Home Theater vs Stereo Receiver


I haven't bought a receiver in 15 plus years, and am consequently confused. Do I even need a Home Theater (A/V) receiver? Does anyone have any advice given the following:
Main Speakers = Polk RT1000 towers
Rear Speakers = BIC Bookshelf
Subwoofer = JVC 12"
I use my equipment for music listening approx. 80% of the time, and DVD's (movies, etc.) the other 20%. DO NOT plan on replacing the current speakers with a 5 speaker home theater set-up, but would like to have Dolby Digital decoding ability.
Receiver MUST have a phono input (which let's Onkyo out); and would like 100 watts RMS per channel. Also would like to keep the price around $500 or $600 (or less). Any help would be appreciated.

Greg Lee
Everyone needs an A/V receiver. I don't see why you'd need to replace your speakers. The only issue here is timbre matching, which is a benefit you might get by buying an HT set. You could do that later, if you become dissatisfied with the speakers you have now.

Doesn't Onkyo have any receivers with phono inputs? Well, at any rate, there are lots of receivers that do. Since you're here in a hotbed of Kenwood VR-6070 enthusiasts, take a look the long thread about it -- fewer than 900 postings to read through. It does have a phono input (no good for moving coil cartridges) and goes for $400-$450 from internet sellers.


At the price point you are considering, I would go with an AV receiver. Check out the Denon 2802.


While the Kenwood 6070 is a fine box for movies, it is generally considered (even by its owners and fans) to be less than stellar on 2-channel music.

It's strength (if you feel that it is one) is that it is one of THE lowest priced THX certified receivers on the market. While encouraging you to listen for yourself, I would not recommend that specific reciever for you.

If 2-channel music is important to you, I would consider a Harman/Kardon. Also, if phono input is critical (sounds like you have a big vinyl collection), I would splurge on a decent external pre-amp specifically for your phonograph. Good ones can be had around $100 and you can go directly into the pre-ins of a good AV receiver...giving you the best of all worlds.

Good luck!

*be careful of low-priced receivers that advertise 100w/ch AND phono input, you may not be happy with a "jack-of-all trades...master of none." I say this because quality sound seems of high import to you.
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