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advice on basic receiver

663 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  JBfromBrazil
Hi all,

I'd like some advice on what receiver to buy. I want to place it in an L-shaped open space, with an open kitchen and dining table in one part, and the seats in the other part. Currently I use a 10y old Sony mini stereo set. I watch movies and tv shows with my Benq W1070 projector and use an xbmc box (gbox midnight mx2 clone android box running xbmc linux) as content provider / dlna receiver.

I'm pretty happy with my setup, but the major downside is the stereo being located in the movie watching side. It's sufficient for movies but when we want to listen to some music while in the kitchen/eating part, I have to turn up the music quite loud to be able to hear it decently.

Therefore, I am looking for a decent, no frills 5.1 receiver that has front A/B functionality. I don't want (seperate) zone2 functionalities, just perfect mirroring of the main area (that I can turn on for music / off for movies). Since my xmbc box already has all networking functionalities I want (with hdmi for my new receiver to be), I don't need any networking functionalities on my receiver.

I already did some research on my own, and I am currently considering these devices in the same price category (200-250 euros):

Okyo tx-sr313

sony str-dh740

The Onkyo is 5.1 with additional front B connections. It also has networking functionalities I don't need. There's no auto speaker configuration on board (but I figure with a dB meter on my smartphone I don't really need that?). In user reviews, it's said to run quite hot (even for a receiver). It's an older model also.

The Sony is 7.2, but the rears can be used as front B. Has no networking functionalities, has more power (according to the specs), but I don't intend to put my receiver on max volume anyway (we have neighbours and our kids sleeping the room above the living room...).

Personally I'm leaning towards the Sony; it has no features I don't want, looks good (should help convince my wife I need to upgrade), is not as "old" as the Onkyo, and I've always had good experience with Sony audio gear.

On the other hand, I read that Sony is only so-so for receivers, whereas Onkyo appears to have a better reputation. (I first looked at yamaha but front B seems to be not existing in my budget.)

Which one should I chose? Or is there another receiver you'd recommend?
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The Harman-Kardon 1700 is $300 at Amazon, and IMO will sound better than the Sony or Onkyo.

It looks very nice and should meet your needs.
That one doesn't do front B, does it?

Also a lot more expensive in Europe...
IMO, get rid of the idea about Onkyos either for crappy tech support or HDMI bar issues. Said by my personal experience.

Check for a good and reliable Yamaha mid level receiver with zone B. I'm in heaven with my 2020 for more than a year.

The link is from Amazon France and you can also try EBay UK.


Once again, IMHO, it's your family and your own ears, so ... ..., get the best that you can afford.

All the best

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