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I'm in the market for a new receiver, I currently own the Onkyo 808 but the cost of repair after repair is getting to be too much. I'm so disappointed with Onkyo that I'm ready to jump ship!


With that said, what do you experts recommend for me? My budget is around $600 but I may go up to $700 if its worth it. My setup consists of the Def. Tech 1000 series speakers - any input would be greatly appreciated!!!



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The HK AVR2650, 3650, 2600, 3600. On amazon from $500~650
 

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I second Gary's reco of the Pioneer SC-1222. Very good sound quality, drives our ADS 710 4 ohm speakers just fine, lots of features. They have been selling it for $550-600 for most of the last 6 weeks, keep an eye on their site daily.
 

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There are quite a few good receivers within that price range. I think the best option right now is the Pioneer SC-1222, simply because it is usually a higher money receiver and the same as the near $800.00 Pioneer Elite SC-61 (sans 12V triggers for external amps and the display color is different). The D3 amps sound good and are very efficient. The problem with the SC-1222 is the fact Newegg's prices are varying between $599.99 to $1099.99 and everyday it seems like it is a different price.


Go to http://www.accessories4less.com and you will see you have many options for refurbished units (highly recommend if you want the best receiver for your buck). Here is my take on the receiver maker strengths and weaknesses. I have owned Pioneer, Onkyo, Denon, and Yamaha and my friends have every other brand you can think of so I have heard them all and used them.

Denon: (recommended for a good all around receiver with few flaws)
Pros:
  • Good bang for buck
  • Nice looking receivers
  • Good sound quality and good for both Movies and Music
  • Audessey
  • Nice on screen displays
  • I find them easy to use
Cons:
  • Does not sound as good as Marantz or upper level Pioneers
  • The newer models give new features but take features away instead of just adding features
  • Only the higher end models give you video upconversion (but think this changed in 2013 to where mid level and up have it)

Sound signature: Laid back, articulate, smooth

Recommended model: Refurbished Denon 2313 from Accessories4less.com


Pioneer: (recommended if you want to learn the receiver and tweak the sound)
Pros:
  • Good sound quality with powerful amplification. D3 amp (in recent SC models) models sound better and are better with low OHM speakers than most receivers.
  • Lots of nice features included
  • Good for both movies and music
  • Nice looking receivers (I think they look best)
  • In my experience very reliable (my dad still owns and uses a VSX 522 I bought about 12 years ago and it is still going strong with zero issues).
  • MCACC is my personal favorite room correction. It does not EQ the sub but you can tweak everything after it is done, which is my favorite part. Plus there is no roll off like there is with Audessey.
Cons:
  • Only 1 universal crossover setting abilty with speakers (inability to select different crossover for main/center/surround/back surround speakers)
  • Expensive add on modules needed in some cases (Bluetooth, etc.)
  • Complicated setup and remote control (you have to learn Pioneer language)
  • More primitive looking onscreen GUI
  • MCACC unable to EQ the subwoofer (but you can do it yourself)
  • Poor instructions (written in Pioneerese)

Sound signature: D3 amps: Detailed, warm, airy, balanced , dynamic

Regular amps: warm, articulate, dynamic

Recommended models: Pioneer SC-1222 from Newegg.com (if it is on sale for $600.00) check prices daily.

Pioneer Elite SC-61 (if you can stretch your budget a bit) from Amazon.com

Pioneer VSX-1122k (if you want good sound and nice features for less money. No D3 amps though.


Onkyo: (recommended if you use it for mostly movies or you want the best features for your money spent, just watch the issues!)
Pros:
  • Best bang for buck
  • Most features for price paid
  • Strongest Amp section of all receivers (rates closest to it's advertised spec)
  • Usually THX certified with the mid range models and has a better version of Audessey (than the equivilant Denon in the same price range)
  • The best for movies
  • Good on screen menus and maybe the easiest to operate.
Cons:
  • Reliability issues
  • Onkyo support is the worst in my experience
  • Ugliest receiver (no WAF points if you have a wife)
  • Some have frame stutter issues and Onkyo is slow or passive about fixing such features
  • Not as good as music

Sound signature: Dynamic, clean, clear, clinical

Recommended models: Onkyo TX-NR809 from Accessories4less.com

Onkyo TX-NR818 (if you can stretch your budget a bit) from Accessories4less.com


Yamaha: (Recommended if the features you want most are solid video and audio performance with surround sound modes)
Pros:
  • Almost as feature packed as Onkyo
  • Best surround sound modes and directional audio
  • Good all around for music and movies
  • YPAO auto correction system is highly regarded by most
  • Good on screen menus
  • Very good USB DACS used (Burr Browns typical)
Cons:
  • Only 1 universal crossover setting abilty with speakers (inability to select different crossover for main/center/surround/back surround speakers)
  • Weakest amp power (usually bench lowest vs their advertised spec)
  • Cheaper models can sound bright (you do not want to pair a cheap Yamaha and Klipsch speakers together)
  • Some may find their sound quality not as "exciting" as the other brands but upper models sound very, very good.
  • YPAO does not EQ the subwoofer

Sound signature: Natural, airy, precise (some may sound bright)

Recommended model: Yamaha RX-A720 from amazon.com


Marantz: (Music powerhouse if sound quality is top notch priority and equally good with movies)
Pros:
  • Rivals Pioneer SC (D3 amps) for sound quality
  • Good all around receiver that is dedicated for music playback quality
  • Made by D+M Holdings (same maker as Denon)
  • Audessey
  • Good on screen menus
  • Very nice looking units which look unique compared to other receivers. HIGH WAF
Cons:
  • Usually not as feature packed as the equivilant Denon (but will sound better)
  • Your wife/GF/domestic partner will wonder what the heck you bought!

Sound signature: Warm, dynamic, smooth, musical (warmer than Denon)

Recommended model: Marantz SR5007


I hope this helps, of course this is mostly facts mixed with a little bit of opinion but most would consider me knowledgable in this kind of information and I did my best to not be biased. Also you will hear others say the same as me if you look at reviews of said models. In any case, with any of the above models you would be getting good sound quality and great features so you cannot go far wrong.
 

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So if my only concern is sufficient power and quality for powering 4 OHM speakers, which would you recommend overall in this price range? I use it mostly for movies but some Blu-Ray concerts as well..
 

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Well, I think any of the above would power 4 OHM speakers but the Pioneer SC series with the D3 amps are your best bet for 4 OHM loads. They are certified to run them without special modes or what not. All of them have quality and I already outlined general pros and cons of each. The Onkyo would be a good match for you if you want to have big power and movies are your priority but any of the above would likely make you very happy. The best thing to do is look over what I wrote, pick 2 that have the strengths you want, and then research them yourself.


As I said, you really cannot do far wrong but ideally you want the receiver that has the strengths you want most. For movies I really feel Onkyo is your best bet, plus if you get the Onkyo 818 they fixed the 24 FPS bug in a new firmware update (finally). For the price it is hard to beat it, if power and movie playback is your concern. Onkyo's used to run very hot but they wised up and added active cooling so reliability increased.


Another word of advice: Denon and 4 OHM loads (from what I have heard) are not a good match. I cannot confrim or deny this as I never ran 4 OHM speakers with mine.


My advice: Pick 2, compare them directly, factor in price, go for it. Goodluck and hope I helped you (along with everyone else). But Onkyo would lilkely be your choice here.
 

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As suggested in the Denon AVR-XX13 Owner's thread linked in my sig, the Denon 2113CI is the best bang for the buck model and can currently be had on sale under your budget as noted in the Great Deals forum new with full 3 year mfr warranty.

Re: Denon and Marantz models

Although Denon and Marantz AVRs are designed to work with 6-16 ohm speakers, at moderate volume levels there should be no issue with 4-ohm speakers. When comparing Denon and Marantz models at the same model level with the same version of Audyssey, there should be no real difference in audio quality.

Re: Onkyo models

Although Onkyo models generally offer more features at the same price point when compared to D&M models, with the exception of the new 818 which offers the highest level of Audyssey MultEQ XT32, the 717 and lower models only offer the very lowest version of Audyssey 2EQ which in addition to having anywhere from 2-8x fewer speaker EQ control points than either the MultEQ or MultEQ XT featured on the same level Denon and Marantz AVRs, it also cannot EQ the sub. The lowest version on any Denon or Marantz model is MultEQ (Denon 1613 and Marantz 1403).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie  /t/1455970/600-range-receiver-suggestions#post_22924965


As suggested in the Denon AVR-XX13 Owner's thread linked in my sig, the Denon 2113CI is the best bang for the buck model and can currently be had on sale under your budget as noted in the Great Deals forum new with full 3 year mfr warranty.

Re: Denon and Marantz models

Although Denon and Marantz AVRs are designed to work with 6-16 ohm speakers, at moderate volume levels there should be no issue with 4-ohm speakers. When comparing Denon and Marantz models at the same model level with the same version of Audyssey, there should be no real difference in audio quality.

Re: Onkyo models

Although Onkyo models generally offer more features at the same price point when compared to D&M models, with the exception of the new 818 which offers the highest level of Audyssey MultEQ XT32, the 717 and lower models only offer the very lowest version of Audyssey 2EQ which in addition to having anywhere from 2-8x fewer speaker EQ control points than either the MultEQ or MultEQ XT featured on the same level Denon and Marantz AVRs, it also cannot EQ the sub. The lowest version on any Denon or Marantz model is MultEQ (Denon 1613 and Marantz 1403).

I disagree and I have a say-so because I owned a Denon 2112 and a Marantz SR5006. Feature wise the Denon came out on top, Marantz killed the Denon with better music quality (with or without room correction). The Marantz also seemed to go a tad louder at lower volume levels but there was a definite sound signature difference. I kept the 2112 because the Marantz at the time was more money and it had slightly less features. Both with the exact same speaker setup, same crossover points, etc. The Marantz was more musical and dynamic, the Denon more laid back. My GF, friends, and parents heard them and even my passive GF told me she liked the Marantz better.


They also sound different than my Pioneer SC-1222 and my Pioneer VSX-516. In fact even the Pioneers sound vastly different than each other. This is also with or without room correction on (VSX-516 does not have an auto calibration system). I have owned Onkyo, Yamaha, Pioneer, Denon, Marantz, and no 2 sounded alike.


No matter what anyone says, no receiver is going to sound alike, even different models of the same maker. For example, Yamaha lower end models sound brighter than their higher priced models. If they all sound the same, get a pair of Klipsch speakers and a cheap Yamaha. Your ears will bleed! A low end Denon would sound much smoother and more laid back with those same Klipsch. It is impossible for receivers to sound the same. Even the difference in the USB DAC used alone is going to give a different flavor to the sound signature. The nay sayers will nay say but I consider it funny they say they all sound the same. If they did we would all be buying $200.00 receivers and calling it a day. There is no way a $200.00 Onkyo is going to sound the same as a $1000 Onkyo. Add in room correction differences, different amp setups, signal paths, capacitors, and so many hundreds of variables and unless you have weak ears, you will hear a difference. I know I do!


Edit: You are correct about the Onkyo only having 2EQ unless you step up into the higher end models. I forgot about that caveat but it is truth. That is why stepping up to the Onkyo 818 would be a good idea (MultiEQ XT32 is the best Audessey and highest level of room correction made at this price point.) I will add that to my cons for Onkyo.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricsim78  /t/1455970/600-range-receiver-suggestions#post_22924887


Well, I think any of the above would power 4 OHM speakers but the Pioneer SC series with the D3 amps are your best bet for 4 OHM loads. They are certified to run them without special modes or what not. All of them have quality and I already outlined general pros and cons of each. The Onkyo would be a good match for you if you want to have big power and movies are your priority but any of the above would likely make you very happy. The best thing to do is look over what I wrote, pick 2 that have the strengths you want, and then research them yourself.


As I said, you really cannot do far wrong but ideally you want the receiver that has the strengths you want most. For movies I really feel Onkyo is your best bet, plus if you get the Onkyo 818 they fixed the 24 FPS bug in a new firmware update (finally). For the price it is hard to beat it, if power and movie playback is your concern. Onkyo's used to run very hot but they wised up and added active cooling so reliability increased.


Another word of advice: Denon and 4 OHM loads (from what I have heard) are not a good match. I cannot confrim or deny this as I never ran 4 OHM speakers with mine.


My advice: Pick 2, compare them directly, factor in price, go for it. Goodluck and hope I helped you (along with everyone else). But Onkyo would lilkely be your choice here.

Thanks for this advice. It is much appreciated. I have always considered Onkyo one of the cheap/crappy brands but it seems their midrange models have gotten much nicer. I current own a Marantz SR4003 and it has been AWESOME for movies and concert Blu-Rays but their newest models don't seem to be that impressive for powering 4 OHM speakers.


Hmmm.. do I jump on this? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117412R


It seems I can return it if I am not satisfied although it would probably cost $50+ to ship back



Also, is there any good store/method of "testing" receivers? I want to be honest but I don't want to spend $600+ and then be stuck with something that doesn't fit my needs. I'd say Best Buy has the best return policy but I think their receiver selection is limited to low end stuff.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dborgill  /t/1455970/600-range-receiver-suggestions#post_22925473


Thanks for this advice. It is much appreciated. I have always considered Onkyo one of the cheap/crappy brands but it seems their midrange models have gotten much nicer. I current own a Marantz SR4003 and it has been AWESOME for movies and concert Blu-Rays but their newest models don't seem to be that impressive for powering 4 OHM speakers.


Hmmm.. do I jump on this? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117412R


It seems I can return it if I am not satisfied although it would probably cost $50+ to ship back



Also, is there any good store/method of "testing" receivers? I want to be honest but I don't want to spend $600+ and then be stuck with something that doesn't fit my needs. I'd say Best Buy has the best return policy but I think their receiver selection is limited to low end stuff.

Bestbuy does carry that receiver. At least the one in my area does. I had it for a few days and returned it for a different receiver. You can check their web site to see if they are in stock at your local BB.
 

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Why did you return the receiver?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by XStanleyX  /t/1455970/600-range-receiver-suggestions#post_22925616


I didn't care for MCACC vs. Audyssey XT. Some folks like it but I don't. You may or may not depending on weather you've had experience with both.

I am assuming you are talking auto calibration? If so, the ONLY decent receiver I have had is this Marantz SR4003 and it has a weak auto calibration that sets everything to a strange level.
 

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You might check your local BB/ Magnolia for open box receivers. You still get the full warranty and have 30 days to return it if you don't like it. One member scored a Denon 3312 for under 5 bills. Closer to 4 bills if I recall correctly. You can check the web site below but I know it doesn't stay very current with their stock so they may have something that is not listed.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Clearance/Deals-Near-Me/pcmcat254400050000.c?id=pcmcat254400050000&DPSLogout=true&_requestid=137398&isLogout=true&ci_src=11138&AID=10474050&PID=4003003&SID=1et7lr6zcv0gu&URL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestbuy.com%2Fsite%2FClearance%2FDeals-Near-Me%2Fpcmcat254400050000.c%3Fid%3Dpcmcat254400050000%26DPSLogout%3Dtrue%26_requestid%3D137398%26isLogout%3Dtrue%26ci_src%3D11138&ref=39&CJPID=4003003&loc=01
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dborgill  /t/1455970/600-range-receiver-suggestions#post_22925671


I am assuming you are talking auto calibration? If so, the ONLY decent receiver I have had is this Marantz SR4003 and it has a weak auto calibration that sets everything to a strange level.

That receiver does not have Audyssey XT. That receiver is a 5 year old model.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dborgill  /t/1455970/600-range-receiver-suggestions#post_22922978


So if my only concern is sufficient power and quality for powering 4 OHM speakers, which would you recommend overall in this price range? I use it mostly for movies but some Blu-Ray concerts as well..

I know of no reason why any reasonble mainstream AVR would have problems with 4 ohm speakers.


It is true that many AVRs are rated for 6 ohms as the lowest impedance but that has very limited relevance to real world use with music and speakers. Due to federal regulations in the USA AVR ratings must be based on bench tests with pure tones and resistive loads. It is easy to show (and I have done so recently in several threads) that even hypercompressed music and any reasonable real world speaker requires far less of the AVR's power supply than the bench test.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk  /t/1455970/600-range-receiver-suggestions#post_22925731


I know of no reason why any reasonble mainstream AVR would have problems with 4 ohm speakers.


It is true that many AVRs are rated for 6 ohms as the lowest impedance but that has very limited relevance to real world use with music and speakers. Due to federal regulations in the USA AVR ratings must be based on bench tests with pure tones and resistive loads. It is easy to show (and I have done so recently in several threads) that even hypercompressed music and any reasonable real world speaker requires far less of the AVR's power supply than the bench test.

Thanks for this info. Do you think that upgrading my 5 year old Marantz SR4003 wouldn't be beneficial then?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dborgill  /t/1455970/600-range-receiver-suggestions#post_22925846

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk  /t/1455970/600-range-receiver-suggestions#post_22925731


I know of no reason why any reasonble mainstream AVR would have problems with 4 ohm speakers.


It is true that many AVRs are rated for 6 ohms as the lowest impedance but that has very limited relevance to real world use with music and speakers. Due to federal regulations in the USA AVR ratings must be based on bench tests with pure tones and resistive loads. It is easy to show (and I have done so recently in several threads) that even hypercompressed music and any reasonable real world speaker requires far less of the AVR's power supply than the bench test.

Thanks for this info. Do you think that upgrading my 5 year old Marantz SR4003 wouldn't be beneficial then?

The big advantage to AVRs built recently has been the quality of the HDMI support and near global inclusion of automated system tuning facilities such as Audyssey, MCACC and YPAO. I would expect that a 5 year old AVR is not yet suffering from dryed out electrolytics, and the like.
 
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