Narrowed my decision down to these final products and hope it helps others who are trying to decide as well. What ranking of best 3 units would you guys recommend of the following, for best home theater AUDIO in a home theater sytem using HDMI. (Internal video processing doesn't particularly matter to me since I'll just be using the video in an Oppo 83).
Integra DHC-40.1 or DHC-80.1 Marantz AV8003 Anthem AVM50v Emotiva UMC-1 (or XMC-1 if comes out soon) Outlaw 997 (if ever comes out)
You are mixed up aren't you. The prices of these aren't even in the same ballpark. The Anthem is in a whole other league. Even the AVM 20/30 will crush the others sonically. Have you considered Sunfire, B&K or Parasound? Why not Sony ES too. Personally I like Sherbourn & Mac.
Thanks guys, great input. Would you also consider any Arcam product like the FMJ AV888, or still recommend staying with the Marantz or Integra's? I found out that the Anthem AVM50v retails for $5,500 which would be my max budget; do you guys still feel the Marantz or Intergra's are still better in comparison?
Not sure why you feel a need to buy new. You can find several Anthem D2s listed on Audiogon for around $3500. I'd guess its video processing would exceed that of an Oppo 83. I've bought most of my audio electronics and a pair of speakers from listings on Audiogon, and have yet to regret it. Just read the reviews of the sellers carefully.
On AVS you can read a thread about whether the stereo performance of the D2 warrants the price. An 80.1 I heard lacked the soundstage and timbre portrayal of my vintage Proceed PAV/PDSD, but the fault may have been the setup and associated equipment. Of course, the PAV/PDSD had an MSRP of $10K over 15 years ago, lacks HDMI, the latest codecs, and software for correcting room acoustics, so sonic comparison with a $2K processor that offers the latest technology may be unfair.
I've sold a few of my previous components on audiogon in the past, without incident; but the one time I bought a product from someone 5 yrs ago, had an issue. I bought an Electrocompaniet EMC-1UP CD player, not cheap by any means, and the unit arrived looking and working like new and in a manufacturer box, but the seller (or someone) had filed off the serial number on the back of the unit; he never clearly explained why either, but the unit worked fine, so I've kept it.
I am also struggling with the same decision. I think i will go with the integra 80.1, its tough to beat for the money. However I would e willing to spend more if there is benefits to some of the other.