Pretty disappointed so far with the SR7007. Features have been dumbed down since previous Denon/Marantz models (no access to levels without test tone - levels apply universally rather than to different surround modes) - but I could live with these issues. The sound is just not great - like the amps are weak or have a strange response.
Maybe it is just meant more for as Home Theater rather than Home Audio?
I bought this amp for upgrading a music listening setup where I was using an old Onkyo A-809 that I always ran in direct mode - in the past with some old Advent Prodigy II speakers and more recently with some Sonus Faber Concertinos. I wouldn't say it was great sound, but it was quite enjoyable - the Sonus are small and I had been running an old Mirage sub with them to give them a little more bottom from around 60Hz down and it was all fine. So I got the "GREAT" idea to upgrade the setup to accommodate DVDA and SACD.
Having used Denon's in the past and having recently purchased a Marantz 1602 and a pair of B+W bookshelfs for my office, I thought the SR7007 would be the way to go as the 1602 sounds fine. I also picked up a decent REL sub to go with it.
Huge disappointment - the sound is terrible - even stereo in Pure Direct, no sub, is like a bad radio - harsh and bassy - no decent midrange or too much high-mids and not enough low-mids. I spent days moving speakers around, trying every Audyssey trick - some music sounds fine, but anything with electric guitars sounds nearly horrible no matter what.
I started thinking that maybe the Sonus Fabers just weren't up to the task and was about to start shopping speakers - but wait, no - they were fine with the Onkyo....
So I pull out an old AudioSource "Amp Two" 80 watt x 2 power amp I had bought ages ago to drive some outdoor speakers and for the hell of it, hooked it up to the pre-outs of the Marantz and drove the Sonus Fabers with that - WOW!!! Not quite as rich as the Onkyo A809, but a huge improvement. This AudioSource "Amp Two" was an inexpensive, although supposedly decent, power amp - nothing to write home about, but it simply kills the SR7007 amps.
My old Denon ARV5700 weighed a ton it seems like. Even the Onk 809 feels heavier than the SR7007 and the little amp I have driving the speakers now is low profile but not flimsy feeling. Is this the problem? Is all this modern stuff just sort of "bells and whistles" with no real guts and built too light?
I am baffled about what to do - I have about 2 weeks left to return it, but then what?
I don't mean to be absurdly picky - my reference system is a set of Meyer HD-1 powered speakers mated to a Genelec sub in a recording studio. That is spectacular sound, but I don't need that in this listening area, just something decent that can play back electric guitar as richly as it can a symphony.
Should I just forget the integrated receivers and go with components? Or do I just keep the SR7007 as a pre and get some decent amps? Or is there a decent sounding integrated receiver out there with decent amps - I don't really have any brand alliance.
This forum seems like a place where people would know this or have run into before - thanks for any help or insight.