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Background--three years back my ancient Logitech THX 5.1 speakers died. Since I got it I have had a major improvement in circumstances so I figure it was time to go upmarket a bit. The replacement was a set of Elac Debuts with a Denon AVR-2300W. The Denon has been a nightmare--if someone knows how to fix it that would be great--if not then I'm happy to ditch it but the question becomes "for what".

I'm posting specifically in the context of a gaming system because that's about 80 percent of what this computer does--mostly action-oriented RPGs--Fallout series and that sort of thing. I don't have cable, and I don't get OTA, so any videos are Netflix or Amazon or Hulu or the like viewed through the browser.

Note that I ride motorcycles and play with guns and I was in a war and I'm not young--my highs went away a long time ago and the midrange is not too shiny anymore, so my hearing is not up to detecting fine nuances of the sort that are important to audiophiles.

Computer is an ASUS ROG Hero, i7, GTX1080 (not Ti).

So, first, the issues I'm experiencing:
  • Anything repeated and loud (machine gun fire in Fallout 4 for example) kills the Denon--it shuts down and has to be powered back up
  • The Denon is not happy with nVidia HDMI audio--it defaults to stereo, and setting it to anything else results in the sound driver disconnecting after a day or two and then the whole audio setup needs to be reset. That's enough of a pain in the butt that it's effectively just giving me two channels.
  • The Denon doesn't shut down when ordered to by the computer and instead displays a Denon logo which burns into the screen
    I ended up addressing that by setting it to shut down after a short time of non-use which it its own annoyance
  • The Denon can't wake up quietly, every time it needs a click on the remote to tell it what device to use even though there's only one device connected to it, so the startup sequence is "turn on TV, boot computer, log in, wait for Denon to click, and click again, and then push "OK" on remote" and finally it's up, for a while.
So first question--anybody have any advice on the Denon? I can't find any discussion of any of these issues that leads to any kind of solution other than connecting the Denon through the motherboard HDMI port, but that leads to its own annoyances.
Second question--assume I want another AVR, what would be an option that actually WORKS and doesn't have all these problems?
Third question--if I ditch the AVR concept, what's a good, reasonably priced amp to which I can connect the computer's analog audio outputs? I only need 5 channels remember, the sub is self-powered.

Budget for this is about $1500.

So, any advice?
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