Receiver Recommendation Please??


I'm looking for a receiver which is on the "bright" side. I found this forum last night and found myself on here for hours just reading the posts and digesting all the information. What a incredible forum you have here. I never heard the terms "bright" or laid back" describing receivers but they seem to hit the nail on the head. I have home built speakers which are what you would call "laid back" so as I read here I would be smart to get a "bright" receiver. I would like a clear sounding receiver with very good highs and mids but not a dog in the bass department. It seems also that I will get many recommendations for NAD but that is not one I am interested in for there is not one dealer anywhere even remotely close to me and I do not care to buy on-line sight unseen. Something along the Yamaha lines but of better quality. What I would like is a receiver with approximately 100 watts per channel, a decent home theater processor and my number one priority is excellent sound. Unfortunately I can't spend $1000 on this receiver, can't justify it with the wife hahaha, so that would knock out receivers such as Rotel. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


If you can't spend $1000 on this receiver, then what can you spend? There is a lot of room in between. There is quite a bit of difference between a $300 receiver and an $800 receiver.

I would say around $600 would be appropriate. Can't believe how little response I've gotten here with my post, kind of disheartening..

Need to know what size room and what speakers you are driving and are they 8 ohm or 4 ohm. Do you have a self-powered subwoofer?

If you are looking for a receiver that's under 1k and "bright", then you really should consider Yamaha. The Yamahas are well made and are usually regarded as being quite bright. The Rx series (the Rx line distinguishes their higher end line) has a few nice options. For example, you should be able to get an Rx-1400, which is a nice machine, for somewhere in the $700 range (a little out of your budget). You could also still possibly find a 1300 on closeout for closer to your price.

Just as an aside, make sure to test a number of receivers before you buy. While a "bright" receiver sounds nice in concept, it may not sound as good to your ears. I have had a Yamaha for a few years now. Over time, I have found that it is way too bright for my tastes (and for my new B&W CDM9NTs). As a result, I am in the market for something a bit more mellow.

There are a few other things that you should keep in mind as well. AS G-Man noted, what are the specs of your speakers (e.g., how efficient,ohms, etc.)? This will affect the amount and type of power you should be looking for. Also, note that all power ratings are not the same, so I wouldn't focus so much on the 100wpc number. Lastly, what type of set-up are you going for? If it's just a 5.1 (rather than a 6.1 or 7.1), then you might be able to get a good break on a model that's being discontinued, such as the 1300.

Best of luck.

They are 8 ohm speakers and the reason I used the 100wpc number is there seems to be many receivers rating power at say 75wpc but when tested only put out 50 or less. A true 75wpc would probably be sufficient but I thought I'd go the extra 25 for safety sake...

A Yamaha rated at 100 per channel will have nowhere near that power when driving 5 channels. Expect 55-65 at most. Yamaha has a very poor amp section compared to other brands but if you want a bright receiver your choices are probably between Yamaha, SonyES and maybe Kenwood. None can compete with NAD, Rotel, Elite etc. but you are right to try to match your speakers to the sound characteristics of a particular reciever. Of these if I had to swallow hard I guess I'd pick a Yamaha. Or better yet I'd buy different speakers and get a better receiver.

Generally speaking, NAD and Harmon Kardon are pretty accurate in their claims (though, as a caveat, HK does not have reputation for being "bright"). For others, you are right to be skeptical.

Others on this board might have more insight, but you could pick up a NAD 752 for $699 (a little over your budget), which will have a true 80wpc. It might be worth the risk of ordering by mail if the vendor has a good return policy. That would allow you to test it at home with your speakers.

Again, if "bright" is really what your after, I would not exclude Yamaha. While not as powerful as a HK or a NAD, they make nice products that fit your budget and are loaded with features (though,admitadly, many of which are completely useless).


This is an interesting thread because most receiver makers (the Japanese giants) retreated away from anything bright as salesmen in the 80s used that term in a derogatory manner to steer people on to separates. In fact, the HT receiver began as a way to respond to the threat that separates posed to receivers back when stereo was all that was available. Today, many of the people who review audio products decry the fact that so many of these receiver brands are very polite and inoffensive sounding. They take no risks in reproducing sound and thus they leave a lot on the table, performance wise, just so that they will not offend anyone. Yamaha has been one of the holdouts who continue to make something that can be very bright sounding, largely because their speakers are so laid back and they want to sell more speakers with their receivers.

You are correct to distrust the Yamaha power ratings. The last generation had a model, the RX-V730 rated at 75 wpc, which was tested by Sound & Vision magazine and found to be only capable for 37.5 wpc when driving all channels. However, this probelm is not confined to Yamaha. Recently, S & V tested the Onkyo 900, rated at 125 wpc, but they determined it clipped at 52 wpc when all channels were driven! Onkyo definitely falls into the "polite" category.

It is unfortunate that you do not have an NAD dealer near you. NADs are not bright, but they do have a somewhat forward sound (which is not the same thing) compared to many of these polite, laid back receivers. Their clarity is outstanding and so is their power. If the receiver is rated at 80 wpc (the 752), the test shows it capable of 92 wpc when all channels are driven.

However, if you want a bright receiver, I would suggest the Yamaha, or a Kenwood, which is also somewhat bright sounding. Finally, look into a JVC, which I have also thought was a bit on the bright side. Yamaha is the best of this bunch, but the JVC and Kenwood are not far behind, and you may have more luck getting some serious power from either a JVC or Kenwood than you will from a Yamaha. Look into a Kenwwod 7070 as a good place to start.

Good luck!

I had a Yamaha 795 AV receiver previous to my current receiver which is an NAD 762. Found the Yamaha extremely fatiguing to the ear and couldn't enjoy music for long stretches of time. Home theatre was ok but, again, a bit too fatiguing.
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