Need Receiver advice-
CURRENTLY, I have (1)an Onkyo TX-SR504 7.1 receiver in my living room (LR) that is connected to a set of Bose Acoustimass 3 speakers (an acoustimass module and two tiny satellites); and (2) also from the Onkyo a pair of speakers on the "B" speakers that are outside on my patio.
I PLAN on (1) putting some 5.1 speakers in the LR (current thought is Energy Take Micros); (2) keeping the patio speakers where they are and (3) moving my Bose speakers into the kitchen. So I would have a total of three zones.
I see a couple of options for adding the speakers to the kitchen. The associated questions are noted:
(A) Keep the Onkyo, add the 5.1 speakers to the LR, and put the Bose speakers in the kitchen connected to the back surround outputs of the Onkyo. If I want to listen to music in LR and Kitchen, set the mode to all channel stereo and use an analog source. To use the LR only (in surround), turn on the B speakers and use a digital surround source (turning on B makes the back surrounds drop out). DOWNSIDES: Cannot listen to music both on patio and in kitchen. When B speakers go on, the back surround drops off.
(B) Buy a new receiver that supports three zones. DOWNSIDE. Based on some very rough pricing, I am looking at at least $700.
(C) Get a new receiver that has a Zone 2 plain line out and also a zone 2 powered speaker line out. I would use the speaker line out for the patio speakers and the pre-amp line out to go to the kitchen, where I will put my old Onkyo to drive the two bose speakers. DOWNSIDE. Cheaper than (B) above, but still some money layout for a new receiver (albeit a 2 zoner , not a 3 zoner), and also I still would be limited to analog sources in the kitchen. (Seems that all zone 2s are limited to analog inputs)
My precise questions based on the above:
(1) Which of these three setups in general would you go with? Pros and Cons?
(2) If I get a new receiver with a zone 2 pre out line and a powered speaker line, can i run both at the same time?
(3) Has anyone ever bought a used or refurbished receiver? That would make options (A) or (B) a lot more affordable
(4) Anyway to avoid the zone 2 (and 3) analog-only problem noted above?
(5) Any recommendations on specific receivers for this job--either a 3 zone or a 2 zone using the line out to my old Onkyo.