$200-$250 stereo reviecer or amp?


New member
Username: Mrunexpected

Post Number: 1
Registered: 12-2003
We are looking to put a stereo into our living room. We want a simple stereo system, no surround, no tv, no dvd. just 2 speakers, a power source and a cd player.

weve settled on a pair of paradigm esprit v3's, and now we need to kow what to choose for a power source.

what is the differenc ebetween a receiver and amplifier? what is the best i can get for 200? i dont need features, effect, size, or anythting, just good stereo sound, and reliability.

this is my amateurishly collected list so far:

Denon DRA-295
Pioneer VSX-D412
Pioneer PIO VSXD412S
Kenwood VR-705-S
Onkyo ONK TX8211
Panasonic PAN SAHE70S
Panasonic PAN SAHE70K
Harman Kardon HK3375
Yamaha HTR-5630
Yamaha HTR-5640
Yamaha RX-396

what are the good brands? i know pioneer makes good car audio electronics, how is their home stuff? i hear that yamaha's quality is slipping, is that true? Heard same about Harmon's build quality...

can anyone make some sense of all this?

New member
Username: Mrunexpected

Post Number: 2
Registered: 12-2003
Im told the Panasonic SA-XR25 may be worth looking at as well, any opinions?

Also, will there be a differnece in sound quality from a 100W/channel 5.1 and stereo reciever when used for only 2 speakers?

New member
Username: Hawk

Post Number: 45
Registered: 12-2003
For those Paradigm speakers, I would not bother with a mass market receiver. I find the sound to be rather flat and uninvolving, which is unworthy of some pretty good speakers. Instead, I would strongly suggest a nice integrated amp whiich will give you better sound quality and a better match sonically with your speakers.

My first choice is a bit above your budget, but it is so sweet sounding, I can hardly believe how inexpensive it is. Check out an NAD C321bee integrated amp. The MSRP is $399, but it is discounted to about $320 from either Kiefs or Saturday Audio Exchange, and it sounds stunning for the money. Only lacks a tuner--otherwise it would be a receiver as it has everything else a receiver has. If you are unwilling to spend this much, then I recommend a Cambridge Audio (a fine English brand) A300 integrated amp, which can be had for $199 from Audio Advisor. Not as much power as the NAD, but more than enough for your Esprits. See it here:

http://audioadvisor.com/store/productdetail.asp?sku=CAMBA300&product_name=A300%2 050-Watt-Per-Channel%20Integrated%20Amplifier

As for the receivers you list, I have looked at most of them for a stereo system for my study, but invariably, they could not make the cut as they usually cut too many corners. All of them have a plastic faceplate. Most use IC outputs which will promise 100 wpc, but will never sustain anywhere near that much power 30-40 wpc is about it and they will strain to do that well). Most also use a single amplifier for both channels, which compromises stereo separation. Heck, the Onkyo doesn't even have binding posts--it still uses spring clips! That is being the ultimate in cheap. Sadly, stereo has been banished to the wrong side of the tracks by most audio companies and their remaining stereo products reflect it. I thus suggest products made by companies that still care about stereo and put out superb products worthy of your speakers.

Good luck, and Merry Christmas!
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