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I have an Onkyo TX-8511 that I am going to put up in the classifieds. I bought four of them because they were such a great deal. If you check the reviews on this thing, you will see that it is well-loved by people who care about music. I am not going to say that it is a high-end component
- because it is certainly not - but for an affordable, high powered reciever their is no comparison. I am going to sell it for $200. It is "B" stock for slight cosmetic reasons, but is brand new and factory sealed (to be honest, the ones I have taken out of the package have no apparent cosmetic flaws either). It has no mechanical issues at all.
I have used this amp to power everything from ProAc Response 1s to Infinity IL60s to Sonigistix electrostatic hybrids to Wharfedale Emerald 97s (a great cheap combination) and have not felt the immediate need to pull out anything more exotic. You might want to check this one out. Watch for my ad if you are interested.
i would recomend maybe a harman kardon or maybe a denon. i would not rely on specs. that is just somthing to sell gear. i would not buy the yamaha. it sounds terrible. b&k ,denon maybe the onkyo. the hifi of yesterday still beats some high end gear. thats why mcintosh brings so much. good luck and i hope this helps.
I have a potential solution that would be not only cost effective but also allow you to use your beloved MAC. Creek makes a remote controlled volume control unit (OBH-10) that retails for $250. If the MAC has jumpers between the pre and power sections, the Creek can be inserted to allow you to control volume remotely.
The only downside would be that switching of sources would still have to be done manually, but this doesn't sound like a problem as you list the SONY changer as your only source. You can find this unit at www.audioadvisor.com. These people are very friendly and helpful, so they can give guidance about whether this will work with your MAC receiver. Also, they have a money back guarantee to protect you if it is not to your liking once you hook it up.
You can expect zero change in the sonic character due to the use of the Creek; it is very transparent. This is not only a cheaper route, but will probably give you better sound in the bargain.
Yes, NAD, Rotel (RX950 or RX975 the best). I use a discontinued Onkyo Integra TX870 in my office which sounds great if you can find one. Uses Onkyo's R1 remotes. Integra is Onkyo better line. The other older Integra receiver is the TX65 I think. The TX8511 is not an Integra, but is OK. It can be had for $100+/- on ebay B Stock or used quite often. I agree that vintage Harmon Kardon is very good. Vintage as in has analog dial tuner section (late 1970s).