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Nice AVR or Budget Pre/Pro and Amp?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
New to the forum and appreciate any feedback in advance. Budget is $2100-$2500

I am replacing a Pioneer SC-07 due to flood and not sure I want to stay with Elite this time around. My room isn't huge but I am looking for the the best picture and sound quality. So I see the Emotiva crowd loves those things. The only experience I have with Amps is a Sunfire TGA 7201 that I hooked to my SC-07, didn't warrant the $$ since I didn't notice much improvement. Not looking for volume, more for that detail at low volumes and clean at ref levels. Couple scenarios running through my head

Onkyo 818 w/ a B&K Ref 200.5 - The onkyo has the XT32 romm correction and the B&K gets great reviews and runs less than $1k on the used market. Onkyo also seems to have a leg up on the video processing as well. Does that even make HD Cable look better? My Oppo has it's own processing so I just pass that through

Onkyo 5009 all by itself? Loaded w/ features and looks to have a great amp section for an AVR

Denon 4311ci? No experience with Denon but I imagine they have a following for a reason and has feature set like Onkyo

Refurb NAD T785 HD for $2100? I would give up some of the above feature set if the SQ was that much better than Onkyo, Denon, Pioneer, Yamaha ect...

I run a 5.1 set up, hopefully hadding a 2nd sub soon

Paradigm Studio 60's v3
CC570 v3
Revel IW80's
SVS SB13 Plus
Oppo BDP93
Tributaires Speaker wire in the walls with Bi-Wire to front LCR just in case
Monster Power
Panasonic 55"Plasma
post #2 of 17
Hi.

The NAD will have the best sound quality of everything you mentioned in my opinion. I've heard the NAD T757 against a Rotel receiver, the one for $2600 and the NAD sounded much better/wider more open soundstage. The NAD sounded better then the Rotel power amp that was 5 channels and was $2700 +. The NAD also sounded better then a Pioneer Elite SC55 one. It sounds better then Integra too. NAD is one of the best sounding amps there is. Amp/receiver.
post #3 of 17
The AVR/AMP combo will by far get you the most for your money. You could even drop down to just adding an Emotiva XPA3 if you wanted, since an AVR is more then capable of driving the rear channels, especially when the front three are off its back.
Edited by Jay1 - 6/6/12 at 7:42pm
post #4 of 17
I would suggest the 4311 and then add an amp if you feel you need one. I just bought one to replace my Onkyo 886 and I'm very happy. Although I'm using it as a prepro I know many who are quite happy using the 4311's amp section. Check out this thread for great pricing if EE has any left in stock.

Bill
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the feedback! This is good stuff. Will a 3 channel amp for the front stage really make a defference? And it may be just this forum but Emotiva is usually the only 3 channel amp brought up. Is that just because it's affordable brand new? I only ask since there are other 3 channel options from Parasound, NAD, Acurus ect... I am a little skeptical on the Emo, granted for no good reason other than WOW, that cheap for 200 wpc amps brand new? Then you go get a nice Denon/Onkyo/Elite and add a budget AMP to improve sound? I also emailed Emo asking some questions around the XPA-5 ( For front stage, Bi-Amping the L/R ) or just XPA-3 and got an answer that seemed based on what they had in stock, which was the XPA-3 since the XPA-5 was not. I am a rookie but my naive perspective would have told me th XPA-5 Bi-Amp would maybe provide better detail.

So the receivers I mentioned should all handle any size room, in a 1000sq ft room what am I gaining by adding a front stage amp? If it's an obvious improvement at all volume levels then I am all in.

Or since you can pick up these receivers ( except the NAD ) for sub $1400 new should I take that addition $$ and add a 2nd sub for better bass response

I will say, and should have done this innitially, that my constant itch to add the amp is for a better 2 channel experience. HT is important but these receivers seem to all handle.

Thanks again for the continued feedback
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
So why doesn't anyone bring up Yamaha? Denon/ Elite/Onkyo pretty much dominate this forum but Yammy used to be the go too a few yrs ago. The 3010 seems to look good spec wise. Are we stripping most of thes down to Room correction capabilities? That's where the Elite and Denon/Onkyo owners seem to battle
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rwillz View Post

Or since you can pick up these receivers ( except the NAD ) for sub $1400 new should I take that addition $$ and add a 2nd sub for better bass response
I will say, and should have done this innitially, that my constant itch to add the amp is for a better 2 channel experience. HT is important but these receivers seem to all handle.

If you are considering adding another sub then that is where the 4311 or the 3008/3009 with XT32 and SubEQ will really become important. If you have speakers that an AVR such as the 4311 or the 3008/3009 can drive with ease an external amp is not as important. One of these AVRs with two quality subs will yield better results SQ wise than adding an external amp IMO.

Bill
post #8 of 17
The need for an external amp really comes down how demanding your speakers are, in addition to how loud you're pushing things. Dont let the price of the Emo amps fool you, and biamping wont "increase detail". By removing the front three from your AVR, it will actually put out its rated power into the surrounds.

The Onkyo 818 has XT32 and costs $1100, the XPA3 is $700. If you dont need an external amp then you dont need to buy a better AVR then the 818.

300

With an impedance profile like that you would certainly notice an improvement with an external amp.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone! This is they type of education I need:)

So it's down to these

Onkyo 818 w/ XPA 3
Denon 4311 w/ XPA 3
post #10 of 17
Another good option in your price range is the Anthem MRX series.
post #11 of 17
Just got a Butler 5150 added to my Onkyo 5009 ..... It's Amazing ... Time to get this Butler name out there ...this thing is great !
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have thought about the Anthem. Just came down to more features with the 4311 or 818 as well as a nice 3 channel amp to enhance the sound and get the best of both worlds. I think I might be able to find a nice Parasound to add to whichever receiver I get.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
What about a Marantz AV7005 w/ XPA 5? No XT 32 but maybe better overall SQ than the 4311w/ XPA 3 combo?
post #14 of 17
^^^^

as ime, 4311 with no external amp > av7005 + bryston amp, i'd say highly unlikely...
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rwillz View Post

I have thought about the Anthem. Just came down to more features with the 4311 or 818 as well as a nice 3 channel amp to enhance the sound and get the best of both worlds. I think I might be able to find a nice Parasound to add to whichever receiver I get.

The Room Correction that you will get with an Anthem receiver will blow you away. You can do a MRX-300 with a 3 channel amp for around $1700. Personally, I don't think you need the AMP in a 1000 sqft room. Way overkill. I have an MRX-300 in a 1600 sqft room and I can play it so loud my ears hurt. And, the MRX-300 "only" puts out 60watts per channel.
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rwillz View Post

What about a Marantz AV7005 w/ XPA 5? No XT 32 but maybe better overall SQ than the 4311w/ XPA 3 combo?

I have never heard the AV7005 but I doubt there would be much if any difference in overall SQ between the AV7005/XPA-5 and the 4311/XPA-3. Throw XT32 into the mix and I would say the 4311 will better the AV7005 with XT.

Bill
post #17 of 17
I've been thinking of a new setup myself, but was wondering if it would even make a difference considering my small room size (9'x8'). I currently have an Onkyo 626 and two Arx Bookshelf Speakers. Stuff hooked up to it: PC (HDMI), PS3 (HDMI), 360 (HDMI), PS2 (Component/Optical), PS1 (Composite), Wii (Component), SNES (just composite audio, vp in receiver doesnt know what to do with SNES resolutions). Im perfectly happy with my speakers, not changing them. Any advice would be appreciated.
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