General discussion

A/V Receiver Recommendation

I am having a hard time choosing a new A/V receiver. Mine is an old Yamaha which do not have any HDMI connections, etc. Using optical audio output for now, and single HDMI from PS3 to TV for the video.
I have a Sony PS3 and a Sony HDTV.
I am debating between these few receivers:

SONY STR-DA5300ES (great reviews on CNET.Should have lastest firmware. However not that popular with the a/v diehards?)
Pioneer Elite VSX-94TXH
ONKYO TX-NR905 (like the THX and HQV Reon VX. No GUI interface. Heats up easily???)
Denon AVR-3808CI (nice GUI. Reputation for making great receivers???)

Please help. Thanks in advance.


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nice selection

You are right that Denon has a great rep. But you pay for it. Its not really a coincidence that you are comparing Onkyo's best to Denon's midline. For Denon also makes 4308, 5308, the 09 series, let alone the separates.

I will simply presume that the only listed receiver with torroidal transformers is the Onkyo 905.

Bigger amps = more heat. Reon chips make a lot of heat.

If you like Denon, go for it. I would take the 905 if my speakers enjoyed more current. I think of Dynaudio, Totem (which I guess uses Dyn drivers a lot), or other speaker technologies, such as planars, electrstats, ribbons, etc or particular stuff that has either low minimal impedances, or crazy looking impedance curve, or simply just low sensitivity...

You'll probably be happy with any of them.

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If I was going to spend that kind of money I'd go for pre/pro and amp separates. In all honesty, you don't need an uber fancy pre/pro...just make sure it has HDMI video passthrough so the video quality is not adversely affected if you plug HDMI video into your receiver before going to your TV.

I'd get a ~$500-600 receiver with pre-outs to serve as your pre/pro (make sure it decodes the latest HD audio codecs) and then something like the Emotiva XPA-5 200 watt/channel amp (if you have a 5.1 speaker set-up). So you could get an Onkyo TX-SR805 receiver (4 HDMI inputs, I believe) and the XPA-5 amp for ~$1400-1500. The Emotiva amp will sound better than the amps in the receivers you listed above.

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Thank you to all who have responded so far with their recommendation and suggestions.

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Out of the selection, I would go with the Denon. I use Denons as test receivers when I compare loudspeakers. I do also like NAD as a brand, as they generally make some great stuff. They might be a bit on the expensive side last time I checked, but here's another brand you may find interesting: Rotel. Rotel is part of the B&W group and thus makes ll of their stuff in England. They have a strong reputation for making fantastic separates at great prices.

I am not a fan of Sony receivers: They run VERY hot, never good for an AV system. I have a hard enough time keeping my house cool in the summer as is, let alone the heat from AV components.

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