I cant decide. onkyo txsr600, harmon kardon avr225, or denon avr1803


1.which one provides more bang for the buck?
2.which has the best sound quality and clarity for both movies and music, considering watts per chanel and continious watts?
3.does each put out a fair amount of bass? for example; i heard the bass on the onkyo is pretty weak

i am not really an audiophile, but the things that are important to me are sound,value,and something i can use down the road for upgrades.


1.IMHO the Onkyo provides the most for the amount you pay for it.
2. In terms of performance these receivers are probably about the same. Although I have never tried these particular models I have bought the Onkyo 700, HK 520 and Denon 2802. You can download the receiver
3. The most bass will probably be from the HK at least in Music playback. However, I prefer some crisp highs as well when listening to movies and the Onkyo gave me the both.

Check out CNET and www.cheaphometheater.com to see their thoughts on it.

Phil Krewer
Another receiver you might want to look at would be the Denon 3802. Its a discontinued model and you can probably get some great prices. Of all the receiver mentioned the Denon will have the best bass IMHO. The Onkyo are fine but the bass is a little muddy and the HK almost blast you out with theirs. Check out the review on CNET of the 3802. They would have given it a best buy on its sound quality if it wasn't for the poor remote and the bad manual.


Hmmm Phil,

I just don't know about your characterization of the HK's bass. After many hours of excellent and varied listening I would *NOT* say that the bass "blasts" anything or anywhere.

It is full, rich, present and defined..."blasted" though? I just don't hear it and I have a larger room which would exacerbate the response. I have listened critically to about 3 Mozart concerti (and a few of them multiple times), Requiem, Pat metheny with Bob Moses and Jaco Pastorius (beautiful bass response), A LOT of jazz, Dave matthews, Norah Jones, about 10 movies, Steely Dan, Bach's Brandenburgs in 5.1, and too much else to list...the bass response? The HK pretty much gives you what you put in to it. Admirably and graciously, I might add

By that I mean, for example, that Steely Dan's Aja, which is an incredibly well produced album, is presented magnificantly through the HK (and M&K speakers), with tight, articulate bass and balanced clean voicing all the way through the spectrum. You can hear the reverb decay with splendid detail in the beginning of the bass slams on "Black Cow".

Whether I am taking a "pure analog audio path" or a pre-in with digitized crossover bass management, or via optical with 6 channels driven, the bass is just grand in every mode and on virtually all content (a Tal Farlow CD from the sixties sounds thin but that's defintely the original recording).

One thing to note, however, about the HK is that it offers HUGE flexibility in how to route any given signal, how to cross it over to the mains, center, surrounds, and how far the sub can voice (not to mention how to configure sub/lfe modes).

I will almost guarantee that if you heard an HK not sounding gorgeous, then one or many of the routing/processing setttings was neglected or incorrectly set.

For instance, for a "pure audio" 2-channel path (which goes directly from input to volume control, and mutes ALL other inputs), you connect your gear to an analog input (like CD), set your main speakers to large, and turn off any surround mode. Voila! a pure 2-channel audio path which bypasses all digitization and processing (what Onkyo calls "Pure Audio" and a give a blue light to).

Of course I can then set the crossovers for my mains and sub specifically for this input (for me it's CD) and I always have a beautiful and pure 2-channel signal with tweaked crossovers and sub-mode optimized for music. All of these settings are set once and saved specifically for THIS input.

For DVD-A in I connect to the HK's pre-ins (there is a 6/8ch-DVDa-in and a 6/8-direct-in, the difference is that the DVDa setting allows the inputs to be digitized in order to set the triple crossovers). I digitize the DVDa 5.1-ins from my DVDa player, set crossovers for all 5.1 of my speakers, and then that setting in specifically saved.

That's what I use for DVDa listening where I utilize the DVDa player's DACs. I can also use the "direct" in bypassing all digitization in the HK pre-ins and use the bass management in the Yamaha or other external processor.

Then for DVDv I use optical to connect to the HK. Again all settings for crossovers, etc. are saved just for this input and so the 5.1 setup is tweaked just for DVD videos.

Basically I have my Yamaha DVC6480 (AWESOME) DVDa/v player connected in three discrete ways to my HK. All are used for something specific and all integrate beautifully with the HK and their role. The reason the Yamaha is so cool is that its own on-board audio DACS are 192/24khz Burr-Browns...they sound great!

And I say this WITH a subwoofer upgrade in the works ;-).

Anyone with a question about the HK, feel free to ask.

*oh, btw, I owned a Denon for the previous 5 years. I thought it was fine, but in looking for a replacement because of an amp crapping-out (um, after 5 years?), I was thrilled by the HK...but it's all subjective...except for the Denon crapping-out. Nothing subjective about that.

Harman Kardon all the way. hipst3r is correct.

It should be noted that the above post was in no way intended to be personally pejorative to Phil Krewer (who needs a hug).

It was INTENDED solely for the benefit of AVR525 owners, potential owners, or anyone who may be curious about it or any other HK receivers.

But, if you see Phil around, do give him a hug!

All the best,


I recently purchased the HK AVR225 to replace my Technics 920 and I absolutely love it. Do not let the 55 watts of power fool you. It will blow any Sony, Technics, JVC, and Pioneers' famous 100x5 power rating clean out of the water. With good speakers this reciever will pleasure your ears all day long.

Congrats Chippa!


I own a HK AVR320. I have a doubt regarding the bass management.In the owner manual I have seen the following comments
"Note that when the 6-Channel or 8-Channel Direct Input is in use, you may not select a surround mode, as the external decoder determines the processing in use. In addition, there is no signal at the record outputs or bass management when the 6-Channel or 8-Channel Direct Input is in use."
1) If I connect a DVD-Audio/SACD player, whether the receiver will be handle bass management.
2) If the receiver is not able to handle the bass management,what if the player is having the bass management.
3) What if I am connecting the the DVD-Audio/SACD player to the receiver with optical/coaxial cable, will the receiver will be able to split the mutichannel input signal to 6/8 channels.

Help. Going to jump into HT and I have my speakers picked out.(Klipsch RF-5,RC-7, RS-7.) Now I have to decide between the HK 525 and the Denon 2803. I like to listen to DVD's kind of loud but my CD's I love to crank it up. Will I really notice the extra 20W the Denon will put out? Because I'm leaning towards the HK. Any opinions? Thanx

I'm not a expert on DVD Audio or SACD but to get the 6 discrete channels on those formats, you must use the analog 6 channel inputs, not the optical or coax cable. I think the digital outputs are for normal CD's and DVD movies, which can be processed by your HK.

I have a HK-320 also and it doesn't do the analog bass management but the newer models, 325 and 525 do have bass management for those 6 & 8 channel analog inputs. I know the 525 definitely does this, not so sure about the 325.

Some DVD-Audio and SACD players have built in bass management. I don't have one yet.

John K.
Robert, even if the 2803 did in fact have 20 watts more of maximum output than the 525 it would rarely if ever be noticeable. Most of the time speakers are using about 1 watt. On extreme peaks 100 watts or more may be drawn for a brief moment and both receivers can supply that. However, different manufacturers use different rating standards and HK rates their receivers more conservatively than most. The 525 is likely to have at least as much maximum power as the 2803 in reality, so if you prefer it for other reasons don't hesitate to get it.

I also recently upgraded to a harman Kardon receiver (AVR 225) and am having trouble finding the best way to hook it up to my subwoofer (HSU VTF-2).

If I use the bass management its cutoff is at
100hz. My front speakers (JBL S38II's)can go down to 45hz. Should I use the reciever's bass management or is there some way to bypass it and use the subwoofer's?

Please keep in mind that I am less interested in home theatre and spend about 80% of my time listening to music. I am looking for the most seamless connection for that purpose.
Thank you.
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