I'm wondering if anyone has any advice on a new receiver purchase.
I had an HK AVR 7000 which I absolutely loved for many years, but it died about two years back. Since then I've been using my old HK 3500 stereo receiver, which is great for music but lousy for home theater. I've spent some time working on the 7000 to try and resurrect it, soldering new caps etc but no joy so far. Its also becoming clear to me that even if I got it back its pretty outdated now, no HDMI etc.
My budget is pretty restricted these days, now that we have kids and all, so I'm stuck in the Dom Perignon taste, MD 20/20 budget situation
Probably need to keep it in the $200-300 range. I'm not 100% set on HK, but I do really love their sound. Sound quality for music is definitely my #1 priority, with competent home theater next.
I've been looking at the new low end HKs, such as the 1700 and 1565 which seem to be doable in the price range with current sales. I like some of the new features, including the iphone app control, OSD, Auto EQ etc, but am pretty concerned about the quality of the new HKs. The weight reduction and more "traditional" peak power ratings don't seem like good signs for maintaining the traditional HK sound.
The xx50 class are probably out of range on budget, but I am still seeing a few AVR 1600/2600/3600s around either as local display models or from HK refurbished that would fit the budget. Seems like some folks think the xx00 series was perhaps better (once the HDMI issues were more or less sorted out) than the xx50s.
Our setup is pretty simple (compared to what it used to be) these days, here's what we're working with:
HTPC: Mac Mini HDMI out to TV, DVDs & BRs on NAS via Plex plus streaming video and itunes music / video
Games & Netflix: Wii component 480p
TV: Panasonic G series 54" 1080p Plasma
Fronts: JBL Studio S38 "bookshelf" 8" 3 way 175W 45Hz - 20kHz
Center: JBL Studio S-Center 5.5" 3-way 150W 80Hz - 20kHz
Rear: random cheap infinity, don't remember what they are but nothing special
Control: retired iphone with Hippo Remote
No big upgrade plans on the horizon, would like to add a sub at some point but the S38s hardly need it most of the time. May add an Xboxy sort of thing as the kids get older. Will probably stick with 5.1 (may not have a choice with the Mini), if I had 7.1 I might be more interested in using the extra channels for an upstairs zone 2. As it is the HK3500 will probably move upstairs for music, so that's maybe not a big deal.
Setup is in finished, carpeted basement, probably 15x30' with back half used for tv area.
Any thoughts would be much appreciated! Any reason to consider the new bottom end 1700/1565 over the 1600/2600/3600? Probably leaning toward the 2600 right now. Would like the 3600, but probably can't quite swing it.