Want a new receiver for a BOSE 5 cube/sub setup. Please Help.


Ok first off I realize that Bose generally takes in on the chin when talking about speakers and I agree I have heard better speakers but for the price that I paid for this setup it sounds spectacular and I don't want to change speakers.

Ok that being said. I know enough to be dangerous about this stuff but not much more. I want to mate the above speakers to a decent receiver for no more than say $600.00 USD. I know that may seem rather low to you audiophiles but I am really just a regular Joe who doesn't need a high end Denon etc.

Ok so here is what I want. I want a receiver that will power the speakers well and give a good clean solid bass response. I would prefer as many features as possible and as high of quality as I can get for the money.

The Bose sub is what all the speakers run out of and all the lines run from the receiver to the Sub. I am not sure if this will make a difference in types of receivers to be looking for.

I don't care if the receiver is THX certified but do want at least 5.1 playback and would like both Dolby and DTS. This will predominently be a home theatre setup but will also be the main house stereo/CD player.

Ok so edumacate the idgit will you please.

Thanks so much,


Hi Chris,
Here are some receivers that I recommended to someone else. I hope it helps.
For the mass market areas, I liked the Onkyo TXSR600 for $499, there is also the TXSR500 for $299, main diffrence being the 500 is 5 channels and the 600 is capable of 6 channels and DTS-ES.
There is also the Yamaha RX-V630 which sounded great for HT and sounded great with the JBLs.
There is Denon AVR 1803 which is capable of 6.1 DTS-ES for $499.
Sony STR-DE995S, capable of DTS-ES, NEO:6 and such for $499, with a great remote.
There is also the new Philips FR999 capable of recording audio from DVDs for $399...I have no knowledge of its reliablity though, but it seems pretty good for the price.
Kenwood KRF 9070d...I believe the US equivalent is 7080 for$395...with THX certification, although to some is not a requirement.

Pioneer VSX-D1011s, with THX select Certification...this is an Asian Model so the US equivalent is unknown to me, but I'm sure someone on this board will know. I believe this is part of the Elite series in the US. An excellent receiver for $549

Sony STR-DB1080 with DTS-ES PLII and SACD input for $579


Hi Buddy,

Try Denon AVR-1804 or Panasonic SE200 or Kenwood 7070. Try Crutchfield.com website for more information about receivers. Shop on internet for best rates. Read reviews at circuitcity.com


I have a different view of your speakers. You indicate that you want good clean bass response with your Bose cubes. That can be tough to do as most of the bass will be coming from the bass module. You need real current to get good bass response (I am talking amps here, not watts!).

I would stongly recommend two receivers for your cubes. First, look into an Outlaw 1050 receiver from Outlaw Audio (www.outlawaudio.com). They sell factory direct and it only runs $499, which comes with a 30 day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. It has a serious power supply (unlike most receivers under $600) which is necessary to provide the current you need for serious clean bass. Also uses all discrete bipolar transistor outputs, unlike most other receivers under $600 which use cheaper IC chipsets that sound thin and under-powered (with a bass that sounds sickly).

My second choice is a Harman/Kardon 325, which is available for ~$450 from One Call. See it here:


It also has a very nice power supply and uses bi-polar transitor outputs. Highly recommended.

Good luck!

Ok so educate me here. I am not really aware of how the Watts and current interact etc.

For example I have read that say an Onkyo receiver with say 85 Watts per channel is much much better than say a consumer level Sony, Kenwood etc....blah blah with say 100-110 Watts per channel because it is putting out higher current and "better" power.

The two receivers recommended by Hawk are both rated at 50-65 watts per channel but are high current. So is there any specific minimum wattage I should look at not going below. I have a hard time wanting to go below 85 watts and would prefer a 100 but if a 75-85 watt high current system really is much much better I may go that route.

I am sorry for asking stupid questions as I am reasonably ignorant once we start talking about the things that make the receiver work such as amps, power supplies, connector material, etc.


jason goodman
can anyone reassure me that the denon 4802r can transmit hdtv and/or offer a suggestion on something else

Black Math
I would look at what has been suggested to you in the prevoius posts and do some research. Read expert reviews, consumer reviews, and see what they are selling for. Look for thinks like operational quirke, defects, annoying things, and what they are described as sounding like. I would then take that knowledge and go to an independent shop that has several brands. Tell them what you want to spend and see if they reccomend. You may be able to get some literature on a particular unit. Let them know what you are looking at as well. Maybe you will get a deal on something that is priced higher, or maybe you can take a unit home and try it out. You don't have to buy the first time you walk in. It is important to know what is out there. Your $600 might get you quite a lot.

Don't aweat the Bose. I don't want them, but they do a decent job. I am thinking the Bose sub is passive (powered by the five speaker inputs). This means some sort of cutoff is happening in the sub with lo freq going to the sub and the high freq going to your satelites. With this setup you miss the base management features built into a surround reciever. The ideal setup is having your receiver pass low end signals via rca interconnect to a powered sub and the high end directly to the speaker via speaker cable. This may not be a huge deal to your overall sound, but it can provide you a future upgrade path.

Hey Hawk,

Outlaw has now discontinued the 1050 receiver. It is no longer available on their website.

I'm surprised you didn't also recommend the NAD 742 in addition to the HK 325.

If you're willing to spend all $600 you can get the HK 525 for $599.88 shipped from J&R.


I knew the demise of the Outlaw receiver was coming, but it caught me off-guard. I didn't think it was going to happen this fast. Too bad. I wish they had a replacement ready to go.

I was thinking the NAD may be a bit too forward for the Bose speakers. It fits the other criteria, though. I may be wrong, but I am pretty sure Chris has a passive sub there and he is going to need some serious power, not the usual wimpy IC output mass market receiver. Your suggestion of the 525 is a good one--I just didn't know they were going that cheaply.


I am not qualified to give you a tutorial of electrical properties, but I think it is sufficient to look for a "high current design" in the amplifier. For your needs and budget, I do suggest the H/K, either the 325 or, as GT suggests, the 525 which is even better. With the end of production of the Outlaw receiver, for less than $600 your only choices left are the H/Ks or an NAD 742, which can be had for $449 from Saturday Audio Exchange (www.saturdayaudio.com). Unfortunately, none of the major manufacturers of receivers makes a high current design.

To better understand what I am talking about, here is a link to a speadsheet that one person was keeping of all of the equipment test reports done by Sound & Vision magazine fo receivers. You will note how few receivers even come close to their rated power:


It is a sad fact that power ratings, expressed in watts are almost meaningless.

If you do want to go with a major manufacturer, I would suggest the Denon 2803, which can be found for under $600 right now as Denon is preparing to replace it some time soon. Seems a lot of manufacturers are coming out with new models very late in the year, but that merely creates a great buying opportunity.

The bad thing about the Bose is that you have to run everything thru the bass module because the crossovers are in there. You can't do a standard 5.1 setup. Now if someone were to run the 3 front speakers thru the module, the rear speakers connected in a normal manner and then add a powered sub, how would that sound? Would the rear speakers blow? Has anyone tried it? How much power can they handle?

What cracks me up is Bose says you can hide the bass module behind curtains or a chair. But they don't tell you that you have to run 5 sets of wire from the receiver to the bass module and 5 sets of wire from the module to your cubes. And Bose uses cheap cable/wire.

I just don't like the whole setup.

I wouldn't bother with a receiver over $400. In truth your speakers (and I understand and accept that you like them) won't be able to convey the subtlety that a receiver that costs more can accomplish and you would just be throwing away your money. No matter what anyone else tells you the speakers are the key to your system. They alone will make the biggest audible difference in what you hear or can hear for that matter. The best receiver in the world isn't going to do much good otherwise.

Black Math
I believe that the Bose are good enough to accomidate a receiver over $400. Even if they aren't, a lot of people do things in stages. If you have decent speakers (which the Bose are) why not go to another important piece of the chain. The best speakers in the world can't make magic with an inferior front end and/or surrond processing.

Didn't bother reading previous posts,

But buy real speakers before investing in an amplifier. Form follows function. Bose is the worst speaker on the market.

John A.
I am with Black Math. Even if someone wants to stick with that Bose set-up, it makes no sense to buy a receiver that will not reveal its limitations. Whatever they are, they are there, and you don't improve the sound by getting a receiver that won't eventually show them up.

It sounds like a design disaster, from G-man's description. The only excuse might be that it was intended to go with a receiver that has no independent sub output, and is also unable to distribute LF on each channel to the main front speakers. So you are taking a good principle of speaker-level connection of a sub for stereo, and extending it to all five channels. I don't know if there is a receiver/amp like that.

From the web site I read about "Direct/Reflecting¨ Cube Speaker Arrays". I could see a case for reflections helping to disperse stereo sound, though I would always prefer directionality, personally, the different locations of the instruments/performers is so much part of the pleasure. However, when you get to surround sound, any case for reflected sound disappears completely. You want to hear where the different sounds are coming from, that's the whole point. I should certainly like to hear this speaker system. It it sounds good, then I don't understand.
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