Looking for a receiver to match with a pair of Paradigm Studio 60's, initially in a 2.0 system but later to expand to 5.1.
Looking in the AUD $1,000 to $1,500 price range: My shortlist is:
1.) Onkyo TX-NR818 (sounds perfect, except for no Airplay and long startup time of 15 secs0
2.) Yamaha RX-V2073 (can get this at a good price, has lots of features, but is stereo sound quality and power good?
3.) Marantz 6007 (Heard Marantz are traditionally good for stereo music)
Will be running TV, music (mostly from network - laptop or iphone), PS3 and movies (mostly from network rather than BluRay).
So music quality is my preference over surround sound - and I understand from forums that many of the AVR's are good at surround sound but poor at stereo sound.... but unclear which AVR's are good for stereo.
My room is an open living area with floor boards, large windows etc so assume this will tend to give me a "bright" sound. So looking for an AVR that will give a "warmer" sound to avoid excessive brightness
Other features I like are:
1.) Network connectivity to stream music from iphone or laptop. It frustrates me that the Onkyo does not have Airplay.
2.) Quality audio "upscaling" to improve sound of mp3 and other digital formats.
3.) AVR with lots of grunt to get full benefit from the Paradigm Studio 60's (and later sub). Not 100% clear on how to interpret the specs on the various manufacturer websites and then compare this against what the speaker can handle...
4.) Video upscaling. Foxtel is 1080i so upscale to 1080p sounds great. 4k not a necessity.
5.) Dual HDMI output would be handy to give me option of watching Foxtel on main TV or my TV outside - but I can always get an HDMI switch if the AVR cannot do this
6.) Good user controls and interface for day to day operations (i.e. not cumbersome). This includes short startup time.... dont want to wait for long time to be able to listen to sound
7.) A good 5.1 calibration would be a benefit for the future. Audyssey MultEQ32 on Onkyo appears to be significantly better than the Yamaha. BUt stereo sound quality still more important for me.