Best A/V Receiver up to $1200.00?

What's the best and most reliable and powerful A/V receiver available up to the $1200.00 price range? I'm looking at the Marantz sr-8000, Denon AVR-3300, and the Pioneer Elite VSX-26TX. I've heard alot of reliability issues with the Denon and sound quality with the Pioneer. I'm leaning toward the Marantz. My only reservation is the lack of "bell's and whistles" 7.1 and speaker switching. I've also heard the Marantz amp is far superior to the other's. Thank's Danny
I don't use a receiver, but when I auditioned my Silver 5i's I heard them through several amps and the Nakamichi AV-10. This unit sounded as good as separates. I believe it falls into your price range. Give it a listen. Best sounding receiver I've heard.
So far, I have to agree (to a point) with the other gentleman, in that the Nakamichi AV-10 is probably the best "sounding" at this price range that you'll likely find. Although, it "doesn't" sound as good as separates, but it sounds pretty clean and detailed for the bucks, that's for sure! The Denon is pretty well built, overall, and has as much power as your going to get from a reciever, and it has more body (but slightly more veiled) than the Marantz. Another option for you on this one (my prefernce...for giggles.), is that because none of these recievers you mentioned have any "trick" surround sound mode options worthy of mention, which I don't know how much of a movie set up your going for vs music only, you could opt for a reciever with better surround sound features (like the yamaha reciever at $700) and add an amp or two to it and use it as a pre/pro for the front channels! You will yield far supperior sound with any real world speakers (I don't know what you'll be driving though), even if they're only smaller book shelf models (I mean sound way better!). However, if your really trying to budget into this $1200 category, you'll probably do just fine with the AV-10, as long as you drive nothing more than smaller monitors! If you try to drive full range speakers, the recievers amp sections(and that means any reciever!!!!) won't yeield enough usable power (torque!!) to make the speaker sound dynamic and three dimensional! Personally, I use the little Sony SDPEP9es processor ($300 used!) with better amplifiers for my surround sound! Sounds excellent for the bucks!...And you could use some smaller 5/6 channel power amp, or combination's of amps to drive the speakers, have amazing flexibility for surround sound, with clean sound over all, and excellent audiophilia to boot! In summing, I'd go for the relatively clean sound of the AV-10. Otherwise, there's not enough time in the day to wast your time with mediocre (at best) sound like everybody else winds up with (receiver/speakers/sub...usually = BLAH SOUND) all the time! Otherwise, go for the quality separates that can be foraged together by adding quality parts! Even if that means using a surround reciever as a pre/pro and hooking up better amps to it!!! Have fun though...What ever you end up with! Alex...
I prefer Harmon Kardon for one reason, it will drive 4 ohm speakers. You will not be limited in your selection of speakers. Denon will not for sure and I suspect the Nakamici will not either.
I use a Nakamichi AV10 with NHT 2.5i speakers, Mirage OM3 center channel, M&K 70b subwoofer and NHT SuperOne rear speakers. Excellent sound, plenty of power for this set-up. It also sounds great for two channel stereo with the NHT 2.5i.
This wont qualify as high end but I really enjoy the system. I use a Kenwood 3080 receiver $450 refurbished as a pre/pro it does DD and DTS and because it didnt have quite enough power for my taste I got a used B&K AV5000 for $900 The B&K amp is only rated at 105w / ch which is 5 more than the Kenwood's internal amps but the difference is amazing! I also upgraded my tributaries cable to Kimber 4tc and now my B&W CDM 7's really sing. Good luck.
Stay away from the Denons. The Nak. is an excellent choice as well as the Yamaha line.
Hi If you are looking at reliability,I would have to say that Yamaha would be at the top.We carry severall lines and we seldom have one come back.Denons quality controll has sadly slipped a bit IE the 3300 Lots came backs for Buzzing transformers,circuitprotection shut down and digital lock on problems. Hope this helps RLA
NAD T770. This is the best choice if stereo music is important to you. I had a Yamaha 2095 that was great for movies but really bad for music so I sold it and got the NAD, which I have since sold but thats another story.
I am using a Yamaha 995 (5-channel) for both audio and home theater applications. It is a versatile receiver which can be had for $700-750 range; the model 2095 (7-channel) can be found for under $1200. Playing through B&W speakers really helps. If you want "bells and whistles", this isn't your receiver, as it is as straight forward as they come. Anyway, good luck.
Try to find a demo or used B&K 101
Thank's for all your help. I think I'm going to go with the Marantz SR-8000. I need to find one for under $900.00.