AV receivers to stay away from??

I am looking for an entry level (ie. cheap $200-350 used)AV receiver that I will use for 50/50 movies/music. What of the mainstream brands (Onkyo, Harmon K., Denon, Yamaha)are decent and which should I stay away from. I would like it to sound decent in stereo mode also. Thanks, in advance for any input!! Chris
Go with a Denon. Of all the receivers out there that I've heard, Denon always sound richer and clearer. You'll get reasonable bass response without sacrificing the top end. Yamaha sound is thin and to the bright side. I haven't heard any of the HK receivers. Also, some owners of the Onkyo TXDS-575 complain about a hissing noise from the speakers. I never heard this but, like I said, some insist they hear it in their systems. Good luck, Dave
Your choices are decent ones (avoid cheap Sony, Pioneer,etc...they're disposable). The Yamahas are built well, but do sound thin. My brother still usues my first Onkyo receiver (purchased in 83). HK is good too (more "bass", less air), but I would probably agree with the above...Denon may have the best sound/feauture combination (or Onkyo, but I'm not sure about the hissing problem).
You will find someone that has had problems with every model if you ask around long enough. The brands you list are all very good. Onkyo's high end line will have "Integra" in the name.
Pisani, all 4 brands you mention have good units that can be had used in your price range. I favor the Denon myself. I owned a Denon 3300 for about a year(went to separates). It was a great unit. I saw one today for $400 at AudioReview.com market place. Just over your budget, but 105 wpc and DD/dts. I not familiar with the new pricing on Denon 1801 and other units. I have listened to the Yamaha, H/K, and Onkyo and once again all are good units. A/B all four in the same system would possible bring one to the top, but I never did such. Denon IMO looked the best and always sounded very musical. Hope this helps......Happy Listening.......LR
Thanks to everyone for the input.What about Marantz? Iknow they used to be considered great. Hifi.com has the sr3000 av receiver on sale 40wx3; 25w surround. Are the Marantz receivers up there with Denon and Onkyo??? Chris
I would also reccomend a Denon. The avr-3300 is the best all around receiver made considering price and performance. Is replacement, the 3801 is definitly awsome, but I doubt you can find one within your budget. they retail at about $1200. My local dealer has an older avr-3200 in their pre-owned stock for around 3 or 4 hundred. That is nearly identical to the 3300. the 3200 does not have dts.
What about Nakamichi? There are now on sale. The AV-8. This product used to cost 800 and now only 499. You can occasionally find them for 400 on Ebay, New! They got good reviews as well
Pisani..... It looks like all of the brands you have listed are all decent brands. I wouldn't have a problem with you going with either one of them. If you were to ask me what my preferences were among the four brands you have listed, that would depend on what speakers you would use with them. If you have "bass heavy" type of speakers, then I would go with Yamaha or Onkyo. If you have "bass shy" type of speakers, then I would lean toward Denon or Harman/Kardon. Also, I would give NAD some consideration as well. The brands I would stay away from are Sony (their non-ES stuff), Pioneer (unless it's their Elite stuff), and definitely, don't EVEN attempt to mention Technics and my name in the same sentence. Those would be the brands I would stay away from. Beyond that, it's your call. --Charles--