AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 416 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,755 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a variation on the thread about the best sub-$1000 receivers. I've seen other threads where the 1st post maintains an updated product comparison and then subsequent posts add comments, opinions, and updates. I will continue to come back to this header post & try to keep it as current and accurate as possible.


If readers spot any errors or omissions, please post them.


Criteria for inclusion is a receiver or pre/pro that sells in the $600'ish to $1000 price range. List prices will vary from around $900 up to around $1300-$1400.


Unless otherwise noted, the products all provide the following features:

- DD & DTS 5.1

- DD EX

- DTS 6.1, both matrix and discrete

- DPL2

- DTS neo:6

- 7.1 analog inputs

- 7.1 preamp outputs

- S-video and component video switching - with component bandwidth around 50Mhz.

- a multitude of digital inputs, both optical and coaxial, and at least 1 digital out

- 7 channels of amplification, with the rated power spec'ed as being with all channels driven, into an 8-ohm load, over a 20Hz-20Khz bandwidth.

- Not certified/spec'ed to drive a 4-ohm speaker load.

- No direct amplifier inputs, for using receiver as a separate power amp.

- Equipment has a 2 year warranty.



DENON AVR-3803 List Price - $1199

- 110 watts per channel (note: the 380x-series has previously tested around 75-85wpc)

- 32-bit SHARC processor (the Analog Devices "Hammerhead")

- Has sixteen Burr-Brown 24-bit DACs for audio processing.

- Supports a "Pure Direct" 2-channel mode, which powers down unused circuits for very low noise stereo music.

- Upconverts composite to S-video, and/or composite and S-video to component, enabling all video sources to be switched through the component video outs. Component video bandwidth of 100Mhz.

- Supports DTS 96/24

- Has a "simple" RS-232 mini-plug port. There is an adapter for a full RS-232 connector.

- Offers a Denon 7.1 audio mode, called "7.1 Widescreen"

** Also available as the AVR-1083, albeit with only a 1 yr warranty (but this model has been rarely seen), with a list price of $999


DENON AVR-2803, List price is $799

- 90 watts per channel (More likely will measure at 60-70 x 7)

- Has sixteen Analog Devices DACs (2 per channel)

- Supports DTS 96/24

- Component video bandwidth is 100Mhz

- Has a "simple" RS-232 mini-plug port.


HARMAN-KARDON AVR-525 List Price - $1199, recommended selling price $999

- 70 watts per channel (previous 5xx-series has met power specs)

- Supports Logic 7 decoding from matrixed and 2-channel source material (but not 5.1 digital sources). Provides a special Logic 7 mode for 5.1 speaker systems.

- Provides "EZ-SET" automatic setup of 5.1 and 7.1 speaker systems. Remote contains a microphone. No tonal balancing is performed during auto setup.

- Provides option to digitize analog inputs, enabling them to pass through the 525's digital bass management crossovers.

- Performs MP3 decoding

- Supports HDCD

- Has RS-232 serial connector

- Supports A-BUS connectivity for multi-zone volume and amp control.

- NOTE: Has a cooling fan. (don't know how noisy it is)


HARMAN-KARDON AVR-7200: List of $1799-$1999. Advertised Selling price $1499-$1699. Available from some sources around $1200.

- 100wpc, certified into 4 ohms. No fan (unlike AVR-525) Employs a torriodal transformer. Recently measured at 142 watts into 5 channels.

- Supports DTS 96/24

- Otherwise similar to AVR-525 w/EZ-SET, Logic 7 (for 2.0), digital bass mgmt, etc.

- Component video bandwidth of 50Mhz


HARMAN-KARDON AVR-8000: List $2799. MAP: $2499 Street: $1200-1250'ish. Being discontinued.

- 110 wpc, certified into 4 ohms. Only 5 CHANNELS! Benchtested at 125x5.

- Amp has a torroidal transformer.

- Has 5 amplifier inputs (plus full 7.1 inputs & outputs from preamp)

- THX Ultra & THX Surround EX certified

- Supports Logic 7, from both 2.0 and 5.1 source material

- Supports HDCD & MP3

- Provides "EZ-SET" automatic calibration

- Has 3 component video inputs, only spec'ed to 35Mhz (passable for most HD, fine for DVDs)


INTEGRA DTR-7.3 List Price - $1300

- 130 watts per channel INTO 6 OHMS! (roughly 100wpc into 8, but perhaps less into full bandwidth, all channels driven)

- THX Surround EX certified

- Supports DTS 96/24

- Supports MP3 and WMA (but perhaps only from Integra Net-Tune server?)

- Has RS-232 port


KENWOOD VR-5090 List Price - $1150 (May now be $999)

- 80 watts per channel *BUT* into 6 OHMS and only 5 Channels! Likely [email protected] ohms.

- Analog Multichannel input is only 5.1, but has 7.1 preamp outs.

- THX Surround EX and THX Select certified

- Uses a 32-bit SHARC processor

- HDCD decoding

- RS-232 serial connector

- Supports video upconversion composite to s-video to component (40Mhz bandwidth)

- NOTE: Has a cooling fan (don't know how noisy)

- 3 year warranty


MARANTZ SR7300 List Price - $899

- 110 watts per channel BUT ONLY 6 CHANNELS! (has 7.1 inputs and preamp outs)

- Supports DTS 96/24

- Supports Circle Surround II

- RS-232 port & listed as being software upgradable


MARANTZ SR8200 List Price $1699 (may be dropping as it is phased out)

- 120 watts per channel into 6 channels. (Tested at closer to 100x6) (7.1 ins & outs)

- THX Select and Surround EX certified

- Supports Circle Surround I (older model than 7300 which has II)

- RS232C port (documented as being software upgradable)

- Touch screen, programmable, learning remote


NAD T752 List Price - $899

- 80 watts per channel - BUT ONLY 5 CHANNELS! (has 7.1 inputs and preamp outputs). Receiver is rated into 4 ohm loads. Recent benchtest measured it producing 92wpc into all 5 channels simultaneously.

- Assignable amp channels for front three channels, for example, you can reassign front L&R channels to power rear surround speakers.

- Preamp outputs include 2 sub outs.

- Benchtest surround sound noise at -70.6 dB (average score, many do -72 to -74)

- Has a cooling fan. On some units, this has been noisy. NAD will repair if you get one.


NAD T762 List - $1299

- 100 watts per channel, with 6 powered channels, into 4 or 8 ohms.

- Amplifier employs a torroidal transformer for better power reserve.

- Amplifier does use two fans to reduce heat. NAD claims they 'run quiet'

- Can sense speaker impedance and adjust for proper internal setting.

- Has direct amplifier inputs for use as a power amp (and full 7.1 ins and outs on preamp)

- Amp outputs for Zone 2 and separate remote for Zone 2 control

- Supports NAD EARS 7.1, which creates a 7.1 field from 2.0, 5.1, and 6.1 source material.

- HDCD decoding

- RS232 port

- Has 3 component video inputs


ONKYO TX-SR800 List Price - $1000 or $1050 (have conflicting references)

- 100 watts per channel, rated for 4 ohms (note: last year's 696 failed to meet power claims)

- THX Surround EX & Select certified

- Supports DTS 96/24

- Serial control miniplug (unsure if can be converted to RS232)

- Composite to S-video conversion, but not to component.


ONKYO TX-SR900 List Price - $1500 Similar to SR800 but adds following:

- 110 watts per channel (recently measured at 52 into 5 channels).

- THX Select certified

- Internet Radio via Ethernet port

- RS-232 serial connector


PIONEER ELITE VSX-43TX List Price - $1200

- 100 watts per channel - however this is NOT spec'ed as full bandwidth, all channels driven. Early models had problems with many 4 to 6 ohm speakers. Note: Recent fix released by Pioneer may address the amp's tendency to shutdown at high volume levels.

- THX Surround EX and Select certified

- Supports DTS 96/24

- Supports Pioneer 7-D Theater 7.1-channel mode

- Has a 5-band equalizer

- Uses two Motorola DSPs (bit width unspecified)


PIONEER ELITE VSX-45TX List Price - $1400 (some stores sell it for
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,755 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Anyone know how long the warranty is for the Denon 3802/3803? I looked through Denon's brochure and owner's manual but couldn't find it.


Tom B.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
693 Posts
Tom,

Great post! This one should be a "sticky" post for sure!

Crutchfield has the Denon listed with a 2yr parts/labor warranty. Other sites I've seen have the same. Also, If I'm not mistaken, the H/K will do DTS 24/96 as well.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,755 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Borg,


Thanks for the warranty info. I've updated message #1 with this info.


According to the HK press release, the 525 does not support DTS 96/24. The upcoming 7200 will. I checked the 525 owner's manual and it makes no such claim either. However I did notice that it did MP3 decoding, so I added that too.


One oddity, the old 520 did HDCD decoding. According to the press release, the less expensive 325 does HDCD, and so does the 7200, but they've dropped it on the 525. Very, very strange to take it out and yet still leave the feature on a lower receiver.


Tom B.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
693 Posts
Ah yes....I'm currently demoing the 520 now which is why I wrote that.....that is strange about the 525.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,396 Posts
The Sony has 32bit DACs? You sure about that? I'm pretty sure it only has 24bit/96kHz DACs, but if you can prove me wrong...


I'd also draw exception to your claim that it can't deliver the power. The DA3ES was able to exceed it's power rating (all channels driven) in tests. There's nothing to indicate that the DA4 can't also.


The DA4ES can drive a 4 ohm load as well.


The Sony can also do DTS 24/96.


Stereodude
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,755 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Stereodude,


Yes, you are correct, the Sony does do 96/24, will correct.


And about the DACs. I goofed up, Sony advertises that they have a 32-decoder and dual 32-bit DSPs, but says little about the DACs.


As to it driving a 4-ohm load, can you provide a link to anything from Sony that supports this. I haven't found one yet.


Sony appears to have cut some corners on the DA4ES as compared to last year's DA5ES. One on-line group is publishing an extensive board-level comparison of the 4ES vs the 9000ES pre/pro and 5ES. You can check it out here:
http://www.audioholics.com/productre...battleP1_1.php


Too bad. A full 7-channel version of the 5ES would have been a very solid receiver.


Tom B.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,755 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Okay, I just verified that the Sony DA4ES does officially support the use of 4 ohm speakers. Went to Crutchfield and looked at a photo of the back. Above the speaker terminals, it states that you can use from 4 to 16 ohm speakers. Have corrected in post #1.


Tom B.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,755 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A couple questions to make sure my comparison is accurate:


1) Are there any other significant differences between the Pioneer 43TX and 45TX?


2) Is there any information about any new Onkyo receivers coming out soon? I ask because the 797 looks a bit dated in comparison to the other new receivers.


Tom B.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,755 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I knew I was forgetting major players ... YAMAHA!!!


I even own a Yamaha receiver, purchased in the mid-80s and still running very well today. It even had composite video switching, a video "enhancer" and amplifier inputs. And weighs about 40 pounds despite being just a 2-channel receiver.


Okay, I'll check out their line and see which one fits best.


And I'll add models from Integra & Marantz too.


Thanks


Tom B.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,108 Posts
Do you consider the Kenwood 6070 worthy of this category? Having owned the Denon 4802, HK 520, Sony 777ES, Onkyo 797, Integra 8.2 and various Yamahas I now own the Kenwood. None of those that I have mentioned sound better than the Kenwood in Home Theater. The Onkyo/Integras are better in two channel stereo.

Perhaps the receivers that you are listing have some feature that the Kenwood doesn't (only 6.1 surround) but if you want sound quality the Kenwood should be included. For the price of the 6070 you can add a stereo amp for 7.1 and still stay under the cost of most. There is always a trade off between brands. I have learned that high end names on the chip/processors do not always relate to good sound even though they do impress some.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,755 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
HTMAN21,


I may be wrong to do so, but I'm inclined to not include it. I was focusing on the higher-end lines, such as Sony ES and not their lower line, Pioneer Elite instead of their Pioneer VSX-D811S. These lower-end lines do have 7 amp channels and offer DD EX and DTS ES processing, but tend to be of lower-quality construction. For example, I believe the 6070 weighs only 20 pounds (most of the ones I've listed are 35-50 pounds) - I'd be very surprised if it came close to meeting it's power specs. Although I know Kenwood is using the Analog Devices Melody 32-bit processor.


I think the 6070, D811S, the Panasonic HE200, and others would be very good candidates for a comparison of $400-$500 receivers. I've seen the 6070 selling in the high $400's and it looks killer at that price.


But I'm interested in hearing from others on this issue.


Tom B.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,650 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by Tom_Bombadil
ONKYO TX-DS898 has 7-channels, but carries a list price of $1699 and is thus too expensive for this comparison.
The MSRP of the 898 is $1499 and it is regularly discounted to the $1000 level. It is soon to be replaced by the TX-NR900 with a MSRP of $1500.


The Onkyo 797 is being replaced by the TX-SR800 with a MSRP of $1000. Onkyo Introduces THX Select TX-SR800 7.1-Channel Receiver 7 x 100 Watts, Powered Zone 2, and Nearly Every Multichannel Format In Use


Jay
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,755 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Jay,


Thanks. New Onkyo models are now in chart.


Note for new readers, the product comparison is being kept up-to-date in message #1 in this thread.


Tom B.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,755 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So, have I caught up with all of the candidates?


Maybe I should add NAD. Is the T762 discounted down to around a grand?


Tom B.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,305 Posts
Tom:


What's the difference between THX Select and THX Surround EX. On the Integra you say EX and the Pioneer you say Select. The 45 supports THX Surround EX if there is a difference.


Thanks


Mike
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,108 Posts
Tom, I sort of understand what you are saying. Please forgive me for saying it but I can't consider anything listed as being high end. I believe that they fall into the mid class. I have had experience with higher end than these.

Sony 777ES (buzzing omitting from unit, Probably power supply), Denon 4802 (horrible two channel stereo music and not much better on surround), Integra 8.2 (first unit developed clicking in speakers and was replaced now replaced unit has been in warranty center for over 1 month), HK520 ( noise in all speakers at low volumes and distorted at about 80% volume in surround, weak amps), B&K 307 (amps in first unit crashed), Yamaha DSPA1 and other Yamaha's ( distorted sub woofer, this was mentioned in a magazine review also), Marantz SR19 I think (had to constantly adjust center volume and would not hold settings), Nakamichi AV10 (wonderful sound but lacking in features and terrible remote, also read some of the comments by owners in Audio Stereo reviews), believe itor not but I have stayed away from Pioneer because of opinions formed when auditioning. The 6070 produced 92 watts with all channels driven according to S&V mag's November issue. This is a larger % of rated power than those listed I believe. Denon may be the exception as they do have powerful amps but do not sound powerful.

My point is that inexperienced buyers read advertisements about all of the features and great components in receivers and buy solely on this. It has been my experience that a lot of this is hype and high price does not always relate to good sound. Is sound not the bottom line?

Please do not consider anything that I have said as criticism. I only want everyone to know what is available and not make a decision on perceived quality and sound alone.

As I have previously stated, the Kenwood sounds at least as good as any and better than some in surround at a lesser cost. It is only fair in stereo music as are some of the others.

I respect your decision either way. Keep it going
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,755 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Mike,


Good question.


THX Select is THX's certification for meeting their criteria for proper THX playback in a room of less than 2000 cubic feet. THX Ultra is essentially the same thing, but for large rooms of up to 3000 cubic feet. THX states that they should sound essentially the same in rooms of less than 2000 cubic feet.


THX Surround EX is the THX-certified equivalent to Dolby Digital EX.


Pioneer's page on the 45TX only claims THX Select, but it may be that they are using this to state that they are certified to provide THX Surround EX in rooms up to 2000 cubic feet.


I'll revisit what I've entered in the charts to see if these labels and claims should be cleaned up a bit.


Tom B.
 
1 - 20 of 416 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top