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View Full Version : $400-500 receiver advice needed


TexasGuy
04-10-01, 08:23 AM
I've been shopping for a receiver to replace my 15-year old Vector Research model (still works great, btw). I'm budgeting about $400-500 and don't want to go higher since I'm also getting a new Toshiba 56H80 in the near future and need to save money.

I've narrowed it down to three models that fit my price range:
Sony DB-940
Denon AVR-2801
Pioneer Elite VSX-33TX

Any advice/opinions appreciated. For speakers, I've got new Klipsch KLF-30 mains and old Infinity surrounds (which I'll probably replace in the next year after adding a subwoofer and center channel). Home theater is the top priority, music is secondary.

matchpenalty
04-10-01, 06:28 PM
Texasguy,

If you are willing to buy a refurb, you might be able to upscale a bit to the Denon AVR-3300.. Have seen those trade in your range at ubid. (I am not a fan of ubid, but that unit is a good one)

Though you are getting a new TV, the receiver is going to be the guts of your HT audio. It might be worth a couple hundred of pain if you really get something for it....

Stuff in the 600 area might bring the outlaw and marantz into the realm of possibility.

David From NY
04-10-01, 07:32 PM
Taxesguy,

What are you going to use the receiver for ? HT only or both HT and music ? If you listen to a lot of music, I will suggest a Marantz SR5000.

Instead of buying over the net, you could check out the demo or open box unit from your higher end HT store. I just brought a Marantz SR7000 for $620. It was a customer return and carries FULL warranty. There is nothing wrong with the unit.

Good Hunting !

Regards,
David

1blwnsaleen
04-10-01, 07:33 PM
Texas guy made a good point. I know there are those out there whom will argue that there will always be a better and more powerful unit out there, and they are right. However those economics students out there will remember the law of diminishing marginal utility. Basically saying that when you go from a 100+ watt per chanel mid to hi-fi receiver like a Pioneer Elite, Denon, Marantz, Harmon Kardon, etc., the next years model or the model the year after that isn't going to make that much of a difference in your system. I personally feel that good research and careful selection could yeild you a system that will be suffecient for many years to come. I have owned the Denon 330 for about a half year now and have been pretty happy. I bought it with the intention of not needing to upgrade for a very long time. Then the 3801 came out. Damn it plays dts ES, it's got more sound fields, you know what, I still havn't used the one I have to fullest potential.

Point is, and this coincides with what Texas Guy said, maybe spend a little more and be really happy with something for a long time as opposed to limiting yourself to $400-$500.

I've been pleased with my Denon, no problems other than switching the optical to coaxle inputs and have had great performance.

1blwnsaleen
04-10-01, 07:35 PM
Sorry I meant matchpenalty made a good point. It's been a long day.

TexasGuy
04-10-01, 08:52 PM
Actually, I have been considering upping my budget, since I'm really not excited about any of the models I listed. (I had the feeling I was settling rather than buying something I wanted.) I've never been blown away by the Marantz units either, they sound great but a little artificial at the same time.

I had never heard of the Outlaw suggested by matchpenalty. However, after some research this evening it looks pretty impressive, certainly enough to justify the extra $100. I found very little criticism of the unit, and a lot of praise. I'll keep researching it, but if anyone has info about it I would appreciate knowing a little more.

Thanks for the tip.

kbconv
04-11-01, 12:55 AM
I assume you know the new DPL II receivers are on the way soon which could be benificial if you listen to many older Pro Logic tapes or DVD's(also surround music). I do and am tired of trying to hear the center channel and just returned a 5280 to wait a few weeks for an Onkyo.(haven't seen a Denon model announce yet except high end upgrade model).

Also, this could mean great prices for last years models also soon!

matchpenalty
04-11-01, 06:06 PM
Originally posted by TexasGuy
Actually, I have been considering upping my budget, since I'm really not excited about any of the models I listed. (I had the feeling I was settling rather than buying something I wanted.) I've never been blown away by the Marantz units either, they sound great but a little artificial at the same time.

I had never heard of the Outlaw suggested by matchpenalty. However, after some research this evening it looks pretty impressive, certainly enough to justify the extra $100. I found very little criticism of the unit, and a lot of praise. I'll keep researching it, but if anyone has info about it I would appreciate knowing a little more.

Thanks for the tip.

Glad to help. Don't know if you heard the Marantz SR-7000, but it is one of the best values out there. Cannot believe it wouldn't impress you. I actually have the SR-8000, but given your objectives, going above the 700 area doesn't seem to make any sense. 1blwnsaleen really got to the meat of my point that just a slight bit more makes a whole new range of product in the game (and there are some excellent products in the 500-700 range instead of just good products)

TexasGuy
04-11-01, 11:40 PM
I just placed the order for the Outlaw 1050 for $654 shipped. Worst case scenario, I can return it if I don't like it. I searched a lot of sources, specifically looking for comparisons to the Marantz 7000 series, and almost universally everyone who demo'ed both units directly preferred the Outlaw. Plus, I called them today and a live tech rep answered the phone (no voice mail maze to navigate), and knew the answers to my questions. Sadly, I suspect that will change as they grow.

It looks like they have some interesting products in development. I would have preferred waiting for the separates, but I'd rather spend money upgrading my TV, speakers, and cabling first, and upgrade to separates later.

Tsar Chasm
04-12-01, 11:54 AM
I would consider the Sony 333ES receiver. 5 year warranty. Can be had for your budget with ease. Blows the doors off their "Wal-Mart" receivers.

patrckpiteo
04-12-01, 12:26 PM
I have the SONY 333ES and it rocks. Clean crisp sound plenty of digital inpouts, and built real well. Like a tank. I paid $483.00 total. FedEx deliverd from onecall.com.