Looking for suggestions in the 2-3k price category.....high end receiver or separates? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 12-05-2013, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey folks....
Yes, I know and understand the basic differences between separates and a one box receiver, but in the upper price category of 2-3 thousand, is a receiver a better choice, or are the separates in that same price range still the best option? An age-old conundrum to say the least. I'm specifically considering the Cambridge Audio 751R receiver, the Marantz 7008 receiver, or the AV7701 processor.

Also hot contenders are Outlaw Audio's 975 processor, or Anthem's MRX700 receiver. (Which Kal Rubinson said made a great processor in its own right) The companion amps are up for debate, but I consider the processor the more important half of the equation. I think this price range for receivers represents the best value for the dollar, anything priced higher than this have returns that rapidly seem to diminish.
Much to digest and discuss, at least for me anyway. Any thoughts would be MUCH appreciated.
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post #2 of 18 Old 12-06-2013, 12:20 AM
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Receivers have plenty of power these days, so long as your speakers do not present an unusually difficult load then there should be more than enough power. Since all AVRs at that level have preamp outs, adding an amp is easy—so the short answer is yes; a receiver is a better choice, even if you add more power later.

Your choice of speakers is what will ultimately determine whether a receiver has enough power for your needs. However, with the options you presented, the chances are you'll be in good shape.

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post #3 of 18 Old 12-06-2013, 03:17 AM
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The Marantz AV8801 would be a better choice over the AV7701 as the former uses the more advanced version of Audyssey MultEQ XT32 (as does the SR7008).

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post #4 of 18 Old 12-06-2013, 05:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes I agree that would be a better choice, but its out of my range. It won't leave me anything left over for an amp.
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post #5 of 18 Old 12-06-2013, 11:29 AM
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The Cambridge or give the NAD T777 a look also. Spearit Sound sells both IIRC. They also sell processors and amps. Good luck.


http://www.spearitsound.com/
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post #6 of 18 Old 12-06-2013, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantom52 View Post

The Cambridge or give the NAD T777 a look also. Spearit Sound sells both IIRC. They also sell processors and amps. Good luck.


http://www.spearitsound.com/

So you would go with one of these receivers over a pre/pro amp combination? Is it even worth it to get separates in this price range?
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post #7 of 18 Old 12-06-2013, 08:44 PM
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I would get the Outlaw 95 + 7200 amp. As a combo it's just north of 2K. Sonically unmatched by any receiver at that price.
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post #8 of 18 Old 12-06-2013, 09:41 PM
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Or you could get a Emotiva UMC-200 for $600, and you can find Yamaha MX-A5000s for around 2k, which I believe has the same amp section as the old Yamaha RX-Z11 receiver, an 11 channel amp that's tested to output 310W x2, 180Wx5, or 160Wx7 power output.
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post #9 of 18 Old 12-07-2013, 06:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonasandezekial View Post

So you would go with one of these receivers over a pre/pro amp combination? Is it even worth it to get separates in this price range?

What speakers do you have? Room size? Unless I've overlooked those somewhere in your post it would be helpful to know the answers to these questions. Either of these two AVR's should work quite well for most areas and speakers. Either would also make great processors for adding an amp in the future if you feel it's needed or the upgrade bug bites. I doubt an amp would be needed though unless your room is extremely large or the speakers are very hard to drive. Another option is to get a lower end of one of these AVR's and an amp. Really have a lot of options with that budget. My only thing I would advise against at this time is to stay away from any Onkyo AVR's or processors.
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post #10 of 18 Old 12-07-2013, 06:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by phantom52 View Post

What speakers do you have? Room size? Unless I've overlooked those somewhere in your post it would be helpful to know the answers to these questions. Either of these two AVR's should work quite well for most areas and speakers. Either would also make great processors for adding an amp in the future if you feel it's needed or the upgrade bug bites. I doubt an amp would be needed though unless your room is extremely large or the speakers are very hard to drive. Another option is to get a lower end of one of these AVR's and an amp. Really have a lot of options with that budget. My only thing I would advise against at this time is to stay away from any Onkyo AVR's or processors.

I'm laughing to myself about the Onkyo suggestion....I've read similar things elsewhere. Actually, my speakers are easy to drive, and my room is on the smaller side, so I agree that the receiver's amps would probably work fine, but I love POWER. Plus, I would like to future-proof my system as much as possible, eventually I will be buying new speakers that may be more difficult to drive. I've rad that the Cambridge is well spec'd with power, so it shouldn't be a problem, but I wonder about the better room correction of the Anthem and the Marantz. And I like your suggestion about buying one of them to use down the road as a pre, if I want to add an amp.
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post #11 of 18 Old 12-07-2013, 06:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gibroni View Post

I would get the Outlaw 95 + 7200 amp. As a combo it's just north of 2K. Sonically unmatched by any receiver at that price.

That's definitely a good possibility.
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post #12 of 18 Old 12-07-2013, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonasandezekial View Post

I'm laughing to myself about the Onkyo suggestion....I've read similar things elsewhere. Actually, my speakers are easy to drive, and my room is on the smaller side, so I agree that the receiver's amps would probably work fine, but I love POWER. Plus, I would like to future-proof my system as much as possible, eventually I will be buying new speakers that may be more difficult to drive. I've rad that the Cambridge is well spec'd with power, so it shouldn't be a problem, but I wonder about the better room correction of the Anthem and the Marantz. And I like your suggestion about buying one of them to use down the road as a pre, if I want to add an amp.

IMO, room correction is overrated. We went a very long time by using a Rat Shack analog meter and did just fine. Most of the higher end equipment users will buy AVR's or processors with RC programs and end up turning them off. Read the reviews and you will see what I mean. The AVR's on your list will provide you with great sound and plenty of power with virtually any speaker system you have now or in the future. Try one of these from someone with a good return policy in your room and go from there. Crutchfield is an excellent vendor to deal with. They sell both the Cambridge and NAD brands. They also sell pre-amps and amps in case you want go that route. Check threads here on the models that interest you and other websites that do full test reports and reviews. Good examples below. Good luck and enjoy the hunt.

http://www.audioholics.com/

http://www.soundandvision.com/

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/

http://www.stereophile.com/

Check out the review sections of these sites. They should be able to help you more than I can.
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post #13 of 18 Old 12-07-2013, 08:34 AM
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I agree with Phantom, Crutchfield is excellent to deal with. They have a 60 day return policy and I have literally returned things on the 59th day and there was no issue what so ever. That gives you plenty of time to really try it out. They also have Marantz, NAD, Yamaha and Denon etc. I'm only mentioning this because it' a way you can try out different options at low risk.

 

FWIW, if you are trying to future proof I don't think it's possible. But I think the best route to go to pseudo-future proof would be to start with a good AVR that has the all bells and whistles you want (in my case it would be something with Audyssey XT32).

 

Then, if you really felt you couldn't shake the need to have extra power and you wanted to spend the money for it, I would add a power amp. Once the amp was added all you would have to do is switch to a pre/pro somewhere down the road when you felt it was needed in order to stay current.

 

Then all you would have to do is buy new pre/pros every so often as advances in thechnology dictated, but the power amp should last though a series of pre/pros. That's as close as I think we will ever get to future proofing.

 

But buying a good AVR every so often would be just as effective and cheaper (IMO).

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post #14 of 18 Old 12-07-2013, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by phantom52 View Post

IMO, room correction is overrated. We went a very long time by using a Rat Shack analog meter and did just fine. Most of the higher end equipment users will buy AVR's or processors with RC programs and end up turning them off. Read the reviews and you will see what I mean. The AVR's on your list will provide you with great sound and plenty of power with virtually any speaker system you have now or in the future. Try one of these from someone with a good return policy in your room and go from there. Crutchfield is an excellent vendor to deal with. They sell both the Cambridge and NAD brands. They also sell pre-amps and amps in case you want go that route. Check threads here on the models that interest you and other websites that do full test reports and reviews. Good examples below. Good luck and enjoy the hunt.

http://www.audioholics.com/

http://www.soundandvision.com/

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/

http://www.stereophile.com/

Check out the review sections of these sites. They should be able to help you more than I can.

After giving it some thought, I think its best that I used the "one box" solution instead of separates. Even though they might sound a fraction better, (and maybe not) I'm not sure I have the space. So, going on that premise, Cambridge or Marantz? Any thoughts?
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post #15 of 18 Old 12-07-2013, 10:53 AM
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Cambridge IMO easily between those two. If it's mostly music NAD. If an AVR can play music very good then movies are a given. JMHO and nothing to back it up.
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post #16 of 18 Old 12-07-2013, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by jonasandezekial View Post


After giving it some thought, I think its best that I used the "one box" solution instead of separates. Even though they might sound a fraction better, (and maybe not) I'm not sure I have the space. So, going on that premise, Cambridge or Marantz? Any thoughts?

I've never had Cambridge but I do own a Marantz and I really like it a lot. Great Sound Quality and I really like their look right now. 

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post #17 of 18 Old 12-07-2013, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I've never had Cambridge but I do own a Marantz and I really like it a lot. Great Sound Quality and I really like their look right now. 

I've never heard it, but from all the descriptions and reviews I read, I would probably love it. I think the same thing about the Cambridge, plus it has more power. I'm just afraid the Marantz will seem underpowered.
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post #18 of 18 Old 12-07-2013, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jonasandezekial View Post


I've never heard it, but from all the descriptions and reviews I read, I would probably love it. I think the same thing about the Cambridge, plus it has more power. I'm just afraid the Marantz will seem underpowered.

Since your speakers are easy to drive I don't think anything we have discussed in this thread would be underpowered. But I know how these things can work and if you think something might seem underpowered ahead of time then it most likely will sound underpowered if you bought it, even if it's not. It's just human nature, we can convince ourselves of all sorts of things. If it weren't true $1,000 speaker wire would no longer exist. But I think the Cambridge would also be very good so I doubt you could go wrong with either one. 

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