I have a 10 year old Kenwood receiver (that I don't really care for) and 10 year old pair of speakers. I need to update to a new receiver and a new set of surround speakers. I actually liked the Onkyo HTIB at Circuit City, but don't care for the speakers. I am also considering Yamaha or Harmon Kardon - I'm figuring on spending about $400 for the receiver and about $800 for the speakers.
For $400 the Harman Kardon's sound wins over the Yamaha hands down. Their AVR230 or 330(about $400 online cost) would give you a sweet sound, especially if you can spend $800 or so for surround speakers.
Aaron, The above poster is right on the money. The H/K will blow away any Yamaha under the Yamaha 1400 at least. For your budget look the H/K 230 as stated above and consider pairing it with the Polk's at Circuit City like the RTi4 or 6. I think CC is discontinuing this line of Polk and you should be able get a fairly good deal even from them. They also sell H/K so you can hear them together. You could even check out the Polk 6700 and 7200 systems there. H/K and Polk go very well together and are a good bargain at this price point.
I am not too familiar with the Polk. I know I am giving up some sacrifices, but at this time I am looking to get home-theater sound, in some smaller package. The Infinity speakers really sound ok, but they are HUGE - also somewhat top heavy. The BOSE are really small and attractive - I don't need to be that small, but something smaller would be good. The HK receivers are really neat & offer a lot of features, but the speakers the local Circuit City had them hooked up to were lousy. Thanks for your advice.
Polk RTi6 or Infinity Beta 20's are both good matches with Harman Kardon if you go that way. Also a 6" woofer is a plus if you need to wait on getting a good subwoofer. The 6" drivers really make a big difference in movie sound.
A good sub will set you back a few hundred dollars minimum, but is essensial for movies. IMHO it is better to aquire things in phases as opposed to compromising quality upfront to get everything at once.
I know it is a little more than I was looking to spend, but is anyone familiar with the Harman Kardon DPR 1001? I have read some really spectacular reviews of this model & I think I can find it for about 450. How does it compare with the avr 230? - anyone?? Yamaha 1400 really is quite out of my price point though. I will run over to CC this afternoon and listen to some speakers.
Aaron, I've never heard the new all-ditigal receivers but people on this forum have been weary of jumping onto this bandwagon too early. I have an h/k avr-325 and I am quite happy with it and its flexibility. I got it factory-reconditioned for a low price in February. The thing is a brute at 40 lbs.
Aaron If you love watching movies more often, get a Yamaha. For me, Yamaha outperforms all brands at the same price level, as far as movie sound reproduction is concern. Just pair it with right speakers. If youre on low budget, the Titans will do.
Note to be disagreeable with David, but before you purchase any receiver, listen to it with your speakers or the speakers you will purchase. Speakers which complement your receiver (electronics) is important.
If you haired H/K with some of the, say, Paradigms, you may find the sound too mellow and the Onkyo will "sound" better.
The key is to match the right speakers with the right receiver. Onkyo, Denon, H/K, Rotel, Marantz, Pioneer Elite, and even Yamaha are all okay receivers. Your speakers will make a big difference, ultimately.