Who has a cheap A/V receiver that has not broke in the last 5 years?
June 8, 2013 6:20 PM   Subscribe

If you have a low-end A/V receiver (less than $400) that has lasted without problems for 5 years or more, tell me the brand name. I won't buy the same model that you bought five years ago, but I may choose the same brand, and go buy the latest equivalent offering manufactured from them.

My A/V receiver stopped working after 2 years. I'm annoyed that they cost so much, when they are effectively just the glue that holds together all the different components and various plugs and ports that have cropped up over the years. I don't want anything fancy at all. I need some orginary stuff that any modern A/V receiver would have for a basic living room setup. Output to 5.1 audio and video projector. Input from Xbox, blu-ray, computer. Boring, unsophisticated stuff.

But importantly, I don't want to have to buy a new one and mess with recabling (sweat, bang, ouch, grunt, crawl-out, did-it-work?, crawl-back-in, swear, i-hate-this) every 2-3 years. Especially, when I'm not a "stay up with the latest" kind of dude. When they come out with Super-5D-HDMI, I will not even care.

Reviews on the web are worthless because they only look at hardware right when it comes out. There's no follow-up later to see how well the equipment lasted after 10,000 hours of use.

So just give me the brand name of a company that can build a durable product.
posted by ErikH2000 to Technology (31 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

I'm on my 3rd. Every 5 - 6 years (or whenever I fall sufficiently behind the curve) I go out and buy whatever Onkyo model is $399 or whatever. They've never let me down.
posted by kbanas at 6:35 PM on June 8, 2013

My Onkyo isn't 5 years old yet (it's 3), but: I got it for under $200 as an open box unit at Fry's so who knows how it was treated, and I keep it in an unvented cabinet in an un-airconditioned house. I haven't had any issues yet.
posted by zsazsa at 6:44 PM on June 8, 2013

Onkyo - 7 years and counting.
posted by Disco Moo at 6:46 PM on June 8, 2013

I've had the same low end sony receiver since about 2000. [I'm not entirely convinced by the premise that this means you should go buy a sony, though...]
posted by advil at 6:57 PM on June 8, 2013

I've had the same low end sony receiver since about 2000.

Same here, but mine was more "upper middle end". It has one programmable remote that controls everything (EVERYTHING! even other components by other manufacturers) but only has about 8 buttons. Where I bought mine, there were a couple Sony models that were more tricked out than mine. It cost around $300 new; don't know what the equivalent would be now. The only problem I have with it besides lack of HD compatibilty is the headphone jack has loosened up quite a bit and I have to jiggle the plug around to be able to get a connection.
posted by LionIndex at 7:06 PM on June 8, 2013

I bought my current Onkyo in 2003. I think I paid about $300 for it. it drives my home theater and is on for hours most days.
posted by COD at 7:18 PM on June 8, 2013

Best answer: Yamaha RX-v300 series (current latest is RX-v375. Basic 4-in-1-out 5.1 for $250. Had mine for about 5 years now, and it's rock solid. Would probably get the 475 if I was buying again.
posted by Ryvar at 7:21 PM on June 8, 2013

I bought a JVC amplifier in 2003, and it still going strong.
posted by steinwald at 7:24 PM on June 8, 2013

Are you looking for a processor/amplifier combination? Your "they are effectively just the glue that holds together all the different components and various plugs and ports that have cropped up over the years" line indicates to me that you're just looking for a processor, that you have amps already and do not need to re-buy, that you just need the "glue" that holds it all together. My recommendation, slightly out of your budget, is the Outlaw Audio 975. Here's a review/rundown of the Outlaw Audio 975.
posted by Brian Puccio at 7:34 PM on June 8, 2013

Came in here to Nth Onkyo, and drop a quick story in about mine. It was the $3-400 basic model.

Mine this year has lasted 12. I gave it away when it was 6 or 7 and as far as i know the guy i gave it to is still using it(my highschool art teacher, who used it at the school where it was horribly abused but still worked. Eventually he took it home). I got it for free from a friends dad when it smashed up by a robber who broke in.

Never had any issues with it. Absolute trooper. Had a huge dent in the top, the front was cracked, and a foot was missing when i got it.

Sounded pretty great compared to similar cheap receivers i've played around with since then too, and even favorable compared to the high end 70s hi-fi stuff i use now.
posted by emptythought at 7:40 PM on June 8, 2013

I've had my entry-level Yamaha receiver since 2000 and it's still going strong. Never a hint of trouble. I'd definitely go Yamaha again, personally.
posted by pocams at 7:40 PM on June 8, 2013

I follow the same Onkyo every 4-5 years routine as others and have never had a problem. The ~$400 model tends to be really good and have all sorts of good connections/gadgets and holds up well.
posted by bfootdav at 8:34 PM on June 8, 2013

I'm still running a mid level home theater JVC reciever I got in like 1994. I would not hesitate to buy another. I also like Onkyo.
posted by sanka at 8:46 PM on June 8, 2013

Best answer: I'm going to recommend *against* Onkyo.

We had an Onkyo SR-606, and within three or four years (whichever would be just out of warranty) the hdmi started to get wonky, and then the entire hdmi system failed. Googling suggested that the issue was that Onkyo bought cheap-ass capacitors that went bad, and that the problem was widespread in that model. There was never any recall or warranty extension for the problem in spite of it being a clear manufacturing defect.

Will not be buying Onkyo again.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:01 PM on June 8, 2013

I'm about 8 years into my Onkyo, which was $4-500 and drives speakers for TV and music every day. Lots of HDMI ports, great sound, but not great remote control range. When it dies I'll buy another.
posted by ridogi at 9:06 PM on June 8, 2013

My mid-level Sony receiver will be 20 year old in the fall. Its predecessor went ten years.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 9:29 PM on June 8, 2013

(But then, it now occurs to me that the build quality of a 1993 component tells you almost nothing about the build quality of a 2013 component....)
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 9:36 PM on June 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

I've had my Samsung HTIB for 5 years. Not quite the same, but close.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:24 PM on June 8, 2013

Harman Kardon AVR 147. I bought it for $249.95 from B&H Photo in March of 2008. Looking back at the receipt (thank you, Gmail), I'm guessing I got a package deal, because I have no idea why I'd have purchased a set of Sony cube speakers for $72.95.

My husband and I started dating in the fall of 2008. He's a musician; he told me back then that when I mentioned how I'd gotten a receiver fairly recently, he was expecting me to say I had (at most) an Aiwa, but when I said H/K he thought, "WELL!" Even now, he was surprised to hear that it was less than $400.

His suspicion is that I purchased it when manufacturers were changing to different channel ranges. They used to put rear and center speakers on different channels; now they're all on the same channel.

I/we do have a low-key home theater setup, running our TV through it, and it's been perfect ever since. I've attached my iPod/iPad to it, run it through a stereo remote app on my iPhone, all that; everything's been great.

B&H does have a model for the same price right now, as well as one at $449. It's also got free shipping, so that helps.
posted by Madamina at 10:29 PM on June 8, 2013

I have a mid-range Sony receiver that's 13 years old now. I used to run everything through it, but now it just acts as the amp for an Airport Express. 3 moves and several re-wires, and I've never had a problem with it. I'm probably going to update to one that does HDMI switching when the new consoles come out, and quite frankly am dreading it. So much more to go wrong.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 12:42 AM on June 9, 2013

Aiwa AV-D58, got it 10+ years ago (5.1 speakers included), still using it, no problems with unit or remote. (I accidentally smashed a connector on the subwoofer, but I don't think that should be held against the build quality :) )
posted by anonymisc at 1:26 AM on June 9, 2013

Low end Sony, about five years so far.

Why shouldn't an A/V receiver last a bunch of years? There's nothing moving in there. As long as it's vented and relatively free of dust, what goes wrong? Seriously, this is the one thing I haven't been worrying about replacing. Should I add it to the list?
posted by Crankatator at 3:33 AM on June 9, 2013

We have a JVC RX-6030VBK from 2003 that cost under $200 and has been reliable and more than adequate for the past decade. No modern bells and whistles (networking/HDMI) so eventually we may upgrade, but there's no real urgency to do so while we have other boxes that handle that stuff. Like TVs, it seems smarter to buy a "dumb box" than to pay for features that end up obsolete and unsupported long before the core features.
posted by holgate at 5:00 AM on June 9, 2013

Yamaha RX-460, still going fine after about 20 years. Before that I had a Harmon-Kardon that died at about the 10 year mark
posted by DarkForest at 5:02 AM on June 9, 2013

I have an Aiwa, but if it died tomorrow, I'll buy an Onkyo or a Marantz.
posted by box at 6:31 AM on June 9, 2013

I have a low-end Sherwood, a mid-range Onkyo, and a high-end Rotel. The newest one (Onkyo) is 6 years old. Would recommend any of them.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:57 AM on June 9, 2013

Another Onkyo, here, going on at least a decade.
posted by soundguy99 at 9:16 AM on June 9, 2013

I have a NAD C320BEE that's nearly a decade old with no indication of being so. The current model is the C326BEE. It's an integrated amp and not a receiver, though NAD also makes those.

Since nobody's mentioned them here yet, the reasons I got the NAD were: a real analog volume knob that turns remotely with a motor rather than a soft (infinitely spinning) knob; tone controls with a tone defeat switch to pull them from the stream, simple green LEDs instead of a big screen on the front panel, and a factory bridge on the back panel that allows a later upgrade to a separate power amp, using the C320 as a preamp.

NAD are also regarded as having among the best integrated headphone circuits, which if you're not aware, many mainstream brands have a really poor headphone amp circuit.

You'd do fine with Onkyo, Marantz, or Rotel also if you didn't want the NAD for some reason.
posted by a halcyon day at 1:20 PM on June 9, 2013

My Pioneer VSX-456 is 15 years old and still going strong.
posted by rfs at 4:51 PM on June 9, 2013

Seconding NAD. C372 going on 8 years, I bought a factory refurb. NAD makes very good, solid mid range gear. I doubt I'll ever need to replace it (repair, yes but not replace).
posted by doctor_negative at 7:27 PM on June 9, 2013

Response by poster: Original poster here...

It turns out that the receiver that crapped out on me was a 2011 Onkyo TX-SR309. Now, they did do a recall on that model, which shows some responsibility. I'm pursuing a replacement with them. If they handle it nicely then I suppose they'll be on my good list.

But I needed a working receiver right away. So I bought a cheap $249 Yamaha RXV-375 (Yamaha also recommended above by a few). We'll see how it goes.

Thanks to all who answered!
posted by ErikH2000 at 7:48 PM on June 9, 2013

« Older Out of shape AWF - ISO wearable fitness device for...   |   What's your favorite hot sauce? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.