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When it comes down to it, all I want from my receiver is high-end audio quality. I currently have an onkyo tx-sr501 that outputs 65 w/pc. I want to upgrade.


I am considering Denon, marantz, harman kardon, yamaha, NAD, Rotel, Onkyo, Arcam


I need something that is a good match for B&W Speakers, SACD, DVD-A, and lossless audio from blu-ray/HD-DVD. I do NOT care about video-processing


Price-point is sub $800
 

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The Rotel and not the Arcam? I would say in general the Nad and Marantz will be a cut above the H/K, Denon, and Yamaha and that the Rotel and Arcam would be a notch above the Nad and Marantz. there are people that prefer the Denon sound, there are people that prefere H/K sound, and their are people that prefer Yamaha sound. Nobody is wrong or right on this.



But this is all opinion of course. You have to purchase the model you like the sound of -vs- the price yoru willing to pay -vs- the features that the product offers of course.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpa /forum/post/0


high end audio quality will not come from those mentioned, BUT you'll be closest with the Rotel.

high end *sound* quality comes in all shapes and prices, even from low-end manufacturers and low price tags.


of course, if you all care about is paying a high price, your best bet is with high end gears.
 

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In my opinion, there is no clear winner when looking at any of the brands you mention within a price range.


What you will have is different TYPES of sound. From what I've heard, NAD and Arcam are quite similar (as is Cambridge Audio). They're the typical British-style midrange-focused, laid back type of sound that is very easy to take for extended listening. Then you have Rotel, HK and Marantz, which are kind of half way between the British laid-back sound and the more forward Japanese sound. Then you have Yamaha and Denon, which are more "in your face" without being overly bright.


From my experience, most any good amp will sound good with B&W's - they're an easy type of sound to match, not overly picky with electronics as are some other brands. I've enjoyed their sound with 10-watt tube amps as much as with somewhat bright and very forward Krell power amps.


So step 1 is to determine what type of sound you like. Step 2 is to listen to the amps...it shouldn't be hard to find a dealer with B&W's to audition a receiver. Step 3 is to make a decision which will undoubtedly be hard to make, and likely have you reading furiously on here!


One thing to keep in mind...AVR's are complex components and do break, so keep in mind that HK and NAD are by far the worst offenders in that category. That's not to say don't choose them, just be aware that by choosing them you're choosing a less reliable choice (like buying a VW instead of a Honda).
 

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My reasoning for the Rotel is this. It is an entry level (into hifi anyways) and is pretty nuetral, and wouldnt overemphasize the highs, or mids in the [email protected] which can be somewhat of a nuisance to some, they also have a strong reputation for building a long lasting piece of equipment, and are very fairly priced as far as bang for buck is concerned. Plus customer service is good from what I hear.

Rotel puts you into hifi, gear upwards from there provide smaller jumps in quality, power, lower THD, etc, etc, and if you are not a critical listener, (like most people) the cost of higher end gear doesnt warrant the extra cash. Sounds to me like you just need more power.

And just so you are aware, there is HUGE differences in prices, and quality, but if you are unsure of what the differences are after an audition or two, then save your money, buy used, and dont worry about what brand it is, regardless of our opinions. Just be sure to get something that has a strong reputation for durability, and longevity.
 

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tlf9999, not to start a war here at all, but I must say this, I will agree that quality sound can be had at a low price, but dont confuse hi end sound with quality sound, there is a big difference, and as many upgrades, swaps, and demos Ive done in my short time on this ball, I can say with certainty, there is a huge difference between entry level gear, "midfi" and hifi, and unless some miracle happens, and a piece of gear was gotten used at a great deal it is seperated by cost.

There are bargains out there, and laws of diminishing returns, but that doesnt equate to wasted money. Some people will pay the 500% extra to get that extra 10% in sound.
 
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