Newbie needs advice on budget amps!


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Aug 10, 2019
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Hi everyone. I'm new to this forum but an avid reader of the magazine. I recently decided to upgrade my sound system from a sony all-in-one to an entry level amp/ speaker system. For speakers I decided to get the Q accoustics 1010is, but in affordable chunks (just ordered the first pair). I'm stuck on the amp though. My budget is £200-£250 max and my options have narrowed to: Onkyo TR-SX505 Denon AVR1508 Pioneer VSX817 My preference seems to change hourly but I'm really just looking for quality sound- I don't care about HDMI switching or other useless features. Please dont advise me to 'save up for the Onkyo 605' as I truly cant afford it and any money I save will go towards the remaining speakers. Advice would be really appreciated.


Get the Onkyo, it's the clear cut winner based on sound quality alone. To me, the Denon 1508 is a dull listen, it also sounds somewhat prohibited and doesn't have the power or pace to make for an entertaining listen. The Pioneer, I haven't heard, but if it's anything like the 417, I'd steer cleer from it.

Do try to demo for yourself, these are merely my views and yours could be completely different. Yet most customers I've had in my store favoured the Onkyo above the Denon receiver.


Thanks for the advice. In the end however I decided to eschew all 3 in favour of a second hand model. I'm now looking at the Denon AVR2106 and Pioneer VSX1016, both cheaper now second hand than the new budget models!

Feel free to give opinions on these two amps as well- I would be keen to have either.


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