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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After spending some time reading up on AV receivers I feel like I know a lot less than I did before. I need some education and help in building my new system.

A long time ago I owned a HTIB from Sony, I liked it, but it wasn't anything go home and write about. Now that I'm an adult and have real money to spend I'd like to begin building a decent system. I'm technically inclined but AV receivers just boggle me.

My first two speakers I just ordered off of Amazon are PolkAudio TSI200's. I got a great deal on them and they seem to be well received. Now I need a receiver but I'm not sure what I need to drive those speakers. Initially we considered getting the Onkyo 609 but that was last year and it's been replaced by the 616 model. I'm sure they'll both drive the speakers fine but I wouldn't even know a first thing as to why any random model is better than the first one. A lot of the marketing material focuses on AirPlay, 3D and seemingly irrelevant list of features while the more technical attributes are hidden or not explained at all.

I basically need a cheat sheet of technical specs I can use to compare one receiver against another, otherwise I'm just basing my opinions on number of inputs/outputs and brand name.

Any help is appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Just as an update, I'm thinking of going with one of these three:

Denon AVR1911 at $280
Onkyo NR609 at $290
Denon AVR891 at $298

Prices quoted from Accessories for less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It would be only 2-channel for now. In a year or two down the road I would like to buy the PolkAudio CS20 center channel and a sub (PSW505).

Beyond that, I don't have an immediate need to go anywhere beyond that 3.1 setup. If I'm bored in the future I might pair the system up with another set of TSI200's for the back for a total of 5.1.
 

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With a 2 channel set-up, I personally would lean toward one of the Denons. The 609 has the better amplification section (and bench tests have shown it performs fairly close to spec), but given you will only be driving 2 speakers, that should not be an issue.

Most of the feedback I see for a Denon AVR is that they sound more "musical" than the Onkyo counterpart.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm assuming that saying Denon is more "musical" does not necessarily imply it should only be used for "music", just that it sounds more 'organic' rather than artificial?

My primary use case is running my home theatre PC and playing my movies through the surround sound. Many of these movies are blu-ray rips so the sound quality is fairly high. Given that 5.1 isn't in the cards for me anytime soon but I could possibly want to expand to that years down the road, does the Denon still make sense?

My thinking was that I could pick some really old receiver for $100 off of craigslist and pair it up with speakers for the time being, until I decide to get a very nice receiver, but that almost seems like throwing away $100 that I might as well apply towards a nicer receiver now rather than later.
 

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I'm assuming that saying Denon is more "musical" does not necessarily imply it should only be used for "music", just that it sounds more 'organic' rather than artificial?
Correct - I have never owned a Denon myself, but this is the most prevalent statement I see from owners.

My primary use case is running my home theatre PC and playing my movies through the surround sound. Many of these movies are blu-ray rips so the sound quality is fairly high. Given that 5.1 isn't in the cards for me anytime soon but I could possibly want to expand to that years down the road, does the Denon still make sense?

My thinking was that I could pick some really old receiver for $100 off of craigslist and pair it up with speakers for the time being, until I decide to get a very nice receiver, but that almost seems like throwing away $100 that I might as well apply towards a nicer receiver now rather than later.
I agree - and at the prices you can find for refurbished units at A4L, it is definitely worth spending the extra bit - you also get a 1 year warranty. If you ultimately plan to go to 5.1, I would personally lean toward the 609 for it's amplification abilities.

Another option you could look at is the 709 - it is a bit more than the 609, but it offers pre-outs should you ever choose to go with outboard amplification as well as a MultiEQ XT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I ended up buying the 891 model.

Why? Turns out it had full Audissey support rather than 2EQ so for whatever that's worth. It was a $9 difference over the Onkyo 609. The consensus seemed to be that Full Audissey support is better than 2EQ and since I'll be keeping this for a while I might as well get that.

Accessories for less also threw in a free iPod/iPhone dock. I actually prefer that and I'll look into wi-fi solutions, if any, later on.

Now I just need to buy some speaker wire, save up to buy a house and buy the center and sub when I move. haha.

Thanks for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If you ultimately plan to go to 5.1, I would personally lean toward the 609 for it's amplification abilities.

Another option you could look at is the 709 - it is a bit more than the 609, but it offers pre-outs should you ever choose to go with outboard amplification as well as a MultiEQ XT.
So I was sold on the Onkyo from the brand perspective but the lack of Audissey was the thing I needed to push me over the edge. I already feel like I know more than I ever wanted to know about receivers and I just needed something to help me make a decision already one way or another.

I didn't know about the 1-year warranty from Accessories4Less, that's even better news. I think I'll be happy with the 2.0 setup for the time being. It will beat the TV speakers and I can't even take advantage of all the loudness the system can offer until we move into a house from our apartment. In the meantime it will be nice to hear movies without the crackling sound of TV speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Got my 2.0 setup up and running this weekend and it rocks! I absolutely love it. The only thing I miss is not having AirPlay. I didn't think I would care for that feature at all but now with the setup I kind of regret not getting it.
 
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