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AVS Gurus,


My trusty 10 year old Technics receiver is getting flaky, it shuts down at seemingly random times with an overload error.


What do you guys recommend for a good sounding, not too exotic (I was happy with the Technics) 2-channel receiver? What do you think of the lower end Denon stuff? Budget around $300.


I am driving a PSB amplified subwoofer and a pair of PSB Image 2B's, using the crossover on the sub. I am usually using modest listening levels.


I'm not a fan of "home theater" sound, so that feature is not important to me, but if there is a good 5.1 receiver I won't necessarily ignore it.


Features I might be interested in:

Optical digital input(s)

Separate sub output

iPod or USB interface capability

Low THC, 4 Ohm stable


Features I don't care about:

Surround sound processing

HDMI switching

Phono input

Big power numbers

Complicated remote
 

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There are a few stereo receivers that will fill your needs. The Denon DRA-297 has 50 watts a channel, 4 ohm stable, and has a subwoofer preout (rare on stereo receivers). I have always loved the sound from Yamaha so I can recommend the RX-397 at 50 watts or the 497 at 75 watts. The Yamaha has no subwoofer outputs and is 4 ohm stable. I have actually owned the Onkyo TX-8511 that is now known as the TX-8522. It's the exact same receiver that it was back then. It was my first receiver and it sounded good and always had plenty of power. Stay away from the Onkyo TX-8222 for it is not 4 ohm stable. The Onkyo also has no sub out.


I know that you're not looking for a fancy surround receiver and probably think you'll get less of what you want which is 2 channel performance if you get a surround receiver. Not so. As a matter of fact 2 channel is just as important to me as surround is. It's also a fact that you are not likely to find a stereo receiver that has the features you may be interested in like IPOD interface and optical inputs. Plus surround receivers have bass management to crossover your speakers and sub even just 2 channel to make your system more efficient and sound better. Not to mention that some receivers employ surround processing for headphones to make movies sound way more natural through headphones. Surround receivers most of the time have pure direct feature that bypasses all processing, EQs, and video displays to provide the best audio possible. Lastly surround processing is nice to already have if you wanna get into it someday; trust me I learned that the hard way. With all that being said, you can get everything you will ever want in a receiver and more. Look at the Yamaha RX-V659. It is a fine receiver, no more than 400 bucks and is able to do everything you and I listed above. It's worth the extra money. Check it out.
 
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