Took my MRX 500 to a friend's place the other night to test it with a 7.1 setup. Mine is a 2.1 so it doesn't allow me to really test it's full capability. The 7.1 system has similar speakers to my main HT so it is a good test compared to my D2v setup. However, we were comparing it to his Denon 4310(using Audyssey XT) powered with an Emotiva for his from speakers, Paradigm studio 60s and a CC690 centre. We tested the Denon first with movies and music, then installed the MRX. A full ARC measurement was done and then uploaded. Our observations were:
1. more detailed and focused sound.
2. wider sound stage and more 3D effect
3. Deeper and tighter sub response.(paradigm Servo 15) We set it with ARC to Flat for sub high pass setting. His ARC chart was outstanding and now sounded like it should( it was my previous sub so I knew it's capabilities)
He previously listened to music bypassing Audyssey due to the flat sound he was getting. I can confirm his observations.
1.sound was more focused and bass notes were now tighter using only his studio 60s. We set them to flat in ARC and this did the trick.
2. Increased detail
3. He was actually blown away by the diff with his music since he was not using Audyssey. With Audyssey, focus gone, with ARC it came back.
Bottom line, for less than $500 ,compared to the Denon et al., you get one great receiver with great room correction. Enjoy, you're not missing anything