Need help choosing a receiver [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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Eric Z
03-03-2004, 06:27 AM
I am in the market for a new receiver that will be used 65% movies and 35% music. I am going to use my current receiver (older Sony) just for music in another room. Currently, my speaker set up is 2.1, but will graduate to 5.1 in the near future. I do not want to spend over $400 on this receiver- I've seen other postings before that read wait until you can afford something in the $800-$1200 range and then buy one. I have the extra money to spend, but I don't need anything that is going to be that good- it doesn't have to sound like the best system ever (and I really don't want to spend that much on it either). I like audio equipment, but not to the extreme as others- I think I'd go bankrupt! :)

Anyway, these are the receivers I am looking at. I would appreciate any advice.

Onkyo TXSR501- $299USD (retail price- I'm sure I can get about 15-20% off)
Onkyo TXSR601- $449

Denon DRA395RD- $349
Denon AVR1604- $399

Yamaha HTR5650- $320
Yamaha RXV540- $399
Yamaha RXV640- $499 (will only buy if it is really worth the extra $100)

I've also heard that if you are shopping in this price range, they are all pretty similar. I just want something that will last a while and power my speakers well.

My speaker set up is Mirage FRX5 (floorstanding) and Def Tech PS80 subwoofer.

As always, thank you!

03-04-2004, 12:33 PM
Those are all decent receiver you've listed. Have you checked out the HK's? A friend of mine just purchased the Harmon Kardon AVR 125 through Harman Kardon Direct through ebay and is thrilled. I think he spent under $250 for it and also got a set of HK6 surround speakers with a 10" HK subwoofer for $120! He wasn't into HT at all and was about to drop $400 on an all in one system at Best Buy until I told him about HK. He's thrilled. By all means this is not a super set up, but for the money and his expectations, he got a lot more than he bargained for. His receiver was reconditioned by HK and works great. New warranty also. Good luck!

03-04-2004, 12:58 PM
Quick note on the Yamahas, the models that you listed are about to get discontinued, and I've seen retailers start closeout sales on their remaining units. That RX-V640 currently goes for $400 and under, and the RX-V540 should sell for about $300. The 640 is worth the extra moolah because it has component video switching, some extra power, and preouts in case you want to hook up an external amp later on. If you can afford to go to $500, the RX-V740 adds on-screen display, a programmable remote, and a phono input. The 640 and 740 use identical amplifiers, and should have more than enough power for your short-term needs.

Keep in mind that the HTR-5650 is the same thing as the RX-V540, and the HTR-5660 is the same thing as the RX-V640. The only difference is the stores where they are sold.

Eric Z
03-04-2004, 01:32 PM
Great advice and info, Woochifer!! I'm all for discountined products as long as it's not being discontinued due to poor performance.

Thanks again!

03-04-2004, 09:02 PM
Great advice and info, Woochifer!! I'm all for discountined products as long as it's not being discontinued due to poor performance.

Thanks again!

Nah, no worry about inferior performance -- Yamaha always updates their entry level lineup around this time of year. Typically, the new entry level models start arriving April or May, so this is right on schedule. The only question is whether the newer models represent enough of an upgrade that you should consider waiting for, or if you should just pocket the savings and enjoy. Either way, you're in a good spot right now.

If Yamaha's new entry level models add the YPAO parametric room calibration feature that they introduced with their flagship and midlevel models last year, then they very well might be worth waiting for, because nothing in the entry level class has that level of capability right now. (Pioneer migrated their own room calibration feature over to their entry level receivers last year, but from I understand it's not as advanced as the one that's in their Elite receivers and the YPAO system)