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Product Ratings - Surround Sound Receivers $500 and Under - December, 1998

Staff

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We get many requests for information about low-cost surround sound receivers from those of you looking to purchase a startup system. Therefore, we have put together a list of receivers, costing $500 or less (street price), and classified them according to our five-star rating system (like we do for the movie and music review section). Since receivers tend to sound very similar in this price range, the rating is based on features, ergonomics (user friendliness), and bang for the buck. We will be adding and subtracting to this page from time to time, depending on which models are discontinued, and which ones are introduced. Unless specified, the receivers have Pro Logic only. If they have DD and/or DTS decoding built-in, or if they have a set of 5.1 input jacks (pre-ins, "AC-3-Ready"), or a set of 5.1 output jacks (pre-outs), the notes column will specify this, to the best of our knowledge.

RATINGS:

MODEL # PRICE NOTES RATING
Aiwa AV-DV70 $350 DD built-In
Aiwa AV-D30 $200 80 watts x 4; 5.1 inputs
Denon AVR-1100 $284 55 watts x 5; 5.1 inputs
Harman Kardon AVR-20II $300 50 watts x 3, 20 watts x 2  
JVC RX-884V $379 120 watts x 2, 100 watts x 3; DD built-in
Kenwood VR-205 $200 50 watts x 5; 5.1 inputs
Kenwood VR-207 $300 100 watts x 5; 5.1 inputs
Kenwood VR-209 $379 100 watts x 5; DD built-in
Pioneer VSX-D457 $300 100 watts x 5; SRS  
Sony STR-DE325 $200 100 watts x 4  
Sony STR-D425 $250 100 watts x 3, 50 watts x 2; 5.1 inputs  
Sony STR-DE525 $300 100 watts x 5; 5.1 inputs
Sony STR-DE625 $400 100 watts x 5; 5.1 inputs
Sony STR-DE825 $474 100 watts x 5; DD built-in
Sony STR-G8ES $449 120 watts x 5; 5.1 inputs
Teac AG-D9100 $349 (Price Club) [ BEST BUY!! ] 100 watts x 5; DD built-in; 5.1 outputs
Technics SA-AX6 $400 100 watts x 6 (one for subwoofer); 5.1 inputs
Technics SA-AX920 $350 100 watts x 6 (one for subwoofer); 5.1 inputs
Technics SA-EX320 $180 80 watts x 4  
Yamaha RX-V595 $479 70 watts x 5; DD built-in
Yamaha RX-V793 $479 80 watts x 5; DD built-in

 


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