Check out the Pioneer LX 56/76/86 models, being replaced by even better LX57/77 and 87 models. They do exactly what you ask and they are not too bulky. Pioneer does not use Audyssey. Instead, you get a superior facility developed by Pioneer. For those who are fed up with black boxes, they come in brushed silver too.
Originally Posted by imagic
I'm sure Yamaha, Denon, Onkyo etc. will still be around so you'll be fine; you'll be able to buy black boxes for years to come. I prefer to think forward about what's possible, instead of clinging to obsolescence. That's the point of this thread, after all. I for one love the idea of a receiver that could do a whole lot more than any receiver that exists today. How about an Audyssey app with visual, touch-editable EQ graphs!
I was considering the LX 77 to replace my Denon AVC A1SR, a flagship of yesteryear, which never once gave me any trouble. It's a heavy, well engineered beast of 65 pounds. It's a pure AV amp, not a receiver. I don't have time for radio, except when driving. so I would much rather prefer an AV amp, withour radio signals in the mix. Unfortunately, Denon's last AV amp was the HDA. Now they make only AV receivers. The AVC A1SR Pumps out 175 Watts @ 8 ohms x 7 channels. It does not have any HDMI ports. The Pioneer within my budget is the LX77, which does not have 7.1 multichannels analog inputs, which the old Denon and the LX86/87 do.
I have hooked up my Oppo 105 via its analog multichannel outs to the Denon. The Oppo handles the processing and does a fine job. (You spend more for the Oppo 105 than on their cheaper models for its better analog (DAC) capabilities, anyway). So the Denon just amplifies. I think it's this kind of player that would make receivers obsolete.
I don't need HDMI for audio and use HDMI to send video signals from the Oppo direct to the TV, instead of passing video signals through a receiver. A player like the Oppo does almost everything a receiver does, except amplification. Maybe I have argued against myself against replacing the Denon with the Pioneer!:
Another thing, transmission via HDMI can cause clock jitter, resulting in sound distortion during the D/A conversion. So you need very good technology in the receiver to correct that. The PrimaLuna deploys a unique tube-clock for this purpose.
For pure audio, I still prefer my PrimaLuna CD Eight -- even the Oppo can't beat that -- and my EL34, 40 WPC Salience Fantasia tube amp.
This is my first post. Would be interested to hear your thoughts.