Sony STRDH820 or Pioneer VSX-527

bluepowell

Standard Member
After a friend recently bought a AV receiver and being very impressed with it I am now in the market to get one myself.

Cannot really justify spending loads, but I have seen these 2 on offer at richer sounds at £150 and £155.

What would people recommend going for as they are very similar in price.

I am planning on connecting a Sky+ HD box, Xbox 360, and Panasonic BDT110 blu ray player. My TV is a Panansonic TX-P42ST30.

Thanks in advance.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
What speakers are you looking to get?
I believe the Sony is a level above the Pioneer hence I would go for the 820.
 

bluepowell

Standard Member
Hi.

Not sure about speakers. I don't have any as yet. got my eye on some second hand boston Aqustics soundwave XS.

If i dont get them i wont be getting some rubbish ones, but again. Not got a lot to spend. Will be having a scout around ebay to get some second hand ones.

Forgot to mention that my room is not massive. Standard 1930's semi size front room.

Thanks
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
The 608 is a level above the Sony so would represent an improvement in sound quality. However, Onkyo do have an issue with their HDMI board which would make me think twice about buying one secondhand due to the chance it could fail.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
The 820 has a very high feature set for the money, but on absolute sound quality, it is a toss up between the two. The Pioneer has a little more weight, but the Sony has a little more control, with a tighter, cleaner sound and seems happier with tricky speakers.

I think you will be happy with either amp. I have the 820 and find it excellent. It works well with all HDMI sources and all the power options and pass throughs work correctly. It seems this is not always the case with the Onkyo, but the Pioneer seems quite stable as well.
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
I've owned both the Pioneer and the Sony in the past for use with my PCs. The Pioneer was dreadful with numerous issues and I'd personally steer well clear. Search the forum. The Sony was a super little amp, albeit not networked and with a frustrating remote control.
 

bluepowell

Standard Member
Hi.

Thanks again for the advice. I really appreciate it as this is my first steps into the eworld of av receivers.

Last question now.

I have been offered a second hand onkyo hts3305. Have either of you any experience with kits like this? I understand that it comes with a passive sub. As my lounge is only 2.5m x 3.5m is this a problem. Cost would be £150 for receiver and the speakers.

What do you think?

Thanks again.
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
Personally, I'd take the Sony/bostons package over the all in one Onkyo. The Onkyo must be a few years old now and offers less of an easy upgrade path if the bug bites you. At 150 the Sony is a real bargain. You could even try the Pioneer if you really want the networking. RS have a generous returns policy.
 
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Benja

Standard Member
Sony STRDH820 is great amp at that level ! Dont even think about Onkyo troublemakers !
 

bluepowell

Standard Member
Like any bloke would i took your advise on board and then then promptly ignored it!

Got myself a Onkyo TX-SR508. Only paid £70 for it though, so if this adventure into surround sound goes wrong, then it's not too much cash lost.

Just need some speakers now.
 

bluepowell

Standard Member
Hi.

I'm looking at some Jamo A101 HSC5 spekaers, Tsnnoy SFX and JBL scs 200.

Would any of these be suitable for my new purchase?

Thanks.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
The Tannoy SFX would probably be the best match for the Onkyo receiver that you have got. Jamo and JBL speakers tend to be described as bright sounding so may not be the best match for Onkyo which is also consiered bright. The 508 really deserves better speakers than the SFX to get the best from it. Have you considered the Wharfedale Diamond 9/10 series?
Also I would make sure you have plenty of ventillation space around the receiver since Onkyo are known for running hot (this is what causes the common HDMI board failure).
 

bluepowell

Standard Member
Hi.

I'd love to be able to get some wharfedale speakers, and while i know you usually get what you pay for, i simply cannot justify spending a lot (hence the second hand onkyo!) Was looking at the above one as i've seen them go for a figure i can afford on ebay, gumtree etc. Plus the other half isn;t keen on the whole idea anyway. Need some speakers that aren't too intrusive (small and out of sight) if you see what i mean. Not got that much room to put in some bigger speakers anyway. I'm not really sure where I'm going to put a sub to be honest! Just got bitten by the bug after visiting my mate and his new home cinema set-up and comparing that to my rubbish TV speakers on my plasma.

The onkyo is going on a shelf on my tv stand. Stand is one of those black glass open shelved type things. A silver pole in each corner. Gap between bottom and second shelf is 25cm, so that should give it plently of space to breath!
Fingers crossed it all doesn't go wrong. Will never hear the end of it from the wife, and i doubt i'll get to convince her that we'd need another home cinema set up!
 

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