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So, I'm trying to decide on what to do for a sound system for our new 42" plasma HDTV. From past experience most of the time we will watch TV on it. We might start watching more movies now we have a bigger TV, HD, a sound system to go with it, etc, but I'm not betting on it.


I also want to have the system be a "good" 2-channel system. As in I want good imaging, clarity, etc. I'd place good 2-channel performance higher on the list than HT performance.


I would like to be able to have a 5.1 or better mix pulled from a stereo signal so we can watch HDTV in 5.1 sound.


I have an Adcom 545 (100x2) amp, and I think I'll be picking up an Adcom 5503 (200x3) from a friend, so I would be happy with just a pre/pro. If I go with a receiver, it MUST have at least 5.1 preouts so I can run the external amplifiers.


I've got some B&W 601 S2's for my front channels now, and a KEF model 90 Reference Series center speaker. I have some surround speakers, but they are cheapies for now.


Used/refurbished is fine with me. I was thinking of holding out until Outlaw Audio comes out with their new pre/pro's later this year, but right now I'm using a 35 year old Kenwood integrated amplifier as my preamp, and it's only stereo and no remote. So I'd like to find something to use in the meantime that won't break the bank but will still sound good and give me 5.1 sound at least. Some sort of auto calibration feature would be a plus. Whatever I buy will probably end up seeing use as an amplifier in a 2nd or 3rd zone.


Ideal budget is $200 (haha, I know).


Could go up to $400 or so, but then I know what will happen. My wife will say "You already spent $xxx.xx on a receiver and it sounds great. Why do you need to spend more money on something else?" So, the less money I spend now, the more likely I won't get a lot of grief when I want to upgrade later this year.


I've been looking at a lot of the older Marantz receivers and they seem nice. Most have the pre-outs I need also.


Thanks for any help,


Mike
 
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