A/V reciever advice

I just finished building an office in the basement and looking for an AV receiver. What this will be connected to is my PC, and Satellite receiver, TV and a 5.1 system of speakers. The Speakers are nothing special, 4 in Ceiling speakers and 2 In wall Speakers a sub and a Center channel. The ceiling speakers have two different configurations, depending on if i am watching TV or using the PC (Mainly Gaming and iTunes). I do not want to spend a a lot on the receiver at most 500 since this is not my main system.

The probelem is there are so many brands out there and some of the brands I am familiare with the quality was gone down.
For my main system I have Denon A/V reciever, Anthem Amp, and Paradigm Speakers. But I have heard the Denon's quality has gone down. If not Then I will stick with Denon.

The brands I am familiar with are Yamaha, Onkyo, Denon, NAD, Sony.

So looking for advice on these brands and other that might fit the criteria.

There are a plethora of threads out there about the poor quality AV receivers .

Some have many more complaints than the others , but none are immune except the top-end gear like Krell, Bryston and Cary ... All of which are many multiples of your budget.
The Onkyo apoears to be the worst with its legendary HDMI failures and followed by Denon.

Here's a link to navel gaze that kinda summarizes it all in a series of posts on
Canuckaudiomart: "another Onkyo bites the dust ...."

Take a good look at the new Emotiva receivers - very good sound quality and 30 day in-home trial along with a 5 year warranty....


I'm thinking about Marantz for a bedroom setup. They appear to be a top selling brand, but I haven't done alot of research. Actually I just heard Denon bought Marantz....
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I just bought a Yamaha DSP A-1 (gold w/wood sides) from another online site. I really didn't need it but... anyway, I bought it. It's like new and included the manual and remote in mint condition. The point is that technology has moved very fast and many owners of quality receivers have felt the need to upgrade due to simple connection issues, i.e. component video, HDMI, USB, etc. Let there loss be your gain and buy one used. I recommend Yamaha and Marantz, and especially the gold (champagne) colored ones. They will sound good when you listen and look good when you don't. Just be sure to demo it before you hand over the money.
Yeah to me, with any average in ceiling/wall speaker system, I think simple and reliable, with latest is fine. I'd look for deals on used, couple/few year old -but still relevant -Yamaha, Marantz, Pioneer, or Harman Kardon. And Problably, I'd recommend the Yammi or Pioneer, based on past experience with simplicity of use and descent built.
I would concur, that my last couple Denon's had problems, that weren't so prevalent some 15 years ago. Still, I loved the sound for the money.
I'm ready to pull the trigger on Motiva. Looks up to speed with tomorrows tech. AMB Danmar
Yamaha has been getting good reviews. They seem to have better than average sound quality, good reliability, and decent ease of use. If they have the features you need I'd go that way, and if you upgrade your center or other speakers at some point you might appreciate the sound quality.
I have a new Denon.....so I don't know about its longevity, however, I delighted with its performance, ease of setup, and capabilities.

Denon AVR X3100 W
I haven't bought a new reeiver for a few years, but have been happy with Pioneer Elite in the past.
If your speakers are "nothing special" then it may not matter to much.
Dietdoc1, I have B&W 804 w/htm1 up front & 803 as my rears.I do have an Elite 74txvi, I have mixed feelings with the unit.I did a power cord upgrade & that made a big improvement.I just treated the fuses w/quicksilver gold & waiting a few days for that to settle in. I've had fantastic results from this product. The "74txvi" cant handle the new HDMI upgrade & other formats that are in our future.Reasons for the EMO upgrade.
Arcam sound very musical
I'm not convinced that Denon's quality has gone down, they mostly are made in China these days, but any bugs would be worked out by now. I've got their flagship 4520(made in Japan) and it produces really outstanding sound. I'd go with what you know. Other than that, Anthem's receivers are said to be pretty good too.
My rule of thumb with ANY used receiver, is to pay as little as possible, tyipically under $250, if I can help it. One, they're just "receivers". Two, you're buying used questionable history electronics, often out of warranty, and you don't want to be sitting on a $1000 paperweight when it explodes! Also, i'll keep eye out for a replacement after a year or so, and get my money back, and into the next piece.
It's all for sale eventually, and DEFINITELY degrading and depreciating as time goes one anyway.
Buyer beware, on any level..I always say
Recently sold my trusty and SUPERB SOUNDING HK AVR354 AV receiver, which i paid a whole whopping $165 for as a referb, with all the accessories included, some 3 years ago!! Resold it for about $240, and it served me great for what it was intended.
Still have my AWESOME JVC DLA-RS25u THX video projector, which is still throwing out a world class image in my space, and I paid $800 plus shipping a year ago for that! Gotten offers for $1100 on it even up until recently, AND I'M NOT SELLING!
SOOOOOO many deals to be had out there for the patient treasure hunter on the world wide web. Just amazing....