Best Budget Reciever ($200-$250)?


Hi guys. I am looking to purchase a budget receiver for my grandparents. There are so many choices, I'm new at this. They don't need much. The use stereo bose self speakers, no surround or sub-woofer. They plan to move upto HDTV in a few years, so component and optical jacks are a must. If possible, an included high-quality universal remote. I was wondering what people's opinion are on receivers this cheap. I have seen offerings and read reviews at CNET about the Harman Kardon AVR 125, Pioneer VSX-D711, Onkyo TX-SR 500, and a Denon. Does one manufacturer stand out with low model receivers? Its a small space, so I would rather have better sound quality that a super loud reciever.


Component Video Switching is the deal-breaker. Optical's easy. $250 for a receiver with all of those features is unheard of. If you drop the component you may be able to find a Sherwood for $100 that will do what you want. I have one of the older 6090Rs and the newer versions are a little easier to use. The VSX-D711 is way more than $250. I went to Pioneer's site end they had 5 receivers for $300 or less - none with component switching. Denon's lowest price component switcher is the 1803, but it's $500 and so is pretty much everyone else.

Try one of the Pioneers for now and when they upgrade to HDTV, make sure the television has enough Component video input to suit their needs and let the TV do the switching. Alternatively, Klipsch and Logitech sell computer 5.1 systems in your price range and some of the HDTVs have Digital outputs. Connect one of these babies up to the TV and the TVs remote will control everything.

I lean more toward the cheap receiver or spending more money though.

Hope this helps.

??? The VSX-D711 looks pretty good. It has 100 watts x 5 and compontent video switching (2 Inputs/1 Output) Look at these prices:

Many under $250

I should have known the Internet would come through. It looks like you might make it to under $250. Those are very good prices. If that's the case, it looks like Pioneer has a newer model called the VSX-D712K. It should be out about now, but I cannot find what it adds except at setup wizard. Pioneers site says it cost $300.

I've all but decided on the VSX-D711. The only thing is, is it too good to be true? For $230 you get 100wx5, component switching, SACD/DVD-Audio capability, and digital audio. I've seen similar features on $500+ receivers. Also, a few tecnical questions. Is 28MHz component video good enough for HDTV? What about 0.2 % THD, I've seen others wich much lower. Are these problems? Are there any owners here that can comment on its quality?

Thanks again

Phil Krewer

No comment about the too good to be true, lol. My understanding is that 28MHz is good enough, at least "theoretically". The .2% THD is very high compaired to most receivers, but only you can tell if its a problem.



I was under the impression that THD was only perceptible at .5%. But, really anything above .1% is considered pretty high.

But, like Phil says, you're the only who can tell. But, with the deepest affection for grandparents, do you think *they* could hear it.



Thanks for the input guys. If not an owner of this exact product, can anyone comment on the performence of mid-range Pioneer Recievers in gerneral? Also, How much degradation in quality is there between connecting a DVD player, etc... through a receiver instead of directly to a HDTV? What does it mean when it is 96k/24-bit Capable, but NOT 192k/24-Bit Capable? Is this important?


Phil Krewer
Hey Chris,

It depends on the receiver and many other factors including bandwidth. I don't know much about the Pioneer you're thinking about buying but I suspect you'd get a better picture by going directly to the TV.

My personal feelings are that unless you have upconversion to component you're going to have to switch between the inputs on your TV anyway. Most HDTVs today have more than one component input. I have a 27" Samsung and it has two, which is more than I need so I go straight to the TV. But, I only have one device that I use component on which is my DVD player.

Most VCRs aren't going to have a component out, mine doesn't. If I had an XBOX or a sat reciever that had components I'd probably go through the receiver just for convience. But, I would only do so if my receiver did a good job of passing through the signal or I didn't have enough inputs on the TV.

Another thing to think about is that most mid-fi receivers will only have two component inputs. You'd probably have to pay about $2000 for a receiver that has three. You can buy a component switching device that does more for about $200, which you could add later if your grand parents need it.

There's a thread that discussed 192/24 vs 96/24 DACs


I thought it was .1 THD, but then it really doesn't matter ;-)


Tanner The #1 Pioneer Fan
hey man u should not worry about the THD .2%, I have the VSXD-811s(its rated at 1%!i have never heard it distort even on max) and its "the bomb" for lack of a better word i thought it was too good too be true i got the 811s for 274 @ they are the best prices gurenteed from what my 811s does im sure that the 711 will do just fine and the component bandwidth (on my tv atleast) has no degradation with my reciever so i would say go for it p.s., are they using a sub? the pioneers bass response is somewhat lacking without one. i bought mine the day i got my 811. happy hunting!

I have a 711 and I´m very satisfied. I would like to know the real difference between 0.1 % and 0.2%. Is it audible ? The 811 sounds better than 711 ?

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