price/performance AVR recommendations

polonyc2

Fully [H]
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Oct 25, 2004
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19,253
I'm in the market for my first 4K receiver and I need some help from the experts...so many models and choices that it's easy to get lost in the choices...

I currently have the Denon AVR-791 from 2010...yes long time...I have an LG C7 OLED (4K, Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG)...I'm still happy with my 5.1 Aperion speakers (6 Ohms, 87 dB, Recommended Power= 50-200 Watts) and I have no intention on getting a 7.1 speaker setup anytime soon...I'm looking for something that delivers excellent price/performance preferably under $500 that supports all the HDR formats (except for HDR10+) and would be a nice upgrade and compatible with my current speakers and OLED...I currently am using my AVR-791 receiver with a digital optical cable connected from my TV to the receiver so I can get 5.1 audio from my TV's built-in apps

my only issue with my current AVR-791 is that I need to crank up the volume to to really get really good loud audio...is that because the AVR-791 is only 90 watts per channel?...do I need something around 120 watts so it will be louder at lower volumes?...I'm willing to buy any manufacturer although I do like the look and feel of Denon...mainly I'm looking for a nice upgrade that won't break the bank but delivers great audio...anyone have any recommendations?

I've been online today doing some research and I've found a few that look promising...can someone tell me which one they would choose or recommend another one...I'm looking for one that supports all the HDR formats (HDR10+ doesn't matter to me) along with most or all of the audio formats (although Atmos is not vital for me right now and is more of a future upgrade path)...thanks for any help

Onkyo TX-NR686
Denon AVR-S740H
Sony STR-DN1080
Denon AVR-X2500H
 

Nenu

[H]ardened
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Apr 28, 2007
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19,528
I bought last years Denon X4400H because there is almost no difference from this years 4500 which is ridicuprice.
It got all the HDMI 2.1 feature updates (note it is still HDMI 2.0b), supports passing all HDR standards and has Atmos with 2 or 4 height channels.
4 if you hook a stereo amp up. I use a power amp on my main speakers so this left 2 amps free for height channels.
I also tested using a 50W/ch Emotiva A-100 for 2 height channels and it worked great, heights dont need much power.
I use it for 7.1 + 4 Atmos speakers. It can do 7.2 + 4.

This is an all round great AVR.
I even game through it from PC to the TV (Samsung Q9FN) without lag issues, probably due to ALLM (HDMI 2.1 feature Auto Low Latency Mode).
 

westrock2000

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 3, 2005
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9,233
I’ve got a Denon X3400 and it hasnt given me any issues. The AudysseyEQ is great for most speakers, it only got tripped up when I got electrostatics. They have an app that is supposed to let you control Audyssey, and it costs money. But it had zero effect on my receiver. I even got out my Dayton OmniMic and measured the output on the speakers just to be sure. It said it was changing the EQ, but zero measurable difference. This was a couple years ago, so maybe they fixed that.

Before that I had a Denon 2800CI or something and it’s still in regular use in a back room. I have been very satisfied with the upper end Denon products, if you can find them used at a mid-range price I would look into it. Check Craig’s list....eBay is too much because of shipping a 30-40 pound receiver as a private individual.

Also, Marantz is owned by Denon, so there is usually a Marantz and Denon equivalency. Internally, very similar, but different outside.
 

quiktake

Gawd
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Feb 22, 2011
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528
It is an awkward time to buy a receiver right now. Everyone is waiting for the chipsets to support the next version of HDMI, full eARC, and 8k. Of the these I think eARC is most important, but that feature is limited to higher end receivers at the moment. The other features are nonexistent. I like audessey 32 personally, but some prefer other adjustment algorithms depending on their setup. You might also want to consider a receiver with preamp outputs to use higher quality external amps down the line.
 
Joined
Jul 18, 2018
Messages
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I bought the Denon X3600 but I got a heck of a deal on it. At the time Crutchfield had it for $200 off and I had another $300 in Best Buy credit so I got it for $599 shipped next day free. I really like it. ARC works perfectly with my Sony TV so I only have to use the TV remote to control the Denon when using the TV. I only have an older 5.1 Technics surround setup but the new AVR drives them a lot better than my older (and less expensive) Denon 2xxx series. I've been impressed by Denon for the most part over the past 10 years compared to other brands like Yamaha and Sony.
 

Saturn_V

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
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I bought the Yamaha RX-V685 last Christmas. Supports HDR10, DV and HLG; $100 more than you wanted to spend- but I'm very happy with it.

And I would stay away from Onkyo Pioneer if I were you.
 

IdiotInCharge

NVIDIA SHILL
Joined
Jun 13, 2003
Messages
14,710
I don't even know what I would want in a new receiver; if I'm not hooking a high-end PC with an as-yet unreleased Ampere GPU, what I have works for whatever I need.

Maybe when I trade in the cheap Klipsch towers and bookshelves?
 

swingdjted

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
270
I've been pounding speakers for 25 years on an old Pioneer AV receiver at hundreds of DJ jobs while still using it daily at home. It is only rated to put out 110-120 watts continuous at most, and I've been pushing two speakers at 8 ohms and two at 4 ohms (both main, not in surround) at absurdly loud and yet clean volumes for around 3-5 hours straight at each gig. The sound fills gymnasiums, ballrooms, cafeterias, and many outdoor events without ever having a complaint about being weak or being low on sound quality. Most commonly the jobs are school dances or weddings. The receiver was never meant to be pushed this hard for this long, and yet it continues as if it had just been bought. I'm sold on the Pioneer brand, at least on this particular dinosaur model (VSX-454). Everyone I have ever known that has experience with Pioneer receivers has never had a bad thing to say as far as reliability or sound quality. That said, I have nothing bad to say about Denon either. If/when I decide to finally update it, I'll keep both brands on my list.

Also as far as wattage goes, 90 per channel is a lot of power and should be more than sufficient for a residential setting, especially if you're powering an x.1 system where the subwoofer(s) are powered independently. Some receivers sound a lot more powerful on initial experience than others simply because the volume knob is hotter. By that I mean some receivers give you almost all the power before you even hit the halfway point of the volume knob with a strong input signal, and yet other receivers don't really seem to wake up much at all until you are well past the halfway point even with the same strong input signal, and yet when you have both extremes compared side by side, they still both hit the same volume output just prior to the distortion point, whether it's the one with the hotspot early or late in the dial. I have the same issue between my wife's car and my pickup truck. I depress the gas pedal a 3/4 inch on the pickup truck and the engine nearly redlines, and with my wife's car, you have to push it 4 inches or more to get the same RPM. If she ever needs to use the truck, she forgets this and nearly sends herself to the moon because she's used to pushing the pedal a lot more. Back to receivers, if you have this concern, try a brand that gets to the higher volume earlier so you don't have to wait so long when holding the volume up button on the remote. On the other hand, if you want more control with subtle differences, choose a brand with a later peak. My Pioneer tends to jump a little fast for my taste, so when using the remote, I often go a bit too far for comfort and then have to turn it back down and try turning it up again to get it where I want.
 

RPKYGK

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 1, 2018
Messages
101
I would look at splitting the duties. I bought an Emotiva LPA-7 used about 8 years ago, and since power doesn't really go out of style I just need to upgrade my preamp every few years. Something to consider.
 

Saturn_V

[H]ard|Gawd
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Sep 24, 2008
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I'm sold on the Pioneer brand, at least on this particular dinosaur model (VSX-454). Everyone I have ever known that has experience with Pioneer receivers has never had a bad thing to say as far as reliability or sound quality.

As a former life-long Pioneer user, it saddens me to say that the brand no longer has value since the AVR/Home AV division was purchased by Onkyo in 2015. I have Pioneer AVRs dating back to the Laserdisc era that are solid and still work. I also have a VSX-1131 from 2016 that crapped out six months after the warranty expired, and an Onkyo TX-NR609 from 2011 that had HDMI board failures *twice* in three years. ( I installed it for a family member, and had to eat the cost of the AVR)

Now Denon owns them both. Don't have any experience with Denon, no opinion.
 

Nenu

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Apr 28, 2007
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As a former life-long Pioneer user, it saddens me to say that the brand no longer has value since the AVR/Home AV division was purchased by Onkyo in 2015. I have Pioneer AVRs dating back to the Laserdisc era that are solid and still work. I also have a VSX-1131 from 2016 that crapped out six months after the warranty expired, and an Onkyo TX-NR609 from 2011 that had HDMI board failures *twice* in three years. ( I installed it for a family member, and had to eat the cost of the AVR)

Now Denon owns them both. Don't have any experience with Denon, no opinion.

Onkyo were fine if you put a slow silent fan on top drawing hot air out.
My old Onkyo 875 ran like a furnace but with a fan was very cool. I bought a 25" fan before I bought the amp after reading some of the horror stories, it still baffles me why hardly anyone does this when its a well known issue and is an easy fix.
(A Bitfenix 23" fan will do the job just fine when run at 7V or 5V.)
I bought it in 2008 and gave it to my Dad around 4 years later.
Its still his main living room amp, works "perfectly" and is still very cool running with the fan.

For surround I now use a Denon X4400H AVR, this is a solid piece of kit.
It can be run in eco mode off, permanently on or auto (which reduces the eco level with volume level from 50% +)
It can run quite warm with eco permanently off, then I would suggest using a fan.
But with eco on auto or permanently on it is fine without a fan.
I use it on auto with no fan and I'm dead fussy about amplifier heat.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Oct 29, 2000
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31,548
I don't think you can go wrong with Marantz (now owned by Denon) or Yamaha for A/V receivers.

www.accessories4less.com is a good place to buy refurbished receivers at pretty good prices

Second this. Much lower price, and many models even have warranty beyond the 30 day refurb warranty.

Some day I will buy a Maranz ampless processor on here, but until then my slightly older Denon AVR-3300w will have to do.
 
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