Yes, buy a denon 3800 series or higher...that's my recommendation
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I had an Integra (by Onkyo) 5.3 (6.1 channel) receiver and upgraded to a Pioneer Elite SC-07. The difference was dramatic in both audio and video performance.
The SC-07 has switching class D amplifiers opposed to the Integra's linear solid state. Both receivers driving my 91dB sensitive Triangle Comets the Integra had less bass, is congested at higher listening levels, and ran much hotter, compared to the Pioneer. I've been involved with class D for some time and the Pioneer did not exhibit any of the AC related issues commonly related to class D operation. It creates no unwanted interference and is dead quiet considering it has a two prong captive power chord. Most of the other receivers features would be an unfair comparison due to technological advancements.
The Pioneer has a proprietary graphic/parametric room correction program. Finding a good comparison between the Pioneer and the Audyssey programs wasn't available at the time. Audyssey is licensed to other brands and offers different levels of functionality. I would be surprised if the audible differences at the simple user level would be much different, if at all. After running room correction I'm convinced that room correction is not only a terrific convenience but key to well balanced audio in a home theater environment.
Along with the Elite 151FD display and the BDP-05FD player the images are limited only by the quality of the media its being fed.
I agree with Vicdamone. I just picked up a SC-07 for my home theater and am very happy with the performance and sound quality as compared to the Onkyo 805 and Denon 2808 I've previously owned.
I think the ICE amps in the SC-05 are very similar to the SC-07 although the power rating is different. It's absolutely quiet without any digital harshness. In my opinion, the Onkyo and Denon sounded lifeless and flat in comparison. It also wins in terms of looks and build quality. I haven't heard the Yamaha RXV-1900, but I have a Yamaha 5280 in another system in my home and have heard many other Yamaha receivers and feel that they are incredibly reliable and loaded with features but a bit harsh sounding at least compared to the Pioneer.
One of my biggest audio mistakes was selling my Pioneer Elite 49txi which was incredibly well built and sounded fantastic. The SC-07 reminds me a lot of 49txi.
Well, I not only judge my onkyo against my pioneer 94txh and say it sounds better, I judge it also against the lexicon proccessor with room correction with proceed amps I had before my pioneer which definatelly without a doubt sounded way better than the pioneer but didn't sound any better than the onkyo. Btw, I'm using a 7 channel sonus faber speaker setup to judge the sound with.
I didn't mean to sound like I disagreed with Doggg as he makes the most important point regarding home theater audio. Things are changing and improving very quickly. Comparing anything to the last generation, as I did, is almost irrelevant. Since the amplifier sections may be quite similar to their predecessors they may be the only thing to subjectively compare.
The improvement in codec and processors over the last generation is remarkable. It seems the high end AV processors are well behind the curve in comparison with consumer receivers. While I'm not near as critical of my 7.1 HT audio as I am of vinyl playback I'm constantly surprised by this new (to me) sound space and multichannel playback.
Again, I apologize to Doggg for the tone of my post as that was not my intension.