Cheap Dave's Home Theater


What kind of receiver to buy?

The receiver is really the heart of your home theaters audio system. Of course it is a very improtant decision but that doesn't mean you have to spend a huge amount of money.

The receiver is really the heart of your home theaters audio system. Of course it is a very improtant decision but that doesn't mean you have to spend a huge amount of money.

Over the last few years we have gone from stereo to Dolby Surround Sound to AC-3 (which became Dolby Digital 5.1) to DTS to 6.1 to 7.1.

If you bought an expensive receiver and upgraded every time a new format came out you would have spent a lot of money. In fact if you spent $2000 or more on a receiver or separates you might have really been strapped when it came time to upgrade.

Let me make one point clear about the "Cheap Dave's Home Theater" philosophy: Home Theater is not Audiophile. You need to be able to hear the dialog and when something on the screen blows up it needs to go BOOM!!
You don't need the most expensive sound system on the block to do that in a convincing fashion.

So I like to buy receivers at about the $400 price point. This means waiting about a year after a new feature comes out until it is available at this price point. But don't worry sometimes the lag for source material that can take advatage of the new format lags even further behind. In fact I am not really sure there is much material available yet that can really drive my 7.1 system. But at this price I can afford to upgrade every few years and stay relatively current.

My current receiver is a Pioneer VSX-1015TX. It has more features than I have used to date. It easily drives my speakers to very loud volumes (beyond the wife limits). It is easy to set-up and I didn't break the bank.

When you do upgrade keep your old reciever. You can drive secondary systems, subwoofers or even Butt Kickers with them.