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  1. #1
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    Arrow HK AVR-235 versus Marantz SR5500

    Hi guys,

    I'm still in doubt which reciever to get. I know they're kinda old models now, but I rather pay less than get the latest features you don't use anyway. So I am considering one of these two options. I'm also wondering how these two measure up to the AVR-135 and SR4500 sound quality wise.

    I also heard that 40W of power from a HK is about equal to 75W on a Marantz reciever, is this a fable or not? It seems hard to believe but figures on a data sheet don't always give a good measure to compare.

    Any advice would be appreciated... even if I should be looking into a completely different reciever in this price range.


    I should add that it's main purpose for now is to power a (stereo with 2 speakers) audio set-up, but want to be able to expand to a home cinema set-up in the future (few years).

  2. #2
    Forum Regular Registered Member paul_pci's Avatar
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    In light of the few years from now HT plan, you have two primary options:

    1). Forget a surround receiver right now as in a few years, you'll need the HDMI switching capability and software finalization that doesn't exist now, so any AV receiver you buy now won't accomodate HT in a few years. That means, today you buy yourself a nice integrated amplifier that will do a nice job of driving your two speakers and situate you in audio nirvana for a few years.

    2). You know what I don't care about future technology, I want to start integrating surround sound today. In that case, buy yourself a nice receiver, Marantz, HK, Yamaha, Denon, and get your other 3 speakers and sub together, calibtrate it all, learn the ins and outs of a 5.1 system, and in a few years when new technology has become more stable and standard, boom, buy a nice up-to-date receiver to accomodate your HT dreams and the speakers you already have. .

  3. #3
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    I have HK AVR435 and I'm loving it. With this AVR435, power is very much enough for my small HT room.My in law has the Marantz 6500 and I don't like it much.... maybe because the set up and/or the room. GET THE HARMAN KARDON. Its' very cheap at www.etronics.com

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul_pci
    In light of the few years from now HT plan, you have two primary options:

    1). Forget a surround receiver right now as in a few years, you'll need the HDMI switching capability and software finalization that doesn't exist now, so any AV receiver you buy now won't accomodate HT in a few years. That means, today you buy yourself a nice integrated amplifier that will do a nice job of driving your two speakers and situate you in audio nirvana for a few years.

    2). You know what I don't care about future technology, I want to start integrating surround sound today. In that case, buy yourself a nice receiver, Marantz, HK, Yamaha, Denon, and get your other 3 speakers and sub together, calibtrate it all, learn the ins and outs of a 5.1 system, and in a few years when new technology has become more stable and standard, boom, buy a nice up-to-date receiver to accomodate your HT dreams and the speakers you already have. .
    Thanks for the reply. I still have to buy the first 2 speakers and everything else as well, so I guess option 1 is the best solution? However, the integrated amps I have seen do the same as the recievers but less. Building up a 5.1 set is not an option now, both in room space and budget. What would be a good integrated amplifier? Of what use is an integrated amp once buying a home theater reciever anyway?

    Right now HDMI is of no use to me, but the Denon 2807 which is the only affordable one, is still too expensive for me.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular Registered Member paul_pci's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHiX
    Thanks for the reply. I still have to buy the first 2 speakers and everything else as well, so I guess option 1 is the best solution? However, the integrated amps I have seen do the same as the recievers but less. Building up a 5.1 set is not an option now, both in room space and budget. What would be a good integrated amplifier? Of what use is an integrated amp once buying a home theater reciever anyway?

    Right now HDMI is of no use to me, but the Denon 2807 which is the only affordable one, is still too expensive for me.
    Ideally, an integrated amp will give you more audiophile quality sound ina compact box, as it were. Typically, the circuitry and amplification will be superior to your mass market a/v receivers, which are not schlocks, to be sure. It's just a matter of examining your equipment goals. One thing that would be missing from an integrated would be the tuner, which you could also accquire on the used market. Check out www.audioadvisor.com for their selection. Otherwise, consider Rotel, Cambridge, Arcam, Nad, and others. And then when it comes time to upgrade your system to a 5.1 ht, you can either sell the integrated or use it to set up a nice 2-channel system in another room.

    But on the other hand, if you are going to be plugging digital sources into what you want to buy (i.e. dvd movies, game console, digital cab/sat), then you may wish to go with an a/v receiver.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for your advice once again!

    Making decisions in a purchase like this is harder than I expected. I really have mixed feelings now, because I am not going to add more than 2 speakers within a year or two, but I like the idea that I can upgrade in the future and I'm not a real audiophile, I just want music that sounds good. On the other hand it'd be a waste buying a reciever with functionality I won't use any time soon when future recievers will be better and have modern functions.

    The idea was that I'd connect it to something that provides sound for anything I plug into my tv.... just not yet.

  7. #7
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul_pci
    In light of the few years from now HT plan, you have two primary options:

    1). Forget a surround receiver right now as in a few years, you'll need the HDMI switching capability and software finalization that doesn't exist now, so any AV receiver you buy now won't accomodate HT in a few years. .
    That is not true...Kindly do your research.

    frenchmon

  8. #8
    golden ear Registered Member
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    i own both HK AVR235 and marantz SR4500. i find the HK having a dull/laid back sound while the marantz having a forward/bright sound. while it is true that HK has a lot more power reserve than Marantz, the marantz suits my taste better. here is what i suggest. start with your speakers. if you find your speakers to be very bright sounding, go for the HK reciever. on the other hand, if you find your speakers to be dull sounding, go for the marantz. in this manner, you will be having a balanced sound output from your speakers. but then again, this would depend on your taste. if you would start from the reciever, buying any of these 2 wont get you wrong for they are both really good...just remember to match your speakers with their sonic character. also, it would be best if you would have an addl 2-ch power amp to supplement your audio listening experience. these receivers may not have enough power to produce a very good audio. try the combination of the marantz SR5500 and the MS502 THX floor standers.

  9. #9
    Forum Regular Registered Member paul_pci's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchmon
    That is not true...Kindly do your research.

    frenchmon
    What specifically isn't true here that you are referring to? I am referring to the fact the hdmi switching on current receivers have largely been a disaster and that they do not output the digital audio. Hdmi 1.3 has not been finalized nor implemented into any current hardware, and who knows what new upgrades or developments will be introduced by the time this guy is ready for his ht receiver.

  10. #10
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    By the way, are all audio options on these things accessible without connecting a screen? I am not planning to use it in combination with a tv at first if I buy one.

  11. #11
    Forum Regular Registered Member likeitloud's Avatar
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    Consider

    Unless your locked into those to choices(both good), consider the pioneer vsx1015,
    it's all over the web for under $400(thats CRAZY) it's seven channels, very expandable
    and ROCKS, bigtime in stereo. It's from 2005, so it's not yet out dated. I tested those
    units at a audio shop(and others) in my price range($500), and I love my choice.
    Hope this dosn't ad to the confusion(been there) Have Fun..Good Luck

    As Long As My Fingers And Brain Work...I'm Cool..Edward Van Halen

  12. #12
    golden ear Registered Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHiX
    By the way, are all audio options on these things accessible without connecting a screen? I am not planning to use it in combination with a tv at first if I buy one.
    no. the convenience options and bass management options for the AVR235 can only be adjusted through a monitor. the marantz has all its options adjustable even without one.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by accastil
    no. the convenience options and bass management options for the AVR235 can only be adjusted through a monitor. the marantz has all its options adjustable even without one.
    Thanks for the answer, no more HK for me then.

    Quote Originally Posted by likeitloud
    Unless your locked into those to choices(both good), consider the pioneer vsx1015,
    it's all over the web for under $400(thats CRAZY) it's seven channels, very expandable
    and ROCKS, bigtime in stereo. It's from 2005, so it's not yet out dated. I tested those
    units at a audio shop(and others) in my price range($500), and I love my choice.
    Hope this dosn't ad to the confusion(been there) Have Fun..Good Luck

    As Long As My Fingers And Brain Work...I'm Cool..Edward Van Halen
    Thanks, I'll keep it in mind. I won't order audio equipment on the web, so it'll depend on whether the store has it.

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