Onkyo TX-SR602 vs. Denon AVR-1905


New member
Username: Erik_barber

Grand Rapids, MI USA

Post Number: 4
Registered: Jan-05
I'm thinking about picking up a new HT reciever.
It would be connected to a set of Orb Audio speakers.
Orb recommended the Onkyo 602. I haven't asked why yet.
However, I noticed that the Denon 1905 is very similar in features and price (<$500). The one thing about the Denon that I really like is the component video up-conversion.
I can get similar deals with each unit. I can get the Onkyo for less, but the Denon comes with free Infinity Primus 150 bookshelves from Crutchfield.

I'm wondering which one is "better" than the other. Which has better component and build quality.
Also, What are their sound characteristics? Is one warmer than the other, etc...

If there is another reciever for the same or less money that would be better, please let me know.


New member
Username: Erik_barber

Grand Rapids, MI USA

Post Number: 5
Registered: Jan-05
One more thing... Looks like the Denon 1705 and Onkyo 502 are similar as well. Again the Denon has the better (on paper at least) video capabilites
I'm still not sold on the concept of anything more than 5.1 so I don't really care about the 6.1 and 7.1 options
Looks like the 1705 might be my new favorite unless the sound/build quality and features are better on the Onkyo side.

Keep in mind my budget of $500 or less(hopefully less).

Thanks for any insight

Unregistered guest
Best prices for Onkyo 502 and 602 are at ecost.com (refurb) and jr.com (new), both way way below your $500 budget. With that price range I'd look more at the Pioneer 1014 for the best combination of sound quality and features for right around $400.

I don't know anything about Denon receivers but I'd stay away from Crutchfield, their markup is ridiculous and there is a reason they're giving away the Primus 150, it's because those are mediocre cheap speakers so they're probably making more money by rolling them into the already-inflated price of the receiver.

About the best thing about Crutchfield is that they are a good starting point for your research: they have some decent info, specs and nice photos to look at, and their telephone operators are usually well-informed and helpful.

But jr.com beats their prices big time, all the time.

New member
Username: Erik_barber

Grand Rapids, MI USA

Post Number: 6
Registered: Jan-05
Thank you edster,

I have to admit I'm surprised to see Pioneer come up. The limited experience I've had with Pioneer receivers have left me less than impressed. Maybe they have improved with time. I'm mostly thinking of the older HT reciever my Dad has. It is noisy and is extremly thin sounding.
I notice that the 1014 is THX certified so I guess it can't be too bad, right? I'll definatly think about it.

Thank you for the advice of staying away from Crutchfield as well. I have never bought much from them because I can always find it cheaper, I was just using that speaker deal as an example of the deals to be had. I could get both recievers for about the same money. I was using Crutchfield for research when I came across the Denon recivers and noticed that they had a promotion on them and the Onkyos were on sale.

I havn't found the Denon equipment for sale in any of my usual places except Crutchfield. Even J&R only sells the two models I'm looking at in their brick and mortar store not online or through the catalog. It also looks like the 1014 is near the end of its life. I can't find it on Pioneer's website and JR.com is out of stock.

If I go Onkyo, I'll probably buy it from jr.com. I'd just need to find other places to buy the Pioneer or Denon equipment if that is what I decide to do.

Any other good options for recivers (Yamaha, Sherwood/Newcastle, Harman Kardon) besides my Onkyo/Denon dilema?


Bronze Member
Username: Dloweman

Post Number: 61
Registered: Nov-04
Might have to look at the yamaha rxv650 and 750, both have autosetup and pretty decent power supply with all the extras. I would say I like them more than the onkyo and comparable to the denon.

Unregistered guest

You're very welcome!

I was very happy with my Marantz SR5400, you might still be able to get it at hifi.com or authorized refurb at accessories4less.com as well as other Marantz receivers, which are known for great musical sound quality. I definitely noticed a difference between the 5400 and Onkyo 602 when it came to music, and since music is 90% of my usage I sent back the Onkyo.

The other brand receiver I'd look into is Harman Kardon but they are a bit pricey. For the best deals on them I'd look on eBay, do a search for Harman Kardon Direct and you can get good prices on refurbs which come with the full manufacturer's warranty. With your budget I'd go for the highest model HK I could afford, probably the 325 or so.

Don't know much about Yamaha or Sherwood receivers, other than a cheapo bottom-end Sherwood receiver I had in college which I sent back for a bottom-end Pioneer.

New member
Username: Erik_barber

Grand Rapids, MI USA

Post Number: 7
Registered: Jan-05
Hmmm... I seem to be getting more options instead of less. :-) Thanks guys for the suggestions.

From my superior powers of deduction I've come the conclusion that the Onkyo is probably not the best deal out there. So between the two that I started with, that makes the Denon look more attractive.

However, with the new options added in, it looks like Yamaha, Marantz, Harman Kardon, and Pioneer would be good choices as well.

I wasn't able to find the Marantz SR5400, but I'll keep an eye open.

I've heard good and bad things about H/K. Mostly that they are overpriced for what you get. I'm not sure how I feel about refurbs, though if I could get a good deal on a refurbed H/K with a full waranty, that might be good.

I think I'm going to limit myself to the Denon 1905, Yamaha RX-V650, and Pioneer VSX-1014TX for the time being.

Hmm... decisions decisions...

Thanks again

Unregistered guest
Actually if you're mainly doing HT then Onkyos are fine; the Marantz, HK, and Pioneer would be better mainly for music listening. And the Onkyos would be the cheapest, the 602 should be $300 or less new online.

The Marantz 5400 was discontinued so you'll have to look hard, replaced by the 5500 which goes for $550-600.

Just depends on your application, and budget.

Silver Member
Username: Riches1

Atlanta, GA US

Post Number: 133
Registered: Apr-04
Look for the marantz 5400 marked down at Cambridge Soundworks.

Crutchfield may not have the best prices, but sometimes they will negotiate on price. You can't beat them for their liberal return policy (30 days and they pay the return postage). The customer service is top notch.

I have done a lot of business with these folks and have always had excellent service.
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