My current theater sound setup is as follows:
Yamaha RXV-1300 Receiver
Axiom Epic 60 Speakers in 5.1 setup (M60, VP150, QS8) with a custom Adire Tempest subwoofer
Behringer Feedback Destroyer
PS3 for Blu-rays
My theater is small, using a projector in a partially finished basement with the theater area being about 15 feet long by 12 feet wide. Overall, I think it's pretty awesome but I'm itching to upgrade and I'd say it's time to do that old receiver and get in on the new loss-less Blu-Ray sound formats and perhaps add the extra 7.1 channels. I've been researching and reading forums for a few weeks and I've narrowed things down. I was initially hoping to keep the purchase under $2000 CAN, but I'm comfortable stretching the budget some if I must. One feature I decided I definitely want is room correction, either Audyssey XT32 or Anthem's ARC. I've spent hours and hours calibrating my sub and the idea of having the setup automated for both speakers and sub is very attractive. That limited my selection a great deal. Initially I was hoping on a preprocessor with amplifier setup, but I've been unable to find any processors with room correction anywhere near my budget. I contacted Anthem and asked if they had any plans for a lesser cost preprocessor, perhaps like an MRX 510 without the amp, they responded no.
So, the shortlist under 2 grand leaves me with either an Anthem MRX 510/710, or an XT32 based receiver. Now for the twist. By chance I came across a great sale the other day where the Onkyo TX-NR3010 (with XT32) was heavily discounted and I just couldn't ignore it. With some "price beat" magic I was able to pick one up from an annoyed electronics dealer in the city for well less than the $2400 they had been asking. So, now I have an Onkyo TX-NR3010. And yes, I know about the HDMI board failures, and I'm a little uneasy about that.
The Onkyo sits unopened as I debate what I should do and whether I should sell it. It seems to be a fantastic receiver with enough power to fill a gymnasium (114 watts per channel with all 7 driven according to a Sound&Vision review), features lots of bells and whistles, has Audyssey XT32 and apparently SubEQ (I've heard). On the downside there's the HDMI thing, and some reviews suggest the audio quality is good but not the best (not sure what that means). On the other hand, there's the Anthem receivers which I can only buy at full price from a local theater dealer, so the cost is higher. With them I'll supposedly be getting even better sound quality and the excellent ARC calibration (better than XT32?), but would be giving up a lot of features. Less power, less channels (only 7.1), less pre-outs, etc. I've tried to read through the big Anthem thread at the forums here but didn't get through it all. It sounds like people are having various little issues with them, and the 510 runs hot. I wonder if I could get a 510 to use as a preprocessor and pair it with a 7 channel amp like Outlaw Audio's Model 7125? But then that does seem like extra work and expense when the Onkyo is already capable for less money.
So, what are you thoughts? Have I missed anything? Should I swap this Onkyo for the Anthem or something else? Is it worth spending another thousand or more for an MRX 710, or a 510 with amp? Or perhaps I should look at the Denon AVR-X4000 or another model?