Looking for a new reciever for home theater and music.


HT Newbie
I am looking at getting a new reciver, i am looking at the Kenwood VR-6060,Pioneer VSX-D812K JVC RX-8030VBK and Harman Kardon AVR-125.which one is the best?I am also open for input in that price range --ps-- it must have dts-es and dd ex well not the harman kardon it has high current to make up for it though.

Hi, friend

Have you consider YAMAHA, They just come out wt new range of receiver. Sure it all have dts-es & dd ex as well as 6.1 ch. And every othe features.

May be RX-V540 or even RX-V640 cross in your price range.


RXV640 or 740 are very good. The composite to s-video switching is a very nice feature and everybody who listens to 5 or 6 channel stereo loves it. I highly recommend them.

HT Newbie
Actualy I am not really a yamaha man myself, but ill give them a listen I am more looking at the JVC rx-8030vbk model it has dts-es/dd ex for way cheaper than the others but i am conserned about the JVC's sound quality, I have never heard any thing about them. I saw on jvc.com that it is "high Current" but it is only able to handle 8 ohm speakers does this mean it is not high current?

Onkyo has just come up with their new TXSR501.
It has 6.1 and Dolby ES and DTSE ES. Along with component vidio. Its for $299.
Its only 65W per channel. If you can live with that i think its a great buy

I would for sure suggest Pioneer 43/45TX. Just bought the VSX-D1011 EURO modelm which is the 43TX. An absolutely outstanding machine!!!

If you get the chance, check out the Marantz receivers. Great bang for the buck when you consider the sound quality. Dump a few features off your wish list and in a similar price range, you may get to some good sound. If you don't care for the Yamaha's, the HK will probably do a better job then the JVC. Also, give each a lift to get an idea of the powre supplies in the units. When I used to work at CC, the HK's and Onkyo's always weighed more, rated less wattage, AND SOUNDED BETTER than the Sony, JVC, Pioneer, etc. which rated power output as more, but weren't built well enough to handle real power and convert it into good sound. Good luck!

HT Newbie
I cant consider the Pioneer Elite 43tx as someone suggested its far too much money, I was looking on the 399.99$max range I am more of a "bells and whistles" person thats why I want JVC or Kenwood. I dont need to crank up my HT. and all my speakers are 8 ohm so I dont need high current.I'm running 2 floorstanding speakers as fronts two bookshelf rears and a bookshelf laid on its side as a center if that helps.

Ht Newbie
I looked at some "higher end recievers" such as HK,Onkyo and Yamaha I was looking at the hk 125 but its too much money and thats their lowest model onkyos sr-500 sucks and denon isnt even worth considering, (well its better than Sony to say the least) well the sr-500 doesnt "suck" but it has no features its more of a using thier name to sell'em reciever.no "bang 4 buck".

HK, Onkyo, Yamaha, Denon are all midfi and mediocre. Not worth the investment if you really want to listen to music as much as you do movies.

Try NAD, Arcam, or Rotel. All do an excellent job with 2 channel audio music as well as excellent work with multichannel.

They are basic products that don't attempt to do product differentiation by adding bell's and whistles that you will never use (as is the case with almost all Yamaha products). Instead they focus on upgraded "inards" which leads to noticeably better performance where it counts...in the sound.

Hi HT Newbie

Kindly let me know what is your finnal choice. OK -Thanks


If you list HK, Onkyo, Yamaha and Denon as medocre then your only choice is to spend(if you want manufacurer support anyway) over $4000 because thats how high they go and if you want improvement over that you will have to spend big bucks.
Sure you could buy a stack of separates for around that price and sometimes even less if you want to give up those "bells and whistles". But some of those bells and whistles are viable features that appeal either some peoples ear or the desire to make your theater easier to opperate. Take a look at the Stereophile Guide to Home Theater recommended components from last month and see what they had to say about the Denon AVR5803 or the Yamaha RXZ1.
NAD, Rotel, Macintosh, Parasound.... sure their quality is unquestioned, but with the law of deminishing returns in effect at all time it may be possible to get merely great performance for a fraction of the cost. Getting a good reciever and great cables with a great power center like monster clean power will give you better performance than separates that cost twice as much and cable in the box or from radio shack.
Give me component video up-conversion, give me multi-room/multi-source capability, give me an RF touchscreen remote control. Let me have it all in one box and I don't mind gaining .01% Total Harmonic Distortion. That's just me though. If you can hear the fact that a fly landed on the cymbal just before it was struck then spend 5 times as much on your separates and enjoy.

HT Newbie
well telling me receivers thqat cost thousands of dollers wont do any good what I really want to know is abotu JVC recievers anybody know any strengths and weeknesses on them?(preferrably someone who owns or owned or listened to them)

Dear HT Newbie,

I owned a JVC receiver for about 7 years and it performed quite well. It had 100Watts per channel and I was happy with the features. One side went out on it and about two years ago I replaced it with a low end Harmon Kardon (the AVR 35). What a difference in sound! This thing is only rated at 45 Watts per channel and outperforms the JVC by a mile. Better highs, lows, and clarity. Keep in mind, I had no allegence to HK - I just needed an affordable replacement. If budget is a big issue, check out the open box items at one of the retail stores. I bought the HK avr35 for $169.00 as an open box with remote and manual (make sure you get them both as many times they have disappeared). My HK does not have all the bells and whistles but decent sound on a limited budget was my objective. Miguel's comments made me laugh - he's right on target too. Good luck!

Ht Newbie
Ya thanks shoe i really like the way the new JVC is designed i think i will end up with that one.it has everything i want at a resonable price.

Thanks Shoe-
Newbie, why stuck on JVC. They aren't bad but they certainly don't have the rep that some others do. I view them as more of a video company. Honestly none of us can tell you what the best reciever for you is without knowing A) What speakers you are using and their power demands, B) What features or stylings that you like in the JVC and C) Your budget. Speakers are the biggest part though. Unless you know the demands of your speakers then it could be that you are heading off at a hundred miles per hour only to find that you're headed in the wrong direction. Tell us the rest of the story and you may get better suggestions, as it is we're only guessing. We might find that the JVC is still the best one, more expensive doesn't always mean better. Good luck.

By the way you can get a yamaha at $299 retail with DD-EX and DTS-ES


I have read a few of your replies and appear unbiased toward a particular brand and I'd like your input. Although the HK AVR 35 served me well and is great for music, I am looking into upgrading. I have narrowed it down to a Yamaha rx v3300 and a HK avr 8000. I would like to play my old records and the HK does not have a Phono jack (guess I could buy an adapter but don't know how they work out). I currently have Monitor Audio Gold Reference 10 speakers and plan to acquire the Gold Reference 60's. Which one would you look into? Thanks!

HT Newbie
well all my speakers are 8 ohm except my surrounds which are 6 ohm, my fronts are towers and 225w my center 125w and my rears are 50w I have a Jensen JS-1000 subwoofer I like the JVC because it is "High Current"my old amp didnt have a good display, it was blurry and it said the inpout not the sound mode which i didnt like(I know its not imporatant at all but its to my preference and the JVC has both which is cool)the other thing is two surround back outlets and it just LOOKS COOL.im all about little things and thats what the JVC has.my old amp also what i just hated was the remote it had only some of the inputs on it but not all them, dont ask me why also another thing about inputs was only one optical and one coaxial(the opt was cd and the coax. dvd so my dvd player was hooked up under cd and my cd player under dvd (i guess you now know why i am upgrading) one thing THE ONLY THING i liked about my pro-logic was it had a learnig remote but the JVC has that too.

HT Newbie
what models are around 299 with dd-ex and dts-es?

I saw the Onkyo TXSR501 being available, the previous version sr500 sucked because of an LFE problem has anybody complained of this yet in the TXSR501. I was also interested in the JVC but I heard the sound may not be as good as the Yamaha HK or Denon receivers especially. But as always it really depends on you.

New Integra owner
Take a peek at the Integra line

HT Newbie, Yamaha RXV440 299 DD-EX and DTS-ES.

Sorry Shoe-
not as familiar with the HK to give you a reply based on sound quality. I do know that the Monitor are pretty smooth sounding and not aggressive. If you want something to balance that out the Yamaha is more revealing in sound than some other recievers in the same category and will do a good job. If you prefer even more laid back sound the HK might be better. Both are pretty fully featured, with enough inputs and decoders for just about anybody. The yamaha will do multi-source/multi-room with 6.1 and the HK will need an extra amp just for the surround backs. The power difference is negligible since HK usually tests all channels driven. If you care to try it many people do like the front effect speakers on the yamaha. It does succeed quite nicely at opening up the front soundstage. Let me know what you chose and how it works out for you. Also if there some points to consider that were key in why you pick one over the other let me know. Good Luck.

HT Newbie
Thanks, i'll take that into consideration, because ive heard good things about Yamaha(my dad is a yamaha fan)and I checked out that model it is "high current" and has all discrete circuitry but not as much power as the JVC(JVC is 130x6 with two surround backs) and the Yamaha has 95x6 but with only one surround back speaker. So I am pretty sure im sold on the JVC. BUT I forgot all about the Pioneer VSX-D812K which I was checking out the other day too it also has DTS-ES/96.24 and DD-EX and PL2/neo:6 so It's #3 on my list.

King Nero

Sorry to cut in on this thread, but kudos for sober, non-brand baised and sound views.

I am just begining to get into the components end of Home theatre on a low and limited budget. I am looking at Onkyo 696, Pioneer 811s, Marantz 5300 and Marantz 6200 amps. I have read reviews on some of these but then you notice the brand slant. I am keen on quality (I know its difficult to have my cake and eat it), but I am not fixated only on these brands. Starting with the choice mentioned, what would you recommend and how would you rank them.

King Nero

T. J.
Looking for recommendations. I used to be into audio, but kids, house, etc interfered and now years later I am wanting to get into surround sound on my TV and the world has changed. I currently run a 70's vintage quad marantz receiver with Bose 901's in the family room and also drive 2 other pair of speakers in other parts of the house.

In my family room is also our TV with a 5.1 speaker system that I jury rigged to work with the TV's stereo output. I am wanting to get a good HDTV, and the question of receiver is on my mind?

Is there a receiver out there that will replace my marantz and allow me to play music throughout the house on multiple speaker systems and still allow me to drive the 5.1 system for digital TV? OR should I keep the "stereo" system and have a separate TV sound system and receiver?

T.J. If you really love the sound and have the space then keep your equipment. If you would like to consolidate then the reciever you choose should be the second item you choose right after the speakers. The speakers play the biggest part in the sound you get and once you know the power requirements of the speakers you have choosen you are halfway there. As far as the features you want, as long as it has the power you need I would go with the Denon AVR3803. It has either 7.1 or 5.1 in one room with a separate stereo source playing in another room with independant volume. And with 110 WPC it will drive at least 2-3 sets of speakers using a niles switchbox if the speakers aren't too demanding. Furthermore the AVR3803 has component video upconversion meaning that you will never have to change anything on the TV, just keep it on the same input and whatever source you select on the reciever will be what plays on the tv, whether it comes through composite, s-video, or component video. The component video bandwidth is 100 Ghz which is plenty for HDTV. It uses 16 24Bit 192Khz Burr Brown D/A converters. The same as on the AVR5803.

As far as the speakers and tv go, do you have any size constraints? How big is your room and how far back do you sit from the tv? Do you listen to music more or movies? What is your DVD player? What other components do you want to incorporate into the system. Do you have satalite or cable? What region are you in? Is there anyone broadcasting HDTV in your area yet?
Do you rent or buy more DVDs. Do you have any brand preferences?

Thank you and sorry King, not familiar with those recievers but if you can tell me what you like about them I may still be able to help you decide or point out others that you may have overlooked. No Marantz dealers in this town but I sell Denon (Marantz's sister company) and I may be able to answer some questions about specific features.


I´m looking forward to upgrade a TX-SV444 ONKYO for a TX-SR501 or TX-SR700,,price will go way up, I´m a big music lover more tha a Movie Lover, DD wouldn´t mind, and also a Multiroom feature.

Im also considering on switching to Yamaha,,WICH HAVE BETTER THD AND SOUND???,,,ONKYO OR YAMAHA,,,Which Model would you choose from YAMAHA in order to compare to the TX-SR700


I work at Circuit City and the new Onkyo TXSR501 is a great buy because it has the exact same features as the Onkyo TXSR600, other than the total power. The Onkyo TXSR501 has a wider frequency bandwidth and has A+B switching, it's $200 cheaper. If anyone has specific questions about the Onkyo line in which I am privy knowing, email me at ginseng5393@yahoo.com. My name is Mike

I have just ordered one TX-SR501. This will be my first A/V receiver. I want to know what kind (make) of speakers to use for best performance.
Do these receiver have any problems?

HT Newbie
hey all!after VERY VERY extencive research(and of course this thread) i am almost sold on the Yamaha HTR-5640 reciever all the ex-es modes of course but there is no reviews yet on the http://www.audioreview.com site.so i came back here to find out what you guys had to say about what this stunning(well on the outside)but what I wanna know about is the inside, what does it sound like? I was told that JVC makes every thing good except recievers I listened to one and knew that too. There is 7 of the HTR's on ebay selling for 249.99(buy it now)is that a good deal?(p.s. I live in canada so its actualy 345.00 on ebay.ca b4 shipping)

HT Newbie
Yamaha has alot of scammy things although I dont think that they are the company to do that... number 1-they have something that makes turning the volume up easier how the heck do you do that???number 2-ToP ArT whats that?-and last Cinema DSP but every single reciever I looked at has some of them.(sony, kenwood, pioneer, JVC etc) Does the Yamaha scams actualy make a difference???

HT Newbie
I dont know what to buy.....theres so many new choices I just dont wanna make the wrong one. I have started to really narrow down my search though, anyways, heres my list...JVC RX-7030, Yamaha HTR-5640 and Pioneer VSX-D812K. Is this a good list?Am I almost there?

ok.i just got home with the JVC rx-8030vbk its sounds great(well i think...im not sure how good,cuz my speakers suck)but now i need some recomendations on good speakers for the 803o. ive heard that some speakers(bright'n'warm ones)Is the JVC a bright receiver or warm one?

Pro-Linear Man!,if your in Canada that is,www.prolinear.com

Dont forget HK. I have spent almost a month trying to figure out what A/V Receiver to buy...

I finally came to the conclusion that the HK AVR-525 is the right fit...

..... Sony was on the bottom of my list....

hT nEwBiE
help please

hT nEwBiE
hey g.dawg how much are those pro-linears cuz im in Canada, is ther a website?

hT nEwBiE
p.s ive been looking at alot of speakers lately but i DO need somones advice on speakers.i domnt know which to get(warm or bright)speakers.i have looked at the Energy take 5.2 but its a little too expencive for me.the one i am manely looking at is fluance.has anybody ever heard these speakers?

hT nEwBiE
ps-and sorry 4 alot of posts here is the JVC rx-8030 a brighter or warmer receiver? just want to know for when and if i go looking at local stores.

hT nEwBiE:

You don't need our advice on what speakers to get, unless you aren't willing to go out to your local dealers and try them out. If there is one fact in HT, it is that everyone has different tastes. Some speakers are bright and others are more "laid back." You should get what you like, which works well with your new JVC receiver.

If you are looking at a speaker from an internet only company, make sure you get a trial period to listen to them, so that you can return them if you don't like the sound. I personally don't recommend Fluance--they have thin walls, so you get cabinet resonance and they have cheap cross-overs, but hey, if saving a buck is what matters most, go for it. If you want something much better for just a little more money, try the Mirage FRx-3s and the FRx-5s from Audio Advisor (www.audioadvisor.com). They only want $199.95 for the 3s and $299.95 for the 5s--and the shipping is free. These speakers have been well reviewed and they are a steal at this price.

As for the JVC receiver, IMO it a definitely a bright sounding receiver. I would strongly advise against Fluance because they are bright, too. I would also stay away from the following brands, not because they are bad, but because their sound mated with the JVC would tend to be very bright and may cause fatigue: Klipsch, Aperion, Monitor Audio, and probably a half a dozen others that I can't think of right now.

Good choices for the JVC are B+W (either the 303s or the 600 series), Paradigm (wide range of speakers that will fit any budget), PSB (check out www.elegantaudiovideo.com for a great selection of PSB speakers--the Alpha 1Bs are a great speaker for $229/pr.), NHT, and Boston Acoustics.

Good luck!

Advising someone who just bought a JVC to get NHT or Boston Acoustics speakers, I don't think so. If he can afford these speakers, I hope he would opt for something better than JVC.

Sorry I have been gone so long. a few things

Mike - What is the bandwidth on the tx-sr501 vs. the 600. ( I assume you are talking about the component video switching bandwidth and not the playable frequency spectrum)

Newbie - The HTR line is the secondary line. Look for reviews on the RXV440 which is exactly the same thing. It retails for $299 in the states so you could probably get it from an authorized dealer instead of ebay for not much more.

Newbie - I don't know what you mean by scammy. If you mean the marketing strategies (like the fact that every Yamaha component says "Natural Sound" in the upper left corner, or that the recievers say top art - just a name for the sleek designs ) then rest assured, every succesfull manufacturer uses marketing techniques. Most audio/vidio recievers have DSP modes but yamaha does a better job than just about anybody on those. They actually have measured the accustics in many of the most famous venues around the world and recreated those accoustics in their surround modes.

Everybody - I can't stress enough, don't buy a reciever untill you know what speakers you are buying. That is putting the cart before the horse. If you buy bright speakers and want to smooth them out you will need a smoother reciever and vice versa. The speakers are the most influential part of the sound and if you don't believe that then buy some $200 speakers with a $1000 reciever and I'll buy $1000 speakers with a $200 reciever and compare.

nEwBiE - if you like the sound of the energy but don't want to spend that much look for the Take5+1 which retails at $699 and is the first small system that HT reviewers really liked. Also energys are smoother speakers so they will be a good balance for the JVC, unless it is the brightness that you like.

and here is a review of small HT speakers made by RBH...

and another one..http://www.onhometheater.com/product/20020901.htm

hT nEwBiE
Well, I bought the Athena ASF-1 towers from futureshop for only 499.99 cdn if they are to bright cant i just turn down the treble on my JVC?Well I dont think it is anyways although im no audiophile I know that these speakers sound great with my JVC thanks u guys 4 helpin me out. I might go back (when I get my next pay check)and get four rears(2 pairs) and a center channel.

i would strongly suggest you by your reciever from brandnamez.com or from etronics.com you will find that you can afford a much better reciever in your price range as opposed to buying a retail model from a local dealer!! the yamahas and marantz recievers are very good in your pricerange!!if you ever get a sub,go with an sv subwoofer,by far the best bang for the buck!! good luck htnewbie

take tose athenas back man and go with nht !! i assure you that you will be much happier!!athenas are bright but i believe it is your jvc reciever that is the problem with the treble!! good luck!!

hT nEwBiE
whats so great about nht?are they available in canada without 200$ shipping like most other floorstanding speakers from the states?

OK, I just finished hooking up my brand new JVC RX-8030 and I'm thinking I've made a mistake.

I really loved the fact that I could plug both phonograph and MiniDisc into this thing (that's about 100 years of technology there), along with my home theater stuff.

This thing has multiple optical inputs, coax digital input and optical output, plus a way to use my turntable.

But I'm feeling a little ripped off right now.

Essentially, the phonograph and the MiniDisc are separated by the product's design, not just the span of years.

You probably won't find it anywhere else but here (and you WILL need to read the entire manual to figure this amp out), but there,
in a "Note",
in a small outlined box,
in italics,
on the inside column
on page 22 (about the middle of the manual),
is the language that would have been a deal breaker for me:

"Analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog recordings are not possible."

What?!? Why not? Especially, why no digtial to analog?!? You're going from digital to analog to get to the speakers - can't they split that signal off to a pair of outputs?!?

Basically, you've got two independent systems here, an analog system and a digital system, which wreaks all kinds of havoc in the real world.

You cannot record CDs or DVDs to audio tape or VHS.
You cannot record LPs, tapes or VHS to MiniDisc or CD-R via digital output.

So if you were thinking about using this thing as a hub for some media conversion (as I was), THINK AGAIN.

VCR video signal doesn't pass through the composite video cable, which means two sets of video inputs are used on my TV, which means I've got to select VHS or DVD on both TV and amplifier to see the appropriate picture. (I guess you could use S-video for both.)

Digital audio output is pass-through only, so you can't record a DVD movie's audio to MiniDisc - it's only piping out the Dolby Digital encoding information.

There is no audio out to put back into my TV when sourcing from either VHS or DVD. So my TV's speakers are completely useless. (Yeah, I know, but for center channel purposes or when I'm just watching CNN late at night and not wanting to fire up my whole system.)

I'm sure there are other limitations as a result of this design that I haven't encountered yet.

I don't acutally know if any amplifier in existence avoids these problems. I'll probably look into this, but since I bought this off the Internet and can't just bring it back, I'll have to come up with a bunch of work arounds.

There IS a full set of preamp outs if I want to add another device to the system. If I run whatever comes from the main left and right preamp outs through the 20 year old amp I was about to dump, I can basically solve the audio problems. But I really don't have room for two amplifiers.

Would it really have been so difficult or expensive to add a pair of line level RCA jacks after the DAC?

My wife is not going to be happy to learn that the spiffy new amp I bought essentially exchanged digital for analog functionality rather than adding it.

I just bought speakers. (someone said buy good speakers first then get the reciever? - I did!) B&W CM2 for fronts, CMC center, and ASW CM sub. $$ ouch! Rears I will find something later.
I am thinking Yamaha RX-V440. I don't have much $ left. I like movies but wife is really into music. Will this work? I have heard Yamaha is not so hot for music? I have no money for Rotel now. :(

hT nOviCe
the rx-v 440 is a great receiver i just didnt want to shell out the money for it because it only had 1 optical input i needed 3. it sounded good to me for music i was actauly thinkin about it for a while.

hT nOviCe
by the way if i put the cc converter on it hurts my ears from too much treble, that aint good is it?

hT nOviCe
I can still take the athenas back, i got two days left on the 30 day exchange future shop doesnt cary nht or paradigm orenergy so what would be better speakers?jbl n3811(699) or polk r30(399)?


I congratulate you on an excellent choice in speakers. The B+Ws are superb and you will get a lot of joy listening to them, but to do that, we need to get the right receiver.

I personally don't believe that Yamaha is a good choice. The 440 does not have discrete amplifiers, but runs all channels off of one amplifier (the product literature will say "discrete amplifier", but what they mean is that the amp is not on the main circuit board. Note that they say amplifier in the singular, not plural). Additionally, Yamahas are notorious for having weak power supplies, which will starve your beautiful speakers for current.

Given your apparently restricted budget (alas, it is true for me, too), we don't have many choices. My top recommendation would be an NAD 742. Although rated at only 50 wpc x 5, it is an honest 50 and will give you about 120 wpc on peaks. Furthermore, NAD's 50 wpc sounds louder and cleaner than most others 100 wpc. In fact, in a head to head against several other receivers that cost much more and are rated to have more than twice the power, the NAD sounded like quality separates, putting the others to shame. The MSRP is $649, but the street price is about $525.

If you can't reach that far, go to eCost.com and watch for a Denon 2802 refurb for $329.95. They get them from time to time and if you want a warranty, it is only $19.95. It is a much better choice than the Yamaha, IMO.

Good luck.

Hawk,I will look into NAD and the Denon 2802. Great post - thanks m8.


""Analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog recordings are not possible."

That's pretty common. It's that way on the HK, Yamaha and Newcastle receivers I own. Are you using a portable minidisc player or a home deck? I have Sony's cheapest MD deck and it has digital and analog inputs. Just a flip of the switch to record from analog or digital sources. I've got a digital optical and a pair of analog RCA cables connected to my deck.

You can record from any source if you use the analog jacks. Every DVD or CD player has those.

To record from your CD or DVD to a VHS deck, just plug the analog cables (L+R) from the CD or DVD to the receiver. The easiest thing to do is have digital AND analog cables connected from your DVD to receiver. Then the tape out from the receiver to VHS deck via RCA cables.

If you try to record from a DVD to Minidisc digitally you're gonna have problems. Digital bitstream like DD and DTS can't be decoded by the minidisc player. What you need to to is go into your DVD setup menu and change the output to PCM. Even then some DVD disc have some type of copy protection which won't let you record to another digital source.

I have a MD player in my car so I recorded Norah Jones live in New Orleans DVD to MD and also Diane Krall Live in Paris DVD. One of them I had to record using the analog outputs.

Depending what type of DVD player you have, some outputs are turned off. For instance if you use the optical output, the coax and analog output might not work. I think I've seen that on some Sony's. But on Toshibas, they have parallel audio and video. Coax, Optical and Analog audio all work at the same time. Same with Component Video, S-video and Composite.

This note might be confusing because I wrote it in a hurry. But I do believe you can do what you want with that receiver, you might need more analog cables for all your sources.

Hi, Im from Argentina, and there are not many models available here so I wanted to ask you guys if the configuration im going for is ok.
My listening room is 14 x 15ft and 12 ft high.
I want to use the Home thater for music & movies.
My first choice is
Onkyo TX-SR600
HKTS 12 surround speakers
The second choice is
Yamaha RX-V640
Klipch quintet system.
Any advice?

I am looking at buying a new reciever and would like some opinions. Here's the facts:


Front Polk R30's (2way ported towers)...45Hz-24kHz, 8ohm, 150w, 3/4" dome tweeter and 6.5" woofer

Rear Polk R15's (2way bookshelf)...60Hz-24kHz, 8ohm, 100w, 3/4" dome tweeter and 5.25" woofer

Center Polk CS175i (2way ported center)...55Hz-22kHz, 8ohm, 100w, 3/4" dome tweeter, 5.25" woofer

Sub Polk PSW202 (ported powered sub)...40Hz-200Hz, 100w max (50w RMS), 10" long throw driver

now, on to what i want:

minimum 3 digital inputs [xbox(optical), digital cable(coax), dvd(currently coax, soon to purchase one w/optical)

component in/out (at least 2 in and 1 out) (don't have HD yet, but will soon)

svideo in/out (at least 3 in and 1 out) (for use with current tv w/svideo inputs

DD and DTS minimum (DPL II is preferred, but not necessary) (5.1 or 6.1 is okay, but not necessary, cause i will have to buy more speakers for it anyway)

6ch audio in preferred, no plans for dvd audio or sacd right now, but who knows about in the future

a/b speakers preferred, but by no means a factor in my decision (i have enough other stereos)

here's what i'm looking at:

HK 125-not really in the front running right now
Denon 1603-looks feasible (online for $200)
Onkyo 501-can get at local store for $250...definate posibility
Yamaha 530-available at local store for ~$250 (this model really talked up by salesman, not sure about his motives, but i'm always skeptical of salesmen)

key information:
i'm a cheap bas tard. always looking for a deal. want good stuff at excellent price. (for example, paid less than $500 for all of those polk speakers brand new). I'm not into impressing my friends or annoying the neighbors. I want good clean sound while paying as little as possible. i'm not into buying something just for it's name, but i will take reputation into consideration. i dont care that i have the lower end polk speakers, they sound pretty good to me, but with my super-crappy reciever...i feel i can make them sound much better. any ideas????

Ht NoviCe
why is it that when i put on the cc converter that it hurts my ears? is this what the "bright" means becasue i woulod like to use that feature mainly because thats why i opted for the 8030 insead of the 7030, i tried turning down the treble bu it only works in stereo it doesnt work in 5 channel modes(dd dts dsp)

It sounds like you need a warmer receiver like the HK. If you have bright speakers and a bright receiver that's not a good combination.

Well Miguel, he should have listened to you and bought the Yamaha. I love my 2300 and it compares with any of the high ticket items. The model you told him to look at is the one I bought for my brother in law and it performs like a champ. All I ever hear around here is Denon, Marantz and HC. To get the performance you get in a low cost Yamaha you need to spend $1200 or more. I realy cringed when I heard Pioneer. It has to be at least an Elite or forget it.

I am looking at buying a new Power amp + reciever, center speaker and rear speakers and would like some opinions. Here's the facts:

I already have a pair of Mission 760iSE speakers.

I am looking at buying the following:
Power amp + receiver : RXV440
Center speaker : Magnat Motion Center
Rear Speakers : Haven't decided

Any options?



You budget must be limited to be considering the RXV440. I would never consider a low end Yamaha, especially with your Mission speakers, because it is so bright. (I have the M71s for my study and I know Mission speakers. They are not a good combo with Yamahas.

I highly recommend you seek out a Marantz 5300. The problem with the Yamaha is really three-fold: first, it has a badly undersized power supply which will do fine with two channel sound, but doing HT, it is really strained; and, second, it has only one amplifier for all channels rather than six (one for each channel). Finally, I find the sound of the low end Yamahas (the x30s and the x40s) to be really bright and annoying. The Marantz has a much smoother sound, has a better power supply and uses all discrete amps.

Alternatively, for the same money as a RXV440, you can get a refurb Denon 1803, which also has a better power supply and discrete amps. Denon and Mission make a very good combo. Check it out at eCost.com

As for your speakers, I would recommend the Mission center speaker and a pair of M71s for the surrounds. Mission is good stuff.

I would really preciate it if you could help me out, in my previous message i asked for help finding speakers for a 15 x 12 ft and 12 fthigh listening room.
I want to use the system for movies & music.
Thks again

What receiver do you have or are you looking for?


I looked at your previous message and would comment as follows:

Your room size is what I would consider a typical room for home enterteinment. In short, it doesn't appear to present any problems.

I am somewhat hampered in making suggestions to you since I do not know what products are available in Argentina and I have no idea what kind of a budget you may have, but I would never pair a Yamaha receiver with Klipsch speakers. Both have a very bright sound and the combination would be both tiresome and annoying. Furthermore, I do not know about your HKTS 12 surround speaker system, but I can tell you that the Klipsch would be a better combination with the Onkyo than with the Yamaha.

I hope this is of some help to you.

Thks Hawk, the thing is, i found an US exporter so lets say i can get almost any set of speakers that are not so hard to get in the US.
Being that said, my budget is around 800 dollars for the receiver and the speaker set, what would you suggest?

What about Sony SA-VE535? There are excellent reviews about it at audioreview & amazon & epinions...



Glad to hear you have a great source. Your budget is a tough one, but I think we can get something special here. As I see it, you can go two ways: first, get everything at once and have your full HT now, but the compromise is slightly less quality. Alternatively, you can get your HT system in pieces at a time, building it to what you want. Therefore, I will suggest two alternative plans of actions:

1. Onkyo TX-SR601 receiver with Athena Point 5 speaker system. The MSRP on this is $1300 ($550 for receiver and $800 for the speaker system), but I regualrly see this discounted to the $8-900 range. You can find it as a system special on the One Call (www.onecall.com) website for something like $880 right now.

2. If you are more interested in getting better quality, by spending more money over time, I recommend an NAD T742 receiver, available right now through Saturday Audio (www.saturdayaudio.com) for $449 (MSRP $649). Then get a pair of stereo speakers with it, adding the center, surrounds, and subwoofer later. For speakers, I recommend either NHT or PSB Alpha series speakers, either of which could fit into your budget. NHT SB1s list for $300/pair, but you can get them for about $235/pair. PSB Alpha Bs list for $249, but can be had for $199/pair.

To compare the two (assuming you have no way of hearing them, I give you the following link to a recent review by Home Theater Magazine. (Note: they compared NHT SB2s, which are a higher priced speaker and not as comparable to the PSB Alphas as the SB1s). In my mind, it is a very close call between NHT SB1s and PSB Alpha Bs. Either way, they are both great budget speakers systems and I think you would be happy with either, especially with the NAD receiver:


I hope this is of some help to you.

THKS HAWK!!!!!, you've been more than helpful, i just have one more question, how would you feel about a Marantz 4300 reciever to go with the NHT speakers, or a Yamaha? They are much easier to get for me.
Thanks a lot for the time you took to write the former post, you really helped me.

I would never get a Yamaha low end receiver. Lousy power supplies and they are much too bright and annoying to listen to. I also have a problem with the Marantz 4300 because it only uses one amplifier for all of the channels. I prefer fully discrete amplifiers, so look into getting the Marantz 5300. It is a definite step up for not much more money.


thanks a lot hawk, youve been very kind and helpful!!!!

What receiver would you recommend to match with the Energy Take 5.1 speaker package? I am looking at the Yamaha RXV 730 (or RXV 740, unk price) for $400 or something similar in price.


The Yamaha 730 is a total dud. Although rated at 75 wpc, Sound & Vision Magazine tested it and found that its wimpy power supply was only capable of 38 wpc when driving 5 channels. Even worse, the sound is very bright and annoying to listen to for any period of time (like listening to fingernails on a chalkboard). The 740 is better, at least they have reduced the brightness, although I haven't had a chance to check out the dynamic power. So it is a maybe.

For the Energy Take 5 system and your budget, I like the Marantz line. Right now you can get a Marantz 6200 (MSRP was $649) for $399.99 at Accessories 4 Less (accessories4less.com), Marantz's authorized liquidator. The 6200 is last years model, so when its gone, its gone, but it is a real bargain and a very good match for your speakers.

Alternatively, check out the Onkyo 600, which is being closed out right now (been replaced by the 601). MSRP is $499, but I have seen it going for under $400. One Call (www.onecall.com) is offering a factory refurb Onkyo 600 for $299, which would be a good match and a real bargain at that price.

I hope this helps.

I talked to the Marantz dealer but he told me that the 4300 has fully discete amplifiers, the marantz web page says the same thing.
you think that this is not correct?


No, I was the one who is incorrect. I checked the Marantz webpage and saw it listed "All Discrete amplifiers" (in the plural), so clearly, I was wrong.

Many manufacturers, let's take Denon as an example, make a unit that uses only one amplifier for all channels, rather than a seperate amplifier for each channel. Yet, the manufacturer will say it has a discrete amplifier--this is the case with the Denon 1603. But their rationale for claiming that it is discrete is that the amplifier is not on the same circuit board with the rest of the receiver's circuitry, instead it has its own circuit board. Therefore it is "discrete." Now, they know that many consumers have been educated enough to know that "discrete amplification" is known to be a good thing, but it is misleading in my view since that is not what consumers understand to be "discrete amplification."

They can legally do this since they say "discrete amplifier" that is, it is in the singular form. I thought Marantz had done the same thing with their 4300, for some reason (can't remember now what that reason was). But I have even more respect for Marantz knowing that they don't engage in these word games when marketing their product. So, I stand corrected.

Always good to hear from you!

Thaks for your reply, so, now I'm on the final stages of getting my HT.
I looked at the NHT speakers that you told me about and they seem to be excellent speakers, but i just got an offer that i wanted to ask you about.
An official Monitor audio dealer has offered me a very good deal on the following set:
Marantz 4300 receiver
Monitor Audio Bronze 2 bookshelf for mains
Monitor Audio Baby center
Monitor Audio Bronze 1 for rears
Monitor Audio 100 Subwoofer.
All the equipment is brand new (not refurbished)
What do you think?
Thks once again!


I have not heard the Monitor Audio Bronze line, so I am a bit handicapped in responding in an informed manner. However, I have heard the Silver Series and IMO, they are on the bright side, somewhat forward sounding. I would assume that the Bronze is about the same (probably not as refined). But this tendency for brightness may well be balanced by the Marantz receiver, which is a bit warmer and certainly more musical than some other receiver brands in that price range. As I have said before, the key is to get a good combo where the receiver and speakers compliment each other by not having the same sonic charecteristics.

If you have heard it and like the sound, I would say get it. On the surface, it sounds like a good combo to me. Take some time to really listen to it and if it works for you, it is the right thing to get.

Best wishes.

christian gibson
just read all these threads and would like to replace my old sony receiver. looking for some suggestions in the under $500 area. my current speakers are
front= cerwin vegas d-3's old 3 ways 10 woofer
rear= bose 161's
center= don't laugh but a RCA radio shack special
subwoofer= a homemade 10 inch pioneer woofer box with a parts express 272 watt amp into a four ohm load
i know its not a conventional speaker selection, but its what i got. love a rich warm sound, but need it loud at times or would like to be able to add multiple speakers for seperate rooms for background music. i have no brand prefs. but as always a good deal.
thanks in advance for any suggestions

thks again Hawk, you've been more than helpful


For under $500, and wanting a rich warm sound, you should check out Saturday Audio's current special deal for the NAD 742 for $449 (MSRP is $649). Reviewers have described it as warm like butter, but very clear. I can confirm this as I have heard it compared to a number of $1000 receivers from major brands it is simply blew them away. The improvement over any Sony will be very noticeable and gratifying.

Saturady Audio (www.saturdayaudio.com) is only open on the weekends and they are an authorized NAD dealer--I don't think you will find a better price as long as the sale lasts.

Good luck

Hi Hawk!,
Im back again with my questions! (i hope this is the last one)
Ive already signed up for the ht setup, but now I want to replace my old dvd player, do you have any suggestions?
What should I take into account when buying one?
Any models to recommend?

Hey Luciano!

I recommend a Sony unit that I have which is a real good unit, the Sony NP755V. Don't know if this unit is available in Argentina, but not only is it a good DVD player, it also plays SACDs, which would help "future proof" your system. I know SACDs are gaining in popularity here and it does offer greatly improved sound.

Alternatively, I like the NAD T532 DVD player, which like the Sony above, is a progressive scan unit and it has great sound.

I hope this helps.

how about picture quality, is it as good as the sound?

Yes, as to both recommended units.

You guys all seem helpfull in recomending home theatre packages. Here is my situation, any help would be great.

Price range: $650-850
Use: 60/40 music/movies
room size: medium/large (about 18ft by 10ft)
yes, its an odly shaped rectangle room.

I was thinking about getting the yamaha yht 740, I can not find any reviews on it but know the yht 940 or 900 gets good reviews and its a similair set up.
I like the fact that it comes whith a 5 disc dvd/cd/mp3, its DTS, 6.1 and sounds like a pretty good deal. Plus it leave me with a little money for better speaker wire/cables. It may not get really loud but I am in a marble room connected to my parents room so maybe thats a good thing.
Although clarity and loudness are still a big concern. I know HTIB is not alawys the best choice but this seems like a good component system with a good speaker package and powerd sub. I don't have the $$ or knowledge to mix and match speakers and componenets and still get features like 5 disc dvd/mp3 and DTS.

so should I go for it and get the yht 740, or spend the extra $250 for the 940 or start thinking about a whole new set up.

and what ever I get I will hook up computer audio to it, a tv and record player.

thanks everybody


Hey just a quick note to those upgrading an Onkyo 444. I had an onkyo 444 hooked up to JBL 4410 studio monitors and a JBL (consumer) sub. It sounded really good (and I do a lot of studio work, i know sound). So when I ran out of inputs I went out and got an Onkyo 700. It's crap. Plus, I have yet to get the 5.1 inputs to work from the DVD and it does not switch S-vhs to component - so if any signal in your system is unique (in my system the cable TV converter is composite only) You having to switch back and forth on the TV inputs.
Anyways I will be dumping it quickly on eBay. I just got a Yamaha 640 - havent hooked it up yet. Why don't any of these things have (or have provisions for) a decent multiband eq?

I have Definitive Technologies speakers (5 + sub) and now have to replace my receiver.

I am considering the following:
Denon AVR-1804
Onkyo TX-SR601
Yamaha RX-V740
Yamaha RX-V640

Anyone have advice on the better choice?

Yamee Fan


I happen to think the Yamaha makes a bad combo with the Def Tech speakers. Both are very forward and bright, a tough combo to live with.

From your list, I would recommend the Onkyo as giving the best sound from those speakers. It is warmer and a better match for the Def Techs,

However, I would tend to recommend a Marantz 5300 as better still. It is at the same price point as the other receivers on your list (MSRP $500), but has a warmer, more musical sound. When I compared it directly with the Yamaha 640 recently, it sounded more realsitic on HT, as well. It did not have the exaggerated high end that Yamaha is famous for. I have found "Ronin" to be a great demo disc for HT as much of the dialogue is not well miked and a poor pre/pro section of a receiver will be unable to get the sounds right. I thought that the Marantz did a better job than the Yamaha, IMO.

I hope this helps.

Hi Hawk!!!
Got one last question, which is really a doubt, i was on my way to buy the sony 755, and came across a DVP-s7000 at a bargain price. I know that model is really old and has no dts built in. But I´ve also read that this units is one of the best units ever made by sony, what do you think? Should I go for a brand new unit or get this old but solid Sony.
Is it DTS a must have?
Thks in advance


The DVP-S7000 was released in 1997, and by the standards of today, that is really old. It will produce very clear pictures, super pictures in fact, but without dts, the sound will be simply 2 channel PCM (stereo). I think you would be disappointed and you would not get the great sound that your new receiver offers. I would get the 755, especially to go with your new receiver.


excellent, then, off i go for the 755, thanks a lot!!!!
If you ever visit Argentina, i buy you dinner!!!

I accept!

Excellent message board! I need help! I have about $1000-1500 to spend on a receiver and about the same for speakers. Would like suround sound for movies of course but our house is also wired with speakers in each room that I would like to use if possible.
Could I please get comments on good receiver/speaker combos in my price range.


How big is your room and what will you use it for? That is, how much for music and how much for Home Theater?


From the UK and am looking at getting some 'smaller' Satellite speakers and sub woofer - due largely to the size of the room I have. I currently have Mission 7 (cinema 6 pack) series, but was considering the Sony Save835ed, Pascal. Was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on these. Would they match the Marantz 5300 Receiver?. Cheers


Room is about 15x15. 70% HT 30% music. Looked at Paradigm studio 40 and NAD. Sounded good, is this a decent combo. How about Morantz?



In my view, NAD is the best receiver out there for less than $2K. If you want the ultimate, get a $4K McIntosh (incredible receiver, IMO), but most of us don't have that kind of money. NAD is great and I do think that they mate well with the Paradigm speakers. Studio 40s are a great speaker. I think if you got that system, you would be very happy with it.

Marantz is a good choice, but a step down from NAD IMO. Also a bad combo with Paradigm. Both Marantz and Paradigm are "laid back" sounding, and you need a system that has good balance. NAD and Paradigm would be that kind of system.


I wonder if you would be kind enough to take a look at the question I posted for you last night on the speakers thread. It's along these same lines. Sorry to interrupt.



"Y" would you ask?

Thank you. You are a service to the neophytes of home entertainment like myself. If you ever have any orthopedic questions, you will have my undivided attention.


Because I respect your knowledge and opinion regarding the matching of receivers and speakers.

Listening to speakers at a shop can be misleading and confusing. Dragging them home just to return them, try another, return them, only to get the first ones back, etc. - well you get the picture.

Athenas are brighter and Paradigms are more laid back I believe you have said. Are Paradigms too laid back and are Athenas too bright for the NAD?



Since I seem to do a major upgrade of my electronics in 20-year intervals, my last major purchase was of DCM Time Windows with an NAD 7020 receiver. The sound was very clean, and I was always very impressed by the ability of the Time Windows to reveal individual instruments in a full symphony orchestra. I was disappointed, though, by spatial localization--I like string quartets very much, and with the Time Windows the first violin wasn't more convincingly seated to the left than to slightly right of center (even though in reality the seating was all the way to the left). But, two decades later, I'm ready to take a fresh look. There is a Yamaha RXV 3300 floor model available to me for $770, plus another $50 for a strong 5-year warrantee. I've always cared more about hearing clear treble than about bass, so the brightness of Yamaha is potentially appealing. Would the Yamaha marry reasonably well with the Time Windows, or is this a bad match? I have both satellite and cable input, as well as minidisc. I still have old LPs I'd like to be able to use occasionally. My mix will be about equal for music (mostly classical, some jazz) and video.


You are a man after my own heart. I owned Time Windows for about 10 years, finally giving them up to my parents when my wife and I moved into a house that did not have a room large enough to let them breathe (or us, for that matter!). I miss them--they are a fine speaker.

Well, only you can decide if you like the sound, but I find that the Yamaha is very poor for music reproduction, regardless of the speaker. It is not just that it is bright, but it is actually rough sounding--like fingernails over a chalkboard for music. I have tried several Yamahas through quite a few speakers and the only speakers that did a sufficient job of smoothing over the rough top end of the Yamaha was Paradigm Studios--a very laid back speaker. As revealing as the Time Windows are, I don't believe you will like the result. I would consider it a bad match.

Frankly, Yamaha isn't the same company it was 20 years ago when they were among the very best at making electronics. Their emphasis now is on the "soundfields" their receivers can generate, not on providing good accurate sound. You see, the sound of the Yamahas has been tuned to blend well with Yamaha speakers, which are among the most laid back speakers available. But they have also cut corners on some basic parts of the receivers IMO, such as inserting rather poor power supplies into their receivers, and buying all of their processors internally rather than seeking out the best in the market. They have become another mass market receiver, a la JVC or Panasonic, but they still want to charge the full audio salon price.

For the Time Windows, I would suggest you look into a Marantz 7300 for about the same price. You will get a clean high end, but it will make much better music. Check it out at accessories4less.com.


Since I have had six knee operations (including 3 ACLs), I may be calling soon! Thanks for the kind words.

John A.
I have not heard of Time Windows. But I have recently done a similar 20 yr upgrade, keeping old KEF speakers for surrounds, slightly newer ones for front, and getting a brand new center and sub.

Your prioirities for sound are the same as mine. I find the hardest "string quartet test" is whether the cello or the viola is on the right...

I think you should stay with NAD for a 5.1 "receiver" , for many reasons, but above all, outstanding clarity and overall sound quality. This includes real-world power output for real music, transient response, and resolving details and position in the sound field. Yamaha might seem to give the highest ratio of "Watts per dollar" in the high street, but the figures are artificial, and posts here question their sound.

Two links.


And recent threads here including

John A.
My post was one minute later than Hawk's. If Hawk knows Time Windows, take his opinion seriously, Jon. If Yamaha is not what it once was, NAD is even better, I think. They have built their AV receivers around a fundamentally high-end integrated amp, with music first.

Take care, Hawk!


Thanks for the kind words. I have tried to respond twice to your questions and twice my message was lost to an internal server error. So I haven't been ignoring you!

I don't know which speakers in each brand you are thinking of, but generally speaking, I think either speaker should work fine. It is true the Paradigms are pretty laid back--I heard Paradigm Studio 60s being driven by a NAD 762 and it was beautiful music. Now, I haven't heard Athenas driven by NAD (although I have heard them), so I will have to extrapolate a bit. I have heard Magnepan MMGs driven by an NAD and it was superb. Now, last spring, GoodSound did a review of the Athena AS-F2s and comapred them to the MMGs, which they reviewed last December. They felt the sound was very comparable, not just in terms of the quality of the sound, but they were very comparable in terms of their sonic charecteristics. Both the AS-F2s and the MMGs were fast, detailed, and just a bit forward of a theoretical "neutral" speaker. The Athena went a little lower, but was not quite as detailed as the MMG on the top end.

This confirms my own experience with the Athena, albeit driven with much poorer electronics. So, since I have heard the MMGs driven by an NAD, I feel pretty confident that the Athena AS-F2 would work well with the NAD.

Now, I hope you are talking about the AS-F2s, because that is the only Athena I have spent any real time with, so if you are looking at another Athena, you are on our own. However, I do believe that the NADs are a little more tolerant in terms of matching with a speaker simply because they have better power supplies. Therefore, the amp is not straining as much such that the faults within the electronics are exposed and exaggerated when pushed, which is commonly the problem with most receivers.

So, in sum, I think you can feel safe with either one as neither would be a bad match, but they still have a different sound and you have to decide which type of sound you prefer: the detailed Athenas or the more relaxed Paradigms.

I hope this helps you.


On reflection, John A. is right. If you have liked the sound of your current NAD receiver, stick with that brand because the current NAD line is much better than it was 20 years ago. For the amount of money you mentioned for the Yamaha, you could get an NAD 752, which sounds more like quality separates than a receiver.

BTW, when I had my Time Windows, they were driven by an NAD 3140 integrated amp. It was a lovely combination.

Steve O
I'm just about to move into a flat with a small lounge, only 14ft X 10 ft. This makes my mordaunt short speakers too large for the room. I'm going to purchase a set of KEF 2005.2 eggs with the subwoofer and would like to know which amp would be most suitable and whether I should stick with the amp I've got. My current set-up is...

mordaunt short 906, 905 and 902 on atacam nexus 100 stands, bi-wired with QED silver anniversary speaker cable.

Marantz sr5300 amp

pioneer 656A dvd player

I've found the marantz great with music but when used with movies it's lacks something, you are not drawn into the movie and there's no bite when it comes to the action scenes. As I'll be using this system for around 90% movies, the marantz musical ability is wasted on me. I'd consider paying slightly more than the sr5300, but no where near double the amount.

Have thought about the yamaha 640/740, pioneer vsx-812/912, but don't know how they would sound with the KEF's.

Am also open to suggestions on another set of speaker/ amp combination, but I have heard good things about the KEF's.

Hope someone can help:-)

Hawk and John A.,

Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. I'll try to audition one or two NAD models.

My curiosity is peaked by your comments about the Yamaha receivers, Hawk. I've looked over some of the earlier threads, and find that there is considerable criticism of the lower end Yamahas. Are your comments specifically including the highest end Yamahas as well? Is there no improvement in their sound quality at this end?

As to the NAD situation: Since I don't buy equipment very often, I do want to be sure I'm getting something that will adapt well to multiple inputs/outputs for home theater, etc. Should I hold out for the 762, or in fact even wait for the future models referred to in the threads? Will the various models also still have a phono input?

Finally, a question about other makes: Is the Harmon Kardon 8000 something worth considering? It seemed to get very good musicality reviews in some discussion groups. Are there others that will combine top 2-channel musical reproduction with pretty advanced a/v?

I have a marantz 6300 and mission speakers and I find it not "lively" in ht but good in music. I will use my system 90% on music and playing xbox, should I just return it and get a yamaha 640 instead?

need your comments guys

I have a marantz 6300 and mission speakers and I find it not "lively" in ht but good in music. I will use my system 90% on ht and playing xbox, should I just return it and get a yamaha 640 instead?

need your comments guys


Which Mission speakers do you have?

I think the Yamaha is a step down from your Marantz, in fact, a big step down. I would recommend an NAD 752 or a Denon 2803 (both can be found in the same price range as your 6300) if you are looking for something "more lively."

John A.
There is a thread here "New NAD receiver line" or similar. The T762 is as future-proof as you can get in my opinion. But I don't think any NAD receiver has a phono input, very surprising. NAD make a small phono pre-amp, though. Their web site has all the info.


Yes, I have evaluated the entire line of Yamaha receivers and only the RX-V1 has what I consider a good power supply. Without a good power supply, what's the point? Now, the x30s (730, 630, etc.) are, IMO, the worst receivers to be sold in high-end shops and frankly unworthy to be sold anywhere but Best Buy. A really poor effort by Yamaha. The x300s are better (1300, 2300, etc.), but still suffer from an exaggerated and rough sounding top end that I find really objectionable. They simply do not sound good to me.

About 27 years ago, I bought some B*I*C loudspeakers, which were very lively and appeared to sound much better than the competition (after a 5 minute evaluation) in the store (the late Pacific Stereo chain). Once I got them home, however, I found they were actually hard to listen to as both the top and bottom end were exaggerated and I couldn't get through both sides of an LP. Worked fine at low levels, but I was really young then and I needed my music loud! Well, my experience with the Yamahas is the same thing. I just don't like the sound. The RX-V1 is not that way as it is smoother and more mellow sounding (but I wouldn't call it "laid back"). However, it costs $2700 and the local Yamaha dealer tells me that he still doesn't recommend it over the NAD 762, unless a buyer wants the "soundfields."

As for the NAD, none of them have a phono input, but they have an analog input called "Disk", to which you can plug an outboard phono pre-amp to connect a turntable (common among HT receivers today). As for which NAD to get, I think that depends upon a lot of variables. I only need 5.1 sound, so I am about to get the 752. Now, the 752 is flexible enough that if I want 6.1 or 7.1 sound in the future, I can add an outboard amp and have more channels later (H/K does this too, on some lower end models). The new 753 is apparently a 6.1 channel receiver already, and it has Zone 2 capabilities. So, just using these two receivers as an example, you need to evaluate what your needs are and choose the appropriate receiver.

But what I really like is the sound of the NAD receivers. I have said this before--they sound less like a receiver than quality separates. Their bigger and better power supplies are a big part of the reason I think they sound better. An amp's flaws are always revealed when it is straining, and that doesn't happen very often with NAD. Whether I get the 7x2 or 7x3, the sound I am sure is going to be the same, so I will be happy with either. I am also impressed with the fact that they are about the only receiver line capable of driving 4 ohm speakers-- a real plus when looking at quality speakers such as Magnepan, Dynaudio, etc.

As for the H/K 8000: Now that looks like a real "kick butt" receiver! (I also see a refurb 8000 available at One Call for less than $1200--that looks like a real good buy). I like H/K receivers because they also seem to understand the value of a good power supply for reproducing quality sound. I have not heard the 8000, but I have heard the 525 and the 325, which I liked but for my taste, they were a little "dark" sounding. But that is just personal taste, not a criticism. 20 years ago, I thought of H/K much as I do Yamaha now--they were very bright and scratchy sounding on the top end. But in looking at their products since the advent of HT receivers, I think they really go their act together and make a very good product. I have decided that if a receiver sounds good for music, it probably gets the HT sound right. I find the H/Ks to be very musical and I have no doubt the 8000 is a fine product (more than I can afford, however).

As for other products, besides the NAD and H/K, I really like Marantz, especially the 7300 and 8200 models. Pioneer Elite is a good product, as well, but I think it requires a bit more care in the choice of speakers, IMHO. Upper end Onkyos (TX-SR800 and above) and Integras (7.4 and above) are also good products. BUT, IMO, once you get to $1500, it is time to start looking at separates, like the Outlaw 950/7100 combo. You get much more bang for the buck with separates.

Sorry to ramble for so long . . . but you did ask.

John A.
Great stuff, Hawk.
See the NAD "power" web link on my previous post. I imagine from your remarks that a Yamaha could easily be "Brand X" in the power curves there.
I get on fine for phono by using my ten-year old NAD stereo pre-amp, where you can select moving coil/moving magnet phono input. I can't see why NAD receivers do not now support phono inputs, it would add very little to the production cost. Even similar-prices Sonys have phono.
Re power see post on adjacent thread to Vicky B; but you will already know about speaker sensitivity. The 752 is muscular but modest and must be a best buy for sound right now. It will be a thing to own for ten years. I nearly bought a T742 (quoted 5 x 50W) but worried about power, quite unnecessarily, I now think.

For an x-box you would want an H/K. Marantz's are amazing with music but not so awsome with HT , not bad at all just not as good as an HK IMO. For gaming the HK would be better because the huge power supply which is needed for Halo and other games at high volumes.

Don't Marantz have power supplies like HK?
I understood Marantz are just as powerfull no?

"Now, the 752 is flexible enough that if I want 6.1 or 7.1 sound in the future, I can add an outboard amp and have more channels later (H/K does this too, on some lower end models)."

Hawk, this was correct about the HK 320, 520 and 8000. All those products came out in 2001-2. Their replacements, the 325, 525 and 7200 all have 7 amplified channels built in, so you no longer need an outboard amp. The 520 and 8000 have main-ins which was cool because you could reassign the amps to the surround back channels if you wanted to add a better amp to the front/mains. They dropped this feature on the current line. The lower models 125 and 225 don't have preouts at all except for the sub, whereas the 325, 525 and 7200 have 7.1 outputs.

Jon, the HK 8000 is out of production now and most likely found only as a refurb from Onecall and Harmanaudio.com. A better choice might be the HK 7200. It's a 60lb beast with plenty of power in reserve. Some of the advantages over the 8000 are 7 x 100 vs 5x110 on the 8000, DD-EX, triple crossover bass management and bass manager for analog sources like DVD-A or SACD. I think it competes closely with the NAD 762 but I've never heard either in a head to head comparison. I did find a review of the 7200 here http://www.theperfectvision.com/newsletter/tpv50/avr_survey.html. Also here http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/article.asp?print_page=y&section_id=5&article_id=450&page_number=3&preview=

Onecall did have the 7200 for $996 a few weeks ago but now its pretty high. Price will probably come down again. 6ave.com has it for $1050 but I can't tell if they're an authorized etailer or not.

From what I'm reading the HK 7200 and NAD 762 might be the best receivers currently available in the $1200 range and below.

doesn't anyone want to tell me if marantz have as big power supplies as HK?????????????????????????

Can a AVR 7200 drive a 2ohm load? NAD can.

Bells and whistles dosen't mean better sound.


I'm using mission m70i series, how could make it sound "brighter" for ht?

since marantz is more of a musical receiver and yamaha is more of an ht receiver because of its cinematic effects, does this mean that marantz will perform better on movie soundtracks or the yamaha is still the winner since it's still with regards on ht, cinema, movies or whatever you call it?

will you agree that marantz is better than yamaha in terms of ht?

Nobody said bells and whistles mean better sound.

What 2ohm speakers are out there? I understand the NAD can drive a 2 ohm load, I dunno if the HK can or not. If I have 8ohm speakers, the bells and whistles such as the bass management, 5 or 7 channel stereo and Logic 7 would be more valuable to me than driving a 2 ohm load. I think the sound between the HK and NAD are a matter of preference, they've both been called very musical. Hawk obviously likes the NAD better and my knowledge of audio would probably fit on his thumbnail in comparison, although I am learning rapidly. He's the resident expert and I surely wouldn't question his opinions. But I have read other threads where reviewers thought the sound was very similar between the two, so they went with the receiver with more features. It obviously depends on what speakers you have.

Can a Ferrari outrun a Porsche to 175mph? Probably so but if you never use it to those extremes, does it really matter?

What a fun thread!

G.DawG--thanks for the info. I think I did get confused with the earlier generation because I knew the 525 was 7.1, but I thought the 325 and 225 still required you to use an outboard amp to get 7.1 sound. I stand corrected.

Anon: Marantz had a real problem in the x200 series of amps and the power supply was the biggest problem they had--they sucked. I know that they addressed the problem by putting bigger and better power supplies into the x300 series. The 7300 is a huge improvement over the 7200, for instance. However, I do not know enough about the lower priced receivers--they are improved over their x200 compatriots, but I don't know about their power in absolute terms largely because I have not researched them in depth. Is the Marantz power supply as big as the H/K power supplies? I don't think so. H/K specifies their receivers in available amps for instantaneous power, marantz doesn't. (NAD is the only other receiver maker who does). This is usually a sign that while the power supply is improved, it isn't the big boy on the block.

Anon 2: I tried to asnwer you on another thread with some suggestions for a brighter sounding center channel speaker, which I think is the root cause of your lack of detail in HT. Let me add another. Check out a JMlabs CC 70 S Center speaker. It has two 5 1/4" mid-woofers and a hot dome tweeter. Should work well with your Mission M70s and give you the detail you want with your Marantz 6300.

GT: I agree with you, but for the record, a couple of the Magnepans will drop to around a 2 ohm load at a couple of frequencies. There are a several other speaker manufacturers where I have seen the impedence curves drop to 2 ohms at a frequency or two. Nevertheless, it is a rare event. Both the NAD and the H/K are very fine products and I regualrly recommend both of them. If someone told me that they had JMlab speakers or Klipsch, I would recommend the H/K in a heartbeat, too.

If there is one thing that guides my thoughts on amplification, it is whether the unit has a good power supply. Too many receivers don't and it is a shame. I have been very disappointed in my Denon for that very reason. H/K, NAD, and Marantz are three who have seemed to have let the engineers triumph over the accountants and have put in a quality power supply, so they get my vote any day!.

Anon 2:

Amendment to earlier post--that was a JMlabs Chorus CC 70 S speaker.

Steve O
Can anybody help with my quandary further up the thread? :-)

Hi guys,

Great thread you have going...

I have an H/K 320 with JBL N24II rears, N-Center II, PB-10 Sub... For my mains I have a pair of Cerwin Vega V12-F... I know I know, the CWs are not a great thing but I was stressed for cash at the time and got a great deal on them... I am currently considering replacing them with JBL N38II...

I listen to about 75/25 (music/movies). Currently I do most of my music listening with Grado SR-125 cans...

I'm very happy with my H/K 320... what do you guys think about the N38II paired with the H/K...


One question Hawk,

I have read in other forums about the questionable quality regarding NAD's receivers. They seem to have a track record of breaking down easily. Any comments on that?

This is a wonderful thread, if i may add, informative and w/o people flaming each other. Delightful!


Everybody here is prety cool, and there are a lot of pretty informed people such as John A., elitefan, GT, G-Man, and more. No need to flame anyone here as we enjoy our hobby, but our self-worth is not tied up in our audio equipment! We are glad to have you join us and are very happy you are enjoying the forum.

As for the alleged problems of the NAD receivers, I am beginning to believe this is an "urban legend" (like the proverbial alligator living in the sewers). I have talked now with four different NAD dealers across the country and while NAD had some problems with an earlier generation, everyone seems pretty happy with the stuff NAD is making now. It appears that NAD's problems coincided with their being sold by some Scandanavian conglomerate to a Canadian audio holding company (same company that owns PSB) about three years ago. Their product now is quite good and has a very low rate of return. Every maker of receivers have had an occasional unit that doesn't work quite right, but the feedback I am getting is that NAD is actually better built and more reliable than most of the other lines these dealers carry.

I think part of the reason these forums love to suggest that NAD is a problem is that NAD is in a difficult position in the market. Ever since the launch of the now legendary 3020 integrated amp, NAD has been a bridge from the mid-fi camp to the hi-fi camp. The mid-fi people sneer at their plain jane wrapper (where are all of the "soundfields"?)and its aspiration for better sound quality (mid-fi afficianodos do not recognize that there are different levels of quality in reproduced sound). The hi-fi camp, on the other hand, sneers at their plebian prices (i,e,. it can't be any good at that price!) and asserts it to be mid-fi in quality. In essence, NAD is isolated by trying to bring better quality sound to the masses. I do believe much of the comments I see on other forums have a lot to do with this position in the market. Certainly, on the Home Theater Forum, you have alot of people who love to talk about their "flagship" receivers which can do everything including make their breakfast for them. I find it is about as fruitful as the old argument about who has the biggest d***. I also think that NAD paid the price for being the first to build their product in China--something commonly done now by even the audiophile brands. I even think my Denon was built there.

I find it interesting that when a Marantz has a problem generation, such as the x200 series or when Onkyo has a problem (such as the 500 and 600 receivers--well documented on several forums), nobody attacks the brand, but the slightest hint of a problem (like the early software problem on the 752) and somehow the whole NAD line is made suspect on some of these forums. Nevermind that NAD put out a fix quickly for the 752 and it was provided for free. I never saw Onkyo issue a fix for the 500. They just fixed the new ones and called it the 501. Go figure.

Like I said, it appears to be an urban legend. . .

John A.
If I may just put in an anecdote.

Ran, I have three NAD products now: a 10- yr old stereo pre-amp called "100", a 3 yr old T760 receiver, and a 6 month old T532 DVD player. The receiver lost an output channel but the dealer fixed it free and quickly. That model may have come from the time of the tranfer Hawk mentions. I have thick speaker cables for the main speakers and I think I may have managed to dislodge one internal cable by over-tightening the terminal after experimenting with subwoofer configurations.

Generally, the NAD products all have extremely high built quality and exceptional sound performance, and I am very happy with them. From inspection under the cover, they have massive components clearly layed out. You get the impression of everything working well within its limits, and any component being easily replacable if the component itself were faulty for any reason.

The combination T532/T760 (it would now be T532/T752) has startlingly good sound. It transforms even my CD collection, previously played from a Marantz CD player, which I always liked. The "upgrade" was just to get multichannel, and I was not expecting to transform my stereo. I even hear more from LPs using the old NAD pre-amp with the T760 as a power amp. It is a real pleasure to hear new things in your old music collection. On HT I am more than satisified, delighted, as is the whole family, but I am new to HT and cannot make real comparisons. I even discover the combo plays DVD-audios with wonderful effect. I started a thread (What does "DVD audio" mean here) that seems to be getting warm but no actual flames yet.

One other thing, with some anxiety I went down in stated power when I replaced my Sony stereo power amp (100 W) with the T760 receiver (60 W). I very nearly bought a Sony receiver to keep with the magic figure of 100 W. I am REALLY glad I didn't, and went with NAD. The new arrangement actually gives MORE volume, and much clearer sound, and never sounds stretched. If you read the NAD policy on effective power ratings you might think they are making excuses for low figures compared with e.g. Sony, Yamaha, but I am convinced from my experience it ain't so, and they are one honest manufacturer.

No statistics or dealer return figures here, just one deeply satisfied NAD owner.

I would like to respond to Hawk on holding companies, bells and whistles, and where things are made. But I write too much, and it would lead off topic. I'll save it.

Hawk, John A.

Thanks guys. For the past 2 months i have been scouting around and looking at amps for my room. First, i thought of either a Marantz PM4200 or NAD C320BEE. However, as i look at my room, the acoustics and preferences of the listeners, i'm heading in the direction of HT. Thus the research, this forum, NAD issues and all.

I'm keeping my options open, but NAD's "Music first" and track records on quality stereo has a great score on my list.

Thanks guys, you're a great help.

John A.
A pleasure. But hey, let folks here know what you discover!
My next item has to be a TV. I know zilch about TVs, and I find the video forum completely baffling. Nearer the time I will perhaps post there as "TV newbie".

Going back to my post about replacing Cerwin Vega V-12F for JBL N38II... I guess the question is would that be correcting a mistake with an other mistake ? Would I be better off to wait a few years and then replace the whole system...?



Sorry if we got off on other things. We did not mean to ignore you.

Hey, the only real question is whether you like the sound. I will be the first to admit I have not heard the JBLs, so I don't know if they are the ones you should get or not, but I do know the H/K, which has a very warm and laid back sound. I generally like to pair it with speakers that are more forward than most to give the entire system a good balance. I don't know if the JBLs fit that profile since I haven't heard them. However, if you like them, then that is all that matters.

As for whether you should wait, only you can say. However, if you want some other options that are very reasonably priced, let me suggest one. Have you ever heard of Ascend Acoustics? They only sell their speakers over the internet (www.ascendacoustics.com), on a 30 day in-home trial, and they have been getting rave reviews, especially their CBM-170, which you can get a stereo pair for only $328. It is a great match for your H/K. If you try them and like them, you can always add their center speaker (the CBM-340) later on. Just a thought . . .

Thanks Hawk, I was not really concerned that you had forgotten me... It's just that I have an itch that I'm not sure I want to scratch... ;)

I probably don't want to change my center right now... That's why I was considering staying with JBL... I'm in Canada and the price of the JBLs is rather high compared to what I can get at etronics.com. Now etronics is not a JBL authorized online retailer... but even if I buy from an authorized retailer, say jandr for example, I can't get the speakers repaired here in Canada... They would have to be shipped back to the US...

I'm thinking I'm better off going with etronics at 476$CAD with no guarantee compared to about 750$CAD here with a guarantee.

Im pulling my hair out here. Im from Australia and cannot decide on a reciever. Im looking at the yamaha rxv 1300 (AU$1,500) or the Denon 2803 (AU$2,000) or perhaps the equivalent Marantz (is it 6300??) I need to buy speakers too and was looking at the subsonic x series to blend with my amp. I have heard that the yamee is subject to overheating and that the bass management is ordinary at 90htz(how important is this) Are there any problems that any one knows of with either of these 3 recievers, and what would be the best matched with my choice os speakers. I have not bought anything yet and am open to all suggestions as a lot of you seem to know your ins and outs of your passion.
I got to make a decision soon as my wife will kill me if any more time is spent on research.:)
I have AU$4,000 to spend.
Thanking you all kindly
Looking forward to responses


Im currently in the market for a amp to match with DB Dynamic speakers ive looked at both the Denon 1803 and the Marantz 4300 and 5300. Ive heard that the Marantz is good for music while the Denon is good for HT, but i want something excellent for both music and HT. Its only for a medium sized bedroom and the DB Dyanmics are bookshelf with a 12inch 150 watt sub. whats my best option.

Hey Hawk
anybody else

You have helped alot of ppl on this tread. i was wondering if you can help me out.

I need a new receiver bad. i have a sony one right now and it doesnt even have prologic 2.
anyways i dont want to spend more then 400.

i am consider these:
onyko tx-501 maybe even the 601 cuz i saw it at ecost for cheap.
the HK av-125

I really like the onkyo 501 cuz i can get that at CC for 180 as a open item. how is the 601? the CC guy said the 501 is the same as the 601 expect for watts. anything else differet?

I have the following setup:
a 15by20 feet room
the jbl studio center.
and 4 jbl s38II.

What receiver would make a good match for these speakers?


Hien Mai:
I think he meant the 501 is the same as the 600 for watts(which is about 30wpc when all channels are driven).
Have you checked out the Marantz line?I dont know if JBl are brighter or warmer speakers because I have never heard them, so I cant comment there.I think the SR-5400ose would fit in your price range.


I love your description of your situation. LOL! I think we all have an itch that we don't really want to scratch.


While I can't know everything that is available to you, I would strongly recommend the Marantz 6300 with Krix speakers. Specific Krix models are going to depend more on the size room you have, but I find the Krix to be very accurate and rather forward, therefore a great match for the Marantz which I think is far better than either the Yamaha or the Denon. Also check out the NAD 752 if it is in your price range.


Since you want something good for both HT and music, I like the NAD 742, available from Saturday Audio for $449. I have heard it with several different speaker systems and the sound is unbelievably good, either in HT or for music. The Marantz 5300 is also very, very good, and I think it is just fine with HT (with the right speaker match). Both the NAD and the marantz have a smooth liquid sound and good power (NAD has more, but is only a 5.1 receiver in case you need more channels). Don't know your speakers, however, as the match with speakers can be critical, especially with the Marantz (the NAD is more tolerant). The Denon is also good at that price point.

Hien Mai:

Again, I just don't know the JBLs, except by reputation, as a rather dynamic, forward sounding speaker with good bass extension. I am not comfortable making a specific recommendation since I have not heard the speaker, but in that price range, consider Onkyo 601 (501 is really too small but for a small sub/sat system), Marantz 5300, and the Denon 5300. However, the best receiver available for under $500 is the NAD 742 which can be had from Saturday Audio for $449 (MSRP is $649). The NAD easily has the best power supply, and that translates not only into more power (always a good thing), but into cleaner sound and more accurate sound (as the output transistors are not stressed). Check it out.

I'm hoping someone can help me out here. I have an old Kenwood CD player and receiver and have finally decided to upgrade my system. (Okay, I'm embarrased to admit I *just* got a DVD player!!)

I was going to try to use my DVD as a CD player as well (save space) but I've read quite a bit online that isn't such a great idea.

So now I'm thinking I should just start over with a new receiver and CD player but am overwhelmed with all of the choices.

I currently have Bose Acoustimass 5 speakers that I'll probably hang onto (I live in a fairly small apartment). I just got a Toshiba DVD player but had to send it back because it's not working (sigh). I have DirecTV as well.

I work in the music business but have tended to spend most of my time listening at work and now want to be able to have a better experience at home.

I'd like to spend between $600-$1,000.

Is this enough information?


First of all get rid of the Bose or people wont give you proper answers. Then we wil need what you use most (cd's gaming dvd's vhs etc).

Ta Hawk for your prompt reply.
The room is roughly 7x4 metres but i want to make sure that if i ever move house with a larger room, say 8x6 meters, that there is enough power to fill the room.
I know Krix are great speakers but am not overly familiar with their range. I also cannot decide whether floorstanders or bookshelf speakers will be appropriate for my situation. It looks like many more hours will be spent on this damn internet and less time with the wife until I can sort out my decision!! Thanx for the extra spanner you have thrown in Hawk saying Krix r good :)
See ya mate

"First of all get rid of the Bose or people wont give you proper answers."

LOL!! Alright, I guess I can get new speakers.

I'll use my CD player the most and DVDs a distant second. That's about it.

Thanks, now for CD's and music I would recomend a Marantz or NAD in that price range. Try the NAD 752 or Marantz SR-6300 Pioneer Elite may also apeal to you, maybe the 53tx?For speakers you may want to try asking Hawk. Any Klipch speaker will work with these receivers.

Thanks G. Dawg, I'll check out those receivers. Any recommendations on CD players?


Great budget CD player is the NAD C521-i, MSRP of $299, but usually available for about $50-60 less. Sound is quite good for a CD player, much less a budget CD player.

As for speakers, since you have Bose in a small apartment and keeping in mind you want to be reasonable, I would suggest any of the following packages with either the Marantz or NAD receiver:

1. NHT SuperZeros with Phase Tech Power 8 subwoofer. Available as a special from One Call (www.onecall.com) for under $600.

2. Mission M70s with Mission M7c1 center speaker and a PSB SubZero-i subwoofer. MSRP for this 5.1 setup is $850, but can be had for ~$699.

These two setups have satellites that are not much larger than your Bose (~ 9 inches tall) and have significantly improved sound. However, if you can handle a slightly larger speaker, I would recommend:

3. PSB Image 1Bs (just under 13" tall) with an Image 8C center speaker together with PSB Subzero-i subwoofer. MSRP is ~$1200, but this can be obtained for $825.

I hope this helps . . .

Hello everyone,
I just brought Sony SAVE835ED Spkrs set and believe me they are very good but now i need help with what reciever to buy for them I have three Options where I live either buy the Sony reciever which is bundled with it STR DB1080 or YAMAHA RXV 540,RXV 640 or go for Onkyo TX SR 501,TX SR 601. The speakrs ar rated at 140 wpc rms and sub at 200.If i do some looking around i can also get marantz and maybe denon but i am not sure.
Pls help

okee dokee,
any info on the onkyo 701, compared to marantz 6300, yamaha 1300 or denon 2803, with krix equinox bookshelf or subsonic xm3. any other recomendation would be appreciated. Im having trouble trying to listen to these speakers with these receivers and no one shop stocks both items. Grrrrrr!! whats arcam or rotel like??
Please hurry and help me my wifes just got home from work. Ouchh!!


I would never get a sony receiver--the quality just isn't there.

Yamaha is too bright sounding for your speakers, especially if you listen to music.

Get the Onkyo TX-SR601 (don't bother with the 501) or a Marantz 4300. The Marantz is a little warmer and thus more enjoyable for music.


I have heard the Krix speakers and they are a bit forward sounding and a tad on the bright side. This would rule out the Yamaha and the Denon in my opinion as a bad match. Something warmer such as the Marantz 6300, Onkyo 701 or NAD 752 would be a much better match. I have heard these Krix speakers driven by an NAD receiver and they sounded great.


How about MonitorAudio Sliver8i? You mentioned that it is a good match with NAD/Marantz too. Will MA be a better match with NAD 752 then the 4ohm Krix Lyrix Gold?

Thanks Hawk for your recommendations! As I was listening to my system last night, I realized it's pretty bad and am excited to get a new one!

Thanks hawk for ur help i went ahead and brought back a onkyo 601, I am trying to figure out the connections now, and yes can i connect my DVD player through the digital optic fibre cable if yes what improvements will i get with it


Congrats on the purchase of the Onkyo. It is a good product and a fine value.

Using the digital fiber optic cable shifts to burden of converting the digitally stored sound information on the DVD from the DVD player to the receiver. This can be a good thing or not, depending upon whether the receiver has better DACs than the DVD player. You should certainly try it, and if you like the sound better, great. If not, go back to analog cables to connect your DVD player's sound to the receiver. The key is to get the best sound regardless of the connection.

I hope I have answered your question.


Wow, what a question! I really can't say because I have never thought about comparing the Krix against the MAs. I have heard both, but they were at different dealers and on different days, and I have found them both to be very dynamic speakers which have a very similar sound. To distinguish between the two might require some serious listening. I am of the opinion that you should consider which speakers work better for you in terms of the way the fit your room and particularly if you like one better than the other. I really don't think one is decidedly better than the other. Either is a very good choice.

The NAD is warm and smooth sounding and a good match for either speaker. Both speakers are a bit forward sounding and sonically work well with either the NAD or the Marantz. However, the NAD is much more tolerant of difficult loads (a big plus in my opinion), so it is the better choice for the Krix. I think the MAs are rated at 6 ohms, which might be a problem if you are going to drive more than two speakers, as the Marantz specifies an 8 ohm minimum if driving more than two speakers. Thus the NAD would also be the better choice for the MAs.


Be sure to keep us posted on what you ultimately decide to get!

Warmest wishes . . .

Wow, this thread has been going forever. =)

I just purchased a set of Athena speakers for my new HT setup (F2s in front, C1 center, B1s surround), and are now trying to pair them up with a good reciever. I bought a fairly cheap Sony at the same time as the speakers, and I'm just not horribly happy with it (shocking!).

My requirements are decent sound in HT and stero playback, DSP processing on 2 channel music isn't a big deal to me. I also require component switching (at least 2 in) and optical/coax digital audio switching.

I'm hoping to get out of this for <= $400 on the reciever. Any suggestions?

A good sounding receiver with component video switching under $400 to pair with the Athenas will be very tough. I'd say the HK 325z from Onecall would be your best bet but I don't see any on their site right now. Maybe you can find an Onkyo 601 that might fit the bill?

I should have said in the orignal message that the Onkyo 601 is currently the forerunner for me. I can get one at a local Circut City for $450, and I think I may be able to slip the extra $50 in there if I promise my wife to cook for her more often. :-)

My only concern with the Onkyo is the rated power. I know there is funniness with the way various companies rate reciervers, but I'm still somewhat concerend with 85 watts being able to fill a decent sized room with good sound. Currently, our listening area is fairly small, but we are considering moving in the near future so it is something I have to worry about.


You have nice speakers there--no surprise that the Sony doesn't do them justice.

Let me make a few suggestions. First, I think you are correct to worry about getting adequate power for your speakers and since I don't know your room, I am shooting in the dark, here. Whether the so-called 85 wpc out of the Onkyo 601 is real or not is anyone's guess.

However, I can give you a couple of receivers for the same amount of money as the 601 would cost you that will have more power. First, check out the Onkyo TX-SR700 at eCOST.com, for $455. Rated at 100wpc (also probably not real, but it is more power) and it is essentially the same price. Now this is a refurb, but that should not be a deterrent a refurbs have a much lower return rate than do new receivers. Second, look for a Pioneer Elite 43TX. These are being closed out (in favor of the new 53tx) and I have seen them for just under $450. It is also a 100 wpc receiver and it has a bigger power supply. It is a nice unit.

Finally, if you can forego the component video connections, I would strongly suggest the NAD 742, available at Saturday Audio Exchange (www.saturdayaudio.com) for $449. This is only 50 wpc, but these are a real 50 wpc (it is also conservatively rated--I would guess that they are more like 60 wpc x 5). I heard this receiver compared directly to the Onkyo 700 and it had more power (no doubt due to its massive power supply). Nevertheless, as it is only a 5.1 receiver, it does not have six and seven channel formats like some other receivers, but if you only have a 5.1 speaker system, it isn't anything you will miss. It does have everything you need such as DD, DTS, and DPL II. Comes with a real nice remote, too.

Thanks for the input so far!

My current room is relatively small, like I said. And an accoustical nightmare; I have no right wall, its open into the dining room.

The room is approximately 9x11, with valuted ceilings and carpeting. The front speakers are 6' apart, the listening position is about 9' back flanked by the surrounds which are currently sitting on tables which places them right about at ear level. I need to get stands, but that will have to wait a while yet.

If we move, there is no telling what size room we will end up with, although I think I have managed to concvince my wife that we need a better room for HT use finally. :-)

I will explore mail/internet order a bit, but I'm very much a local shop type of person. It makes it much easier to take the gear home and try it out if you don't have to wait on shipping lag to do everything ... plus I'm horribly impatient.

I knew Hawk would recommend the 742 but I thought component video is what you wanted so I didn't say anything about it.

But, if you're willing to forgo the component video inputs you might also look at the Marantz 5300 at ac4l.com. It goes for $419. Also the SR 6200 which has more power goes for $449. Plus look at Hawk's recommendations.


Component video is unfortuantely one of my "hard" requirements. I don't like switching the TV input any more than I have to, and I already have both an XBox and DVD player running on component video. When we get high-def cable around here I'm going to be in trouble.

Well, I went up to Hifi buys after work today and took a look around.

They have a Denon 3802 sitting on the shelf for $450 as a discontinued model. Anyone have any experience with this model that they care to share?


I would actually suggest you seek out a remote component video switch box rather than rely on the receiver. I have seen them for about $175 and they are programmable to work with your remote (I guess it is the remote that is programmable, but you know what I mean). These remote switch boxes usually handle 4 inputs rather than two and have a much wider video bandwidth than a receiver (particualrly nice if you ever go to HDTV).


I was actually wondering if those (remote component switches) existed. Do you know much about them? It would be nice if you could teach them to switch when you, for example, hit the 'dvd' button on the reciever remote. Do you know if they're trainable in such a way?

Yes. There are several good ones out that have a component video bandwidth of something like 100 to 150 Mhz! I will track them down (I looked at them about five months ago) again and report the info on this forum.

Hi, I've read quite a few of the may-jun posts on here regarding the JVC RX-8030 I am thinking about purchasing. I'm choosing speakers first and am going with the Athena Point 5 6 speaker set. Will these compliment the JVC? I was originally going to get the Yamaha RVX440 until I found out it lacks svideo switching. The RVX540 is a little more than I would like to spend. Thoughts/Comments very appreciated. Primary purpose will be movies & surround, but I will often listen to music as well.

Here's one I found. I don't know the name but it looks well built and it works with universal remotes.


I have been laboring for a couple of months on what brand of HT receiver to purchase.I have looked at Onkyo, Pioneer Elite, Sony ES, and Denon.A dealer has Yamaha but not interested. This is pretty much my options locally. I have looked at B&K, but it is out of my budget.Plus, I do not know how they would go with my speakers. I have the Def Tech 2006 speakers for my front channel, Def Tech BP2X for rear channel and I am up grading my center channel for probably the Def Tech 2600. I like a little forward sound with some resonants but nothing that will send me to the roof. What would be a good receiver that compliments my Def Techs.


Please don't get the JVC receiver you can do so much better than that. The JVC is IMO a poor excuse for a HT receiver.

Ask yourself if you really need to put your video signal through a receiver as this will only lead to a loss of picture quality as most on this forum will tell you. Why not forsake video switching, as its not too much trouble to switch video signals via remotes, and pick a receiver more for its sonic attributes than its feature list.

You can do a lot worse than choose a budget receiver from one of the quality brands e.g. Marantz, Onkyo, HK, Pioneer and even Yamaha. If you need a great budget all-rounder why not give the Marantz SR4300 an audition.


I cannot think of a worse match for the athena Point 5s than either a Yamaha or a JVC. The Athenas are bright sounding and you have picked out the only two bright sounding receiver lines out there. Bad combo.

For the Athena Point 5s, I would recommend either a Pioneer Elite or a H/K receiver. Both are very smooth and laid back--they will tame the bright tendencies of the Point 5s and let the sound shine through.

Update - The Denon 3802 didn't have a remote, and they were going to charge me $120 to replace it. No matter how good the deal was, that firmly removed it from my price range. To add insult to injury once it became clear that I wasn't going to be a customer the salesman simply turned around and walked away with no attempt to help me any further. I was quite displeased, to say the least.

A quick drive next door revealed a HK 320 display model at a resoanble price. It was also missing its remote, but they agreeded to order one for me at no charge. The 320 is now sitting at home in my AV rack, but I fear its going to be relatively hard to audition accurately since I can find no way to get into the OSD to set the speaker sizes and levels without a remote. Even as is, I can tell a substantual improvement over the Sony that is now back in its carton waiting for me to take it back to the store this weekend.

I don't suppose anyone has any HK experience and knows of a way to set the speaker sizes / levels without using a remote, do they?

valeem & Hawk:

Thanks for the input. I've recently had a change of heart and am thinking going with a set of Dalquist Orbit 5.1's. I've heard the Yamaha RVX440 goes excellent with this, but Im also considering an H/K avr125, though have been told its fairly "bare bones" in terms of features etc. It's about $160 more than the yamaha, and Im told the Yamaha matches the speakers sonically so they are a slightly better fit.



Hi everyone

I have a Denon 3600 the model without DTS I bought it in 98 brand new, I got a great deal on it. They originally went for $1799.00 I got it for $999.00 brand new in a sealed carton as they were going to a new model. It has actually had very little use. I would question whether it has even had enough hours on it to be considered broken in. My front speakers are Mirage 595is bipolars with a matching center channel and surrounds. I like the Mirage because you do not have to sit exactly in one sweet spot in a triangle to get the sound right. I like to get quality products that sound very good while not spending huge amounts. I could not pass up the receiver for that much off. The receiver is built like a tank but I am not sure it is what would be considered really good sounding for music. I would appreciate if anyone has any knowledge of this receiver telling me what they think. I am considering selling it and replacing it although I have not made up my mind on what the replacement would be or if it is stupid to consider it. I am not sure switching for another Denon would make sense or what specific model I would need to improve over what I have. I would not want to go above the cost of a 3803 in the Denon line. should I am wondering if that would offer any improvement over what I have now for music, I know there are improvements at the HT end. Other than that I would probably consider NAD. Also would you actually hear the difference between an NAD 521i and a 250.00 dollar Sony dvd player on CD playback. Common sense would tell me yes but sometimes in the world of audio, impressive parts and engineering offer subtle changes for money spent. I would appreciate hearing some thoughts on this.


Jon S.
I'm hoping someone might be able to give me some good suggestions.

I'm shopping for an a/v receiver, and my price limit is about $450.

The models I'm considering are as follows: Pioneer VSX D912K (CNET Editors' Choice), Panasonic SA HE200 (its weaker sibling, the HE100, was Consumer Reports' top '02 pick), a Denon 1803 (I think the 1804 is going to be too much), Harman Kardon AVR 225, and either the Onkyo TX SR501 or 601.

I currently have a Polk CSi30 center channel, a pair of Advent Legacy II's (6 ohms nominal) for the front, and a pair of Polks for the rear, which happen to be installed in the ceiling (9' high).

The room in which all this is to be used is about 18X16, though there really is no rear wall (the room is on a floor of my home that is "open"). Because of the room dimensions and the Advents, I'm concerned about having enough power.

Right now the Advents and the Polks in the ceiling are both in the front channel jacks of my current, not-so-hot receiver, and the sound is really pretty good. There is no surround sound, however, hence this post for a/v receiver recommendations. I hoping that a better receiver with A/V capabilities will give me good sounding home theater, and even better sounding music than what I have now (my number #1 priority).

Any A/V receiver purchase advice is greatly appreciated.

Jon: If you're patient, you'll probably be able to get a H/K 325 in your price range, they're just now introducting the 330s so it should be getting close to clearance time.

I just picked up a 320 for $399 not realizng how close to model changeover time it was. I'm considering getting a 325 and returning the 320 assuming I can find one in my price range before my 30 day return time expires ... just so I can be a year closer to the current models.

Either way, I adore the 320 so far and have no regrets on it.

Harman Kardon AVR325 for $499.99 + free shipping + no tax (except in NY) at J&R.

The link

Very long, interesting and instructional thread. This will be my first -serious- sound system and I've been researching and sampling different brands and combinations for a couple months now but my time is running out because my wife is getting... Anyway, I have narrowed down my seach to the NAD 752 and my dilema is whether if a set of Energy Takes w/10-sub or a set of PSB Image 1Bs/8C center/Subzero-i sub would be a better match for this receiver. Nowhere in town I could find the PSBs to test them. Both sets are cost about the same (&750-$850) and that's about as much as I wanted to spend in speakers. Any advice or suggetions would be greatly appreciated.

And I have'nt even tackled the DVD issue yet ...


You would find a quantum difference in the quality of sound between the Takes and the PSBs, if for no other reason than sheer physics. The PSB Image line is a much bigger speaker than the Takes and makes far fewer compromises. If you have no need of the Takes' diminutive size, get the PSBs and don't worry about it. It is an easy call.


J&R has the new HK 230 on sale for $379. It's actually on pre-order. Don't know the actual shipping date. It has the same high current capacity as the 320 and 325, +/-35amps. This is a 6.1 receiver with component video switching and 7.1 pre outs. If you're interested in the most current HK models this might be for you.

By the way,the 320 and 325 are both very good units.

I thought you and others might be interested in some follow-up. You may recall that I have a pair of DCM Time Windows, and was wondering about Yamaha 3300, NAD 762, etc. Well, I have now done some listening to the NAD 762, and certainly agree they are excellent. Yet, I wasn't blown away with them in the store, and felt that I needed to consider still all options. Unfortunately, I didn't have the opportunity to do a tight A/B comparison of receivers in a situation where all other factors were constant.

But here's the surprise: I pulled my old Time Windows out of semi-storage (our cat had confused them with a scratching post, and while they are still functionally perfect, they are sort of bandaged with temporary covering), and did connect them up to the Yamaha that I had brought home. (I have about one week left allowed on my return policy.) I had been almost cringing in anticipation of the finger nails sliding over blackboard you had described for Yamahas in general, but nevertheless began testing a series of CDs. I should note that our living room has wall to wall carpetting, which I am sure must be taken into account in the overall acoustic situation. Well, first I listened to the Saint-Saens organ symphony on a 20 year old Telarc CD. Amazing clarity, sonic fullness, and I think musicality. I then switched to a wonderful CD of Beethoven piano trios. The piano and the cello were amazing--I could have made an ad for believing they were playing in my own living room. Only the violin upper register gave me a little question--was Hawk's admonition now bearing fruit? Or, was this the unfortunate reality of the particular violinist in question. I still haven't fully resolved this, but the beauty of the piano over the full set of octaves makes me favor the latter possibility. I've subsequently listened to some Ella Fitzgerald, and also to some more recent recordings that are impressive sonically even if not necessarily as much so artistically. I'm not through listening, and in fact over the weekend I intend to have my two sons who each have pretty good ears also do some listening. What is abundantly clear, though, is that my old NAD 7020 never, ever produced the quality of sound through the Time Windows that I'm finally hearing. I feel kind of bad that I didn't toss the old NAD sooner, but at least now I'm hearing some amazing sound.

So, some questions: First, Hawk, what kind of music do you mostly listen to? Is it possible that you are looking for something mellower than I may be? I like crispness of sorts, where I can listen to many different instruments in an ensemble, and rather than having them blend too much, I like to be able to discern the components. Maybe my listening taste is skewed, maybe what I like you might call harsh?
Second question: My Time Windows were never particularly powerful on bass. Is there a relatively simple solution for me to add an additional pair of speakers to my system specifically to fill in bass not dealt with well enough by the Time Windows? How would I wire these in, and where would I place them? I don't think we're talking about subwoofers here, but rather a different solution. Any specific suggestions?

Finally, I have an old pair of Acoustic Research AR2ax speakers that I inherited from family. Might these be of particular use as I try to create a surround sound system? I also have several pairs of inexpensive small speakers that I wouldn't use for serious listening--but might they be of any use in the surround sound system, or is it best simply to buy all new speakers for this purpose?


Thank you for your wonderful post. It was very thoughtful and made me think about alot of things.

I really miss my Time Windows (selling them was not one of my better ideas) and I can appreciate the wonderful sound you are getting from them (sorry to hear about the cat, though). I used to have a beautiful Yamaha RX-620 receiver to drive my Time Windows and the sound was marvelous. I still have a Yamaha RX-240 in my garage which I listen to when working in the yard or in the garage.

I don't doubt that it is true that we hear different things. I know I am not into the really "laid back" camp of receivers that are so popular today. I greatly respect brands like H/K and Pioneer Elite, which are well built and a good value but they are simply too laid back for my tastes. Conversely, I don't like an overly bright receiver, either. Hence, my recent passion for an NAD which seems to fall right in the middle for me. Now, I have spent a lot of time listening to the x30 line of Yamaha receivers because I initially thought I wanted to get a Yamaha (based upon my previous good experience with the brand). I like a wide range of music and I used quite a few of my CDs to audition the various units in the line. I even took in my own CD player on one occasion just to be sure.

The x30s were a real disappointment to me. I simply do not like the sound, which comes across as bright and abrasive sounding. Later, I discovered the results of the testing done by Sound & Vision, which confirmed my observations that the x30 line was powered by a really bad power supply. Now the higher line (RX-V1300, 2300, 3300, etc.) has a much better power supply and appears to be better built, but at their price point, I just like other gear better. Nevertheless, the higher line is a quantum leap in quality over the x30s.

Another part of what I don't like about the Yamaha sound is in the pre/pro section where they use proprietary chips for their digital decoding and DSP. I think it is far inferior to the Crystal Sigma chipset used in NADs and several good separates I have also heard. Again, just my personal preference, here. I gather you got the RX-V3300, which is almost the top of the line. I have my notes in which was priced at $1499, so it is a really nice receiver. Your observation that you liked the Yamaha better than the NAD proves what I think everyone should do. I can make suggestions, but a buyer should go and listen for themselves, and then buy what they like best. $1500 is a very strong price point and I would probably look at the Outlaw separates (950/7100) if it were me. But if you are getting beautiful music and it is a good match with your speakers (which it appears to be), stick with it! You have to get what you like to listen to, otherwise what's the point in spending the money?

The high line Yamahas do sound very clear and I can fully understand why someone would like them. There is no one receiver better than all of the others as each consumer has their personal tastes. But I remember having some components over the years that sounded great in the store, but once I got them home I also found them too bright and abrasive sounding. It led to listener fatigue and I couldn't even enjoy listening to one side of an album (~20 minutes) before I got up and turned the system off. I just won't repeat that expereince again. So, perhaps I am too sensitive to this issue, which may not be an issue for you.

My music is pretty wide ranging. I have four different recordings of the Saint-Saens Organ Symphony, including the Telarc that you have. I have quite a bit of classical, jazz, acoustical, Irish and Scottish folk music, gospel (both black and southern), etc. I have everything from Fresh Aire (Mannheim Steamroller) to the Nylons, Clapton to Tull, and just about every major piece by Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart and Elgar. I love to listen to music!

My cheap solution on your bass deficiency is to move them closer to the walls. I never noticed a problem there, but I kept mine close to the walls which would tend to reinforce the bass. Adding more speakers, wired in series, would only confuse and blur the stereo image. Alternatively, I would get a sub--look into the PSB Subzero-i from DMC Electronics for $219 if you want high quality with a low price (Get the Subsonic 5 if you can afford more). I would also try the ARs as my surrounds--what can it hurt? Just experiment with all of the speakers you have to see what works best. Set your center channel to "None" on the receiver to create a phantom center channel and you will have the four corners covered, but you will really appreciate the difference a center channel speaker can make once you get it. I don't think you need to buy new speakers here for the surrounds. If I bought anything new, I would get a center channel speaker, perhaps the new Ascend Acoustics CM-340, which is $298, or an Athena AS-C1 center speaker--available for $180 at One Call. I am going on memory here, but these speakers should be as close as I can get to approximating a match with the sound of the Time Windows.

Best wishes.


Thanks for all your thoughtful answers to my questions. First, a quick discussion about bang for the buck: While the original list price on the Yamaha RXV-3300 was indeed $1500--and in fact one local dealer is still even asking this, I was able to buy mine for only $770. This was an apparently barely used floor model, complete with original remote and even manual. If I were truly working with $1500, I think I'd need to do far more comparisons. But, when I enjoy what I'm listening to, and it's only $770, I think this is pretty fortunate. The 3300 was the penultimate in the Yamaha line--only one step down from their flagship. I lack your technical knowledge base, but have the impression that this power supply is quite a bit better than their models below the 3300.

I'll try to test out the surround sound features according to your suggestions. This may not be for a few more weeks, but I'll certainly let you know the results when I get there.

That's quite a music repertoire, Hawk! I'm very impressed by the span.

Given all this emphasis on sound quality, I must share a little story with you. My father was a very gifted physicist/acoustical engineer, with a very deep and also encyclopedic knowledge of classical music. He invented a great many transducers, whether in the area of phonograph pickups, antisubmarine detection devices, or in his later years hearing aids. As a child, I remember hearing about noise cancellation--probably two decades before it was ever in the public lexicon. Of course, since this had to do with submarines and the like, it was not yet ready for discussion in ordinary circles... My father even personally produced some recordings of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra back in the 1950's. Yet, despite this rather amazing depth in acoustics, he was perfectly happy driving in our car in Cleveland, with the AM radio of that era tuned to WQXR--from New York City. For my ears, it was excruciating hearing a tiny bit of a Mozart or Beethoven piece waft in and out, with barely the theme perceptible. But my father--and mother--took great pleasure in even those musical experiences. They'd harmonize with the music, try to guess the artist and conductors, and simply have a wonderful time, despite the lowest fidelity imaginable. So, perhaps it's good for all of us now and then to step back just a bit, and question a little bit whether or not we might be overdoing it slightly on trying to achieve perfection in high fidelity. It's great fun, and I'm certainly enjoying the ride myself, but then I think about those earlier rides too.



That was an absolutely delightful story about your parents. I loved it.

Your story reminded me of my experience. Music was also very important in our household although not such high quality music. My dad grew up in the hills of eastern Kentucky and there you either played bluegrass or a bluegrass version of gospel music, so that is what I grew up on. My dad couldn't hold a note, but since music was all the entertainment they had in eastern Kentucky, he sang all the time. When he was on his death bed in the Cleveland Clinic, a group of his old friends drove up from Kentucky and spent an evening in his hospital room singing old gospel songs together. When I was much younger, I used to be somewhat embarrassed by my dad's singing, but I gradually learned that it is not how you sing, but what is inside you that counts. Those guys in my dad's hospital room reminded me that music is more than just sound--it is memories, both shared and individual, that mean so much to all of us.

You are probably right that we spend too much time worrying about hi-fidelity in our systems. I think in my case, I am reaching for some of those memories.

BTW, at that price, I would get a 3300, too. I would find a pair of speakers to make it work for me!


John Allen
Jon and Hawk, especially:

What a wonderful conversation. Yes, you have to think "why am I doing this?". Thank you for sharing these reflections. I hesitate to chip in, but please accept this post.

I personally had exactly the experience of hearing old and familiar CDs (and LPs actually) as if for the first time. For me it was when I switched from Sony to NAD, on tried and trusted KEF speakers. Apart from HT for all the family, that change completely revived my interest and pleasure in listening to recorded music. Surely other switches would have done that, too. I don't think anything significant has happened to speaker design for many decades; maybe they can do it a bit cheaper, now, but a great speaker from the early 70s is still great speakers today, thirty years on.

That is why I think your ARs will make excellent surrounds, Jon. A good single center speaker is not so expensive, and there is lots of choice. Any good speaker will do, but remember older hi-fi speakers were not magnetically shielded, and the center is the one that really should be, it sits near the TV.

As regards bass, powered subwoofers were once scorned by stereo hi-fi enthusiasts, and rightly so. But today you can tune the cross-over and the relative volumes of the sub and the mains, so, with a little care, you get considerable bass extention with no colouration - the "mega-bass" effects of cheap all-in-ones are truly aweful, but completely irrelevant. A good old main speaker (don't know Time Windows, sorry) might roll off at 50 Hz, even a floor-stander. A powered sub rolls off at say 25 Hz. That is a whole octave you never heard before. It really makes a difference.

The bottom note (C) on a cello is 64 Hz, so if you listen to string quartets there is absolutely no value in a sub. But as soon as you switch to say the Trout Quintet you have the double bass, whose lowest note (CC) is 32 Hz, and the sub makes a big difference. Then if you get into orchestral music, this can be completely transformed by good, neutral, downward bass extension. The organ can even go way below 25 Hz, depending on the maker, and when it was made. I do not know how much Saint-Saens exploited the full range in Organ Symphony. To cover all options for organ you would need a sub to go to about 12 Hz. Down there you cannot hear, and cannot judge pitch, but you can feel vibration. What you actually hear is the upper harmonics, and the first for 12 Hz is at 24 Hz. A good standard sub will give you that.

So I would say, yes, get a sub. The best way to get neutral bass extension is the place it (electrically I mean) between the receiver and the main speakers, so it passes on all the frequencies above the crossover, which you should be able to adjust, according to where the mains roll off. Then get the sub output level right. It will be easy for someone who really listens, as you guys obviously do. The ".1" "subwoofer" output is different. It is a home theater device, and it is only then that you get into the question of "Bass management".

Finally on systems, I am indeed one of the NAD brigade, but only because it works for me. If you try the T762 you may find an improvement with those upper strings, Jon, and other factors like transients and detailed stereo image. Soft furnishings always improve things greatly, far more than switching reciever makers, but you need more power to get the same perceived volume of sound compared to a room of bare, reflective surfaces. The Yamaha might just have less effective power. But if it works, and you like it, go for it, and nobody can know better than you. What counts is what you hear, what reaches you. And there are other factors, as you so beautifully describe.

I enjoyed you stories. I am from a different sort of place and family background, but there is a lot I recognise and admire in what you write. There was not much music in my home. My chief memory is listening to the BBC "Home Service" and "Light Programme" on an AM valve radio (this much sound archaic to some here). There was a Saturday morning show called Children's Choice. The CDs issued about ten years ago from their running lists are golden - I avoid nostalgia if at all possible, but they are now my own children's favourites, by far. Any ancient Brits may remember Tommy Steele's hit "Handful of Songs". I never knew, before my small daughter was dancing around to it last week (her request), that the song is just voice, plucked double bass, and ukelele, effortless and simple artistry, and the kid had natural talent. It's a gem.

Here's the rub: we take things for granted. Listen again, think, reflect. It was better than we knew at the time. Recorded sound is now just getting old enough to be able to prove that.

Which is better for a dedicated home theater room, HK 525 or Denon 3803?


I think it depends upon which sound you like better as these two receivers sound very different. The H/K is much smoother, although a little darker sounding. The Denon sounds very clean (I have one), but isn't as smooth to listen to as it is a bit dry and grainy sounding in comparison.

Which sound do you prefer?

I was planning to use a pair of PSB Image 1Bs for surround speakers and but the salesperson at the store where I've been sampling them suggested to get a pair of Alpha S instead. He assures me that sound quality would not be diminished by going to the Alpha line and surround speakers would give me a closer theater "effect" when viewing DVDs. It is an interesting thought because probably I'll use my HT more for movies than for music. What do you think?

John Allen, Hawk,

I never imagined a single thread would end up being woven into such a rich fabric. This is a really wonderful experience. I greatly appreciated reading both of your postings. So much to think about.

A little update: both of our sons did listen carefully to the Yamaha 3300/Time Windows over the weekend. Like me, both were amazed at how these same Time Windows had never sounded remotely so good. While we all know that there could doubtlessly be further refinement of quality, there was strong agreement that it's already at such a pleasing level, and really at such a low price, that this is probably a good place to stop the search and simply enjoy it.

That said, the issue of adding a subwoofer, so nicely discussed by John Allen, raises once again a Yamaha issue. This Yamaha--and even their flagship model--have only the 90 hz possible for crossover. However, as has been pointed out by others in various threads and reviews, the top end Yamahas do have quite a bit of control available for each speaker, including the ability to send the low frequency both to the subwoofer and to the main speakers. In any event, I take it that this is really a non-problem, if I buy the correct subwoofer: I'd simply have the main speaker signal go directly to the subwoofer, and on the subwoofer itself experimentally determine the ideal crossover frequency for speakers outputting from the subwoofer, as well as setting relative volumes for the subwoofer as opposed to the main speakers. Is this correct? That said, what would be two or three best value choices that would have all the flexibility I need, and nicely fill in the bass that the Time Windows really can't reach?


Sorry to interrupt you guys, I was wondering if Hawk or anyone could give me some advice on my situation. I have a $1000 budget (I live in europe but i'll talk US$ to make it simple) and want to get a HT system. I know I should first focus on the speakers but:
1) I have a pair of Wharfefale Valdus 200 I don't want to get rid of and I can get a Wharfedale Powercube Sub+WH2(center and 2 surround) for $300 (maybe a bit more)
2)I fear any better speaker system would suck up my budget and I wouldn't get any decent receiver in the 100W per channel range (here receivers are a bit more expensive than in the US)

So i was considering buying either the NAD t752, the new Marantz sr 5400 or the onkyo 601. I would use it both for music and HT (50%/50%)in a small room. Any comments or suggestions about that ?


I think he is probably right--you don't need the Image 1Bs for your surrounds, although I am not familiar with the Alpha S model, so I can't comment on that speaker. Try them out and trust your ears!


I have both a passive and an active sub that I have played around with over the years. The passive sub is set up the way you are describing, with the leads for the mains sent first to the sub, and then on to the mains. The active sub is run off of the subwoofer out on the back of my Denon. Both are an 8" Phase Tech brand sub. I find the active sub is far more useful because I have all kinds of control for the setup that you will sacrifice if you wire it as a passive sub. I don't recommend a passive sub set-up, despite the 90 hz cross-over on the Yamaha. I would suggest that you set your Time Windows to Large and then set an active sub's crossover to only fill in the lower registers. However, if you set the Time Windows to small, all bass info below 90 hz is going to go to the sub, so I don't think you should be too concerned. It is a set-up that will work well, either way.

BTW, what is your budget on a sub? I can recommend a lot of subs, but I want it to be meaningful to you.


Of the receivers you list, the most musical is easily the NAD, followed by a Marantz 5400, and then the Onkyo 601. In fact, the NAD here is priced at the same level as the Marantz 7400, so if you can get it at the price of the 5400, it is a steal!

I actually disagree that you should focus first on your speakers. That is one way to go about it, but not the only way. Get your receiver if that is the opportunity that is presenting itself (sounds like it), and then fill out your speakers later, when your budget allows. You already have the front mains which is all you really need. A lot of advice that is rendered by other people is not concerned with real world situations, such as a person's budget. I would go ahead and get the NAD. Good luck.


I'd say between $200-350 for a subwoofer. Hopefully I can use the AR speakers for surrounds. Let's also figure out a solution for the center speaker and all remaining speakers. I'd like to keep the total for all the new speaker purchases (i.e., all but the Time Windows and the AR's) to $800-900 if possible.



Boy, I wish we had had this conversation a month ago, because Audio Advisor was closing out some nice DCM subs for $199.99. I just checked and they are all gone.

For your price range, I recommend going to DMC Electronics for a PSB Subsonic 5 subwoofer for $249 (MSRP is $499). This is an excellent subwoofer, has a nice 10" driver with a good amplifier, and it has all the controls you might need. It might have a slight cosmetic blemish for that price, but I doubt it. It is last year's model and I think it is a straight closeout. But it is a very good product and a solid value even at the MSRP, and it is well within your price range. Check it out at www.dmc-electronics.com.

As for a center channel, check out the Athena Audition AS-C1, which you can get for $180. I also like a PSB 8C from DMC for $199 a lot. There are better center speakers, but not at that price. Either should get as close to your Time Windows as I can get for this price level.

Best wishes.


Was ths DCM sub the following? TB1 DCM 10" POWERED SUBWOOFER If so, I've located one for a little less than you quoted for the DCM subs. Please advise.

Also, we're still some speakers short for the full system--what about the rear?


John Allen

Thanks for your comments on the long replies. You raised very interesting general questions.
In US Hawk has the market sorted out for subs and much else, and always writes good sense.
I am in Europe, and cannot audition many makes, anyway.

"Is this correct?" Yes, you have it. The ideal sub would let you switch on the fly between between two connections: speaker-level (which you describe) and "line-level" (the "sub" pre-amp out channel, for home theatre). With most makes, except some like REL, you have to reconnect cables to make the change. I suppose the ability to switch on the fly adds a lot to the cost.

In May I tried, at home, two active subwoofers at about $250, an Audio Pro Sub Nova and a Gale 3080W. Tha Gale won hands down. I have it, and am pleased with it. I don't think either is well known in N. America. The Audio Pro has a variable crossover for line-level (LFE channel), and a fixed one (80 Hz) for speaker level, which to me is exactly the opposite of what anyone would want; with speaker-level, you are bound to need to adjust the crossover to complement the other speakers you happen to have; with line-level you could well stick with reproducing whatever the engineers put on the .1 track on the recording, and I don't see the need to fiddle with that. The Gale has variable (50-150 Hz) on both inputs, so there is no decision to make. The Gale sounded much better to me, anyway. All Audio Pro subs, even their top-range models, seem to have that crazy decision designed in. I cannot find an explanation, leaving me in the position that either the manufacturer does not understand what an active sub is really for, or I, an amateur and mere customer, have got it all wrong.

For surrounds and center, Kef KHT 2005.1 "Eggs" (small speakers) are very good, but again this is my personal anecdote and I do not know if they are a good choice with a Yamaha receiver and Time Windows for mains. I have not done a survey, even here. I would defer to Hawk. There are lots of good centre/surrounds and they need not be expensive these days.


Yes, I think that is the one. Now, I would reiterate that I think the PSB 5 is better, but is does cost more, so you need to realistically look at your budget. If you can afford the PSB, I highly recommend it over the DCM sub, but if you can't, I think the DCM sub should do a good job (I heard the DCM sub about a year ago when they were still offered at CC and I thought they were pretty good.).

As for the surrounds, I will have to answer later--I really need to go to bed right now!

Mr Hawk, need you help here

I am planning to have system for Music 70% (jazz, fusion & gospel)& Movie 30% and have decided to go for Marantz SR 5300 but I am still chosing the matched speaker for it. I have 3 alternatives in mind:

Alt 1
Front : Wharfedale Diamond 8.2
Center: Wharfedale Diamond 8.center
Rear : Wharfedale Diamond 8.1
Sub : Wharfedale Powercube 12A

Front : Tannoy MX2-M
Center: Tannoy MXC-M
Rear : Tannoy MXR-M or MX1-M
Sub : Wharfedale Powercube 12A (Cheaper than MXSub)

Front : Tannoy MX2-M
Package: JBL SCS150SI (5.1 package +150w 10" sub)

Which do you think make the best combo and value for money

As for Bookshelf speakers like Tannoy MX2-M or Wharfedale 8.2 is it okay to mount it to the wall ??

BTW it is for my living room is about 4 meters X 7 meters open space.

THX a lot


Hmm, tough choice. I lean toward the Wharfdales in Alternative #1 for one reason--you want to mount them to the wall, which is OK. The Wharfdales have their reflex port on the front, allowing the speaker to be wall mounted as the reinforcement from the port fires forward toward the listener. But the Tannoys have a rear port, which, when mounted on the wall, would muddy the bass sound and leave you dissatisfied with the sound of your system. You will want to get some good brackets (check out some OmniMounts--their website has a great section which tells you what OmniMount fits your particular speaker and how to have it mounted).

Good luck!


I have a speaker question for you too. At the same or similar price range, do you prefer PSB or Paradigm? (Assuming MSRP for now) I'm talking about lower end small bookshelf units here, like atom/titan vs. PSB's entry in that size/price class. Paradigm is somewhat difficult to get a good deal on, while the DCM site you mentioned above turns out to be local for me. It's about 15 minutes away.

Looking to spend about $1k for the front/center/surround and a sub. Room was a bedroom, with the wall removed it's now open to the dining/living room, so it's pretty big.

Receiver will be either the HK AVR230 or the Onkyo 601. Still undecided.

I think they are very similar in sound and I don't think that either is better built--both PSB and Paradigm are very well built, high quality, products. Therefore, I would look very hard at PSB given the fact that you can get them a bit cheaper and they are local for you.

Good luck!

Thanks Hawk..

I went to Pacific Sales today and listened to the PSB setup. Heard the Image 1b and 2b + the 8c and subsonic 5. I was pretty impressed, actually. I think I like them better than my Klipsch setup at home, which is not a good thing. :) They were using a Yamaha receiver to power them, BTW. (Didn't look at the model) The 2b's seemed to image a bit better than the 1b. They didn't have a alpha setup in the sane room, so while I did hear them, couldn't compare to the Image series.

Have you compared the Images to the Alphas? What did you think? (Bookshelf models.)

The pricing was list minus 15% for a system package. (DCM is quite a bit less - though some are blems.)

I've got to go to BestBuy tomorrow anyway, so I'll try to see what the Athena model they have sounds like. Though I'm sure they won't be well setup for a demo.


I would stick to the Image line. While I think the Alphas are a good budget speaker, the Images are better, IMO, and simply don't cost much more. The price differential is rather small, and I would not be too concerned with a blem from DCM--some of the blems are so small, you can never see them until they are pointed out to you. Besides, you live close to DCM, you can actually check them out before buying.

Receiver: If you really want to step up in class sonically over the H/K and the Onkyo 601, check out the Outlaw Audio 1050 (www.outlawaudio.com). It has similar power, but wonderful output stages that are a lot smoother and cleaner than the other receivers at that price. You can always order one and try it at home for 30 days--if you don't like it just send it back.

Thank you Mr. Hawk,

Actually after reading some material in this message board. I was thinking about the installation option also and after review the room I am also considering not to mount the front speaker to the wall.

The issue is I have arrange and put the speaker cable and prepare the the spring clip for 4 speaker (front & rear) during my house renovation and I was just run into the "biwire" options which people say will improve the sound of the speaker.

Can you please explain it to of how to utilize biwire ? Is it mean directly connect the speaker biwire plug using TWO pair of cable to speaker output of the receiver OR just using ONE pair of cable from speaker out of receiver then paralel it to Two pair when connect it to the speaker plug ?

Since those issue occur I was thinking just to buy floortanding instead of bookshelf. What is your opinion on this issue ?

If chosing the floorstanding speaker which one is better, Tannoy MX3-M or Wharfedale Diamond 8.3?

Thanks alot for your time


Thanks for your help. I'm going to go listen to some Paradigm series tomorrow. As I may have mentioned, these speakers & new receiver are for a relative (my sister) She is nowhere near an audiophile, and ease of use is more important than actual sound quality. I bought and took home both the HK AVR230 and the SR601, and for ease of use the Onkyo is the clear winner.

(It also doesn't lose sync at the beginning of each song when playing CD's through the digital out connection of the DVD player like the HK does.)

We were also considering the Axiom m3ti. Here's a question for you... of the following speakers, which would you personally pick if they were all the same price:

Paradign Titan or Focus
PSB Image 2b
Axiom m3ti

Assume whichever pair you got would be paired up with a sub. (PSB's subsonic 5i for example) And assume the Onkyo 601 as the receiver.


You stated: Receiver: If you really want to step up in class sonically over the H/K and the Onkyo 601, check out the Outlaw Audio 1050. It has similar power, but wonderful output stages that are a lot smoother and cleaner than the other receivers at that price.

I'm curious if you would recommend the 1050 over the NAD T742? I have easy to drive 8ohm speakers. Ignoring the feature differences (6.1, DPLII) how would you compare the two sonically?



I am new to the 'Home Theatre' scenario and am looking for a budget Audio Video Receiver.
I have quite a good stereo setup (in my opinion) consisting of a Cambridge Audio CD6 CD Player, Proceed PRE preamp, Classe Audio 15 Power Amp and B&W CDM 1 Speakers.
I am primarily a stereo music listener and therefore want to buy a budget AV Receiver that will be used occasionaly. Also, the main speakers will be connected to my Classe as the Proceed allows for an external input to be directly routed to the Power Amp and hence the Receiver must have a Main Preout. I will use a Yamaha Active Subwoofer.
I have browsed around the net and shortlisted the following.. Pioneer D912K, JVC RX-8030V & Kenwood VR-6070.
Can someone please give me some inputs on these receivers and some advice.


John Allen
NAD T742 or T743 (coming soon).

It has pre-amp outs, pre-amp inputs, and real, high quality sound. I am predictable with this recommendation. You could connect it to your stereo system in many ways, and can compare with your excellent existing stereo.

The other question will be which DVD-player. Cambridge Audio now has a well-reviewed budget player (DV57) complete with DVD-Audio. Real multichannel recordings are the only advance on stereo, for music, imho. Whether "true" DVD-A improves on the DTS tracks on DVD-A discs, that is another question, discussed on another thread.

I have seen the Pioneer D912K at $300. Since you have such "Classy" amplification and a high end pre-amp for your stereo listening I presume you want the a/v receiver mainly for movies (DVD watching). If you can live without OSD (on screen display) the Pioneer is a steal. Has a great chipset (the equal of many $800 units)and a very ample power supply. As long as you have 8 ohm speakers it is a great bargain.

Now I would probably prefer the NAD T742 for music and if I had 4 ohm speakers, but I would definitely prefer the Pioneer for movies. Has many more capabilities--plus the benefit of automatic speaker calibration to balance your sound. But I doubt you would go far wrong with either choice.

Wow. Lots of questions to answer. Again, I will try ot answer each one addressed to me, but if I miss something, I apologize. Just re-post it.


Many people disagree on bi-wiring. The British seem to love it, judging by their audio press. Most american audio press dismisses it as nonesense. I really don't know if it helps or not. I understand the theory that electrons travel on the surface of the wire, so using double wires give more surface area, onstensibly allowing greater electron flow. I also know a number of British sourced loudspeakers have dual binding posts specifically for bi-wiring, such as my Mission M71s.

Now, I am a little confused by how you phrased your question--it may be me as I just got up and the eyes have not fully cleared--so let me explain how I would bi-wire and I hope it answers your question. As I understand your wiring situation, you have four lead wires, so you would connect two leads to the receiver's positive binding post (or spring clip) and the other end of the two leads would be connected to the speaker. The other two leads would go from the receiver's negative binding post to the speaker's negative binding post. It is really just using double wire to connect each speaker. Now this gets a little more complicated if your speakers have double binding posts. That means one pair of leads goes to the tweeter and the other is for the mid/bass driver.


Thanks for your impression of the H/K and Onkyo receivers. I have not heard the H/K 230, so I greatly appreciate your insights. When you say the Onkyo was the clear winner, did you like the sound better, or was the receiver just easier to use, for instance. I also compliment you on taking both home and trying them out. That is the way we should all do it, but so few people can or do.

Between those speakers, I am very torn between the Paradigm Focus and the PSB Image 2Bs for your receiver. I rate them about equal. What I do like that give the PSB the edge, IMO, is the fact that it has a front mounted reflex port. A rear mounted reflex port make siting the speaker a bit more difficult--too close to the wall and the bass can get "muddy" sounding. At the same price, I do not like the Axiom as much. So if I were to choose, I would lean toward the PSB, but the Focus would be a very close second.


I have not heard the Outlaw and the 742 at the same time, so comparisons are a little tough, but I really like the sound from both of them very much. Both are warm and smooth, but clean and energetic, as well (nothing "polite" about the sound of either one). From what I heard, they are both very similar sonically, but since I couldn't hear them side by side, describing any differences is very difficult and I don't think I can. I would just say that sonically speaking, both have Class A sound. Sorry I can't be more helpful.


I fully agree with John Allen here. Given the high quality of the components you have (very nice, BTW!), I don't believe you would be satisfied with the receivers you list. Sonically, they are quite inferior to your current collection of components (both their pre/pro section as well as the amp sections) and I have no doubt you would become very dissatisfied with any such receiver.

Don't know what you consider a "budget" receiver, but I consider it anything less than $500. So let me also recommend the NAD 742, which can be had from Saturday Audio Exchange (www.saturdayaudio.com) for $449. The 742 pretty much as the same pre/pro section as NAD's bigger receivers.

I also recommend the Outlaw Audio (www.outlawaudio.com) Model 1050 receiver, available directly from Outlaw for $498. A wonderful budget receiver from a leading maker of quality separates. The pedigree shows, and you can get it on a 30 day in-home trial. Both the NAD and the Outlaw have main pre-outs and superb pre/pro sections. They also have very nice amp sections, too, if you want to run the receiver by itself.

Hawk, Thanks, actually your reply helps out alot:). I'm leaning towards dropping the Outlaw 1050 out of my list of contenders because if the sound quality is similar to the T742 then it comes down to feature differences, the main one being 6.1 versus DPLII. In my case I would get a lot more use out of DPLII (via stereo satellite DBS programming & VHS collection) than 6.1 ( I think maybe 1% of movies I watch are DD-EX ). Plus I'd have to buy another speaker for 6.1 anyway. Hmmmm...too bad the Outlaw's are so tight-lipped on the 1050 replacement, it might be worth waiting for if I knew it was coming out within the next 6 months.


Thanks for your message.

The Onkyo was the clear winner for us in its ease of use. Features between the 2 are fairly close, HK is a bit better for digital inputs, Onkyo better for more flexible configuration. Onkyo has the easier to use remote, but selecting an input won't turn on the receiver as it does the the HK.

Sound quality is identical to me with my current speakers.

Thanks for your opinion on the speakers. I'm going to listen to the Paradigm's today. Wanted to add one more to my list to get your opinion on The Ascend CBM-170. It's an internet-only speaker like the Axiom, so don't know if you've heard it. If you have what do you think? Hows does it compare with the PSB/Paradigm. Others are saying it's competitive with the higher-end Paradigm monitor series.


Thanks for the input. Like I said, I haven't heard that H/K and I was interested in what motivated you.

Yes, I have heard the Ascend and I like them the best. They are more dynamic sounding than the other three brands, IMHO, and recently won a budget speaker shootout reported on another forum besides winning a boatload of "product of the Year' awards from a number of publications. They are a fantastic speaker and a good match for the Onkyo. In fact, they are a better match than the others. I know they come with a 30 day return guarantee, so you could try a pair of mains in your home and order the other parts of the system if you really like them. If not, just send'em back.


I don't really think Outlaw is going to be replacing the 1050 anytime soon. They have a winner and they know it. Besides, I suspect they have a contract to purchase a minimum # of units from their supplier, and they have to meet that # before they are going to think about replacing it.


I listened to the Paradigm's yesterday. We heard the Titan's and the Mini-Monitors. There's a very significant difference in the sound between the 2. The Titan is quite a bit brighter. I'm used to bright, so the Mini sounded a bit dark or "laid-back" at first in comparison. The dealer is willing to discount 20%, so the mini-monitors are affordable. Is the Ascend comparable to the Mini's or significantly better. (I.E., at the same price, which do you get?)

Hawk, or anybody looking at the Yamaha 730;

Check out this review and look at the power ratings at the bottom. CAN YOU SAY WEAK POWER SUPPLYS! I remember when Yamaha was top of the business but now they have fallen to "Sears" level electronics.They started getting into DSP's a little too much and started cutting costs on power supplys, and it shows.

whoops, I forgot the review!http://www.soundandvision.netscape.com/electronics/ns/article/0,aid,283,00.asp


Happend to have a link handy to that budget speaker shootout you mentioned above? I'd like to read it.

Thanks for your help


Happen to have a link handy to that budget speaker shootout you mentioned above? I'd like to read it.

Thanks for your help


Yes, it is rather sad. I also remember, and still have a Yamaha receiver from their glory years (20+ years ago now) and some of the new stuff (especially the x30 line) isn't as good as my relatively low cost Yamaha CR-240!

I have been very critical of Yamaha and the wimpy power supplies they were putting into their x30s. Yamaha has responded by getting THX certification on their higher end models, the RX-V1400, 2400 and 3400, but the lower end stuff is still barely worthy of Best Buy.


I do not have the link any more. It happened last spring (over the Memorial Day weekend), so the forum discussed it over the first couple weeks of June. I have to clean up my bookmarks from time to time and I really didn't think I would need it anymore. However, given the Ascend 30 day in home trial policy, you can always just send them back if you don't like them as well as the Paradigms or the PSBs.

As for how they sound, I find the Ascends are a little more forward and more full-bodied sounding than the Paradigm Mini-Monitors as I recall (it has been awhile since I heard both). I would agree with your assessment that the Minis are a bit dark and laid back sounding.

I hope this helps.


Thx for your reply, it helps,

BTW any comments on Tannoy MX3-M vs Wharfedale Diamond 8.3 ?


I'm a relatively new to the HT secne (well I hadn't even heard about some of the brands until I read this entire post). I'm about buy my first A/V Receiver & wanted some feedback. I always thought that the receiver is the most important part of the package but after reading, this post realized that speakers are more or equally important. I currently do not have anything setup so feel rather intimidated to post my query but I feel I would get very good feedback from you guys so here is my query. If I need to start building my first HT & I'm on a budget(about $500~$600). What receivers & speakers should I look at? I watch movies(90%) & listen to music(10%). I was initially leaning towards a Yamaha receiver (5650 or 5660). However, reading some of the posts I feel I should look at other receivers. How much should I spend on receiver & how much on speakers? Can I buy receiver/speakers in such a manner that I can later add subs/center channels etc?
Please give me your feedback.

Just blew my old Denon AVR-600 when the painter wrapped some speaker wires together. Was planning on retiring it anyway for a 5.1 system. I'm hoping for some advise on a 5.1 system for music and HT to power my B&W 601S3 front, ASW 300 sub and Heybrook rears (no center now). I need a A/B switch and had been happy with about 60WPC up until now.

I've seen discontinued Denon 1603 for $260 and 1803 for $350. Should I be considering these or should I be looking elsewhere (you all seem to like HK, Marantz, NAD, and Yamaha more)?

John A.

Nice speakers. If you listen to the NAD advocates, of whom I am one, and can wait for the new range in Oct/Nov, you will get A/B speakers (they are introducing this). Even the T743 (the cheapest) is a high-quality receiver, and should have the power you need (5 x 50W but all channels driven and full-range).

From a previous thread:


John A.
BTW the painter probably just blew a fuse in the Denon. Get a center speaker, it's the most important one for HT, after the mains.


I would strongly discourage you from a Denon 1603--it only has one amplifier for all of the different channels. It does not have discrete amplifiers, which would be a real come-down from what you had. You have very nice speakers and I think you should get something pretty nice for them. I am unclear as to why you need an A/B switch when you specify you only have two pair of speakers. An A/B switch generally only show up on much more expensive receivers as the manufacturers reason you already have five or six channels of sound for your HT. If you really need an A/B switch, I would recommend you either increase your budget, or buy an outboard A/B switch, which are very reasonably priced and of better quality than is what is in receivers.

One thing you have to watch out for is that AV receivers have unrealistic power ratings. You say that you have been happy with 60 wpc up to now, but you would be hard pressed to get 60 wpc out of either of the Denons you have shopped. Manufacturers such as Denon generally only rate their receivers 2 channels at a time. so, for example, a Yamaha RX-V730 receiver, rated at 75 wpc and has six channels, can only muster 37.5 wpc when all channels are driven. Makes for pretty wimpy sound, too. You would have to go to a Denon 2803 to get 60 wpc into five channels.

Your B+Ws are pretty efficient, but like most British speaker makers, they really need some serious power to get the most out of them. It really isn't about what power you are using at your normal listening levels, which is usually quite modest, but you need good reserve power to allow your speakers to show their true capabilities. Based upon your speakers, I would strongly suggest you look at the NAD 742, which can be had from Saturday Audio Exchange (www.saturdayaudio.com) for $449. It has a wonderful sound that nothing else under $1K can match. It is rated at 50 wpc x 5 channels, but NADs have much better power supplies than the competition. Based upon independent testing, it probably would give you about 60 wpc x 5 and sound like more.

Alternatively, I have seen a Denon 2802 (last year's model) for $390 from DakMart, which is a significant step up in quality over the 1803 or 1603. It is rated at 90 wpc, but tests at a little over 60 wpc when driving five channels. I would also recommend the Marantz 5300 from Accessories 4 Less (accessories4less.com) for $429.99. The Marantz is also rated at 90 wpc and probably gets about 65 wpc x 5.

Finally, if you can afford $500, check out the Outlaw Audio 1050 receiver, available only from Outlaw Audio (www.outlawaudio.com). Lacks Dolby Pro Logic II, but it does everything else very well and it has an incredible build quality.

Anyways, these receivers are what I would recommend.


Well, me and my sister went looking on Sat. First we went to Pacific Sales to listen to the PSB's. At first she could hear no difference between the Image 1b/2b. After I mentioned the imaging/soundstage, she could hear a slight difference and thought the 2b's were better. (Like I did.)

Then, off to Long Beach to hear the Paradigm's. If I were in charge of dealers at Paradigm, I'd pull their franchise and give it to someone competent. Salesperson could not do much more than push the buttons to switch speakers on the panel. I brought a DVD, and he couldn't figure why the TV in the room wasn't displaying an image from the DVD player. He tried for about 20 seconds then gave up. I asked to listen to the Titan, he said they didn't have any on display. I pointed to the Titan and asked what model this was. "Oh, I guess we put it back on display." Asked to hear a Paradigm sub, didn't have one hooked up. Said the DefTech they had hooked up was close. So, we listened to the Mini-monitors again and the Atom's.

The Atom's they had on display were the white model, my sister really liked that cause that's what we'd use for the surrounds. Color's more important than sound, you know. :)

So, I ask for a price for everything but the sub, he adds it up and quotes me list. I ask for a package discount, he comes back with $800-something. I ask how much discount he applied, he said 10%. I ask what their return/trial period is. None. I mention to them their website states 7-day refund policy. He said it's wrong. I mention the other authorized Paradigm dealer in the general area offered 20% off list. He says go buy them there. (The only reason we went to the LongBeach store is they said they had a home theater demo system set up when I called. The other store in Westminster had all the speakers set up to demo, but only in stereo. Just heard the mini's, Titan's, and Atom.)

So, they can't demonstrate the system reasonably close to what we want to buy, won't let us return it if it doesn't meet our needs, and after all that great "service", only offers 10% off list.

So, back to westminster to listen again for a few minutes. Much better service, but again no in-home trial. But my sister likes the mini's. They'll fit in the bookshelf they need to fit into easily, the Image2B would require modification. The surrounds are availalble in white. We told them to call when everything's in stock. They gave us 20% off without even asking. I don't think I'm going to go with the PDR-10 sub, though. It's a good price, but it looks like the new v.3 model still doesn't have a phase switch, and the cabinet is now an oak-like color instead of black. I still think the PSB Subsonic5i cosmetic blem is a bit better and a better deal.

I wanted her to order the Ascends to try out, but she doesn't care enough about the sound to bother. (And cosmetically, the Ascends are not great.)

Once she learned the rear speakers could be white, that became important. :) If there was an audible difference, that would have won out over color, but there's wasn't. (If I had to choose between the 2b and Mini's at the same price, I'd have a very hard time choosing without being able to A/B them.)

Well, she'll be happy with them. Now, the research continues for a new set for me. Listening to all these made me a little unhappy with my 6-year old Klipsch towers. Stopped at GoodGuys today, The Energy and Monitor Audio tower was much better sounding than the Klipsch reference series next to it.

Oh, know anyplace online to get white speaker stands? I checked partsexpress.com alredy. Need something in the 36" range.

Looking for a new receiver!

I am running a pair of misson m53 with the M5c and M5AS

What receivers do you recommend?



Hawk: Thanks for the great feedback. I was using the A/B switch to power a pair of speakers in another room (audio only) and would like to continue this capability. Strange that the old Denon AVR-600 really had more power at "50wpc" then the newer models?? Do I really want to get the 6.1 sets instead of the 5.1 sets at this stage? Finally, I'm curious what your feeling is on the need for Monster cables or if other no-add brands such as Ultralink MATRIX® Component Video Cable and 75 Ohm Digital Coaxial (www.hometech.com)-- and is coax or fiberoptic better?

John A.: took of the top off the AVR-600 and the fuses looked OK. Didn't think it was worth $130 to have it repaired as a second set. Any idea about what I can do on my own to fix it?

John A.

I don't know that model, but there is surely an overload protection fuse that has blown. It would be bad design to let a major component meltdown occur from a simple short-circuit at the speaker end, that can happen for lots of reasons.


Great speakers! What do you want to spend? I could recommend a lot of receivers, but it wouldn't help you if it was more than you could afford. So, help me out.


OK, I get the picture.

For your needs (A/B switch included), look into the Marantz 6300 or the 7300. The latter is more money, but it has a gorgeous sound that will make you forget your Denon ever existed. MSRP of $899, but I have seen them available for $649. One of the truly sweet sounding receivers out there (and those are rare!). The 7300 has a power rating of 105 wpc x 6, and probably puts out a true 60-70 wpc, so it will meet your needs and sound really good, too.

If you can't afford the 7300, get the 6300, its slightly smaller brother. Rated at 100 wpc x 6, it probably does the near the same as the 7300 and it also offers an A/B switch. MSRP is $749, but can be had for $549 right now. Marantz seems to use higher quality output transistors than other major brands.

Also recommend the Denon 2802 as I mentioned in my last post due to its price, but I was just taken to task by a post in another thread for recommending a Denon with the B+Ws--seems he didn't like it, so hey, it isn't for everyone. Marantz would be my top choice, however, for a modestly priced receiver with an A/B speaker selector.

Good luck.

Matthew B
I hate to jump randomly into a discussion, but i thought this might be an easy way to answer my question without starting a thread. Hawk and John A: I have been searching the forums to try and find if you have already answered this question; hopefully one of you can help. I have a pair of JBL s310IIs in the mail and am trying to find the right receiver to match them. I have considered the Yamaha AX-596, the Denon DRA-685...etc etc. My budget is up to $450. Is there any receiver you would recomend that compliments the sound of the JBLs nicely. I am listening to music only and do not plan on using them for HT..that is why i have only looked at stereo receivers.

I do not mean to restrict myself to stereo receivers only. It is my understanding that stereo receivers are superior to many of the surround receivers in that price range. Is this true? Ideally, if i am not comprimising sound quality, i would prefer to get a surround receiver now in the event that I update my system by adding surrounds. For this reason/thought i have looked at the pioneer elite vsx-41. My question here is, would you recomend a stereo of surround rceiver (i would prefer surround if i am not comprimising sound quality, i would run the receiver in "stereo mode" for now).

I appreciate the time and help anybody is willing to give. Thanks a lot.

Matthew - you should start a new thread. Any response you get here will be from people following the original thread, or attracted by the subject line. It may not always be clear whether a response is aimed at you, or the original discussion.

If you start a thread of your own, with a clear subject line (eg. "Which receiver for JBL s310II?") you've got a better chance of getting specific, helpful replies.

Apart from that, you'd consider it rude if someone interrupted a conversation you were having, and tried to redirect it. Same thing here.

John A.
Personally I think you are on topic, judging from the title of the thread. I have zero time today but will come back to your question, even if just to point to some related threads. It is a good question you ask any many of us have graduated to HT with some reluctance to compromise the best musical sound.

John A.

In this long thread, I think the posts from Jon (Monday, September 08, 2003 - 12:02 am) onwards are relevant. The long posts from Jon and Hawk on Sept 25 are wonderful, very much worth the time.

Like you, I hesitated to get into all this HT business. I decided to get a DVD player to please the family, and then discovered it gave better stereo sound on CD than the CD player I thought I was happy with. So we then got a 5.1 AV receiver, and I discovered the stereo sound was better again than with the two-channel amp I was accustomed to. So getting a 5.1 reciever has meant no compromise in sound quality for music, quite the reverse. The details are on my post of Sept 27. Unlike Hawk, I have not done extensive comparisons, though I was able to audition a few things, and at home. My pleasure at having obtained better sound for music by accident, and at much less cost than I thought, explains my consistent recommendation of NAD receivers. But I do not know that the same would not have happened with e.g. HK. All I would rule out from direct personal experience is Sony, and even there I maybe did not give them a fair chance. When I was in "oh well, it's not going to be as good for music, we can just use it for HT" I nearly got a Sony receiver, and am now glad I didn't. I should add that I was also reluctant to buy an integrated receiver of any sort; I always believed separates were better, and had a power amp, pre-amp and FM radio tuner. But I think this has changed. Each component of my single NAD is miles better than the unit it replaced. Only the pre-amp is about the same, but the my stereo pre-amp was an NAD, too, and the receiver adds 5.1, with no trade-off, because it has inputs and outputs (analogue) for all channels, in addition to digital audio input, of course.

As regards what is a good match with JBL s310IIs, Hawk may be able to comment on sound characteristics. I see they are large speakers with 37Hz - 20kHz and fairly efficient at 91 dB. Also 8 Ohm, so there are no forbidden receivers. The last thing you will need is a powered sub (though you might get want one eventually). Those main speakers should also work well without anything near the maximum recommended 200 W (often posts here suggest speakers themselves have a power rating, as if the bigger the number, the louder they will sound). They look like good stereo speakers for the main channels, and it would not cost a lot eventually to add a smaller center and surrounds - perhaps you already have some speakers for surrounds? When I finally bought my 5.1 receiver, all I bought with it was one center speaker and some cable; my older stereo speakers out of storage in the loft were just great for the rear channels, and the L and R, with about the same frequency response as your new JBLs, worked fine with no sub at all.

I think the main thing to remember is, you do not lose what you already have, you can play CDs and LPs, and the result may be better than you expected.

There are general considerations here. I hope this is helpful, and still on-topic.


Ouch. Just went from a $350 Denon 1803 to a $550 Marantz in order to get an A/B switch with a good sound. I was getting excited (and more than a little confused) about the idea of an NAD (but no A/B, right?) and even stretching to the Outlaw (scary to buy something designed 3 years ago for so much $ - and still no A/B). Nothing will sound good with my B&W/Heybrook combo with an A/B under $450? I thought that was a good amount after buying my last reciever for about $200! Any other suggestions to pull out of the hat?


I have been both trying to build my HT system for the family room and have a nice two channel music system for myself in my study (where I like to retreat for both work and to enjoy my music). I have been using a very old stereo receiver, but I wanted something newer. I even tried several new stereo receivers (H/K, Onkyo and Denon) and I must say I was very disappointed. It is very clear that the mass market audio companies have forsaken the stereo market. I do not believe anyone is making a good stereo receiver right now (except perhaps NAD, but I haven't heard one), which explains why Outlaw Audio is soon coming out with one. When it will be available is anyone's guess, so don't hold your breath. The problem with all of the receivers I have heard is that they are just not very musical, which is something you desperately need with your JBLs. The JBLs will sound harsh with the usual japanese brand electronics.

For your situation, just like my study, I would strongly recommend you get a nice integrated amp. Several come to mind with your speakers and your budget. First, I strongly recommend the NAD C320bee. Highly regarded among reviewers, expecially for the money, it has a very warm mellow sound that would compliment your speakers. Call Kiefs (telephone # is on the website--www.kiefs.com) and speak to Ed. MSRP is about $399, but I think Kiefs will sell it for about 20% less. You might also check with Saturday Audio Exhange for their price.

The other alternative is a Cambridge Audio integrated amp. Check them out at Audio Advisor (audioadvisor.com) which has several different models starting at $199.99 up to $499.99. Not as powerful as the NAD, but very smooth and musical, nonetheless.

Finally, if you do want a receiver, I strongly recommend the NAD T742 5.1 channel receiver. It is more money ($449 at Saturday Audio), but it has that luscious stereo sound that you can listen to all day. It makes a great stereo receiver and just fits your budget, too. I have used one for extended auditioning and I love it in stereo. Highly recommended.

On second thought, I just realized that DMC is offering an NAD stereo receiver for $389. Like I said, I haven't heard it, but I have to believe it sounds great since both their integrated amps and their HT receivers are all very musical to listen to. Check it out. Now, it would be a refurb, but that shouldn't be a problem, If it is, check out a price on a new one from Kiefs.

Matthew B
John A and Hawk, I cannot thank you both enough for taking the time and thought to leave such a detailed response. The advice gotten here from the two of you is the best thus far. Thank you both.

Hawk: I checked out the NAD website from reading some of your other responses also and quickly turned them away for power reasons. I assumed that my JBLs would require a good bit more power to sing (I think the recommended RMS is around 150) - is this even something I should worry about? I am strongly considering the NAD units, whether the T742 or the C320bee based on your recommendations, but am just concerned about the 50 watts per channel power rating (is it underrated any?).

Just to ask you your opinion...
You have described the Pioneer Elite and the HK receivers as being laid-back. Is this the sound that I definitely do not want to pair with my JBLs (I only ask because I can snag the pioneer elite vsx-41 for under 400 on ebay or a HK receiver for pretty cheap from Harman Audio refurbished for pretty cheap)?

Preferably I would like to have the best sounding stereo (it is really all I will use it for - audio), but spending the money on stereo-only equipment seems a bit impractical when I could get a nice sounding HT receiver that will sound great with audio and also offer affordable expansion in the future by adding surrounds and a center channel.

I also have never considered building a system with hardware components. I actually and still a bit confused as to all the components necessary...If I were to get the C320bee, what would my options be - is it possible to use a stereo integrated amp as a main component of a HT system (I understand it may be an extremely dumb question -- just trying to gain full understanding)

Thanks again for your help and time. I look forward to hearing your response.

(p.s. you said that DMC was offering a NAD stereo receiver. I wanted to look into this but didn't know what you meant by DMC. If I missed this in a previous thread, sorry, and please let me know.)

Matthew B
Forgot one thing i thought i should mention...

I remember reading several of your responses asking people what type of music they listened to so you could make a better recomendation on which receiver/amp. I primarily listen to a good bit of drum and bass, and a lot of down tempo electronic beats that have a good bit of low end. That is why i was concerned with power. Thanks again!

John A.

"is it possible to use a stereo integrated amp as a main component of a HT system". Yes, it is, in theory, but you need a processor and power amplification for the other three main channels. I was offered a Yamaha 3-channel amp for this purpose but altogether it was no cheaper than a full 5.1 receiver.

Good luck, keep in touch. You might like to get an active sub, anyway, for drum and bass, and then you may as well go the whole hog with 5.1.

Just my 2 c. again.


I am sorry to make your life difficult, but I can only describe what is, not what ought to be. It is a sad fact that you have to get up in price to get that A/B switch.

I have been researching the many receiver models that are out there and I think I may have an alternative for you . Now, it isn't as easy as just an A/B switch, but it will actually work better. If you check out the Outlaw 1050 ($499), you will see that it has a 12v trigger on the back. Now, this allows you to connect an outboard amp to drive your remote speakers. While this is more money, it is a much more elegant and stable solution that you would not need to do right away. Here is a very nice amp that would work for your situation:


Matthew B:

I appreciate your concerns, but upon reading your latest posts, I think you should definitely get the NAD 742. It is a 5.1 receiver that you can use to later build a 5.1 system, but it will sound great in the meantime as a stereo receiver.

Power really isn't an issue. NAD is one of the few(and I mean very few) manufacturers that underrates its amps. In stereo, the 742 will better its rated 60 wpc continuous, but the 742 also has a dynamic headroom of better than 90 wpc. There is something else you need to understand and that is that an NAD watt is just plan bigger than anyone else's. I can't explain it, but even Stereophile commented on it a couple of years back when reviewing a 20 wpc stereo receiver. 20 wpc sounds puny, but Stereophile was very impressed by its power. When I auditioned the 742 against three other receivers, the NAD not only seemed to have more power, it seemed to have much more power than the Denon 2802 (90 wpc), Onkyo 700 (100 wpc) and the H/K 525 (70 wpc). I think it is because NAD uses much better capacitors than anyone and a better power supply than everyone except perhaps H/K. So, I would not dismiss the 742 just due to its low power rating. Take your speakers in to an NAD dealer and have him plug them in to listen to a 742. I think you will be amazed.

As for the Elite--I have great respect for the Elite line, but not the 41. To me, it is not of the same quality as the 43 on up--it is really just a regular Pioneer IMO. Now, I like the H/Ks as well, but I don't know which H/K you are talking about. To meet your budget, you couldn't be talking about anything higher than a 325, which is a fine receiver, but it does not have as much power as the NAD 742, power ratings notwithstanding.

DMC is DMC Electronics found at www.dmc-electronics.com. Sorry about that.

Great post - I've learned so much reading it that I feel I should be paying for the info!

I also am looking for an A/V receiver to coordinate with the purchase of an HDTV. Can anyone help me decide which way to go - Denon's AVR-3803 or Harmon Kardon's AVR-7200? The other pieces I plan on getting are Panasonic's CT-34WX53 HDTV, KHT's HTS2001.2 satellite speakers & PSW2010 sub, a 5-disk (preferably) DVD player with a Faroudja chip & SACD (if I can find one), along with a non-satellite HD box. In addition I will be using my existing DirectTV/Tivo receiver and may add D-VHS at some point.

I'd like to go with Harmon Kardon's AVR-7200 because it appears much more user friendly for a novice, like me. Am I making a mistake by not purchasing the Denon AVR-3803 instead? The only advantage I see in the Denon is it's video up conversion ability. Does anyone have any thoughts?

This will not be a 'true' home theater setup. It's a living room TV with audio entertainment. The room is 21'x13' connecting in an "L" shape to a 12'x10' dining room. The area is quite open. I'm aware the satellite speakers can't envelop the room with music and am slightly considering upgrading to KEF's UNI-Q bookshelf speakers (but space and cost are hugh deterrents). My focus isn't volume; it's clarity. My music preference is mostly rock & roll, but I also play jazz, pop, folk and some classical music. I intend to use the DVD player in place of a CD player.

Does anyone have any opinions or suggestions for me?



Hey, I have the Denon 3803 and I do not recommend it. I am even learning now that some of the little tricks that it does that caused me to buy it are bogus. It supposedly has video upconversion, but I am learning now that it doesn't truly upconvert at all. It just passes a 10 Mhz S-video connection through the component video output. Even worse, I find the sound to be dry and sterile--and it sounds "thin." It claims to be 110 wpc, but they are the weakest watts I have ever heard.

I think the H/K is a real winner, especially for the price I have been seeing it available for lately. Also has a much better power supply which you will need for those speakers and to make them sound good in that size room.

All in all, I think the H/K is a far superior receiver and a better match with those speakers.

Robert W.
I am in the process of building a Home Theatre in my family room (approximately 15' by 18'). My usage would be 70% HT, 30% straight music. I have a NAD T762 Reciver (almost bought a Denon 3803 but my brother steered me to the NAD). I have a Denon 2900 DVD/CD player.

Now the speakers. I don't want to blow it on what I believe to be the most important part of the setup. I need the front left and right speakers to be in a book shelf / entertainment unit. Hang on ... I need in-ceiling speakers for the surrounds. Trying to hear the various NHT, PSB, and Paradigm configurations locallly has been difficult.

The in-ceiling slant to the equation has me absoslutely baffled. Do I need to get in-cealing speakers which are the same brand as the rest of the speakers? I read a review of Speakercraft in-ceiling speakers, but will they work with the other speakers of a different brand? Am I making a big mistake on the in-ceiling compromise I have worked out with my wife?

How does Paradigm, NHT, and PBS match the NAD reciever I have ... again, hearing these, especially against each other in the same room, has been impossible.

I have budgeted $2,000 for the speakers.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I hope that Hawk, being a NAD fan, could comment on my situation.

This is the first time I have ever submitted a question to this type of forum ... the thread on this topic has kept me up for hours ... awesome!

In ceiling speakers were developed to keep wives happy at the expense of good sound. Thats just the way I see it.

John A.
KEF have a Ci series (stands for "Custom installation").

These days there are many excellent but small speakers that can be mounted on, not in, a wall or ceiling.

Even small front speakers really do sound better on stands. A bookshelf is not a good location for a speaker.

I agree with Anon. I always imagine in-ceiling speakers are designed for background music, to which no-one ever really listens. Sound is not like lighting. It is directional. Except the subwoofer. That is the only speaker that should be heard and not seen.

First, a quick thank you to John A.: It was kind of you to point to my original posting on September 8th as being significant to the development of this thread. I really did feel that these exchanges were special, and am hopeful that these quasi-private exchanges may be of some interest to a wider audience out there. So where are everyone else's stories of interesting childhood experiences and beyond? Surely there must be others out there who can help us better to understand the human stories underlying our quest for high fidelity...

Well, back to technical matters: First, I'm still happy with the Yamaha RX-V3300, thank goodness. The Time Window speakers have been great, and I'm finally going to take the time to transition from simple stereo listening to some HT. As a first step, I of course need a DVD player. Would I be incorrect in thinking that just maybe it might make some sense to stay with the Yamaha brand for this purchase--if for no other reason than ease of using remotes? I'm currently using an older Sony CD player (CDP-C515). It seems satisfactory, but perhaps this should be replaced now too? I presume I'll be advised that I need a separate CD player and DVD player, but await to hear recommendations on this matter.

John A.

Thank you for that opening comment. I agree. Your posts and Hawk's in September were fascinating. Not everyone can write that well, of course, and not everyone has such interesting stories to tell. I see no harm in a quick, direct question, asking for a recommendation. It is the bogus posts that annoy me, including identical plugs or knifings of certain brands on different threads at roughly monthly intervals.

I was wondering what you decided and, as Hawk says, it seems to be the budget Yamaha receivers that are all talk and no action. The one you have is clearly a quality machine from a quality manufacturer.

Unlike Hawk, whom we should pay as a top-notch market research consultant, all I have is anecdotes. I moved to HT with purchase, first, of an NAD T532 DVD player. It is truly great and that is all I can say. I am half-persuaded on another thread that there is something in "true" DVD-Audio. Well, at least I would like to be in a position to listen and decide for myself. The 5.1 DTS on my NAD system plays DVD-Audio discs with extraordinary sound. I am sceptical the "true" format has anything to offer, it differs only in a technicality of the data packing algorithm.

Anyway, some DVD players with "true" DVD-Audio were reviewed in October "Hi-Fi News" and from those I would would incline to the Cambridge Audio DV57, seems like quite a bargain at around $300 equivalent. I am not sure if there is a DVD-Audio disc of the Saint-Saens Organ Symphony. Check it out if you need to be convinced! For DVD-A you would need 5.1 analogue inputs on your receiver and you should check. If not, don't lose sleep. My real suspicion is DVD-A is designed to get us to buy things all over again, for no gain. The 5.1 analogue connections of DVD-A makes no real sense except in these terms, and for cable manufacturers, imho. As regards SACD, I am quite convinced it is a scam, and personally do not wish to part with cash so I can be owned by Sony-Phillips. Drug dealers also give special discounts to first-time customers, too, so I am told.

What is this "DVD-Audio"?

The sort of discs you might eventually play:

Small warning and disclaimer. I have a family, and, since the HT upgrade, I don't get to listen to my system myself unless I take a day off. As I write on Sunday, children are re-watching Johnny English in DTS (great action/Bond spoof with Rowan Atkinson and John Malkowitch; but I saw it last night) while dear, discerning wife has Flanders and Swann on the old stereo serving speakers B in the other room. I retire to post bulletins.

OK. lets go for the record. Re childhood experiences. I lifted this off
and thank the author. Background; From the wonderful album "At the Drop of a Hat". 1959. Recorded in stereo, a new technology. That is the point of the song. Tune, roughly something from Schubert's Schoenne Muellerin, I think, the sleeve note has it. I can be totally boring and look it up if you like. Actually, I have been wanting to quote this here for months. I have edited the web page a bit because the transcription has a few mistakes, and a few remain I can't solve easily, e.g "modding". Italics are Flanders's spoken commentary to song. The multi-talented Swann gets in precisely one word - part of the act.

May we ask, could you hear that more or less all right at the top there? All right for quantity? Nothing we can do about the quality. Not until Swann's voice breaks, anyway. People make an awful lot of fuss, anyway, about the quality of the sound they listen to. Have you noticed; they spend all that time trying to get the exact effect of an orchestra actually playing in their sitting room. Personally, I can't think of anything I should hate more than an orchestra actually playing in my sitting room. They seem to like it, and it's about these people who we've written this next song. I mention this in case any of you think the title a little close to the bone; This is a Song of Reproduction.

A Song of Reproduction

I had a little Gramophone
I wound it round and round
And with a sharpish needle
It made a cheerful sound
And then they amplified it
It was much louder then
And used sharpened fibre needles
To make it soft again.

Today for reproduction
I'm as eager as can be
Count me among the faithful fans
Of High Fi-de-li-ty

High Fidelity
Hi-Fi's the thing for me
With an LP disc and an FM set
And a corner reflex cabinet
High frequency range
Complete with auto-change
All the highest notes neither sharp nor flat
The ear can't hear as high as that
Still I ought to please any passing bat
With my High Fidelity

Who made this circuit up for you anyway? Bought it in a shop? What a horrible shoddy job they fobbed you off with with. Surprised they let you have it in this room, anyway, the acoustics are all wrong. If you raise the ceiling four feet, put the fireplace from that wall to that wall, you'll still only get the stereophonic effect if you sit in the bottom of that cupboard. I see you've got your negative feedback coupled in to your push-pull input-output. Take that across though your headed pickup to your tweeter, if you're modding more than eight you'll get wow on your top. Try to bring that through your preamp rumble filter to your woofer - what'll you get - flutter on your bottom.

High Fidelity,
FFRR for me.
I've an opera here you shan't escape,
On miles and miles of recording tape
High decibel gain
Is easy to obtain
With the tone control at a single touch
Bel canto sounds like double Dutch
But I never did care for music much,
It's the high fidelity.

Michael Flanders: This is a good moment to explain that we don't normally have these things standing around here, but tonight they are recording this, stereophonically in fact, for posterity. So, wherever you're sitting now, it'll be where you'll be on the record. Sit up nice and straight, if any of you feel like rolling in the aisles or being carried out helpless with mirth, this is a jolly good night to do it. Do you want to say hello to posterity?
Donald Swann: Hello!
Michael Flanders: Hello, Posterity. If we move around a bit, they'll use it for demonstration purposes.

John A.
Footnote to last post.

In "A song of reprodution", only the first verse is Schubert. The rest is to the tune of "Hi! diddley-dee, an actor's life for me" from Pinnocchio.

"At the Drop of a Hat"
CD on EMI Records CDFSB 11/CDP 7974652

Original LP, 1959, on Parlophone; the same record label as the Beatles. Also produced by George Martin. What a totally talented man.

John A., that's fabulous! For those who weren't yet even born in 1959, perhaps those lyrics will be particularly sobering. As a brief aside, I recall that when Around the World in 80 Days came out as a movie in 1956, producer Michael Todd characteristically named the new widescreen & stereo format "Todd-AO". One of the amusingly self-conscious series of throwaways in the early scenes were of the servant Passepartout reminding his master Phileas Fogg that now he was "over here"--a vehicle for impressing on the amazed audience the directional pinpointing of the new high fidelity sound.

Thanks for the tips on the DVDs. By the way, I've now also hooked up the phono input to the Yamaha (which in the NAD system would have required yet another intermediary piece of equipment), and it is working nicely.


Robert W.:

To asnwer your question directly: NO. You do not have to have the in ceiling speakers match your front speakers. In fact, I have heard many systems where the surrounds were not timbre matched and it made no difference in the quality of the sound. Remember, the surrounds are really only for special effects--they do not have the same impact as do the front three speakers, which are the most important.

Now, with regard to Speakercraft in wall speakers, they are great! I have auditioned several different models and their top models undercut the theory that you can't get good in wall speakers. Elan is another good brand for in wall speakers.

We all make compromises with our spouses--it is part of life. If your compromise is that you will sacrifice on the surrounds, you have done better than most of us.

I really like all of those speakers you listed. Paradigm, PSB and NHT all sound very godd with the 762. I have a new one for you--you should also check out the new NHT M5. It has an MSRP of $450, but I was recently quoted a price of $325 and $375 per speaker by two different dealers. With three across the front, the sound is awesome. Should keep you within your budget.

BTW, congrats on a great brother!

John A.

Thank you. Great you've got your turntable going. We should all get our priorities right... DVD-Audio is an advance in sound in the LP record, in my opinion. CD was not. It was designed for convenience, like the audio cassette, and that is what it displaced.

Michael Flanders had another salutary remark in the subject of "the gramophone" (today read "audio", "hi-fi" etc.), which could be relevant to the post from Robert W. and Anon. about the compromise worked out in ceiling speakers. But all audio buffs take note.

There was a "gramophone widow" who saw so little of her husband that she was obliged to take up low fidelity at high frequency.

A gentler age...

I posted somewhere about the strong arguments against stereo, quite convincing if you wanted the best sound for the buck in the 1960s. There were some major opponents of stereo, running well into the 1970s, including Phil Spector, no less. George Martin and Parlophone were thus years ahead of their time in 1959. Even the Beatles' first LPs came out in mono, as did Bob Dylan on Columbia. The late 60s is about where I first started taking notice, but didn't get my first "system" (a Phillips all-in-one turntable, amp, and two cardboard speakers that received acceptable radio entirely as RF interference) in about 1974.

My point about the mono evangelists was that the best stereo had to do as well in mono as the best mono system. So it is today with multichannel. Show me an HT system that sounds bad in stereo and I'll show you a bad HT system. People say things like "I want it for 62% movies, 38% music". What nonsense is this? Sound is sound.

All the best.


I am not that concious of the Yamaha DVD players so I cannot opine, but I think your Yamaha receiver comes with a universal learning remote, so that would obviate the need to stay with the Yamaha brand for a DVD player.

Denon has come out with a universal DVD player (DVD, progressive scan, SACD, DVD-Audio, etc.), the DV-2900, which is incredible. Unfortunately, so is the price ($999). Furthermore, it still lacks the one thing that I think I will demand from my next DVD player and that is DVI outs. Few have seen them demonstrated, but I can tell you that the picture quality is a huge step forward from component outs. However, I view this unit as a very welcome trend and we should see more of these universal players and the prices should be coming down.

Your current DVD player should serve the purpose of HT for the time being. It will put out a fine 480i picture that, with the addition of more speakers, you should be able to hear in Dolby digital or DTS. If you have an HDTV, the TV should be able to upconvert the signal to 480p at the very least. And, if you are not satisfied with the sound coming from your current DVD player, consider switching to using a digital out from the DVD player and letting your nice Yamaha do the digital to analog conversion. It may sound much better.

Finally, I went back to your September 25th post to refresh my memory and I thought of a couple of things. First, I was struck by your charecterization of the Time Windows being "bass shy." Now, that has never been my experience, but we all hear things a bit differently. But I began to wonder if it was possible that you had wired them out of phase. That would definitely make them bass shy. I know it is a long shot, but worth checking just to be sure. Second, I know I have asked a number of audio repair shops about acoustic foam to replace the foam covering damaged by the cat. I am told it is readily available and can be purchased in bulk to re-cover your speakers, if you so desire. Check around as I am told that it isn't very expensive.

Always good to hear from you, Jon. As I have said on another thread, I meet the nicest people on this forum!

Robert W.

Thanks for your understanding on my situation (and my wife's situation, for that matter). Compromise is a wonderful concepts we you can reach one!

Great to hear that for surrounds, the in-ceiling speakers can work, and that Speakercraft has a solid product.

Regarding the main speakers up front ... you mentioned the NHT M5's. Could you share any comments you might have regarding NHT's SB2 Mains and SC1 Center versus NHT SB3 Mains and SC2 Center. I have read reviews of the SB2/SC1 combination, but not the SB3/SC2. Also, how might these two setups sound sound versus the NHT M5.

I see a a fair amount of reviews and diaolog around the Paradigm and PSB product lines, but not much about NHT. I am curious about the NHT because what little information I have found has been positive, and I have a dealer locally.

Thanks again for your feedback and understanding!

NAD vs. Outlaw...
Regarding my need for B front speakers for another room, I prefer to not use an inferior (or expensive either) speaker switcher and compromise my sound in the primary audio and HT room. If the preamp out plugs are sent to a second reciever (such as my older HK AVR10) is there still signal sent to the front channel speakers in the primary room, or does the preamp out plug divert it all? Or do I just need to wait for the 743?

Also, I'm confused about the lack of EX (or is it ES) on the Outlaw. What happens if you don't do all the tricks when you listen to discs encoded with EX?


Matthew B and other 2-channel afficianado's--

I was talking to someone at Outlaw Audio and the subject of high quality stereo receivers came up. It just so happens that Outlaw will be unveiling a new stereo receiver later this year and from the press releases it looks COOOOL. It will have 75 watts/channel (and Outlaw wattage is always conservatively rated--should crank out at 90-100). It will be all analogue except for one great/smart addition---it will have a USB port to enable computers/IPODS/or other cd MP3 devices to hook in and play. It will be designed in a very chic retro design and have very sophisticated bass management to enable those with separate subwoofers to seemlessly play them with your two main speakers.

It has definitely got me interested in buying the receiver for my office (I have an old NAD stereo receiver there now). It would be nice using its' high quality tuner along with hooking up my IPOD through the assigned port to make work more enjoyable--like maybe not getting my work done :-)Of course I may set a bad example to my employees, which is a potential downside. Heck, it may make a great system for my bedroom, instead of having a more intrusive surround set-up, as my 27" tv is in an armoire and is far from ideal for having a center channel on top or below--and I definitely don't want a wall speaker for the center channel.

Okay, I have ranted enough on this.I'll have to let it marinate awhile before I decide.

In addition, Outlaw is working with Dr. Po Ser Hsu of HSU subwoofer fame, to design and market their own (or shall I say collaborated) self-powered subwoofer. It will be able to go down smoothly to 25HZ (20 Hz in concert with room acoustics) and will crank to 115 SPL's (lord knows that is far too loud for me). If it comes in at the targetted price of $600 it certainly appears to be a subwoofer to beat in the under $1K category. It will be interesting to see how it compares to HSU's own VTF-2 ($499) and the VTF-3 ($849).

This is their blurb on the receiver and the sub------

The "RR" in the model number stands for 'Retro Receiver' and the '2150' indicates the power. Since the RR 2150 is a two-channel stereo receiver, the "2" stands for the number of channels while the "150" is the total power output. (The correct power rating is 2x75 watts @ 8 ohms, 20 Hz - 20K Hz, 0.07% THD, both channels driven.)

But what exactly IS a 'Retro' receiver, you might ask. That's a good question.

Since the introduction of our first digital A/V product, the Model 1050, we have received numerous queries asking if we have any plans for two-channel components. We've also seen a great deal of discussion in the on-line forums and our own Saloon about the capabilities of our products when used for 'stereo music'. Finally, we note with interest that while home theater is clearly the engine that drives today's home audio/video business, there is still a vibrant market for quality products that are designed specifically for traditional two-channel use, rather than multi-channel home theater applications.

Taking all of that data, and looking at what is available in the marketplace, we found that most of the current stereo receivers are simply carryovers of basic platforms developed years ago. That doesn't make any of those products bad, but it does leave them wanting when it comes to many of the features today's audiophiles demand. On the other hand, many of the new multichannel products have deleted many of the things that make a great stereo receiver.

From the 'old', we started with our core strength, and developed a robust, all-analog, two-channel amplifier that delivers the same level of sonic quality found in both our separates and the Model 1050. In recognition of the two most important sources for a stereo receiver, the RR 2150 is centered on a high-performance tuner section and a spectacular, low noise phono section. The feature package also includes other capabilities that were once common, but are now relative rarities. Among those are a separate record output bus, a high quality analog volume control, and a processor loop for speakers that require external equalizers.

Lest anyone think that the RR 2150 lives totally in the past, we drew on some of the latest technology to add some ideas from the 'new' that are not found on any other stereo receiver. The best example of this is the inclusion of true bass management, making it possible to use sub/sat type speaker systems without sacrificing soundstage quality or smoothness. This is a first in the world of two channel products. We have also included a USB input that provides plug 'n play connectivity with your computer for the best sound any computer has ever produced, a 3.5mm front panel input jack for easy connection to portable MP3 type players and a programmable remote control.

Bridging the old and new the RR 2150 includes some time-honored features that are implemented using the latest state of the art components and circuit design. For example, a defeatable, two-position speaker EQ control is included to provide an additional 1&#8260;2 octave of bass extension when the RR 2150 is used with high-quality, yet compact, bookshelf speaker systems but no subwoofer. As is traditional for two-channel products, there are tone controls, but they are non-intrusive. This allows you to add sparkle or a tad more of bass, without interfering with the critical midrange octaves where voices reside.

The combination of old and new extends beyond the electronics, as the RR 2150 introduces a totally new industrial design look for Outlaw products. As those who saw the prototype in San Francisco know, the front panel is a very 'retro' design, evocative of the classic art deco table radios of the past. The front of the RR 2150 is a unique three-surface aluminum panel, and the knobs have been specially tooled to carry the design theme, sporting rubberized inserts that also indicate the control's position. We encourage anyone who has ever commented about the design of Outlaw products to check our web site next week, when we post photos of the prototype RR 2150.

Perhaps the best way to summarize the total design of the RR 2150, from both an electronic and appearance standpoint is that it is a product that we all want for ourselves. It delivers power and performance in every aspect of its unique feature set, and it is truly elegant in its execution. It will be used in our dens, studios, offices, studies or vacation homes. We designed it to deliver the simple pleasure of music for ourselves, and we have the feeling that there are more than a few Outlaws out there who share that passion with us.

Once we return from the Home Entertainment show we'll post more information on the RR 2150 on our web site. However, in anticipation of your questions, and we'll address some of them here:

* The unit shown at the HE Show was a non-working design model, and as we move from the prototype stage through testing and into production there will be minor tweaks to the design. The finish and colors on the model are close to what you will see when the unit ships, but we could not duplicate the final design in a one-off sample.
* We anticipate that shipments will begin some time in late fall and will not take any reservations until six weeks before the shipments are scheduled to start.
* Yes, there will probably be a beta test, but NO, we are NOT accepting applications at this time. We'll let you know when the tester selection process starts.
* The RR 2150 is a totally unique, totally Outlaw product. It was conceived and designed by the Outlaws in conjunction with consulting engineers in the US and Asia. It is being produced exclusively for us and will not be available as a derivative model from any other brand. No part of the system architecture is shared with another product, except, perhaps, remote control.
* The preliminary, basic specs are as follows, subject to change as we move forward during the spring and summer:
* Power: 2x75 watts per channel at 8 ohms, 20 Hz - 20 KHz, 0.07% THD, both channels driven; 2x130 watts per channel at 4 ohms, 20 Hz - 20KHz, 0.07% THD, both channels driven
* Inputs: Tuner, Video, DVD/CD, Tape, Aux, USB, Front Panel Aux
* Outputs: Stereo L/R preamp outputs, L/R tape output
* Processor Loop: In/Out via RCA Jacks
* USB Input: Plug -n- Play compatible with PC and Macintosh audio
* Tuner: High sensitivity, 30 preset memories
* Bass Management: Analog bass management and re-direction with subwoofer output, defeatable via rear-panel switch
* Remote: Programmable four device (including RR 2150) system remote. IR In/Out jacks for system control
* Power Cord: IEC Removable Type
* Dimensions (HxWxD): 6" x 17.25" x 22" Oh, yes, the price. It's a bit too early to set the exact price, but it will fall into the $549 to $599 range, with discounts available for Outlaw 'family' members.

On view for the first time at the HE Show was Outlaw's first speaker product, our Low Frequency Module, better known now as the LFM-1. Many of you know that the Outlaws have considerable experience in the world of speakers, and we've brought that knowledge to bear on the LFM-1. However, just to make sure that we have all bases (is there a pun there?) covered, we engaged Dr. Po Ser Hsu, world renowned for his subwoofer designs and technology, to work with us on the LFM-1. This is also a totally new, totally Outlaw, totally unique product, based around a 12-inch die cast driver in combination with a 350 watt amplifier and a downward firing, ported cabinet design. The result is a combination that is projected to deliver over 115 SPL from 20 Hz to 100 Hz. The unit weighs in excess of 75 pounds so it is unlikely to move, but we advise you to secure all other fragile objects in your listening room, as the LFM-1 will literally shake the house!

Working with Dr Hsu, we chose a 25 Hz system design. When room gain is taken into account and proper placement of the LFM-1 is made, the unit will be flat to 20 Hz, As with the RR 2150, we're still a bit away from delivery, as the first shipments of the LFM-1 are planned for some time this fall. However, since we know that many of you plan your upgrades in advance, we decided to announce the LFM-1 at this time so that you may consider it for future system use. The price for this remarkable subwoofer will be under $600. In the true Outlaw tradition, this will make the LFM-1 a tremendous value unmatched by anything even close to that price. We'll provide more details on the LFM-1 on the web site in a week or so, along with pictures of the model that was displayed in San Francisco.


Dolby Digital EX is the equivalent of DTS ES Matrix 6.1--they are both "algorithmic" mixtures of the left and right rear surrounds to make a "matrixed" sixth centrally located rear surround.

"Star Wars: Episode 1 The Phantom Menace" is the very first movie to feature the new Dolby Digital Surround EX format (though Dolby Digital Surround EX playback is offered only in the finest state-of-the-art movie theaters).

So unless you have a 6th rear speaker EX is unimportant--and even if you have a 6th speaker it will only get a "matrixed" mixture of sound--not a separate discret channel of sound. So you really aren't missing anything original. Now if you have a large enough listening room with the extra space for the 6th speaker, it will fill in the extra space with a richer sound. But having listened to WITH or WITHOUT--it isn't a big deal.I prefer the discrete and directed sound with rear speakers. When enough DISCRETE extra channels are in the works I will consider the possibility of adding extra speakers and new equipment--uughhh!

I have used both speaker switchers and used receivers with another zone. Personally, I prefer having a speaker switcher for a number of reasons. I can create 4 or more separate listening rooms with their own volume dials and have any combination of them playing at any given time. I notice no sonic degradation at all when using a quality Niles switcher. I have Paradigm celing speakers in my sunroom and have played them directly with an older NAD receiver and currently with my Aragon separates--no audible difference. Of course, the kitchen speakers (older ProAc tablettes) that sit on top of kitchen cabinets sound a thousand times better through the Niles switcher than the Paradigm ceiling speakers ever did--direct or through the switcher. Of course, the ProAc's are infinitely better speakers and would probably sound a lot better playing through a $50 amp than the ceiling speakers (which were fairly expensive--around $500).

Of course, with speaker switchers, you cannot listen to another source. You listen to what you have on the master unit.


Thanks for your suggestions. I was careful to wire the Time Windows correctly. I will say that with my current total system and room arrangement, I am more satisfied with the bass on them than previously. One interesting note: I took a look at the original instruction sheet that came with them, and it says that "if the speakers are to be used with amplifiers having a rating of over 80 watts R.M.S. per channel, we recommend fusing. Use a 2, 2.5, or 3 amp fast blow fuse in series with the 'plus' wire." Well, with my old NAD 7020, the power was too low to worry. But, with my Yamaha rated at 130 watts, I guess I should take their warning seriously. Any suggestions how to proceed?

Secondly, if we agree that the Denon DV-2900 at $999 is simply too pricey, where are the next good choices at no more than half that price for now? And, do I ADDITIONALLY need a replacement CD player, or can one device do both jobs pretty well?

John A.
Short comment, Jon: DVD-players are usually excellent CD players, too.


Well, I tried. I knew my suggestion was a long shot, but it is suprising how often something simple as wiring out of phase is the cause of the problems people complain about on this board.

I remember the bit about fusing the speaker if you have a high power amplifier from when I owned my own Time Windows. I had an NAD 3150 and its high dynamic headroom could hit about 100 wpc for short bursts. I don't think I ever drove them that hard, but I was wary of having to insert a fuse--not something I wanted to bother with.

As for a DVD player, again, I think your current player is probably fine. It can probably work as your CD player too, particularly if you use a digital out from the DVD player to the receiver. This makes your DVD player a transport and the Yamaha will be decoding and converting the digital information to analog sound. The only other universal player I have seen is a Marantz (no surprise as it is part of Denon) and it costs the same as the Denon--there is really nothing else that is a universal player just yet. There simply aren't enough titles out there on DVD-Audio and SACD yet to really get the equipment makers to turn them out yet.

However, if you want a new CD player, the two NADs, the C521i and the C541i, have both been getting rave reviews for their sound (five stars from What HiFi?, for example)--look them up on the eCoustics Product Reviews page. Probably your best bet. I have been looking at a new CD player for my 2 channels sytem in my study and I have pretty much decided makes the most sense in terms of a quality sound player. My other candidates (that I really like to listen to) are a Rotel and an Arcam, but they run twice the price of the more expensive NAD and I am not sure that they are any better. I have tried several Denons (below $600 they are pretty bad), a couple of Marantzs, an Onkyo, an Integra and a Yamaha. The Marantz CD5000 wasn't bad, but the rest of them were very flat sounding and not engaging to listen to. Also, the 541i is being replaced by a 542, and the 521i is being replaced by a new 521bee, so the prices should be dropping fast . . . .

Now, if you do want to change your DVD player and you want good sound to come from it when used as a CD player, I am very intrigued by the new Cambridge Audio DVD55, which is getting very nice reviews in England. It has a nice Sony transport and they have put in custom electronics to make for better sound, both on DVD and 2 channel. See it here:


I have also had a dealer that I really trust tell me about the NAD T532, but I haven't checked it out for myself yet. You might look into it as well.

Anyways, jsut a few suggestions for something to tide you over until the universal players become affordable. Enjoy!

Robert W.:

I don't have a good answer for you about how the M5s stack up against the SB-3s--I have been wondering that myself. I am going to compare them sometime this week, but you should also compare them for yourself since you have an NHT dealer nearby.

The SB-3s are a quantum leap over and above the SB-2s IMO. With addition of the the SC-2 and the Speakercraft surrounds, you have a dynamite system. I think is is a far better speaker system than the SB-2s with the SC-1, and worth the difference in price. Stereophile praised the SB-3 as one of the most musical bookshelfs they have ever heard and I tend to agree.

BTW, get a Speakercraft model that allows you to aim the tweeter (most allow this). It will greatly improve your sound if you do since the in-ceiling installation will mean that your listening position will probably be off-axis. Having a tweeter that you can rotate to direct toward your listening position will alleviate some of this problem.

NHTs get less attention than Paradigm or PSB largely because the other brands have better distribution. Nevertheless, NHT makes superb products, fairly priced, and has been very well received by the audio press.

What a Thread!!

I'm a little confused

In other threads Hawk's very favorable to the Marantz line of A/V receivers. And I was quite decided to buy a SR5300 in an $500 offer (I'm from Spain, so here the prices are a llittle higher).

After following this thread now I'm in doubt about SR5300/NAD 752. Is the NAD worth an investment?

What will be your advice for a pair of loudspeakers at about $300. I'm thinking in upgrading my system in a future - we all are in a budget :) - and use the loudspeakers for the rear channels, buying a new ones for the front channels.

John A.

Re-reading, I don't think Jon has a DVD-player at all - he is a first timer.

I agree the Cambridge Audio DVD player you mention looks enticing. Where I am, the retailer has no DVD55S but a "Cambridge DV57 DVD/DVD-Audio" player and a "Cambridge DV53 DVD-player" which look the same. The Cambridge Audio web site lists none of the above, however. Very strange.

That's correct, John A. All I have now for DVD playing is a laptop computer. So, it's exciting to have the whole world open, so to speak. The Cambridge models could be interesting. I looked over the Denon web site last night, to get a better idea of what it can do. Also, I read the long thread dealing with your introduction to DVD audio--quite an interesting thread in its own right! I'm half convinced to spend the approximately $830 with shipping to get the new Denon 2900, almost for piece of mind that I'm not making some error of impending incompatibility. But perhaps the Cambridge models are also reasonably future safe?

I never did yet purchase additional speakers, figuring that I wanted to give a good listen to the 2 Time Windows plus 2 Acoustic Research speakers in a reasonable test situation before buying a center speaker and possibly a subwoofer. But, I can't properly do such a test if I don't have appropriate input, which I think requires a proper DVD player... The matter is starting to seem quite challenging, given the need to set up each of the speakers properly in calibration, figuring out where to place them, etc. And then last night I was listening to Glenn Gould's 1981 disk of his early vs late Bach Goldberg variations ("State of Wonder" on Sony CD) while doing dishes in the kitchen, using some "B" speakers being driven by the Yamaha 3300--quite modest small mountable speakers, in fact. It was wonderful, and I started wondering how many hours of tinkering it's going to take me to move from this to HT type audio listening with the new genre of multi-channel recorded discs. Will I really have the patience? Perhaps more importantly, will my wife, watching all of this?

John A.

I, too, got started with DVD on a laptop. The Apple Macintosh G5, which does not qualify unless one has an extremely big lap, now has optical digital audio out, and will play DVDs, so that should work. The way things are going, I would surprised if a real laptop did not do the whole job, soon. But I personally regret convergence, and prefer different things in different places to do different jobs. Quite why anyone who is not mixing and mastering should want 5.1 on a computer is beyond me. Ditto for sending e-mails from a TV. No-one with a family, unless a dedicated control freak, wishes to sit in one room with the entire World of digital technology available from a single unit. That way madness lies.

I have been agonising some more about DVD-A on NAD 752 etc.... I still haven't heard the "real" thing but am very sceptical, as you will have gathered. Others, including G-Man, have it, and are positive.

DVD-A and SACD were originally intended NOT to play on CD players, but SACD discs are increasingly "hybrids" which have a CD track, too. I am encouraged by this trend; it suggests the whole scam failed to live up to expectations. DVD-A discs will certainly not play on a CD player, but all DVD-A discs (I think) are hybrids in the sense that they WILL play on a DVD-Video player. Since both CD discs and DVD-A discs will play on DVD-Video players (very well) and SACDs will not, and since the great step, comparable to stereo from mono, is mutichannel 5.1, I am inclined to think SACD is trying to carve out a very exclusive market sector of discerning audiophiles who will not admit that the Emperor has no clothes. If I am right, then no real SACD consumer demand, based on sober evaluation of sound quality, exists or will emerge. But Sony-Phillips own the SACD format and also make the discs, so they already have some people hooked, one way or another.

When a sizeable number of people have a collection of DVD-A discs they can play on their DVD-Video players, THEN the DVD-A players will be in a free market, because they will have to prove what they can do. We shall see. For now I am OK with DTS on DVD-V. It is really something.

My indulgent wife bought me an SACD from a record shop who did not know it was not a CD, and neither did she. I suppose that mistake might help to get some people hooked, but it had the opposite effect on me. At least a DVD-A disc come in a box that is easily distinguishable from that of a CD (it is slightly bigger, and rectangular). Sorry if this sounds like naive stuff from the middle ages. I live in Europe.

There does not seem to be a place on this forum where DVD-A would not be off-topic.

I hope this helps, though I have to admit I doubt that it does!

Guru Hawk - Thank you for your advice on the HK AVR-7200 vs. Denon's 3803!

Robert W.

My wife, daughter, and myself went on a adventure this weekend with the hopes of listening to the Paradigm Studio 20's, NHT SB3's and M5's, and PSB's (weren't sure of model's to listen to).

We were armed with The Brian Setzer Ordechestra's (BSO) "The Dirty Boogy" and Andrea Bocelli's "Romanza."

We succeeeded is listening to the the Paradigm's and NHT's. All of these speakers did great job with Andrea Bocelli's "Romanza" ... we specially focused on a song called "Time to Say Goodbye". In fact, I believe the Studio 20's might have narrowly beat the NHT M5's from my perspective ... just a crisp, pure, moving sound.

There was a noticable difference, however, with BSO's "The Dirty Boogy" ... we focused on song called "Switch Blade." In my mind, the Paradigm's really struggled, even when the SW was added to the mix. I am not an expert in music, but the sound seemed almost tinny, if that makes sense. Both the NHT's did a much better job with this track, even without the SW added.

Based on this experience I am leaning towards the M5's. Unfortunately, I couldn't here either the M5's or the SB3/SC2 setup with movies.

If you get a chance to compare the M5's and SB3/SC2 setup, I would be very anxious to hear your thoughts.

On the M5's, would you see any problem using either the SW10 II or SW12 insetad of the U1 and U2 SW setup NHT has with the their Evolution series?

Finally, thanks for your advice on the Speakercraft and installing ones with the ability to direct the Tweeter. My brother has these and loves them.

Yes, as you mentioned earlier, I am lucky to have a great brother ...

Thanks again for all of your advice and feedback ...


We aim to please! Glad you are satisfied. It was an easy call, however.



I am sorry if I have confused you. To clarify, I do not consider the Marantz 5300 to be competitive with the NAD 752--they are at two very different price points here in the USA and if you have the money to spend on the 752, the alternative here would be the Marantz 7300. That does not mean that the 5300 is not a good receiver, actually, it is very good at its price point. But stepping up to a 7300 or 752 makes for a big improvement in the sound, so if you can do it, I recommend it if your budget permits. I understand budgets and families needs, so that should always be the first priority.

I am not sure what I can recommend for speakers if you are in Spain (not sure what is there). Are you asking about $300 a pair or $300 each?

Robert W.:

What a pleasure to read that you went out an listened for yourself! In particular, I was pleased to read you had made it a family outing! That is pretty cool. I value your comments as much as you value mine, so I found your observations about the Paradigms getting a little muddled to be fascinating. As you discovered, no one speaker does everything better than all of the others--the designers of these products are always making compromises to get a certain balance in their speakers.

I will be listening to the M5s and SB3s later this week when we get some rain and I can't continue working on my deck. Got to get it done before the bad weather sets in. Looking forward to it. I will promptly report what I hear.

As for the sub, yes, you can safely use any of the NHT subs with either of the NHT speakers. They will sonically match just fine.

John A. and Jon:

Sorry I got confused--and thanks for clarifying. Hey, look at this thread and see if I have read it right--SACD on an NAD 512 just by reprogramming the 512 yourself?


Jon, I don't think you need to worry about impending incompatibilities--CDs will probably always be with us, as will DVDs with DD and DTS. The Cambridge will do those very well. Now, I have an SACD player, but I have seen very little in the way of software for SACD players--just not very many titles yet and the same thing is true of DVD-Audios, not many titles.

I am seeing many recording labels announcing they are getting on either the SACD or the DVD-A bandwagon, and it is looking more and more like the old Beta/VHS wars of the late 70s. I have decided to wait this one out, largely because I am not convinced either format is going to succeed. This is why I recommended the Cambridge DVD player, which is a new model (explaining why it isn't on their web page) and I have had previous excellent experience with Cambridge players, so I think it would be a great double duty player for you. Later, if one of these new formats succeeds, you can get a dedicated CD player that does the new format at a very reasonable price. I would hate to see you spend the money for a denon 2900 and then not have either of these new formats succeed.


Thanks so much. This makes lots of sense, but your final suggestion raises a potential new problem: If my receiver has only a single set of inputs for analogue 5.1, and I bought a Cambridge DVD player for the present, then later on I couldn't simply add a CD player with the new features, because I wouldn't have yet another set of analogue inputs. I'd either have to use digital inputs, or purchase yet another intermediate device to accommodate the two sets of inputs. Do you agree?

John A.

You could play CDs on the DVD player, connected via digital audio. Also, I would be surprised if the Yamaha receiver did not have a CD input (analogue or digital or both) in addition to the 5.1 input.

Thank you all for sharing so much of this info. Hawk, especially, is HUGELY helpful as I think about which receiver to buy.

I'm considering the NAD 752 and the Rotel 1055 receivers, and would love to get your thoughts... I recently bought a pair of B&W 603 Series 3's. I've fallen in love with these speakers, can't believe the sound they produce from my 15-year-old 65-watt Sony stereo receiver. This old receiver is better than what Sony produces these days, but doesn't do justice to these speakers, so now (as expected) so it's time to upgrade. I want to buy a high-quality surround receiver, and add center and surround speakers as budget allows...

Given your positive (and informative) comments about the 752, I'm wondering if you've had a chance to compare it with the Rotel 1055. I'd been leaning towards the NAD, which is quite a bit cheaper than the Rotel. The Rotel is prettier and has more features (which I might not use), but it costs hundreds more - does it justify the higher price in terms of actual sound quality? Is it worth springing for the Rotel?

Thanks for your advice!

I've auditioned the Dynaudio Audience 62 and the sound was incredible. After listening to a good Chario loudspeakers and a B&W 603 with an hybrid 80W amplifier, the salesman plugged the dynaudio and I started 'feeling' the music. I liked very much the dyns, but when he turned the volume a little higher it was terrible. The dyns are really very hungry speakers and must be paired with an adequate amplifier.

Do you think a Marantz SR5300 will be able to drive them?

The dyns are not cheap here (aprox $700 for a pair of Audience 42Wall) and I'm thinking in buying a pair of these as front speakers. In a future I'd like to upgrade to a pair of Audience 122 as front speakers. Relly like the sound, but I think perhaps there'll be some speakers with nice sound for less money.
I'll welcome any recommendation.

John A.,

The Yamaha certainly has conventional audio inputs for all devices, as well as digitals. My point was that it has only a single set of the extensive 5.1 analog inputs (two mains, two surround, sw, and center). So, assuming this gives the best input from a first-class CD or DVD player, you only get to choose one of these as the input. If sound quality of CDs is extremely important, then you'd presumably not want to relegate the CD player to another means of inputting into the receiver if the DVD player were already occupying the best inputs.

This discussion has reminded me of another observation. I've been impressed by the sound quality coming from the classical music channels that accompany DirecTV subscriptions. I figure these guys probably have top quality CD players, then do a pretty good job with the signal after that. I'm increasingly inclined to spend more dollars than I originally intended to get a top quality device to play my CDs at home. If a good quality DVD picture also comes out of the same machine, so much the better. With all this in mind, do you think the Denon 2900 will actually be up there with top quality stand-alone CD players in terms of its sound quality? The Cambridge unit sounds like it's not trying to compete in the upper leagues, with great emphasis on value for the dollar. It's hard for me in the abstract to gather what difference in sound this all amounts to, and I'm not at all sure that being able to listen to these units in an A/B situation is going to be very easy...


I am looking at an entire system using the Dynaudio 42s and I agree with you that the sound is great provided you have adequate power. Your prices for the 42Ws are about 10% less than they cost here in the USA

If you are looking at Dynaudio 72s or any Dynaudios, for that matter, I would not get the Marantz--it just isn't up to the task. Go with the NAD 752.

My "Rule of Thumb" now is that for most receivers, you take the Manufacturers power rating and cut it in half to find out what a receiver will really put out when driving all channels simultaneously. That would make the Marantz 5300 about a 45 wpc receiver. My exceptions to the Rule of Thumb are NAD and Harman/Kardon, to which you add 10%. Sound & Vision magazine tested the 752 and found it exceeded its rated 80 wpc by 15%--it could actually do 92 wpc continuously. So you see why I think the 752 is the better receiver for your application.

As for other speaker recommendations, I have lately been very impressed by two speakers from NHT, the SB-3 and the M-5 (NHT is an American company), and also by speakers from an Australian company called Krix. In particular, I am looking at a model called the KDX-M, but the Lyrix is great, as well (about the same size as the Dynaudio 72s). Don't know if they are available in Spain, but you may check them out on the web to see if they are distributed in your country.

Good luck!


I do think that the Denon 2900 is a fine player and is getting a lot of attention right now because of its novelty of being a universal player. However, if you want top quality CD sound, I would recommend the following player which is much better sounding for CDs at about half the price of the Denon:


Just connecting to the 5.1 or 7.1 inputs is not going to give you better sound automatically--you must have a quality player that has a superb digital to analog conversion and analog output stages (this is where most Denons I have heard are a little short). My recommended Music Hall CD player has addressed those concerns and will provide superb two channel sound for a very reasonable price.

Along the same lines, I would also recommend the NAD 541i, which won the Product of the Year Award from What Hi-Fi?, a leading British audio magazine. See it here:


I know about a 9 or 10 people who have one and they all swear by it. When I have heard it, I was pretty impressed myself. Sells for about $375.

I am having problem with my DVD player to receiver connection. I have a Toshiba DVD player and a Yamaha receiver HTR-5640. I have connected the audio through optical cable. But the problem I am having is that if the DVD has either DTS or Dolby Digistal audio and then I put that mode on the receiver I cannot hear any dialogs. All I can hear is the background music. So I always end up with simple stereo sound. Am I doing something wrong or is it supposed to work this way.

John A.

Sorry I can't keep up with this thread!

I do not think the 5.1 analogue inputs are the "Best". I think the 2-channel input from the CD player uses the same receiver circuitry as the L and R fronts in 5.1. Remember with analogue, all the processing is done by the DVD/CD player, anyway.

As regards playing CDs in a DVD player, all I can say is my NAD T532, for CDs, knocks the socks off the much older Marantz 475SE CD player it replaced. Now there are certainly very expensive CD players with oversampling and discrete power supplies, I am thinking of Naim etc., but I have not heard these, and cannot comment. As I said before, all I have is anecdotes derived from my own limited upgrade path. I keep the Marantz. It still sounds good in the other room, when someone is watching a DVD.

Matthew B
Hawk, I wanted to come and post a not sayign thanks again. I ended up going with the NAD c320bee to power my JBL Studio s310s. The amp sounds beautiful (especially on any speaker but the jbl).

Before the na di was using my roommates HK 3375. The sound does nto compare to that of the NAD's. I wanted to also ask you your recomendation on a new pair of floor standing speakers. The JBLs just arent the sound for me (i bought them without hearing them because they were insanely cheap - 200 a pair - and i expected better). The bass was muddy on both receivers and the speaker in general is not very detailed. The NAD sounds 2x as beautiful on my roommates boston acoustics CR80 bookshelves.

But what would you recomend as a good pare with the NAD? I'm looking at 300-450 a pair max ebay/reconditioned/street price, whatever it may be.

Thanks again for your help! and more importantly, thanks again for the recomendation on th enad. Without your help i would have completely missed out.

Thanks again.

Matthew B:

You are welcome! I always enjoy knowing I was of some help to someone on this forum!

Hey, I understand the problem you are having with the JBLs. So, do you want floorstanders or bookshelfs? I have lots of ideas, but I need more info to pare down my list.

Matthew B
I'm looking for a nice pair of floor standing (they've got to be in black too...)...I will not be using a subwoofer and the setup is for 100% music.

Any recomendations would help and be greatly appreciated. I still can't get over the sound of the NAD - I've never heard such a refined sound. Thanks again.

Matthew B
Hawk, I have been reading some of your other posts in the Speaker section of the message board and i noticed in many places you said floor standings need some room to breathe. My room is not large (12ishx11ish)- and it is my bedroom with a bed and desk - so floorstanding is most likely overkill - . Could you please let me know what you think about floorstanding vs bookshelf for my situation (just a very nice home stereo). And could you please recomend some booksheleves too that would sound great with the nad (300-450 a pair street price hopefully). Thanks again and i look forward to your response!

Matthew B:

Yes, I think floorstanding speakers are probably too much for that room. So, let me make a number of suggestions of good speakers to go with your new integrated amp. In no particular order--

1. KEF Q1s (MSRP $450/pr.- available from Kiefs for $350/pr.

2. B+W DM 303 or DM600 (MSRP of $300 and -$350/pr., respectively).

3. PSB Image 2Bs (MSRP of $399, available from elegantaudiovideo.com for $296.00/pr.)

4. NHT SB-2s (MSRP of $400/pr--available from Kiefs for ~$320/pr.)

5. Paradigm Mini-Monitors (I have no recent pricing info--sorry).

6. Mission M71s: (MSRP of $250, can be had for $200 from Kiefs last time I checked). These are cheaper than your budget, but I included them because they are really good and the perfect size for your room (I have a pair in my study, which is almost identical in size to your room). Surprising amount of bass with an open, detailed treble not usually found on anything this inexpensive. Highly recommended.

Matthew B
Hawk, thank you again for your reply. I got out and was able to audition all the speakers you recomended minus the KEF and the PSB. I enjoyed the sound of all of them and was able to listen to the paradigms on a NAD amp. I enjoyed the sound of the paradigm the most. However, when i was at the B&W dealer, i gave a good hard listen to the 602's and the 602.5s. I fell in love with both and after closer comparisson i fell towards the 602s.

If I am considering putting more money into my speakers, are there any you would recomend that fall in the same pricerange/quality as the 602s? I loved the sound of the 602s but i thought it lacked a bit in the low end, the same with the 602.5s (im still trying to go without a sub)

Also, if there are any online dealers for b&w pleae let me know - my dealer in town will only sell at MSRP.

Thanks again for your help - your recomendations have been amazing thus far. Without them, i would have missed out on a lot.

Matthew B.:

As always, you get what you really like. If you like the B+W 602s the best, go for it!

However, I will caution you that you do have a small room and with a small room, you are going to hear more bass than you likely heard at the dealers (I would assume that the dealer had a much larger room to listen to these speakers than you have). A smaller room will change the dynamics, somewhat.

If I were to suggest a couple more speakers, please understand that earlier I was trying to stay within your budget. Any other speaker I could recommend would be more expensive, but since the B+Ws are already $600/pair, what the heck. (BTW, I do not have a good source for B+Ws--they have their dealers locked down pretty tight).

I suggest you check out the NHT SB-3s (which go down to 38 Hz!) which have a lot more detail to them than does the SB-2s, not to mention more bass. In fact, I think they are a quantum leap over the SB-2s. They run $600/pr. (MSRP) as well, but Kiefs will sell them for about ~$480. Highly recommended, not only by me, but Stereophile has made them its reference bookshelf speaker for under $1K. Based upon what I read from your messages, this might be just right for you.

I also like the Dynaudio 42s a lot. They run $700/pr. and I wish I had a source for a discount on them but I don't.

I also love Krix speakers and I recommend them highly, but they are really hard to find.

Good luck!

Matthew B
Hawk, thanks again for all your help. I am extremely interested in the NHT SB-3s because of your recomendation - and the price. The only downside is that I can nto find a store in town (New Orleans) where i can demo them. So, if i were to buy them from Kiefs (which again - for the price beats out the B&Ws greatly) i would be doing it without ever hearing them.

Could you please, in your opinion, tell me the type of sound the NHTs put out (compared to the B&Ws)? I hope this isnt too much to ask - but thanks again!

Also, do you know what is the difference between the B&W 602 S2 and the S3 (is it just this years revised model? any difference really)? Thanks!


I was really shocked to read that NHT didn't have any dealers in new orleans. I checked the NHT website and wow, you weren't kidding!

I did find one dealer in Metairie and one in Lafayette (which I know is up-river). The Metairie dealer is:

Off The Wall Audio
Phone: (504) 835-7677

I hope you can hear them for yourself.

I do not like to tell someone to get a particular speaker or other component without their hearing the product before they buy. I do like the NHT SB-3 a lot, but that doesn't mean I think you should buy it blind.

The NHTs are a little more forward sounding than the B+Ws, which I find just a little bit reserved (or "laid back"). The NHTs also requires more power than the B+Ws, but that is not a problem as your NAD has plenty of power.

Beyond that, I have a hard time quantifying the differences between the two. Therefore, i went to the November 2002 issue of Stereophile where Robert J. Riena did a full review of the SB-3s. I excerpted the most pertinent passages:

"The SB-3's midrange and high-frequency strengths combined to make it an excellent reproducer of solo piano. On Two Hours with Thelonious Monk (Riverside 460/461), recorded live in Europe in the early '60s, Monk leaves his trio for one tune to do a touching, breathtaking solo rendition of "Body and Soul." Through the SB-3, Monk's upper-register right-hand figures were pristine, detailed, and dynamic, but without any unnatural edge."

"Bass reproduction was remarkable on several fronts. Midbass reproduction was a touch warm and ripe but did not sound colored; this character was uniform throughout the spectrum, with no hooting or overhang evident on any notes. Interestingly, on delicate bass passages--John Ore's double-bass solos on the Monk set, Gary Wilson's upper-register bass-guitar figures on "Don't Look Back," from You Think You Really Know Me (Motel MRLP007)--were articulate, fast, resonant, and uncolored. However, on a bombastic rock blockbuster with considerable bass-guitar content (Janis Ian's "This Train Still Runs," from Breaking Silence, Analogue Productions CAPP027) or bass-synth blasts (Sade's "Feel No Pain," from Love Deluxe, Epic EK 53178), the bass instrument blasted forward and rocked on, as it should."

Now, compare this review with the following info from a review of the B+W 602 S3s, done last December in HiFi Choice:

"The bass is particularly impressive and a substantial improvement over its S2 predecessor. It goes deep yet stays crisp and even along the way, providing a firm and propulsive foundation under the rest of the music and cleverly avoiding the 'thump 'n' boom' syndrome that's all too common among speakers at this sort of price."

"The midband too is essentially neutral, though a touch 'pinched' and perhaps a little too laid back for some tastes. Some might prefer a more vigorous, punchier projection, but the 602 S3 has the sort of restraint that should suit budget electronics rather well. That said, the top end might be a shade too obvious for the same sort of kit, though it's probably clean and clear enough to get away with it."

I hope this helps. I have listened to both, but I have not lived with these speakers the same way these reviewers have. I will say that I read nothing that I would disagree with in either review. They both seem to be on the mark, from what I heard.

Good luck.


I have a Krix dealer near my place, so I checked out yesterday. The speaker was Symphonix which was $2,740/pr but the dealer offer me 25% off, so well around $2,000. The problem was i couldn't listen to it very carefully for some noises outside, but my impression was quite good. What do you think of this deal?

Robert W.

I am trying my best not to be selfish ...

First, I hope you were able to complete the work on your deck, before the rains came.

Secondly, I was wondering if you had a chance to compare the NHT SB3/SC2 and relative subwoofer to the NHT M5's and relative subwoofer.

I was able to hear the speakers for music (SB3 and M5 only), not movies.

Thanks again for all the information you contiue to provide!


I have heard several Krix models and I have been very impressed by the overall balance of the speaker and its incredibly smooth sound. I could listen to Krix speakers all day and never get tired of listening.

Whether your price is a good one or not, I cannot say with certainty as I haven't priced that system (a bit out of my price range), but it definitely sounds like a good deal. You are getting the top of the line Symphonix for just a little above the price of the Lyrix, so it appears to be a very fair price.

Robert W.:

No, I haven't. With my disability, it takes me a long time to get these things done and it is complicated by the fact that my deck is very large. However, we have three days of sunshine and 70 degree weather to go before the snow comes (coming in Thursday), and I am getting close to getting it done. I will definitely be listening this coming Thursday or Friday. I will let you know because I am ready to pull the trigger on a speaker system myself and these two are at the top of my list.

Hello Hawk, John A,

Thank you once more for your tips and recommendations back then in September. I purchased the SR4300 a month back, and i am very satisfied customer! :) It is beautifully designed and priced very well. I have no issues with the amp, except for the minute hiss at very loud volumes and the troublesome settings, which i can live with.

All in all, you 2 and many other contributors have made exepriences in our (us newbies) HT decision making more bearable and enriching! Without a doubt, this has got to be one of the best forums i know!


John A.

Thank you. I am a newbie myself, and, unlike Hawk, do not have much detailed product information. All I have is opinions, experiences of my own upgrade path to HT from stereo, and, of course, prejudices. It is a pleasure to think you have been able to disentangle these, and there was something useful in there! Good luck with the Marantz SR4300. Your post is a strong recommendation. I have a high opinion of Marantz, they made my first CD player, still in use, and it is a short-list name now for the future.


Thank you for the kind words. A good audio system will provide you with a lot of enjoyment for many years to come. I am glad we could help!



I'm in the process of putting together my system and am a litte dazed and confused by the myriad of choices. Budget is decent but my listening ear has much to learn. The key is I want to ensure that I get very solid system that I can "grow" into. Where do you draw the line to get the solid system but not spend a ton of money to get the kind of gain only a true audiophile would pick up on??? Front runners seem to be the Monitor Audio S10's (matching center) and some s2's for the rears all paired with an Integra 8.4 reciver. The other system I looked at was the B&W CM 6, matching center, sub and CM2 for the rears all paired with a Rotel RSX 1065. For fun I have even considered the Monitor Ref 60's with B&K ref 50 pre-amp and the 200.7 amp (this is where I think I lose perspective and wonder how much I will really get for the extra $$$). I think I will use the system 50/50 Home theater vs. 2 speaker listening. Also, the system will eventually drive a few other rooms (with an additional amp)

Thoughts?? Should I pull back the reigns or am I in the right zone??

John A.

What an enviable situation. I think you are in the right zone. Take some of your own, familiar CDs to several dealers and ask for demos of the kind of stuff you mention, or anything similar they recommend. Take your time, you have to get used to their listening room. Get the salesman to shut up or go away. Close your eyes and listen. A 5.1 channel system that is any good will have to sound good in stereo, too, so you already have the best test material.

The ideal is a home trial. In many countries you have a period of time to return and get a full refund if not satisfied, for any reason. A good dealer will have confidence in its recommendation and will make a virtue of that. A bad one wants to make that one sale and doesn't care about anything else. Remember quality manufacturers take some care about whom they authorize as dealers; that is not just protectionism. Beware the high street or retail park cowboys who want the premium price at no cost to themselves. Their first two questions are usually "how much do you want to spend?" and "which brand do you want?". Buy from a dealer who listens first to your requirements, and is willing seriously to give advice and demonstrations.

Robert W.:

As I told you I would, I went to listen to the NHTs and came away with a few impressions. I spent about 2 hours listening to the SB-3s, the M-5s and the ST-4s. I used three CDs from my collection, Jennifer Warnes "Famous Blue Raincoat," New Grass Revival "Live at Montreaux", and a Sheffield Labs sampler called "Creme de la Creme." Now each of these are good for exposing some typical weakness in a speaker. With Jennifer Warnes soaring solos, I check a speaker for any problems with sibilance (where the female voice starts getting edgy with the "esses" sounding a little like someone spitting). With the New Grass Revival, I listen for any chestiness sound to John Cowan's clear tenor voice, and the Sheffield Labs album (which was origniallly recorded live "direct to disk"), I can hear instruments like the violins, cellos and piano for any inability to produce a clear pitch. Electronics were an Adcom pre/pro and power amp and a Pioneer Elite DV45 DVD/CD player.

NHT M5: The M5 is a fine speaker, very convincing above 100 hz with excellent detail and depth to the soundstage, but disappointing to me as the bass is rolled off a little too high for my tastes. I believe that the specifications on the M5 is that the speaker response is 66-20Khz +/- 3 db and that sounds about right. What that really means is that the 66 hz point is actually 5-6 db less than most of the audio range. Now, this speaker is meant to be part of the "Evolution" speaker system and thus expects to have a subwoofer do the low end, but as a stand alone speaker, I was a bit disappointed. It should be a great speaker however, used in tandem with a quality subwoofer, but I would not want to use it without some bass reinforcement.

NHT SB-3: Also a very fine speaker, this one represents a huge step up from the SB-2s, with more detail, a much better soundstage and very good low end extension. It uses the same tweeter and same size mid/woofer as the SB-2, but this speaker is a quantum leap over the SB-2. Also goes lower than the M5s and makes for a very fine full range speaker. As a small monitor type speaker, I have heard few that I like as well. However, not to be used in large rooms as the mid/woofer simply can't fill a large space, a charecteristic typical of a good small monitor. Worth the money and recommended for the right space, however. I think it is smoother sounding than a comparable B+W (602 S3s) or KEF (Q1s) speaker, for instance. Anyone who wants a bookshelf speaker from Paradigm should hear this speaker. I now understand why Stereophile has made it their reference bookshelf speaker.

NHT ST-4: For $1K (MSRP), I have not heard a better tower speaker. This thing is amazing--essentially a SB-3 in a tower package with a big side-firing woofer at the bottom of the cabinet. No bigger than most towers, it simply fills the room with its tremendous presence and detail. The voices were very accurate and the instrumentals have rarely sounded any better. Every note is spot on and the bass never gets sloppy, as it oftern true with many tower speakers. If I had the space for this speaker, it would be in my home right now. Knowing this speaker can be found discounted, it is extremely attractive.

I hope this helps you, Robert.

Matthew B
Hawk, I just wanted to hop back on and thank you again. I ened up picking up a pair of the B&W 602 s3s. they sound incredible - better at home in my room with the NAD than they did at the dealer, too (using my ipod with some AIFFs on it). I decided to go with them because i didn't want to buy the nhts blind (but i enjoyed your opinion on them in the above post).

But thanks again for all your help.

Robert W.

Thanks for your input on the NHT SB-3's and M-5's (and ST-4's!). You are a man of your word. Hope the deck was completed before the snow hit!

I actually took the day off to head up to my in-law's for the weekend. Before we left, my wife and I stopped by a PSB dealer.

We listened to the PSB Image 2B's and the PSB Stratus Mini's. I almost wished we hadn't listened to the Stratus Mini's. To our untrained ears, they sounded fantastic. They are quite pricey, however.

We are going back to listen to the SB-3's one more time, but had a couple of final questions for you:

1. The PSB web site states that the Stratus Mini's are "definitely meant for a stand." What do you think would happen if we put them in a bookshelf / entertainment unit?

2. Any thoughts on the PSB Image 2B's versus the NHT SB-3's?

3. Our room is about 13 feet by 16 feet. You mentioned the the SB-3's should not be put in a large room. How do you think the SB-3's would do in our room? Unfortunately, we do not have space for the speaker stands or we would really look into getting the ST-4's.

Hawk, I can't thank you enough for all of your direct help on my topics. I have never visited any type of forum or message board before ... this entire experience has been great.

Thanks again!

HT Newbie
Whoa... my post is still going, and at 306 posts! Good to see Hawk and everybuddy helping people, keep up the good work!

Matthew B.:

Loved hearing from you. You have an excellent system that you can enjoy for years to come! Now you can sit back and enjoy your system.

BTW, for Christmas, I would be very satisfied with an NAD C 320bee integrated amp. Anybody?

Robert W.:

Unfortunately, the deck is not done and we have had two straight days of freezing rain. Sanding, priming and then painting all of those ballisters along the rail is a very time consuming job and I just didn't get them all done. No matter, I am 85% of the way there and I am sure we will have one more warm spell to let me finish.

1. Placement in an Entertainment cabinet: This is where things can get a bit dicey. The term "bookshelf" is probably the most inaccurate term ever in audio when applied to a small speaker. All of these speakers are really meant to be stand-mounted as they benefit from being in open space away from the diffraction that can occur when placed in a bookcase or entertainment cabinet or near some other object. Now, this is where I also may have mislead you as I didn't understand your application. The NHT M5 would probably be the best speaker for placement on shelves as it has a switch on the back that you can use to change the frequency response of the speaker to account for such diffraction. In placing a speaker within shelves or a cabinet, the bass will be reinforced by the sonic reflections off the cabinet and these reflections can be better controlled through this "boundary switch" on the M5. In fact, the rolled off low end that I noticed and disliked, would actually be an advantage as the bass that is available would be reinforced by the placement near walls and within cabinets, thus giving it a low end extension. If it got too much reinforcement, teh boundary switch would cut the low end even more to keep your bass well controlled.

I really love the Stratus Mini, but I have to agree it is not a happy camper when placed too close to the wall or inside a bookcase. The bass can get rather "muddy" sounding when it is placed near walls and it will lose its greatest asset--its focus.

2. I think the NHT SB-3s are hands down, a better speaker than the PSB Image 2Bs. They should be as they cost about 30% more, but they are so much more refined than the PSBs, which in comparison, are a little more coarse and have a hardness in their top end. Both speakers are excellent values and I regularly recommend both, depending upon the application, but in this case the extra money for the SB-3s will translate into a much better sound (not always the case). I think you noticed the same thing when you auditioned them and found they really did a great job with complex music from the BSO.

3. Yes, the SB-3s would suit that size room very well. My estimate is approximate, of course, but I would recommend the SB-3s for any room up to about 350-375 sq. ft., so it will work great in your room. The M5s will also do well in that size room and will have more bass than they did in the room I listened to them in because that room was about twice your size room. If you look at Matthew B.'s last post, he says that his new speakers sound better in his room than they did at the dealers as his room is half the size. Well, that is because the bass driver on his speaker is better suited to the smaller room. Small speakers get lost in large rooms and conversely, big speakers need room to breathe. This is why I and the others who advise on this forum almost always ask what size room do you have--we need to know to get the right "fit" for the room.

I must admit, it has been fun sharing with you and I am excited for you as well. I hope I haven't buried you with too much info, however.

Good luck!

Hello from Holland - just a small question - anyone out there that knows anything about the Mirage Omnisat speakers ?

Robert W.

This addictive treasure hunt is slowly coming to a close ...

Based on your last note, it sounds like I would be better off with the NHT M-5's over the NHT SB-3's because the speakers will be placed in a cabinet (there will be a shelf above and below the speaker, and wood to the right and left of the speaker; nothing in front). Did I understand you correctly?

As I just made it known to you about the fact the speakers would reside in a cabinet, I was wondering if there are any other speakers I should consider?

In terms of you providing too much information, I would say that I am appreciative of everything you say, understand most of it, and you are definitely helping learn about this subject. Please don't change the way you respond.

Finally, I really regret that I used the phrase "final questions" in my last note.

Robert W:

No problem! As I said before, it is fun sharing with you and I hope I can help you.

Yes, you understood me correctly. The M-5s will be the perfect solution for a speaker that will be placed in a cabinet. And no, I really don't know of any other speaker that is engineered to be actually placed in a bookcase. I generally don't like to recommend one particular speaker, but in your case with the specific application of the speaker, I think you should go for the M-5s. I think you will be very pleased.

They have a price of $450 each, but I have had them priced at $375 and $325 each by two different dealers. If you local dealer will give them to you for $375 each or less, that is a good price. If the dealer won't budge, call Ed at Kiefs (phone # at www.kiefs.com, he is the store manager at ext. 109) and he will take care of you. He told me these were his favorite speakers.

good luck.

Robert W.

I am feeling real good right now. Through your patient assistance and help, and some listening excursions with family, I am in fact settling on the NHT M-5's for the front left and right speakers.

The M-5 will also work well as a center speaker, correct? If you believe so, I will go with the M-5 for the center speaker as well.

I am going with the Speakercraft AIM 3's for the two surrounds.

The only question which remains is the subwoofer ...

I have heard from every sales person that I have talked to that there is really no relation to the brand of speakers you buy for the fronts and the SW.

Do you feel that is true? Should I consider a SW from any other company for my situation or should I go with a NHT SW because my other speakers are NHT?

You had mentioned before that from a NHT perspective, either the NHT Evolution SW (U1, I believe) or the NHT Super Audio SW-10 II or SW-12 would work fine with the M-5's. Now that I think of it, does one of these NHT SW's work better for my room size (13 x 16)? The SW will be placed on the floor near my couch.

Finally, I have a quote from a local dealer of $350 per speaker for the M-5's.

Almost there ...

Hawk, John A., especially:

Just a few updates to share. I finally set up my two rear surround speakers (old AR-2 alphas) to complement my DCM Time Windows as the main speakers, all powered by the Yamaha RX-V3300. And, since I wasn't yet clear in my mind as to how to resolve the CD versus DVD players, I both listened to NAD and other brands at Saturday Audio, and also sequentially brought home some lesser entries from a lower brow store. At long last, though, I was now able to go beyond mere stereo, to tackle listening to the HT environment.

Let me start with the most important point: Whereas even from the stereo alone from the Yamaha powering the Time Windows I had stated rather strongly in my postings that I thought the sound was great, I have now had a chance to hear with my own ears the good and the bad that those Yamaha engineers have done with their tricks to recreate various halls around the world. As you'd expect, most of these had little appeal to me. But, the name of the game here is whether one might find even one or two such tricks that really achieve excellence. In my case, with my set-up that so far only has 4 speakers, I feel I have found such excellence. This turned out to be in the 4th concert hall that they've simulated, which they name "Live Concert". I've had to wax a little existential on the issue, "What is real?" My father, who was a very accomplished acoustical engineer, used to cherish those concert halls of the world where the reverberation seemed ideal (despite his ability to love also even partially garbled musice wafting in on an old AM car radio). So, I at least feel I'm in reasonable company when I conclude that I think the Yamaha engineers in at least some instances have made a musical improvement from what one could alternatively label thier "gimmicks". I was excited by a real sense of presence in CD's that I've played so many times before in stereo, rather than in my new "Live Concert" hall. In some ways, these guys have set a tough standard to match.

Now, there's more to share: I did listen to the $1000 Denon 2900 "universal" DVD player in the store. Unfortunately, the NAD receiver and the speakers available in the listening room were not, in my opinion, up to what I'm used to at home with my Time Windows. So, it was impossible to do a really fair comparison. That said, I did compare the Denon 2900 with some high end CD players, and I could hear the difference. I decided I certainly didn't want to lay down $1000 for something I didn't even like listening to that much. I did, however, bring home to try out a low cost Pioneer DVD player from another store--a player that handles DVD-Audio and SACD, in addition to regular DVD's and CD's. I strongly doubt I'll keep this unit, but it gave me a wonderful chance to experience the different formats in my own system. Here's what I've found so far: First, as you guys had warned, it's not a clever thing to use 5.1 audio outputs from any device (such as the Pioneer) whose D to A converter isn't as good as that of your receiver. When I listened to the DVD-Audio disk, it quickly became apparent that using coax digital output was far better than coming into the Yamaha's 5.1 (actually 6.1) inputs from the Pioneer. That said, the sound was quite nice. So, here's my revelation: When one uses the SACD format, you CANNOT use digital output, only the 5.1 (at least with the Pioneer system I was trying out). So, this has huge implications: since a cheap player isn't any good at this game, one cannot enjoy SACD unless one has an expensive SACD player. But, I didn't even like the sound on the very, very expensive Denon 2900. So, unless I'm missing some point in all of this, I've got to be rooting for the DVD-audio format to win in this contest with SACD... Also, another sad finding: In order to audition SACD, I bought a Sony SACD (SS 42241) of Murray Perahia playing my favorite Mozart piano concerto (#27 in b-flat major). But, unbeknownst to this newcomer to SACD, the recording doesn't even feature multi-track! So, being forced to use the 5.1 output from the Pioneer into the Yamaha, I discovered that in Yamaha's 6.1 input mode, all of the neat tricks I discussed above no longer apply. I could now hear Perahia and the English Chamber Orchestra ONLY with my front main speakers. As good as the recording might be, the total ambiance paled in comparison to standard CD's that I can now listen to with my Yamaha system in "Live Concert" mode. What a huge surprise for me.

So, I imagine I'll eventually settle on a higher quality CD player, and a middle of the road DVD player that at least lets me play movies well and that maybe even has DVD-audio. Intersting adventures, don't you think?

Finally, Hawk, I'm increasingly coming to agree with your recollection that the Time Windows do have decent bass. I haven't yet bought a subwoofer, and I don't really feel I'm missing much of the bass component.

Robert W.:

Saw your post, attempted to answer, internet crashed and I lost my post, and then I couldn't find this thread for a long time. Whew!

Hey, I think you are ready to roll. The M-5s are a great speaker and that is a very good price. You should get the M-5 for your center speaker, too, as three matched fronts are the ideal set-up for HT. I think the Speakercrafts are a fine choice for the rears. This is shaping up to be a very nice system.

The subwoofer does not need to be "tibre matched" like the front speakers, so you will be fine. Sounds like you got good advice from your dealer. For your room, which is on the smallish size, get the NHT SW10 II. A larger sub would be too large for your room and the NHT would match the finish on the other NHT speakers. It is an excellent sub for the money (you shouldn't pay much more than about $400 for that sub). I could suggest several subs that are better, but most cost a lot more and I am not sure that you would hear the difference. These other subs really need much larger rooms to show what they can do, so I would recommend the NHT SW 10 II as your best option. If you think you might want to look at something else, go online and check out the Hsu Research VTF-2 for $499 (www.hsuresearch.com). That is the only other sub I think would make any sense for your arrangement.

I can tell you are getting excited and you should be. I am still very impressed that you made audio system shopping a family outing--that is so cool!

Happy listening!


Great post! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your thoughts on these matters. I also agree that if you find one of the Yamaha "tricks" works for you, then it is worth getting.

As a side-bar, I was doing some research on something else entirely and happened upon a September press release announcing the new NAD T533 DVD/DVD-Audio/CD player. I found this item interesting as NAD is never a cutting edge company--they only go with the proven stuff. The fact that they have opted to go with DVD-A over SACD tells me that you are right about the technical superiority of the DVD-A format and that they must also believe that DVD-A has reached some kind of critical mass. So perhaps we won't need a player that does it all if DVD-A wins the technical battle.

If you want to wait a bit on a player, I don't think you will have to wait long. I have already seen "universal players" from not only Denon but Marantz, as well, and I have seen product annoucements from Sony, Onkyo, and Yamaha, all of which will have products out by Janauary, so it will not be long. I am also sure the prices will be coming down soon, as well.

Jon, again--thanks for the post. I learned a lot.

John A.

Thank you for that generous account of what you found out. I should like to make just two comments for now, not being very familiar with the specific models you mention.

Now I have not heard any ambient "concert hall" effects (except on headphones), but I am extrememly skeptical. Your evidence, and you know what you hear, is therefore interesting and I will think some more. For me, one of the tricks of "The wrong" approach to audio design is to mislead the listener into thinking he needs control (and should pay..) over things that are really the job of, say, the recording engineers. I would put hall acoustics firmly in that category. And it is one area where you could argue you should be able to compensate for "dry" acoustics in the recording. But (a) you can't and (b) who wants to be fiddling with sound controls and settings when there is MUSIC playing...? I have the opinion that many people (and it is their right and and they may prefer it this way) have never sat still, closed their eyes, and LISTENED. You need to concentrate, not be worrying about settings etc - as with any real equipment for doing a real job, to first optimise all the settings, then forget them and get on with business, unless something drastic happens. The medium should deliver the music, not be in competition with it for your attention. Your reference to your acoustical engineer father is touching, I cannot comment, but surely the point of good acoustical, as with audio engineering, is to be invisible, that is, to deliver the sound, not be an end in itself? Indeed, what would he have thought.

As regards SACD, yours is a problem I had not thought of, but it fits perfectly with my "conspiracy theory" on the whole subject - the plan is to get the consumer, out of trust in the brand name, to buy some new kit (even just one SACDisc) and then discover there is more to be had if they pay more for items that duplicate what they already have, but are incompatible with them for trivial reasons. The main job of the electronics engineers was to design something to make trivial differences seem important to the non-technical consumer. I would hate to work for a company such as that. I cannot see any logic in any part of this format with out the assumption that SACD is a technical attempt to stimulate consumer demand for players and discs, with no actual benefit, while also increasing the strength of copy-protection. It is good you found all that out before you bought. If you hadn't, even you may well be hooked, and wanting to spend more money to justify an earlier purchase. This is what they want, of course.

Let me not write all that again but point again to my thread What does"DVD-audio" mean here? where I also discuss some specific music discs on which you might, I hope, have views.

The external link there DVD-Audio Overview is very good. I wonder if you heard the famous high-frequency noise inherent in the DSD format on which SACD is base?

John A.

Our posts cross paths again. That is really interesting and terrific news about the DVD-A capability of the forthcoming NAD T533. Thank you! This is one upgrade I should like to make "for the sake of it". I, too, am convinced DVD-A is the future, and SACD is not, see links at end of post to Jon. I am still sceptical there will be an improvement over DTS sound for surround, but "real" DVD-A would be of great interest to me. Did they say when the T533 will be released? Any other details? Where is the press release, please?

I think NAD have had this in mind for some years, which is why you have dedicated all-channel analogue pre-amp inputs on all the receivers, in addition to separate CD, tape, etc etc. They justify these currently as "catering for all future developments in digital sources" or something similar.

G-Man educated me here over DVD-Audio. Thanks, if you are reading, G-Man.

John A.

Thinking more about Hawk's news, in your position, and with you musical orientation, I would definitely wait for the T533. Order now. I have a T532, and apart from anything else it is a magnificent CD player. I do not see the need for separate players. Unless, like me, you feed different amps for different speaker zones in the house, so people can listen to Cds while others are watching movies somwhere else. But the T532 wins hands down just on CD and is my preferred player if I can turf the kids off watching Shrek or Chicken Run.

Wow! It took me almost 2 weeks to finally read the entire thread! I am amazed at the amount of information in this. Being a novice, you've all given a multitude of information that'll help me in my quest for an amplifier. Thanks to everyone!

I recently purchased a Polk Audio 6500 set (my room is quite small) which I'm still waiting to plug in. I've been looking around for an amp and my budget is quite low. Around $250-$500CAD. I did see an ad in the newspaper for a Cambridge Audio A500 for only $300. Any comments on this?

The other amp that I've looked into is the Pioneer VSX-D712-K. Any comments here, too?

Originally, I was going to go Yamaha, but after reading, this seems like a bad choice.

One other question that's been mulling around is why does everyone hate Bose so much?


Yeah, this thread has really run the table.

Hey, why would you get a two channel integrated amp to drive that 5.1 speaker package? The Cambridge is very good, but your polks need a good 5.1 channel system to sound right and the Cambridge simply doesn't have enough channels to make the speakers sound right.

I would suggest a H/K 125 as a good choice for those speakers. So would an Onkyo TX-SR501. I know you are in Canada, but you might check to see if eCost will ship to Canada. Check this out:


If they won't I know www.jandr.com, will.
Good luck!

Hi Hawk!

Thanks for your words of wisdom. I was trying to find some specs on the Cambridge and couldn't. Didn't know it only has 2 channels. Scratch it off my list for HT.

I went window shopping yesterday and saw the HK 125 for $625CAD plus tax. The new HK 130 (very sleek) is selling for $665CAD+tax. Our stupid goverments charge 7% for GST (federal) + 8% for PST (provincial). This can get pretty pricey.

Onto another note, I just found out that I can get a Pioneer VSX-D712K for $365CAD including tax!!! Could this be the receiver that I've been looking for?

I live in a condo so I can't really turn up the volume to the max. :(

Thanks for your input. I will take a look at the sites that you are recommending!


I'm not familiar with those speakers, but if you're going to buy locally and spend C$650 on a 5.1 receiver I'd recommend the NAD T742 which is on sale now for that price. Hawk, do you know if this would be a good match for those speakers?

BTW, ecost does ship to Canada, use their 'Canadian checkout' process to see a total landed cost including s&h, duties, customs fee, taxes. etc. If you go this route you might want to give them a call and ask about warranty related issues.

Regarding NAD putting DVD-Audio on its new dvd player. The reason is simple---most people won't buy their dvd players if they don't include DVD-Audio-if you look at the industry sales figures the companies that are including either DVD-Audio or both DVD-Audio/SACD are getting an ever increasing share of the dvd player market. NAD doesn't want to be marginalized and caught with their pants down--I can't blame them.

Sony wants too much money to license their SACD format (hence there aren't many other SACD universal players and those that exist are mostly expensive, plus Sony wants people to buy their SACD hardware. Sony is making the same mistake it made with Beta VCR.

I have little doubt that DVD-Audio, or some DVD similar format will cause the demise of cd's. But whatever DVD format wins--probably DVD-Audio--it will be backward compatible so stereo listeners have no fear. It will also play back in two-channel. Also, since a DVD discs costs a couple of pennies more to make than a cd disc and it has about 10 times the bandwidth--what point is there in not going the DVD route for audio playback? You can fit 5.1 surround, 7.1 surround, cd stereo--all on the same disc.

Just as CD's caused the demise of LP's, DVD's will cause the demise of CD's. Just as it took recording engineers a couple of years to learn how to alter their recording techniques from LP to CD's, it will take time for most recording engineers to learn how to mike for various surround modes as opposed to the more simple stereo. This is a difficult learning curve, but the consumer will ultimately benefit to a great degree. While we have two ears, we hear in ambient and reflected surround sound off the many surfaces that surround us--not in strict stereo emanating from 2 point sources. Not to 'dis stereo--it served us well for years as a huge improvement over monophonic. But almost all my cd's sound far better in Prologic II than they do in stereo.



Thank you for your perspective on both the evolution of formats and the psychoacoustic importance of reflected sound. I think you're right on-target.

John A.
Yes, G-man, I think DVD-A is the future. But the DTS DVD-V format must already run it very close for sound quality in surround. I also think CDs will not be obsolete for decades; there will still be countless CD players, and a huge number of people will have spent parts of their live accumulating CDs. The LP is not obsolete even now, and CD came in 1983, I think.

BTW my local dealer said today the NAD T533 DVD-V/DVD-A player is scheduled for February, and will be the same price as the T532.

As regards the future of surround sound, the 5.1 format has now stabilized for planar surround-sound. I cannot see anything really usefully new on the horizon. For forty years, anyone who listens has been able to hear that two channels are sufficient to re-create the relative position of all the original sound sources in front of the microphones, as if along a line between the two speakers. Therefore, add an additional two surround channels and you can recreate 360 degrees of sound sources around a plane. Sane people choose the horizontal. The extra, centre channel, specifically for dialogue, is good because the recordings are made that way. So, we have 5.1.

The only useful technology I can foresee is addition of a second set of channels and speakers above you, to re-create the vertical dimension in recorded sound. (I am undecided whether it has to be a second whole 5.1 system). No manufacturer or recording company seems to have thought of this; instead, they seem to think we need extra channels to fill horizontal gaps in the 2-D sound field. These gaps are not there if the recording is any good. If it isn't, more channels won't help.

If by about, say, 2010, we have 10.2 (that is, two times 5.1) to give true, spatially three-dimensional surround sound, then I will look first to see if a second 5.1 receiver does the trick (you would need a processor to distribute "up" and "down" between the two receivers), just as the first stereophiles simply bought two mono systems. If not, I will expect to hive off my present receiver, still working, for listening to music, and for anyone who wants to watch from our collection of old DVDs from the good ol' days of 5.1 - much as I still keep my turntable to play LPs. By 2010 my family may well have bought a frightening number of 5.1 DVDs. Note also, my imaginary 10.2, 3-D volume-surround system will have to be backwardly compatible, and play 5.1 2-D, as well as stereo, as well as mono. I doubt if 10.2, 3-D surround sound will really add so much, but it is the only step forward I can think of.

I would have to recomend the Kenwood VR-6070 refurb receiver available for $229.99usd ($320 cdn) with FREE shipping to the border. It should go well with the Polk Audio's. What would u use the receiver for? Music or HT? If you say music, dont go for the Kenwood, go for a Marantz SR-4300 a very good receiver for the $ IMHO. I dont thin kyou will find a better receiver for HT for 320 cdn $ though. Hope this info helps!


I agree with G.DawG here that you should look into the Marantz or take Smitty's recommendation on the NAD. Both are good and much better than the Pioneer.

BTW, G.Dawg, I watched the Florida/Georgia game and I was sure your guys were going to pull it out right to the very end. You must be very frustrated!

Heckuva price on Kenwood 6070 refurb. Of course, I would only use the receiver in a small to medium sized room with easy to drive 8 ohm speakers. Although it is THX Select (which is the THX cert for small/medium rooms)it doesn't have big power in the surrounds. It would be a good receiver for Energy 5.2 ($900) and other $1200 and cheaper speaker systems that are 8 ohms.

Probably ideal for those 8 ohm micro surround systems, such as some that Infinity has--maybe even those Mirage omnisat little globes if they are 8 ohm.

Smitty, G.DawG, G-Man, Hawk,

Thanks for the feedback. Did some other shopping around and the NAD 742T is around $800 including tax. A little above my budget.

My room is a small to medium sized room and the Polk's are 8 ohm speakers. I'm dying to try them out but I don't have a receiver to do so yet. Will be used for mostly HT with the new TV I purchased... a Sony rear-LCD TV 42" KF42WE610 for just under $4G including tax and it looks incredible! Highly recommended. Bought it at G&G Electronics in Toronto.

Personally, I've *never* had any luck with refurb equipment. It always turned out that either something was missing or it would die within a few months (after the warranty expired). So I'm a little shy on that route.

ecost charges quite a bit for shipping to Canada so it ends up being similar to the stores here with the exchange rate.

Do you know if the Kenwood 6070 is still current? I wouldn't mind paying a little more for a new one. Otherwise, the Pioneer VSX-D712K at $365 including tax still seems to be the receiver of choice because of budget.

Oh, I have one more question...
what's the difference between component cables and regular RCA cables? The only thing that I can tell is that the component is $10 more expensive (at Best Buy)? Are the wires different or something?

This is for hooking up my DVD to my non-existent receiver (hopefully existant soon). Thanks guys.

hi all,
i am a really green newbie. a dealer is trying to sell me the following system for a 11x17 room. any comments or opinions would be HUGELY appreciated. thank you very much ...
--- JVC RX-7030VBK
all to go with a HITACHI LCD TV 50V500A

I see G-dumbass pumping DVD-A again. Man don't you ever give it a rest?!?!

And people do buy NAD DVD players without the GIMMICK formats. Get your facts straight.

John A.

Take a look at the links in my November 04 post, above.

If you mean G-Man, he has taken some time and trouble to describe his point of view. Also he is identifiable. That is generous. I've learned some things from him. In contrast, I am not sure there is much to take home from your post. Though you post a lot of messages, it is true.

I want to get a receiver and HT pakage for around $500. I was thinking of a Pioneer VSX-D912K or a Panasonic SAHE100K receiver with HKTS 12 speakers. The pioneer and HT are rated very high in cnet reviews. The total for these two will be around $700. Can anyone give advice on if this combination will work. Thanks

Rick Gill
I am looking for an A/V receiver between $350-$400, current models being considered are Yamaha RXV 640, Denon AVR 1804 and Onkyo TSXR 601. I need to pair a receiver with a set of Acoustic Research HC6 speakers that are in a small to medium sized room, this system will be primarily used for TV and Movie viewing, along with Music. I can't decide which of the above receivers offers the best quality and features for the money? If anyone has any other suggestions, I would be interested in that as well. Thanks for any input that anyone can offer.


Check out the NAD T742 that can be had from Saturday Audio Exchange for $449. It is a little more than you wanted, but I think the step up in sound quality over the three other models you listed will be substantial.

I have a large room (18x18x18) and need a new receiver, and new speakers for a home theater set up. I am interested in floor standing speakers for the front and the rest of the system to go along with it. I will want the rear speakers to be smaller so I can mount them on the wall (otherwise they end up in the kitchen). I have about $3K to spend but I want to spend more on speakers than on the receiver.... I was figuring about $2K for speakers and possibly the Onkyo 701 or the Denon AVR 8303 as options since I could get them for under a thousand... leaving me more room for speaker and wire etc. Any suggestions?


Check out my posting below...look for my entry on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 07:43 pm.


I just bought an Onkyo TX SR501
I am an amateur in the HT forum and from India
I haven't got speakers yet

I am planning on getting a pairof floorstanders so i would want someone to help me choose the best speakers from the ones available here:

B&W DM-309
Mission m74i
JM Labs Chorus 710/5

Kindly help me out and reply to my email id please.

Thanks in advance.


I hope no one is too upset if I "glob" onto this thread. I've been reading through this for the last couple days and let me say I am amazed, as well as a bit intimidated, by the knowledge and friendly advice shown throughout. Here's my dilemma: I have an older stereo (Sony) and a old pair of KLH speakers that the woofers are toast - the foam around the cone has disintegtated. I'd like to move into the world of surround, 50% music, 50% HT. The problem is two kids in college, a mortgage, two car payments, and other bills brought on from, well just living. Anyway, there's no way possible I can spend the $$ on say a NAD, good surround speakers, etc. So my question to you is are there any "home theater in a box" worth getting? I'm thinking there must be something I can afford that sounds half way decent and is a step up from the $199 Apex special at Sam's Club. Is there anything worth listening to that I can get the CFO to sign off on for under $700? Or should I just replace my woofers and be "happy" listening to stereo? After all, by the time the kids are out of college and a couple more bills are paid up I figure to have at least 2 or 3 years of lucid listening before they're feeding me pureed bacon and eggs with a rubber spoon down at the old folks home. ;-))
Believe me, I'm well aware of how ridiculous my question is to most of you. And if you tell me to go pound salt and find a audio forum for cheapskates I'll understand.


I do not find your question to be ridiculous. Far from it, we all have these issues in our lives which is why we usually ask for a budget when asked for recommendations. Your budget is just a little tighter than most, but is in no way unusual.

There is no good reason to get a HTIB system--they aren't very good and worse, they aren't expandable (no pre-outs for a bigger amp when the kids graduate), so the system is a "dead end." If the CFO is really going to hold your feet to the fire, get this system:


Alternatively, I would recommend this speaker system:


to go with a nice Onkyo closeout receiver here:


If you can go a bit higher, I would highly recommend that you get a good receiver and a nice pair of speakers for now and add other speakers as you go along. So, for instance, get a pair of speakers for now, then 6 months to a year later, add a matching center speaker. Then, when you can, add a subwoofer and/or your surrounds. Buy the system in stages and you will end up with something much better than what you can get now in a a single shot.

If you do it this way, I recommend an NAD 742 ($449) or an Outlaw Audio 1050 ($499) together with a pair of PSB Image 1Bs (can be had for ~$235/pr. from Kief's). These are excellent speakers that will give you something great to listen to and you can add to them later (perhaps the CFO will get you the matching center speaker for Christmas!). Later, you can move the 1Bs to the surround position and get nicer PSBs for your front mains. Their center speaker will match either.

Good luck.

John A.

Brother, I am with you. All the way. There comes a point when part of the pleasure for some folks is just spending money. I will never be there. Getting the best value, in terms of sound, is what I need, and my budget when I "upgraded" ealier this year, also from a Sony amp, and with old, but intact, speakers, was severely limited. It still is.

First, I put it to you that buying and all-in-one system is throwing money away. Partly for the reasons Hawk mentions. Partly because they just don't sound good. And you will want a new and complete one next year. Not so with quality separates. These can last forever.

Second, if the KLH speakers make any sound at all, fix them. How do they sound? You can easily repack foam around the woofers. All you will need is a screwdriver. And some foam. Drivers can be replaced. Sometimes the coils can just be re-wound: when a driver blows, it is usually a strand leading into the coil has melted, like a fuse. When a coil is rewound, it is as good as new, and the driver needs breaking in like new. Replacing speakers just because they are old is for people who enjoy spending money. Even if they are not in top shape, keep the KLHs, if you can, either as your first surrounds (rear right and left) if they are small; or as the mains, if they go down to about 40 Hz or so.

Third, get an A/V receiver. My solution was to get a traded-in, few years' old, NAD T760. It is built like a tank, has tons of power, and utterly wonderful sound. Do not be afraid of refurbished or used stuff, especially if it has a warranty. You can even buy privately. I chose an older model NAD (5 x 60W) over a new Sony (rated on paper at 5 X 100W) at the same price. It was definitely the right choice. But we already had a good NAD DVD-player (movie-buff wife accepted, actually initiated that, no problem!) we had been using for some months in stereo mode. Look out for a good deal on DVD-player and receiver; that is the place to start; you can make do with stereo movies for a while. NAD (whom I recommend) have an all-in-one DVD player/receiver the L70, which currently has a $200-off voucher in the US: http://www.nad.co.uk/av_receivers/L70_framset.htm . That looks like a really good deal for a complete, new HT electronics system. New, it would swallow all your budget, but I personally would seriously consider that. I don't know what the price of a used L70 would be, or if there are other discounts. Do not worry about the quality of the stereo for CDs etc.; the chances are it will be greatly improved, because the DACs for DVD replay have such high specs they are almost overkill for CD playing.

Extra speakers. Do not get a sub. Yet. If the fixed KLH speakers can deliver bass, you need three, quality, small speakers. Do you have any in storage? All I needed to get, in addition to the receiver, was a centre speaker. If the KLHs do not deliver bass, make two of the extra speakers large, use them front right and left, and put the KLHs at the back. Speakers can safely be bought used (second-hand) - either they work, or they don't. The people who enjoy spending for its own sake often write-off perfectly good speakers.

Someone on the HT forum asked "How often do people replace their HT systems?" I wrote along reply, which seems to have baffled everyone there, pointing out that nothing actually wears out, with some pros and cons of features and alleged "new technology". Do take a look
I think it was not what the original poster wanted to hear.

Hope this helps. Seems to me like children's education and supporting a family vs the latest techno trend for the young and insecure is no decision at all, really. But HT is good, and does nice things for family life!

All the best.

PS Hawk is wise and his advice is the best, as always, but it seems he assumes you already have a player. If you have, it becomes a bit easier.

Hawk and John A. Thanks, you both have given me very 'sound' advice, I do have some options available and that's a good thing. For the time being though, everything is on hold. My son slid off the road during a snow storm Friday night my car ended up nose down in an 8 foot ditch. The important thing was he walked away unscratched, though the car needs some minor body work. So, the HT is on hold for now.
Once I'm able to resume my quest I think I'll replace my speakers first since the 'ol KLH's have seen better days. Then I can at least listen to my music again. The enclosures are rock solid so I may order the components and install into the enclosures some day just as a side project.

I'm including a couple of websites for your enjoyment:
http://www.mcintoshlabs.com/ - I live just a few miles away from Mcintosh, and actually had them as one of my accounts for work, and do you think they would give me a friendly neighbor discount?? No!! ;-))

Also, http://www.audioclassics.com/ is also just a couple miles from where I live. They service and sell, (mostly used), high end components, etc. Neat place to visit but pretty much out of my league as well :-(

Thanks again for all your help!!

John A.

You're welcome. Good luck. Audio Classics must give some good advice.

No idea about Mcintosh discounts. Their reputation is excellent.

Good your son is OK. Bet it shook him up, though.

I have a Bose Accoustimas system that is about 6 years old and have a JVC receiver with ProLogic only. Does anyone have any suggestions on a low cost 5.1 receiver that will give me the "biggest bang for the buck" with my current speakers to upgrade my system?

Marantz SR7300 check out hifi.com $765 with free shipping.

Rich S
Hey Hawk
How come there are no pics available for the back of the Nad receivers? Or am I missing it somewhere? Rich


I have gone to the online product manuals on the NAD website to look at the back of the NAD receivers.

Rich S
Thanks Hawk. I will check it out.
Another question for ya. Have you done a side by side with a HK 7200 and a Nad 762? Would you still go with the Nad? What are your thoughts? The price is close on these two and it seems both have pretty good customer satisfaction. I am sorry if you have already covered this.

Hey Hawk please help me, I am in a desperate situation!

I just bought an Onkyo TX SR501
I am an amateur in the HT forum and from India
I haven't got speakers yet

I am planning on getting a pairof floorstanders so i would want someone to help me choose the best speakers from the ones available here:

B&W DM-309 $800
Mission m74i $520
JM Labs Chorus 710/5 $720
KEF Q3/Q5 $640 / $940

Kindly help me out and tell me which I should go for to do justice to the speakers (as the amplifier i have is not great) and gives me true value for money and reply to my email id please.

Thanks in advance.



I have not been able to get a H/K 7200 and a NAD 762 side by side. I have one dealer in town that carries both lines and they will not carry any receiver priced north of $1K, so they don't have either one (they push separates above $1K). I have had the pleasure of hearing a friend's 7200 and I have auditioned the 762 many times with various speaker systems, so I am familiar with both.

I will say that I like both receivers very much(any receiver with an MSRP above $1K had better be good! Too many aren't.). I prefer the NAD as I think it has greater clarity in the pre/pro section, but the rest of the receivers are pretty even as they both have top notch power supplies and output transistors. I recommend both, but if pushed, I give the edge to the NAD.


My friend, things are not desparate. If you lived in Dubai and had no speaker dealer, then things would be desperate (no offense intended here, but we did have a thread earlier of someone in Dubai who couldn't find a speaker dealer)! Actually, you have some nice choices there. Obviously, you have been shopping and have narrowed the choices down to some very fine speakers.

Now, your Onkyo has a nice polite sound that is just a bit "laid back" or perhaps "relaxed" is a better word. It is somewhat shy in the power department, but each of the speakers you have selected have good sensitivity, so we should be all right. For me, that relaxed Onkyo sound would eliminate the B+W, which has a very warm, relaxed sound of its own. I really like that B+W 309, but it isn't right for your receiver.

The JMlabs is probably your best choice as it has a pretty "hot" top end which compensates for the relaxed sound of the Onkyo. Has a metallic dome tweeter (titanium, I think, but I could be wrong on that) that can sizzle. It is a very poor choice with a Yamaha receiver, but a very good one for your Onkyo. However, some people don't like the hot top end of the JMlabs (can induce listener fatigue with the wrong receiver), so you should be careful that you do not find it objectionable. Has marvalous detail if you can live with it.

I also like the Mission very much. Missions have a very forward sound--it isn't bright or hot, but forward nevertheless (the performer is in the front of the stage, not the back)--so it would be a very good choice for your Onkyo, as well. I have found Missions to be a very good choice for most Japanese sourced receivers like Denon and Onkyo.

I am not too impressed with the KEF Q3--the bass gets a little sloppy. The Q5 is a big improvement with the extra 6.5" driver to handle the bass and is worth the extra money over the Q3. I would eliminate the Q3 and say that the Q5 is worthy of consideration.

Now, all of this assumes you are not constrained from any of your choices by budgetary concerns. So, if budget is not a constraint, I recommend the JMlabs, the Mission and the KEF Q5, probably in that order, but you will have to listen to decide which one you like the best of the three.

I hope this helps!


I am from Mumbai, India. If you could return your Onkyo, I would highly recommend so. Instead get a NAD T742. I have the same and pretty satisfied with my purchase. Dynaudio speakers are available here. Before getting any speakers I suggest you hear them out.

If you have trouble locating the dealers do let me know I think I have their contacts.

Hawk thanks a million for your opinion
That helped a lot
I am planning to go in for the Mission m74i's but i would like to know whether they deliver enough bass in a normal sized room and with my amp Onkyo-TX-SR501?

And Bharat could you give me your mail id so that I may know the price of the NAD amplifier and do send me the details..etc

I am looking for a HT amplifier that is in case I am able to sell off my amplifier
and need a pair of floorstanders

Hawk do i need to make that decision and buy a NADT742

My mail id: vijay_amrutham@infosys.com

Thanks again people

Hawk, Please help me!!

Please better receiver for me JBL Speakers 160SI, under $500.

I just have a family room 10'*10'.

Hawk, will you please be so kind to give me a hand: I do need a piece of advice badly indeed! I am looking for a musically sounding, reliable and upgradeable (via RS-232 port) 7.1 receiver for my Home Theatre (I am considering Paradigm Studio 60 or Mirage OMNI 260 based speakers setup) with intention of spending 90% of my time listening to music (Bach, Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Pavarotti, Pink Floyd, Yes, Electric Light Orchestra, Chicago -- you get the picture of my tastes, I hope). Currently I am considering Harman Kardon AVR 7200, Harman Kardon AVR 630 and NAD T773 receivers.

What do you think of the above "little beauties"? PLEASE help me at your earliest opportunity!


John A.
John, Hawk,

Same question on https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/7067.html

I am interested to read any replies. Will check both threads.

Just hopping back on not for advice but to share a quick story. A few days ago I had the distinct pleasure of spending some time with Alan Parsons (of The Alan Parsons Project). I'm not sure of the demographics on this board so I'll give a bit of background on him. If you're an old furt, like me, you might find this interesting. He got his start in the music business as a staff engineer at Abbey Road Studios while the Beatles were recording their last couple of albums. This experience enabled him to become THE man behind the controls during the recording of Pink Floyd's monster album, Dark Side of the Moon. He is a 10 time grammy nominee, mostly for his production and engineering work. He has been a record producer producing such acts as, Cockney Rebel, John Miles, Pilot, Ambrosia, and Al Stewart. And together with ex-partner Eric Woolfson released ten albums under the Alan Parsons Project name, with at least one, I Robot, being an audiophile staple. In the late 90's he became the head of EMI's studio interests.
Although the original "Project" have amicabally parted ways Alan still records and occasionally plays gigs when time allows, using a very talented bunch of NYC session musicians. He is thought so highly of in the high-end music business that some of the manufacturers send him prototype equipment for him to test out and offer suggestions/opinions.
I was lucky enough to hear a few demo tracks of songs slated for his next album due for release sometime in the first half of 2004.
The point of all this actually is that I see a lot of references to, and recommendations for, B&W speakers on this board. Through conversations, Alan said he owns a pair of B&W 802's (I think was the model), and spoke very highly of them.
I was able to attend 4 sold-out concerts over two nights recently in St Louis, MO. If you're familiar with his work and he performs anywhere near you, do yourself a favor and check him out. You won't be disappointed.

Hello everyone. I have a tough choice between the following 2 receivers and was hoping to hear your comments and advice.

(The current exchange rate is US$1 = R6.50 just fyi)
Pioneer VSX-D812: R 4 000
Onkyo TX-SR501: R4 500
I can also get the Yamaha RXV-440 or last year's Onkyo TX-SR600 for R5 000

I realise that these prices are way higher than what I have seen at US online retailers, but I'm not going to be buying online (and I doubt anyone will ship to South Africa anyway).

Denon 6.1 Amp prices are too high for me and Harmon Kardon is not available in my city as far as I know. Rule out refurbished products as well.

The use will be 90% for Home Theatre. I'm not a big music fan, so DVD-Audio/ SACD is not a major issue for me. I will be hooking up the dvd and satellite video output to the receiver and sending only one video output to the tv (I hope this is the right way to do it).

Current DVD player: Pioneer DV-355 (Non-progressive scanning)

I have listened to the Onkyo TX-SR600 hooked up to Energy speakers, and was quite impressed. The salesman assured me the the 501 was not much different (less power mainly)

I haven't heard the Pioneer 812 and will only be able to hear the VSX-712 at the shop. However I've really enjoyed the sound from my Pioneer DVD player hooked up to my old stereo (discussed below)

I have a small room (5m x 4m) and won't be using the rear channel immediately. I want it for future-proofing.

Currently I'm sending the L/R audio output into my Sony GRX8 hifi which comes with great (to my ears anyway) 4 way front speakers and a not so great pair of small surround speakers. I intend to upgrade to an active sub later.

I'm considering buying the Sony SS-CR550HM Centre and Surround Bookshelf Speaker Kit (Price: R 1200)and sticking with my current fronts from my old hifi to get up to a 5.0 system.

Later I want to add the sub and a better quality centre channel speaker and move the Sony the Sony SS-CR550HM centre to the rear centre channel. Much later I want to move my hifi fronts to the surround position and buy some floor standing front speakers.

Thanks for reading my post and I look forward to your replies.

hawk, i just completed a remodel and am currently looking to upgrade everything.. new reciever, speakers, dvd,cd .. .. lets keep it simple im new and have read alot of threads which really makes it confusing.. tired of trying to decide.. so pls help !!.. this will be mostly used for tv wathcing 80% with 20% used for music listening.. classic rock and now that im 40 jazz and classical starting to sound good to me.. 7500 to spend on equipment , wires already installed but need installation, what is a fair price for that? also have to have small black bookshelfs for front speakers and in ceiling speakers in rear per wife, no bigger then 10x16 lets say but she is gonna say those r to big, you get the point!.. also will have 4 other rooms 15x12 that need in ceiling speakers.. thx looking for 1 choice not 3 .. i need to tell me what to get ..

John A.

That's a great story (Dec 1). Thanks. I often wonder what kit people who really know their stuff use. I think B&W must once have had some deal with EMI, Abbey Road, etc. Some EMI CDs have "Made with B&W loudspeakers". I don't know this means. I think Abbey Road is kitted out with them. Probably B&W go for influential brand positioning, but EMI are most unlikely to use, or promote, rubbish. There was an outrageous and totally gratutiutous B&W plug in the film "Traffic". I suppose that is not a bad way of using an advertising budget.

There's no question some brands will go to some lengths to get the approval of movers and shakers. I vaguely know of a computer guy who is king in his specialist field and apparently he can't get in his office sometimes because the latest and best is regularly donated "for evaluation" by Sun and Silicon Graphics.

Have you homed in on a system, yet? You asked a really good question (Nov 15).

Hi there,

I am shopping for a quality surround sound receiver to replace an old Sony STR-D390 at a lower price point (not cheap, but pretty close I guess). I currently have a mixed bag of Sony products that include a Wega KV-36FV300, a CDP-397 CD changer and a DVP-s560D Dvd player. The Sony system is run through a modest setup featuring Bose 201s and 161s, with a Bose center channel speaker and a sub of yet-unknown make to follow in the distant future.

It seems from reading reviews that Sony does not offer even close to the best receivers at the $250-$300 price point. Forgive me if I'm being dense here, but is this common knowledge? The JVC RX-8030 VBK, the Pioeneer VSX-D812k, the Onkyo TX-SR600 (not to mention various Yamaha models) ALL seem to come more highly recommended than the Sony A/V receivers (i.e., STR-DE 595, 695, etc.).

I think I will go with the JVC, but does anyone have any advice about component compatibility? Is it bad to mix JVC and Sony (or any other) components? Any recommendations for good A/V receivers?

John A.

Today there are be no strictly electrical or signal compatiblity issues in mixing makers. As regards sound quality compatability there is lots of discussion on other threads but all you can really do it try it and see. But sticking with one maker doesn't guarantee sound quality compatability, either. You ask for a recommendation for a good AV receiver, and I reply the NAD T742, but war seems to be breaking out on other threads concerning people's motives for recommending things, so please go take a look. It also depends, naturally, on what you want: boiling down in my view broadly to "sound quality" vs "special effects and features". I think there would be some consensus from other posts here that Sony's strong point is DVD-players, and that you already have. Whether "X receiver is good with Y speakers" etc. is a minefield and I have been trying to make sense of posts on that with no success. There can be purely electrical considerations but if your Boses are 8 Ohm speakers (check) then they do not apply. If instead they are 4 Ohm there are some receivers that may go into overload protection too easily (my above suggestion would be safe, I think).

I have no competing interests, commercial or otherwise. This is my response to your question. Others are free to provide different ones. My only strong view is that the end your own judgement and preference is all that counts, apart from electrical compatibility, which is rarely an issue.

Thanks John,

Your response and insights are much appreciated. I have noticed that much good is being said about the NAD T742, so thanks for sharing your thoughts there too.

Apologies for any interruption on this thread.

John A.

You are welcome. Your post is no interruption, it is bringing back the original topic and the title of the thread.

Good luck!

I just got my new JVC rx-7030vbk and I have the following speaker setup.
Large left/right small center and two rear bi-directional back speakers.
However it looks like the 7030 only want me to connect my speakers in the back as left side surround and right side surround. If I select none for lss and rss it does not let me select rear surrround.
I'm new at this so I am not sure if I watch a digital dvd through the fiber cable I get all the speakers working beautifuly nut satelite and tc which are not bordcast in dolby does not ever send sound to the rear speakers.
I thought I could select this via the dsp settings or something.
Does anybody have any info ?

Unregistered guest
John A. answering your question (Dec 6), I haven't bought anything yet but I'm putting together a wish-list. Actually in early January I may be heading out to Chicago to meet up with some friends (and hopefully Mr. Parsons again). I see Saturday Audio Exchange is located just north of downtown Chicago, so I may pop in for a look. I've heard good things, both here and elsewhere, about the PSBs and NHTs. Would the NHT line match up well with NAD recievers? That's the way I'm leaning right now - (NAD and either PSB or NHT), though with budget constraints I'll have to do it in slowly and in "pieces."
Again..thanks for all the information, I'm learning a lot and the research, so far, has been fun.

New member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 10
Registered: 12-2003
Thanks, Sem.

I will be interested to read your report. Talking of influential opinions, ask Mr Parsons about George Martin (see my post of Oct 19, above).

New member
Username: Ajesque

Post Number: 1
Registered: 12-2003
Hawk I've been following this thread for a while and I've finally narrowed down my selections. I'd just like your opinion on it. My speakers are Klipsch's:
-2 bookshelfs in the front (75 RMS/300 Peak)
-Center (50 RMS/200 Peak), the sub (55 FTC Rated, 225 W Peak)
-2 surrounds which supposedly cover a 180-degree arc with how they are designed (50 RMS/200 Peak).

I am considering adding two more surrounds for a 7.1 set-up but it will depend on the receiver I choose obviously. I see that you totally suggest NAD and I think I am going to go with it, but I want your full opinion. I have been looking at the following receivers:

-NAD 742 5.1, Marantz S4400 6.1, Onkyo TX-SR601 6.1, Sony ES STR-DA1000ES 7.1.

Though the NAD outputs only 50W a channel - does it matter that it's not matching the RMS of the speakers? Do you believe that the extra set of surround speakers will improve the "immersion" so to speak of movies? What difference will 96khz /24 bit resolution (NAD) be as compared to a unit like the Marantz (192/24) - will it effect SACD and movies by much?

I also see that the Sony and Onkyo have DTS 96/24 processing, this all just confuses me. Is ES even really THAT much better? It may be heavier, but what of the sound quality?

All of these units I can obtain for less than $450 so if you could let me know your recommendation, I would greatly appreciate it. As for speakers, should I point them down towards the listening area? A co-worker said that with 2 back surrounds and 2 side surrounds, to point them down, but I have heard otherwise.

Sorry for all the questions - but your opinion matters greatly. Thanks Hawk!
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