I have been offered the choice between Onkyo 602 and Pioneer 1014, new, for within 5% of the same price. Both are soon to be replaced by new models--not an option. Don't need Onkyo dual source. Will buy new speakers based on choice. Medium-size family room location. Unsophisticated HT application plus music plus FM Tuner. No brand bias. Need advice on how to make the decision. Any suggestions?
I'd take the 1014 hands down. It's got more power and a lot more features. Go to the hometheaterforum.com and check out the 20-page thread on the 1014.
The only advantage of the Onkyo is that it will be slightly easier to set up and has a more intuitve interface.
If you're really not sure, why not buy both from a place with a reasonable return policy and return the one you like less?
Onkyo 602 $350 delivered from J&R; Pioneer 1014 $370 delivered from Etronics (new, no warranty).
I had this same dilemma myself a few weeks back. I was having a difficult time deciding between a 602, a 1014, and a Yamaha 5790 (I also looked and listened to Denons and HKs, but I wasn't as impressed with them as many others have been in these forums). I listened to all of them, but to my ears the 1014 sounded the best (and the specs are hard to beat - very powerful amps). Of course, each person will hear subtleties that the next person may not. So, I guess what I'm saying is it's all subjective.
I would suggest listening to the 602 and the 1014 side-by-side if that's possible. Though I obviously would go with the 1014, either one will be a good choice. Good luck!