Need recommendations on new Receiver purchase!!!


Dennis Michel
I'm in the market for a new receiver, primarily to improve my home theatre. I'm close to purchasing the Kenwood VR7080 because it appears to have a lot of features at a very reasonable price. I currently have an older model Kenwood that I've been pleased with.

I've done some internet research and spoken with some sale reps at Crutchfield. Some of them think this unit is a good buy as well, however, I want to make sure I'm considering HK, Denon or others if I can get the same performance for a comparable price.

Does anyone have any experience or recommendations?

Thanks a lot!

What are you trying to do?Upgrade to 5.1 0r add Dolby Dig or DTS?I have a Panny SAHE100 that does a great job and have a friend that has a Kenwood 6070 and it is great as well.The difference is in the extra features not the performance.Let that be your guide,does the reciever do what you want it to do?


Kenwood lies. If you go to the Crutchfield site, it says the receiver is rated at 100 wpc across six channels, but that is not how Kenwood rates their product. Check out the product on Kenwood's website and Kenwood rates it as having 100 wpc into the fronts, 100 into the center front and center rear, and 100 into the rears. That means that the power supply is only driving two channels when the receiver is rated. BUT, if you drive all six channels at once, that wimpy power supply will be lucky to get 40 wpc across all six channels. This has been proven in equipment test report after equipment test report by the major audio mags. This is true for almost every major receiver manufacturer (Yamaha, Denon, Onkyo, Kenwood, Sony, JVC, etc.) They all lie by misleading both the consumer and the sales reps at the retailers. And when you don't get the power, the amps clip and can cause damage to your speakers.

Stick to the Honest Three (Harman/Kardon, Marantz and NAD--well four, if you include McIntosh, but I can't afford them). These are the only receiver manufacturers that rate their receivers simultaneously over all channels. They are also the only receivers that have high current capability so they can avoid the clipping problem. And don't rely on the sales people. They are only repeating what they have been told by the lying reps from the manufacturers. Confirm everything on the websites, where the manufacturers have to be honest (or risk being sued by the FTC). If they rate the channels separately, you know you are getting a bum deal.

Actualy you should watch what ur sayin if you dont do your research...The Kenwood VR-6070 7070 n 7080 all have the same amplfiers. and the 6070 was rated at 92 watts x6 all channels driven into 8 ohms by some magazine cant remember its name at the moment if you go to the 6070 link(you know the one)and see my post that has the link go there and c for urself that IT IS SOny thinks that there receivers arent meant to drive all speakers at once(guess thats why u will never see a 5/6 channel stereo in a sony)only thousands of useless DSP modes and cheap plastic faceplates not to mention sounding like crap.


Actually , I did do my research, so I suggest you do the same. In fact, you have proven my point.

If you go to the Kenwood USA website, and look up the Model 6070, you will find that it rates the receiver at 100 wpc for the fronts (L/R), 100 wpc for the center; 100 wpc for the surrounds (L/R); and 100 wpc for the rear center. It does not rate them as 100 wpc x 6. That means that Kenwood is rating the receiver at 100 wpc with no more than two channels driven at any one time.

But then you tell me that a magazine (you can't remember the name, and I haven't found it, but I will accept your representation) rates the Kenwood at 92 wpc x 6. So I can only conclude that when all channels are driven at the same time, the Kenwood cannot make its rated continuous power. That is exactly my point. Even more important is the fact that not only does it not meet its rated power, it doesn't have any reserve power to meet musical transient bursts. That amp will clip if it is driven. However, at least it is in the neighborhood of its rated power, unlike a lot of the Yamahas, Onkyos and Sonys that I have seen tested.

I would agree, however, that Sony is pretty poor stuff, but you could say exactly the same thing about Yamaha or any number of the other mainline receiver makers. This problem of the receiver not having the rated power is the result of the manufacturer cutting a corner by putting in an undersized power supply, which is not something most consumers will understand. Instead, they put in a lot of crazy DSP modes (trying to watch a DVD like Ronin while hearing the sound through a Yamaha 630 was almost unbearable as the beast kept wanting to default to "Stadium"!). All I want is an honest receiver that puts out great sound and yet most receiver makers want to put in a cheap power supply so they can sell the consumer on the "features" like jazz club and cathedral.

Dennis Michel
I appreciate all the posts. Each of you has offerred some great insight. In response to a few of the questions directed to me, I'm looking to upgrade to at least 5.1. The 7080 is 6.1. In terms of home theatre capability, I'm interested in getting as much as is availabl. I think I'm pretty well equipped to take advantage of it with my current components.

One of the individuals (experts) I initially spoke with talked about the 7080 having THX, which he represented as a very high end feature, normally only found in $1000+ receivers. I have since been advised that this is really nothing more than George Lucas propaganda.

My biggest motive is not saving money. Obviously I want value but I also will invest in what is going to give me the best performance long term.

I did place an order for the 7080 at $399. It's sitting in my hallway unopened. I'm reluctant to open it because if I want to go another route, I want to be able to sell it as new in box. I did go to a Circuit City this week and looked at the various models in person. They didn't have the 7080 but I did notice that the HK's were significantly heavier than all the other models and they just seemed more solid.

I did have a HK Outlet right across the street from my house until just recently. They always had some very reasonable pricing on the HK's.

What do you guys think? Is the power on the Kenwood going to be an issue? I'm anxious to hook it up, but like I said, I'd prefer to hook something up that's going to meet my needs.

Thanks again for the posts.

I would stick with HK, its just solid receiver much better built then competition and for around $500 you are not paying much more. If you are talking about Camarillo, I'm missing that store man. I bought many things there, they had some great pricing. Do you know is there outlet somewhere else?

Dennis Michel
The one I was referring to was in Anthem, Arizona (just north of Phoenix). They closed it a couple of months ago.

Hawk: Heres the sight and the magazine was Sound And Vision Magazine
Dennis: Dont worry about how heavy it is, im very happy with my 6070 and the 7080 is WAY better in fact, Im thinking of selling my 6070 on ebay and getting the 7080. Mostly for the remote, it looks so cool!. although it isnt RF and I love that feature with my 6070 THX doesnt do much except has all those sound fixing things(Re-Eq,Timber Matching etc)If you have small satelite speakers the THX logo is bad because the default setting (in THX only) is crossover at 80hz. Well if I were you i would either open the box and try it for yourself or go back to circuit city and look at them their with simalar speakers. The advantage of testing at home is their isnt that annnoying guy trying to talk you into the receiver BUT MOSTLY you can hear it on your own speakers in your won home. This is VERY important because the room the HT System is placed in makes a huge difference in the sound. Well happy Hunting!


What a great chart!!! Thanks. I think it really tells the story. Did you notice the notes at the bottom? S & V footnoted the Sony DA4ES, as untested because Sony claims the "receiver was not designed to deliver full power to all channels simultaneously." Wow--they are busted! I can now point this out to those people who tell me how much better their Sony is than anything else.


I agree with G.DawG. Open up the receiver box and try it out with your speakers. Remember, you have asked for our advice, but you are the person who is going to have to live with the receiver that you choose. If you like the Kenwood, that is all that matters, not my opinion, G.DawG's, Tarik's, or anyone else. The goal here is to get a good receiver that will make your listening a much better experience and testing a unit out in your home is really the only way to know (like a test drive in a car). So try it out. You may well love it and if you do, that is the only opinion that really counts. If you find out that you don't or that it doesn't satisfy you, get something else. But, remember that the goal is to find what sounds good to you.

Best regards all. . .

Dennis Michel
Thanks a lot, again, for all the posts. I did open it up yesterday but I have not hooked it up yet. I'm trying to evaluate what cables I should use before I go to the trouble of hooking all my components up.

I'm evaluating all the monster cables available but there's a lot to choose from. Any recommendations?

I'm hooking up a DVD player, a VCR, a CD player, a powered sub woofer, and all the speakers for a 6.1 system.

All my speakers are already running on monster cable but I have speakers on the patio, master bed, entertainment room, and then all the speakers in the theatre room. Because I have so many rooms, I have a separate box that runs from the speaker channel in my receiver to the box so I can control which room is playing.

I also have had TiVo for years but have not had it hooked up. I'd like to include it as well.

Sorry for all the questions. I'd like to purchase the appropriate cables today so I can get this baby hooked up and see how it sounds.

Again, thanks very much for all your help and advice.

Dennis Michel
Oh yea, G.dawG, I did power up the remote and it is very cool. I look forward to being able to use it after my system is completely hooked up.

Hi Everyone: I read the interesting debate between the Hawk and G dawG. Very helpful. I am in the market for a new receiver under $500. I was interested in the new VR 7080 or Sony strde995. Could you please guide me which one is better or if there is a thrid one better than these two. I am starting over. I would need help with DVD,VCR and speakers also. Hawk/G DawG please take a moment to help me out.


I've been scouring the 'net for a receiver and am frustrated. At first I liked the VR-7080 a lot, but then stumbled onto the HK 525, which seems like a better unit though a little more expensive (and lacking such a s*xy remote...)

I was completely sold on it until I found out it has NO PHONO INPUT (are they nuts!?) I know it's the 21st century and all, but dammit I'm a 70's kid and I have an extensive vinyl collection HAVE to have a turntable hookup!! I saw something on their site about being able to add an exterior phono preamp or some such bulls**t, but if I'm paying that much I don't want to have to buy more crap to plug into it because something that should be there isn't. (!)

But I really like the apparent flexibility of the triple x-over system, since I need to use ceiling speakers (thinking about Polk RC801's) and can't reposition them once they're in place, but could tailor the sound somewhat through such a system. (Am I correct that it would do that?)

Now I'm looking at the Denon AVR-2803 - anybody have thoughts about this one? Others?

FYI: I'm starting from scratch - and am more interested in audio capability than video. The only thing I've got so far is a Panasonic F85 DVD changer. I'm planning to run auxiliary speakers (2) to another room so a built-in repeater system is an attractive feature, and aux speaker hook-ups are necessary as well.


Al Holland
I have no experience with the 7080, however I have owned the 7070 as well as HK, Sony STR series and Sony 777ES.

The 7070 was superior with HT but not so good with stereo music. I used the 7070 as a preamp with a Parasound amp for a short time and stereo was very good with this combo.

I do not remember the HK model. It was rated @ 80 watts. When pushed beyond 3/4 volume it started to distort. It also had channel cross talk as well as noise in the rears when using stereo mode. The 7070 never exhibited any of these problems.

The 7070 was very dynamic, had excellent seperation (surrounds produced more effects)and the center channel was exceptionally clear. I have owned other brands that produced distortion in the sub channel but the 7070 gave excellent bass, even without the sub.

This is my personal experience. I am sure that others will disagree. Audition and make your decision based on your preferences.

If I was you I would go with the Kenwood. Sony makes a good Television and camcorder but not a good amp. Kenwood specializes in audio they dont make tv's and camcoders or everyday things. Any TRUE audiophile knows that a brand that specializes in something(energy, paradigm) is usualy greater than a brand(sony,even harman Kardon)that makees everything. Anyways I would go with the 7080 for a way better remote I dont know about the 995's remote but well...Listen too them both at home if possible and see for your self I dont know what type of speakers you have or what type of music you listen too or what u want from the receiver(music, ht..gaming)So I cant tell you exactly.Too try and make an effort I would have to know what type of speakers you had.or are looking at getting.

If I do alot of fussing about remotes....Its just me after all, isnt it the remote that its in your hand for 2 hours while watching a movie?And isnt it the remote that everybody complains about on review sites?( isnt it the remote that replaces every other remote on your coffee table;if its learning?

G.DawG: Thank you very much for your prompt response. Actually I am starting over. I have about 10 years old Onkyo speakers and a pair of Infinity bookshelf speakers. I don't have the specs handy. I also have Samsung 32" HDTV. I am planning on using the receiver mostly for misic and watching movies no games. I saw the VR 7070 and 995 at Best Buy the other day. I was drawn to 7070 for its THX and other features. I had STRDE1050 (several years old, don't remember the exect number)before, but I was not impressed with it. The reading through this forum I heard about the 7080 and I liked it more. I am planning on buying one good equipment at a time to complete my HT. I was also looking at dvp 755v (dvd player) from Sony, and it has mixed reviews. I thank you again for your prompt respone and guidance. This field is getting so advanced that you have to be an enginieer to understand all what is being offered.

No prolemo(I just finished watching terminator 2 in Dolby Digital EX) ok...I was just at and was doing some comparisons for ya(aint i nice?)well it seems that there is good and bad in the has 110x7(translation for you who dont know...45wx7acd)and the 7080 only has 6 channel power. BUT it has pre-outs for 7.1 and has THE REMOTE i was just looking at the sony's it aint learning just a "multibrand".however the 995 also has 3 optical in's and the 7080 only has 2, they both have only one optical out.the 7080 has 7.1 pre-out and 995 only has the sub-out.they both have the 6.1 in's. hope all this makes sense it might be a bit confusing for a newbie if you are im not sure well good luck

sry i made big mistakes there on the has a 6.1 in and another 7.1 in. plus it has 4 optical ins(i missed the one on the front)plus they are both multi-room. i missed out on that part.they both have phono if you care about that... well glad i fixed that or i would have messed you up.

I got a NAD T742 a few weeks before and it is really really great! The sound quality is much much better than my old crappy SONY. If you want good music, NAD is the way to go! This baby is heavy and solid (weight over 30 lbs).

For those of you still obsessed by those "fancy multi-functions", ask yourself what you really want? Music quality? Or just some fancy useless sound effects?

I got my NAD T742 from Saturday Audio, this baby is on sale now and it is only $449!

Thank you G once again for your valuable input. But you did not say which one is better overall. Twn: I am not familiar with NAD. Somewhere else I have read strange stuff about the NAD but I do not know. Anyway, I am more inclined towards Kenwood 7080. I will check both of them again.

Thank you all for you input and guidance.

I am leaning towards the 7080 as well...however am having a major problem in getting it on the West Coast in Canada.let me know how it turns out !!

I am in the west coast and had no trouble getting my 6070 here(campbell river b.c. canada)i got it from they ship to canada and always have the best price.I might just order a 7080 if i can sell my 6070,offering it for 200$cdn(300us)...anybody?

No wait...switch that around 300$cdn 200$us

I never thought about ordering from the US!! Hmm what about the warranty ? They even have a Canadian checkout button !! Shame none of the big retailers out here can help !!!! I have to shop from the US!!

John Allen
I agree with TWN.
"My biggest motive is not saving money. Obviously I want value but I also will invest in what is going to give me the best performance long term."
You could go for the T752 or even T762.
It is the sound quality. Comes from the design and the DACS. NAD is modest about power ratings. They seem like poor value if you count Watts per dollar. But Sony's claims are inflated. I have a 5x 60W T760 (few years old) which has more oomph than the Sony 2 x 100W power amp it replaced.
I agree about phono input. I use my 10-yr old NAD pre-amp (has MM or MC input). A good dealer will sell you a dedicated stand-alone phono pre-amp which will be a small extra cost. NAD make turntables too. They probably think HT people don't play vinyl LPs. This is wrong!

am thinking of getting the Kenwood receiver from Etronics as well, would you handle the warranty (If you had a problem)

Thanks a bunch!!!

Actualy i had 3 problem receivers! I had to wait so much that I decided to cancle my 4th order and I ended up buying it at bestbuy for very cheap because it was being discontinued. but now I wish I had waited for the new 7080, Sigh... ill just sell my Sharma if your gonna buy that 7080 you'd better do it quick the exchange rate(us$ to cdn$) is gonna go back up a bit by the end of July but a bit is a bit and it makes a big difference on that amount of money.

O yeah I forgot to say I think futureshop is going to start to carry the new "vr's" and probably a&b sound too if there is any in your area.

Sorry for being a pain, but what did you do ??Just bought a new one or got it repaired or exchanged ?I was all set to get it from etronics but it's just the warranty part which bothers me, I don't want to stuck with a bad receiver. I know someone in futureshop who says they wont come out till the end of the year, Visions will be getting it by November and will be selling it at $300 more...I really do not want to wait that long
Many Thanks

Sorry did not read returned it to etronics of course and got it from Best Buy. I guess the warranty from best buy would be valid if you go across the border, right ?

Yes that is true. I didnt actualy get it myself but instead got my brother-in law too who lives in the states. He brought it over for me and made sure it worked before coming to Canada. However, I may be able to get a warranty that is valid from Kenwood. I'm not sure of that.

Hey, you could also travel south to Seattle(or Everrett where my Brother in law lives) and pick it up from there. If you ever had a problem you would have to drive all the way to the states again though...

Am going to seattle anyway for the game on tuesday will pick it up then, guess it will cost another c$300 just for the peace of mind. Best buy have a good extended warranty so maybe will go for that, yeah will have to drive to Seattle though if anything goes wrong. Hey tnkx a bunch for the input

M. S. Khan

Sorry I didn't respond sooner to your request--I have been out of town.

I would second the advice given about the NAD 742. About 9 weeks ago now, I had the opportunity to spend an entire day at a dealer who was doing some equipment testing for a group of audio fanatics. We got to do some double blind testing of a number of receivers--an Onkyo, Denon, Harman/Kardon and a puny little NAD. I say puny because it was only 50 wpc and the others were almost always 100 wpc. The unanimous opinion of our group (by secret vote) was that the NAD was the hands down winner. It was capable of producing better, more realistic sound in both music and video. Even more apparent was the fact that movie sounds that were either non-existant or muffled when played through the other receivers, were both audible and crystal clear when played through the NAD. It was quite a startling demonstration, actually. And it turns out that the "puny" NAD actually weighs more than any of the other receivers because they have such a large power supply, so it wasn't so puny after all. On transients, it was capable of producing well over 100 wpc.

I consider the Kenwood to be on par with other japanese brands such as Onkyo. You are not likely to be able to hear an NAD against a Kenwood as Kenwood almost never shows up in a high end store the way NAD does. But I have compared the Onkyo and the onkyo sounds thin and flat when compared to the sound of the NAD. BTW, the H/K was the second choice of our group. And despite the fact that NAD is available through the high end shops, I have found they can be found at a discounted price.

You may find this link of interest--it is the compilation of product testing done by Sound & Vision magazine on receivers. You will note how few actually make their rated power:

I currently have a Denon, but I am committed to saving my money for an NAD.

Hope this helps

dennis michel
Well, I started this post but have not been back for a while (out of town). I thought I'd return today and was happy to see 36 posts.

Well, here's what transpired with my Kenwood 7080 purchase and hook up. Per the recommendations of G.DawG and Hawk, I went ahead and opened up my new Kenwood 7080 and attempted to hook it up. It was dead out of the box.

I'm returning it now for a new one (fortunately the on-line seller has been very responsive), but I'm a little nervous now about Kenwood. I've had an older model Kenwood for over ten years now with no problems, which is why I looked at another Kenwood, but now I have my questions.

Met me know what you think of the new 7080!

Good to see you putting my favorite site to good use!

Dennis:Where did you buy the 7080 from?Was it an online retailer or a local one?

Hey guys-Just wanted to say that I own the 7080, and I can not express how this receiver ROCKS. If you were to close your eyes, you could not tell if you were in a movie theater or your living room. It is that damn good. The sound is crisp and clear, and the bass is thuderous. I upgraded the receiver after purchasing the 805DV. Adding the Surround back left and right further enveloped me into true theatre sound.

dennis michel
I purchased the 7080 from an on-line seller. I sent it back this week and instead of having a new one sent, I asked for a refund. If you look at the two reviews through this site, both encountered the same problem with this unit. Dead. They both rated it a piece of crap.

According to Tony's post, he loves it. Unfortunately, I never had a chance to even check it out so I can't comment G.DawG.

I'm considering the HK AVR525 now.

Dennis also PLEASE check out the Pioneer Elite line.They are great receivers.

dennis michel
I'm not a big fan of Pioneer Dawg. Not saying that they're not worth a look, but for some reason they just haven't been a consideration.

Dennis: The Pioneer I own is SO much better than my old Kenwood(the ever so popular 6070)that I dont know why I didnt buy the 43TX origonaly. The sound is phenominal. The wraparound effects are like nothing else, and the detail is like being at the concert, plus it has the power to reach the same level of volume!Sitting in my lazyboy, I can hear where every instument in ZZ-Top is playing, and in Pink Floyd Roger Waters sounds just like I remember at the concerts 25 yeas ago.
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