This is a snob board


Notice how anyone who wants advice on receivers or speakers for "entry-level" equipment (Onkyo 501/601, jbl speakers, etc) very often gets only one or often zero responses to their questions.


Hi, first of all you should have learned by now that in life you attract more bees with honey.

Second, I am not an audiofile so I do not post my opinions, unless it is about something I have knowledge. I am sure many others are the same.

So, with that in mind, I had an Onkyo as my entry into HT 10 years ago. It died. It was a very nice receiver and drove my jbls nicely. For an entry level HT it was a good combo.

Paul T
Adam unfortunately most here do not audition entry level stuff, not a knock by any means it's just they don't want to comment on equipment they do not know about. Please do not think it's snobby, quite the opposite, it's just they rather not comment on things they know not. Me I gladly will respond to you, it's been some 25 years since I bought entry stuff but guess what I bought then, Onkyo and I would GREATLY endorse it still, the Onkyo receiver I bought then is still working at my cousin's house, sold it to him 23 years ago and still going strong. Onkyo makes a very good product and so does JBL. Did some fast checking and seems the both Onkyo receivers got some good reviews, the 601 seems to be closer to Mid level, the 501 is more entry level but the price also shows that.. a great place to get info on price, performance, features and usually a review or two is Cnet, check out: and . Good reviews on both you chose, good luck Adam!

I also have an Onkyo receiver that's more than 20 years old and still working! Only problem is that the volume switch has gotten dirty and causes some crackling.

Still, I know that present-day HT Onkyos don't put out anywhere near their rated power when driving more than two channels, so I would have serious reservations recommending them. OTOH, the same is probably true for all entry-level receivers. For this and other reasons I would encourage you to reach a little bit higher if at all possible and look to the least expensive NAD, Outlaw, H/K, or Pioneer Elite receivers.

Someone once gave me a great piece of advice about buying tools. He said, "figure out the most you can spend, and then pay just a little bit more." It doesn't always hold true, but nearly always.

John A.

"...and then look after it, so it will last".

That way you get better value.

Your friend's advice about tools is good advice for audio. Especially at entry level.

All that glitters is not gold.

That is not snobbery. It is the simple truth.

I for one, though I have spent $25,000+ on equipment, like a good deal. If there is something out there that is inexpensive, I will definately post. That's where things get interesting - getting hi-fidelity at a low price. I also will not post unless I have heard the equipment and seen independent subjective measurements.

However, the "entry-level receiver" thread has already been done over and over again and I think some of the "new" threads are from people wanting attention to get their question answered while avoiding reading other posts. I used to answer them. Now I look right over them.

Watch this. I'll summarize the posts and within 10 days someone will ask the same questions. (not including refurbs, returns, B-stock, etc.)



$250-$550=Denon or Onkyo (There's an HK contingent as well).

$550-$850=See above and add NAD and Rotel (There's an Outlaw, Marantz contingent as well)

$750+ You'ld better know what you want and be able to pick it yourself if you set a limit like this. There aren't that many manufacturers that sound better than NAD and Rotel and Denon makes some uper-end receivers with a ridiculous number of features and connectivity. If you are not buying a receiver for its sound or its connectivity, why would you spend so much money? Internal Bragging Rights? Now that's Snobbery.

That's my 2cents

John A.

Yes, some people can go on spending until they get what they want. it is when you have limited cash and want to make a good decision first time that advice becomes important.

There was a post a month or so ago from a guy named George who wanted a complete HT system for his wife, at 100 k$ up. Some people denounced him as a fraud, and he never came back. It would still be an interesting question, and useful to know what people thought. When you go really up market you get fewer features, or so it used to be with stereo hi-fi. I used to say I regretted never being able to afford a pre-amp that did NOT have tone controls.

I sometimes wonder if we have market researchers here posing as potential customers and interested in brand positioning etc.

I am a market researcher, but for a different industry, I am in the electric utility industry. This site would be great research for electronic market researchers to check out because you can read from people what they actually think about their product ranging from the positives, negatives, or wish they would do this or change this so it would be easier. In my opinion this is a great site to get first hand experience and opinions from others who have used or are currently using the product. I surf this site, a car site, and a fish tank site, for information about my car and a new fish tank I am setting up and all have been very informative with helping me make a an informed decision. Sometimes my post doesn't receive any responses similar to this site, but keep in mind you are asking for someone to take the time and type out a response to a question and they are not being compensated for it. This is a great free site that is helpful to myself and I am guessing to many other people on here. Just my opinion.


For cracking potentiometers like your volume switch, just open up the unit and squirt a little wd40 into the pot. Then just re-apply quarterly.

John A.

Thanks. That is what I guessed. Personally, manufacturers using my opinions to try to make a better piece of kit is fine by me. It is probably not that simple, though, and they are just as likely to be thinking of advertising angles. The interested user/purchaser can also learn a lot here, that is the main thing.
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