Yamaha RX-A3080 Receiver

Poll: What Brand Is Your A/V Receiver?

In the home theater world, brands tend to inspire a lot of loyalty, especially when it comes to A/V receivers. Often, the brand of receiver you’ve used in the past will dictate what you buy in the future. What’s your preference?

I’ve long been hooked on the Denon brand. I bought my first A/V receiver a few years after college, and though I no longer remember the model number, it was an entry-level Denon unit. From there, I worked my way through upgrade cycles and never left the brand. I have nothing against any other manufacturer, but for me, Denon has struck the best balance between quality, features, and price.

Until recently, my main receiver was a Denon AVR-X5200W, purchased in late 2014. This was the first Dolby Atmos model, but could not do DTS:X. For the past few months, I’ve been evaluating the company’s current flagship, the monstrous AVR-X8500H. I intend to finish up my review of that unit in the near future. The short version is that, although it’s very pricy, it’s also pretty awesome.

What’s on your equipment shelf?

I’ve tried to include as many receiver brands as I could think of in this poll, but I’ve undoubtedly missed some. If I didn’t capture yours, vote “Other” and tell us about it in the Comments. If needed, you can vote for more than one option.

What Brand Is Your A/V Receiver?

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  1. I’ve actually not been very loyal when I bought my AVRs. I used to have a Sony DA50ES, but when I bought a HD DVD player, I discovered it had a bug so it wouldn’t decode the DTS downmix from the HD DVD player. So, I ran out and got a Pioneer AVR instead. It was 10 minutes until closing time, and I bought the only AVR they had in stock with HDMI inputs. It only had two HDMI inputs, and it didn’t support DD+, TrueHD or DTS-HD. But, I figured I could let the player do the decoding and output multichannel PCM. In hindsight, this was a poor decision, and I wish I’d taken the time to look for better alternatives. Even though it was a great amplifier, the lack of inputs and codec support really annoyed me, so after a few years I replaced it with a Yamaha RX-V1067, which I’m still pretty happy with.

    I haven’t got myself a 4K display yet, but when I do, I’ll probably have to look for a new AVR that supports whatever the newest HDMI standard is.

    • I’m the same – I don’t really care about the brand. I actually had to think what I had now. I’ve had Sony, Insignia, Yamaha and Pioneer through the years. In the bedroom, I got a Vizio soundbar. Brand is not something I care about. How many watts per channel, can it properly decode, and how much does it cost? Is it well shielded? How are the inputs and outputs arranged? Does it have the features I want? It may sound like a strange thing to cut corners on, but truthfully, on most receivers, I am willing to bet that most people, in a blind listening test, could not tell the difference. I cringe if I have to pay more than $350 for a receiver (the primary reason I haven’t gone Atmos yet, but I may have to bite the bullet if I want those height channels). I had people who were like “But listen to how good mine sounds” and I am like “um, that is not your receiver or your amp, that is your speakers.”

  2. Abe

    Started with Sherwood, 20 years back! Then Yamaha for many years, which leans more towards the musical side of things (SACD/DTS/DVD Audio discs!). Now finally a Denon, 7.1 with Atmos and 4K. I’m not sure what device does the up-scaling of my DVDs. We watched Mission Impossible I last month, everything in the system was trying it’s level best to upscale it but on 120 inches, flaws will show. Got a used 4k player by Panasonic online and though it is slow, it’s PQ (for 4k Blu) is above Netflix and Amazon 4K (on 120 inches). Jumped in at the right time of this generation I think. Only way to beat a projector in 5 years is Samsung’s MicroLED tech; but who knows. Picture size beats picture quality I think (if you have the space) for speakers and screen; but those Sony OLEDs, man alive what quality!

    • C.C.

      There are three devices that are capable of the upconversion in your chain.
      The 4K player, the AVR and the TV.
      Conventional wisdom has been to always let the TV do the upconversion. (Unless it is not a very good 4K tv)

  3. Was a longtime Onkyo guy, but the last one I had was so buggy I went Denon. Have a AVR-X3200W which is okay, but often has handshake problems with my TV and I’m not sure if the TV, the Receiver, or the order in which things power on (sadly I can’t change the power on sequence on the Harmony). Sound quality is fine, but it bugs me they still haven’t done the Dolby Vision Pass Through update yet. It’s been forever.

    Nothing about this is screaming for me to come back, but neither is Onkyo. I’m kind of at a loss on where to go from here if I upgrade.

    • C.C.

      You should have DV passthrough. I have the AVR-X2400H and it has DV passthrough.
      *just checked – your receiver should have a firmware update any day now. The site says “summer 2018” for your model

  4. Csm101

    Yamaha has been my go-to for about 12 years now. I started with an entry level model that I got for free at Best Buy with purchase of Klipsch satellite speakers. I still have that setup in my bedroom. I then upgraded around 2008 to an RXV-1800. In 2016, I went with the RX-A3060 for Atmos and DTS:X. I use the 1800 as my secondary amp for my Atmos setup. I’ve been very happy with my Yamaha receivers and will probably stay with them. I do have a curiosity about the Emotiva brand.

  5. Deaditelord

    Outside of a Yamaha receiver I bought when I upgraded to DTS-MA and Dolby TrueHD, I’ve always purchased Marantz receivers. Oddly enough, I just gave away the Yamaha to my dad last week as he was still using a Kenwood receiver he bought in the early 1990s whose major selling point was that it had Dolby ProLogic! He’s really just using it for the extra HDMI inputs and audio zones, but he’s commented a few times now about how much they have changed since the good ole’ days.

    Anyway, on my 4K display, I’m using an SR-6011. For my older 1080p display that is in the closet, I have an SR-6005 sitting next to it in the closet. Unfortunately, both receivers are pretty much overkill for my current setup as I’m still limited to using a small 3.0 soundbar and a couple pairs of Sennheiser headphones. However, I’m hoping that once I’m done with school and back to working full time again I’ll be able to move into a larger place where I will have enough space to use my 5.1 speakers (also in closets…) and/or add speakers for use in a Dolby Atmos/DTS X setup.

  6. Ken

    I have 4: a3010, 3030, 3050, 3060. I bought new ones after different upgrades. My only disappointment is that the 3060 doesn’t run an iPod. All previous models did. You plug it into the receiver and control everything. They changed to a Bluetooth and WiFi connection. You have to control everything by iPhone itself.

  7. Joe schmo

    I’m currently using a Pioneer Elite SC91 I bought for it’s Atmos and 4K capabilities. It has been a flawless performer and sounds really nice through Klipsch RF7 II system using 2 12″ subwoofers with one sub tuned to the low end of the RF7 II mains and the other tuned below them and slightly louder than it’s higher tuned brother. The system has me ducking bullets flying overhead and dodging crashing cars so for that reason alone I have to give the SC91 great marks. I’m always looking with an upgraders eye for just that right thing at just the right price then all bets are off..

  8. Lyndon Canastra

    AVR’s are not for Amateurs at all! A true Audiophile/Video would never dis, or let anybody down. They have great respect for good sound and quality of a gear, high end, separates, or entry level AVRs. It’s just that a few Audiophiles just tend to be a bit snobbish cuz obviously mosly can afford expensive gears. I have about everything from hi- res audio to standard stereo, surround sound ( Dts, Dts:x, Dolby Atmos ), But most of it all, I really love Thx Stuff when it comes to my older movie collection. Too bad, not too many available anymore. And please bring 3D too! Lol! In my Home Systems: i have
    Dedicated Movie Theater, Music listening, and Karaoke too ” a must have” for total Home Entertainment.

  9. Warner

    I have been a big Onkyo fan my whole life. When I put together my dedicated home theater (finally) I went with an Interga receiver. Moved my Onkyo to living room. I am loving the Atmos, and the next big upgrade I want to do is add another pair of ceiling speakers. Only have two now ….. just not enough 🙂

  10. Tom Albrecht

    I am on like my 3rd Yamaha Aventage receiver, the 860. They have excellent sound and processing capabilities and are a great value for the money!!!

  11. I’m using a Marantz SR6012 right now. It seemed like the best option in my price range last summer, since I wanted something that could support at least 4 height channels as well as Dolby Vision out of the box.

    I had two Harman Kardon AVRs and a Yamaha prior to that.

  12. Aero

    I have a Pioneer Elite SC-LX501, and its a great receiver IMHO. Nice warm sound that doesnt degrade at high volumes. I upgraded from a Pioneer VSX-819H-K because I was making the 4k plunge. And there is a definite improvement in sound quality between the two on my Polk TSI speakers. Though LG’s OLED TV’s really overshadow everything else in my little set up.

    • Aero

      Oh I forgot to mention, I’ve been a Pioneer fan for about 15 years but Im not sure if brand loyalty comes into play or not. I almost bought a Yamaha instead, but the 501 was on sale for a bit cheaper. And go with what you know I guess.

  13. David

    I have had two denon receivers die on me in the past 10 years,(turns on but no sound,) so I switched to Yamaha and have never looked back. I do miss the day when pioneer elite meant something.

  14. theHDphantom

    I have an Onkyo that I bought about a year ago, and still use my Technics from 1999. Two terrific receivers.

  15. Ron

    I’ve always used Onkyo and yamaha receivers and have loved them till I finally bought a Marantz. Wow, what a jump in terms of

    sound quality and I’ll never ever go back to the other 2.

    I do still miss my first receiver ,Technics from the 90’s.

  16. Ron

    P.S. I do miss the heat from those Onkyo in the winter and the display dying on me and the hdmi ports dying one after the other. Good times.

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