I'm at the tail end of months of reading and building my new dedicated HT and at the purchase phase of the project. So far I've been able to figure out and demo much of the equipment, but I'm still lacking clarity on the AVR/Pre Pro choices.
First, my speaker layout will be 5.2.2, front 3 speakers will be separately amped (lower sensitivity) so I need preouts. Feature wise I've narrowed it down to the Marantz 7705/7013 (or perhaps a used 8805/8012), Denon X6500H or used Anthem AVM 60. I've previously owned an Anthem prepro and loved the sound at the time, but it was so long ago that I'm not sure it's fair to compare to these units at a much lower cost.
Use will be 33%HT, 33% Tv/Series, and 33% music (although the latter will be more critical listening)
One other desired feature: I listen to multichannel music via SACD/DVD-A and originally wanted to keep my Denon DVD2900 to do so, but with the Sony X800M2 on sale it seems like that offers a good alternative if I end up with a receiver without analog inputs (only the Marantz above offers this).
The age of the Anthem concerns me a bit as does the talk of the many bugs that it had early on, and the HDAM circuits of the Marantz seems good on paper but I haven't been able to A/B this against a competitor to figure out if it's just marketing or an actual feature.
All this taken into consideration, it seems the biggest differentiation point in these units is the room correction technology with xt32 and ARC. I've listened to a few systems with each and most sounded great. That said I haven't been able to A/B these against each other in the same room with same equipment to figure out which would be better for my use. It seems that many think the XT32 makes the music sound 'flat' which would be a deal killer for me, but I also see that there is now an app to tweak the results and many are happy with it.
Regardless ease of use is important to me - with 2 small kids and a healthy travel schedule I no longer have the unlimited 'tweaking' hours that I once did.
If anyone would be willing to relate their experiences with these units/room correction and or give me some guidance I'd be very grateful.
Thanks in advance,