Receviers for audiophiles with constraints (wife and money)


Jazz Jam
I'm an avid music listner who mostly blows money on live music but with a wife and a kid I'm beginning to explore stay at home options. Whats a good "beginner" high-end AV receiver? My budget is under $600, have some decent JBL and AR speakers and just need to buy a center speaker and a sub to go with it all. I would like multi-room support on the receiver. Thanks in advance for any input

Jazz Jam:

I recommend two receivers for your budget since you are a music oriented listener. However, neither one has multi-room support. To get support for more than just one room, you have to spend a bunch more money:

1. NAD 742 (MSRP of $649, but available from Saturday Audio Exchange for $449): Smooth sound, with an exceptional soundstage, and powerful sounding, as well. Has a superb pre-pro section that will allow you to upgrade to more power later with the addition of an outboard amp if you so choose. The pre-pro section would not become the weak point of the system if you did this whereas it would become a problem with most sub-$600 receivers. With its on-board amps, however, you get excellent sound and great detail. Check out the "Deals Page" at

2. Outlaw Audio 1050 ($499 direct from a 6.1 receiver with excellent sound and stability. This receiver does have a 12v trigger to allow you to connect an outboard amp in another room and supply a signal to that outboard amp. Also a great front end for adding an external amp for your main listening room.

Both of these receivers use quality transistor outputs, whereas most mass market receivers in your price range probably have IC chip pack outputs which are very inferior sounding. They are also the only two sub-$600 receivers that have good quality power supplies. Almost all other receivers in this price range have very undersized power supplies that really hurt the sound.

Jazz Jam

Thanks for your specific and comprehensive advice, your contributions on this forum are invaluable and I have benefitted immensely.

I will go listen to these at the local dealers and then probably buy online. One other questions, what do you think of the Marantz SR5300 or the SR8000. Refurb units go for $425 and $650 respectively...any comparison to Outlaw or NAD?

Jazz Jam:

I think the Marantz 5300 is a fine receiver, but in no way does it compare to the sound from the Outlaw or the NAD. After listening to almost every receiver out there, they begin to all sound alike and the Marantz is just a little bit better. The Outlaw and the NAD are a lot better sounding, IMO.

Now, I haven't heard the Marantz 8000, so I really can't say. I do know that the 7000 was a widely praised receiver, but I heard nothing about the 8000. Sorry.
« Previous Thread Next Thread »

Main Forums

Today's Posts

Forum Help

Follow Us