Need 2 channel help... [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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02-22-2007, 04:39 AM
A friend of mine has a coffee shop. Currently she's a crappy all-in-one boom box/combo running small speakers. Everyone knows that the sound sucks donky parts so I've been asked to help. I've got some decent small bookshelves (Platinum Audio PT 801's) that I plan to put in place of the garbage boomers but I'm not sure what to do about the receiver.

Do I go with relatively cheap late model 2 Channel receiver with remote and CD player?

Do I get a modern XM satellite ready 2 Channel with remote and CD?

Or get a cheap late model AV/HT receiver which can actually be CHEAPER than some modern 2 channel jobbies.

Recommendations and model numbers would be appreciated.

Da Worfster

02-22-2007, 05:20 AM
At this end of the food chain I think ya gets a better two channel product. Plus, operation is simplicity iteslf. Virtually no learning curve.

Circuit city has a little NIB Sherwood stereo receiver (4105?) that generally sells for under $100 (sometimes $80) that works quite well. I've placed two into non-audiophile friend's homes and, I gotta say, I'm very impressed.

edit: here it is:

The price is up now but keep an eye on it for a few weeks if you can. It goes up and down. It's one oftheir favorite loss-leaders. But, even at this price, it ain't bad.

Add to that an inexpensive CD player and you've got the basis of a nice system. If you wanna go real down and dirty, one of those $30 DVD players everyone sells will work as a CD player.

FWIW, I picked up a refurb (1 year guarantee) Marantz CC4300 changer for $129 at accessories4less. ...highly recommended... Slap in five discs, hit random play and let 'er rip.

One good thing about a receiver... inputs. With a cheap cable you can play virtually anything with a 1/8" mini-jack through the system. That includes Ipods, Sansa, Iriver, Rio, whatever. Anybodys. Not jiust hers. Plug 'er in, select shuffle and let 'er rip. (deja vu?)

02-22-2007, 05:53 AM
I agree with Markw on the a/v receiver flexibility. Though I've seen a lot of connections on modern stereo receivers too - basically just a/v receivers without umpteen bazillion speaker channels.
Coffee shop music isn't about hi-fidelity, it's about background music, and ensuring the selected source plays, and plays loud enough. You ain't gonna differentiate receiver sound quality in a coffee shop!!!

Those little Sherwood's are fantastic values for newbies, they have a/v receivers too. Great for 2nd systems, or small coffee shops.

Alternatively, one could pick up something of subjectively higher quality from ebay or some used store or whatever (Yamaha, Onkyo, etc) which might alleviate concerns of having to replace in a year or two, but nothing's guaranteed and I wouldn't worry about that.
Even crappy brands make reasonably good stuff these days. I have a 1999 era Sony a/v receiver I've beaten the snot out of for 8 years, that STILL works as well as ever, - my local used CD store has been blaring a cheap Kenwood receiver for 7 years, 12 hours a day, nonstop, and it's in a small cupboard that probably hits 105 degrees most days.

I'd only get the XM thing if you know for a fact yer friend is gonna use it. Nice to have, but if they might use the internet or satellite TV music service instead.

Only concern I have is the size, and desired volume - make sure you get enough power. On that front, stereo receivers often have more 2-channel power and significantly better cooling than a 7 channel a/v receiver stuffed in the same chassis.

But I'm not telling you nothing you don't already know!!! Good luck!

02-22-2007, 11:44 AM
If space is a concern there is always the NAD L53 which is a combination receiver and dvd/cd player.

02-22-2007, 12:34 PM
A vintage Marantz or Pioneer receiver looks "right" in some businesses. The local coffee shop in our town has an "old world" eclectic feel where a vintage receiver would be at home. Of course you give up the convenience of a remote and it takes a little more leg work to find a working, reliable unit, but usually connectivity is not a problem with vintage receivers - lots of inputs, power amp/pre amp jumpers, phono input, A & B speaker outputs. They sound great with relatively inexpensive bookshelf speakers and cheap cd players by "warming up" the sound. They're more powerful than their specs suggest.

My vet (actually, my dog's vet) has an old Pioneer receiver with wood side panels in his lobby that's never on when I'm in there. I'm thinking of making him an offer.

02-22-2007, 12:39 PM
I have had some experience with the Sherwood's as well, for a friends cheap setup, and one thing that I was unhappy about was the ease-of-use. I would much rather get a 2-channel or even a 5.1 receiver from Pioneer, which are usually only a few bucks more, but they are easier to navigate and that is also important in this case.

02-23-2007, 09:45 AM
The price on that little Sherwood varies like the weather. As of 12"30 PM EST, it's on their website for 79.95

02-23-2007, 06:41 PM
I'm thinking on the line of hands free operation, and would go with a dvd player that plays mp3's. You can burn up to 8+ hours of music on one disk which leaves out the need of changing disk each hour or so.