Best reciever for Athena speakers


New member
Username: Maximo

Post Number: 9
Registered: 01-2004
I posted a similar thread in the speaker section, also.

The speakers I'm getting are Athena ASF-2, ASC-1, ASB-1. I'm going to get a sub later.

I heard the ASF-2's on a Yamaha at Bestbuy and they astounded me with their performance. However, according to my research, the bright and forward sounding Yamaha probably isn't the right type of receiver for these Athena's. I'm still not sure which receiver would be better. I know many different receivers have their pluses and minuses. I just want some input to help me decide. I will use the system 70% movies/games and 30% music.

I really like the Harman kardon recievers, in particular the AVR325 and AVR525. But, I haven't heard them with these speakers which is one of the reasons I'm seeking help. I can get the AVR325 for $441 and the AVR525 for $575. I would like to get the AVR325 b/c of price but I want to have enough power to drive them. The efficiency of the ASF-2 (front speakers) is 93db. This is pretty high so I wouldn't think they need an enormous amount of power, however, they are large. Would any other receiver be a better match for these speakers in this price range such as NAD, Marantz or Outlaw.


New member
Username: Wilky

Post Number: 4
Registered: 01-2004
Hey Maximo, you stated that the ASF-2's on the Yamaha astounded you with their performance. Maybe the Yamaha RX-V1400 or 2400 is the way to go. As I mentioned on my prior thread, I went out today to find the right match for the Definitive Technology speakers. I too, have been reading that the Yamaha would be too bright with these speakers. Go by your ears, if you were astounded today, maybe there isn't a better sounding receiver for YOU than the Yamaha. I listened to the Marantz, HK & Rotel with the Yamahas today and I actually preferred the Yamaha. The Rotel was awesome, but the Yamaha, for the price, had more features and the sound quality on both movies and music was astounding to me also.

New member
Username: Maximo

Post Number: 11
Registered: 01-2004
Yes, the Yamaha sounded really good. However, I don't suspect that many receivers in the $500 range would sound bad with the ASF-2's. Thanks very much for your input and your right, the best thing I can do is let my ears be the judge.

I don't think its going to be possible for me to compare these particular receivers. Bestbuy doesn't carry any other receiver I would want. I think I would be statisfied with the Yamaha but I want the "best" receiver for these speakers (if that's possible). Any other ideas?

New member
Username: Johnny

Post Number: 39
Registered: 12-2003

I think that any of the receiver brands you recommended would be excellent for your speakers...although I would also add Pioneer Elite to your list. All of these brands are considered to be a little more "mellow" sounding, and would help tame some of the brightness of your speakers. I listened to the very same Yamaha/Athena setup in a Best Buy two weeks ago, and to me, the combination sounded very bright and "thin" sounding. In the showroom, when only listening for a few minutes and with so much other noise going on, this brightness is mistaken by many for clarity and detail. However, for me at least, when I listened for an extended period of time, this brighness got fatiguing and actually gave me headaches. Although, like Jeff said, your ears may tell you differently and that is perfectly alright. Before you buy, make sure you take an extended audition and see if the sound becomes fatiguing at all.

If you said you liked the AVR 325 because of its price, I will take that to mean that you would like to spend about $500. In that price range, I think that either of those HK models would be your best bet. I love NAD, but the only NAD model that would be in your price range is the T742...which has been on closeout for $449...but it might be hard to find any still left. I am not that familiar with Marantz, but you might be able to find one of their models on closeout in their price range. Unfortunately, Outlaw's only A/V receiver recently went out of stock. It was a wonderful receiver and was less than $500, but the only way you could find one is to get a refurb. I also mentioned Pioneer Elite...which I think would go well with your speakers, but once again, the only way you could find one in your price range is to search the internet for some closeout deals. I think your best bet would be the Elite 43...although I am unsure of the price on this model.

All of these are just some possible suggestions...but ultimately the "best" receiver for your speakers is the one that sounds the best to you. There is no holy grail of receiver/speaker the is purely personal preference. My best suggestion would be to try to buy from a dealer that has some sort of policy that would allow you to audition a receiver in your home and return it for a full refund if you don't like it. I know Circuit City (sells HK) will let you do this. I hope all of this helps...and Good Luck!!

New member
Username: Maximo

Post Number: 12
Registered: 01-2004
Thanks for the suggestion about the Pioneer elite and I will keep it in mind while trying to make my decision. I would also love to hear some opinions from people who actually own these speakers or similar models. At least from some one who has heard them with various receivers. But, no matter what I appreciate the input from anybody.

At the current moment, my number one choice for the speakers is the HK AVR525. I'm having a hard time deciding b/c i haven't heard it with the speakers. I think the warm sound of Harman Kardon would complement the slightly bright Athenas. I just don't want it to be (As Hawk has called the HK's) dark sounding. I like warm sounding components. However, I don't want it to sound cloudy. Any input on whether this would result in a combination in the HK and the Athenas I've mentioned.
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