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  1. #1
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Best AVR for under $600 USD?

    Looking to build a HT for myself in a 14 x 14 ft room. It will be mainly movies so I'm going to go with a 7.1 horn speaker set-up. I'm going to be somewhat on a budget but I want to get an AVR that will give me some good features. Support for the new HD audio formats is essential because I watch a lot of blu-ray and stream movies from my wired home network via my PS3. I also want to make sure HDMI 1.3 support is there, preferably with up-scaling to a high-def res. Since the horns will be very efficient, I feel I can get away with a receiver that doesn't necessarily have mountains of power, and consequently coast mountains of Benjamins. I'd like to keep it at or under $600 or so. Here is what I've considered:

    Onkyo TX-SR606
    Yamaha RX-V663
    H/K AVR 254
    Pioneer VSX-1018

    Ideally I'd like a Denon AVR but they don't have the feature set these do at this price range.

    If anyone can comment on how each or any of these sound compared to the others, or how they might match up with the horns. I have some reservations about the Onkyo after reading some comments about unwanted noise during bright images passed at 1080p.

  2. #2
    Village Idiot johnny p's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    I'd get this and save some cash...

    No, it doesn't decode all of the new CODECS, but your PS3 will, so you just set it to bitstream, and have the receiver accept PCM, and you'll be getting HD-MA, etc.... if you hit "select" on the PS3 remote, it'll show you the audio you're getting.... no need to get a receiver capable of all that stuff when the PS3 can decode just fine.....

    Besides this is a great sound, at a minimal cost...

    good luck!

  3. #3
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posted in da cut
    JP is right. You could get away with an AVR without HD audio decoding with the PS3. The only suggestion I would add is to be careful because some AVRs will have limitations with multichannel PCM via HDMI. Do research. The Onkyo 605, for example, cannot apply post surround processing to MPCM. This may be a concern since you plan on going 7.1 and there's only a handful of BR titles with a 7.1 track. You may get stuck with the use of only 5.1 sound from a bunch of your BR movies.

    I know the Yammies are OK. Higher end Onkyo's(705 & up) and most Denon's are good, not sure on the 606 or lower end Marantz, Pioneer gear. Something to look into though.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Thanks for the intel! I suppose I can consider some Denon models after all! I will always be using my PS3 to play me Blu-rays and passing audio and video to my AVR via HDMI. But I didn't clue in that my PS3 could do the decoding work. Sweeeet.

    The Onkyo 606 and Pioneer 1018 are my least favorit possibilities and I appreciate your warnings. That's exactly what I'm looking for. Should I be leaning toward any particular model based on sound? I've been leaning toward the H/K but I have heard that they can sound a little flat, or almost too neutral, or in other words more musical, and I wouldn't mind something colorful for movies. Can anyone comment on that? Got this info from a guy at Fry's.

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