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.
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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.
I tried 4 returned 3... one marantz, one nad , one anthem (demo), and an onkyo. Im just using them for the processor, not the amplifiers. Surprisingly I kept the cheapest Onkyo rz730, has full set of pre amp outs and was only 600 bucks. Added in dsp for 900 bucks and it manages 7.2.4 and 6 subwoofers in the theater room. For 1-2 subs its pretty good, the anthem was the best , but its cheaper to get onkyo and mini dsp.
And good choice on the 55 oled, we got one for chrismas, now i wanna update all our tvs.
the newest yamaha aventage AVR's are real nice. I just bought one and have had it for about two months. So far it's been perfect. My listening is about 50-50, music and movies.Everything is two channel stereo, no surround. I find it disconcerting to have sound coming at me from all around. Unnatural. Also the argument about AVR's not having good sound quality compared to separates are mostly the placebo effect. The newest AVr's have excellent sq. My previous AVR was a Denon which I liked but it started having some issues by the time it was about 5 years old. The front display went out and then it stopped recognizing a device plugged into the USB port like my IPOD.Hope the new Yammy is more reliable. The sq seems better on the Yammy but, again,this might be the placebo effect or confirmation bias or whatever.Also, if anyone has the OPPO 203; how has the reliability been? Mine was perfect until one day last week it freeze framed during a bluray movie.I removed the disc and examined it and it was pretty dirty, fingerprints and other crud of some kind,so I cleaned it real nice but have yet to try it again.
I'd spend $899 on Yamaha RX-A3060 from accesories4less. You get a warranty and what was a $2000 receiver just a year ago. I have one in my second system and running into a good amp for the two front channels sometimes I wonder if the rest of the stack is really worth it. But with the two fronts connected to a separate amp, it has no problems driving Aerial CC3 even at crazy volume levels.
@yylc. I beg to differ. Krell was a nice unit then, but so much advancement has been made in DAC chips since that unit came out that it doesn't even stand a chance against the likes of Yamaha RX-A line. Don't even get me started on comparing it against the Anthem AVM60 unit. Anthem easily beats the outputs of OPPO105 or even 205 by a long mile.
From the previous posts folks are evenly split between Yamaha and Marantz. I have been a loyal customer of accessories4less.com for years and can not recommend them any more strongly than other posters.
That being said I have been a happy Marantz man for many years.
In regards for a testimonial for accessories4less.com they offer great prices and selection and they back it up with excellent service as well as very reasonable shipping fees, actually some of the lowest out there.
A couple years ago I upgraded my AV receiver, to a Marantz SR 6012, and soon after I hooked it up one of the analog inputs failed. The warranty kicked in and since they sold out of the 6012, they replaced it with a SR7012 and I have loved it since. I play SACDs, HDCDs, DVD-A, Blu-Ray, DVDs, and of coarse redbook CDs. I watch free TV from my roof top antenna and now I stream a Roku Ultra through my Oppo 105 to this unit and the Marantz handles it all with grace and presents a full sonic landscape that will please the most demanding listeners, as well as having the proverbial balls to rock the house if need be.
The 7012 has been a real work horse for me with no issues at all and the audio and video performance is exceptional. I only have a 1080P TV and will not be going down the Atmos road, but may upgrade to 4K TV a few years down the road.
The $10,000 question to ask is how much television and movies do you watch compared to listening to music through your rig? If you do both, like me, it then comes down to your CD/Blu-Ray/ Universal player(s) that will really elevate and make you appreciate the Marantz or Yamaha even more.
As I mentioned I am an Oppo convert. I have had universal players for years, first a Pioneer then a couple Marantz then I made the jump to Oppo. The BPD-95 was my first unit. I am a big Dead head and all of their releases of live concerts are mastered in HDCD so that was required for any player that I would own. Years back I even owned an excellent Harmon Kardon AV that had the HDCD chip in it.
As a side bar I have been rediscovering analog stereo, thanks to my recently acquired Oppo 105, the folks at Ohm in Brooklyn, as well as me dusting off an old Nikko NA-890 integrated amplifier, which I bought back in high school from Tech Hifi in 1980.
I started reading about the Yamaha CD-2100 CD/SACD player and became intrigued...then obsessed. Well I pulled the trigger this week and it arrived yesterday from, you guessed it, accessories4less.com at the best price on the internet, and OMG! Wow! I was completely blown away! I listened to a wide variety of music for over two hours last night and was stunned how good this player sounds. So far it blows the Oppo 105 out of the water for analog stereo, and this is with the RCA connectors, not the XLR and hooked up to my Nikko. I will do side a side by side comparison against the Oppo BDO-95 and maybe post in another thread about that.
In closing whatever you choose a great AV is your hub and you want room to grow, and the newer higher end Yamaha and Marnatz AVs offer all the stuff, and tech you will need to be more than satisfied for years to come.
Good luck on your AV adventure!
Hi - i went with a new Marantz SR7012 which i bought from Accessories For Less -
I can't say it is the best AVR out there as I have not tried different models but it has worked very well so far.
My move from a tube amp to the pass solid state worked well as now leave my amp on and I can listen to music all the time and watch netflix and TV through the same sound system with just a few clicks on my remote controls.