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  1. #1

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    Default Need advice on RECEIVERS ... trying to upgrade to more power via good used receivers

    Since I've upgraded my speakers, I've been told that my (almost new) receiver, the Sony STR-DH540, is underpowered. (See my system specs in signature below.) I honestly can't afford a new high power receiver, so have been researching everywhere, then looking for good prices for used units on Ebay and Amazon. Some are on auction on Ebay right now but I haven't bid on anything yet.

    I want 100 watts per channel or more, multiple HDMI and adequate connection ports. I don't really care about bluetooth and networking as long as it has a USB port on the front. I have more focus on music than movies, only hooking up 2 fronts, a center and a sub, so quality of sound is most important to me. And, matching well with my Polk Audio speakers. If 90 real watts per channel were adequate for my system, I could add a few more receivers to my list at very decent prices.

    The receivers I'm considering, that appear to fit my needs, IF I can get a decent price ($500 range max) are:
    Pioneer Elite SC-61
    Pioneer SC-1222-K
    Pioneer Elite SC-07
    Pioneer Elite SC-05 (can't find)
    Marantz SR5007
    Marantz SR6006
    Marantz SR6004
    Denon AVR-2313CI
    Onkyo's TX-NR717

    I'd appreciate any advice.
    Sony STR-DH540 receiver
    Polk Audio RTi A3 front speakers
    Polk Audio CSi3 center speaker
    BIC America Venturi V1020 10" powered subwoofer
    LG 47" LED TV, #47LN5400
    Magnavox DVD Recorder/VCR #ZV427MG9
    Sony CD Player #CDP-CE375

  2. #2

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    The first 2 on your list and forget the rest. The other Pioneers are fine but the top 2 offer newer tech.
    I would also throw the Yamaha Aventage line in the mix. My RX-A1000 has 8 HDMI in, 2 out along with tons of other input options and a very decent phono stage.
    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
    I may have an addiction... RTA-15TL, SDA 2, LSi25, LSi15, LSi9, LSi7, LSiCx2, LSiFX, LS/FX, RT/FX, DSW MP2000...and that's just the Polks...

  3. #3

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    Whatever you settle on, make having pre-outs a priority.

    That way if you run into a power issue again you can connect an external amp and not have to worry about replacing the whole receiver.
    Living room:
    Samsung PN50B860 50" Plasma : Oppo BDP-103 : Roku 3 : Denon AVR-2808Ci : Definitive Tech ProMonitor 800 R&L : ProCenter 1000 : Polk FXi 3 Surrounds : Twin Velodyne SPL 10 Series II's :

    2Ch:
    Polk LSi 9's : Parasound HCA 1500A : Pro-Ject Debut Carbon : Cambridge 640P Phono Stage : Musical Fidelity M1 S DAC : APC H15 : MacBook Pro Retina :

  4. #4

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    1222K just dropped to $399 at Costco. Picked one up yesterday myself. Run don't walk....
    HT/Main- Panny 50" G10 Plasma, Pioneer Elite VSX01 AVR, Panny DMP-BD60 BDP, Polk LS90 mains, CS350LS center, LS/fx side surrounds, LS50 surround backs, SVS 25-31PC+ sub, Harmony One

    Office Rig- Marantz 2252B, Sony CDP-C8ESD CDP, Kenwood KD2070 TT, Polk RTA 12B's

  5. #5

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    Yes having pre-outs for future use is a good idea as the rabbit hole gets bigger. But the Sony is not a dud IMHO what are you having problems with it not being loud enough? You have a sub and it should be taking care of the lows which takes a lot of the power needs off of the Sony. I like the Onkyo's but you knew that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Upstatemax View Post
    Whatever you settle on, make having pre-outs a priority.

    That way if you run into a power issue again you can connect an external amp and not have to worry about replacing the whole receiver.
    POLK SDA 2.3 TLS BOUGHT NEW IN 1990, Gimpod/Sonic Caps/Mills RDO-198
    POLK CSI-A6 POLK MONITOR 70'S ONKYO TX NR-808 SONY CDP-333ES
    PIONEER PL-510A SONY BDP S5100
    POLK SDA 1C BOUGHT USED 2011,Gimpod/Sonic Caps/Mills RDO-194
    ONKYO HT RC-360 SONY BDP S590 TECHNICS SL BD-1

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by ken brydson View Post
    1222K just dropped to $399 at Costco. Picked one up yesterday myself. Run don't walk....
    Problem is, it is very store dependent. I have checked mine weekly and have yet to see a single 1222 in the last year or so.
    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
    I may have an addiction... RTA-15TL, SDA 2, LSi25, LSi15, LSi9, LSi7, LSiCx2, LSiFX, LS/FX, RT/FX, DSW MP2000...and that's just the Polks...

  7. #7

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    If music is your priority I'd consider the Pioneer Elites and the Marantz SR6006
    Display: LG 47" LCD | AVR: Marantz SR5005 | BD: Panasonic BDT-210 | CD/SACD: Oppo 980 |
    Amps: Rotel RB-990bx | Marantz MA-500 | Speakers: Totem Mite : Totem Mite-C : RC60i | Sub: HSU VTF-2 MKIV

    HK AVR635 | Polk R30 | Sony DVD/SACD Player

  8. #8

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    Wow! I just called a local Costco, they checked and don't have it at any of the regional stores ... bummer.

    Wish I had a friend somewhere who could find it and ship it to me!
    Quote Originally Posted by ken brydson View Post
    1222K just dropped to $399 at Costco. Picked one up yesterday myself. Run don't walk....
    Sony STR-DH540 receiver
    Polk Audio RTi A3 front speakers
    Polk Audio CSi3 center speaker
    BIC America Venturi V1020 10" powered subwoofer
    LG 47" LED TV, #47LN5400
    Magnavox DVD Recorder/VCR #ZV427MG9
    Sony CD Player #CDP-CE375

  9. #9

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    There's plenty of volume but, from what I've been learning recently, I should get better quality of sound from a better receiver, with more power. The ratings on the Sony were deceptive ... said 145 watts but at 6 ohms. On another PA thread, someone said that, in reality, it was probably only putting out about 70 watts. I'd like to be taking better advantage of the nice speakers I just bought.

    Does anyone else think My Sony receiver is plenty adequate??? That I won't really see any better sound from a better receiver?

    Quote Originally Posted by PolkieMan View Post
    Yes having pre-outs for future use is a good idea as the rabbit hole gets bigger. But the Sony is not a dud IMHO what are you having problems with it not being loud enough? You have a sub and it should be taking care of the lows which takes a lot of the power needs off of the Sony. I like the Onkyo's but you knew that.
    Sony STR-DH540 receiver
    Polk Audio RTi A3 front speakers
    Polk Audio CSi3 center speaker
    BIC America Venturi V1020 10" powered subwoofer
    LG 47" LED TV, #47LN5400
    Magnavox DVD Recorder/VCR #ZV427MG9
    Sony CD Player #CDP-CE375

  10. #10

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    I would jump at a half way decent receiver as stated above. Then upgrade the fronts to A5's & use them bookshelf's for rears. At least 100 wpc to EACH speaker too. Be able to add a amp is a must if your looking to do it for quality performance. Sony is always way over on their wpc they list & your 8ohm speakers want more wpc to get that quality out of them GL
    Last edited by boston1450; 11-29-2013 at 01:46 PM.
    Randy
    HT-SDA1c Yamaha-RXV1-Denon-POA2200-HK DVD25-Cs400i-Monitor4's-Premier Acoustic150
    2ch-SDA2b-ADCOM GFA-555-565-600-555-YaQinCd2-Pioneer PL-630-AKAI GX210d
    Pioneer-SA9800-SG9800-CTF650-TXD1000-RT-909-Monitor11-Peerless
    Marantz-2252b-5025b-6300-YaQinCd1-TeacA4010s-Monitor7
    Yamaha-CR2040-Advent2-TeacA4010s-Monitor7

    Yamaha-CA810-CT810----- No Speakers Yet
    Marantz SR1000-Pioneer PM120 workbench set up

  11. #11

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    Smile on paper

    On paper it ( the STR DH540) looks ok for the RTI-a3's. Are your speakers well broken in? It will take a couple hundred hours to do so at moderate volume and you will hear a difference when they are...if they are not. I am always changing my main HT rig around and my latest version will have RTI-A3's as front mains with a mid grade Onkyo.

    Is your Sony new enough so you can return it without cost? If so you can consider keeping it as it does everything you want with a front usb and the like. It is an entry level unit with minimum power with one review, Audioholics, calculating it at 67 wpc @ 8 ohms...which is enough to make your A-3's work especially when using a sub-woofer to take care of the heavy lifting of the bass.

    Most of us here have the bigger is better attitude and I cannot imagine having a use for such a unit from a power standpoint. It seems like audio is our passion but I have a suspicion the real passion is spending money. Have fun, welcome to the Hotel Polk, right next door to the Hotel California.
    Last edited by michael1947; 11-29-2013 at 03:43 PM. Reason: incomplete sentence
    Main Family Room: Sony 46 LCD, Sony Blue Ray, Sony DVD/VCR combo,Onkyo TXNR 708, Parasound 5250,
    Polk SDS-SRS with mods, CSI 5 center + Klipsch SC2, Polk RT2000P rears, Klipsch KG 1.5's sides, Polk Micro Pro 1000, Polk Micro Pro 2000, Polk SW505, Belkin PF60, Signal Cable Classics,Monster IC's, 2 15 amp circuits & 1 20 amp circuit.

    Living Room: Belkin PF60, Parasound HCA2200, MIT ProlineEXP balanced IC's,Emotiva XDA-1 DAC/Pre,Emotiva ERC2 transport,MIT AVT2, Polk LSI 9's.

  12. #12

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    Second the Yamaha line. If I didn't get deals on Marantz gear I'd very likely go with Yamaha.
    Down
    RTiA9 - CSiA6 - FXiA6 - Dual HSU VTF-15H
    Parasound HCA-3500 - HCA-2003A - Marantz SR7005
    Sim2 D60 - Dragonfly 106" Panny 500

    Up
    LSi15 LSiC - RX-V3000

    RT5000p Waiting in the Wings...

  13. #13

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    Well Jenny, there is a difference between "adequate" and "best". Speakers perform their "best" when fed a lot of current, not watts. Your Sony falls into the "adequate" category. Most all low-mid line receivers share the same size and type of power supply. Adequate but not best. Which is why we always suggest a receiver with preouts to be able to add an amplifier down the road when you eventually upgrade to better harder to drive speakers. Also, when you see specs in 2 channels driven, 5 channels and 7 channels, the drop off in power the more speakers you add indicates a weak power supply. This is why we usually recommend Pioneer elite receivers which use an ice amp rather that your standard a/b amp found in most receivers. The ice amp in Pioneers hold their power way better with more channels driven and are able to deliver more current to your speakers. If you don't want to have to add an amplifier, the Pioneers are able to drive more a variety of speakers before an additional amplifier is needed over their counterparts.

    But that's not the whole ball of wax either. Every brand has a "house" sound to it. Sony receivers while adequate don't tend to tickle many fancies in the sound department. The Marantz would be a good choice for you too considering your speakers. A tad warmer sound with RTI's to balance it out which are a tad brighter speaker. In any case, find one with preouts and that fits your wallet. You can always just use the Sony and see how you like it first before making any decisions.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by michael1947 View Post
    On paper it ( the STR DH540) looks ok for the RTI-a3's. Are your speakers well broken in? It will take a couple hundred hours to do so at moderate volume and you will hear a difference when they are...if they are not. I am always changing my main HT rig around and my latest version will have RTI-A3's as front mains with a mid grade Onkyo.

    Is your Sony new enough so you can return it without cost? If so you can consider keeping it as it does everything you want with a front usb and the like. It is an entry level unit with minimum power with one review, Audioholics, calculating it at 67 wpc @ 8 ohms...which is enough to make your A-3's work especially when using a sub-woofer to take care of the heavy lifting of the bass.

    Most of us here have the bigger is better attitude and I cannot imagine having a use for such a unit from a power standpoint. It seems like audio is our passion but I have a suspicion the real passion is spending money. Have fun, welcome to the Hotel Polk, right next door to the Hotel California.
    I'm thinking the same way. If you can return it, go for it. Save a little and buy the Pioneer or Marantz with preouts. However with your current set-up, the Sony may be fine for you. Let everything break-in, get used to the sound, then decide if you want to upgrade. You may end up upgrading the speakers and receiver or just think your system is good as is.
    __________________________________________________ ___________________________________________
    Source: SONOS Music System, DAC: W4S DAC-2, Pre/Pro: Marantz AV8801, Amp: W4S MC5, Front: Polk RTIA9, Center: Polk CSIA6, Surrounds: Polk FXIA6, Sub EQ: DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033C, Subs: 2 - Polk DSW PRO660WI, IC & Speaker Cables: Signal Cable

  15. #15

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    I'm kinda partial to 2 channel receivers myself, I power a pair of A3s with a HK 3375...a mere 75 watts a side...but the current it spits out is more than adequate. But again, I'm a 2 channel HK biased idiot, your results may vary.
    Living Room Evolved
    Onkyo TX-NR717
    Parasound HCA-1200II
    Polk Audio RTi A7 Black Front
    Polk Audio RTi A3 Black Rear
    Polk Audio CSiA6 Center
    Transparent Audio Music Wave Biwire cables > Mains
    Canare 4S11 >Center
    Audioquest Evergreens on most of the analog connections
    Tannoy TS2.12 Sub
    Marantz CD6004
    Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Piano Black TT
    Parasound Zphono Phono Preamp
    Apple Mac Mini
    Apple TV 3rd Gen
    Sony PS3 160Gb/Microsoft XBox 360
    Insignia 55 inch 120Hz TV

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by ken brydson View Post
    1222K just dropped to $399 at Costco. Picked one up yesterday myself. Run don't walk....
    I have the SC-61 and I'm real happy with it, bet it would perform well for you. But this deal Ken mentioned is an awesome one, unfortunate you can't find one, so your search continues. Happy shopping, that's part of the fun!

  17. #17

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    Looking cost per wpc you be better off looking at few older models:

    Pioneer Elite VSX 92-94TXi Series Each output 110-140 wpc and have enough inputs for older and new gear. Several newer units are dropping or limiting the analog inputs and pre-outs.
    Family Room HT 7.1:
    Pioneer Elite VSX 32 Pioneer Elite BDP 95FD Pioneer Elite DV 47Ai Pioneer Elite MD53 SlimDevice Transporter Panamax M5300-EX
    Living room 2ch:
    Integra ADM 2.1 Teac EQ MKII Squeezebox Touch Fluance SX Speakers
    Upstaris media room:
    Pioneer VSX D510 Sony PS3 Squeezebox Classic 3 Polkaudio Monitor 40 II fronts CSR Center
    Master bedroom:
    Pioneer VSX 520k Pioneer BDP 330 Squeezebox Classic 3 Polkaudio Monitor 40 II fronts, Rears Optimus LX5s CS3 center Acoustic Audio sub

  18. #18

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    An update with a HAPPY ENDING! I'm in Virginia, but ended up arranging to get the Pioneer SC1222 for $399 from a Costo in Denver! It's taken 2 days to do this, but I don't lack determination. None of the stores within hours of me had it. Ah, but my son is in Denver, so I checked Denver stores, found it, put on hold. Then I find out my son's in Mps. for the weekend. So I check the Mpls. stores, none in MN at all. Almost gave up, then thought of a friend in the Denver area and she was willing to go buy it and ship it to me!

    I'm SO excited, this is a great buy and the SC61 and SC1222 were my top choices. I also had the Marantz SR6006 at the top of the list. But, really could afford none of them new ... until finding this buy at Costco. Now I don't have to worry about issues with buying used from Ebay.

    Thank you all for your input, and a HUGE special thanks to Ken B. for telling me about this deal at Costco!!!
    Sony STR-DH540 receiver
    Polk Audio RTi A3 front speakers
    Polk Audio CSi3 center speaker
    BIC America Venturi V1020 10" powered subwoofer
    LG 47" LED TV, #47LN5400
    Magnavox DVD Recorder/VCR #ZV427MG9
    Sony CD Player #CDP-CE375

  19. #19

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    If you really liked the Marantz, ACC4less has the 6007 for slightly over your budget:

    http://www.accessories4less.com/make...eceiver/1.html

    I personally will never own a Marantz product again after I got a taste of their customer service. But the stuff does sound nice.

    I hope they build receivers better than they do BR players.
    Living room:
    Samsung PN50B860 50" Plasma : Oppo BDP-103 : Roku 3 : Denon AVR-2808Ci : Definitive Tech ProMonitor 800 R&L : ProCenter 1000 : Polk FXi 3 Surrounds : Twin Velodyne SPL 10 Series II's :

    2Ch:
    Polk LSi 9's : Parasound HCA 1500A : Pro-Ject Debut Carbon : Cambridge 640P Phono Stage : Musical Fidelity M1 S DAC : APC H15 : MacBook Pro Retina :

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by JennyM View Post
    An update with a HAPPY ENDING! I'm in Virginia, but ended up arranging to get the Pioneer SC1222 for $399 from a Costo in Denver! It's taken 2 days to do this, but I don't lack determination. None of the stores within hours of me had it. Ah, but my son is in Denver, so I checked Denver stores, found it, put on hold. Then I find out my son's in Mps. for the weekend. So I check the Mpls. stores, none in MN at all. Almost gave up, then thought of a friend in the Denver area and she was willing to go buy it and ship it to me!

    I'm SO excited, this is a great buy and the SC61 and SC1222 were my top choices. I also had the Marantz SR6006 at the top of the list. But, really could afford none of them new ... until finding this buy at Costco. Now I don't have to worry about issues with buying used from Ebay.

    Thank you all for your input, and a HUGE special thanks to Ken B. for telling me about this deal at Costco!!!
    Enjoy! Mine is still sitting on the floor waiting for install....
    HT/Main- Panny 50" G10 Plasma, Pioneer Elite VSX01 AVR, Panny DMP-BD60 BDP, Polk LS90 mains, CS350LS center, LS/fx side surrounds, LS50 surround backs, SVS 25-31PC+ sub, Harmony One

    Office Rig- Marantz 2252B, Sony CDP-C8ESD CDP, Kenwood KD2070 TT, Polk RTA 12B's

  21. #21

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    An update with a HAPPY ENDING! I'm in Virginia, but ended up arranging to get the Pioneer SC1222 for $399 from a Costo in Denver!

    wow whatadeal! I can't find a used one for that.
    POLK SDA 2.3 TLS BOUGHT NEW IN 1990, Gimpod/Sonic Caps/Mills RDO-198
    POLK CSI-A6 POLK MONITOR 70'S ONKYO TX NR-808 SONY CDP-333ES
    PIONEER PL-510A SONY BDP S5100
    POLK SDA 1C BOUGHT USED 2011,Gimpod/Sonic Caps/Mills RDO-194
    ONKYO HT RC-360 SONY BDP S590 TECHNICS SL BD-1

  22. #22

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    Congrats JennyM. Hope when you do getter hooked up it brings you lots of enjoyment-nice receiver BTW
    Randy
    HT-SDA1c Yamaha-RXV1-Denon-POA2200-HK DVD25-Cs400i-Monitor4's-Premier Acoustic150
    2ch-SDA2b-ADCOM GFA-555-565-600-555-YaQinCd2-Pioneer PL-630-AKAI GX210d
    Pioneer-SA9800-SG9800-CTF650-TXD1000-RT-909-Monitor11-Peerless
    Marantz-2252b-5025b-6300-YaQinCd1-TeacA4010s-Monitor7
    Yamaha-CR2040-Advent2-TeacA4010s-Monitor7

    Yamaha-CA810-CT810----- No Speakers Yet
    Marantz SR1000-Pioneer PM120 workbench set up

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