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$400 to $500 AV Reciever / What powered sub recommendations?

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  • $400 to $500 AV Reciever / What powered sub recommendations?

    I had my entire home theater stolen while I was out of the house about a month ago and I'm finally getting insurance money (they left the record player, everything else went) and I'm using this as a chance to make some improvements. I would like to spend about $400 to $500 for a receiver and I'm interested in the following;
    Pioneer VSX1122, Denon AVR-1913, or the Yamaha RX-V673. I want a powered second zone so a lot of the AVR's below this price range don't really work for me, I have a phono pre-amp so I don't need a bespoke phono input, and I want an amplifier section that plays well at low to high volumes. The slightly older Pioneer's like the VSX1021 don't get high marks for the sound of the amp from the couple reviews I saw, there's nothing on the 1122 from professional review sites/mags that I can find, can anyone comment? The Denon 1913 seems like a great option but I liked my old Yamaha a lot and the RX-V673 seems to review well but not much out there either. Help?

    Speakers, I lost a pair of JBL monkey coffins that really were not that great, and my plan is to get a pair of the Pioneer BS22 that I will eventually transition to the rear of my living room. Is there a commercial sub for, say, $300 that reaches down decently for HT use and isn't too large? I think my living room is about 16x12ft so not a huge room to fill with sound. Do I need to spend more? I would rather build my own, I think, but I don't really have time right now and the insurance payout makes that fairly complicated to get my full benefit.

    Thanks for the help!

  • #2
    Re: $400 to $500 AV Reciever / What powered sub recommendations?

    If you like Yamaha, then go for it. I'd say all the brand name AVRs are similar in performance, features and reliability within that price range. AVR mfrs fine out with new models annually, so finding reviews on the newest offerings can be difficult.
    For the sub, I'd highly recommend the BIC F12, available for $180-200. Well made and great for HT. I have the Premier Acoustic PA120, which also works great for HT and more attractive than the F12, but the F12 costs less for the same performance. They come from the same factory though, as many subs do.
    For a bit more, about $330, the BIC PL200 is a really nice sub. It has a better driver and a bit better cabinet than the other 2, so if you can afford it, the PL200 is the better sub and more than most will need.
    Nichikuros - Peerless 831735 Nomex + Vifa NE25VTA
    Digger8 - Small compact 8" sub with F3 = 20Hz
    Madison-D and Madison-R - Tang Band W4-1720 + Vifa BC25SC06 or Beston RT003C (TM and MTM)
    Jeffrey - Tang Band W5-704D + Beston RT003C
    Jasmine - Fountek FW146 + Fountek NeoCD3.0 Ribbon in Pioneer BS21 Cabinet

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    • #3
      Re: $400 to $500 AV Reciever / What powered sub recommendations?

      The HSU STF-2 ships for about $350 from HSU themselves if their website is to be believed, I think that's looking like a good option.

      Will have to do some reading, I don't really need all of the features of the Pioneer, so either the Denon or the Yamaha... would consider other options though, like an HK or Sherwood? Sony doesn't really do it for me anymore, not sure who is left that I want to deal with (NAD is too much money, Onkyo seems to have really fallen down on quality / reliability). Not much input from the peanut gallery yet...

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      • #4
        Re: $400 to $500 AV Reciever / What powered sub recommendations?

        The BIC will dig deeper and its pretty accurate. Go to the sites that let you make an offer and you can probably get it for under $300. The Hsu has $43 or so shipping also I think. And the PL-200 is designed by Hsu. I think its more sub for the money as it doesn't have the Hsu name which is better known than BIC for subs.
        I think all the AVRs have about the same reliability. Search around and you'll find quite a few complaints on issues with all brands. Go for the feature set you like and brand you like. Sherwood's latest offerings look nice but I think others are priced better. Their older stuff is dated on features.
        Nichikuros - Peerless 831735 Nomex + Vifa NE25VTA
        Digger8 - Small compact 8" sub with F3 = 20Hz
        Madison-D and Madison-R - Tang Band W4-1720 + Vifa BC25SC06 or Beston RT003C (TM and MTM)
        Jeffrey - Tang Band W5-704D + Beston RT003C
        Jasmine - Fountek FW146 + Fountek NeoCD3.0 Ribbon in Pioneer BS21 Cabinet

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: $400 to $500 AV Reciever / What powered sub recommendations?

          The 16xx series Denon's are sadly very poor compared to the earlier AVR-9xx series. The new ones weigh less than half what the 900 series did, so they've scrimped on the power supplies to bring down the prices $300-400. Of the one's you mentioned, personally, I go for the Yamaha, even if you don't need all the bells and whistles, simply because of the current build quality, features and expandability, especially the video features (deep-color HDMI, certain versions of 3D video support (there are more "systems" than you have fingers and toes) video "up-verting", built-in D-to-A converters (far better than normal Blu-Ray or CD players have in them) and lots more. I'm pretty sure Yamaha has their own re-furbished product site, which is a great way to save 25-50% on a perfectly good product that might have been returned to the retail store because someone decided they really couldn't afford it, or it could have had a bad fuse, or switch.

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          • #6
            Re: $400 to $500 AV Reciever / What powered sub recommendations?

            My vote is finding a VSX-1121-K.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: $400 to $500 AV Reciever / What powered sub recommendations?

              +1 for the Pioneer Receiver; I've got the VSX-1022-k, my sister has the 521-k, my bro-in-law has the 921-k and we're all happy with them. Even the base 521-k sounds good. Not as good as mine but if it did I'd have to upgrade something... Prolly has more to do with my speakers than the receiver, though.

              BTW, this year's model is the VSX-1122-k. Last years model was the 1121-k and may be more difficult to find. I've heard both and like them both; they're practically identical except there are fewer "legacy" inputs on the newer model. Lots of clean power and great functionality. Easy hookup and setup as well. I've used Pioneer electronics in all of my cars since the 90's and have never had a unit fail even after abusing the deck in my bronco for years. Plus, I think they offer the best bang-for-the-buck with features that I actually use.

              I hear good things about the Denon, but can't speak from personal experience. It was the other top contender on my list when I purchased the Pioneer receiver in February. So the Pioneer is where it's at for me. I'm super happy with it and don't have any complaints with it. You can usually find them on sale on Newegg; I picked mine up for $300, something like $200 off the MSRP. The 1122 was ~$450 the last time I checked.

              As for powered subs, I haven't heard many that I would be happy with in that price range so I'm not much help there. But I'm sure there are several of us (like myself) that wouldn't mind building one for you :D

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              • #8
                Re: $400 to $500 AV Reciever / What powered sub recommendations?

                The 1121 also has a larger amp section (supposedly) than the 1122. It weighs 11lbs more (chassis and transformer size). And I believe the 1121 was made in the Elite series manufacturing facility while the 1122 is created in their lower end facility.
                You're right though, the few people selling the 1121 still have the price way up there. I got mine cheap at newegg :D

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: $400 to $500 AV Reciever / What powered sub recommendations?

                  I have a Pioneer vsx-1020-k. I like it. One big feature for me with Pioneer is the individual equalizer settings per speaker. I don't do 'flat' reproduction sound. I use the auto eq, make a few tweaks with the individual eq and let 'er rip for music and movies. Occasionally move the bass & treble. The upscaling in mine is nice too.

                  Check Newegg. Last time I looked, they had some of this year's models at a good price once put into the cart.
                  If dynamite was dangerous, do you think they'd sell it to an idiot like me?

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                  • #10
                    Re: $400 to $500 AV Reciever / What powered sub recommendations?

                    Originally posted by Sidi View Post
                    The 1121 also has a larger amp section (supposedly) than the 1122. It weighs 11lbs more (chassis and transformer size). And I believe the 1121 was made in the Elite series manufacturing facility while the 1122 is created in their lower end facility.
                    You're right though, the few people selling the 1121 still have the price way up there. I got mine cheap at newegg :D
                    It seems like the 1121 is a better product than the 1122 if a couple feature updates can be ignored. Honestly, I think I'm going with the Yamaha, looking around the web (and I know there's a lot of noise in the signal to noise ratio on the net inre: reviews) the sound quality of the 1122 isn't quite as hot and I really liked the sound quality of my admittedly lower end Yamaha that I had before someone took it.

                    EDIT: Somehow just now noticed that there are no pre-amp outputs on the 673, and stepping up to the Yami 773 to get them takes me over budget. I've never really worried about this before... The 1122 has pre-amp outputs for the mains and it seems like a nice feature to have but I'm not sure if this is something that should move me one way or the other. Is ~90W going to be enough for most speakers? I eventually want to assemble a pair of SR71's for the front stage, so I don't think I'd have big issues driving them with the 673. Hrm...

                    For a sub, the Precision Accoustics PA-150 looks intriguing, as does the already mentioned BIC PL200. The only other option that interests me is a pair of Dayton SUB1200's but I'm probably better off going with a single higher quality unit and adding a second later if I really feel the need.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: $400 to $500 AV Reciever / What powered sub recommendations?

                      I have the 1121 and love it. It does have a bigger amp than this years 1122. New Egg sold the 1121 for 400$ several times last year. Keep your eye out for one, You'll love it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: $400 to $500 AV Reciever / What powered sub recommendations?

                        I feel preouts are a must now. Why upgrade the whole unit if the processor is still relevant? And buying dedicated processors always seems to be high dollar too.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: $400 to $500 AV Reciever / What powered sub recommendations?

                          I think the beefier power supply and amp sections for previous gen AVRs vs. the latest AVRs is true for almost all brands. Most seem to be getting lighter and theoretically more anemic.

                          In terms of raw power, I've never watched a movie or been in a scenario where my Onkyo AVR couldn't supply the power needed for my speakers, keeping in mind the LFE duties are given to active subs. I occasionally run my bedroom setup with no sub and the AVR still has no problems with the speakers full range providing all LFE.
                          Nichikuros - Peerless 831735 Nomex + Vifa NE25VTA
                          Digger8 - Small compact 8" sub with F3 = 20Hz
                          Madison-D and Madison-R - Tang Band W4-1720 + Vifa BC25SC06 or Beston RT003C (TM and MTM)
                          Jeffrey - Tang Band W5-704D + Beston RT003C
                          Jasmine - Fountek FW146 + Fountek NeoCD3.0 Ribbon in Pioneer BS21 Cabinet

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: $400 to $500 AV Reciever / What powered sub recommendations?

                            I try to keep up with some of the shops that still have in-house service departments and my tech-friends that still work in those shops, like where I worked. You can get a handle on what is on the shelf (reliability), how long it stays there (factory response and parts-availability) and how often some brands show up more that others. Some OEM's are more responsive with parts and warranty claims, some are horrible; even going so far as to regularly fix blame on the customer. In that respect, I'd favor Yamaha, if for that reason alone. H/K would be another. I'm not so fond of Denon and how they dealt with retailers, especially ones with in-house service, same with Sony. It's true that Onkyo has fallen out regarding relaibility and useability issues. The Audessey set-up is better overall, but Yammie's proprietary system is pretty good. And the Yamaha has a good stereo-only SQ that some others can't match if you like to listen in 2-channel sometimes. I can't really recommend a pre-built sub, but if some of the other guys have bought a particular brand and really like it, I would trust their recommendations, like the BIC or the HSU.


                            John A.
                            "Children play with b-a-l-l-s and sticks, men race, and real men race motorcycles"-John Surtees
                            Emotiva UPA-2, USP-1, ERC-1 CD
                            Yamaha KX-390 HX-Pro
                            Pioneer TX-9500 II
                            Yamaha YP-211 w/Grado GF3E+
                            Statement Monitors
                            Vintage system: Yamaha CR-420, Technics SL-PG100, Pioneer CT-F8282, Akai X-1800, Morel(T)/Vifa(W) DIY 2-way in .5 ft3
                            Photos: http://custom.smugmug.com/Electronic...#4114714_cGTBx
                            Blogs: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=2003

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: $400 to $500 AV Reciever / What powered sub recommendations?

                              Originally posted by Sidi View Post
                              I feel preouts are a must now. Why upgrade the whole unit if the processor is still relevant? And buying dedicated processors always seems to be high dollar too.
                              I'm completely with you but it's going to take a screaming deal or a last-in-stock purchase from some online retailer to get a receiver with pre-amp outs into my price range from what I'm seeing. The couple that get close enough to consider seem to have some odd quirks, like the HK 3600 not outputting sound to Zone 2 if the source is digital. Works from an analog source but unless I'm spinning an LP, that won't be happening. Yamaha RX-V710 has a pair of pre-amp outputs but it looks like "tape monitor" style and not referenced against the volume knob's position, or I could be wrong. Marantz SR5006 has that goofy small circle for all information display unless I fire up the TV which is a big turn-off, that whole line just looks weird to me.

                              Will keep looking, and thanks to everyone for making suggestions.

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