Surround 7.1 Receivers


I consider to purchase a 7.1 receiver. Willing to invest around $1,000. Any recommendations? I heard good things about the Onkyo RX800 and the Denon 3803. Can someone recommend/ help me to make a decision? Any other receivers in that price range that I should consider?

Phil Krewer

I've already made a comment about these two in an earlier thread. Both are very good recievers. I would also recommend looking at the Integra 7.3, the Yamaha RX-V2300, and the Pioneer Elite 43/45.


Nathan Haynes
The 3803 is an amazing piece. It also will up convert s-video and composite to component out. Denon also has a great reputation for the phase correction and balance on these recievers. Very powerfull. Onkyo I have never used so can't compare really.

read the reviews of the Onkyo 800:
Secrets of Home Theater:

Seems like this would be a pretty good piece if you want to add an amp to the system and use it as a preamp.

I know what's 5.1 & 6.1 but I don't know what's 7.1 , in 6.1 surround ex is included but what's the setup of 7.1 ???? Can anyone help me out!

What are the differences between:5.1; 6.1 & 7.1 setups. Which would have have sub-woofer outputs?

5.1-5 speakers and a sub,6.1-6 speakers and a sub
7.1-7 speakers and a sub .( .1 means sub-woofer)
and so on .

There is no 7.1 standard. It usually is 5.1 with 2 additional surrounds. All have at least one mono sub-out.

5.1 is all that is necessary for standard home theatre. It includes a left and right front speaker, a center channel speaker (that is normally the dialogue speaker), a left rear and a right rear surround speaker, and a subwoofer (hopefully self-powered).

6.1 is normally a waste of time and acoustics.

7.1 is only useful if you have a very long room and you sit considerably in front of the rear wall. You put the two extra surrounds at the rear wall.

Most people sit either at the back wall or close to it it, hence a 5.1 is all they need.

In response to your question about which is better the Denon 3803 or the Onkyo SR800, I was just deciding on purchasing one of the two models a step down from these the Denon 2803 and the Onkyo SR701. My final decision was the Onkyo SR701. The reason was I talked to several dealers to get their opinion and they all said Denon does build a quality product but the Onkyo was superior because of their power supply. The Onkyo is cheaper and will offer more features. I've had products from both and both were good. My advice is to hear them both with the same setup and judge for yourself. Hope this helps!

Most home theater packages now a days have Dolby Surround decoding built-in with the DVD players and can directly hook up to 5.1 and 6.1 speakers, do I still need a receiver for a package like this? Will the receiver really make a difference?

For Jay:

You should try to take a look for the NAD T752 (MSRP $899) and T762 (MSRP $1299), both are really excellent receiver no matter for their power or sound quality. In terms of features, it seems kind of "basic", but what else you need for a receiver besides of sound quality and "actual" power? If you don't know what is the "actual" power, there are some other posts in this board discussed this issue before. The bottom line is that most companies (SONY, Denon, Onkyo,......) are over-rated their power and most only rate their power into 2-channels where the actual case is that you need to power up all 5-7 channels at the same time, not just two! But for NAD, they tends to "under rate" their power. Like my NAD T742 (the cheapest model in their line, MSRP $649, but I got it for only $449 from Saturday Audio), the power ratinf is only 50W which seems to be kind of weak, but I am quite sure it will beat most 80-100W receiver on the market; as the 50W is the actual power for powering all the channels at the same time, not just 2-channels.

Both NAD T752 and T762 offer 7.1 connections, and for their powerful amplifying strength, they give you a wide range of selection of speakers. e.g. Megnepan and other fine 4 ohm speakers; where most receiver cannot handle 4 ohm speakers like Denon (I read this from Hawk post).

For Ray:

The receiver DO make a huge a difference!!!

The first question you should ask is what do you want? If you want the basic features and on a budget, go for the HT packages. It provides all the basic stuff you need for a HT. But if you want some more, you need to pay more (both time on researches and money in most cases).

In my own case, I use to have a crappy SONY receiver which seems to be "powerful". But after I upgraded my receiver to NAD T742, I can feel the difference between these two receivers! NAD is famous for its sound quality and they really did a very good job in their new lines of receiver. I would say NAD is the best receiver I ever experienced before. I tried Denon, Integra and SONY in local showroom, they never come close to the sound quality of NAD.

I am not sure what is the exact meaning of "package" in your original post, as there are two kinds of packages on the market. The basic all-in-one package includes the receiver (some with DVD player) and speakers (front, rear, center and subwoofer). The other kind of package is the speaker package which includes all the HT speakers you need (5.1 usually) but no receiver.

Anyway, for your last question, I would say the receiver is the heart of your HT and the better you receiver you get, the better result you will have.

For the review of NAD T762, check this out:

does anyone know where to find a very cheap receiver with prologic 1 and 2 and dts for under $100

No, but you can get an Onkyo TX-SR500 which had both Prologic formats on closeout from right now for $129.00. You won't get a quality receiver for less than that.

...or a Sherwood for $89. I have this one or on my computer using its SPDIF and a set of Energy Take 5s and am very satisfied.

Now this thing is dirt cheap and uses the same Dolby Digital chip that Creative Labs uses so it's not the gretest sound in the world BUT; it's under $100, has Dolby Digital (I), does composite video switching, comes with a remote and two digital inputs (one optical and one coaxial). It doesn't do DTS but, incredably, it has a 5.1 direct analog input. There is a newer model out that I keep seeing. I think this is it.

Now I don't want everyone to think I'm a Sherwood fan but, a $100 receiver... Amazing!

Hope this helps

Sony STR-DE995

Kenwood vr-6050 on; retail-299.99, reason, refurb and discontinued.
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