AVS Forum Addicted Member
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: upstate NY
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0. Authorized Denon and Marantz dealers are allowed only to publish the MSRP. If you call them on the phone, though, they can quote a much lower price, often only slightly above what A4L charges for refurbs. New units have a substantially longer warranty than refurbs.
Although the prices you mention are similar, the feature sets in the various receivers are different. Be sure to compare their features to make sure they have what you want.
1. The subwoofer out of any receiver can be split using an RCA Y adapter and sent to two subwoofers simultaneously. However, you do have to make sure the subwoofers are both at the same distance from your primary listening position. The other receivers you mention just provide that Y connection internally. They don't actually provide separate subwoofer signals with separate timing and distance settings. For those features you need to get a much more expensive model.
2. Audio quality is primarily determined by your speakers and room acoustics. Electronics are a distant third. However, receivers with a form of room equalization can compensate for some of the infelicities of speakers and room. Personally I'm biased toward AVRs which contain Audyssey (Marantz, Denon & Onkyo in your list), since they can EQ the subwoofer. Yamaha's YPAO does not, except, perhaps, in their top-of-the-line models.
Onkyo's gotten a lot of bad publicity about their HDMI boards failing because the HDMI chips were not properly cooled. Hopefully that's been fixed in a refurbished unit.
I hope these comments help a little.
Marantz SR7009 avr + MM9000 amp --> Atmos 7.1.4
Fronts=NHT 2.9+AC2, FH+TM=DefTech PM1000, LCR+TM amped