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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've finished building my theater, now its time for my major purchase to upgrade my reciever from my high-school age one.

To afford buying the baby food (seems higher priority), I am looking sub $300. Seems the options are as follows:


Onkyo TXSR500


Sony STRDE685


Panasonic SAHE100K


Pioneer VSXD711



I would GREATLY appreciate any views from the AVSforum experts regarding what the best choice for reciever is and why. This is my last upgrade for awhile, so I want to make it count.


Thanks for your posts in advance!
 

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Friend has Onkyo 500 and I've read a decent amount on the 600. My basic thought: the power is wayyy low on these. The 600 was tested to half of what the Pioneer 811 or Panasonic HE-100 (both under $300) made.


Not sure why you are looking at the 711...I see a few places on the Internet you can pick up the 811 for $299.


I think the two "P"s are both great deals. The 811 is a good starter and would work as a preamp later on with all those preouts. They both also tested to have very low, clean outputs versus some much higher end stuff.


No experience with the Sony unit. Stuff not in the ES line usually isn't so hot, and their price isn't that great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Namlemez.

I'll have to add the 811 to my list if it is sub 300, I just grabbed the options stocked at Circuit City....

I've read a good bit on this and other forums about the 811s and people seem to be very happy about it.


As far as power goes, I have a Bose Acoustimass 5 set (groan, I know, spare me) in a small 10x15' theater, so I think I won't need to much power as compared to really clean sound.


So far my readings have the Sony unit ranked the lowest. The most popular seem to be the Panasonic, Pioneer and the Onkyo.

I almost bought a Sony DVD player last year until extensive research uncovered the Panasonic was the better way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
After more research, it seems the Pioneer 811 is more attractive as I am getting pulled into the 6.1/7.1 speaker idea more and more, and it seems to offer much more in terms of connections.


I notice that Bose stores usually have Onkyo recievers set up in their demo rooms, anyone know if Onkyo provides better performance to Bose speakers due to low thd%, etc?
 

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For under $300, it really seems a no-brainer to go the Pioneer 811s route.


You can always use the preouts later and add a multichannel amp to upgrade, too.
 

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I don't think there is any amazing synergy going on with Bose stores using Onkyo. I don't want to knock Onkyo too heavily, it just seems with their latest receivers, they are contented to sit on their laurels while some mass manufacturers are pushing the envelope in the price/performance department.


I believe all of these offer 6.1 outputs. As I remember it, the Pioneer lets you have 7.1, but that is because it has two rear center outputs wired in parallel. These aren't discretely addressable and you would achieve the same thing splitting the wire elsewhere down the line towards the speaker.


The preouts and all binding posts is nice though. I ended up going with the HE100 because it was plenty for me and $70 cheaper. I can't see myself going to seperates anytime soon and I barely have room for 6 speakers as it is :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok, I am down to :


Panasonic SAHE100K


Pioneer VSXD811



Both offer the 6.1, both support Dolby EX (according to recent research),

both 100 watts, both around the same sound (1-.9%tx).


Pioneer is said to have a better remote, and has more inputs (7.1 in, 7.1 out so separates are possible in the future).


Pioneer costs $70 more, and I can pick up the Panasonic at Circuit City for the impulse buy. It seems more people on this forum and hometheaterforum use the Pioneer 811.


Any more feedback y'all have would be greatly appreciated. Who knows, you may be sitting in my theater some day saying "I wish I suggested the....."
 

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Consider the Onkyo TSXR600 for $299 at Circuit City [your mileage may vary]. I picked this one up strictly for the killer price and will hook it up on the weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I must have a really sucky Circuit City in the Harrisburg, PA area, because they are not supporting the prices you guys are getting. They have it at $469 at my local.




Anyway, after much hemming and hawing.......


I went with the Pioneer 811s. I looked all over here and hometheaterforum, read lots of posts and asked lots of questions. I think the Panasonic SAHE100K is an excellent model also, and it was neck and neck, but here were the deciding factors.


1) More people with expert HT knowledge on the forums have the 811s (though some smart people have the Panny too).


2) For the extra money, having the 7.1 inputs and 7.1 preouts gives me more expansion options in the future, hence better future proofing.


3) The Pioneer also has more inputs for better expandibility. Of course, I never max my stuff out, but being an engineer I always try to plan for expansion.


4) Based on my research, while the Panny 100k DOES support Dolby ES, it is not built to recognize the flag in the ES bitstream, so the user must manually switch to 6.1 mode, while the Pioneer has built in decoding support for ES. In the future with more ES titles coming out, I would rather not have to manually switch each time I have an ES movie, I'd much rather autodetect and not have to deal with it.




Thanks very much for all the assistance from this forum in this thread and the many others. I hope I can return the favor someday. I'll post details once I hook this guy up in January.


By the way, I purchased it for $315 shipped from B & H Photo/Video ( http://www.bhphotovideo.com )



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empirebuilderdave.tripod.com/ht_mainpage.html
 
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