New stereo amp to replace my broken one.
December 10, 2009 7:28 PM   Subscribe

My amplifier/receiver died. I need something inexpensive (~$200) but powerful to replace it. I am not an audiophile but like my music to sound good. Should I get a simple amplifier and an HD radio tuner or troll eBay for a used receiver? I have two sets of speakers plus woofer and need about 100W per channel. Need three or four inputs. Don't need fancy 5.1 or anything. Recommendations?

The receiver I am replacing is a Sony STR-DE525. Worked fine for me but our radio reception isn't great here and the stations we listen to broadcast in HD, so one reason to just get an amp and an HD receiver. My other inputs are the computer (iTunes), cable, DVD player and turntable.
posted by misterpatrick to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I like my Onkyo TX-SR304, and Onkyo equipment in general. Haven't seen many new 304's in a while, but you may be able to troll eBay or electronic websites to find either a cheap used one or a less cheap new one. I found mine for $150 from JR about 18 months ago, and can't be happier.
posted by deezil at 7:49 PM on December 10, 2009

You could get the best bang for your buck going vintage, although it can be a bit of a crap shoot. You should look at Audiogon before resorting to eBay. If you want new, look for a good mid-fi name like Onkyo or Denon.

Don't get too hung-up on Watts per channel. That's not a particularly good measure of sound quality.

Also, an integrated amplifier (amp + pre-amp) will be better quality, dollar-for-dollar, than a "receiver," which is usually an integrated amp with a radio tuner.
posted by paulg at 8:02 PM on December 10, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the ideas. I found an old Fisher CA-723 integrated amp in the basement and a Sony HD receiver on Amazon so I think I may go this route for the time being. I've been scanning Audiogon, but as an "audiot" I'm having a hard time finding a simple amp with 4-channels and lots of inputs. I'll keep looking. Any more suggestions welcome. Thanks!
posted by misterpatrick at 8:13 PM on December 10, 2009

I'd recommend you look into Class D amps.

Here's a good introductory website

Here's a reputable seller dealing in chips from the - now defunct - legendary "Tripath". The mother of Class D amps. Extremely good bang for the buck.
posted by mathiu at 3:57 AM on December 11, 2009

Try your Craigslist as well -- currently enjoying a Yamaha receiver I could never have afforded when it was new. With CL you can try before you buy. Seconding Onkyo, Denon, plus Harman-Kardon...
posted by omnidrew at 6:54 AM on December 11, 2009

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