I had been researching a new receiver to replace my 13-year old Sony STR-DE835 (coupled with an HDMI switch with Toslink output for modern sources) and had decided I would wait for sales on last year's models.
At the time I was thinking along the lines of a Denon 2112CI or 2312CI. The setup I want to get to is: 5.1 for now, maybe 7.1 later in my living room; 2 outside; and 2 in my bedroom. Given that I have the Sony the bedroom could be taken care of with that (even though it takes place) and I figured the outside would be easy with either powered speaker or a cheap 2 amp. The main reason to consider the 3112 over the 2112 would be to be able to set volumes differently inside and outside without having to get to the powered speakers (though a cheap amp with remote could be controlled too). Eventually most/all control will be done through Roomie Remote with either pure IP or IP to IR/Serial so I am fine having a little hodgepodge of things.
To be frank, my Sony and a couple cheap 2 channels amps would handle everything connectivity-wise, but I keep reading about room correction here and want to try it (my living room is open into my kitchen and listening positions vary greatly), at the same time that I want to get speakers that will give me more musical presence than my tiny Cambridge Soundworks MovieWorks 5.1 II. I want a fuller sound than what they give me now.
Yesterday I was at a Best Buy and picked up an RX-A3010 for $1,060 taxes included. That is twice as much as the receivers I mentioned previously, and some things seem more difficult with the Yamaha than the Denons (like being able to watch a movie or Xbox with a headset while others listen to iTunes or radio). I like the heft of the thing, its remote (to be replaced by Roomie anyway) and its UI and it was easy to get started. But I know that once setup I'll just use a few things so setup isn't that big of a deal. It is a bit big and will require me to modify my audio cabinet to fit in with the front door closed.
Should I keep the Yamaha or return it (I do have 60 days to do so, so I can also play with it for a bit) and spend the difference towards speakers? Or is there a good reason to keep this huge thing (I'm going to have to modify my cabinet!) because it will make a big difference compared to the other Denons, sound wise? The Yamaha will certainly make setup quite a bit easier with three zones but since I have the Sony it's could be set up as an independent system for the bedroom ("just" need to get power in another location in my closet and take some room in it).
I am okay investing more if the result will be worth it once I get decent speakers. But I am not sure if this is the best investment. I understand the "it might be better to spend $500 every 5 years on a mid range AVR than $1,000 every 12 on a high end one" for features (e.g. I'm already missing out on the hyped 4k pass through and built in AirPlay---though I have an Airport Express), and I am not made of money, so the extra $500 can go towards lots of other competing projects (those speakers, a kitchen hood, skis, etc.)
What would you recommend?
EDIT: they also have a 2112 for $450 and a RX-A2010 for $860 (all prices with taxes). I am tempted to at least pick up the 2112 so I can compare once I get speakers. Would the A2010 do as well as the A3010 for $200 less? I read that the sound is much better but as many will say here, "I am not an audiophile" (I think my ears are just not that good at that
but I like music all the time.)