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For Something Completely Fresh - Stereo Receiver Advice ~$150-200
studyplenty
post May 20 2013, 20:43
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Guys, I hate to ask something I'm sure gets asked constantly, but I will anyway and hope for the best:

My buddy's taking a mild plunge and spending some cash on a setup to replace his cobbled-together 1970s era speakers and stereo receiver from the 80s.

He is getting a set of Polk Monitor 65Ts and a PSW10 subwoofer, but he needs to replace his receiver as well and we don't know the first thing about which brands to look into, or anything.

He doesn't need 5.1 or any real multimedia functionality, just the best stereo sound he can get for the price range - and of course, if there is a worthy receiver at $220-250, or if that's the range you need to be in for something truly decent, he's willing to make it work.

He's looking to buy online and ship within the US, been checking out Amazon and Newegg mostly, but just out of ignorance. Is there a better online store to check out? Maybe used will be the way to go?

Most music will come from his HTPC and be FLAC files.

Thanks in advance for any pointers you guys may have.

This post has been edited by studyplenty: May 20 2013, 21:33
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AndyH-ha
post May 20 2013, 22:43
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Since these things tend to last a long time, I haven't paid attention for years. Technics used to produce some very reasonably priced stereo receivers in their SA-EXxxx line that worked very well. A used one may work as well.

I didn't pay a great deal for my Kenwood receiver, although I'm sure they have higher end models for considerably more. The fact that it is a 5.1 model has never been a problem; I've never even tested to see if the surround channels work. It has no faults that I've ever noticed. No doubt other people can say the same things about other brands. It may well not be possible to tell any of them apart in properly conducted ABX tests.
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Apesbrain
post May 20 2013, 23:18
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It's been a while since I was in the market for a receiver but these days I might favor an A/V model. No harm in having the extra channels available; you don't need to use them. Potential advantages include: lots of analog/digital inputs, internal DAC, full-featured remote, front-panel USB, subwoofer output, future multi-zone/multi-channel/video use if you desire.

This one in your price range offers internet radio, a built-in room equalizer function, and a 2-year warranty:
http://us.onkyo.com/Products/model.php?m=H...ource=prodClass
http://www.frys.com/product/7405885?source...CFUqZ4AodtScAbA
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studyplenty
post May 20 2013, 23:40
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QUOTE (Apesbrain @ May 20 2013, 18:18) *
It's been a while since I was in the market for a receiver but these days I might favor an A/V model. No harm in having the extra channels available; you don't need to use them. Potential advantages include: lots of analog/digital inputs, internal DAC, full-featured remote, front-panel USB, subwoofer output, future multi-zone/multi-channel/video use if you desire.

This one in your price range offers internet radio, a built-in room equalizer function, and a 2-year warranty:
http://us.onkyo.com/Products/model.php?m=H...ource=prodClass
http://www.frys.com/product/7405885?source...CFUqZ4AodtScAbA



Very cool - thanks man. Very nice price on that Onkyo vs. Amazon and elsewhere I've been able to find it.

Glad to hear it's a bit of a "can't go too wrong" situation from the sounds of it. I don't claim to be going for perfection here, just something that'll easily drive the Polk 65Ts and allow him to enjoy them.
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andrew_berge
post May 20 2013, 23:48
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If you go the A/V route, The Wirecutter recommends the Onkyo TX-NR414.
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studyplenty
post May 21 2013, 01:05
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QUOTE (andrew_berge @ May 20 2013, 18:48) *
If you go the A/V route, The Wirecutter recommends the Onkyo TX-NR414.



Thanks man, looks good and somewhat similar to the RC460 mentioned earlier from Onkyo but with a few missing features (but a better price)? 5.1 vs. 7.2 etc., but that's just with a quick glance.

It looks like the RC460 can be found for about $250, wonder if that makes it a clean cut better choice vs. a similarly priced TX-NR414? I think this is a case of newer vs. older model.
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DVDdoug
post May 21 2013, 17:38
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With a stereo receiver, you might be missing the line-level subwoofer output and/or digital inputs. If you opt for a stereo receiver, make sure it's got the sub-out, and you might want to check & consider digital inputs.
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