Recommendations: ~$200 general purpose reciever.


As above, I'm looking to buy a reciever/amp somewhere in the $200 +/- $50 or so range, preferrably something that will accept the SPDIF output from my Nforce1 mobo and surrond sound. Additionally, I do some work with (old fashioned by today's standards) DIY synths, analog pre-amps, and other audio equipment, I would like to be able to patch my mixer into the unit. I need something that will be reliable, as for it's intended dual use purpose, thus it will likely be under constant use. I don't need much output power/volume, this system is just for me, not for parties or filling a house with sound, moreso, I'd rather exchange that for quality or cost.

As an additional favour, I haven't picked any speakers out either... ideally, something where I can pick up a couple for ~$200... I'll worry about full surrond sound later, for the sake of cost effectiveness. Speakers, however, are a later priority, I have some very old units I can use for awhile yet.

I'm behind the times with consumer-level audio equipment. Help me out!
Thanks guys.


I would recomend a refurbished Pioneer Elite VSX-26TX ,available for $259 at It is 60 dollers over the limit, but that shouldnt matter,
as it will blow away anything around the 199 range. Origonal retail:$1200. A STEAL IMO.

For speakers, go with Fluance. They actualy match pretty well with the Elites. I would say the SX-HTB. The AV-HTB is 60 dollers less, but lacks the quality the SX set has.

There is another receiver, the Harman Kardon AVR-125 available for 179.99(a steal IMO) or the 225 for 25$ more. But the 26 would beat the HK, simply because it is just outclassed.

Any questions?
just post!


Sorry! I completely forgot the links LOL,

Elite 26:

Fluance SX-HTB:


Try Sherwood at They sell 5.1 receivers with and optical and a coaxial digital input for about $100. You will get 55 watts x 5, sub pre-amp out, Dolby Digital decoding, 5 channel-direct input and a remote. I have one and a set of Energy Take 5s on one of my computers/bedroom TV. A very good bargain.

Alternatively, if you don't need a radio, get one of the Klipsch, Logitech or Creative Labs speaker system. The set 5.1 systems for $100-$400. That's in your ballpark.

Hope it helps.

Maybe you should listen to Kojak and go here:

I think that the Pioneer Elite would absoltulely blow away a sherwood at 100$. Go for the Elite without question, and never look back.

Nifty. Thanks a bundle. Ideally, the reciver is something I could hold onto throughut a few upgrades of other components.

The Stand-Alone Creative, Logitech, etc. PC systems don't meet my requirments.

Also, I notice on the Fluance site they have a cheaper surrond system, the AV-HTB, which also comes in black... would these speakers be good?


from my first post,
"For speakers, go with Fluance. They actualy match pretty well with the Elites. I would say the SX-HTB. The AV-HTB is 60 dollers less, but lacks the quality the SX set has."

Personaly, I would go with the SX, but if saving money, and black is important to you, go with the AV-HTB set. I personally thought both systems were great, but the SX seemed noticably better. It had more imaging in the front speakers, and clarity. I liked the look of beish, but sounds like you like black.

Theres not much for (good) electronics in that low of a price range, but have you looked at HTIB? Theres a few good sets available from Kenwood. You could go that route, but I think, IMO, that the Fluance/Elite system would beat any HTIB.
Look at HTB-406+

Overall its you decision.


They are sold out of the Pioneer, do you know where else I could look?

thanks for all the help.
Thinking more about it, were I willing to spend say $100 more, would that be best spent on speakers? Any recommendations in the $300 range that would be notably better?

If the Elite is sold out, I'll look into the HKs... they all look nice.
Also, are refurbs notably less reliable for recievers, or is it of little impact. I ask as I know with other device it can vary widely.

Thanks again man, you've been a ton of help.


To your question about refurbs, refurbs are MORE reliable than new receivers. Simply because they are tested before being repacked and shipped. I see no problem in ordering refurbs. I have and will again, the only thing different, is warranty. If you are in the US you can usually purchase an extended warranty so this isnt a problem either.

I checked, and the Elite is sold out. There is another receiver, the Harman 130. That would be a good match for the Fluances, assuming you are thinking of purchasing them. And is a high current amp, and will drive any speaker with ease, the Fluances should be no problem for it at all.

You could go for a more pricey alternative, but giving you a better sound. You could go for the Fluance SM-938's now,(available in either black or beish) and get the rear surrounds and center later. You mention getting surround sound later in your first post, and this would be a better choice IMO.

What receiver are you currently using? Would you be able to just buy speakers now?This would free you up more $ and you could go for "higher end" speakers. The links below and my suggestions are merely that, suggestions. Look around on the net, and choose what you like.


Harman Kardon AVR-130:

Fluance SM-938's:

The problem is, I have NO reciver! I'm just hooking my mixer into my 4.1 Cambridge Soundworks PC speakers directly. Ideally, I want to both take advantage of my PC's SPDIF-out and have something decent to plug my gear into.

How does the AVR130 compare to the AVR225? Is one signifigantly better than the other? I've heard oodles of recommendations for the AVR225, but not much on the 130.

I like the look of the 938's. I'm also partial to getting nicer stero first, with the option of going to full surrond in a few months, as well.

Thanks again.

N/M on the AVR130 vs. AVR225... if I'm reading the specs right, the AVR225 is better in most aspects (higher power output, higher S/N ratio. etc.)


So, you have decided on the Harman AVR225 with the Fluance SM-938's? Good system for the money IMO. Hope you are happy with your system, if you have any problems be sure to post back.

I personaly like the look of the 130 more than the 225, but thats my opinion, and YOUR decision. Either receiver will work awsome with those speakers. Happy listening!

By the way, be sure to let me know how it all turns out :-)

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