"Best" Receiver at $2500? 49TXi?


I was originally looking at Flagship models (Yamaha RX-Z9, Denon 5803, etc.)and while price is not that much of an issue it seems to me that you can get a better "bang for the buck" by stepping back one model. In doing so, I am leaning towards the Elite 49TXi, since it was the flagship until the 59TXi was announced, but yet it seems to be able to hold its own against most other models.

My two questions are: 1) With bang for the buck in mind are there any other receivers I should seriously consider in the $2500 price range?; & 2a) What is the release date for the 59 TXi? 2b) Will there be a significant price drop on the 49TXi soon thereafter or has the market already factored the release in?

I don't expect the 49TXi drop to be very dramatic--it will be discontinued. It originally listed at $4200 last year and I bought it even then for $2700. You can probable get it in Audiogon.com from $1900 to $2100. $2500 is the cheapest online price I have currently seen and I imagine it will remain, as the product will disappear soon as the 59TXi shortly takes its place.

the 59TXi will probably list around $4600. I expect it to sell at online discounters from $2,900-$3500.

Unless money is of little object to you--the 49txi used, but in good shape is probably a very good deal at $2K.


If money is not an issue, I would recommend the B&K 507. B&K is well known for their quality power amplifiers and have begun making receivers that are quite good. I believe you can get the 507 for just about $2500.

I haven't seen any B&K 507's under $3200--but who knows. Fine receiver--was tempted to buy it myself. The superiority of the i-link (firewire) connection and Pioneer Elite has a big investment in making synergistic products in their high end--like i-link universal dvd players--and DVI/HDMI/i-link HDTV's. I like the fact that they know what they are doing and seem to know where they are going on all AV fronts. B&K is far more familiar with audio.

Not that I am a fan of Stereophile, The following is a snippet of a review from Stereophile at the end of 2002 (even before i-link was included in the 49TX to make it the 49TXi):

Some receivers lack transparency, and sound thin in the midrange or seem to add an edgy or hashy overlay to the high frequencies. With or without EQ, the VSX-49TX had a rich, coherent overall balance that didn't draw attention to any particular frequency range. It had the balls of the B&K 307 and the transparency and delicacy of the Denon AVR-5800, which are among the best-sounding receivers I've heard. But the Pioneer also had an enveloping 3-dimensional lushness (even in 2-channel mode) that neither of those had, plus, overall, the least mechanical sound I've yet heard from a receiver. Like a good tube amp, it positively bloomed.

Plus the 49TXi is plain gorgeous:-)

I can only envy anyone who had the 49txi. What a great, great receiver. If you can afford it, buy it.
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