AV RECEIVER REVIEWS

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Kim Wilson Posted: Aug 18, 2008 0 comments
If you want bang for your buck, look no further.

The great thing about technol-ogy is that everything eventually becomes affordable. The latest generation of A/V receivers certainly demonstrates this, and the Onkyo TX-SR606 exemplifies the extraordinary features and performance capabilities of AVRs under $600.

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Aug 11, 2008 0 comments
More canals than Venice.
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Joshua Zyber Posted: Jul 27, 2008 0 comments
Denon sound quality lives on in the next generation.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 21, 2008 0 comments
Making receivers easy. Well, easier.

The Consumer Electronics Association recently kicked off a “Convert Your Mom” campaign to advance the transition to digital television. One thing your mom will probably never want is a surround receiver. Sure, no home theater buff in her right mind would relegate audio functions to TV speakers. But, although the receiver is the nerve center for many systems, it’s also a stumbling block to many potential users. Receivers just do too many good things—entailing setup and adjustment hassles along the way. Make them simpler, and you lose capabilities. Make them full featured, and you get an instruction manual that’s like War and Peace (minus the literary merit).

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Wes Phillips Posted: Jul 14, 2008 0 comments

When I answered the door and saw the UPS man standing there with a massive box, I knew that Denon's AVR-5308CI had finally arrived after a series of misadventures. (Don't ask.)

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 18, 2008 0 comments

Product positioning in today's consumer world generally falls into three categories: budget, mid-tier, and premium. For example, BMW offers the 3-series, 5-series, and 7-series. All are nice automobiles, but with each step up in class, additional features and performance add value for the end user with a concomitant increase in price.

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Kris Deering Posted: Jun 16, 2008 0 comments
HT examines the video processing in today’s top AVRs to find out which solutions make the grade.

While many new technologies have been incorporated into A/V receivers over the last few years, perhaps the biggest change we’ve seen in these traditionally audio-based components is the inclusion of advanced video processing. Just a few years ago, video processing was reserved for high-priced standalone machines that almost required a doctorate to employ. But now we’re seeing high-quality solutions incorporated into even midline AVRs, and video processing is being used to differentiate and market these products against one another in a hotly competitive market.

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uavKim Wilson Posted: Jun 11, 2008 0 comments

New technologies have a way of becoming less expensive over a shorter period of time with each passing year. Case in point—the RX-V663 A/V receiver from Yamaha, which provides a complete 7.1-channel system (95Wpc) with some of the most advanced features available in an AVR for less than $600.

Mark Fleischmann Posted: May 12, 2008 0 comments
Now this is the way to set up a system.

This month, we break new ground in Spotlight Systems. Normally, we pair off a surround speaker package with surround electronics. But that ignores the whole subject of signal sources, without which, after all, all of our systems would be dark and silent. So this time out, we’re mating an up-to-the-minute receiver, the Sony STR-DA4300ES, with an oh-so-hip Blu-ray player, the Sony BDP-S500. And no, Sony didn’t slip me a suitcase full of cash for doing this.

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David Vaughn Posted: May 07, 2008 0 comments

According to Wikipedia, a flagship is the lead ship in a fleet of vessels that is usually the fastest, largest, newest, or most heavily armed. In terms of home-theater electronics, a flagship model is the company's top-of-the-line design, with cutting-edge features, capabilities, and technologies.

Mark Fleischmann Posted: May 04, 2008 0 comments
Let’s face it: The French have a better shape.

To Americans accustomed to seeing other Americans waddling through shopping malls—and let me be the first to admit I’ve been doing a fair amount of waddling myself lately—the streets of Paris come as a pleasant shock. How do people who feast on duck liver and red wine stay so lean and sexy? Perhaps that eternal mystery springs from the same source as Cabasse’s fashionably thin Artis Baltic Evolution tower loudspeaker. Like one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s amazing cantilevered houses, it seems to defy gravity, the sphere holding its coaxial driver array floating on a skinny diagonal slash of solid wood. I suspect that the people who designed the speaker sat down to an excellent dinner afterward.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Apr 14, 2008 1 comments
Connected where it counts.

Marantz is a brand name. It was once an individual as well. What would Saul Marantz have made of the SR8002 A/V receiver? It bears little resemblance to the hi-fi products he hand-built in his home in Kew Gardens, New York, during the 1950s—or to the Japanese-made receivers that popularized component audio systems in the 1970s. Saul lived until 1997, so he was not unfamiliar with the concept of surround sound by the time he passed away—but his younger self would have been astonished to see 11 pairs of binding posts on the back of the SR8002. Not to mention some unfamiliar jacks labeled HDMI. What are those for?

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 18, 2008 0 comments
Sense and sensibility and connectivity.

One of the home theater industry’s greatest sins is modesty. If excessively modest people hide their lights under a bushel, speaker and receiver manufacturers go them one better, hiding their achievements in boxes. Boxes with drivers on the front, boxes with buttons and knobs that sit in a rack—boxes. True, surround speaker packages that break away from the boxy norm are slowly making inroads into the conservative milieu of home theater, just as some clever surround receivers boast digital amps and slim form factors. This month’s Spotlight System does none of those things. To divine what’s special about it, you’ll have to look deeply into its soul.

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Kim Wilson Posted: Mar 17, 2008 0 comments
Never has the field been so full of top-quality A/V Receivers and the competition is fierce among the top manufacturers for these types of components. It used to be that low-end models kept costs down by eliminating features and seriously compromising sound quality. However, consumers have come to expect the most bang for the buck, at any price, significantly raising the bar on less expensive models such as the $749 Denon AVR-888.
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uavKim Wilson Posted: Mar 13, 2008 0 comments

If a Pioneer A/V receiver is given the distinguished Elite status, you can bet it's going to provide top-level features and performance. So it is with the Pioneer Elite VSX-94TXH, a 7.1-channel, THX Select2-certified AVR that employs Pioneer's proprietary Advanced MCACC (Multi-Channel ACoustic Calibration) speaker and EQ configuration along with a Faroudja DCDi video scaler. It also features Pioneer's Home Media Gallery, which lets you access audio files from PCs and receive Internet radio stations.

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