steve: i personally don't hear a ton of difference between the mass market avrs--i've had good luck with pioneer elite and yamaha; others will recommend denon or marantz; i've heard people complain about onkyo's reliability. if you look at accessories4less, they have great prices (up to 50% off) on avrs--you can find one for $300-400 that has all the bells and whistles.
10 responses Add your response
Accessories4less.com is a good source for discounted AVRs. I'd recommend Yamaha because they sound good but also seem to be a step up in reliability relative to most others. If you don't need all the absolute latest bells n whistles, you can save some $$$ buying the previous generation models like this...
Yamahas dont have have the most robust power supplies out there though, and I'm sure your Aerial center needs some juice. But since you won't be using all the AVR's amp channels I thought it could still be fine and you may even be able to biamp your center.
But here's a Marantz that's got a beefier power supply and is even cheaper...
My problem with Marantz (and Denon) is that last year they were bought by a private equity firm, and their motivation is usually to cut costs so I'd be concerned about parts quality and reliability.
These two i recommended are probably at the absolute minimum for each brand to meet your needs, but they're still well below your max budget so you might want to move up the lines as you'll get more power and still be within your budget.
All this said, what I'd do would be to buy a used Anthem MRX710. To me, it's a cut above these others in parts, build, and sound quality, they're reliable, and they have what many feel is a superior and proprietary room/speaker EQ system. Here's a nice demo unit that's in your price range and probably still comes with full factory warranty. This is absolutely what I'd do if it has all the features you need...
Hope this helps, and best of luck in your search.
Hi - thanks for your reply - it was very informative.
The current version for Anthem is MRX720.
Do you know what the 720 gives you over the 710.
Also - if I am going with only traditional surround with 5 speakers can i still get a 7 speaker system ? And if I am going 5 five speakers (2 fronts, center, and 2 backs) does it make sense for me to go with MRX 5 series ?
Denon or Marantz. For Denon, a X3400 (X3500 if you need phono and HDMI 2.1 features).
Anthem is good, I would only consider it if you wanted to use the room correction and you didn’t want to pay the extra $20 for the Audyssey app for Denon/Marantz in order to adjust the target (the default is very poor, reduces bass for no reason).
im kinda at same point as the op,,, i have been using a 10+ year old dennon avr. I tried a new marantz 7012, (i have my own amps that are better than any receiver) its going back its not much better than the old dennon. . I did alos get a mini dsp unit and that is very good for the bass. Good enough now im thinking about getting an NAD they use same correction dirac. its more for tweakers than set it and forget it guys, but i think i will enjoy it. Or might go anthem.
Do you know what the 720 gives you over the 710.No. I'll leave that to you. But I think the 720 will cost you quite a bit more, so whatever additional features it offers would have to be pretty important to you to justify the difference.
does it make sense for me to go with MRX 5 series ?Possibly yes, but it also has less power so that may be an important consideration as I know Aerial speakers generally require a good amount of power to get the most out of them. I also don't know if the 5 uses the same room correction software as the 7, so that may be a consideration too.
With components like LS 25 and 250.8, I don’t see any AVR can match the level. At least get an Anthem D2v for under $1500. Classe Sigma SSP or SSP 800 for $2000 would be good matches. AVR will degrade your overall sound.
I went through many AVR’s and once I got Anthem D2 and Krell HTS 7.1, I cannot go back to AVR any more, especially for my hard-to-drive Celestion SL6 SL700 mains. Even the good Integra DTC 9.8 is not that transparent. Maybe Marantz AV 8xxx ‘s are good, but I have not heard them.
I think you mean in order to decode TV’s DD sounds, you want to have some DD decoder. I purchased an used Krell HTS 7.1 on eBay, I use it for pre amplifying my OPPO 105’s analog out. That will truly reveal OPPO ‘s potential. Even if I use Krell’s own DD decoding, plus HTS’s top ranked analog stage, it will easily beat any AVR for sure. Now the market price for a HTS 7.1 is only $500. I think it is a steal. Many Netflix or Amazon’s programs even major TV news network and PBS station have nice implementation of sounds, I would think the better decoders would make difference.