Most of the onkyo stuff was pretty good. Lots of them on ebay.
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I've had nothing but grief from receivers. Too much stuffed into one box. Try the Marantz 550 pre-amp for about $250 or a similar Rotel. You can pick up a 5 channel amp for about the same (rotel 30 x 6?).
Otherwise, try www.tsto.com and get a marantz or denon receiver new for around your price. There is no comparison in quality between a $300 denon and a $500 kenwood. The Kenwood is just filled with more crap.
Does Onkyo generally have pre-amp outputs? I am wary of
buying on ebay without a specific model number because I
don't want to end up in the same situation I'm in
currently! I have a Pioneer VSX-D509S (which I like
quite a bit except for the lack of a real phono input) but
it's a dead end amp-wise.
Yes! As a matter of fact, I am a long time Phish taper. Just recently have slacked off my taping. Began in the mid 1980s with the Dead and Allmans, moved on to Phish and DMB; but am kind of tired of the scene, hassles with tix, wierd DMB fan scene, security in arenas, blah, blah, blah...
Content to listen to tapes made over the years, plus lots 'o vinyl from the comforts of home...
For the best bang for the buck...stick with 2-channel sound...a $300 used intergrated...such as an Onix a60 or NAD c350...will surpass even hi-end AV receivers...they simply spread themselves too thin with "bells and whistles"...and a simple 2 channel set up will embarrass a more elaborate multi set up....less is much more in this case...