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  1. #1
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    Aug 2005

    Question Has' been audio geek needs advice for NEW a/v RECEIVER

    OK, 12 years ago I bought a Sony STR-D1011 - very nice receiver in it's day. But it's day has passed...

    Recently, I got bit by the bug - the bug that compels me to update my a/v receiver. I am not up-to-date on the latest craze or gadgets. Here is where you can help...

    I want better quality sound than what I had...more channels (7.1)...I like to be able to make manual adjustments - better said, I like options!...quality overall that will last another 10 + years.

    Here are 3 receivers I have been looking at:

    Sony DA3100ES
    Denon AVR3805
    Harmon Kardon AVR6305

    Price range is similar...features seem close. Any good or bad info on these receivers or other notable receivers in this price range ($600 - 1200)?

    I know this leaves much room for discussion and preferences but I just hope to get a little bit of feedback to help me make a decesion.

  2. #2
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
    Definitely drop the Sony from the list due to poor sound and build quality.

    Add Onkyo, Marantz, and Yamaha to the list...I've never heard a Denon or HK that I liked.

    Don't worry so much about 7.1 since no 7.1 DVD's exist, you'll be better off with a better quality 5.1 reciever than a mediocre 7.1 receiver. Also consider if your room will even support 7.1 (need lots of room behind seating position).

  3. #3
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    Mar 2002


    i have never been convinced that anything from sony or HK is worth the money. In addition to N.Abstentia's suggestiongs, check out Integra(yeah, i know it's basically onkyo, but a little better) and NAD. I was looking for receivers in the 1k range last year and ended up with an Integra DTR-6.4 (now it would be a 6.5). I thought the Integra sounded slightly better than a Denon at the same price. Frankly for music I liked the NAD better (although the listening conditions at that store were more favorable), but ended up with the Integra because it had better features, and a better reputation for reliability. If i didn't usually listen to music on my 2channel rig though, i likely would have gone for the NAD (sorry i can't remember which model it was.)

  4. #4
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by sjdistributors
    Here are 3 receivers I have been looking at:

    Sony DA3100ES
    Denon AVR3805
    Harmon Kardon AVR630
    Gotta add Yamaha, and Pioneer Elite into your list if your looking for a ~$1k receiver.
    Ming Da MC34-AB 75wpc
    PS Audio Classic 250. 500wpc into 4 ohms.
    PS Audio 4.5 preamp,
    Marantz 6170 TT Shure M97e cart.
    Arcam Alpha 9 CD.- 24 bit dCS Ring DAC.
    Magnepan 3.6r speakers Oak/black,

  5. #5
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    May 2005
    Here is a recurring theme- I'd get the Denon 3805. If you want to save money, you can get the Denon 3801 on Ebay for between $375-$450 with shipping used in very good to excellent condition with remote & manual and its 7.1 If money isn't important then get the Denon 3805 new. I'd also get a high end DVD player- I personally recommend Harmon Kardon 31 DVD player & good component & optic cables.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2005
    Could someone give me a model or two in a Pioneer Elite and Onkyo that would be in the same/similar category as the Denon 3805, HK 635, and Yamaha 2500? I am just not familar with the brands/models. Thanks

  7. #7
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    OK. Sony is out - I have read way too many dishearted reports, even with the ES series.

    I just brought home the H/K avr635 to try out. I really like the 2-tone look (traditional black with a little more "trendy" silver/aluminum finish). I also like the clean look to the front.

    Sound wise - this thing (75 watts) blows my old 120 watt Sony out of the water - no comparison at all. The sound to me is much clearer and crisper. Imaging is fantastic.

    Options I like: Bass management, adjustable crossovers, remote basic controls are easy, and eZsetup - I adjusted everything (delay, size, volume, crossover, etc) to each speaker myself before running the ezsetup just to see how well it worked. In less than 5 minutes from start to finish, the ezsetup made the same adjustments as I made except in regards to my sub - it lowered the output to -10 whereas I had it at +4. Yep, strange as it may seem the bass sounds better at -10. (worthy of note: I actually measured the distance from my sweet spot to all speakers, 5.1 current set up. The ezsetup was as accurate in distance from each speaker as my actual measurements and it was a lot quicker).

    Cons: Seeing how I like user options, I wish the h/k offered more DSP soundfields. A couple of Hall and Theater are the only ones offered. While this model offers Dolby Pro Logic II it does not offer the IIx - even though I don't know if that is a big deal or not, I would like to think the latest model out would have included it.

    I bought this locally knowing I wanted to try it out first and have the "satisfaction guarantee" option. It looks like the Denon 3805 and Yamaha 2500 would be worthy of a test drive too.

  8. #8
    LMB is offline
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    Jun 2003
    checkout the Pioneer Elite56TXI

  9. #9
    DIY Dude poneal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    TX, USA

    HK is my take

    HK makes great AVR and if you like it I would keep it. At least they're honest in the specs, unlike many other manufacturers. The newer AVR series has all the bells and whistles that you need. Preouts, excellent bass crossover for all speakers, not just the mains, and many others. Their manuals are excellent. I have an older AVR320 that I've had for over 3 years with no problems at all. It drives my 4ohm speakers flawlessly. Plenty of power. Deep bass. So I say if you like, keep it.

  10. #10
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    Feb 2002
    Dallas, TX

    do you live near a "Fry's?"

    ...if you do, I'd suggest checking out the HK DPR-2005, they've got it for a clearance price of $499 right now. see here: Harmon Kardon DPR2005 - deal of the year? for more info.

    Cheers, and enjoy the search!

  11. #11
    Resident DVD Reviewer
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    DO NOT----and I repeat---DO NOT buy ANYTHING Sony receiver related UNLESS it is from their ES line; it is often known their stuff has become greatly unreliable----their home theater RECEIVER stuff that is.....I would STILL buy a Sony display/TV in a heartbeat, though; they seem to know what they're doing in the video world.

    That being said, here's how you should consider your receiver options:

    Yamaha (if need be)

    If you want to get a little more expensive, you can look at Onkyo's INTEGRA line of receivers. While Marantz is a good brand (I own a CD changer and CD recorder of theirs), I was not that impressed with their receivers so much as their other products, such as my aforementioned CD recorder (DR700) and CD changer (CC67).

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