I am looking to replace a NAD 712 conventional stereo receiver with something that supports 5.1 or 7.1 audio.
Although for the foreseeable future, we will most likely just use it as a 3.0 system. I plan to use my existing speakers (Sound Dynamic 300ti) and add a center speaker. Our main goal is to improve dialog clarity. Our apartment makes it hard to wire rear speakers. Although maybe we'd use a wireless pair someday. And I'm not really a subwoofer fan. The 300ti's go more than deep enough.
I have a pioneer plasma monitor with no speakers and currently just use 2.1 computer speakers from an old Dell. I can plug my stereo into the TV but without the center speaker, the sound is overwhelming. Plus the speakers are pretty far apart which is fine for music but not great for TV. I figure a center speaker is what will really help us but for that I need to replace the receiver (which needs to be repaired anyway)
I was looking at the Marantz 1603 and the NAD T-748. I'd like to spend under 700 if possible.
I've been looking into soundbars too but the prices of the good ones start to overlap with upgrading the receiver and buying new speakers.
Any other recommendations?