2013 $500 AV Receiver Roundup

Discussion in 'Amps, Pre-Pros & Receivers' started by admin, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. admin Audioholics Robot Staff Member

    admin
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    1,614
    We took a look at all of the 2013 receivers between $450-$500 from major manufacturers and put together a nice comparison.

    Things are pretty interesting, especially considering zone 2 functionality.

    what do you think about our top choices? Surprised to see a Sony up there?

    Would you take a receiver with an SMPS power supply for more features?

    [​IMG]
    Read the article: 2013 Budget AV Receiver Comparison
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Adam Audioholic Jedi

    Adam
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Messages:
    32,076
    Likes Received:
    11,909
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Thanks for putting this together, Steve! I started doing that exact same thing when I was putting together my review for the Denon AVR-E400 to post here...but I clearly never finished it.

    One suggestion that I'd make is to look more at street prices from authorized dealers rather than MSRP. For example, the Onkyo TX-NR626 has been $500 on Amazon for over a month, and it's a stronger competitor than the 525. I've seen the Denon AVR-E400 as low at $350, and the Pioneer VSX-1123 as low as $430.

    Regarding the Marantz NR-1504, it's form factor really is quite cool, and it's really a nice looking unit. 5.1 is plenty for a lot of people (unfortunately, not for me), it has a detachable power cord, and it has the pre-amp outputs for the front speakers...although I'm guessing that most folks who buy it for the small form factor don't want to add a bulky amp to it. While it has a lower rated power, it weighs very similarly to the others - that thing is dense. The remote, though, sucks in my opinion because it's not universal or learning (like the Denons).
    Adam,
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Steve81 Audioholics 5-O

    Steve81
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Messages:
    4,021
    Likes Received:
    2,059
    Location:
    38.89°N, 77.01°W
    I agree; between that and the pre-outs, it was pretty high up on my list. Heck, if it had a full 5.1 set of pre-outs, I'd buy one to replace my Onkyo.
  4. rnatalli Audioholic Ninja

    rnatalli
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
    3,734
    Likes Received:
    803
    Thanks for the roundup. I will say that although the Onkyo is rated liberally, it will likely outperform most of the others on the bench.
  5. jcunwired Audioholic

    jcunwired
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2012
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    Virginia
    Buyers need to be careful that they're purchasing from authorized dealers. For current model year and specific manufacturers it's likely that deal comes with no warranty.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2014
  6. connieflyer Audioholic

    connieflyer
    Joined:
    May 15, 2012
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    36
    the trouble with not using msrp, sure you can get better prices, but for a comparison those prices are usually transient, so at least msrp gets you in the same compare. When you narrow it down, then price shop. Just my two cents
    • Like Like x 3
  7. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Warlord

    BoredSysAdmin
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Messages:
    9,883
    Likes Received:
    3,282
    Location:
    New Joisey
    Shocking news. 4K is still by far a vaporware..
    In other news , last year models, which are on sale now at greatly reduced priced are still very relevant feature wise and some new models are in fact inferior to last year models:
    Case in point Onkyo 709 vs 717 and 818 vs 828

    Selecting favorites out of $500 msrp avrs based on published manufacturers specs alone is an interesting exercise, but I will question it's usefulness as some power specs provided might be as equival as others. Case in point to none-careful (aka none audioholics) eye power spec on Sony might just seem as one of most powerful models in the comparison, but AH will quickly notices it's been rated at 6 Ohm vs others at industry standard 8 Ohm.

    To some certain features might be more important than others, case in point: I would prefer to have Audyssey MultEQ XT rather that 7.2, but it's just me I guess
  8. STRONGBADF1 Audioholic Spartan

    STRONGBADF1
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Messages:
    7,063
    Likes Received:
    3,858
    Location:
    When you own the world you're always home
    I agree with using MSRP for this article, but I would like to see articles with titles like "What to do if you have $X to spend on a receiver". This would be tricky though. You don't want to give out free advertizing but, you're the pros...figure it out.:D

    Good job Steve.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. D Bone Audioholic Intern

    D Bone
    Joined:
    May 7, 2012
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    5
    Good article, but overlooking the HK 1710 just because of its power supply is a little, well, neanderthal like. :D I have its big brother, the 2700 and it sounds incredible. Times are a changin'
  10. Adam Audioholic Jedi

    Adam
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Messages:
    32,076
    Likes Received:
    11,909
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    That's fair, and it was only a suggestion. The price on the 626 has been $500 since I can remember, though. MSRP sometimes has nothing to do with real prices, even everyday normal advertised prices from authorized dealers.
    Adam,
  11. Pyrrho Audioholic Ninja

    Pyrrho
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    3,699
    Likes Received:
    979
    The decision is explained in the article:

    Basically, he is not comfortable recommending an unknown. If you were faced with a selection of receivers, one of which is of unknown quality, and there are some that are known to be fine, would you recommend the one that you were unsure of? Would it be responsible to do so?

    Anyway, he has not ruled it out absolutely; he just thinks it needs to be carefully examined before it can be recommended.
    • Like Like x 2
  12. psbfan9 Audioholic Samurai

    psbfan9
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    Messages:
    2,626
    Likes Received:
    1,556
    Steve, I thought this was an unbiased, well written, well thought out article. And for me, timely.

    Thanks
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Steve81 Audioholics 5-O

    Steve81
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Messages:
    4,021
    Likes Received:
    2,059
    Location:
    38.89°N, 77.01°W
    Flattery will get you everywhere :D
  14. Steve81 Audioholics 5-O

    Steve81
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Messages:
    4,021
    Likes Received:
    2,059
    Location:
    38.89°N, 77.01°W
    Indeed. I'd actually be curious to see how the HK shakes out, but Gene's plate is pretty full and a budget receiver with a SMPS isn't likely to jump to the top of his priority list.
  15. fmw Audioholic Samurai

    fmw
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,577
    Likes Received:
    489
    I have to say, these units are incredible for the price. They will handle 99% of home theaters that don't need internet connections and second zones - and some of them even have those things. Truly amazing. Interesting article.
    fmw,
  16. Pyrrho Audioholic Ninja

    Pyrrho
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    3,699
    Likes Received:
    979
    Yes, and that is why the vast majority of people ought not spend more than about $500 or so on a receiver, and should instead put extra money into better speakers, which will make a real difference for them.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. styrbjorn Audioholic Intern

    styrbjorn
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Austin TX
    Great writeup - would love to see similar for other price points up the scale (800, 1200, etc)
  18. rjplummer Audiophyte

    rjplummer
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is 7.x important in the $500 range?

    I agree. It seems that if you're creating a system where 7.x actually makes a difference over 5.1, a $500 AVR receiver is not how one should be allocating one's resources
  19. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Warlord

    BoredSysAdmin
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Messages:
    9,883
    Likes Received:
    3,282
    Location:
    New Joisey
    wholeheartedly agree
  20. theJman Audioholic Chief

    theJman
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    839
    Likes Received:
    260
    Location:
    New Joisey
    Similar in size, but with potentially better abilities in a few key areas, is the new Sherbourn SR-8100. It's just outside the $500 price point as well. Guess I'll have to hook mine up and see if it is better than the NR-1504. ;)

Share This Page

  • EMPTek.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
  • CEDIA