Originally Posted by dean-l
I'd avoid all the Mainstream Jap brands. The SQ just isn't there. Not for the money you're spending. GET great SQ!!!!
I tried Marantz (another brand I "want" to like) and was disappointed by the SQ. Just flat, no life.
For 10K, I'd be leaning towards Cary audio, especially for the PrePro. Check out some reviews. In fact, I'm thinking of going Cary Cimena 12 and an Anthem AMP.
Try to avoid drinking the RC Kool-Aid. I'm not "against" RC, but it's SO overblown right now. Ask all the Anthem ARC fans "ARC made my system sooooo much better" then they find out ARC hasn't been working right in the last FW for 2 1/2 months. How embarrassing....can you delete your old posts???? LOL!!!
LOL is right. Just about on every point above.
Avoid the "Mainstream Jap" brands?! Why? Because they actually have the money to spend, if they want to, to implement new technology? Or because you think that Cary AD somehow gets better versions of Dolby, or DTS, or HDMI?
Amps are a commodity item nowadays, and when level-matched and not driven to distortion, those "Mainstream Jap brands" will sound as good as a Mcintosh (which is, BTW, owned by a "Mainstream Jap" holding company) in a blind test. If it wasn't so, Mcintosh, Rotel, Cary, etc. would be blind-testing their stuff against the competition and using the results in their promo pieces.
But they don't, because they know that between the shills in the "audiophile" press and the salesmen on the floor, they'll convince enough suckers to fork out large sums of $$$$$. Hell, I can make a cheap mainstream AVR sound better than a Mcintosh by jacking up the volume imperceptibly and there are a number of other ways an ignorant buyer can be steered to part with more money.
There is nothing wrong with buying a Rotel or a Macintosh for the design, but it's ignorant to think that it will have a better sound quality than a non-defective "Mainstream Jap" brand" driven within spec.
As to Room Equalization, it is perhaps the most significant differentiator among audio equipment today. But Room Eq does not seem to be cost-effective to implement well for smaller-volume brands, so they lean on claims of "purity" and other such nonsense.
No offense, but the OP appears to have more money than knowledge, so they are a prime target for this kind of marketing. We know nothing of the OPs room size, all we know is they they have 4 ohm, reasonably sensitive in-walls. This may (but more likely may not) require an AVR or an amp of greater than average power.
But the fact that the speakers are in-walls, would imply that interior design is reasonably high on the list, so it is more likely that the room has not been acoustically treated. Which normally would make Room Equalization far more important than any (imagined) sound quality improvement which something like Cary Cinema 12 may bring to the table.
My suggestion would be for the OP to read up a bit on Room Eq options, such as Trinnov, ARC, Audyssey, etc.. Well, there is also the Mcintosh MEN220, which is supposedly good, but it's 2-channel only.