Help me choose my first receiver ever!! thanks


New member
Username: Hwjchim

Post Number: 1
Registered: 12-2003
sup guys/gals...
i need help deciding which receiver i should buy..
i had my mind made up on the
Pioneer 812 then while i waited for my paycheck, i decided to go after the sony 995
because the sony is 7.1 and 110 Watts
but now i'm also thinking about the
sony 895 cause i have a friend who works at sears
where they carry the 895 so he might be able to
get it for me cheaper ?
i only want to spend around 350

New member
Username: Michaelslb

Post Number: 7
Registered: 12-2003

It'll help if you could tell us what speakers you
have, or are planning on getting. Also, what are
your listening habits -- % of movies to music?

Also, I would scratch all of those receivers off
of your list as I feel you could find a much
better sounding unit for the money.


New member
Username: Elitefan1

Post Number: 32
Registered: 12-2003
I would not recommend the Sony no matter what speakers you have. You can find the Pioneer 912 for $350 or under on line and it's a much better receiever than the 812. I would like to know what speakers you have so maybe I can make some other suggestions.

New member
Username: Hwjchim

Post Number: 2
Registered: 12-2003
thanks guys..
the speakers..
i don't have them yet.. :-)
but speakers...i can get any which ones that
will fit my price range...
the speakers right no..does not matter...
i usually watch dvds
not much to music..mostly movies...

New member
Username: Michaelslb

Post Number: 11
Registered: 12-2003

If you don't have any reservations about buying
online, here's a few recommendations (in order of

Marantz SR4300 - $329.99 OZ13&ic=MAR+SR4300&cc=&tpc=

Harman Kardon AVR225 (refurbished) - $224.95

Onkyo TX-RS601 (refurbished) - $339.00

Pioneer VSX-D912K - $359.10 (add to cart to see

Hope that helps!

I'm sure there's some other good suggestions out
there. Hopefully some more people will chime in
with their thoughts.


New member
Username: Hwjchim

Post Number: 3
Registered: 12-2003

Nope. No reservations. In fact, online gives me the best deals.
I like the Pioneer VSX-912K.
It's loaded with (I believe) 700+ watts.
It also is THX.
I'm looking for 700+ watts & THX.
(I assume that the more watts, the better the
sound? so more watts = better receiver??)
I like HK. Their receivers look very
interesting. But they are very expensive.
(I think they are the top brand??)
A $300 HK is like 400 watt or so,
and a $300 PIoneer/sony is like 600-700 Watt.
I thought..the higher the Watts, the better
the receiver?
Am I wrong?
Am I Looking at the wrong category? (by
looking at watts)

New member
Username: Tim

Post Number: 8
Registered: 12-2003
The more watts, the more power. But it's what is done with that power that matters, so it's not necessarily "better".

You also should consider what features you want/need. Eg. yamaha put loads of different sound settings in (eg hall, stadium etc) whilst other brands put the effort into different surround modes (for example).

Make sure there are appropriate connections on the back of the box for whatever you want to plug in. For example, do you need a phono connection from a turntable? Optical or coaxial from your DVD? Some brands have loads of sockets which can accommodate future expansion.

Some makes (eg Marantz) run quite hot. Make sure you've got enough airspace round it if you want one. In fact consider the exterior dimensions generally (I learnt the hard way and had to cut out the back of my TV cabinet).

Do you really want 7.1? Not that many films are in 7.1 and the speakers are gonna cost you some. The recommendations above are generally 6.1 max. In reality, 5.1 is the only standard you can rely on. Equally, you're unlikely to hear (IMHO) the difference THX makes at this end of the range (assuming you can even find a receiver that supports it).

In short, consider what you really want out of your box, so you don't waste money on features you won't use/notice. Your budget is relatively low-end and you're probably going to spend the same again on speakers and cabling. Speakers can make a huge difference to the sound so you may be better putting your money there.

The recommendations above are all decent machines. They all have their own characteristics in terms of looks, features and output. I suggest you look up a few reviews (try Googling) of those models, or search these forums to get an idea of what other people think. Check out your own definite requirements in terms of number/type of connections etc to see if there are any obvious models you don't want.

And the ultimate test is to go listen to some of them (take your own CDs) at a dealer, or better still a home trial.

Hope this helps a bit.

New member
Username: Tim

Post Number: 9
Registered: 12-2003
BTW, when I say "low-end" I don't mean you won't find a good receiver at that price. I just mean that you're looking at the Mercedes A class, not the SLK.

New member
Username: Hwjchim

Post Number: 4
Registered: 12-2003
Thanks for your inputs. Like I said, I needed
some opinions that's why I came here.
And so far, it's been helping me.
7.1 isn't used that much in most films huh? I'll go with 6.1 now. Thanks.
As for connections,
I need optical, svcd are the 2 that I really want.
So, Good speakers = better sound?
I'll have to research on speakers too now. THanks.

New member
Username: Stelch

Post Number: 2
Registered: 12-2003
How about a SONY STRDA1000ES (STRDB790)
Excellent value for money.

New member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 20
Registered: 12-2003
Scott starts, as I did, with getting the most quoted Watts for your money. It is not a good strategy. I did not believe the info on NAD Power when I first saw it, it seemed like making excuses, but I do believe it, now. I think it applies also to HK and Marantz. "All channels driven" is what to look for. Taking the max power for one channel and mutiplying by the number of channels does not give any useful number. And, even then, some makers massage the figures.

New member
Username: Gman

Post Number: 30
Registered: 12-2003
Watts aren't as important as you think. The amps behind the watts are VERY important. That is where the HK's, NAD's, the upper level Pioneer Elites, and a few others succeed so well.

Also the quality of the parts in the pre-amp section effect things a lot. Having OSD (On screen Display) makes setting up your speakers and everything else much easier. A good and easy to use remote is pretty important (unless you already own a great universal remote). Afterall, you will be using it all the time.

The Pioneer 912 is good for the fairly inexpensive AV receivers. But a 55 watt per channel Harman Kardon will blow the doors off it in usable power for driving a speaker in THE REAL WORLD.

You must realize many companies test their watts differently. In a 5.1, 5.1, or 7.1 receiver many companies list the wattage with only two channels driven. There are brands (won't get into it now) that say they are 100 watts x 7 channels, but when all 7 channels are driven you are lucky to get 35 watts per channel. Tests are often done at 6 ohms instead of 8 ohms and at 1 kh frquency rather than from 20hz through at least 25 khz. A receiver will measure far more powerful at 6 ohms than at 8 ohms.

Also, with any of the receivers you mention, make sure you buy 8 ohm speakers--or at the lowest 6 ohm speakers. These receivers can't deal with 4 ohm speakers as the impedance of the speaker/wire combination gets too close to their less than robust power supply.

If your listening position is in a chair or sofa against a wall, getting more than a 5.1 receiver will mostly be a waste. The 6th and 7th speakers are ideally supposed to be located behind you by at least 2-4 feet.

Also, at the same speaker budget, while choosing carefully, 5 speakers will be of much higher quality than 7 speakers. When you have more money you can always get other speakers later.

But as far as sound is concerned--speakers are by far the most important part of either a stereo or a surround system. Just make sure you get 8 ohm speakers with these receivers.

A $350 receiver can power a fairly expensive 5 speaker (8 ohm) system--let's say all speakers cost $3,000--and have them sound darn good. But I guarantee a $3,000 receiver with a $350 speaker system will sound many times worse.

Read the reviews on speakers that fall in your budget--or let us know what your speaker budget is and how big your room is--if you have a dvd player--a tv or HDTV, etc. All these things are important and need to be known to get the best performance for your budget.

New member
Username: Hwjchim

Post Number: 5
Registered: 12-2003
Thanks on your comments about anything more than 5.1 is a waste if sofa is against the wall.
Cause, that's what my setup is. Sofa is against the wall.
DVD Player: Panasonic DVD-RV31 &
Daewoo 5800
a RCA 27" tv, samsung vcr
I'ld be using this system for:
dvds, ps2,xbox, not so much for music.
So you said a 55 watt Harman Kardon
could be way better than the Pioneer 912 if I have the right speakers?
« Previous Thread Next Thread »

Main Forums

Today's Posts

Forum Help

Follow Us