I'm currently powering Infinity Betas (Beta 50s Fr, C360 center, ES 250 dipole surrounds, and Beta bookshelf speakers for the rear surrounds) with a Sherbourn 7/2100a. I have two CSW-10 650W powered subs for the low end.
Pioneer 1018ah-K 7.1 receiver
When I switched from powering the speakers from the Pio receiver to the Sherbourn amp the sound changed considerably (to my ears). It sounded much more full in the theater, especially when driving the speakers hard. The sensitivity on the Beta 50s is 91dB so they aren't particularly power hungry but I did feel like I noticed a big difference.
I'm certainly open to input as my options seem to be:
1) Lossless audio through the 1018ah-k receiver to the Sherbourn amp (no 3D movies for the kids = dealbreaker). Additional Cost $0
2) Lossy audio through the 1018ah-K (via optical out from the PC) and run the HDMI directly to the 3D projector. (3D capable but not lossless audio.) Additional Cost $0.
3) Purchase line level converters and hook them up to the 1018ah-K speaker outputs and run them to the Sherbourn amp (maybe not recommended?) Additional Cost: $50
4) Purchase a used 3D Ready receiver with full preamp outputs (like the Pio 1121-K). Additional cost ~$250 but difficult to find.
5) Purchase a new 3D Ready receiver with full preamp outputs (Pio SC-82, Marantz SR5008, Yamaha RX-A1040, etc). Additional Cost ~$750-$1300
6) Purchase a new preamp that is 3D capable and has full preamp outputs. Additional Cost ~$1500
To answer your question on budget, for me it really depends on the benefit. While it wouldn't break the bank to spend $1K on a new receiver, it is tough to fork over that much $ when I only need the unit to receive a 3D signal and output via preamps to a separate amp. If I can find a cheaper option I'd rather use the remainder of the $1K to update the PC.
I guess option 4) above would be my first choice but it is nearly impossible to search for used receivers that are 3D ready AND have full preamp outputs. I can live with option 2) for the time being but would like to upgrade.
Hope this helps. Opinions and suggestions encouraged.
PS> Thanks for the link to the AVR-3312, it give me a whole new path to look down via the Denon line.
Half-knowledgeable but fully dangerous.
Last edited by spillz564; 01-23-2015 at 02:07 PM.