Ok at the advice of many people here I have been searching around the net and I have decided to go with a HK reciever.
I am a HT user thats mostly games and movies. I need at least 2 optical connections and 1 coax. I do not need Zone 2 or anything fancy like that. I have a room thats about 20 X 20 and most likely be going with some floorstanding Athena speakers (unless I get talked out of those later as well).
I was orginally leaning towards the pioneer 1015tx . Others I have talked to have said the Athenas sound really harsh and sound much better with a HK running them.
My goal in this is to be able to connect everything I have digitally and it not sound crappy. Sound quality wise my current HTIB sounds ok. It really just needs a bit more punch in the center channel.
I will be piecemealing my setup as I am coming off a HTIB system that has normal (although cheap) speakers. I am going to get the reciever first mostly because I only have 1 optical connection on my current one and I need two.
So anyway I have been looking at prices and it seems I can go 2 directions. I have been following the prices on HKs ebay store and it seems I can get a 630 for about the price of a 435 new. I have not seen too many 430s(or 435s) for sale but when they come up they seem to go for about what the 630s go for. These 630s (and the 435 for that matter) are really a bit above what my budget is for my reciever so if I could get away with something less I would. I have been told that the 435 is a big step up from the 335..I would appreciate any advice you can throw my way.
I would go for the 435. It has the new TI DSP chip and AutoEQ room calibration. The only advantage of the 630, other than a bit more power, is bass management for the 7.1 analog inputs, handy if you plan on listening to DVD-A/SACD and the player's bass management is poor. If you're not in a big hurry, HK will likely come out with new models later this year and discount the x35 series since they seem to rev their receivers annually.
I can wait if it will save me a bit of cash. Thanks for the advice
I have heard athena speakers work well with onkyo as well so i would consider that(I would go with the newer onkyo 503 or the soon to be released 603).I would definitely listen to onkyo or read reviews before purchasing HK(I personally like onkyo better than HK but my experience is limited to their older HT receivers so it is not completely relevant to today---by the way I did not dislike HK i just liked onkyo better by a noticeable amount).If you feel you need the Hk 630 for 5.1 bass management you could buy the outlaw icbm(outlawaudio.com)to use with the onkyo 503($300)or 603($500?)and that would save you some money and probably give you better performance as well--the only real possible advantage of the HK(other than prefering their sound if you determine that but as I said I prefer onkyo)is their versatile bass management which is good if you have say very small rear speakers and large front sp's(or any combination).I personally don't like the fact that HK is made in china,but they do seem to quickly repair or replace defective units from what I've read(but there do seem to be an endless supply of refurbished Hk units)On the other hand onkyo has had some reported problems with some processors in their receivers being bad but this is actually a common problem among all HT receivers as the processors have a failure rate(there seems to have been a bad batch of processors that infected several different brands this past year from one or two different processor manufacturers)I'm pretty sure this defective processor issue has been fixed so I would think that onkyo is less risky than HK quality wise(although reviewers say HK is well made so maybe I"m wrong,but they also say onkyo is just as well made or better so that's the whole story).
Anon: Just to correct a couple of points in your post. The bulk of HK units that are sold as refurbished on sites like the HK outlet on Ebay are NOT repaired units. These are units that were sold initially as new and were returned to a dealer for whatever reason. The dealer then returned the units because once they are opened they cannot be sold as new. In recent years Onkyo's quality has improved but I prefer the HK sound which is richer, fuller and more detailed through any type of speaker. Also more importantly HK receivers will handle difficult speaker loads, speakers that dip into low impedences such as 4 Ohms and have widely varying impedence curves. The Onkyo's, save their flagship the TRX1000 are absolutely intolerant of any speakers that dip below about 6 Ohms. Any Onkyo that is able to cope somehow with this type of speaker will sound thin and bright. Feel free to argue if you like but this has been well documented in many audio magazines with testing. Yes the HK's are assembled in China, but they are designed in the USA and constructed of high quality Korean electronic parts.