My Receiver Did What??

It blew me away. Absolutely stunned me with it's quality. Was putting together a "junk" system for living room (The good stuff's in the basement HT).
So,I get an Agon deal on a Denon DRA-395 receiver - nothin' great, I think. Just to have sound.
I hook up the Vandersteen 1's and WOA! It's not supposed to sound this good! I'm shocked at how much receiver technology/performance has changed in ten years since I had one.
Denon seems to have this SLDC or "Signal Level Divided Construction". According to manual, "The circuits handling low level and high level signals have been divided into separate blocks to ensure that influences from these signals on each other are held to an absolute minimum."
Hey, is this "consumer-speak" mumbo jumbo, or is there something to it? My ears tell me that it's pretty doggone good. I've never heard a receiver I've owned sound so good. I'm expecting my second hand NAD cd player to arrive today. It'll get hooked up and I'll give a listen. I'm expecting great things, based on the receiver's performance.
I may just stick the receiver in my HT system to see what it sounds like. Then again, maybe I shouldn't...
Another audiophile friend (he's really up there with a bunch of Mark Levinson, etc.) said he had the same scare, that he tried a receiver with his main speakers and said it'd be tough to pick the better sound in a blind test.

Yes, there are definite nuances of superiorety in our higher end gear, but it seems to me that the mass-fi stuff has made a huge leap toward catching up.
Anyone else had a "scare" similar to this? To me, it makes it difficult to justify spending ten times the price for the "good stuff."
One last thought; I'm sure the listening room plays a huge part in this perception. Upstairs the system is in a room with wood floors, which makes it sound reverberant. In the HT, the room is tuned, with less brightness. I'm sure if I put the everyday system in the same envioronment, the "magic" would wear off about the time I hit the power button. Or, would it?...

Yes, there are definite nuances of superiorety in our higher end gear, but it seems to me that the mass-fi stuff has made a huge leap toward catching up.

It's the nuances that audiophiles pay thousands of dollars more to have. But, I agree. The performance of some low-cost amps I have recently tried has been outstanding, and it makes me question the value received by spending $5,000 more for the nuances.
I've found the value at the lower end of the market has substantially increased in the last 10 years. I find it amazing what kind of sound can be had out of speakers between $300-500 today. Interestingly enough, the high end of the market has had almost the opposite effect. The prices have really gone up--I would say in the high end you have to spend several times as much now as you did 10 years ago for about the same quality. That probably has more to say about how the market is divided (and consumer demands) than about the technology or expense thereof.
I was talking with my friend who sold audio equipment in the Portland Oregon area for 30 years, what has been the biggest difference since he started in the business. His comment was the sound quality has improved 10% but the marketing hype, advertising has increased 400%.
Hey Doug, after moving my music system into a dedicated room I had to purchase a recvr for the living room. I got a good deal on a Denon DRA-565RD. Well of course I had to check it out in my room first. It sounded just fine, hard to tell the difference. Now my system isn't nearly as refined as yours but still I was impressed with its sound.
Caution though, as I tried this experiment years ago with a nice Sony ES series video recvr. It sounded great at first but slowly my time spent listening to music diminished to nill. This took time but I seemed to lose interest. As no one in my house wuld bother to use the video features I scrapped the recvr idea and went back to audio separates. Got back into music immediately.
Nice to hear this, Douglas. I am moving soon into a home with a dedicated listening room and will add HT for the first time. I plan to buy a Denon receiver and now have some hope that it will provide good music in non-critical listening situations when I don't wish to fire up the bottles. Please share your longer term impressions.

Best wishes,