I am currently running a B&K Reference 50 S2 pre/pro with a NAD Master Series (M25) 7 channel amp. My speakers are: Paradigm Studio 100's front, Studio CC570 Center, and Paradigm in ceiling for surrounds and backs (4). HSU VTF-2 sub (closely looking at something new from PSA or Rythmik - don't really plan on duals). My Sources are an Oppo BDP-103 (just purchased last week), PS3, and ATT Uverse cable box. My room is large, non-dedicated family room 24x24 with vaulted ceilings.
I am 85% Movies/Gaming, and 15% music (Pandora via the Oppo is sweet).
I am seriously considering "upgrading" to a new pre/pro or receiver, mainly for the new audio formats that are not supported by the B&K, and something with HDMI.
My budget is somewhat flexible, but I am pretty big on value and the diminishing return value as prices go up.
I wan originally considering the Marantz AV7701 - then the 8801 pops up and gains my interest (albeit at a much higher price). The Dennon receivers seem to be vary popular;
maybe the 3312, 4311 or 4520?
Demoing the gear is not really an option, as my only local dealer is Magnolia, so no in home trials....and to be honest I'll buy from an authorized dealer online.
I have some questions and am looking for input:
Will running a receiver alone (Dennon 4311, 3313, 4520, or an Anthem MRX500) be an audible loss WITHOUT the NAD amp?
Will one of the new series receivers or pre/pro's be a significant upgrade sonically over the B&K Ref50?
I could sell the NAD amp to offset the cost of a new receiver, but I don't want to be in a position where I'm wanting more clean power (the NAD is a beast)
What would you do in my situation and why?
Thanks in advance