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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-07-2010 03:19 PM
Originally Posted by ricsim78 View Post
Marantz is also made by Denon, but the Denon will be better in almost every way and cost slightly more.
That is incorrect. Both Denon and Marantz are owned by D&M Holdings

While both may hold similar designs and sound, Marantz is almost universally regarded as the higher end product line. It is true that Denon has several more models of HT receivers and some very nice and expensive ones at that, but Marantz more more geared towards stereo and hi-fi. (take a look through the Marantz Reference series, there's some great sounding gear there!)


02-04-2010 12:08 PM
ricsim78 Sony, Aiwa, Kenwood, Marantz, Sherwood, Technics, Panasonic, etc.

These are also choices available.

Marantz is also made by Denon, but the Denon will be better in almost every way and cost slightly more.

Sherwood is hit or miss, sound is reportedly good on some units, but will pale when compared to The "BIG 4" in the above post.

Sony: Great feature set and good prices for amount of features, nothing else. Unless you buy the extreme high end units, it will pale when compared to the BIG 4.

Harmon Karden: Great sound, will compare to BIG 4 (sometimes even beat them, subjectively) but units cost more, are rated lower wattage (not much of a difference, few decibels at most) and usually will not have as many features for comparative units from the BIG 4. Preferable to any other brand listed here though! That is why it is not part of a BIG 5. I would rather have the above though, unit per unit.

These units may have good features and can be had for dirt cheap, but you are not going to have the reliability, sound quality, and features of the BIG 4.

Technics: Devision of Panasonic. My dad has a "higher" (read: more expensive) Technics than my older Pioneer VSX-516K. The sound quality is absolutely horrible compared to the Pioneer! I gave him my old receiver, it sounded like he got a speaker upgrade.

These receivers work, they can have nice features, but Denon, Pioneer, Yamaha, and Onkyo are better bets and considered the high end units.
02-04-2010 11:50 AM
hometoast Thanks everyone for the well-thought info and suggestions.
Just got a new kitchen so the home audio situation is put on hold.
Unless things change I still like the onkyo + polk setup so far for bang/buck.
02-04-2010 11:33 AM
ricsim78 Denon, Pioneer, Onkyo, Yamaha. All are good and have their pluses and minuses.

Onkyo = Good all around sound, features, price. Uses Audessey for auto setup. Not as tweakable as other brands. I would say best all around, I love mine! Onkyo is usually rated closer to the reported watts per channel than other brands when tested using equipment. Known to have a lively but neutral sound, so will work better with the widest amount of speaker choices.

Denon = Some prefer Denon sound to other brands. Pricier per comparative unit. More tweak-able but much more difficult user interface to navigate and figure out. Controller is usually the biggest complaint. Very close to Onkyo as far as specs compared to actual output. Also uses Audessey for auto setup.

Pioneer = Good but more front-orientated sound (usually, the front channels are cleaner than the surrounds) , pricier for the Elite line, lower lines usually do not compare to other brands in features or sound quality. Notorious for exaggerated specs for watts per channels. Uses custom MCACC auto setup.

Yamaha = Most amount of DSP (surround modes), known to produce a bright sound (Klipsch speakers plus Yamaha is usually a big no-no. Bright speakers plus bright sound = too bright, listening fatigue possible). YPAO auto setup (custom, not as standardized as Audessey.) Again, notorious exaggerated watts per channel specs.

A good unit from any of the above will serve you for a long time, go with the brand that has the features you want in the price range you want. All have strengths and minuses. Choose your poison!
02-03-2010 10:58 PM
Mr Bear PS3 + Denon or Pioneer HT receiver.
02-03-2010 09:47 AM
ricsim78 I have an Onkyo TX-SR706 and it is just amazing, the performance is just awesome. The fact I got this for $350.00 (about half of what you pay for this new, even though it is a year old and the newer SR 707 is out) off Craigslist from a guy who happened to only use it twice (bought it in March of last year). He has a studio setup and never really used it, so he sold it to me for dirt cheap.

Anyways, Onkyo makes a good receiver. With some decent speakers, you will be quite happy.

Polk makes great speakers, if you really wanted to save some money yet still get awesome sound, may I suggest BIC America speakers? I have the Formula center (horn tweeter), 2 DV64 floorstanders, and 2 sets of DV62i's as my surround and surround back speakers and let me tell you, it sounds like I spend thousands on my speakers, when I did not even spend a grand! I am still using my 10" Yamaha 100 watt sub, so that definitely needs replacement, but still, this combo delivers on a budget.

BIC is sold at Amazon with great prices and free shipping. Polk, Infinity, Cambridge Soundworks Model 6 speakers. All are good makers of speakers and can be had for relatively budget prices.

At a bare minimum, I would get 2 floorstanders and a sub for a larger room, 2 bookshelves on stands and a sub for a smaller room. Then work on expanding your setup for surround sound.
02-03-2010 08:51 AM
Originally Posted by Mark the Bold View Post
I have the Onkyo 606 (7.1) receiver and I really like it. Hometheatermag reviews it here: http://hometheatermag.com/receivers/808onk/

The 607 you want is basically the same, except with 7.2 instead of 7.1.
And the addition of Dolby PL IIz, with two "Front Height" speakers hooked up, and PLIIz running, sounds pretty amazing.
02-03-2010 08:44 AM
Originally Posted by hometoast View Post
Yeah, I'm trying to work on a budget.

I did pick up a Panasonic BD60
A very good choice.. the DMP-BD60 will hold up against any more expensive BD player. Higer price does not always mean better quality. In just about every review you read about that player, it will stack up against any player that costs 4x as much. The only real thing that it is missing is the ability to play HD Audio disks (SACD/DVD Audio), doesn't have multi channel analog audio out (which you wouldn't need anyway when paired with the SR-607), doesn't have built in memory for storing BD Live content (if you plan to use this feature, you will need to invest in an SD memory card, which isn't a bad idea anyway, because the player cannot receive updates without one), and is a little slower in loading disks. Once the disks are loaded, video and sound are superb.
01-29-2010 07:56 AM
Mark the Bold I have the Onkyo 606 (7.1) receiver and I really like it. Hometheatermag reviews it here: http://hometheatermag.com/receivers/808onk/

The 607 you want is basically the same, except with 7.2 instead of 7.1. I wired my house 7.1, but in hindsight I should have gotten a THX amp because it "uploads" a 5.1 signal to 7.1 much better. Good ol' Lucas. I'm quoting a friend of mine below for a similar question:

Regarding speakers, if you know your way around a work bench, and with a budget like that I'd build my own speakers.


Well you might be able to get the boxes cut relatively cheap locally depending on who is in your area.


I'd use 5 of these any day, and honestly you could get by without a sub for a long time as long as you don't have insane bass requirements. They'll do bass heavy music very well, low frequency explosions not so much but they'll certainly let you feel it. But that's in addition to having exemplary sound quality for the price.

Tough to beat, imo.

Otherwise, I'd be checking out some of Paradigms lower-end stuff. Always been a fan, though I haven't heard any of their newer models.

Edit: Scratch that "five of these" bit. Ever since making my own speakers I have never seen a need for a center channel, provided the room you have your surround setup in is of decent size. Virtually all receivers will send the center channel signal to the front left/right speakers if you shut it off. Sounds much, much better in my opinion and saves you the additional cost. Soundstage is vastly improved and you don't lose any 'action' sound across your mains, it sounds just like the center is there but much more natural, much smoother.

Just my thoughts on it, I'm sure others have tried it as well and may have their own to add to this...
01-29-2010 07:46 AM
Mark the Bold
Originally Posted by hometoast View Post
Yeah, I'm trying to work on a budget.

I did pick up a Panasonic BD60
A fine choice. I got this for my parents for Christmas, and its a great deal. Panasonic has wonderful customer service and firmware support.
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