Originally Posted by Screen Shot
I am looking for a "Flagship" AVR to replace an 8 year old Pioneer Elite VSX-45TX. Loved the Pio but need HDMI switching, more power, improved surround, etc.
I have a 5.1 home theater with B&W 804's and HTM3 center. Room is approx. 20x14. 70% theater and 30% music.
Price isn't a big issue but would like to stay under $2500.
Please point me in the right direction.
Thanks for your help.
Within your budget, and based on your other posts, I would look at an AVR as a preamp, and an external power amplifier. AVRs with >200WPC amplifiers aren't really done anymore, I know Yamaha and Denon have some older models that approach 200wpc, but you can get 200-400wpc amplifiers in the $1000-$2000 range (Emotiva, Parasound, B&K, perhaps NAD, Rotel, etc) and put a pre-amp in front for ~$500. You'll have all the decoding features you want (the HD formats is what it sounds like, I doubt if you'll notice a difference between them and the legacy extraction, but it certainly won't hurt), newer configuration/correction options (whatever that may be depending on what you buy), and all the power you could ever want (and honestly, I wouldn't spend $2000 on a receiver on the chance that it approaches its 140wpc better than the $1000 model does).
Yamaha RX-V867 paired with an Emotiva XPA-5 should come in under budget, offer more amplifier power than any receiver I can think of (except for maybe the Denon 5805), and you can replace the receiver/preamp if/when it suits you (with something like the 867 you get multi-channel inputs though, so in theory it shouldn't need replacing for a good long while).
If you don't like Yamaha, there's similar parts available from Denon (AVR-3311 or 4810/11), Harman/Kardon (AVR3600 or 7550), Sony (STR-DA3600ES or DA4600ES (must purchase from custom integrator though, not available online)), Onkyo (TX-NR808/809), and pre-amp/processors from Emotiva (UMC-1, yes I know it gets bad press), Rotel (RSP-1570), and so on (I don't really follow/know NAD or Anthem so you'll have to look on your own, sorry). Basically anything with pre-outs, multiple HDMI inputs, some sort of auto-cal/room correction function, and HD codec support is your criteria (if I'm reading your posts right) - so any of those should basically suit that.
If you don't like Emotiva, there's similar parts from Parasound (5250), B&K (200.5 or 200.7), Adcom (GFA-7705 or 7805), Rotel (RMB-1575), and so on (again, I don't really follow/know NAD or Anthem, and I'm not sure if the Onkyo PA-MC5500 would be worth it at 150wpc). Basically I'm looking for ~200wpc or better in a multi-channel package. However, I wouldn't go too much more than 200W with your 804s.