Look into Sherwood receivers. (www.spearitsound.com) They
have a R-725 for $279 that might suit your needs. Also,
visit Sherwood's web-site for additional info. Good Luck, Bill.
The Onkyo receivers with model numbers that begin with "TX-DS" will do what you want (moving magnet phono stage). Some of the "TX-SR" models do not have phono (some do). You will have the check the specs of the TX-SR models individually.
Onkyo are also very nice HT receivers for the money.
The trick is how the "B" circuit exists relative to the "A" circuit and the CC/RL/RR speakers. On the $300 or so receivers, the speakers for the "B" circuit are on the same cicuit as the CC/RL/RR and therefore, you can not run both the HT and B speakers at the same time, without the protection circuits kicking in (Ohm's Law). If you are able to download an old users manual for the ONKYO 434, they explain this type of design in much greater detail. The Harman Kardon receivers may be able to accomodate this, as well as the phono stage, for you.
Yes, talk to the guys at Speritsound (Northampton Audio) if you want something new. They have some refurbished NAD receivers also. They also sell Onkyo. I've known Richard Moulding for over 25 years. Very honest guy.
Yahama recievers would be good for your needs. I started out with an RX-V596 that has A/B speaker outs and a phono input. It is 100 watts x5 and has preamp outs for all channels if desired. I sold mine used for $300 a year ago. They are on ebay from time to time. Good luck.
Thanks for all the replies. Much appreciated.
I went to North Hampton Audio's website and found that they've got an Onkyo TX-DS555 for $299 that seems to be exactly what I'm looking for. They also have a TX-DS474, TX-DS484 and the Sherwood R-725 for less money. Is anyone familiar with these models that might be able to point out the basic differences? I tried Onkyo's website, but these models date too far back I guess.
I think the TXDS-555 does not have DTS, only AC-3 (dolby digital). The others have all formats. (I use a TXDS484). Double check with Richard.
The Onkyo 474/484/494 are all latter day descendants of the 434. The 555 was in vogue when the 434 was, so it probably is AC-3 and not 5.1. Onkyo USA is located in Ramsey, New Jersey. You can probably call them and ask for information. (If you live in NY or NJ, Shortline buses go right by Onkyo.) Also, the existence of an A/B switch on a HT receiver, does not guarantee that you can run them both at the same time. Research that as well as model numbers. Good luck.
Thanks for that tip. I just assumed that A or B or A+B was always the options. That's not to say that I'd be listening to surround sound with A as well as B in stereo mode at the same time. Instead, I'd like to just have A+B running at the same time in stereo-only mode. I'll be sure to look into that.
Well, I looked into running A/B at the same time. Most of the Onkyo's do not offer this feature. However, the 555 is a little different than the new ones: it has multi-room capability. I know that this allows me to play two different sources in the two rooms (even without a separate AMP!), however that's not really what I'm looking for. I'd like to be playing the same source on both A+B at the same time. I'm not sure if that's an option on the multi-room feature. Also, the manual describes the connectivity to have remote control in the remote room, which requires additional equipment, but its not clear if this setup is required to use the multi-room feature. Anyone?
Anyway, I researched the Yamaha's and they have a lot of models (old-present) that offer phono and simultaneous A+B. So, I'm gonna start looking that way.
Thanks again for the tip, Rarl.
The multi-room capability will give you the amp side of the equation. You then supply an additional pre-amp; source; & speakers. Denon & SONY offered this feature on both their stereo and HT receivers. The situation that I was describing comes up (used to come up) with HT receivers a lot, because the "B" line would be the same line used for the rear & center channel speakers. So, you would wind up running 5 speakers at the same time on the same line and the line resistance could go down to 1 ohm and you would have the protection circuitry kick-in.
yamaha is a good sound choice ... good with movies & music ...
Actually some models like the Onkyo SR500 does have A/B or A+B. Some do not. On my receiver (which won't do A+B), A is all the surround speakers, not just the fronts. B is only the extra 2 speakers. B will only work in 2 channel, not all surround speakers.
Done. I ended up getting getting an Onkyo TX-DS595 refurbished on ubid.com for $269 (plus an insane $42 S&H!!!). I'm pretty happy with the outcome. It has 75x5 watts, A/B/A+B, phono, DTS, DD, Pro Logic II. Pretty much everything I wanted and more.
Thanks again for all the helpful input.