Ok, I've donned my flame retardant suit as I know I'm going to make a complete nincompoop out of myself on this mostly likely, so here it goes.
First off, thanks in advance for your patience and any help you can offer.
Second, here is my current setup :
Sony (2013) BDP-S790 Blu Ray (coaxial digital audio to AVR, HDMI to Sony TV)
Sony 46" LCD
Marantz (approx 2001) SR8500 AV Surround Receiver (AVR)
Monitor Audio (approx 2001) Silver 8i front floorstanding speakers
Incredibly lame Motorola box for FIOS TV (optical audio to AVR, HDMI to Sony TV)
Most importantly : what do I use this for ? :
CDs played on the Sony BluRay thru the Marantz
Blu Ray discs on the Sony, Audio thru the Marantz to Monitor Audio, video to Sony TV (dont use Sony TV audio at all)
Apple iPod through the Marantz - 2 ch audio
Soooo, first off, I'm planning on doing some upgrading, maybe a little, maybe a lot. But before I get to that, may I simply ask, is there ANY reason at all I should be using an AVR when I only have two speakers? I mean, assume Im never going to have more than 2 speakers. I thought I was going to get more speakers, but I didnt because there aren't good places to put a center speaker, I dont want wires around the place for rear channel, etc.
Or alternatively, assume I'd like to add a subwoofer to this, so I need at least a 3 channel amp, which probably means a 5.1, which I already have. So Im probably set up OK for that, as far as components.
That said, I just randomly hooked these things up with no idea whether this was the way to go (optical audio and coax) for my particular usage. As for that, I dont plan to do anythign different, except if I get a unit with Airplay, which would mean I could remove the iPod (which is what I want to do) and just stream from my iPhone. But I digress...
The thing is I dont really want any more speakers. Id just like to have a better pair of Monitor Audio speakers (likely the new silver 8s) and then the Marantz UD7007. So...imagine I got those, and stayed with the two speakers. I could keep the SR8500 and probably be OK. But what Id really like is better audio for both movie and music, and I have no idea whether to get a two channel amp, an integrated amp, or an AVR.
Ive looked at :
Marantz SR7008 7.1 AVR
Marantz PM-14S1 integrated amp
Marantz PM8005 integrated amp
and have only started to scratch the surface of other brands. I dont really want to switch from Marantz only because I really like the general quality of the sound I'm getting now.
But I feel like a complete doofus that I just threw this together and it's never really been properly setup. I mean, I have no idea what the amp is doing once it gets a signal, or how it's dealing with the bluray info and how it ends up coming out of two speakers. So there is a good chance the audio cable connections Im using are not ideal. And Im sure there are some important settings on the AVR that I've never managed to adjust the right way, so any thoughts on that would be nice to hear.
My one complaint is that when watching movies, it isnt always easy to hear the dialogue clearly. That would be the one thing I'd like to improve, but sadly, I dont see any way to set up a center channel speaker (since only the floor is an option space wise, and Ive heard only a complete moron would put a center channel speaker on the floor.)
Ok, um, well, that is all for now.