Receiver recommendations.

Discussion in 'Home Theater PCs & Equipment' started by Dock Ellis, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. Dock Ellis

    Dock Ellis Limp Gawd

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    I'm planning on buying a pair of Arx A1's or A1b's and this Audio Technica turntable, but I'm not sure what kind of receiver I should be looking at, or how to know what I should be looking for. I don't really want to spend more than $300, but I could probably go to $500. What are some solid receivers that fall into that range?
     
  2. Mr. Wolf

    Mr. Wolf [H]ardness Supreme

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    Pioneer and Marantz are two of my favorites for receivers. Are you looking for just a solid stereo setup or expanding to a home theater down the road?
     
  3. Dock Ellis

    Dock Ellis Limp Gawd

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    I really just want a solid stereo set up. It's mostly for music, and I'll probably use it with my desktop.
     
  4. Mr. Wolf

    Mr. Wolf [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yamaha has a few nice stereo receivers in your price range, as does Onkyo. You also could look up some 1970s era stereo receivers from Marantz, Yamaha, Pioneer. eBay has a good selection of vintage receivers. Those old monsters produce some beautiful sound.
     
  5. Schro

    Schro [H]ardness Supreme

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    A word of caution: A lot of the new receivers don't include Phono jacks on lower end units. I just picked up a Denon 2112CI that I'm quite happy with for $450, but I'm not sure it meets your requirements
     
  6. Steampunk

    Steampunk Limp Gawd

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    Avsforum is good place to start for researching A/V equipment. For me, I found the a/v quality and feature set of the Yamaha's to be the most highly recommended receivers in that price range.
     
  7. matteos

    matteos [H]ard|Gawd

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    Onkyo and Denon are good. Watch out for the Onkyo TX SR-6XX though as there's HDMI issues with those. The newer receivers should support Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD. These offer uncompressed surround sound, I think this is only on blu ray. Dolby Digital plus is good but has some compression, I think 1.5 mbps Straight up dolby digital has compression to around 700 Kbps (this is when you are using surround sound, stereo isn't compressed).

    I like listening to music in surround over stereo, especially the few albums I have that were recorded in 5.1
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  8. Zangmonkey

    Zangmonkey I Realize My Disabilities - You Do Too

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    do you want a receiver or just an amplifier? What are you Planning to do with it?
     
  9. Dock Ellis

    Dock Ellis Limp Gawd

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    I want a receiver because I'm planning to run a turntable and my Desktop PC through it. I might consider an amp at a later time.
     
  10. Zangmonkey

    Zangmonkey I Realize My Disabilities - You Do Too

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    Do you need an HDMI receiver? Multiple HDMI video switching?
     
  11. Dock Ellis

    Dock Ellis Limp Gawd

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    Probably not, I really just want good sound quality and options.
     
  12. Zangmonkey

    Zangmonkey I Realize My Disabilities - You Do Too

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    In that case you should be scouring the used market.
    If you don't need new HDMI decoding or more than 2 HDMI switches then you can find great deals on quality equipment.
     
  13. Dock Ellis

    Dock Ellis Limp Gawd

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    Could you recommend any of the older Marantz models? Or maybe a good place to start looking?
     
  14. jwhazel

    jwhazel Limp Gawd

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    Bottom line: you either want an integrated amp (pre-amp + power amp) or a stereo receiver (pre-amp + power amp + radio tuner). Don't mess with anything with HDMI or multi-channel for plain old stereo music.

    Don't bother with vintage stuff unless you enjoy tinkering with electronics. It may not sound bad to your ears, but 20+ year old amplifiers usually need caps replaced and DC bias set which involves a little work and knowledge of electronic circuits. If your into that stuff, then absolutely go the vintage route. Otherwise buy newer/more recent stuff if you want to just plug it in without having to mess with it. Newer (quality built) stuff also has the advantage of ~50 years of r&d to get lower thd and crosstalk, better SNR, etc. Not knocking the old silver face Marantz stuff, but these pieces in good working shape usually command a premium.

    Yamaha was thrown around a few times in this thread. I just bought the A-S500 and I love it (http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-A-S500BL-Integrated-Theater-Amplifier/dp/B0044779HW). A simple no-BS straight up integrated analog amp with plenty of power. Another popular choice is the HK3390 or HK3490. Either of these would provide you phono input for your turntable and plenty of power to drive your speakers.
     
  15. Zangmonkey

    Zangmonkey I Realize My Disabilities - You Do Too

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  16. mls1995

    mls1995 2[H]4U

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  17. mls1995

    mls1995 2[H]4U

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    Denon 2112CI is VERY solid for this price!
     
  18. Zangmonkey

    Zangmonkey I Realize My Disabilities - You Do Too

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    Then you didn't understand the OP's requirement.
    For music switching, a high-quality, low-priced non-hdmi unit will perform much better than a lower-quality new unit *with* hdmi.

    He has no need for video, why would he buy a video switching unit?
     
  19. Brahmzy

    Brahmzy [H]ardness Supreme

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    Only DENON AVR's for me!
     
  20. Dock Ellis

    Dock Ellis Limp Gawd

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    I like the look of the A-S500. If I wanted to start out with the integrated amp, would I be able to run my set up through a better amp once I could afford one? My audio knowledge is limited right now, so any pointers would be really helpful.
     
  21. jwhazel

    jwhazel Limp Gawd

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    It really is nice. I wish yamaha sold the silver ones over here in the US. You would need something with a pre-out if you wanted to connect it it a better amp later on. The only low cost yamaha integrated that has that is the R-S700. My advice, buy an integrated now (doesn't necessarily have to be yamaha). Sell that when you can afford something nice and buy a separate pre/power. Otherwise you'll spend more trying to buy something that has pre-outs now just for future proofing. AVR's can be had (typically used) in the 300-500 range with pre-outs, but I have to really state my distaste for using a multi-channel AVR with tons of home theater crap just to drive a 2 channel setup. Prior to my a-s500, I have a pioneer vsx-52. The yamaha blows it out of the water in every single aspect of stereo/music listening. It's not a brand thing, its just that AVR's don't do nearly as good for 2 channel listening.

    Edit: Again, I'm not saying the a-s500 is the end all be all. Onkyo, Pioneer, Cambridge, and Rotel all make some nice integrated amps (those last 2 are pricey though). But if you were interested, I ran across this posting for a used one for $200. I don't have any experience buying and selling from audioasylum, just wanted to throw it out there: http://www.audioasylumtrader.com/ca/ca.html?ca=49251
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  22. tesfaye

    tesfaye 2[H]4U

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    Yeah! ^5! come on man, ^5 it bro...

    Seriously though, out of the mainstream brands Onkyo, Pioneer and Denon, I have to say the Denon AVR units are solid performers, and my favorite.