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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, everyone! Glad to have found you, since I could really use some advice.

I just got a Samsung LN52A850 LCD tv, which is a pretty awesome upgrade from my really old 32 inch Orion POS. Now I need to find other quality components to go with it. I nearly made the mistake of spending WAY too much on a Bose Lifestyle set, but after I hooked it up and got to looking more closely at the specs, I packed it back up and returned it. Narrowly averted making an expensive mistake, from what I gather. Anyway, I'm doing the smart thing now and doing research before I drop more cash on a set of speakers and a receiver.

I think I know which speakers I want. I'm planning on getting the Aperion Intimus 5B Harmony SD set.

But I'm still open to suggestion, if anyone has any.

The area that I have more questions about, though, is which receiver I should get. I have it narrowed down to four so far. They are:

Onkyo TX-SR806

Denon AVR-2309CI

Sony STR-DA3400ES

Yamaha RX-V863


I have read reviews when they are available, but as an A\V beginner with just a basic understanding of the features offered by each, I have a difficult time really differentiating between any of them. They all seem to have about the same features, more or less. I'm leaning towards the Onkyo so far. I understand they have a pretty good reputation, and they make a solid product with comparable features found on more expensive receivers. Then again, what do I know?

Help! Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 

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I'd say all of your choices are pretty good, and I'm sure you would be happy with any of them. Personally, I like the Denon. There are quite a few folks that have picked up one of these new Onkyo's and they are really happy with them. Right now Onkyo seems to be best value - price, features, performance etc.
 

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Hello Austin, Welcome to the Shack!

I am an owner of the Onkyo 805 and highly recommend it. The 806 is not any different than the 805 but offers better firmware upgrade ability as the 805 was a real difficult procedure. So if you can find an 805 that was manufactured late 2008 or into 2009 grab it as it already has the latest installed and has no issues and will be found for much less.
 

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Welcome Austin!

I, too am in the market. It can certainly be confusing! The only thing I have to share is in regard to the Sony ES. It was at the top of my list for two reasons. I have a PS3 and have been very satisfied. The ES line shares the same menu design as the PS3 and it's a great navigation system. Reviews placed it on par with the other receivers you've mentioned for sound quality, picture quality and flexibility.

Here's the bad news. The Sony ES receivers have been so problem prone that Sony instituted a buy back program. That's removed them from my short list.

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the quick replies...

I went in to one of those super high-end audio stores yesterday (which was undoubtedly a mistake) and concerning the receivers I mentioned, he recommended either the Sony or Denon, and told me that Onkyo wasn't as good as those. Then I hear Sony has the voluntary buyback going on with the ES series. That leaves Denon as the one that I haven't heard anything bad about. I was also given a catalogue for Rotel equipment which, honestly, looks a bit more expensive than I want, although I haven't looked it up yet.

He's also trying to talk me into some B&W speakers, which I'm actually interested in, although I may have to get them on ebay in order to not bankrupt myself. I'm looking at the FPM5's. Those would only put me slightly over budget. The reason I'm interested in these over Aperion is primarily the size & shape. The flat design would look a LOT less clunky and awkward, and even though I hear that you lose some quality when you go with the flat speakers, I'd be willing to bet that B&W makes a pretty good set.

:spend::spend::spend:
 

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I went in to one of those super high-end audio stores yesterday (which was undoubtedly a mistake) and concerning the receivers I mentioned, he recommended either the Sony or Denon, and told me that Onkyo wasn't as good as those. Then I hear Sony has the voluntary buyback going on with the ES series. That leaves Denon as the one that I haven't heard anything bad about. I was also given a catalogue for Rotel equipment which, honestly, looks a bit more expensive than I want, although I haven't looked it up yet.
The reason he probably did not recommend Onkyo is that they do not sell them so dont go by that. I would never buy a Sony receiver I know several people who have them and they are not happy with them. Sony makes great displays and there PS3 is second to none for BluRay playback but thats about it. I bet he did not even recommend Marantz, they also make a great receiver. Onkyo has a very good reputation on this forum many of us own them and have had no issues.

Don't go by what sales people tell you, let your ears and eyes make the decision for you and remember that speakers will sound different at home than they do in the store. B&W make a great speaker and no matter what you get from them you wont be disappointed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The reason he probably did not recommend Onkyo is that they do not sell them so dont go by that. I would never buy a Sony receiver I know several people who have them and they are not happy with them. Sony makes great displays and there PS3 is second to none for BluRay playback but thats about it. I bet he did not even recommend Marantz, they also make a great receiver. Onkyo has a very good reputation on this forum many of us own them and have had no issues.

Don't go by what sales people tell you, let your ears and eyes make the decision for you and remember that speakers will sound different at home than they do in the store. B&W make a great speaker and no matter what you get from them you wont be disappointed.
I pretty much figured that was the case. I have yet to read a bad review on an Onkyo device. And I know Sony's reputation. And I know salesmen aren't going to recommend a product they aren't selling. I do plan on getting a PS3, but I don't think I really want to buy any other Sony products beyond that, especially after hearing that the device I was considering is having so many problems. And also, you are correct. He didn't mention Marantz. I'll check them out, too.

Good advice, everyone - much appreciated.
 

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Unless space or WAF is a HUGE factor I would recommend staying away from the flat speakers. Its going to cost more and perform worse (unless you spend a lot more $). You do what you have to within your constraints of course but making speakers flat just has many compromises.

B&W make nice speakers. Aperion also gets many good reviews and has good pricing because they are direct.

If you want to go with A perion I'd recommend you buy the 4 5b speakers and the center for $1250 rather than the whole 1749for the 5 B Harmony SD setup. Why? Because you are getting great speakers but then spending $500 for an 8 inch (although it is a dual 8 inch ) sub. Aperion makes great speakers but they really aren't know as a sub manufacturer and there are many ID companies out there that concentrate on subs that will give you more bang for your buck.

An SVS PB10-NSD with its 10 inch woofer and 300 watt amp will very likely outperform the aperion sub for less $ at 429. At $100 more (S99) the PB12-NSD would likely kill the aperion Sub. (But take up more space.

Onkyo seems to provide great feature value ratio. There have been reports of them running hot so you might want to make sure its properly ventilated if you go that way.
 

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He's also trying to talk me into some B&W speakers, which I'm actually interested in, although I may have to get them on ebay in order to not bankrupt myself. :spend::spend::spend:
You can get good deals on ebay ... and you can also check www.audiogon.com, www.videogon.com and www.craigslist.com; there's always good deals :yes:

I own a Yamaha RX-V2700 and I'm happy; the only issue was that after some time it was hot(same as Onkyo), but the problem was that I was demanding a lot of power from the AVR (specially with the front speakers); that problem was solved after I added a new external amp to run the fronts (Samson Servo 600) ... you can also go that route :yes:
 
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Austin - Sounds like we are in the same boat. I recently found myself in the "want" for a new receiver. I currently have a Yamaha 5490 that has been great work horse for the past few years (maybe 5).

I have had a Sony ES before and will never purchase another. Just one issue after another. My first receiver was a Onkyo which I had great luck with. The only problem is I bought one that my budge would fit .. which wasn't much back then.

The last couple of receivers have been Yamaha's but I am not sure that my next will be. I think the Denon with the 4HDMI in and pretty much everything else you need may be the route that I am going to take.

So.. where are you with your purhace?
 

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Agreed with what others have said here. From experience with Sony, their receivers are hard to set up and really counter intuitive. This keeps them off of my list. I've owned Denon for almost 10 years now and have been very happy, Onkyo and Yamaha seem to be in the same boat with their owners.

I would echo the last point on the extra HDMI input on the Denon. I'd look for features and future expandability and make a decision based on that. They will all perform wonderfully.
 
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thxgoon - i am with you on that one. I beleive I will be welcoming a nice new Denon to the family this upcoming weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all your advice, everyone. I believe I am also going to go with the Denon. It just seems like the best price\feature deal to me, and I haven't heard of anyone with anything bad to say about it yet. Again, I really appreciate all the advice.
 

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I would echo the last point on the extra HDMI input on the Denon. I'd look for features and future expandability and make a decision based on that. They will all perform wonderfully.
The New Onkyo lineup from the 806 up all have 5 HDMI inputs the Denon only has 4 but I'm not sure who would need that many:)
 

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I can remember when we were not sure why a PC would need more than 64 MB of memory or more than a 10 MB hard drive:bigsmile:
Yes I remember that time as well but thinking of connectivity in this sense would be missing the point. Technology in home theater (specifically A/V receivers) is taking us in the direction of better performance with the least amout of connections. We have been paying more money to use fewer chords that have a better performance than chords dedicated to specific audio or video tasks. In a few years time, I believe the trend will be moving toward wireless connectivity, wich would make inputs meaningless.

The way to spend your money is to give yourself a bit of room to add on components down the road that you may not see yourself getting yet, and then use the rest of your money to ensure the quality of your sound and picture stays at the highest level your budget will allow once you have established a value of your connection requirements.
 

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From your list of four, the Onkyo TX-SR806 or the Denon AVR-2309CI are two great choices.
Either one, you'll be totally happy with.

* But the Denon AVR-2809CI would be more in line with the Onkyo TX-SR806.

My 0.02 cents.
 
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