Picking a mid-tier HT receiver for optimal audio

Budget won't allow for separates for a while, but in the next few months I may upgrade my HTIB Onkyo 7.1 100w/ch receiver (which sounds surprisingly good btw).

As long as it gets the basic job done on 7.1 HT duty, I'm not too concerned about HT features (I let my TV do the HDMI switching, for instance). I'm looking to get the absolute most out of the audio quality, since this is also my primary 2-channel listening system.

The systems I've been looking at so far include:

Denon 3806
Outlaw 1070
Sherwood Newcastle R985
NAD T773

I'd love to hear some recommendations for a system that will give me great sounding audio in this range...


fwiw the rest of my setup:

Audionote DAC 1.1
Amphion Argon front l/r
Gallo Nucleus surrounds
For the price of say a T773 you could just as easily get a T753 which has all of the same processing abilities along with a good 2ch amplifier. You would then be able to use main in/pre out to power the 7th channel if you wished while having a seprate amplifier for your FL&R. This would make for an easy upgrade to seprates eventually.

Good luck!
NAD all the way. I have had a 770 and 762. I like them better than the Arcam 300.
I am downsizing my HT. New Baby directives! I will be trying a few Receivers in the next month or so. I'll post my opinions if you wish.

I have heard nearly all of them already (not Sherwood, Outlaw, or NAD though), and not in my system. I agree, the Onkyo's do sound good. I liked the Yamaha sound as well.

I will be trying an Arcam first.
Did you mean the R965 or the R865?

I have used both
Guess I meant the R965.... whoops.

How about thoughts on:


relative to the ones previously mentioned...???

Any clear leaders for 2-ch audio in the group?
I have a Boston Acoustics AVR-7120 (same as the Sherwood) and it has proven to be very nice in many ways. The USB input is nice too.
I think a used rotel 1056 for 800-900 or the NAD will be solid for audio performance.
Because I can't audition easily, based on the various online reviews and what I've read here and elsewhere, I'm starting to focus my search on (used):

Arcam AVR300 and the NAD T773.

I'd still consider the Outlaw 1070 and Marantz 8500 if I came across an exception deal, but it seems the quality on the Arcam and NAD consistently get rated just a bit higher.

So now, I guess it boils down to locating a good deal and pulling the trigger. Wish I had a way to compare these models directly.
I am currently trying out an Arcam AVR200. Its really quite nice. 2 channel is smooth with a nice emphasis on the mids. Good resolution on mids. Surprisingly good resolution on highs, albeit somewhat rolled off. Bass is predictably less coherent that my previous seperates but its nice enough considering its a recciever. Dolby Digital is rather good. I suspect once I get my sub up and running again DD/DTS will be very good.

I suspect the AVR300 is even better still. The AVR is the best reciever I have used to date.