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  1. #1

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    Default Receiver recommendations for less than $500

    Hi all. I just finished upgrading my speaker system. I've got a pair of RTi38's up front, a CSi30(soon to be 40) for my center, and 2 FXi30's as my surrounds. The receiver that I'm using to drive them is a Yamaha RXV-430. It does its job admirably, I just think it's time for something a little better, something with a little more power. The receivers that I'm interested in are:

    Denon AVR2802
    Marantz SR4300, or 5300
    Harmon Kardon AVR225 or 325

    What receiver will go best with my speakers? Would any of these do these speakers justice? What others would you recommend?

  2. #2

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    as you can see from my sig i am the owner of a marantz receiver. its alittle higher then yours but same basic stuff.

    i like the marantz stuff alot, my sr7200 is a great receiver, it powers all of my speakers with ease, and at levels i can only take for a song or 2. if you are considering marantz, you can find great deals for refurbsied marantz receivers at www.accessories4less.com, theres also a website where u can find deals on refurbsihed h/k stuff. i forget the website though.

    marantz and denon are the same company now i think, that doesnt mean their gear is the same but from what ive seen they seem like they make similar stuff.

    shop around, demo alot, then decide what you like. i have never had any expirence with denon or h/k so i cant say which is the better of the three. any questions about the marantz feel free to ask me or IM me on AIM. im sure other members with marantz gear will be as equally eager to help you.
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  3. #3

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    Thanks. I think I may go with Marantz. I've listened to their 5200 at Reliable Stereo with Klipsch Reference speakers and I thought it sounded great. I really want something that's great for movies, and at least pretty good with music. Movies do sound really good on my Yamaha, but it just doesn't do it for me with music. When I bought it, I bought it just for movie watching, but my wife and I have started to listen to music quite frequently. Everyone says Marantz receivers are great with music, with H/K not far behind. So, right now, it's between those 2. I'll check out that website. Do their receivers come with a full warranty?

  4. #4

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    Here's a vote for Denon or HK. Marantz dead last. Reason I say that is because you should check our S&V's power measurement test on the 7200 model. It was way, way under spec in it's true power output with all channels driven.

    EDIT= I just went and double checked, the Marantz 7200 put out a whopping total of 27 watts X 6. Pathetic!
    If you had some Klipsches, this probably really wouldn't even matter in the least, but for Polks???? Do not really know about the rest of the Marantz line.


    Sorry Airplay! Maybe they just tested a defective model or something.
    Last edited by bigsexy1; 09-27-2003 at 10:03 PM.

  5. #5

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    I say Pioneer Elite VSX-41, goes for the cheap. Sounds good for what it is, a receiver. Personally like my amps! lol! Great receiver though, goes for pretty cheap on EBay but 600-700 in stores.
    www.Vr3Mods.com ///// www.Version3Audio.com

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  6. #6

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    I think the H/K's do a very good job on movies. They seem to have a very dynamic sound. The 325 would be a big step up over the 225. The 2802 is a nice receiver also at some of the closeout prices it can be had at. The 225 and 325 Harmon's are closeout also if you didn't know.

  7. #7

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    Here's a review Denon AVR2802 from Home Theater magazine. The links are for the testing specs and the article. The 2802 is listed at 90wpc. HT tested the two front channel driven together produced 126.9wpc, 8 Ohm & 0.1% distortion. With five channels driving 8-ohm loads, the amplifier reaches 0.1% distortion at 35.3 watts. Overall, HT mag really likes this unit. Here's the link:

    http://www.hometheatermag.com/recei...non/index2.html

    http://www.hometheatermag.com/receivers/903denon/

  8. #8

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    maybe i could shed some light on harmon kardon. i was a previous employee at circuit city for over a year, and we carried the HK line up to the $1000 mark. my impressions:

    first off, it is under powered. it does not go very loud at all, especially if it is driving all 5/6 speakers. it has something to do when it switches from stereo to 5.1/6.1 it seems to get softer. we used to demo movies all the time and i would have that thing cranked all the way and it was loud, but not very loud. i was expecting more from HK.

    after toying with it alittle more i grew to like it's style'ish looks, and features. it sounded very good, and i would give it a 7.5 out of 10 compared with other units in the same price range. it was realitively easy to use, and i do belive on that model it comes with the "auto calibration" which means it has a small microphone built into the remote control, and when you press and hold the button, it will go through all the speakers with that static noise, and measure how loud each speaker should be from where ever you are standing in the room. it is a very nice feature for novice users who do not use an spl meter. and i might add that it does a rather nice job too.

    all in all it is a decent reciever, but my biggest gripe would be the loudness factor. that alone is a very big turn off for me.

    my sugestion would to go with an onkyo. they sound great, have very clear sound, with nice high's, and un distorted bass. it is also a high current reciever, which i am not sure if the HK is. (i am leaning towards no). but it is alot more powerfull, and would fill my needs if i wanted to crank it up and show it off to my friends. i would go for the txsr 501, or the 601. both very good recievers, and both support 6.1. but thats my opinion, on the HK, the other two i am not read up on, so i can not say anything for/against them. i hope this helps. :)

    Chris
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  9. #9

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    Chris, all I can say is that I'm stunned by what you wrote above. Maybe the HK wasn't hooked up right or something.

    Go to http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Holl...1/ratevsac.htm
    and just take a look at Onkyo's measured ratings vs. HK's. You'll see that every HK tested exceeded spec, Onkyo can't say that.
    Last edited by bigsexy1; 09-28-2003 at 12:17 AM.

  10. #10

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    well, the link that you gave me brought me to a site, but it did not have the models that we were comparing.... i was talking about the 325 VS. the 501/601. unless i am missing something. i was just giving my point of veiw anyway, some people love the onkyo, some love the HK. personaly i am an onkyo guy, but my friend owns a HK, and he swears up and down by it. but then again he had the AVR 525, which in comparison is a much better reciever. i don't know... just my 2 cents i guess.
    2003 51 Inch Hitachi Tv
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  11. #11
    Polk-a-dweeb
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    I've still got a Pioneer Elite VSX-37tx for sale. $650
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    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D

  12. #12

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    Just to be completely different...

    I don't like Onkyo or HK. :p

    Frank,
    Why couldn't you have been selling that when I was buying a receiver? I would have been all over that thing!
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  13. #13

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    Great, the infamous real wattage list magically appears again. There is more data available on the internet concerning power ratings, actual power, firewall power and distribution of power in a AVR enviroment...than that generic list.

    Get your read on, please don't buy something based on that list....ever.

  14. #14

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    Numbers of watts don't do crap. The quality of the watts it puts out is the real story. 1 clean watt with go farther than 100 dirty watts. It's all in the power supply. Besides the fact, sound is opinion, and each opinion varies. Get your tail outside, in the friggin audio stores and demo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    www.Vr3Mods.com ///// www.Version3Audio.com

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  15. #15

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    well i need only 1 watt to get 90 db, so 27 works for me...i dont care if its rated low lol. i dont liek those spec sheets, the best way to decide if you like something is to go out and test it.

    that chart says jvc is better then marantz right? wow i guess i bought the wrong gear lol or panasonic. damn i gotta make a trip to walmart, hold on
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  16. #16
    Old School
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    Originally posted by dorokusai
    Great, the infamous real wattage list.... please don't buy something based on that list....ever.
    Agree, but it's not the worst place to start...

    Sid,
    If the design of an amp is any good at all, the first watt is very clean...
    More later,
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  17. #17

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    Originally posted by Tour2ma

    Sid,
    If the design of an amp is any good at all, the first watt is very clean...
    which was my point! :p
    www.Vr3Mods.com ///// www.Version3Audio.com

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  18. #18

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    I have a Marantz 8200 and really like it. And they are offering upgrades now for the 8200 and 9200 both hardware and software. Its not free but they are starting to get into the upgrade business so maybe someday the 4300 will be upgradable after it is replaced by the next gen stuff a year or so from now. Also my Marantz is driving 4 ohm speakers without a problem. It gets a little warm but not hot and this was after 6-8 hours of 5.1 playback (I was sick, so what else am I going to do!:D )

    I'd take Marantz over HK anyday. The Denons are nice too, but I have a Denon DVD player and am unhappy with it so I would go Marantz myself. Plus I like the look of Marantz, very nice.

    Oh and one more thing. Marantz is very good at customer support. I have a remote issue and called them, ended up with a voice mail. I figured I'd have to call back or I'd never hear from them and then 15mins later the warranty guy called me back! I have also sent questions to Kevin Zarow, director of marketing for Marantz about those upgrades and he was very prompt at answering my emails and letting me know what it would take to get it done. He also sent me some preliminary specs for some new amplifiers that should be shipping in October. Very helpful people at Marantz and that means a lot to me.

  19. #19

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    I am also thinking about NAD and Outlaw...

  20. #20

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    Both great receivers. Better than any listed above. Go for em!
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  21. #21

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    NAD makes nice stuff, they are very powerful and clean. however they dont have all the bells and whistles that the other recviers would have, they are more bare bones, and a bit more expensive.

    i was considering NAD but went with marantz because ti was cheaper and because i wanted the extra surround modes, inputs and outputs. just a personal preference, you gotta get out and check all thsi stuff out.
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  22. #22

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    http://www.outlawaudio.com//products/1050.html


    The outlaw 1050 runs for $499 with 50 dollars shipping and handling.

    The also carry open box items that carry the same warrenty for a total of $500 with shipping. I have heard good things about outlaw, but have never demo'd them myself.
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  23. #23

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    I have to step in and give another vote for Onkyo. I own a TX-SR600, and it is rated at 80w/c x6 (6.1), and it is an honest 80. I upgraded it from an older Pioneer 100w/c DPLII and can say that it out performed it. I was quite surprized actually which means either the Pioneer (VSX-501) was underpowered or the Onkyo is overpowered a bit (I tend to believe the latter based on numerous reviews of Onkyo equipement). There is a very good review of the TX-SR601 over at audioholics.com where the guy tested it driving Axiom M80tis (awesome speakers which I have lusted after) rated at 40 ohms and the other HT speaks were 6-ohms apeice. It drove them quite well:D . For the price it would be very hard to beat.

    CR

    Check this link: http://www.audioholics.com/productre...review_01.html

  24. #24

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    There is a very good review of the TX-SR601 over at audioholics.com where the guy tested it driving Axiom M80tis (awesome speakers which I have lusted after) rated at 40 ohms

    Uh... that would be 4 ohms.

    CR

  25. #25

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    Another link in suuport of Onyko power:

    http://www.hometheatermag.com/receivers/58/index3.html

    It is about the TX-DS 484 rated at 55w/c 8-ohms. It actually rated at 69.1(8-ohms) under the test conditions. It is an older model, but the newer ones seem to be more reliable output wise.

  26. #26

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    so did I do well in my review? :) I just want a little suport! i know i do not know alot about certian aspects of audio, but i'd like to know if i had a good grasp on my opinions. :) thanks
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  27. #27

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    would you be willing to go used. i will be selling my onkyo787 soon

    500+ship i got a 5 year warentte from abc but dont know if it is transferable. great unit 100x6 with 7.1 pre outs and componet switching.


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  28. #28

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    so did I do well in my review? I just want a little suport! i know i do not know alot about certian aspects of audio, but i'd like to know if i had a good grasp on my opinions. thanks

    Yup, I'd say you did well. I'm not trying to say Onkyo is the best choice out there for $500, but their amplifiers seem to generate some decent current which is one of the reasons I chose it. And it (TX-SR600) has done very well as a home theater receiver from my perspective. The 601 is even better with more features.

    CR

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    thats makes me feel better... user "bigsexy1" made me question my thoughts and opinions for a little bit there. at least someone else approves! :D

    chris
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  30. #30

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    Chris, the only receivers that I would personally buy myself are either B&K, HK, NAD, and Rotel. Denon also when used as a pre/pro. And that's it. But in the $500 range, that pretty much rules out B&K, NAD and Rotel.
    I still say in your price range, you could probably find a new HK 525, which you probably couldn't top it for the money.

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