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Discussion Starter #1
A friend of mine just bought a condo and is looking to get her system up and running. She has a really old model Onkyo AVR (it was good at the time and still works, but it's old enough not to have HDMI) that needs to be replaced. She'll be setting her system up in 3.1 (not negotiable) and listening at levels well-below reference. This means power req's are low, channel req's are low, and overall fanciness is not necessary. There is one twist: She needs a phono pre-amp.

Budget is $300

Anyone know of a 5.1 AVR with multiple HDMI inputs and a phono pre-amp in this price range? Old models and refurbs are OK.
 

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Check out A4L. You're likely to find something there.
 

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Agree, accessories4less is a great place to find what you need.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
That was actually my first stop after posting this, as they sold me my new (ish) Marantz SR5010 resulting in my unfettered happiness.

I'm eyeballing an Onkyo TX-NR555. It's a lot of overkill for what she's going to do, but it covers the bases and comes in under budget. Thoughts?
 

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It would be just fine for her needs. It's better to have overkill than to be dissatisfied with something that's just enough
 

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Overkill is ok, I actually am skeptical of the idea of buying an underpowered AVR because the person may not be listening within -30dB of reference ... the amp needs power to produce dynamic range, and the speakers she gets may not be very sensitive.

But… With all the warranty and customer service complaints with Onkyo, I would steer clear. Marantz seems to offer great value, Pioneer as well, and I'm a Yamaha advocate. Not sure who's going to delivery a PHONO input on your budget, might have to get an adapter/transducer from Monoprice to complete that req.

I'm sure the others offer something similar, but Yamaha's CinemaDSP modes can simulate more surround sound with 3 speakers, which she may like. An AVR with some Audyssey or Yamaha YPAO measurement tuning will make setup easier.

Yamaha has a superb app for iOS and Android for controlling their network-enabled AVRs, that might be a selling point for your friend. Likewise Spotify, Pandora, Airplay, etc. Get a 2015 or later model (e.g. RX-V779) to get the latest (sort of) HDMI and HDCP specs, in case she moves to a 4K UHD TV at some point.

If you were shopping on Accessories4less for a Yamaha, I'd say look at RX-V779, -781, TSR-5810, -780. I'm not as familiar with the RX-Axxx models, they are similar to the RX-Vs. Some recent threads identified equivalencies.
 
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