If you're really going to go with a receiver v. a separate 5 channel amp and processor, then look into the Outlaw Audio receiver for about $600 or so. Everyone raved about this piece a year or so ago.
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Hi, Sara (Sc53). It's been some time since I've seen you post here. Must be the day for it: Cornfedboy (aka Kelly) posted either today or late yesterday, for the first time in some months.
Your suggestion about the Outlaw receiver is a very good one. I recently had a chance to listen to one that is owned by a friend, and I was very impressed by its performance relative to its cost. For someone who definitely wants to go with a receiver, I haven't heard anything better at twice the price.
Both the Denon and Harman Kardon receiver models that you suggested may actually be too much receiver for the AR speaker package. The Denon and HK retail for at least 3X the cost of the AR speakers. I would be inclined to look at the Outlaw Receiver or the Onkyo SR6000 (both in the $500 or so range). Both are fairly comparable receivers, with the Onkyo getting the nod in terms of build quality. As a side note, in my experience, when it comes to musical performance, the HK receivers have been better than the Denon receivers. The Denon receivers have better build quality, but are really just average when music is concerned. I have had good luck pairing both Onkyo (434) and Harman Kardon (3370) receivers with Acoustic Research Speakers (302) and was not very happy with a Denon (2802) pairing with speakers from AR; EPOS; and B&W. Regards.
What does it mean when the 'receiver is too much for the speakers'? will it damage my AR HC6 speakers? or is it not necessary to have these receivers since the speakers are not the same 'level' as the receivers? please help.
Also, I was looking at the Outlaw receiver and saw many, many good reviews, but is there a factory warranty on it? how's customer service for repairs? and is this true that the unit is made in Malaysia?
To E. Wang: My apologies for not making my comments clear enough. The Denon and HK receivers will not damage the AR speakers (unless you go out of your way to abuse the speakers). My comments were aimed at spending in excess of $1500 on a receiver to drive a $500 speaker system. Normally, I look to spend equal amounts on speakers/power/source components. I like the AR speaker package, but they work best in an entry to mid level HT set-up. The receivers you mention would really shine with better speakers. As I understand the Outlaw Corporation, it sub-contracts the making of all their products ... there is no Outlaw factory. I would imagine that the receiver is built in the Asia/Pacific Rim area (Malaysia/China/Indonesia) ... but, so is the Onkyo (Malaysia); HK (Korea); some SONY (Indonesia); etc. To sum up, I would look to spend in the $500 to $600 range for your receiver, given that you own the AR's already.