Budget AV receiver recommendations?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Moccasin, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. Moccasin macrumors 6502a


    Mar 21, 2011
    Newcastle, UK
    I'm seeking a couple of recommendations for a decent but affordable AV receiver to replace my Marantz amp and allow HDMI inputs and outputs.

    I don't see any need to have Airplay as I will have the ATV hooked up to it and I have some fairly cheap Wharfedale 5.1 speakers. Blu Ray is Sony.

    Are the auto setup systems with mics to configure the speakers worth the money or just a gimmick?

    Am looking to spend up to £300 I guess, though the cheaper the better!
  2. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2007
    Saratoga, CA
    I have had an Onkyo TX-SR607 for a few years now and I think it's great. Onkyo does a great job building affordable, full featured AV receivers with great sound. The current model similar to mine is the TX-NR609. It has 6 HDMI inputs and sells on Amazon for c. $400. The TX-NR509 with 4 HDMI inputs which sells for c. $250 would also be a good choice.

    I have been very happy with the automated setup system. It's *much* easier than the alternative of using an audio meter to balance the sub, center and rear speakers to the front speakers.
  3. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    The auto setup systems are quite nice and do a good job, well worth it IMO.

    The Onkyo Kevin mentioned seems popular in the AVS forums. You might get more results asking your question there.
  4. Dokk macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2010
    IA, TX ... I never know
    I have the Onkyo 609 mentioned above. The problem for you is that the UK price is a LOT higher -- £498.99 at Amazn UK vs. $400 at Amazon's US store. If you have a mate in the US, you could get the US model under budget. The 509 is a big enough step down, that I'd be reluctant to do it (you the ability to have 7.2 and dual zone someday, both of which were important to me when I bought). That said, the 509 is under your budget at the Amazon UK store.

    As for the auto-setup: yes, it's a good thing. It balances out the sound given the acoustics of your room and your primary listening area/seat.

    Good luck!!!
  5. Moccasin thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 21, 2011
    Newcastle, UK
    Thanks all

    I have actually asked a similar question at the AVforum site but had little response as yet - was aware this wasn't the best forum but I guess I wanted experience from those with the ATV.

    The Onkyos are quite heavily pushed here by one of the budget chains (Richer Sounds) but I'm not a great fan of the looks to be honest but will look again at the 509. I know that looks are a less important consideration to many but there are quite a few boxes from competitors where they have taken at least some care to keep the fascia clean and tidy and the amp would be quite prominent in my room.

    Dual zone is a nice to have, as I could have speakers in the kitchen or garden but it sounds like the auto setup is a strong option. Having been disappointed by networking capabilities so far, I don't see that being a "must-have" and suspect connecting to an ATV will be better.
  6. Uofmtiger macrumors 68020


    Dec 11, 2010
    I have found the new auto setups to be the biggest change for better sound quality in my system in a long time.

    Network capabilities give the manufacturer the option to update the receiver's firmware for better performance. The Denon 4311CI, that I own, had an audio issue that was found after the receiver was out on the market. Denon was able to fix it with a firmware update.

    Also, there are positives to airplay on a receiver that you don't get from an ATV2. As an example, if you are listening to Pandora on your iPhone, the receiver will show up on the Airplay list. If you choose it, the receiver will turn on and start playing (at least that is how my receiver works). You can then control the volume with the iPhone. If you sit near the remote all the time, I guess it isn't a huge issue, but it is a bit more convenient to control everything with the iPhone.

    Also, for zone 2, the ability to use the network app for the receiver comes in handy if you want to turn zone 2 on without going to zone 1 and setting it up.
  7. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

    Sep 15, 2004
    i(am in the)cloud
    +1 on the onkyo. The 609 is a very nice piece of kit. You might get the 608 for a low price if you can find one.

    Onkyo does a splendid job in the midrange stuff.

    Hi end you have McIntosh, Rotel, Cambridge Audio e even Marantz is no slouch.
  8. thetruth1985 macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2010
    If you read this today and are close to frys, they have the onkyo rc-360 on sale only today for $250. 6 hdmi ports, network features, and excellent reviews!

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