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This review is from: Harman/Kardon AVR 1565 5.1-Channel AV Receiver
Pros: Looks great
much higher output than my old Pioneer
easier to setup than a Pioneer, no microphone calibrations needed to get sound output
Cons: No OSD over HDMI.
at low volumes sound output fluctuates in sinusoidal manner occasionally.
If you don't have rear channel speakers and you have a full 5.1 source the rear output is not transferred to the front its lost entirely.
Other Thoughts: I first thought the sound fluctuation was due to the unit receiving poor power from the wall but its the receiver.
Overall if I needed to replace this receiver it wont be with this brand (or my old 5.1's brand).
Running Polk Monitor 70 fronts with Polk CS2 center
This review is from: Polk Audio CS2 Series II Center Channel Speaker (Black) Single
Pros: Matches Polk monitor 70s perfectly, actually less deep than I had thought. Couldn't find these anywhere, W21.25xH7.75xD10.25 in. Same great sound as monitor 70s. Looks absolutely stunning on the wall next to said loud speakers. vastly improves movie experience over 2.1.
Cons: I have become so addicted to the sound of these speakers that next month I am moving into a much larger home solely to have a living room large enough to justify buying monitor 50 rears and 40 sides.
Makes my HT sound so much better than my 3000$ car setup that I no longer enjoy listening to the latter.
Hope you well endowed, this series makes my 61" DLP look like a lil-smokie.
Other Thoughts: Pioneer VSX-521-K
Polk Audio Monitor70 Series II - FR/FL
^(more detailed review there)
This review is from: Pioneer VSX-521-K 5.1-Channel 3D Ready A/V Receiver
Pros: By far the best value in an entry level receiver. Clean signal with low noise - upgrading from a box set receiver or TV sound you will be blown away.
Cons: I hoped for a 5 band eq, but this receiver doesn't allow for much manual control. The MCACC must be calibrated before sound will output. Once that is done everything sounds OK. Aside from a +/- 6db level on the treble and bass you must chose from short list of factory settings. You will be able to find something to suit your speakers and environment however it could be better (see other thoughts).
Other Thoughts: "Dolby Pro Logic" and "Dolby PLII Movie" sound great for movies and video games, but the bass is lacking it really shows when playing music. The advanced surround setting, "EXT.Stereo," fixes this but leaves the mids flat. I constantly find myself switching between these.
Upgraded from a 20 year old technics 40w stereo receiver which came with loudspeakers on CL for 75$ that I was using temporarily in my new living room. It sounded great but once I had the Polk monitors it just didn't suffice. Comparatively this receiver with the new speakers sounds much much better and louder. If you looking for your cheapest decent option for 5.1/hdmi this is it, just wait for a sale. With this item always on sale somewhere you can easily pay 150-170.
-Polk Monitor 70s
-Transducers in couch