Which high-end receiver?

Good news, bad news. We're moving into a much bigger house, but the built in area around the entertainment center is so small that it will not hold my power conditioner, amp, processor, DVD player and cablebox.

The wife is insisting that I downsize into equipment that will fit, which will mean getting rid of the processor and amp (at least).

I'm thinking that I'm going to be disappointed with a receiver, but I'm willing to consider the higher end units. Any useful pointers/comparisons between the Denon 5805, the Lexicon RV-8, the Sunfire Ultimate, etc.?

Any thoughts would be appreciated. I'm into an Equitech conditioner, ATI (7x200) amp and Arcam processor right now.

How about a McIntosh MHT200? Has everything including a phono (optional) and am/fm tuner. Should outlast you.....no comparison between this and stuff like denon, sony, yamaha....,

A much less expensive alternative is a new Arcam AVR300 which has plenty of power, the latest processing modes, and a good phono section and excellent two channel performance. Has a much lower profile than the fairly large McReceiver.

Used ARCAM avr200 units are a steal at about 600 but are mid powered at a very nice 70wpc and are strictly for 5.1 and has no provision for 6.1 or 7.1
Hi Keith - sorry to hear about the downsize. By the way, that monster Cal audio you sold me is sounding great.

Funny that the above post popped up. I was about to suggest the same two units.

Don't know if the old EAD makes a receiver, if so, check it out. Their processor is fantastic.

I would definitely add Rotel to that list.
I second the McIntosh MHT-200. It knocked me out when I heard it with the new B&W N802 speakers. I didn't think a receiver could sound that dynamic and powerful. Arthur
Add B&K to your list. The processor and built-in amps are the same as their separates all in one package. Made in the USA too!!!
I vouch for the Sony STR DA-777ES a great receiver which Sony doesn't make anymore, but if you can find a used one you wont regret. Very Good preowned ones are selling for less than $700.
Good Luck!
I don't like the Rotel sound as well as I did several years ago, IMO they have gone slightly downhill. I heard good sounds from a B&K reviever last year so I would include this on the list.

If you have the $$$ I would put the McIntosh at the very top of the list. I heard a McIntosh integrated amp last year and I was VERY impressed. IMO the Mcintosh is In another league completely from the others mentioned in this thread.

Let your ears be the guide and see if you can arrange for an in-home test of your favorites.
If I'm not mistaken, the Macintosh is an analog multich channel preamp, right? If so, you can forget dynamics for movies. You're then relying on the processing in your dvd player and other sources, and your not getting the gain you need for proper dynamics and such..my experiences anyway...and that's a lot.
I could be wrong on the Macintosh, but I don't think so.
What speakers are you using anway? Makes a differnce.
Yes, receivers ARE NOT as good sounding as good separates, and usually not as strong overall, depending. In short, you'll have some compromises often.
Still, what has been recommended above, and what you're considering are, yes, the better receivers. Older 5.1's that sounded pretty good are Arcam's, Sony 777es, Nak AV10, Marantz SR14/18/etc, Denon 4802/5803/yada yada, Yamaha RXV1/DSPA1 and such.
Still, I find no "super receiver" that's going to replace good separates anytime soon. But you can do bass mananagement on these to help your power and dynamics, and at least get descent sound with the right piece, yes.
Might consdier the sunfire piece...heard it once and it did sound promising overall.
Actually the McIntosh is only analog for 2-channel stereo. It has full decoding capability for multichannel, of course.

Here is what their website says:

This MHT200 is a complete DTS/Dolby Digital/Dolby ProLogic 2 A/V package. With eight, 140 Watt Built-In power amplifiers, Infrared remote control, 24 bit DSP processing for Dolby Digital, DTS and Pro Logic, 7.1 Processing for expansion modes, 24 bit A to D and D to A converters (96kHz), 7 audio/video source selections with re-assignable naming, 6 assignable digital audio inputs (3 coaxial, 3 optical), and an 8 channel input for use with virtually any future external processors this is one product that you should be able to enjoy for many years!
Thanks for the input guys.

I have KEF Reference 205's for the left and right, and KEF Reference 202c for the center. The two rear channel speakers and two effects speakers are B&W in ceiling speakers (a concession to my wife).

Second B&K for the same reasons mentioned - true pre/power in one chassis, much like the Lex RV-8...but half the price. Have one driving 4 Paradigm Studio 100's and CC570. No problems.
Your equipment does not need to be located in the same room as your display. Apart from the DVD player you may not even loose any convenience since every front panel control is replicated on the remote and everything on the front panel display also goes to the monitor output.

Pulling wires into an unfinished basement or attic space can be done without cutting any more holes than you need for the wall plates.

Xantech makes good IR repeaters, speaker cable losses are not a problem out past silly long lengths (50' +), etc.
Thanks, my equipment is currently set up in the office behind the media room, and I'm already using IR repeaters. The new house has the media wall against and exterior wall, and there is no good place to locate the equipment, other than the built in area.
I'm no fan of receivers but I was very surprised and impressed by a recent audition of the Arcam AVR300 - this thing is the real deal, excellent sound for music or movies and all the latest processing modes. The box isn't tiny, but it's much smaller than some receivers, and it's ONE box.

I still have my beloved 2 channel system (Cary 303/Herron preamp and monoblocks/AlonVs) for stereo listening, BTW. But this gear has totally spoiled me for most HT gear, especially receivers. In fact, I've been unimpressed by my listening experiences all HT receivers up til now, even with movies. Much to my surprise, I really enjoyed the AVR300 and thought it was outstanding on both music and movies. I liked it better than several much more expensive sets of separates at the dealers.

The ACR 300 is a seriously engineered piece. All the lastest bells and whistles. I'm buying one for our HT system. Check it out.
Thats a very strong recommendation and I am considering this Arcam as well. However, I have read that it has had some buzzing type problems. Any thoughts on that?
Not aware of any buzzing issues. I can only share my own experience.

The demo model didn't buzz when I heard it - it had been playing music/movies all morning long in-store and then we played around with it for over two hours in the aftrnoon. I brought it home and didn't fire it up til the next day - played with it all week - no problems for me.

I'm not saying it never happens, but there was no buzzing on the store demo unit I had. I've had several Arcam pieces in the past and always found them to be reliable with good customer service. I don't like fussy components.

If you have a local dealer, I would try to get a home demo. It's an impressive piece.

BTW, I'm a realtor - congrtulations on the new digs.
Upgrade your wife.....HA HA HA JUST KIDDING
I think people should find out what's the real difference between good separates and receivers. If you take the Arcam, and put it up against some modest separates (budget even), you'll find dynamics is a huge factor, in favor of the separates!...my experiences mostly anway.
If you're willing to sacrifice dynamics, even at low volume levels, then I think you can find a lot of receivers that offer a good level of clarity, detail, and resolution, speaking stricktly of sonics.
I have yet to hear any receiver that can deal an acceptable level of dynamics for movies or music!
Given, when I go to a movie, the real passion, drama, and heart of a system is the dynamic level of realism it portrays. And I think most systems fail here. So, receivers are already dynamically short on "the goods". It's hard for me to give in this area personally.
I have an arcam avr300 and did have some problems with buzzing when it was plugged into my television inputs box (I have a lcd). I think you'll only experience that problem when something isn't grounded properly.
How does the AVR300 compare to your Cary/Herron 2ch system?? What topology does it use for the amplifiers??

Peter Moncrieff swears up & down that it kills a lot of high-end separates combos on 2ch music quality alone...
(His review is at iar-80.com)
Fla, the IAR review of the AVR300 is the strongest recommendation of a product I have ever read. I noticed they did the same for the Musical Fidelity universal DVD player (can't remember model #).

What would be the best type speakers to build a system around the Arcam receiver (100 watt/channel) ? And would An Arcam DVD player be better synergy with it than the Musical Fidelity player ?
I just hooked up an Arcam DV 89 to my AV300 about an hour ago. FIVE SECONDS into the first CD was all it took. What an inredible player. I won't go into all the nuances I heard, but it is right in there with my headphones for definition. I am driving North Creek Eskas with an SVS ulta sub, and I think I may have reached the limit of my hearing to perceive anything better.
The B&K absolutly stomps the competition.
Hands down.
No questions asked. (for it's price)
Just as good as the Lexicon {If not better in some oponions}
Way better than the Denon (audio & SQ) ((the denon is a good video switcher.... but a 97 lb. video switcher ?!)
I cant speak bad on the Sunfire / Arcam ... but the B&K betters it on price. and performance IMHO.

Also B&K offers killer IR control via their preset system , and they give you an MX- 700 with it. also IR in , and IR out. 99 code sets. etc. etc. (Discretes for everything). need I go on?
"...the IAR review of the AVR300 is the strongest recommendation of a product I have ever read." (Obrown)

THIS MEANS ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY NOTHING!! Infact, what am I thinking? I should be driving my Wilson's with the AVR300!...yeah, NOT!
I've been in/or around the audio/video high end biz since the early 90's. I've worked in 4 high end salons, and 2 higher end chain audio video stores in that same time. I've sold just about every concievable product you can imagine, and have kept tabs on reivews and ratings in the hifi rags in just as long. let me repeat: (as, yes, I've read (it's like reading the inquirer...it's just teasing and stimulation really) the Arcam 300 review) THESE BIASED REVIEWS ARE SIMPLY MARKETING HYPE, AND PAYOFFS FROM MANUFACTURERS!...I garantee it! I've seen it time and time and time again.
Now, as receivers go (limited), yes the Aracam receiver is probably a good receiver. I used to deal in the original model 100. But, it's just a receiver. Reading this review is reminiscent of all the other overhyped reviews I've come across over the years in Stereophile, HT magazine, Stereo Review, SGHT magazine, and others!
Case's in point: All Def Tech and Paradigm speakers are rated as mostly "State of the Art" by mag's like HT. Stereophile Rates products like Adcom GTP750 preamp, B&W N805's,Bryston 9b amp, and such "Class A"...yeah right. I've sold all these, they are not super special. Someone got paid off to write shinning reivews. And for the record, there's never been any Bryston product worthy of "Class A" IMO.
These are just examples (others like Sony EP9es dd/dts pre and B&W DM302's in "class B" Stereophile). Ofcourse many such products keep slipping down the totem poll quickly...this way they can justify their claims of "over-zellous" reviews, and say they were mistaken later on. Baby, it's definitely about the money, and selling product.
So, anyone here who'd like to think in their convenient imagination that the Arcam is the best thing to happen to audio since the advent of the speaker, reconsider!
The Arcam won't be replacing most any good separates anytime soon! It's a receiver...like the Denon 5803, the Marantz SR14, the Yamaha stuff, etc. They're just receivers. Nice for what they are...not as dynamic and resolved as better separates, among most other sonic area.
You can take the Arcam down off the pedestal of worship now. Trust me.
Wait....the Samsung AV-R3000 is about to be released.
250 digital watts per channel
Digital Video switching - 4HDMI inputs, 2DVI inputs
Room EQ
Very cool looking
Should be a giant killer, watch out Denon, Pioneer, etc...
Fimlab, thanks for the water-in-the-face response. I have the upgrade bug )from a Yamaha Pro Logic 12 year old receiver which produces clean sound at 75 watts/3 and 15 watts/2) and tend to get carried away by reviews.It is hard to demo and compare in separate stores.

For separates, are brands like Outlaw good enough or is there a real difference with higher priced (get what you pay for?) ones like Anthem ?
What is your system?
You know, I've not totally kept up with what's sounding/performing these day's in the lower priced pre/pro's. Thes Outlaw 950 is a clean detailed piece, but is only a tad more dynamic than the typical receiver as a pre. Don't know why, it just how it is. It's good stuff for the money however, and good investment for cheep. The NAD T643(?) or Adcom 860II I've not auditioned, so couldn't comment. Might be worth a try, and probably a better choice with a good matching amp than any receiver for the same money. I'd be interested to see how they perform.
Right now I'm using a budget system, and am doing a small but extremely potent and well balanced Infinity Beta 10 speaker system rith now, with dipoles in rear, and 3 Athena ASP400 powered 10's in a small 11.5x9' room. I'm using both the Acurus Act 3 and Krell HTS 5.1 digital pre's-of-old with the Acurus 125x5 amp, Panasonic DVDA310 dvd player, Monster power surge, harmonic truth link IC's, and (my secret cheep weapon) Home Depot sprinkler wire for speaker wire!!!(shold not sound as good as it does for cheap, but it does).
I'm using this only as HT system, but will likely add a good 2 channel pre to the mix, with SACD/upscaling dvd player option later.
Right now my sound is so dynamic, clear, and potent, I couldn't be happier for movies. It rocks indeed, and sounds great at low volumes as well.
Here is the end of the story...

The seller of the house backed out of the deal. We had an attorney send him a nasty letter, but the attorney advises that it will be expensive and painful to try to make him sell.

Licking my wounds, I decided to upgrade my current system. The L-C-R speakers and subwoofer are now Krell Resolution (the 2 series for the L-R). My new processor is a Meridian 861 and my new DVD player is the Immersive Simmetry DVP. Time to hook this stuff up and kick some butt!
If you can only get a reciever, the Denon does everything now, the others will need upgrades later for HDMI switching. But, the McIntosh sounds like seperates, and you won't need another one for a long time.
Sorry to hear about your house deal.....I agree hook it up and kick some serious butt! The guy you were buying the house from sounds like a real puppy phucker