• 01-07-2007, 07:52 PM
    salad 419
    New reciever. Phase One Complete
    I've been researching and reading professional and consumer reviews for almost two months now and have changed my mind a million times. The list goes back and forth from the Onkyo TX-SR803 to the TX-SR804 to Yamaha RX-V1600. Then almost got a Pioneer Elite VSX-81TXV. My goal was to get a $1000 List Price 100 watt or more reciever for around $600. I almost ordered The Yamaha several times until I read reviews of a comparison between it a similarly priced Dennon and Yamaha. The results were that the Yamaha won everything but the 2-channel music portion and the Dennon excelled in that area. SO..........(sorry for the preamble)

    I was at a semi-local big box store the other day and they had a Last Unit Dennon AVR-886S (Similar to the 2106) on clearance for $415. I woulda snagged it up, but didn't have a credit card on me. I did some research on that model and went back a few days later determined to get the Dennon. I walked in and said I want THAT receiver. The sales guy started in. How about one of these and those and on and on..... Then he said I'll match the price of the Dennon with this Harman Kardon AVR-245. I didn't do ANY research on the HK's because I thought they were pricey. I did read a few posts here and other places about their conservative power ratings and all channel driven blah blah. Anyway. I listened to the HK. Then I made the guy hook up the Dennon to his multi-unit display and A/B test the two recievers. The HK was slightly louder than the Dennon at the same -21db level and sounded a bit rounder and more detailed. So, I bought the Harman Kardon which was rated at 50x7. (Owners manual states 65wx2)

    I hooked it up and WOW, I have NEVER heard such detail and musical goodness (even on my not so good speakers). You can actually hear the bass guitar notes and strings being plucked.and a kick drum sounds just like you were standing in front of it. (I'm sure we've all been in bands before, right??) My Boomy Cerwin Vegas are tight and punchy. I stayed up all night listening and the rest of the weekend has been spent listening to music. I played a bunch of albums that I've heard several hundred times and found things in them that I never heard before. Here's a quote from some random internet review and I 2nd it : "You enjoy tighter bass, superb transient response and enhanced presence at any volume level."

    Anyway I'm rambling. But I just can't believe that a reciever change could have made that much of a difference on speakers that aren't transparent. The sound is very tolerable and brought some excitement back into music. While my speakers are not even close to being "audiophile enough" I'm REALLY happy with the purchase of the reciever. This reciever is DAMN loud and clean. I just have to decide what speakers to buy. Let the fun begin.

    Current Speakers are Cerwin Vega E-710 and LW-12 sub.
    I also have my old Pioneer CS-G403 15 inch 3-ways in Zone 2. (No bottom end, but the highs are nicer).

    Ok, there's my psuedo review/happy post.
  • 01-07-2007, 08:09 PM
    I wish you could have compared the Pioneer along with the others.
  • 01-08-2007, 09:40 AM
    can one get a pioneer elite 81 for ~$415?

    glad you are happy! sounds like you did a lot of research and got a good deal!

    what are you looking for with new speakers?

    take lots of time and audition as many speakers as you can...
    for sure check out Focal JM Lab and Paradigm
  • 01-08-2007, 11:26 AM
    sorry, I paid $650 for it, didn't do much research my old Eilte 26TX suffered the no sound bug and I was looking for a replacement. I was hoping to find older 47 or 49 for under 1k then I saw the 80 then the 81 and at the price I went for the 81..

    Speakers??? I still search ebay for more Pro X77's I use 4 of them for my bedroom setup. For the size I have not heard a better speaker. Floor standing is out of the question (wife don't like them) When ppl asked me about speakers for a sat setup I always recommed the X77's and I have had no one come back and complain yet. If were to upgrade them I would go for the Axiom's
  • 01-08-2007, 11:37 AM
    some of that old Optimus stuff is very good!
  • 01-08-2007, 12:44 PM
    And the nice part is that you can still find brand new speakers from wholesellers on the net. I watching a pair now for only $25.00 still in orignal boxes.
  • 01-09-2007, 03:58 PM
    wait, we're you buying this for home theatre use? or stereo use?
  • 01-09-2007, 06:42 PM
    the Pro X77's work well for both. They give a very nice sound stage for HT fronts and rears, just make sure you get a sub to handle to deep bass. And have a very detail sound for stereo listening, they aren't for the party style levels, but do very well for that lower to mid volume listening.