The features will all be relatively the same. The sound will be quite a bit different depending upon the speaker power requirements and the tonal differences between receivers. Denon and Marantz will sound very similar. Yamaha and Sony have their own rather distinctive sound. I would try to find a room where you can do some comparison shopping. Onkyo makes some great products as well. They tend to be brute force. Enjoyable for home theater not as refined for music as Denon and Marantz. Marantz being the higher end version of Denon. Little more refined sound somewhat less harmonic distortion. If you enjoyed the sound of your Denon previously you probably will again. Do you know if your speakers are 8, 6, or 4 ohms? What is their sensitivity rating? The higher the ohms and the higher the sensitivity rating the less power require to play loud. Polk usually is around 88 for sensitivity and 6 to 8 ohms.Smallish room, only around 15x15, and looking to get an AV receiver to go with a set of my older Polk Audio speakers from the 90s. I have two RT3, two R1s, Center CS245, Sub PSW250. I previously had a Denon (also from the 90s) that had no HDMI inputs- only 5.1 analog audio, but that is gone.
I am looking to bring these speakers back to life- at least the front RT3s, center, and sub. I don't need room rattling audio, but having even a simple vizio soundbar from my in-laws is really hammering home how much I miss good sound.
Several receivers have close to entry level at below $400, and I was looking at the Yamaha V485, Denon 650H, Marantz 1509, and Sony 790. There are a few 2018 models left like the Denon x1500h. But I'm going for features at this point that are nice to have- Marantz has a slim model with front HDMI input (with less power), and the yamaha does upscaling (if I don;t like my TCL 4k's job).
Is there any substantial difference at the lower end of the receiver scale here?
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