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$400-$500 streetprice Receiver for 50th anniv gift

 

New member
Username: Jliverpool

Post Number: 1
Registered: Oct-04
Please help a "newbie." I think I might have done things backwards but here goes. My brothers are purchasing a sound system for my parent's 50th. We started with speakers...listened to many in our price range and purchased 4 athena AsB2 speakers with a AsC1 center (no sub yet). We liked the features of the Yamaha receiver but I'm seeing here that it would be too bright for the music they like to listen to (they are musicians so we want the music to sound great). We can spend around $400. Today I read lots of posts and it seems like these are the most talked about for this price:

Harmon Kardon Avr330
Pioneer
Denon
Yamaha RX V750

What can we get that will astonish them with the sound of the music. So it doesnt sound harsh and they can pick out every instrument even in a classical piece. They occasionally watch a DVD
 

Anonymous
 
John,

are you open to refurbs? you can get an HK 430 for < $500 with original warranty
 

New member
Username: Jliverpool

Post Number: 2
Registered: Oct-04
Yes, we would buy a refurb if it was a worthy buy. Are you implying that Harman Kardon is the better direction?
 

Silver Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 819
Registered: Feb-04
Can you find a Marantz SR5400? In my opinion it's easily better sounding than those others you're considering, for music especially.
 

New member
Username: Jliverpool

Post Number: 3
Registered: Oct-04
Landroval, thanks for your input. I do not know anything about Marantz. I found a nice price on an SR53000. Is the SR53000 signifiantly better than say the HK AVR330 for music and movies. What kind of "tone" does it produce?
 

Silver Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 821
Registered: Feb-04
Marantz's do sound warm, full, energetic, detailed, very musical indeed. The SR5300 is a slightly old model, but it's still quite well up to date and has very good sound when compared to the more mainstream offerings.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rh1

Post Number: 259
Registered: Jun-04
Also consider the Pioneer 1014, you can pick those up onlie for the price you are looking to pay. You can demo the receiver at home buy purchasing one at a local retailer, albeit you can not expect to pay the same price as the online specials.
 

New member
Username: Jliverpool

Post Number: 4
Registered: Oct-04
Hmmm...seems like the pioneer 1014 is getting a lot of buzz. They are significantly cheaper than say a H/K avr330. Vols, have you ever auditioned a H/K with the pioneer? Which is a more detailed performer. I just can't believe it's better than an H/K but then again what do I know?
 

Silver Member
Username: Rh1

Post Number: 261
Registered: Jun-04
I have only listened to the 914 model so I can't really comment on the 1014 whole heartedly, but I will say that the 914 sounded neutral to slightly warm with crisp detail on mid and highs. This receiver seemed a good bargain for the price, however I would say that the H/K 330 was much more to my liking and clearly a better receiver than the 914, I would expect the 1014 to close that gap and perhaps exceed it. The only way to find out is to listen to them both and let your ears tell you what you prefer. Either receiver would be an enjoyable bargain at the price range.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rh1

Post Number: 262
Registered: Jun-04
If I were a betting man, I would put my money on the 330 against the 1014, just my thoughts.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Claudermilk

Post Number: 46
Registered: Sep-04
I was just in the receiver market. In my case it boiled down to a Marantz SR5400 vs Yamaha RXV750. After much debating I went with the Marantz as was many times suggested on this board--in large part on the strength of arguments presented by vols & landroval.

I couldn't be happier with it--and I'm still running junk speakers on junk wire. I really can't wait until my budget allows for good speakers and sources to back up the receiver.

I think the SR4x00 should be in the $400 price range. I know in my area the AVR330 & RXV750 are more like $500; the SR5400 was $550.

I don't really miss all the extra bells & whistles features the Yamaha had over the Marantz.
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Highlands Ranch, CO USA

Post Number: 633
Registered: Dec-03
John:

Given your speakers, which are nice speakers, but ones that can get bright and buzzy with the wrong electronics, I would strongly recommend the H/K as the best match. The Athenas are a fine speaker, with lots of detail, but they can develop an edginess to the sound if paired with the wrong electronics. What is needed is a receiver with a very smooth, relaxed sound that can tame over any brightness or buzziness, and bring out the detail that those speakers are capable of reproducing. Thus, the H/K is the perfect choice, because it has one of the very best power supplies and they install quality output transistors, as well, which is not often true for receivers in this price range. With bright speakers, the two best brands are H/K and Pioneer Elite (but not Pioneer!), but the PE's tend to be well above the $500 price range. I have tested the H/K 330 and found it to be a wonderful receiver, over-built for the price point with a very smooth sound. In other words, it is a bargain.

Marantz is not a bad brand, either, but stay away from anything below the SR5400. The SR4400 has a greatly inferior pre-amp section, with much higher signal to noise ratio and distortion. It uses a very cheap output section, too. I think Chris was right to choose the Marantz over the Yamaha, but he assumes the 4400 is the same quality as his receiver. It is not. The 4400 is, unfortunately, a product built to a particular price point that is not representative of the rest of the Marantz line.

I would suggest you take a pair of your Athenas to a Harman/Kardon dealer and have them connected. Then play some good music and you will see what I mean, particularly if you also have the Athenas connected to another brand for comparison.

Congrats to your folks on 50 years. That is truly special!
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