Buying a receiver for Bose 301 speakers, Oppo disc player skips on CDs – fix or replace? (Week 9, 2023)

Sound Advice
By Don Lindich

Week 9, 2023

Q. My Onkyo stereo receiver recently failed and is not repairable. Is the Marantz NR1200 stereo receiver a good replacement for my Onkyo? The Onkyo adequately powered my 301 Bose speakers for musical enjoyment from a CD player, and for TV sound from my Samsung Smart TV. The sound from the Bose speakers was satisfying in our 15” x 23” living room. My concern is whether Marantz is still a quality receiver. Is there a better alternative to the Marantz?.

I will consider a quality receiver above the Marantz price point ($700) though I am not yet ready to break the bank for an outstanding sound system.

-J.K., Pittsburgh, PA

A. The 75-watt Marantz NR1200 is a quality receiver and you will be pleased to know that the price is now $599, not $700. I have some suggestions for alternatives that you may want to consider, including one that is considerably less expensive.

Your Bose 301 speakers are undemanding to drive and do not require a lot of power. The Onkyo TX-8220 is $249.99 and has 45 watts per channel of clean power, a digital input for your Smart TV and analog inputs for your CD player. If you planned on staying with the Bose 301 speakers I suggest you buy the Onkyo for $249 and save the $350 as I do not think your current speakers are capable of resolving the difference between the two receivers at normal listening levels. If you played very loudly the extra power of the Marantz would make a difference, but playing the bookshelf-sized Bose 301s loudly in your relatively large room is likely to sound strained no matter what you power them with.

If you do plan to one day “break the bank on an outstanding sound system” then buying a better receiver now makes more sense, as it can grow with you. In fact, once you have the receiver you just need to add better speakers to have that dream system. I know of no better stereo receiver than the Outlaw Audio RR2160MKII, which sells for $999 and is a bargain at that price. The name RR2160MKII means Retro Receiver 2160 Mark II, and it is an enchanting combination of retro style and old-school power. The RR2160MKII has top-quality circuitry throughout and an extremely powerful amplifier capable of driving most anything but the most exotic and expensive high-end speakers.

Q. I need your advice or recommendation on a new CD player. I have an Oppo UDP-203 Blu-ray player that puts out good sound, but for over 2 years now when I play a music CD the sound stops for a short burst and then it keeps playing. This happens with every CD, but when I play movies it works just fine. Since Oppo stopped making the machines (just 2 weeks after I bought mine) I have been using my old Sony CD changer. I would like something that makes CDs sound good. I have seen players from Cambridge Audio and Emotiva, which are about the price limits for me. What would be your suggestion?


A. Oppo Digital still services their past products using a flat rate repair service. I would check there before giving up on it playing CDs. Given the rarity and value of the player, and the fact that it plays movies perfectly, I can understand why you may prefer to just buy a CD player and not ship it somewhere. Learn about Oppo repairs and support at

Cambridge Audio and Emotiva are good choices at their price points. Onkyo also makes great-sounding CD players, starting at $299.