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K2000
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Joined: Oct 2 2007 - 3:05pm
Recommend a low-budget receiver

Hi, first post. I'm not a stereophile, but I'm hoping to get some good advice from those who are.

I have always had low budget stereo gear. About a year ago, I inherited a pair of B&W DM3000 speakers. They're probably a little big for my current apartment but I hope to keep them for a good long while, including a bigger space. Very nice speakers.

A few days ago, my Kenwood receiver stopped powering up (won't come out of "standby" mode). It's an 80 watt per channel, two channel receiver that's probably 12-15 years old. (Kenwood KR-A4060).

I'd like to get a receiver that would be a nice match for the B&W speakers, but I'm woefully uninformed, and I'm a little freaked out about going from a 150 dollar receiver to shopping for receivers that might cost 10 times that much. I just cannot spend that kind of money, unfortunately. I'd be more likely to spend a few hundred dollars on a pre-1980 receiver that was really good (if you think that's a viable option). I'm hoping to spend around 300 dollars or less (some flexibilty though) for a used but dependable unit.

How many watts per channel do you think I need (if that's not overgeneralizing). I'd like to be able to drive a second set of bookshelf speakers in a second room, too. I live in an apartment and do not play my music exceptionally loud. I mostly listen to rock, R&B, experimental music. Not too much jazz, and sadly, no classical.

My other components are a CD player (not bad H/K unit from the 90s), a tape deck, phonograph, and an iPod.

My other option is to take the Kenwood in for repair.

I'd appreciate any comments, if my questions aren't too cringe-worthy.

K2000
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Re: Recommend a low-budget receiver

I should add that I don't need any Home Theater capability. So I guess I'm looking for something that's not so feature-rich, and perhaps undervalued by todays' market.

bobedaone
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Re: Recommend a low-budget receiver

Welcome, K2000! I don't think your questions are cringe-worthy at all.

The Harman Kardon HK3380 might be worth considering. I think it does everything you need it to do (it even has a phono stage), and is very attractively priced. jr.com sells them for $200. I haven't looked, but I've heard that H/K operates an eBay store, and they generally sell for around $150.

Take this with a grain of salt because I've never actually heard one, but for your money and the functionality you want, the 3380 might be a solid choice.

Happy hunting!

P.S. Do you mean K2000 as in "Yamaha K2000"? If you're ever looking for a spare, I have one I don't use and I want to see it go to a good home. Send me a PM if you're interested at all. I know you have receivers on the brain right now, too.

K2000
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Re: Recommend a low-budget receiver

Thanks for your reply. I actually stumbled across the H/K receiver you mentioned, on Ebay (refurbished). Your comment encouraged me to buy one that's a half step up (120 watts per channel versus 80 wpc), the HK 3480-Z. A bit more money than the model you mentioned, but still under 200 dollars.

I also saw a Denon model with some interesting features and similarly priced (USB in, if I remember correctly, for an iPod). But I decided to go for the more robust wattage in the end.

I was interested in an Outlaw Audio receiver that got a nice review here, but I figured it's just out of my price range for now. That might change in the future.

Thanks again.

jackfish
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Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
Re: Recommend a low-budget receiver

The Harman Kardon HK3485 for $250 is always a good bet from J&R. If you really want to economize the Sherwood RX4105 for $85 is actually quite amazing for the money. The Sherwood Newcastle RX-770 for $216 is another option. The amplifier sections in the Sherwoods are pretty darn good for the entry level application.

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