Low Budget Receiver


Bronze Member
Username: Hailandkill

Post Number: 15
Registered: Feb-05
I am looking to start buying parts for my stereo and a good way to start is with the receiver. I would like a surround receiver because later on I plan to add a few bookshelves and a center to have 5.1, or even 7.1. I'm on a budget of maybe $300 for the receiver. I haven't looked much but I do like this:


Anyone have any comments on that receiver? Can anyone also recommend me to another receiver for the same price?

As for the speakers, I want some nice cheap musical floorstanders, probably the Athena AS-F2 floorstanders for my fronts, and Athena AS-B2 bookshelves for rears and an Athena center later on. But again, that might change, I have yet to go out and listen to some speakers. Hope that helps some. Thanks for the replies!

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 396
Registered: Feb-04
What I like about Pioneer in this price range is that they still include pre-outs on all channels. Nice feature.

Having said that, I would probably not choose that Pioneer at that price. I would get the harman/kardon avr-235 for $336.95


or, for under $300, either the harman/kardon avr-135 for $279.99


or the all-digital path Panasonic SA-XR50 for $223.95 (also available in silver)


The harman/kardon have high-current amplifiers that handle difficult speakers, and have very good bass management. The Panasonic is said to sound well beyond its price when using digital inputs such as from a DVD.

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 173
Registered: Mar-05

for an extra $50 you can get the Pioneer 1014 for $350 shipped from onecall.com which should be MORE than ample power and features at that price point.

The all-digital receivers are the wild card; most people who buy them love them, some even have claimed to sell off their separates costing thousands of dollars more. But then again, there are some who complain about excessive brightness and a thin sound during music. I'm itching to experiment with the JVC RX-F10 myself, $230 shipped from amazon.com

But the Pioneer 1014 to me stands out as a very safe choice at this pricepoint. Go to hometheaterforum.com and do a search, there's a humongous 25 page thread on it, 95% raves.

Silver Member
Username: Smitty


Post Number: 191
Registered: Dec-03
If it's going to be a while until you get your center and surrounds (i.e. a year or more) I'd consider getting a decent integrated amp for now. Something like the Cambridge Audio 340a (US$250) or 540a(US$350). The stereo sound will be substantially better than either of those receivers IMHO. When you do eventually get a surround receiver the current 'high-end' features such as HDMI/DVI switching, network capability and A/V sync delay (not sure how common this is yet) should have trickled down to the $300 receivers.

Silver Member
Username: Eramsey

South carolina United States

Post Number: 102
Registered: Feb-05
I'll have to agree with Peter on this one. The entry model HK recievers are available for only a few hundred dollars and will have substantially better quality power supplies and more rigirous isolation of circuit boards and a better quality build. The HK's will also deal with difficult speaker loads more gracefully. Forget about a stereo amp Mr.Jones, after all you are planning on adding additional speakers for surround sound later so no point in buying an amp unless it is multi-channel. E.Ramsey

Silver Member
Username: Smitty


Post Number: 192
Registered: Dec-03
All the same, if you value stereo sound quality I'd spend at least a half-hour listening to an integrated amp. You may be suprised at how much better they sound, I know I was.
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