Word of advice on upgraditis improvements

I currently have Sony 55" SXRD DLP (HDMI), Denon 2105 (85x7, non-HDMI), and the early 90's model Polk LS 90 towers, CS 350 center, and M3 surrounds; no sub at this time. I would like to move on up to separates, but not sure if I can swing the cost for the bigger boy toys with HDMI capabilities. My question is: Would I see and hear more improvement if I move to a receiver w/HDMI capability and decent power (Marantz 7002 or 8002 is something in mind) or move up to used separates here from an Agoner but only able to jump up to non-HDMI pre-pro and amp (Anthem AVM 30/A5 something in mind) and just run RCA interconnects and just plug and play HDMI straight from Blueray and Cable directly to monitor (with the option to upgrade AVM 30 to the 50 HDMI version at a later date). Any helpful advice would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to throw out some sub suggestions with any options, that would be helpful as well.

Thanks in advance,
Going to separates will give you a more dynamic, richer sound than you will typically get with a receiver. I have a non-HDMI home theater setup and it sounds terrific. I did as you suggest and ran the video via HDMI out to the HDTV and I use the pre-pro/amp to drive the speakers.

I recommend you take a look at the Emotiva.com site for *excellent* value on HDMI-capable pre-pros as well as multi-channel amps for real-world prices. In addition, you'll get a 5 year bumper-bumper warranty. Look at the MMC-1 pre-pro and the XPA-5 multi-ch. amp. You could put together a *killer* system (200W/ch. - 5 channel, awesome pre-pro) for right around $1400.

Also, check out the EmotivaLounge.com for deals on gently used gear. Here's a link to someone selling their top-of-the-line pre-pro and a 7 channel amp for $950 - a smokin' deal. He says he wants someone to pickup in Jersey, but I bet a $50 incentive would get him to work with you on that aspect. This is really good-sounding gear and a steal in today's market...


Best Wishes,

One more plug here for Emotiva - check right here on Audiogon. There is an LMC-1 pre-pro along with a 7 channel (125W/per) amp for a total of $710 + shipping. This combo will *crush* your Denon, no contest...

Thanks RW. That's what I was kind of expecting. I read a post shortly after I posted mine and figured out there might be a decent amount of folks that still do their audio separate with tradition interconnects and do straight plug and play with their HDMI sources directly to their monitor. Keep the suggestions coming.
You will be surprised at how much a powered sub will help. Not only will it fill in the low end, it will alleviate a lot of stress on the receiver which should make it sound better and run cooler at high volumes. Even a $110 10" Yamaha will do the job.

Also, consider just getting a 5 channel amp first if your budget is tight. The Denon should have 5.1 outs. Start with a nice amp and once budget allows, get the Anthem pre?
Had Anthem AVM-20 + MCA5 amp. Actually downgraded to a Denon receiver but with HDMI 1.3 capability. The sound quality is good but not great for music. Excellent for theater which is what this set up is.

The biggest improvement is friendlier user interface and the ability to route all vidoe/audio through HDMI interface from Sat/DVD source -> receiver -> TV.

The second improvement is DTS HD/Dolby HD. Signficiant sound improvement over Dolby Digital.
Ended up getting a good deal on an AVM 30 and took the plunge. I hope I made the right decision. I am running my Musical Fidelity A5 integrated through the AVM 30 right now with just stereo at this time. Looking for suggestions on 5 channel amp for HT setup. Right now interested in Anthem A5, Parasound Halo 51 or 52, or Rotel 1095. Little advice would be helpful. Thanks in advance.

Anthem is a great preamp IMO. Just wish it had HDMI 1.3 upgrade option. Considering getting a sub at the same time as the amp. You will be able to live with a small multi-channel amp as a result. I had Anthem MCA-5 w/ Anthem AVM20 and I don't think all the powers are needed since I always had a powered sub. So quality over quanity.

Had a HSU powered sub and currently use Martin Logan Grotto (due to size consideration) Need to hide it inside the theater wall cabinet.
I have an Anthem AVM 50 and an Anthem A5 (180W all channels driven). I love this set up. I'm currently looking into blue-ray and, of course, hdmi 3.1.
I may be mistaken, but I think the AVM50 only does 1.1 hdmi-bummer.
I contacted Anthem and they said just get a brp that does the processing of Dolby tru hd and dts hd and run it through the hdmi switching. No mention was made of 1.1 or 3.1. Research goes on.
Hope this helps some.