Home Cinema buffs – Advice needed!

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  • Home Cinema buffs – Advice needed!
  • willard

    After months of pestering, I am finally getting round to sorting out a proper home cinema system. I’ve got the new TV, have the location earmarked and cleared, bought a PS3 “for BluRay, honest darling. It plays games as well? Really?” and am now looking at purchasing an AV receiver.

    Here lies the problem. THERE ARE MILLIONS OF THEM!!!!!

    My last amp purchase was back in the day that stereo was exotic and it was very much DJ focussed (i.e. big on bass, lots of power). For this use though, I need something with finesse and poise, grace, distinction. Think of it as an epee against a sabre.

    Actually, don’t think of it like that.

    Ok, so a friend has given me some direction and for the budget I have (my work bonus) I’ve found three that look to be good. If anyone knows anything about this sort of thing, I’d welcome opinions on:

    The Pioneer VSX922
    The Denon AVR2113
    The Onkyo TX-NR616
    The Yamaha RXV673 (no, this is not a motorbike)

    The last two are more expensive than the first two, so may mean me haggling a bit with the man in the shop, but if they are worth the extra money, then that could be an option. To be honest, I’m hedging towards the Pioneer right now (always liked their car stereos) in part because it seems to be well regarded and in part because I can probably put the money saved into speakers.

    So, advice/opinions welcome and if you have any other suggestion/recommendations, those too


    I’ve got the older version of the Yamaha and I love it. I was using a DVD/surround sound combo thingy before and the difference in quality is great.

    I’m not much of an audiophile but I like good sounding music and films and the Yamaha gives me that so it gets vote. I can’t compare with the others so I’m not saying its the best of the bunch but it gets good reviews and I’ve no regrets with mine.


    I’ve got the pioneer, basically so it matched my bluray player! it sounds a little bright compared to my old marantz, but I’ve got used to it and tweaked the sub and treble a bit, the extra detail from the bluray via hdmi, setting the sound levels was very easy utilising the iPhone app and the sound is very balanced now. Overall very happy with the power and features and I don’t even notice the bright rather than warm sound now and would have no worries recommending one. Mine is driving B&W VM1’s coupled with a Rel sub.

    Premier Icon sam_underhill

    I’ve got the yamaha 673. It won what hifi awards this time around. I’m really pleased with it, and it replaced a 10 year old yamaha dsp-a5.


    I have just got the Denon 2113 and well impressed with it. I previously had a Denon 1907 but wanted the built in media streaming hence the upgrade. Great sound, simple to setup and easy streaming now I have a reliable wifi connector. Most of the control is normally done through the iPhone app which just works. AirPlay hadn’t figured in the original list of requirements but use it quite often for streaming music off my iPhone.

    The Yamaha was in the equation too. The father in law is a big fan of their equipment and recently retired from having his own high end hifi shop for 35 years knows his stuff. The Yamaha had a softer sound which reproduces music better but I preferred the harder sound of the Denon which suited movies more.

    I can’t comment on the others but I wouldn’t imagine that you’d be happy with any of them. If you have your own speakers already then make sure hear the amp with them so you know what your getting when set it up at home.


    Sony 1030 was quite nice too. Nice sound, built in wifi but I didn’t like the mobile app for it. Sounds pathetic but when you’ve got it for years you want it to be right.


    Cheers all. I’ve received approval for a shopping trip on Saturday, so with any luck I’ll have something on Saturday night!


    Just sorted out my folks with a new AV receiver and got the shortlist down the the same as yours. I choose the Yamaha673. Purchased it from Richer Sounds and got, imho, a good deal.

    Opened this link in the shop and asked for a deal to match it. Got a pair of homeplugs (£45) and a decent hdmi thrown in for the £449 asking price.

    I was amazed at the difference it made over the Harmon Kardon amp that it replaced. A lot of set-up and customisation required. Might be work having a look over on AVForums at the owners thread to really get the best out the receiver.

    Happy shopping!!


    Just bought a Yamaha RX 473 for the flat in Germany
    Build quality is not great but sound in very good for the spondies paid

    The 673 is 7.1 and with better build quality- I would pitch for that

    Be careful with Onkyo – they have had real issues with HDMI ports failing … hence last years versions seem to be had for a cheap price …


    ive got the denon, its a fairly warm sounding amp which complements my bright speakers.
    the panasonic are supposed to be fairly bright sounding, not sure on the yamaha and onkyo, never had them.

    from that list the yamaha is probably the best sounding all rounder amp,but more expensive.
    no problems with my denon though, if you are going to use a media player like a mede8er then you dont really need the online services but nice to have flac playback built in.
    note that you need premium accounts for spotify and lastfm!


    Denon. Frankly you can’t go wrong with any of them but the Denon would be my choice, Airplay, great sound and every feature you need. For anyone reading this with a slightly larger budget take a look at Anthem, probably the best sounding AV receivers on the market but kick in at just over a grand. Rotel always worth a look as well, very powerful.

    Anthem MRX range
    Rotel receivers

    One thing i do love about most of the Denon and Onkyo range is that if you’re building a system with a control solution such as Control4 (one remote to coordinate everything), you can control the receivers via IP which is very fast and very convenient.

    Have fun shopping Willard, let us know how you get on.

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