The price / performance limitation you are having is the 4k part. If you can use your TV as the source, via ARC an older generation Anthem would be great. The 520 runs around $700 on ebay
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For $1k you aren't going to get much of an upgrade over what you have (unless you go used as Erik suggests). I'd say you're probably better off saving up.
Your pioneer isn't a bad reciever. You can take advantage of the PRE out available and add a 2 channel amp to driver your front speakers. this should give you improved 2 channel sound as well. However, you're still going to have trouble finding a good amp for $1k.
For future options, try to get one with Front L and Front R rear output jacks.
Those are preamp, volume controlled by the AVR with all other channels.
Purpose is to have a ’better’ front 2 channel music system that doubles for Video use.
The AVR’s Front L and R Preamp Outs can go to a future preamp/amp or integrated amp with a Home Theater Bypass, so your ’better’ front amp is still used for the front speakers, volume controlled by the AVR
Crutchfield is a quick source for comparative info, and you can see magnified views of the rear panels.
Seems Marantz and Yamaha tend to include front pre-outs, some Onkyo Integra line have it, but standard Onkyo's do not. Seems Denon's do not have front pre-outs
of course do your research and compare prices elsewhere, but easy info at Crutchfield, even info on discontinued models if you are considering used.
I checked their black friday AVR's, none have front pre-outs
I guess if I were in your shoes I would try to separate the surround processor and amp as a first step if you want to increase sound quality. I would put $1K+ into a surround processor (Best Buy 18 month 0% financing) and get a $1K 5 or 7 channel separate amp. That should give you a significant bump in sound quality.
You can see my HT under my UserID. I long ago invested more in my surround system than the TCV. It has so much been worth it. We currently have a 77” Sony OLED… the surround system and amp are much more costly and have really added to our enjoyment for decades.
I find Best Buy’s 18 month 0% financing to be really useful when in your price range.
Agreed 👍🏼 Accessories4less is a great on-line store with significant discounts