frys.com/ads/page25

Keep us posted!
I was leaning rz630 until that tool pointed out: 4k upscaling (but...i'd prob let the tv handle) and the A/B speaker switch. If zke electronics comparison tool is flawed - that's annoying.
I was looking to pick up the lx303/rz630 from A4L so the price is the same for both $499. The 503 at frys is $800...

Why isn't this [email protected]!!
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post #15 of 25 Old 01-18-2019, 09:54 AM
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LOL! Your not bad at all. In the last 3 months I have had all of these in my cart at AC4L, Frys, Costco, Sams Club or Amazon and have NOT pulled the trigger. Denon x1400, Pioneer vsx-lx103, 302, 502 and 503, Integra drx-3.2 and Yamaha rx-v683 then tsr-7850 (Costco).

Not sure about price talk violations, but the lx503 is under $600 with promo code, otherwise a new rz630 on Amazon (1 left) is just less than that if you don't need preouts or 11 channels?

https://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-RZ63...s%2C340&sr=8-1


https://www.frys.com/ads/page25
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post #16 of 25 Old 01-18-2019, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by medic459 View Post
I was leaning rz630 until that tool pointed out: 4k upscaling (but...i'd prob let the tv handle) and the A/B speaker switch. If zke electronics comparison tool is flawed - that's annoying.
I was looking to pick up the lx303/rz630 from A4L so the price is the same for both $499. The 503 at frys is $800...

Why isn't this [email protected]!!
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Originally Posted by eriksells916 View Post
LOL! Your not bad at all. In the last 3 months I have had all of these in my cart at AC4L, Frys, Costco, Sams Club or Amazon and have NOT pulled the trigger. Denon x1400, Pioneer vsx-lx103, 302, 502 and 503, Integra drx-3.2 and Yamaha rx-v683 then tsr-7850 (Costco).

Not sure about price talk violations, but the lx503 is under $600 with promo code, otherwise a new rz630 on Amazon (1 left) is just less than that if you don't need preouts or 11 channels?

https://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-RZ63...s%2C340&sr=8-1


https://www.frys.com/ads/page25

You guys are making this harder then it needs to be. Just order 1 or 2 receivers you really like and try them out. It doesn't cost much to send 1 back. $20.00 to $30.00 dollars. Some places like crutchfield it cost even less and you have 60 days to play with them! You will never find the lowest price because there wil always be a better deal around the corner.

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post #17 of 25 Old 01-19-2019, 09:29 AM
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Alright @medic459 time for you and I to quit the analysis and jump on the lx503 deal at Frys. There are now numerous threads comparing the lx503 to the 787, 820, rz630 and the lx503 keeps getting recommended.

I am heading to Frys at 10am. This is what @RKSKYDANCER just said in another thread.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/90-re...eer-503-a.html
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post #18 of 25 Old 01-19-2019, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Alright @medic459 time for you and I to quit the analysis and jump on the lx503 deal at Frys. There are now numerous threads comparing the lx503 to the 787, 820, rz630 and the lx503 keeps getting recommended.

I am heading to Frys at 10am. This is what @RKSKYDANCER just said in another thread.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/90-re...eer-503-a.html
@eriksells916 https://i.imgflip.com/2rk70z.jpg

Dude! I was happy to narrow it down to 2 choices...and was really getting close to picking the lx303! Now this?
I've been comparing them...and i'm not sure it pays for me to go up to the 503. Hear me out.
  • I have a small living room that I might be able to get a 5.1.4 working (might have to settle for a 5.1.2).
  • With kids: i'll rarely be able to really turn up the volume.
  • I am not an audiophile so 90% of all the bells and whistles will be wasted on me. I just want to watch movies/tv and get a fully immersive experience.
  • The 303 I can get from A4L for $60 less and while it's a refurb: it comes with a 1yr warranty and I get can get a 5 year extended warranty for $48.

I've been trying to see what extra gains I'd get from a 503 vs the 303 and what I can gather is the 503:
https://www.snapav.com/wcsstore/Exte...risonChart.pdf
  1. provides more power per channel...but I don't think I need the full 120W (vs the 100W from the 303).
  2. Can do 11 channels with an external amp, so can do 7.2.4
  3. Has eARC (but that's not really useable yet?).
  4. main zone preamp (not sure what that even is).

Also..the 303 has (supposedly) slightly better quality since it has Advanced sound retriever (ASR) technology.

So..i'm still leaning towards the 303...unless you can convince me that i'm wrong?
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Originally Posted by medic459[*
The 303 I can get from A4L for $60 less and while it's a refurb: it comes with a 1yr warranty and I get can get a 5 year extended warranty for $48.[/LIST]
Are you kidding me. This reason and this reason alone makes it a no brainer. A NEW LX503 with a 3 year factory warranty compared to a refurb lessor model 303 for a price difference of $12.00 with the extended warranty??

Make sure you carefully read A4L return policy before deciding to buy refurb with them. they are a pain in the @#$ if the unit doesn't work right or is missing something. My brother bought 2 Refurb Denons off them. 1st one had the wrong remote and was missing items in the box. 2nd time the unit was defective. Had to pay shipping back and went round & round with them just to even return it!

There is a a thread on here (AVS) where a member here had a nightmare experience with A4L, Much worse then what my brother went thru both times. I wouldn't buy a refurb. receiver off them if it saved me $200.00.

The LX503 has all the lastest technology and gives you room to expand. You can never have to much of a receiver!!
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post #20 of 25 Old 01-20-2019, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Are you kidding me. This reason and this reason alone makes it a no brainer. A NEW LX503 with a 3 year factory warranty compared to a refurb lessor model 303 for a price difference of $12.00 with the extended warranty??

Make sure you carefully read A4L return policy before deciding to buy refurb with them. they are a pain in the @#$ if the unit doesn't work right or is missing something. My brother bought 2 Refurb Denons off them. 1st one had the wrong remote and was missing items in the box. 2nd time the unit was defective. Had to pay shipping back and went round & round with them just to even return it!

There is a a thread on here (AVS) where a member here had a nightmare experience with A4L, Much worse then what my brother went thru both times. I wouldn't buy a refurb. receiver off them if it saved me $200.00.

The LX503 has all the lastest technology and gives you room to expand. You can never have to much of a receiver!!
The back/forth and indecision was killing me so I just bit the bullet and put in the order at frys. Got a confirmation email....still awaiting to see if the order will process.
Now I can focus all my angst on speaker selection and atmos speaker placement. Honestly? I think this was the easiest of the 3 choices I needed to make.
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post #21 of 25 Old 01-20-2019, 08:20 AM
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The back/forth and indecision was killing me so I just bit the bullet and put in the order at frys. Got a confirmation email....still awaiting to see if the order will process.
Now I can focus all my angst on speaker selection and atmos speaker placement. Honestly? I think this was the easiest of the 3 choices I needed to make.
Good for you. Nice receiver! Now keep in mind when you buy speakers to get speakers that can be crossed over at 80hz or lower. The Pioneer AVR's have a global crossover. You should be looking at speakers that can be crossed over at 80hz anyways for best multi channel performance and sound with any receiver but it's real important with the LX503.
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post #22 of 25 Old 02-05-2019, 04:34 PM
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Just to correct some misinformation, the TX-NR787 and the TX-RZ630 may be similar, but they are 2 very different receivers. First, the RZ series has a plethora of upgraded components. The 787 is THX certified and the 630 is not. The 787 has a considerable amount more of total wattage than the 630, albeit the 630 is a slightly bigger unit. The face plate of all RZ series receivers are made of billet aluminum and the 787 is plastic. So, they are not the same receiver, they share similarities, but they are very different.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medic459 View Post
@eriksells916 https://i.imgflip.com/2rk70z.jpg

Dude! I was happy to narrow it down to 2 choices...and was really getting close to picking the lx303! Now this?
I've been comparing them...and i'm not sure it pays for me to go up to the 503. Hear me out.
  • I have a small living room that I might be able to get a 5.1.4 working (might have to settle for a 5.1.2).
  • With kids: i'll rarely be able to really turn up the volume.
  • I am not an audiophile so 90% of all the bells and whistles will be wasted on me. I just want to watch movies/tv and get a fully immersive experience.
  • The 303 I can get from A4L for $60 less and while it's a refurb: it comes with a 1yr warranty and I get can get a 5 year extended warranty for $48.

I've been trying to see what extra gains I'd get from a 503 vs the 303 and what I can gather is the 503:
https://www.snapav.com/wcsstore/Exte...risonChart.pdf
  1. provides more power per channel...but I don't think I need the full 120W (vs the 100W from the 303).
  2. Can do 11 channels with an external amp, so can do 7.2.4
  3. Has eARC (but that's not really useable yet?).
  4. main zone preamp (not sure what that even is).

Also..the 303 has (supposedly) slightly better quality since it has Advanced sound retriever (ASR) technology.

So..i'm still leaning towards the 303...unless you can convince me that i'm wrong?

Every time I need a good laugh I go back to your response to me!

So did you decide yet? I have the onkyo 787 and a Denon x2500h in my cart. Can't decide if I need 9 channels or just 5 plus zone 2 right now. AAAAAAHHH!
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post #24 of 25 Unread 03-13-2019, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Every time I need a good laugh I go back to your response to me!

So did you decide yet? I have the onkyo 787 and a Denon x2500h in my cart. Can't decide if I need 9 channels or just 5 plus zone 2 right now. AAAAAAHHH!
I ended up getting:
  • VSX-LX503 from frys for $559
  • NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor x 5 ($60 each) and NHT SuperZero 2.1 Center ($150) for my 5 main speakers
  • Micca M-8C 8 Inch ($40 each) x 4 for my atmos/overheads
  • Dayton Audio SUB-1200 - $150

I'm still trying to run the wires in the walls since the WAF hinges on near complete wire invisibility. We just moved...if I screw it up and wreck our newly painted/repaired walls, i'm a dead man. So, i'm taking my time.
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post #25 of 25 Unread 03-13-2019, 04:28 PM
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Posts: 765
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medic459 View Post
I ended up getting:
  • VSX-LX503 from frys for $559
  • NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor x 5 ($60 each) and NHT SuperZero 2.1 Center ($150) for my 5 main speakers
  • Micca M-8C 8 Inch ($40 each) x 4 for my atmos/overheads
  • Dayton Audio SUB-1200 - $150

I'm still trying to run the wires in the walls since the WAF hinges on near complete wire invisibility. We just moved...if I screw it up and wreck our newly painted/repaired walls, i'm a dead man. So, i'm taking my time.
Ha Ha! Yea I had to build an entire entertainment center just to hide the speakers, wires and sub. Not ideal but I will live with it.

I am getting the Miccas too enjoy! Yes I had the 503 in my cart 2 weeks ago, I might cancel the 787 and x2500 now and wait for it again at Frys.

Thanks and good luck!
eriksells916 is online now  
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