If you're looking at receivers, those are the usual suspects. You left Marantz
and Integra off your list. Which you pick will be based on your listening tests
and which features you want. You'll have to decide how you feel about HDMI
and Firewire connectivity, room correction, video switching, what type of
front end you're using, etc.
Sunfire, Anthem and Bel Canto should also be on the list if you dont mind buying secondhand.
I've owned both Bel Canto and B&K and wouldn't hesitate to purchase any product from either company. Nad had quality control problems from what I've read - Arcam has a good rep.
As far as receivers, the Denon models with dacs in dual-differential configuration for the front L & R such as AVR-5803, AVR-3805 should do the trick in 2 channel mode and also for processing surround sound. I was using the Denon AVR-3803 for surround sound processing only and was very happy with the results.
Try www.ecoustics.com for reviews from different publications on a wide variety of different products in almost all audio/video categories.
Best of Luck
Within NAD, is there a reason why you left out T773 receiver and the combo T163 & T973? I think they are better than the T762.
You can also get a used combo of Anthem AVM-30 and MCA-50 for $2,500 and $1,300, respectively. But then you 'll have to invest in cables.
The Denon AVR-3805 has Denon-Link, which will pass DVD-A, but has not
been approved for SACD. It has component video switching capabilities, but
not HDMI. This is why decsions have to made with regard to the importance
of these features. Once a desired feature-set is identified, the choice of
receiver could narrow down substantially.
How important is High Rez Digital, SACD & DVD-A, to you?
What kind of front end are you using?
Do you want to use the DAC's in your front end, or are you looking for
a receiver to do your DA conversion?
If you're looking for a receiver to do DA Conversion, if you're interested in
High Rez digital, and if you have a Universal Player as your front end, does
your player have Firewire connectivity? HDMI? If it has Firewire connectivity,
or if you're interested in moving to a front end with Firewire connectivity,
you'll need a receiver (or pre-pro) with Firewire Connectivity.
At the present time, there are only a few receivers with this feature.
So, identifying a feature set is extremely important.
Thank you guys for all of the responces and now I will narrow it down and correct some of my mistakes as the nad numbers always mess me up. The T762 reciever at $1800 retail and the seperates at $3500 or the Signature series seps from NAD(used as they are no longer available and also somewhat aniquated) are the only nads on my short list. The new S2 B&K reciever would be the choice from B&K as the new upgrades are very nice-3 notch filters for the bass, and video transcoding(not upconversion as so many other companies call it). I could care less about dvi/hdmi. I am using a Consance cd2.2 tube output cd player, A Sony dvpns7700 dvd player which will get replaced by a universal most likely a pio elite 47ai, Talon khorus fronts with a martin logan depth sub. The Denon recievers are great sounding and I was up until a few months ago a dealer. So I am very familiar with their performance. I also being in the business have seen a competitor company that took a snap shot of "some" japanese recievers under an ociliscope that measured their actual output power with ALL CHANNELS DRIVEN at .09 thd and the results were jaw dropping. I will not name the companies here for this discussion as I am not into defaming product, especially when I am a dealer for two of the companies. Needless to say these are the companies NOT on my shortlist. Hope this helps and does not cause needless arguements...Firewire is not an issue either as I am from the two channel world philosophy of putting the $$$in the source. Most of them have proven not user friendly thus far anyway, with most companies not choosing to use it as its potentail...I am very interested in Anthem v/s B&K v/s Sunfire and the Bel canto stuff I just wrote off as being out of my price range, but the evo amp has always interested me...THANKS TO ALL...Scott
If you don't care about Firewire and HDMI, I would seriously think about
buying separates used. As someone else mentioned, you could get an
Anthem AVM 20, used, for around $2,000. I don't see a receiver as the way
to get great two-channel sound. I would go with an Anthem AVM20, a two-
channel amp for the front L & R, and a three channel amp for the other three
channels. You can get a used Anthem MCA-30 (three channel amp) for less
than $1,000. Then, go with a P-2 for the front left and right.
Another way to go would be to pick up a used Proceed AVP2 for your surround processor. If you're looking for a really neutral two-channel pass through with a remote control that will also do surround processing and
you don't care about the bells and whistles of the new receiver technology -- I guarantee you no receiver is going to compete with the Proceed AVP2 and people are literally giving them away because Mark Levinson discontinued the Proceed brand. The AVP2 has great DAC's, better than Anthem AVM20 and B & K, separates. A different league. The Proceed AVP2 MSRP'd for $6,200 --
nearly twice the price range. That would be the best bang for your buck.
What amps are you using for your Khoruses right now?
Keep those, add a three channel amp and a used Proceed AVP2.
Will sound a lot better than the receivers you're considering and
will still keep you in the same price range.
Does the avp2 do dolby digital and dts? I am currenty using an Aronov tube integrated which is fabulous and I really dont want to give up my hi fi, but video is far outweighing audio in use in my system right now. Plus, I cant stand to see my $600/set tubes being eaten up watching tv through them...I will seperate the systems some day-no room nor $$$ for it now with a 2 year old!
The AVP2 does Dolby Digital and DTS, HDCD, Pro-logic, Pro-logic II...it has
everything you need to enjoy Home Theater AND music, especially if music is
a high priority.
Here's a link to some information:
[url] http://www.hometheatermag.com/news/10221/ [url]
Rsbeck: Does the Anthem pre pro have tubes in it? I have tubes everywhere and personally, dont know if I could live without them somewhere...AND I have owned a Proceed CDP a few years ago, and while it was good, I'm not for some unkown reason a big Madrigal guy. I just find there gear-both Proceed and ML and little too "dry" and uninvolving to listen to, though the CDP didn't lean in that "old man sound" direction...Hard to explain when you dont care for the flavor of something that should and does taste great to most...More intestested in your comments on what you own. Sound like a stellar system for what you have invested...And that is the magic I seek...Scott
I'm strictly two-channel for music. I use a surround processor for movies only, although I have used both an Anthem AVM20 and a Proceed AVP2 in the past when I tried to combine HT and two channel in the same system. As I wrote, the Anthem is a real nice piece of gear, a great bang for the buck, but the Proceed is in a different league; More air, detail, more transparent, open, larger, more palpable soundstage, more natural sounding. The fact that you can now get a used Proceed AVP2 for around the same as a used Anthem AVM20 makes the Proceed a screaming deal, IMO. A receiver is never going to sound as good as a Proceed AVP2 with outboard amplification. In the end, I was using the Proceed's two channel pass through to play two-channel music through it, using it as a passive pre-map. It is very similar to the Meitner Switchman when used that way, which is a huge compliment to the Proceed AVP2. But -- hey -- if you have a problem with Proceed and Levinson gear, there isn't much I am going to be able to share with you. I love my Levinson 436's and there's no way I would take a receiver over a Proceed AVP2 unless it was strictly for home theater, strictly for convenience, like if I didn't have room for separates or something. B & K, Anthem, Sunfire, all of those are a step down, then receivers are another step down.
None of the gear under discussion employs tubes.
Thanks for your repsonces, and please dont take the madrigal thing too heavily, as I LIKED the proceed cdp, and ,my father used to own the ML drive/dac/#390 pre and #360 amp-at least i think these are the correct #'s...anyway, great gear and great sound that I could happily live with, but I have more recently heard and owned stuff that betters it. This is all in esoteric two channel world where I and my father have resided with our systems for a few years now, and thus the inquires of ultimate AFFORDABLE multichannel and the AVP2 sounds like a steal. Only one question about it, Does it have a external 5.1 in for dvda/sacd?
Please also note that being a dealer for NAD and for B&K I get unbelievable deals on there equiptment and thus the interest-thinking I could get the ARV507 and pre out the mains to a tube amp and get close to where I'm now.
I currently have a stellar two channel rig but hate to see my tubes burning up to "BARNEY" if you know what I mean...two year old and only enough room and budget to do one hi fi///av setup...SACRIFICES....SACRIFICES...Scott
I know exactly what you mean. If you get an AVP2+6, it will have 5.1 analogue inputs for SACD/DVD-A. Changing your mind about SACD and DVD-A?
Receivers are fine for home theater, but I would be surprised if you could be happy with a receiver for music.
No-just making sure that it did have a 5.1 input. What I was thinking of doing for a little less money was using a reviever to drive the center and rear speakers and to do the processing and using its main outs to drive a tube/higher quality ss amp for the mains for auidio. I can get a flagship reciever aka b&k for aprox the same money the avp2 cost and have 7 channels to boot...whether I use them or not..
That's an interesting idea. If you get a really good deal on a used B & K and decide it isn't what you want, I suppose you could sell it for close to what you paid. When you combine a high quality two channel tube amp with the other channels driven by the receiver, it will be interesting to hear how that sounds during multi-channel listening. For me, I would still much rather have the Proceed AVP2+6 than to use a receiver, even if only as a pre-pro. If you do a 5.1 system and you're planning to use higher quality amps for your front L & R -- which is exactly what I would do -- and if the AVP2+6 costs about as much as the receiver, then you only need to power the other three channels. You could buy something like an Anthem MCA 30 for around $1,000. True, this system would cost $1,000 more than the one with the receiver, but I think the sound of the AVP2+6 plus outboard amplification would be a huge improvement over what you're trying to do with the receiver.
Yes, I agree with you in the ultimate sense, I will just have to see how the budget works out...Thanks for all of your input.
One other thing has come up that has caught my attention, as a sound quality /price ratio thing but absolutley no frills in the surround world is a Thule 5 channel integrated here on agon that retails for $4500-used for $1500-guy said it sounds almost as good as his plineus???I have no clue about Thule-anybody out there no of this piece?
Scottshannon, Thule has a problem with Quality Control. I bought some components from the former importer of these products and had to return them due to poor workmanship. One of the RCA connectors fell inside the chassis when I tried to hook up the interconnects. Then the logo fell out of the other component for no reason. I know it's kind of unfair judgement based on one experience. I couldn't erase this first impression out of my mind. I guess this is the reason why the importer no longer works with Thule.
Good to know-thats why I asked...How did it sound when & if it ever worked???Or did you just give up and move on?