What were the best sounding mass market receivers of the 90's/00's?

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by thurber, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. thurber

    thurber New Member

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    Obviously the older stuff has a better reputation for good reason. But there were so many receivers made in these years, and there are tons of them on the market for nickels. Wondering if there are any standouts from these years, i.e. Marantz 2230, Pioneer sx-1980, or even approaching that. Features not really a consideration at all - just talking about pure sound quality for music listening.
     

     

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  2. teal'c

    teal'c It's all moo

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    I've always been impressed with my Technics SA-R530. So much so I've never been more than slightly miffed the remote died within a year.
    Wasn't quite the 90's though. 88 or 89.
    Still have it, still listening to it.
     
  3. Raynald

    Raynald AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    There have been several threads lately on monster pre HDMI home theater receivers which is where the mass market high end wars had moved in that era. They were very expensive and a lot of the budget went into more than you need for stereo listening but who cares now as they sell for a fraction of their original MSRP and are fantastic for 2 ch listening as they have great power amp sections with humongous power supplies and often great DAC sections thrown in as a nice bonus. And remote control!

    Things like the Denon AVR-5700/5800 series and the Yamaha RX-V1/Z1-7-11.
     
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  4. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan AK Member Subscriber

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    I owned Sony and Denon HT receivers I think sounded smoother and more dimensional than the Japanese receivers I heard in the 70s. I don’t remember the models, they’re long gone. I also had a Yamaha HT receiver that sounded kind’a flat and harsh, not so good. I last used the Denon to drive Altec 19s in a stereo system and it had excellent tone, clarity, imaging and depth. Other Altec systems in the house were driven by a restored Fisher tube receiver and a Jolida EL84 tube integrated.

    Funny thing though, the Denon was a bust driving Martin Logan Vista electrostatic hybrids—flat and lifeless.


    About 15 years ago Panasonic and JVC made chip amp HT receivers that sounded crazy good, I knew guys using them in weirdo, no holds barred DIY horn speaker systems.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
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  5. thurber

    thurber New Member

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    For my part, I have a Nakamichi AV-8 I have talked about before that I got for I think $40 in great condition at a thrift store. Best sounding audio component I have ever owned (though I haven't owned that much) - clear as crystal and nicely balanced for music, especially piano music. Keith Jarret on it - wow. Thanks for the replies - would be interested in hearing as many responses as possible - including 80's, sure. I just bought a Pioneer Elite VSX-74TXVi that was well-liked by Guttenberg & Sound + Vision, and cost $1500 ten+ years ago for $58. Anyone know those ones? To be honest I didn't even know there were receivers that could do some of the things this thing can supposedly do (haven't picked it up yet), like its MCACC feature.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
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  6. awillia6

    awillia6 Well-Known Member

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    Pio was a leader in standardizing digital transmission of hi-res with jitter control. Denon, to its everlasting shame, went with its own proprietary interface (DenonLink) thus doing more than its part to strangle DVDA and SACD in the crib. Ironic that Pioneer and Denon, once hi-res optical had been killed (it may yet come back in streaming form), finally got together to implement SACD (stereo and multi-channel) over HDMI to perfection in the early/mid 2000s.
     
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  7. Djcoolray

    Djcoolray Addicted Member

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    The Luxman R-113 through to the R-117

    The Sony STR GX9ES and GX10ES from the late 80’s

    Early 90’s Pioneer Elite

    Yahmaha 90’s Natural Sound

    Then the infamous Pioneer VSX-D1S and VSX-9500S

    MX-1000 Amp
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
  8. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

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    NAD for anything affordable or Luxman's late models.
     
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  9. jobrewer1983

    jobrewer1983 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    @Djcoolray

    Your my new BFF! :) Pare any of the above stated with some good 90's era B&W's (DM-640's) or some vintage JBL and sit back and enjoy.
     
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  10. luxmaster

    luxmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Actually it would be the vsx 9700 that would start off the 90's. However we all know there is no difference between the 9500 and the 9700
     
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  11. RickeyM

    RickeyM AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Sony. The STR-DA5es. Sony had a habit of coming out with a SOTA unit, in this instance a receiver, and then in subsequent years coming out with a "dumbed down" newer model. The STR-DA5 was one that was made during a peak year. Built like a tank, great SQ, pre-outs for use with an outboard amp and even had a very good phono section.
     
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  12. woodj

    woodj Super Member

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    Wasn't the 2230 from the 80s?
     
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  13. thurber

    thurber New Member

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    70's
     
  14. woodj

    woodj Super Member

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    Duh, I should have remembered; I have bigger brother 2245 from the 70s.
     
  15. Brentsui

    Brentsui New Member

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    I believe the Nakamichi av500 deserves its share of praise in this thread. 120 REAL watts per channel that was able to take hold and power some NHT VT-2’s and 2.9’s that I have. Same speakers plain embarrassed a newer fancy $1200 Yamaha Aventage Rx A-1020 with a “claimed” 110 watts. The Yamaha could never get ahold of either pair in a way that even remotely resembled music.

    I know these NHT’s are a difficult speaker to drive but I was shocked how inadequate the Yamaha was compared to the Nak. I only gave $10 for it at a thrift but would have been happy to give ten times that amount if I had known what a power house it was! The only reason I shelved it was due to a 380 watt Carver tfm 45 and some NHT 3.3’s which “somehow” showed up here...

    I’m actually considering dusting the Nak off and letting it run the top end of the 3.3’s as I don’t think the carver sounds as open on the upper frequencies.
     
  16. satellite

    satellite AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    A couple of years ago I picked up a Denon DRA-545R very cheap off of Craigslist because both of my receivers at the time were on the fritz. I needed something with a phono input to get me by until I could fix my stuff. I ended up being impressed with the Denon. Gave it to a friend after I fixed my stuff, and he's still using it to this day. He's got a pretty nice sounding setup.
     

     

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  17. superdog

    superdog AK Member

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    2000-2008 Yamahas pushed everything aside for me.
     
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  18. EngineerNate

    EngineerNate AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The RX-V995 was the benchmark by which all mass market AVRs had to be measured in 1999 in my opinion. It may not have the nth degree of fidelity by our standards, but it was powerful and dead reliable. Mine's still chugging along happily nearly 20 years later.

    Cheers,
    Nathan
     
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  19. thurber

    thurber New Member

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    Brentsui, I just snagged an av500 off eBay on your praise! Excited! That AV-8 has a beautiful sound. Trying out a whole lot of different setups lately (developing a bit of a habit), plus improving my folks' setup.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
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  20. telemike

    telemike AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Harman Kardon HK3490
     
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