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I am looking for a receiver and have narrowed my choices to the Harman Kardon HK AVR-254, the Onkyo HT-RC160 and the Sony STR-DN1000. The pricing is similar, with the HK being a refurb (the other 2 are new) and about 60 cheaper. I have a Sony PS3, a Comcast/Motorola HD cable box and a Wii along with a Sony Bravia 46 inch LCD. The only upscaling that will be done is to the Wii, along with the SD cable channels if the receiver does a better job than the cable box and/or the TV itself. For speakers I have a small Cambridge Soundworks 5.1 system with a powered sub. How do these 3 receivers compare to each other? Which is the preferred model and will give me the best performance with the most reliability? All opinions are appreciated.
 

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The onkyo is the clear winner in this group. 607 is about the same price as an 160. Denon 1910 is also a good choice for about the same and the video upscaling to a full 1080p. Just say no to refurbs from any brand.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elevatorguy /forum/post/18313586


I am looking for a receiver and have narrowed my choices to the Harman Kardon HK AVR-254, the Onkyo HT-RC160 and the Sony STR-DN1000. The pricing is similar, with the HK being a refurb (the other 2 are new) and about 60 cheaper. I have a Sony PS3, a Comcast/Motorola HD cable box and a Wii along with a Sony Bravia 46 inch LCD. The only upscaling that will be done is to the Wii, along with the SD cable channels if the receiver does a better job than the cable box and/or the TV itself. For speakers I have a small Cambridge Soundworks 5.1 system with a powered sub. How do these 3 receivers compare to each other? Which is the preferred model and will give me the best performance with the most reliability? All opinions are appreciated.

I did an in-home side-by-side of an Onkyo TX-SR607 and a HK 254 (eBay refurb) and I prefered the sound on the HK (more balanced, less bright), as well as the HK's manual, OSD (and I get volume OSD over HDMI) and appearance. I havent had any of the HDMI issues that plagued the x54 line as the refurbs come loaded with the latest firmware which solved most if not all of those issues, not to mention they come with a 2 year warranty and people will tell you that Harman's customer support is very good (they responded to a question I had within 24 hrs and their answer solved my problem).


Sorry if I sound like an HK fanboy but I really was underwhelmed with the Onkyo, which would have been my third Onkyo in a row had a kept it. The OSD on the 607 is seriously almost identical to the OSD on the old Pro-Logic Onkyo that I owned in 2000.


On the Onkyo I preferred the additional power and additional HDMI ports, and that was really just on paper as for my use I don't even come close to maxing out the HK and I use only 2 of the 3 HDMI inputs. It can be argued that the 607's Audyssey is also an advantage over HK's proprietary EZ-set, and maybe they're right, but keep in mind the 607 (and upcoming 608) have only the 2EQ Audyssey, not the better MultiEQ.


Curiously, the HK, rated at only 50 wpc, weighs a good four pounds more than the Onkyo...makes you wonder...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYC_Jeff /forum/post/18342204


Curiously, the HK, rated at only 50 wpc, weighs a good four pounds more than the Onkyo...makes you wonder...

Not really a surprise. Reading all the rants about advertised WPC here on AVS and other sites, it easy to conclude that HK is widely acknowledged as one of the OEMs that doesn't over-inflate WPC in their marketing material.
 
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