I'm new to this Forum but been long into AVRs and speakers. So far I have tried the followings:
1. Marantz 6006 & 5005 (Best Experience till I bought CA 551r)
2. Denon 4311 & 2311 (Excellent but not as good as Marantz)
3. Yamaha (Many different models ok SQ)
4. Pioneer (Many different models ok SQ)
5. Onkyo (Can't remember the model and worst of the lot, Hate it for sharpness)
1. Mirage Uni-Theater & Omnis
2. DefTech satellites
3. Polk Audio RTi, Satellites, M Series
My last setup was Marantz 6006 & Mirage + Polk Audio
Then i decided to upgrade as usual which i do at least once every year and upgraded my System in 2 phases
I demo/tested primarily 3 AVRs CA 551r (651r was not available) NAD T748 & Arcam 360/400, Harman Kardon (Can't remember the model)
After extensive multiple rounds I decided to go with CA 551r cuz that experience was very pleasant and feel like worth upgrading from my Marantz (No regrets at all)
Speakers: While looking for AVR i did started my research on speakers as well and demo the followings:
One of the prime criteria for me was if i could find good cube/small speakers which can produce big/decent/good sound
Tannoy, Jamo, Golden Ear SS50/3/60 & AON, Boston, Mirage MX & OMD 5, Mission M-cube, Waterfall Serio & Hurrian, Cabasse, CA Minx (20 & 10), BOSE, Paradigm, MK Sound & KEF
As you can see i went to a length to find the right speakers to match with my CA 551r and at last was able to short list to the following 3
1. CA Minx (Small speakers with Big sound and excellent sound stage, great for both movies & Music)
2. Waterfall Serio (Small speakers with good sound but not as big sound stage as Minx, kinda short fall for movies)
3. GE SS & AON (Big speakers but wall mount, Great sound (Would consider best SQ among 3 short listed if size is not a concern especially AON for Music)
Ultimately I endup buying Minx 20 (5.1) & 10 (2 for 7.1 setup to pair with Min 20) I know i should have gone for 21/11 but i couldn't find 21/11 anywhere in Singapore & Malaysia surprisingly the local distributor in these countries decided not to bring them.
Reason i decided on Minx is small size and considering their size they produced the best SQ & Wide sound stage and were equally good in movies & music.
Now comes with question
After being through this whole episode for more than 2 months and just getting my speakers & 551r I have decided to upgrade to 651r
Reason could be odd for you but i decided to setup 7.1 instead of my current 5.1 but with 2 speakers with front height speakers and 551r doesn't give option to setup SRBs to be use as FRH speakers.
But while reading about 651r i came across Anthem AVRs and thought of reading reviews for MRX 300 & 500. I did listen to MRX 500 as well with Paradigm speakers and i did like the sound and few extra Bells which Azur 551r/651r lacks. From reviews i did got impress by ARC as well and been an Audyssy user in the past seems like a good attraction as well to consider Anthem seriously instead of Azur 651r.
But here are few things to consider before you suggest/recommend
1. I hate sharp sound and love Warm sound to the core
2. I like Audyssy/RC but not a must have as a deal braker
3. I like the Menu/ customisation options in Anthem but not a must have, can live without that as well
4. I love clarity, detail and depth of sound with good sound stage and that's my #1 priority to consider and final the AV... all rest are secondary and only to consider if both provide similar SQ
5. I love Azur sound and very happy with it after using for some time and not really sure whether i will be happy wiht Anthem just afraid that what if due to feature i go with Anthem and end up losing what i want the most (Best SQ)
So with all these details i will appreciate if someone can help me deicide which AVR i should go for and why???