I'm giving in... I need YOUR help in making the right choice!


New member
Username: Colbytrio

Post Number: 1
Registered: 02-2004
Well I just purchased my first house with my fiancé and our twin boys. Since the excitement was still in the air, I thought that I would pop the big question... "Can I get a new TV and a surround sound system?" And just as I planned, she was fine with it, with one exception: The TV and components have to be silver.

Now that I am able to make this big purchase I am having one heck of a time deciding on the best receiver within my budget (no more then $500). I have looked at just about every A/V website and visited a few stores to help me decide and this is what I came up with:

Denon AVR-2803 (Silver)
Onkyo TX-SR601 (Silver)
Harman/Kardon AVR 230, 630 (Silver)
Yamaha RXV1400 (Black)

I'll be running a 5.1 system at first. I haven't purchased my sub and center channel yet. I did purchase my Front and Surround speakers. They are all four 8" Cambridge In-Walls (I know some of you might knock these speakers...but for $200 a pair they sound AWESOME!).

I would also like to have all of my components switched at my receiver. This brings me to my first question.

What is the lowest component switching speed (MHz) to where I wouldn't notice a drop in HD picture quality?

The only reason I would go with the HK 630 is because the 230 only supports 30Mhz components switching. The 630 bumps up the strength to 50Mhz. Will I notice the difference on my new 57" Sony HDTV?

Speaking of HK's, Is the dreaded HK "audio drop off" present in the 230? And how noticeable is it in the 630? Noticeable enough to not purchase the unit?

I know just about every feature (and lack of) on the listed receivers but I just can't make up my mind. So help me out here guys!

Thanks in advance!


Bronze Member
Username: Steltz02

Post Number: 26
Registered: 01-2004
If the wife says it all has to be silver and you say the yammy only comes in black I guess that that one is out :-)
Glad I could help.

Silver Member
Username: Geekboy

Post Number: 185
Registered: 12-2003
For component video switching, you only need 50MHz for all signals. Some of the receivers have 100MHz switching for future capability which is plenty.

480i: 7 MHz
480p: 13.5MHz
1080i: 37MHz (you can get away with less)
720p: 37MHz

So, for most HDTV signals, a 50MHz component bandwidth switching is okay... but alot of switching AVR receivers today have 100MHz bandwidth capability.

Okay, so on to the H/K 230, so you basically can't run 780p through it. (The 1080i you can get away with 22MHz, so 30MHz will be more than enough... but if you're going to a 780p broadcast... then you'll get rolloff.) I can't say whether you'll see it or not.

Okay, your TV... if you're talking about the 53" Sony KP-57WV600... then it does 480i, 480p and 1080i. It does allow 720p input, but it upconverts it to 1080i anyway. It's "native" format is 1080i, that is. If you have alot of 720p source material, then you "could" notice a difference on the H/K AVR-230. I don't know if I would...

Okay, what audio "drop off" are you talking about? I don't know of this phrase to describe any known issues with H/K receivers.

I say the Onkyo 601 or the H/K AVR-630. The 630 is much different in price, though. What is the component bandwidth on the 601 anyway? (I'm lazy, don't feel like looking.)

New member
Username: Colbytrio

Post Number: 2
Registered: 02-2004

The newer HK's are known for dropping audio (it's muted for a few seconds) when the audio format changes. So when the signal changes from Dolby 2, to 5.1, you lose about 2 seconds of audio.

The 601 supports 50MHz.

Silver Member
Username: Geekboy

Post Number: 186
Registered: 12-2003
Colby Trio: I have an H/K AVR-525... on digital coaxial inputs, yes it does this. H/K isn't the only receiver that does that (my Sony did this too). I think that most of them have some sort of audio lost if the stream changes on the optical input. I haven't noticed this on the coaxial input on any receiver. I don't want to start a new topic in this thread on "change in program format on optical digital connectors" and how different receivers deal with it. Maybe someone will someday.

Bronze Member
Username: Ncavman

Post Number: 53
Registered: 12-2003
I don't mean to go off topic so let me say upfront... I would vote for the 630 and 601 and try them both with your setup. Bet I know what the winner is.

Geekboy has provided excellent info on the HD switching bandwidth and is right-on again regarding the audio. My old receiver and new one both do this when there was a digital stream change.

But really, why do we care? I have never had a stream change in the middle of a DVD movie or concert, has anyone? The only time there are stream changes for me, are when I am listening to HD Cable broadcast in native mode with DD sound. When it goes to a commercial encoded with D2.0, etc, there is a second delay while it changes formats. That gives me an extra second to grab my remote and fully mute those obnoxiously loud commercials. The only other time I have noticed it is when I jumpback to the menu on a DVD to change something, then back to the movie. The menus are often not DD/DTS so the stream is interuppted.

FYI (on a 7200) I got curious just now and switched my cable box to digital coaxial instead of optical. It behaves exactly the same on both.

I would be shocked if this behavior made someone pick a lesser quality, inferior sounding receiver.

New member
Username: Colbytrio

Post Number: 6
Registered: 02-2004

First of all, thanks for your input!

So what yo uare saying is that if I steer away from optical it will eliminate the audio drop off?

And by the way, the Onkyo and Denon are tied at first...the HK 230/630 is at a STRONG second.

Anyone else?

New member
Username: Sbull

Post Number: 3
Registered: 02-2004
Both Rotel units I have "drop off" during stream/format changes. They're connected coaxially. I wouldn't let this influence your receiver decision.

Bronze Member
Username: Ncavman

Post Number: 54
Registered: 12-2003
The delay happens on optical and coaxial on my HK. There is no difference. It happens at the first detection of a stream change on either type of input. Maybe there is some receiver out there than can switch streams in a nanosecond. But who cares?

Good luck in your search! When you find one that sounds great with your speakers and fills your current and future needs, then that's the right one.

New member
Username: Colbytrio

Post Number: 7
Registered: 02-2004
Do any of you know where to find a cheap silver Denon 2803 and Onkyo 601?

Bronze Member
Username: Colbytrio

Post Number: 12
Registered: 02-2004
Thanks for all of the help guys...

Right now I'm trying to balance the look, sound, and price of a good quality receiver and I have to admit, it's not an easy task.

Let me tell you where I stand:

Denon 2803S - It's a great looking and sounding reciever. However, it's a bit pricey at $649. That's the cheapest any authorized dealer will go. If I could get it for $500 I would. No question.

Onkyo 601S - This receiver sounds pretty good. And at $399 it's a steal of a deal. But I'm not too happy with the look of this receiver. It's a bit to "blah".

HK 430 - I LOVE the look of this receiver. But the price is also keeping me away from this unit. I haven't found it for under $500. ANd the audio signal drop off shouldn't be there if I'm spending that kind of cash on a piece of equipment.

Sony 895 - This reciver has a GREAT price tag at $300. However it doesn't sound all too hot. And I have a feeling it will struggle pushing my Cambridge 82's (8").
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