Just a Good Basic Receiver


I am in the market to purchase a receiver to be used to amplify music from a CD player as well as to be potentially used in a home theatre arrangement sometime in the future. My experience with receivers goes back to when we had amps and tuners .... Just to let you know where I am coming from.

My dilemma with making this selection evolves around several factors as specified below (listed in order of priority):

I would like the unit to be of very good quality which will continue to service me well into the future. My old amplifier was Yamaha equipment and it lasted me over 25 years.

I would like the unit to be flexible enough that if I decide to go the home theatre route, sufficient inputs / outputs of the appropriate type will be available. I will probably not go all the way to 5 or 6 speakers for surround sound but I would like the appropriate I/O (optical, coxial, S-video, component or composite) to provide an excellent picture/audio if I am playing or recording. I will most likely only have 2 speakers ..... but I am certainly interested in HDTV whenever they can get their standards together.

My television and DVD player are manufactured by Sony. I would like to try and keep it all the same because I believe that will increase the simplicity of the remote controls. This assumption may not be true as I have found that the remotes and the numerous choices/options available in the equipment have greatly added to the complexity of daily life. Just removing the cable input to the TV and activating the DVD player takes some level of technical skills. My wife and I would like these choices to be as simple as possible, hence, I thought if I kept it all Sony it would give me the best chance. If I am incorrect on this, please let me know. Also, I have thought of purchasing a programmable remote control to get as close to one button as possible .... If this is a good idea ..... please tell me with your recommendation.

As to the amount of power, I came from a generation of loud music but I really don't care about it anymore unless the top is down. So, 40-80 watts per channel is adequate for my needs at home. However, if it comes with 100 I can deal with it ...... I am not sure if they make 40 watts per channel anymore.

My cost goal is to be around $300. I realize that my other priorities may cause me to increase this. But as I said, my goal is to be around $300. If this is last years model that will be fine with me. I could even purchase a used one. Keeping up with the latest and greatest is not a priority with me.

That is it ..... thanks for any advice from those much more learned than I.


Greg :Lee
I'd get a 5.1 A/V receiver, of the sort that are commonly discussed on this forum and others. I don't think there is a feasible way to get a non-surround set up that can be expanded later without running into considerable extra expense for the expansion. With a $300 budget, you want to buy what everyone else is buying, because that's where there's most price competition. If all you want right now is stereo, just don't get extra speakers yet.

I don't know whether a programmable remote really simplifies things or not. I use a single remote to control our modest system, but my wife uses separate remotes, one per component, because it's conceptually simpler, though messy. No need to stop and think: now what mode is the remote in? and what mode is the receiver in?

I don't really know whether there's any benefit to staying with all Sony components. Sony receivers have a good reputation, but I'm not so sure this holds for your price range. Others can advise you better about this.

If your trying to get an amp that will last a long time, my advice is to get the Harman/Kardon AVR-125 (274$us@etronics.com) Its high current and a high quality amp and should last a long time. I will also recomend the ever so popular Kenwood Vr-6070(im gonna buy this one)THX select and dts-es/dolby-ex but you dont care about that anyway, so I would say your best bet would be on the Harman/Kardon.
Hope that helps. G-DawG

I would take a CD that you listen to and have confidence in the recording quality(as the producer of the CD has great control in the mixing of the music,if he doesn't do his job correctly,the sound can be bad even in the digital medium)and sample different brands in the price range you are looking to spend at the store.And don't be afraid of last years models,closeouts or floor samples.I bought all my equipment(except for speakers)this way and easily saved 40%.Settle on 5.1 compatable systems since you won't be concerned on home theatre yet.And I would say it comes down to what you are comfortable with at that price.Good luck.
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