If you are on a budget, a lot of people rave about Emotiva. I haven't heard it myself but it looks like great equipment for the money.
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I'm torn between a Emotiva preamp, a Marantz av7005 and a 507 B&K The B&K is less but I want to make the right choice and I live in an area that requires lots of travel to hear anything close. I know the B&K sound and I liked it OK but would really like to improve if possible in my budget. I know I would need an amp with the two preamps. Someone point me in the right direction for music first and HT second. Help because I am close to pulling the trigger. The Marantz AV7005 is 800 used. The Emotiva is new and the B&K is used.
I don't need a 2nd zone. I am 70% music and would like a tuner. 5.1 is all I need if I go the surround route. I am considering just going stereo with separate preamp and amp like I had. I want to keep it fairly simple and don't have anything to connect other than a Dvd player and TV of course. I ran HDMI from my directv receiver to my TV and a digital cable for sound to the B&K. I could not see the B&K menu on the tv this way so I had to use the front panel on the 507. The remote ate batteries fast and it was to clunky compared to the directv remote. I want great stereo sound and surround sound with a simple process, good remote and not much money. OK, I know it cant be had but whats my best choice on a budget. I'm thinking another 507 may be my best choice but I have one that died and it is sitting here in the box in front of me. It was well cared for and is now worthless. I called a friend that bought a Denon 5800 when I bought my B&K to tell him my problems and his Denon had also died this weekend. Maybe a used higher end pre amp and amp would be best for me in the long run.
It's going to be tough to beat the B&K. You might look at ARCAM AVR 300 or NAD T753 now listed. You could also do a pre/pro amp combo like B&K Ref50 & ST140. Basically it's the same gear in 2 boxes. There is an OUTLAW 950 pre/pro for $200 and add amp of your choice to that. For just Stereo you could go with unique Tuner/pre Anthem TLP-1 and amp of choice. Linn made the all in one box Classik which might work for you. In stereo mode you will need to use the LR analog out on your cable box. Hope this gives you a few ideas.
Thanks for the input. I'll spend some time becoming familiar with your suggestions. I'm all over the board right now. I've bounced from another 507 to a Marantz 7005 and parasound power amp and a few different 2 channel in betweens. It's tough to decide when your in a rural area with no stores close by. I'm watching the buy sell area on the board and crossing my fingers. Again thanks!
Since 70% is for music, it may make more sense to go with a 2 channel system with a HT passtrough. Since your HT needs are modest, you can get HT components that cost far less than if try to get HT gear that sounds good for 2 channel. Or you can do what I do. Listen to movies in stereo and be done with it. (I find surround sound very annoying.)