Looking for budget reciever for second system.


I am looking for a budget reciever for a second system. My maximum budget is US$300.

I have Monitor Audio B1s on the way which I plan to use as fronts, and Mission M30is fo use as rears. I will figure out a center channel later.

the system will be mainly used for music. I was wondering if you have any recommendations. I am not in a situation where I can audition to anything other than cheap recievers that are six years old because of my location, so that is out of the question for now.

I am looking at the Teac AG-L800, The Onkyo TX-SR503, and Pioneer VS-X515 recievers new and am looking at a a few things that I have seen here on Audiogon; Sony AVD-S50es, Harman kardon AVR-135, Yamaha RX-V496.

Any suggestions on any of these or other choices are appreciated.

I am leaning to the Teac because of its size and the remote looks great, but if it doesnt sound the part, then its not worth it. Also the Sony is a great option because it has the dvd player built in, but once again, the sound needs to be decent.
I vote for the Onkyo, but there are more choices a la Marantz and Denon. I always thought Onkyo had the best tuners and are very reliable with decent sonics. The TEAC has its advantages as you point out. And of course, there are many NAD fans out there. The all-in-one units may try to do too much with too little but the seller of the Sony seems happy with his unit. Then again, he is selling! If power supplies could scream...

At these prices, I think it is best to keep the player out of the receiver, but you should follow your priorities, not mine. At least you have a great selection thanks to Audiogon, and the best part, you can bypass CC and BB! Good luck.
I've read some very good things about the Sony. It has Sony's S-Master Pro digital amplifier technology and it keeps CD, SACD, etc in the digital domain all the way through the chain. Go to audioasylum and do a search or look in the review forum there. There were some folks that really liked it there.

I don't think you could get a CD player, SACD player, and receiver for less. And it should sound very good.


you can get the new harman kardon 2 channel for your budget, and its nealy as good as the magnum dynalab 208 which is close to 3k. lots of good classic receivers out there too from marantz and yamaha.
Go with the Onkyo TX-SR503. This particular model is well built; offers good sound; and does more things right than wrong, as it gets the trickle down from its bigger brothers in the line. If you can email me a fax number for youself, I can send to you a copy of a review of the SR 503 just done by Sensible Sound magazine. I owned a previous incarnation of this model (494) and was very pleased with it.

Regards, Rich
I have had excellent results with the following three:

harman kardon avr20 mkII
carver hr-895 and htr-880

I owned each a minimum of 5 years and was very satisfied with each for their musical reproduction, especially at the prices (or lack thereof) they command today. I think the hk avr25 would be also be of interest, although I have not owned it.

Of course if you want dolby digital/dts and modern home theater features you'll have to look elsewhere.
thanks for the replies guys.

The Sony sale looks like it may have fallen through so thats out of the question.

Thanks for the recs for the Onkyo. It was second on the list for the new/refurb ones behind the Teac.

I still have a lot to consider. I will keep looking on Audiogon for a few days before i amke up my mind, but I would love to purchase soon.

Keep the recommendations coming. I would love to hear them.

wasnt there a two channel Outlaw reciever featured on the cover of Sterophile a couple months ago? If I recall it was cheap and got a great review.
Denon AVR486. $299. It can be used for 7.1 or 5.1 with 2 zone, multi source powering a second set of remote speakers. 75Wx7 Channels. It remembers the channel levels,surround mode, and other settings for each input, a very convenient feature. I use it in my bedroom system. It does not have an on screen display however.
Guys, you're talking about 2-channel receivers and the OP is talking about a HT receiver (mentions rears and a future center channel). Not to say that a 2-channel receiver won't sound a lot better than a comparably priced multi-channel unit, but, that wasn't the question.


oops, my bad
Nerspellsner, Tell me about the sound of that Denon you own and what you are partnering with it. Just curious.

I was looking at it as well but was a bit skeptical, but if you own one tell me abour the sound.

At present I am also looking at a Denon 1802 here on the Gon. any comments on this one as well?

Also any comments on the Marantz 4300??


I'd look for a used Jolida 202 or 302b tube integrated, as opposed to a very very sonically compromised SS receiver at that price point! The sonics of the used Jolida will be far far superior to typical Japanese SS stuff.

Given that you live in St Vincent ... are the brands that you listed above (as well as Marantz) the only ones that you can audition? Quite frankly at $300 your options are pretty limited if you are buying new and are buying a locally available brand.

Buying a brand from overseas would be prohibitive if only because of shipping costs and importing duties (if any). I would also be concerned about the ability to get an item repaired, if it were to breakdown.

The Teac that you mentioned above is being discontinued and is available from a NYC location for $200 (down from a list of $900). If overseas shipping is not an issue, see the item here at J&R Music .

Regards, Rich
Hey Rar1,

I set a limit of US$300 for the price before duties and shipping.

Locally, a US$300 unit would prbably sell for EC$2000 - $3000, so it is still cheaper for me to import.

Also, the local stores will bring in the cheapest recievers of the Sony, Technics, Kenwood, and Pioneer brands, usually
discontinued, and sell them for loads of money. trying to make back more than 100% profit if they can so if a reciever cost them US$500 to get it to the store, Don't be surprised if they sell it for US$1000. To make it worse, there are almost no authorized dealers for anything.

Any Who, I have made up my mind, I went with a Marantz SR4300 6.1 reciever that I saw here on Audiogon. Hopefully I should have it in two weeks time. I will report back as to the sound in the near future!

Thanks to all of you guys for your suggestions and time!

I picked up a Sony AVD-C700ES receiver recently for a bedroom system for $60! It's driving a pair of Sony SS-TL3 floorstanders.

It is indeed a very good receiver , nice styling, and the S-Master Pro DSD digital amps seem to work great. Supposedly SACDs remain in DSD until the power amp stage. The speaker's tweeters are the weak link here and will be upgrade. Nice to have a single box solution too - DVD, amp, CD/SACD, tuner.

I don't think much of the FM reception on the receiver though but I've yet to tweak it and the rabbit ears antenna. Also, it is pre-HDMI so the best video output is component but that can be progressive scan.

I had a Marantz 4300 for a few years. Lovely machine with a smooth sound quality. The FM tuner worked well although it had a bit more noise than an equivalent stand-alone tuner.
I'm using a 30 year old NAD 7020 receiver to good effect in my second system.

The nice thing about this receiver is it can be had for dirt cheap these days even in good working order because of the age. ALso, it has RCA pre-amp outputs and amp inputs so it can be used as a tuner/pre-amp with separate power amp to very good effect. That is how I am using it currently (with outboard TAD 150 Hibachi monoblocks). I have also used it as a reserve complete receiver when needed and it is quite gutsy and respectable even then with most speakers.

The sound overall is a touch towards the warm side compared to many receivers over the past 30-40 years or so.

The proven versatility and cost effectiveness of this particular vintage NAD unit is the main reason I have held onto it now and used it in various pinch roles for almost 30 years.
I found a Denon AVR 3310CI at the Goodwill for $100.00 and it's been great within its limitations.

Apparently the pricing on these can be soft because the networking features were not-ready-for-prime-time. The rep on the Denon 3310CI is The NIC cards tend to break, and the USB Input & Internet Radio features can be flakey. Sure enough, when I got my 3310CI home, the NIC was bad and I couldn't connect a flash drive. Everything else worked fine.

If you don't need the networking stuff, it's a very solid 7.1 AVR with HDMI_1.3.