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Stereo Receivers
Old 02-19-2008, 04:59 PM   #1
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Stereo Receivers

I am in the market for a stereo 2-channel receiver and have been comparing the Harman Kardon HK 3485 with the Onkyo TX 8522. Anyone have any input on these or on what company builds the most reliable receiver? I am just going to listen to music.

Thanks Bob
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Old 02-19-2008, 06:21 PM   #2
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Have not bought one in MANY years...

But both brands are 'known'... so pick the one that looks best and has the features you like...

Also, take a look at Yamaha... They make good ones also...
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Old 02-19-2008, 06:27 PM   #3
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You might want to get one that has surround sound in case you ever get a 50 inch LCD TV and want to make your movies sound great.
I have had Pioneer, Marantz, Kenwood, Onkyo, JVC, and they all worked great.
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Old 02-19-2008, 07:39 PM   #4
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Seems to me that almost anything made by a major manufacturer today is light years ahead of anything up to the upper mid range from 10-15 years ago. Music sounded pretty good then.

Pick the features and price that appeal to you the most...it seems to me that the days of scrutinizing levels of total harmonic distortion between this $300 receiver and that $350 receiver may be behind us...
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:11 PM   #5
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Pick the features and price that appeal to you the most...it seems to me that the days of scrutinizing levels of total harmonic distortion between this $300 receiver and that $350 receiver may be behind us...
I agree. Several months ago, I decided to see if a "home theatre" setup really brought anything to the table. Of course, I didn't want to spend a lot until I was sure of what I was doing. Anyway, I purchased a Sony STR-DG510 receiver (I believe on sale around $150 at Best Buy). I am completely satisfied with this product. I run everything through it and, too be honest, television, for example, is (almost) enjoyable now, particularly those digital PBS "music" shows. Admittedly, the surround sound speaker system is more important than the receiver but...I scrimped in that category too -- only spending in the area of $500.

Sony STR-DG510 AV receiver reviews - CNET Reviews

Pick the receiver that has the most features that trip your trigger and don't look back.
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:21 PM   #6
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Seems to me that almost anything made by a major manufacturer today is light years ahead of anything up to the upper mid range from 10-15 years ago. ..
Not always, depending on what you're doing. Ive kept an over 20 year old KLH model 71 receiver (analog) on hand due to its superior sensitivity and selectivity. I use it for listening to out of town PBS stations that neither my late model Kenwood or Onkyo can even detect. I think it hears weak stations better due to less synthesizer generated phase noise and better front end and IF filtering.

Of course, it's missing the skull crushing amp power, digital frequency readout and many of the bells and whistles of my modern gear. But still worth hanging on to for what I use it for.
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:32 PM   #7
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I have a JVC stereo receiver I bought when I was 15 yo (20 years ago). It still works and powers the 6+1 CD changer in our loft.

Downstairs I have surround sound with a pioneer receiver and a 300 disc Sony CD player. Right after I bought the Sony CD player, mp3 players became popular. I want to change to one of the bose surround/theatre systems, but wife won't let me spend that money right now.
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Old 02-20-2008, 01:29 PM   #8
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Pick the features and price that appeal to you the most...it seems to me that the days of scrutinizing levels of total harmonic distortion between this $300 receiver and that $350 receiver may be behind us...
LMAO.......I remember those days of agonizing..........then I discovered that at 140Db, it ALL sounded distorted...........
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Old 02-20-2008, 01:46 PM   #9
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My co-worker is in love with his Denon that he just bought... I guess it auto-compensates for surround based on tuning itself...

I have an Integra to run both zones in my house, but I've never bothered to hook it up to anything other than the speakers in the ceiling.
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Old 02-20-2008, 03:01 PM   #10
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I agree. Several months ago, I decided to see if a "home theatre" setup really brought anything to the table. Of course, I didn't want to spend a lot until I was sure of what I was doing. Anyway, I purchased a Sony STR-DG510 receiver (I believe on sale around $150 at Best Buy). I am completely satisfied with this product. I run everything through it and, too be honest, television, for example, is (almost) enjoyable now, particularly those digital PBS "music" shows. Admittedly, the surround sound speaker system is more important than the receiver but...I scrimped in that category too -- only spending in the area of $500.

Sony STR-DG510 AV receiver reviews - CNET Reviews

Pick the receiver that has the most features that trip your trigger and don't look back.
That Sony looks like a great buy and with 500 watts it has plenty of power to disturb the neighbors.
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Old 02-20-2008, 05:35 PM   #11
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..it seems to me that the days of scrutinizing levels of total harmonic distortion between this $300 receiver and that $350 receiver may be behind us...
The other thing I hate to admit, my hearing is just not as good as it once was. Its just not worth it to go after the real high end systems without high end ears.
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Old 02-20-2008, 06:01 PM   #12
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I wasnt gonna go there, but yeah...
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Old 02-20-2008, 06:05 PM   #13
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Like trying to watch HD through bifocals...

My surround sytem sounds great for surround programming, but a regular old CD is not so good.

Funny how my 21yo Hitachi system with 26w/ch is WAY louder than my 100w/channel SS system...
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Old 02-21-2008, 12:53 AM   #14
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Like trying to watch HD through bifocals...

My surround sytem sounds great for surround programming, but a regular old CD is not so good.

Funny how my 21yo Hitachi system with 26w/ch is WAY louder than my 100w/channel SS system...
Speakers have more to do with loudness than power.... and 100 watts would not produce much more sound than 26...

If you power is 'good' it will sound better... I remember being in a high end stereo shop once and they were playing these speakers at an ear splitting level... the roof actually 'caved in'... but it was a tube system with IIRC 20 watts power... and no distortion heard...
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Old 02-21-2008, 04:06 AM   #15
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loudness is more a function of speaker efficiancy. in fact a wattage rating is pretty bogus also. its done with a test resister which is non inductive. its a big difference from an actual speaker which is inductive and at certain frequencies can actually be less than 1 ohm . under real load my big ole monster pioneer receiver i used to have rated at almost 300 watts would actually shut down on certain speakers when played loud.

on the other hand my old 20 watt nad blew away most 100 watters under actual conditions using a speaker and not test resister

right now i have a linn system which is 75 watts but can drive anything you throw against it. its nice and compact albeit expensive as nothing from linn is ever cheap. i use the linn movie classik with 4 linn unik speakers, a linn sizmik subwoofer and the linn tukan as a center. hi-end audio has been a hobby of mine for over 30 years


Linn Classik Movie Di reviewed on AudioRevolution.com
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Old 02-21-2008, 05:49 AM   #16
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They have some really good deals on "factory recertified" models on the shoponkyo.com site sometimes. Recently they had a 10% off refurbs with free shipping. You get an extra 10$ off for signing up with club onkyo too. There is a disclaimer that says they don't always ship with all of the manuals, cables, etc, but I purchases a refurbed TX-SR505 recently and other than the factory recertified stickers on it, it looks brand new and came with everything. I've also been researching them for months and have not read a single instance where one showed up missing anything. I tend to put denon, yamaha, and harmon kardon on a higher level. Then onkyo, pioneer, sony, etc. This is just my perception and may just be due to clever advertising :-)
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Old 02-21-2008, 09:07 AM   #17
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Speakers have more to do with loudness than power.... and 100 watts would not produce much more sound than 26...

If you power is 'good' it will sound better... I remember being in a high end stereo shop once and they were playing these speakers at an ear splitting level... the roof actually 'caved in'... but it was a tube system with IIRC 20 watts power... and no distortion heard...
I disagree.
If you hook 2 recievers to speakers that can handle 200 watts.
One reciever has 25 watts/channel and the other has 100 watts/channel there will be an extreme difference in loudness in the two when cranked up. Been there done that. Best done outside though.

Car stereos with 15 watts/ch do not compare with those with 100watts/channel. to
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Old 02-21-2008, 10:48 AM   #18
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Well, I'm sure that if I had better, i.e. more efficient speakers, I'd get more "loudness", but current setup is adequate, and I'm too cheap to buy another set...

Gave a presentation in Speech class about power ratings and such; good for an "A"...
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Old 02-21-2008, 11:32 AM   #19
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Maybe I have it all wrong. Perhaps this is the way I should have gone.

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Old 02-21-2008, 11:33 AM   #20
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I disagree.
If you hook 2 recievers to speakers that can handle 200 watts.
One reciever has 25 watts/channel and the other has 100 watts/channel there will be an extreme difference in loudness in the two when cranked up. Been there done that. Best done outside though.
I think you might be a victim of creative marketing.
Assuming both receivers have same speakers (let's say sensitivity 90dB / 1W /1m for easy calculations) and you could really get the indicated power levels into the speakers, the 25W would provide loudness of 103.9 dB of and 100W would get 110 dB.
While these levels would be distinguishable from one another, I would hardly call it "an extreme difference".
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