Receiver Advice for JBL Speaker Setup? PLEASE HELP--READ THIS!!!


Big B
Unregistered guest
I am looking to upgrade the receiver that drives my JBL Studio II Series Speakers. I don't really like the sound of my current Sony, plus it doesn't push out enough power.

Here are my speakers:
Front: 2 floorstanding s312II's 250W/92dB
Center: 1 scenterII 150W/91dB
Surround: 4 bookshelf s36II 150W/90dB
Subwoofer: 1 s120PII 12"/400W

So as you can see I'm looking for a 7 amp channel receiver. My listening habits are 60/40 HT to music. Thus the music capabilities cannot be mediocre/overlooked but I would prefer a receiver that boasts respectable HT accolades.

I have done some research and auditions, but I am in a semi-rural area so there aren't many hi-end electronic dealers around. Plus when I went to listen, the units I wanted to hear were in different rooms with different speakers...frustrating...

So please give me some feedback re the receivers listed below. I am not sure how much I want to spend yet, so they're are many from different price tiers. With that said, will anyone please rank the following receivers from best to worst. I also welcome specific comments about sound quality, features, soundstage presence, actual wattage driven to 7 channels, performance to 4 ohm speakers, etc. My hearing preferences are for a deep soundstage with unique voice/instrument distinction, crisp/accurate bass, and not too layed back. I cannot remember if JBL's tend to be on the boomy or bright side. Is THX certification worth it? Should I worry much about EI v. toroidal transformers? How important is video-up conversion? Any other models I should consider? Why? Thank you for your comments.

H/K 630(635)
H/K 7300
Marantz 5500
Marantz 7400(7500)
Marantz 8400(8500)
Denon 2805
Denon 3805
Yamaha 5790
Yamaha 757
Yamaha 767
Yamaha 1400(1500)
Onkyo 702

If you want to just rank manufacturers by sound production that would work too, I can probably decide between models--I am just aware that some companies exaggerate the wattage output (Onkyo?) while others are conservative (H/K?).

I also have a Samsung HDTV, Sony MD player, 200 disc CD changer, prog. scan DVD player, VCR, and maybe a game console shortly.

Again, thanks for helping a newbie!!

Bronze Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 67
Registered: Mar-05
I would choose the Marantz 7400 which is going for $650 shipped right now at brand new with Marantz warranty, or bid on the Marantz 8400 at which looks like it might end up going for around $500...I think this auction ends in another week or so, there are 339 units availabe and right now they already have about 350 bids, I'm assuming that come the end date they'll just take the highest 339 bids. You might want to check into that, I have no direct experience with ubid.

JBLs are known for being bright, so the warm Marantz would be an ideal match---as would the H/K but you won't get anywhere as good as a deal on the H/Ks unless you buy refurb from harman direct on eBay.

There's some debate as to whether Denon is warm or bright, but like the H/K I think it's hard to find them as marked down as the Marantz.

Definitely would rule out Yamaha which is known to be bright, and Onkyo is fine for HT but in my opinion weak with music.

Unregistered guest
Thanks Edster. I will look into those buying options...

Does anyone else have anything to add or suggest, please?

I have a set of JBL S412II which were hooked up to a Denon AVR-1803. This was a BAD combo! The receiver needed to be paired with smaller warmer type speaker (maybe with a silk dome type tweeter instead of the titanium dome JBL). The speakers were already "bright" sounding so with a lack of power and a cheap receiver the system sounded shrill and hollow.

I decided to get the new Marantz SR7500 and pair them up with my speakers,WOW this is a AWESOME combo! It added a lot of depth to the sound and got rid of the hollowness. Also the shrill "brightness" was toned down. So my thought is to go with the Marantz unit.(SR7400 or SR7500)

Unregistered guest
Thanks again...

Just to make this discission more complicated, can anyone comment on the merits of Pioneer/Elite receivers and how they might match up with the JBLs? I hadn't previously considered these, but someone gave me the suggestion so I thought I would at least entertain the idea.

(Good news, I atually found a local hi-fi dealer that will let me take some products home to audition them, they just have a very limited selection--now I'll be able to get a basaeline of the typical sounds of different brands so I can then translate this written discussion into knowing what is going to sound best to my ears, since that is ultimately most important)

Bronze Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 93
Registered: Mar-05
Pioneer/Elite are much loved for being warm, so they would balance out the JBLs nicely.
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