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  1. #1
    golden ear
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    model options - which is best in sound(music and HT)

    pioneer VSX815
    denon AVR1804
    onkyo TXSR502
    marantz SR4500
    harman kardon AVR135
    which among these 5 receivers is the best in both music and HT? i do not care about features here...i am looking for clear, crisp sound, punching bass for music and realism for HT.

  2. #2
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    I'm not that familiar with the HK or Marantz, however, at this pricepoint, you won't find too much of a difference between receivers. Pioneer, Denon, and Onkyo are all good receiver brands. If you want clear, crisp sound with punching bass, be sure your speakers are capable of providing clear, crisp sound with punching bass. I recommend throwing the Yamaha 5860/657 or a 5850/557 in the group of receivers as well.

  3. #3
    golden ear
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    ive already owned a yamaha and i am quite disappointed with its CD music stereo listening performance. it obviously lacks punch in the low frequencies. the main selling point of yamahas are its performance to HT and not with stereo CD music listening.

  4. #4
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    HAHAHAHAHA good one.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  5. #5
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    I think Eric's advice was right on. My biggest difference in sound came from upgrading my speakers. You should try out as many models as you can(at home if possible) until you find what your looking for. Take advantage of the 30 day return policy.

  6. #6
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    OK, if that's the range of receivers you are looking at you need to google panasonic digital recievers. Tons of threads on AA and AVS forums and if one tenth of the hype is correct then it's the receiver you are looking for.

    I can't believe I just typed that.

    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  7. #7
    asdf bjornb17's Avatar
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    i have the avr130 (older version of the avr135) and i like it alot. its fantastic for both music and HT, and is very versatile when it comes to bass managements and crossover settings.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by accastil
    ive already owned a yamaha and i am quite disappointed with its CD music stereo listening performance. it obviously lacks punch in the low frequencies. the main selling point of yamahas are its performance to HT and not with stereo CD music listening.
    Can't disagree. Before I got my current receiver, I tried three Yamahas was utterly disappointed. No musical bass to the L/R channels whatsoever.

    I have the predecessor to the Pioneer 815 (814) and I am very happy with it.

  9. #9
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    "musical bass"? Yamahas and these other receivers measure ruler flat, if played within their capacities, you shouldn't hear much difference. Bass differences will be accounted for by your other equipment and room acoustics. You pretty much have to go to far better electronics, integrateds, separates, ect, to really notice a positive difference in sound quality, and then it's not that much until you spend much more money. A/V receivers are what they are.

  10. #10
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Buy for the features

    Quote Originally Posted by accastil
    pioneer VSX815
    denon AVR1804
    onkyo TXSR502
    marantz SR4500
    harman kardon AVR135
    which among these 5 receivers is the best in both music and HT? i do not care about features here...i am looking for clear, crisp sound, punching bass for music and realism for HT.

    All of them are good values, but the Pioneer is the cheapest receiver with auto setup. I don't think you'll find any difference in bass between them, or any other audio quality for that matter.
    Audio;
    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,

  11. #11
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    If music lacks bass, it's not the receivers fault- I recommend double checking the setting and go from there. LJ hit it right on the head- try some different receivers at home and take advantage of the return policy- I will guarantee that in the sub $500 field, you will not notice much difference at all with sound- bass, highs, brightness, sharp, etc. Now if you're upgrading from an older not as efficient receveir, then you'll hear a difference, but definitely not from $400 to $400 receiver.

    I had an older Sony that did the job in college, but noticed my speakers clipping a lot. At first I thought it was my speakers. I then picked up the Yamaha 5760 and it made a world of difference- I then borrowed my brothers Onkyo (601 or 602 or something like that) and noticed no difference at all. I liked the Yamaha because of the auto set-up.

    I like Geoffcin's point about buying for features- the auto set-up saves a bunch of time (especially if you're not a SPL pro).

    I'm curious what Yamahas were you disappointed with, accastill and caniac?

  12. #12
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    First off, I tried all three in the same room, same conditions, same speakers, same cables, same everything.

    The first one I tried was the HTR5830 (at least I'm 99% sure that's what it was, from looking at the Best Buy website). The sound was so bad I thought my speakers were wired out-of-phase. After checking and double-checking EVERYTHING (wiring, DSP settings, tone controls, the whole nine yards), I finally concluded that it was defective. Went back to Best Buy and got another one with the same sound.

    So I returned that one too, got my money back and went to a locally-owned hi-fi shop. I got a 5850 model this time. The bass was definitely better, but it was still a little airy-sounding for my tastes.

    BUT, I was going to keep it until I listened to the Pioneer, which made me change my mind. The sound suited my tastes much more, plus it was $200 cheaper. Not trying to bash anybody's receiver, or pump mine, just a matter of personal taste.

    FWIW, all these newer receivers lack bass in stereo mode to me. Frankly, I think the manufacturers make them that way now so we all have to go out and buy those expensive powered subwoofers.

  13. #13
    golden ear
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Z
    If music lacks bass, it's not the receivers fault- I recommend double checking the setting and go from there. LJ hit it right on the head- try some different receivers at home and take advantage of the return policy- I will guarantee that in the sub $500 field, you will not notice much difference at all with sound- bass, highs, brightness, sharp, etc. Now if you're upgrading from an older not as efficient receveir, then you'll hear a difference, but definitely not from $400 to $400 receiver.

    I had an older Sony that did the job in college, but noticed my speakers clipping a lot. At first I thought it was my speakers. I then picked up the Yamaha 5760 and it made a world of difference- I then borrowed my brothers Onkyo (601 or 602 or something like that) and noticed no difference at all. I liked the Yamaha because of the auto set-up.

    I like Geoffcin's point about buying for features- the auto set-up saves a bunch of time (especially if you're not a SPL pro).

    I'm curious what Yamahas were you disappointed with, accastill and caniac?
    all yammies from their entry level up to the high-end models lacks the punch in bass reproduction. there is no doubt, yammies are the BEST in HT. but then there is no doubt..yammies suck for STEREO CD MUSIC listening.
    actually, i liked the marantz better in HT as compared to even the hi-end yammy rxvr.

  14. #14
    golden ear
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjornb17
    i have the avr130 (older version of the avr135) and i like it alot. its fantastic for both music and HT, and is very versatile when it comes to bass managements and crossover settings.
    i totally agree. however, you should have tried the marantzSR series before buying the HK. it could have given you better price for your bucks if its sound you are really after.

  15. #15
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by accastil
    there is no doubt..yammies suck for STEREO CD MUSIC listening.
    .
    There is plenty of doubt. In fact, this statement is completely false. Funny thing about facts, they remain facts even if you don't believe in them.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  16. #16
    golden ear
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    There is plenty of doubt. In fact, this statement is completely false. Funny thing about facts, they remain facts even if you don't believe in them.
    Hi Gmichael. i totally agree, facts remain to be true even if people believe in them or not. when faced with a bunch of A/V receivers to choose from, how do you remove "perception" and "favoritism"? use your ears first before your judgment, and not the other way around.

  17. #17
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by accastil
    Hi Gmichael. i totally agree, facts remain to be true even if people believe in them or not. when faced with a bunch of A/V receivers to choose from, how do you remove "perception" and "favoritism"? use your ears first before your judgment, and not the other way around.
    That's what I do. How about you?
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

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