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  1. #1
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    Inexpensive receiver for Boston Acoustics CR95 towers

    Hello all.

    Last night I picked up a pair of CR95 towers from Tweeter, Etc. They are closing out a lot of the home audio products from BA at Tweeter these days, I guess they're sort of changing direction with their products/marketing.

    Anyway, I have a 27" "regular" TV, and just a DVD player at this time. I've been using my Boston Digital MediaTheater 4.1 computer system on the TV for several weeks, but now of course don't have to. Here's the rub: as great as the prices are, I really can't afford anything else right now. I'd love to pick up a matching CRC center, and some surrounds, but can't justify it.

    So... what I absolutely need, of course, is power for these things, a brain for my system.
    I'm looking for either a stereo receiver, or maybe a 5.1 model that's inexpensive but decent in quality. (That'd save me from having to upgrade later, I guess. Although, really, I wouldn't be offended just having stereo sound. Small living room!!!)

    I'm on the very frugal side of things, but I'm a hardcore sound buff, so it's a tough choice. I'd rather these nice towers not have to do duty as doorstops for too long. Thanks!

    -S2-

  2. #2
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    EDIT: Pic of the CR95, for those curious.

    Last edited by Siper2; 06-17-2004 at 05:54 AM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siper2
    Hello all.

    Last night I picked up a pair of CR95 towers from Tweeter, Etc. They are closing out a lot of the home audio products from BA at Tweeter these days, I guess they're sort of changing direction with their products/marketing.

    Anyway, I have a 27" "regular" TV, and just a DVD player at this time. I've been using my Boston Digital MediaTheater 4.1 computer system on the TV for several weeks, but now of course don't have to. Here's the rub: as great as the prices are, I really can't afford anything else right now. I'd love to pick up a matching CRC center, and some surrounds, but can't justify it.

    So... what I absolutely need, of course, is power for these things, a brain for my system.
    I'm looking for either a stereo receiver, or maybe a 5.1 model that's inexpensive but decent in quality. (That'd save me from having to upgrade later, I guess. Although, really, I wouldn't be offended just having stereo sound. Small living room!!!)

    I'm on the very frugal side of things, but I'm a hardcore sound buff, so it's a tough choice. I'd rather these nice towers not have to do duty as doorstops for too long. Thanks!

    -S2-
    Siper,

    I have Boston VR965 towers. They are last years models. I have not listened to the CR95's yet but I can tell you that Yamaha is a very good match with my Bostons. I ran an older Onkyo A/V receiver with them at first and when I upgraded to the Yamaha RX-V1400, I was really amazed how the Boston's opened up and the detail was much better. Depending on you budget you can easily find a decent Yamaha A/V receiver to fit. This or course is my opinion and any of the major receiver companies like H/K, Denon, Onkyo, and Marants would be fine. I was able to audition my speakers with both the Denon 2803 and the Yamaha RX-V1400 and I felt the Yamaha was clearly the better match for the VR965s. The Denon combo seemed a little too warm to me. But again, that's just me.

    JSE

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    How much did you pay for yours? The receiver, I mean.

    It's an awful sort of catch-22. Tweeter is ceasing to carry most of Boston's home audio products, so all their remaining stock is on a huge sale. I can't really afford this, so while I picked up the towers because I couldn't turn that deal down, now I have to wait until I have the money to actually use them.

    What REALLY hurts is that ALL of their non built-in and outdoor stuff is on sale. So, I could pick up a pair of VRM-90s for probably like half price.


    *sniff!*
    Last edited by Siper2; 06-17-2004 at 05:53 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siper2
    How much did you pay for yours? The receiver, I mean.

    It's an awful sort of catch-22. Tweeter is ceasing to carry most of Boston's home audio products, so all their remaining stock is on a huge sale. I can't really afford this, so while I picked up the towers because I couldn't turn that deal down, now I have to wait until I have the money to actually use them.

    What REALLY hurts is that ALL of their non built-in and outdoor stuff is on sale. So, I could pick up a pair of VRM-90s for probably like half price.


    *sniff!*

    I got my Yamaha RX-V1400 for $550 from an authorized delear. I think Tweeter sells it for $700 or $799 I think but better deals can be had. You might look at the RX-V650, less money and full of features. A/V receivers are getting cheaper and cheaper. You can get receivers with most of the important features for $200 from most of the major makers now. How much do you want to spend?

    Bye the way, the VRM-90s are quite impressive. At half price, it is very tempting but I still feel my 965s hold their own against them so I cannot justify the cost.

    JSE

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    You're definitely in good shape with your existing towers, I think. I'm not sure it'd be half price, but probably pretty close to it. I got my CR95s for $290, and retail is $550 according to BA's website. (Even though Tweeter and other stores fluctuate a bit...)

    I'd probably be in the $200 or less (if possible) category. At least at this point in life. Right now, I'd even be satisfied with a semi-decent clearance stereo receiver. I guess I thought they'd be ridiculously cheap, with the advent of a new standard seemingly every six months (now with 7.1), but some stereo models--even bottom-end--are still close to $200.
    Or more.


    A fellow on a different, non-audio forum suggested a local specialty shop, that they might have something inexpensive. Any experience with that?? I don't need a bunch of features; something maybe one or two model years old would be okay, I think. So long as there's enough power to run the speakers efficiently, and sufficient hookups for a DVD, VCR and the TV, and I should be alright. I'd love to go 5.1 but at this juncture I'm trying to justify the tower purchase!!!!

    -S2-

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    Quote Originally Posted by Siper2
    You're definitely in good shape with your existing towers, I think. I'm not sure it'd be half price, but probably pretty close to it. I got my CR95s for $290, and retail is $550 according to BA's website. (Even though Tweeter and other stores fluctuate a bit...)

    I'd probably be in the $200 or less (if possible) category. At least at this point in life. Right now, I'd even be satisfied with a semi-decent clearance stereo receiver. I guess I thought they'd be ridiculously cheap, with the advent of a new standard seemingly every six months (now with 7.1), but some stereo models--even bottom-end--are still close to $200.
    Or more.


    A fellow on a different, non-audio forum suggested a local specialty shop, that they might have something inexpensive. Any experience with that?? I don't need a bunch of features; something maybe one or two model years old would be okay, I think. So long as there's enough power to run the speakers efficiently, and sufficient hookups for a DVD, VCR and the TV, and I should be alright. I'd love to go 5.1 but at this juncture I'm trying to justify the tower purchase!!!!

    -S2-
    Check this out. Onkyo TX-SR501 for $185? That's a pretty good deal. It's refurbed but you can add a 2yr warranty. For under $200 the difference between a stereo receiver and a A/V receiver is going to be little if anthing in terms of sound so you might as well go with a A/V 5.1 or better receiver that you can grow into.

    JSE

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    Where'd you find the Onkyo? How much for the warrantee? $185 is indeed pretty good.

    Of course I want the ability to just plug in added components as I buy them, which is why a theater receiver is obviously better, but..... I don't know, I figured since stereo is so outdated, they'd nearly be giving them away. I've checked eBay, but the problem there is that there's a gazillion receivers, and therefore impossible to choose from.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Siper2
    Where'd you find the Onkyo? How much for the warrantee? $185 is indeed pretty good.

    Of course I want the ability to just plug in added components as I buy them, which is why a theater receiver is obviously better, but..... I don't know, I figured since stereo is so outdated, they'd nearly be giving them away. I've checked eBay, but the problem there is that there's a gazillion receivers, and therefore impossible to choose from.

    CRAP! I forgot to add the link. Here it is. Sorry about that. It's direct from Onkyo.

    http://www.shoponkyo.com/catalog_det...&p=i&ext_war=1

    and here's all the refurbed stuff,

    http://www.shoponkyo.com/catalog.cfm?id=3

    JSE

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    If you are a sound buff...go for a nad 320bee

    None of these inexpensive av recievers will do justice to stereo music.If you are on a budget, go for a good stereo amp like the Nad 320bee.Don't let the spec (50 watts) deceive you.They were measured to be true high current 80 watts per channel and they drove my 86 db floorstanders much better than 100 watt yamahas and nakamichi stereo recievers.Try them out before you spend money on a gutless, constipated cheapo reciever...
    Another thing, A good stereo setup is always better than a crappy 5.1 setup for movies.With a crappy 5.1, you will basically get crap from 360 degrees.

  11. #11
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    Good point.

    But, with just an amp, I'd still need a receiver. Right?

    EDIT: Did some lookups. Okay so an amp is a power unit, just without radio capability.
    Receiver = "receives" radio signal. Like, duh.

    So are amp power ratings more accurate than receiver ratings? Why?

  12. #12
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    ttt

    Still looking for more feedback and suggestions. Also, is there any difference in power ratings when looking at stereo vs. theater receivers? For example, if a stereo rec. is listed as 80Wx2, and a theater receiver is listed as 80Wx6 (just as an example), is the stereo rec. rating going to be more accurate??

    Sometimes numbers are exaggerated even moreso when it comes to greater capability (as in theater vs. stereo). This is why I ask...

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    The Harman Kardon online refurb outlet has both stereo and HT receivers for $200. They come with full manufacturer's warranty. They are highly underrated in the power department, easily compare with 100wpc receivers in the same price class.

    http://www.harmanaudio.com/search_br...REC&market=HOM

    You want to make sure a multi-channel receiver can put it's rated continuous power into all channels, full bandwidth rated (20Hz-20kHz, not 1kHz), and into 8 ohms (not 6 ohms). There are a lot of AV receivers on the market that can only burst it's rated power into some of the channels at the same time. This translates into a weak power supply, which means poor control over the speakers (which equals clipping, weak bass, poor dynamics, etc.).

    If you are sure you don't want to do home theater, go with a straight stereo receiver. The good ones are rated for 4 ohm loads, and the power supplies are generally the same size as their HT counterparts (you can see the advantages for music). Again, good entry-level stereo receivers usually have pre-amp outputs, so you can add a dedicated power amp down the road for even better results.

    P.S. The amp Hertz was referring to actually represents another segment called integrated amplifiers. This is a preamplifier and power amplifer in one box. Basically, a receiver minus the tuner section. Integrateds generally have higher quality components, descrete output sections, much much better power supplies, and almost always better audio performance. Seperates go a step further (but not all seperate are better than integrateds, etc.), but are usually more expensive. Whereas mass-market receivers are overhyped in the power department, this higher end gear are usually underrated in the power department. There are good receivers out there, but the good ones usually go for $1000 and up, and the stereo receivers that can compete with the cheapest of integrateds go for even more. If you can stretch your budget, an entry-level integrated from NAD or Cambridge Audio would definitely be the way to go.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siper2
    Hello all.

    Last night I picked up a pair of CR95 towers from Tweeter, Etc. They are closing out a lot of the home audio products from BA at Tweeter these days, I guess they're sort of changing direction with their products/marketing.

    Anyway, I have a 27" "regular" TV, and just a DVD player at this time. I've been using my Boston Digital MediaTheater 4.1 computer system on the TV for several weeks, but now of course don't have to. Here's the rub: as great as the prices are, I really can't afford anything else right now. I'd love to pick up a matching CRC center, and some surrounds, but can't justify it.

    So... what I absolutely need, of course, is power for these things, a brain for my system.
    I'm looking for either a stereo receiver, or maybe a 5.1 model that's inexpensive but decent in quality. (That'd save me from having to upgrade later, I guess. Although, really, I wouldn't be offended just having stereo sound. Small living room!!!)

    I'm on the very frugal side of things, but I'm a hardcore sound buff, so it's a tough choice. I'd rather these nice towers not have to do duty as doorstops for too long. Thanks!

    -S2-
    It seems that the Panasonic HE100 is the unit of choice this year. I've seen it for as little as $200.
    Norm Strong [normanstrong@comcast.net]

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    the panny's are great the whole sehe line of them "sahe75, sahe100, sahe200" cheap but they pack a punch. lots of great features.

    i love my little sahe75 for my bedroom.

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    I'll check out the Panasonics.

    NickWH,
    Okay, well here's a question. What if I want AM/FM capability? The amps don't have tuners, so how could I get around that?

    Last night I was looking at two Onkyo receivers, and one amp (integrated, I guess).
    Amp: M-280
    Receivers: TX-8211 and TX-8511
    (The 8211 only has 10W less per channel, listed anyway, and seems to be different only in that it has fewer features. Would I be best to save money and get the 8211 over the 8511, or is there a quality difference? Read all the reviews; often you can't draw a definitive conclusion from them.)

    Basically, even though the prices are equal, the amp should have a more "true" power rating, and probably better sound quality, then? Mind you I'm not dead-set on one of these models. Just using them as an example.

  17. #17
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    Yes, check out Panasonic digitals

    Quote Originally Posted by Siper2
    Hello all.

    Last night I picked up a pair of CR95 towers from Tweeter, ... So... what I absolutely need, of course, is power for these things, a brain for my system.
    I'm looking for either a stereo receiver, or maybe a 5.1 model that's inexpensive but decent in quality. ...
    Consider the newest Panasonic SA-XR50 which should be had for US$275 or thereabouts.

    Alternatively you might get a close-out on its predeceasor, the SA-XR25 for maybe US$175. Or the older, top of line model, the much, and possibly over hyped, SA-XR45 for a bit more than the XR50.

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    Wow, a digital amp, huh? Spiffy.

    Pretty good reviews in here....

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    Siper2, if you want radio capability with your integrated, you would have to purchase a seperate tuner component. This matters more or less depending on how often you listen to the radio.

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    A lot, actually. My wife and I are both FM buffs, I guess.

    Let me ask this, I suppose: I don't want to buy many components. I know that just one amp and a tuner isn't much, but if I can have it all in one, that'd be better. Just for aesthetics' sake, if nothing else. Would two comparable amp vs. receiver units be that noticeably different in sound quality? I know what it says on paper, I guess I just don't know if it's really, audibly noticeable, say between two ~$300 units. (Not comparing a unit of that price to one that's $4,000--with that, I'd expect a very noticeable change.)

    As much as I truly believe in more accurate, true power, and less gimmickry, if a receiver can be had for about that much money or less, and put out enough power to please my towers and keep the top of my TV stand uncluttered, I'll be happy. (We keep our TV atop a very nice old black wooden trunk. The components sit to the right of it, and neither my wife nor I want to have a huge stack of things over there.)

    That said, assuming I change my mind (it happens ), what do tuners cost?

  21. #21
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    If you're half way serious about decent FM reception, be prepared to consider some kind of outdoor antenna.

    In the real world, a mediocre tuner with a good antenna will outperform a great tuner with an inadequate antenna.

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    I'm not that serious, no.

    All the reception I've ever heard from my family and friends' receivers has been more than enough.

  23. #23
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    Just a quick bump on this one...

    I was just in RadioShack for a couple things, and saw one of their RCA stereo receivers. It was like $99 I think, couldn't find a listing nor a review for it on this site, though.

    I know you get what you pay for generally, but sometimes something surprises you.
    Anybody know anything about those? 100Wx2 was the rating, pretty good compared to most that I've looked at. Though I do know that likely isn't accurate, I suppose it's better to have a receiver rated at 100 come in a little lower, than one rated at 50 come in lower.

    Thanks-
    =S2=

  24. #24
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    you have a good set of speakers there which would improve greatly if powered by a good amp...why not try something highly rated like this? you may not believe how good the speakers sound afterward... delivers 50w min and 110w peak per channel at a super clean .03% THD

    http://www.yawaonline.com/nadc3inamre1.html

    I don't think you can do better for such a little amount of money...

  25. #25
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    Hey, seems like a pretty good deal.


    The issue of an FM tuner still remains, though. How much are they?

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