Marantz SR700 cost to repair too high... advice?

I purchased my home theater system about 12 years ago. I have a Marantz SR7000, Monitor Audio Silver 5i LR, Monitor Audio Silver 10i C, Cambridge Soundworks surrounds (I forget the model but they are dipole) and sub.

Recently I've been getting crackling and then a large "whoomph" before losing sound in my center channel. I took it to a reputable stereo repair shop and they said that the center channel is fried (my term not theirs) and that the parts and labor to replace the appropriate components would be about $350. They actually recommended that it wasn't worth the repair work since I could get an updated receiver of similar quality for not much more in price.

It's been a long time since I've researched this stuff and would appreciate some advice. What are some mid-fi receivers that I should be looking at? Are Marantz, Dennon, and Onkyo still the brands to be concentrating on ?

I think I paid about $800 for my Marantz but don't really want to spend that now. Maybe I could get the same quality as a 12 year old SR7000 for cheaper now? I'd like to keep it around $500...

I use this almost exclusively for HT but the audio performance is what is most important to me. I know I'd benefit from networking, more inputs, etc, but I want to emphasize that sound performance, not features, is what I'm looking for.

Should I spend $500 for something new or $350 to fix what I already like but which is very out of date?

Thanks for your help!
Definitely use the money toward something new and do not repair what is now an obsolete AVR. Most mainstream electronics, especially AVR's, are not worth repairing as the technology changes so rapidly.

Modern AVR's now offer lossless decoding of DTS Master and Dolby True HD, the two sound formats found on all Blu-ray releases. Also up to 7.1 channels of uncompressed audio and video can be carried by one HDMI cable, greatly simplifying the HT tangle nightmare of years ago. These two key features are something your old AVR does not have and why you should consider a modern HT receiver even if your old Marantz was still functioning properly.

Regret to advise that IMO, you will not get the same quality or power as your old Marantz for $500 or even $800. You will get more features. So if sound quality is paramount, make sure you get an AVR with a full set of pre-outs. If you find the internal amps of the AVR are not cutting it, by having a full set of pre-outs, you can consider adding an external multi-channel amp. But try the internal amps first - that may be all you need.

So without recommending any of the mainstream brands you mention (throw Pioneer Elite in there too), I just want to put forth the above caveats and strongly advise you only consider a model that has a full set of pre-outs. Just in case...
I concur, good advice. If you are not in a hurry and okay with internet purchases, you could wait until black friday, Nov 29. I'm sure you could get a great deal then.

Some options to look for on that day: Onkyo TX NR717(now discontinued model with pre outs), or 727, the newer model. Even a TX NR818 which can currently be had for 699. None pre outs would be 616 or 626.

From Denon, the AVR 3312(Again, discontinued stock that might go for a big discount, with pre outs) or 3313. None pre outs would be 2313. None of the above meet your budget, but on black friday might.

I am not as familiar with the other brands, but think current Marantz models are priced at a premium and so would not be as much an option. If you are considering black friday, definitely do it before work on black friday, by the end of the day the best deals could be gone. Places like, Amazon, will all be competing for your dollar.
Yep! It's a throw-away. Too much to fix just about ANY standard Chinese piece of electronics these days. You just have to move on, and maybe sell it "as is", and get a buck out of it to someone only using stereo. That's about it.
This is one reason why I never buy NEW audio/video AVR's, and almost always would look for much much MUCH better value in the used market. Heck, for under $200, you can pretty much get anything new you'd ever need -except maybe built in media streaming, Wi-Fi, etc - and also some pretty descent sound quality too!
I've seen $1500 AVR's from the last few years go for $200 or better, from likes of Denon, Yamaha, HK, Onkyo, Marantz, etc! So these days, you try not to spend big bucks on AV gear, IMO, and you do lots of used gear trading.
That's what I do anyway. Sscchhhhhwwwwwiiiing!