I have all Def Tech speakers and I was using the B&K AVR307 with excellent results.
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The Arcam is a very nice piece which is fully up-to-date and should serve you well for the next few years until the upgrade bug bites again.
The NAD is a nice sounding piece as well but at times has been plaqued with faulty build quality and buggy software. It sounds nice as I said, but to my ears, the Arcam is better for music and even more so for movies.
Lastly, the Outlaw seperates are really good value but considering how old the 950 pre pro is, it may not be your best value out there. It is terrific for movies but in my opinion lacks the musical quality of both the Nad and the Arcam. It also has the fewest decoding features of the bunch you listed.
I should point out that I upgraded from a Nad to the Outlaw and was quite happy with the results as I could live with the fewer processing options the 950 delivered. Since that time, I've never gone back to a receiver although the Arcam 300 is a tempting alternative but for me, is just too expensive here in Canada to justify the costs.
Best of luck on your decision.
Just check the information on this post...
It is available at www.onecall.com and www.jandr.com right now at about $430. The people from AVSForum are very updated on the new stuff and video related themes. I like the previous model VSX-1014 which is a great buy at $340~.
OTOH, if you like the hi-end line, you can look at Rotel, Parasound, B&K, Proceed, etc... Just be sure to check all the options you can get with the Pioneer and the price tag difference!!
The Acrcam AVR300 is rather special, providing genuinely high end sound for both music & movies. I haven't heard every receiver in the marketplace, but I suspect you would have to spend literally thousands more $$$ to significantly better it.
I was originally committed to separates - I've had nothing but separates in my 2 channel high end stereo system for ages and I've been dissatisfied with several moderate to expensive HT receivers for one reason or another. But my local dealer talked me into an audition of the Arcam, and all I can say is...no brainer. I can easily see this piece staying in our HT rig forever...well...at least for a very long time ;-).
You could do much worse than the Rotel, the Nad or the Outlaw, and the Outlaw is a bargain. I have nothing but respect for B&K and Anthem. But the Arcam is in a whole 'nother league as far as sound quality and usefulness.
I didn't expect to get this good a performance from a receiver. I actually can't believe I'm buying a *receiver* and happy about it, but the AVR300 is that good.
Jeez...I'm even looking forward to *music* in surround. (NEVER thought I'd say that.)
I felt guilty wanting to get away from separates and go to a receiver just to clean up the cables and gain a smaller footprint, until I listened to an Arcam 300. Now that it is in my house, I ain't never 'goin back. The reviews are right, it isn't your imagination, this thing blows away any receiver, and I don't think you can come close at two to three times the price with individual units. Those that criticize have not listened to it, or are swayed by the price, which I at first thought was high, but they probably think it is too low to be any good. Now I realize what a huge bargain it is. It's two channel analog pass through mode made my tube preamp and solid state amp sound like a Bose Wave radio in comparison.