I've had a 5.1 stereo system for 15 years now. Started with a Harmon-Kardon AVR (very colored sound), then went to a Denon AVR-3300, then went to a Denon AVR-2909. The HDMI connections on the 2909 are starting to go, resulting in audio and video dropouts, and I'm contemplating replacing the receiver. That launched a few questions in how to go about replacing it:
- Are all the big-name consumer-level AVRs roughly equivalent at a given price point? I have a dedicated two-channel audio room, and one thing that stands out about high-end stereo gear is that most of it is equivalent sound quality at a given price point; the difference lies in the voicing of the equipment. I happen to prefer the most accurate reproduction I can get, vice the boosted midrange or "warmth" that many audiophiles desire. I'm looking for that accuracy and detail in an AVR as well. I have really enjoyed the Denon AVRs but wonder if I'm missing some detail or clarity in both music and voices that I could hear with other brands. My understanding is that Denon AVRs have the same A/V quality from the lowest model to the highest; the only differences lie in features and output power.
- I have already ruled out Onkyo due to reliability issues. I've read good things about both Marantz and Yamaha, but that came from audioholics, which sells those brands. What brands should I be considering for best audio and video quality? My feature needs are pretty minimal, I think: at least 4 HDMI in; 1 HDMI out; upscaling to at least 1080p (beyond would be a nice bonus); networking a plus but not absolutely required; at least 95W per channel; at least 7.1 capable. And, of course, reliability is always a factor.
Any recommendations are greatly appreciated!