Until recently, I was leaning towards a receiver, with a used Arcam 300 topping my list of candidates. I'm starting to think seriously about separates though, and was wondering if I'd get appreciably more bang for not TOO many more bucks that way.
I'm planning to audition the Nuforce AV-16 pre/pro in the near future, based on what I've heard about its music performance (and attractive pricing).
Does anyone have detailed impressions of quality budget 7 channel amps? My range is about $750-$1000 for used. Naturally, I plan to do some listening myself, but others' experiences can be a great head start.
So, I guess I have two questions:
1. What are the best budget 7 channel power amps out there? (Detailed observations and comparisons are especially welcome!)
2. Am I likely to hear a distinct improvement in SQ (especially with 2 channel music, but I also care about multi-channel and movies) over a superb receiver, such as the Arcam 300 (or, let's even say for the sake of argument, the 350, which I haven't heard yet)?
My fronts and surrounds are KEF 201s; 202 center; and PSW4000. (I plan to add rear surrounds as soon as everything else is in place and my budget has recovered.) I'm currently using an older Sony surround receiver, which, though not terrible, leaves much room for improvement.
OK, thanks for any thoughts.