Receiver for Sunfire speakers?


Aug 4, 2003
Hello all,

I just bought a condo, and it came with some very high end Sunfire speakers installed in the living room. (CRS-3)

I am new to receivers, in the past I have always just connected a 2.1 configuration running M-Audio DX8's directly to my sound card.

I am looking for a receiver that will drive these speakers (5.1), that offers the most bang for my buck. The configuration won't be anything crazy, simply connecting them to my TV and my HTPC which runs an X-fi sound card. I just want something that will drive these speakers without compromising any audio quality, yet without being outrageously expensive. I don't need crazy 9.2, Bluetooth, and other functions that drive that price up that I won't use. Thanks in advance for your insight.
Budget is as appropriate. I'm willing to spend whatever is required to drive these speakers without compromising sound quality, but of course the cheaper the better. Bang for the buck is key for me. I don't want to spend a dollar more than I need to for extra bells and whistles I won't use, but I don't want to spend less and compromise audio quality.
I installed this for my father-in-law a few months ago. Great receiver with everything you need for your setup. He is driving a Sonance 5.1 setup and it sounds great.
Pioneer VSX 1123
Nice! I would have loved to get those speakers as a bonus throw-in. I have always wanted to try out Sunfire speakers but have never pulled the trigger.

Those are not the most difficult to drive, but they are not the easiest to drive either. They claim 6 Ohm nominal, and I am not able to find an impedance graph for the CRC-3 so I'll have to stick with that. I would just be sure that whatever receiver you use has a rating for 6-4 Ohms.

Generally this will start you off somewhere in the low middle of the receiver price ranges. You didn't specify a budget, so I'll specify one for you, $400-600 seems like a fair range, and I believe you can do well at the lower end of that range. (I'm assuming that volume will not reach reference levels given the condo and a shared wall environment, otherwise my viewpoint would change.)

Unfortunately you're not going to be able to get something truly bare bones for your needs as better amplifier sections tend to come coupled with other features.

As for what to look for, I don't have any direct experience with current generation receivers in the range I gave you, if I am to be honest. That said, I like Pioneer, Yamaha, and Onkyo (they were once my favorite, and while I have not had any issues myself, many do report HDMI issues with their models from last/a couple years ago so YMMV).

Beyond that, you'll want to connect via HDMI and not via your X-fi for home theater from now on.
The sub is active and self-powered, it's a Bic H100 I believe. I'm not opposed to processing them, so a receiver is fine. I'll probably be wanting to use a receiver for other home theater functionality anyways.

It appears that the Denon that was listed is discontinued, and the newer model is the AVR-X2000. I was looking at the AVR-X1000, should I go with the 2000 for these speakers?

I'm currently borrowing a friend's Onkyo TX-NR626 to run the speakers, and from what I can tell it works fine. Is the 626 an acceptable solution, or should I pair the speakers with something more high-end?

I also saw the Yamaha RX-V675 at Costco for $489.
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Buying a model behind is generally just fine and a good way to save some money, especially if you don't care about the "fluff" (for you) features.

That Onkyo is acceptable as well. I believe I have a friend with one running some Def Tech speakers and it gets the job done nicely. If you are happy with what you are hearing, that's really the key factor.

Ditto for the Yamaha. And Cosco has a very generous return policy, so keep that in mind as well since you have already heard the Onkyo TX-NR626.

You can always spend more and edge a little more performance out of this and that. I can tell you that whoever purchased these speakers new most likely spent more and went with something more "high end", but that does not necessarily mean anything. But there are options for you should you want to try out a more "high end" setup.

Zangmonkey mentioned Emotiva. You could try out their UMC-200 and a UPA-500 amplifier from them (in total and at current pricing - around $900). (I happen to like Emotiva as well for my home theater.) They have an in-home trial period and excellent customer service per my experiences with them. Separates can be a slippery slope though, so be warned!

You could also move up the receiver range a bit and choose either a prior year model or even a refurbished unit.

Onkyo TX-NR828 factory refurbished and shipped and sold directly from Amazon ($600):

Onkyo TX-NR818 new (fulfilled by at this stage however, $700):

Those last two options will give you full pre-outs to add a separate amplifier should you ever chose to as well.