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“I bought this reciever to replace my old Yamaha AX-550...”

Written on: 30/09/2004 by gunol (2 reviews written)

Good Points
- Good sound
- Good specs
- Good build quality
- Very good value
- Good looks
- SACD/DVD-A ready
- S-video inputs
- Front optical input

Bad Points
- Difficult surround set-up
- Big remote
- 5.1 only (new models 6.1)
- No GREAT sound, only very good..

General Comments
I bought this reciever to replace my old Yamaha AX-550 integrated amp. Since my budget was low, and I desperately craved a surround receiver, I bought this one at for around NOK 3500/€420. Prices have dropped much since then (jan 03), they now (sep 04) sell the new models AVR-1604 and 1705 for around NOK 2700/€320.

This reciever delivers a totally different sound than the old Yamaha - which is the only product I can directly compare it with. It's much more forgiving towards bad recordings, it's smoother sounding - altogether much more flexible. But it lacks the "speed" and "attack" the Yamaha had with well produced audio. In short; with the AVR-1603 most music sounds very good, but nothing sounds really really great. If I were to buy a new surround receiver today (which I'm not, because the Denon is quite good), I'd save up a little more money and buy a Yamaha RX-V650/750. Anyway, considering the pricedrop (in Norway, at least) the new models should be extremely good value for money. Good sound, good specs. Probably best in it's price range.

Btw: I use it with a Sony DVP-NS705 DVD-player and Monitor Audio speakers.

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