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Hello,

I am needing to replace my old Pioneer receiver because the HDMI inputs are faulty. I would like something that is capable of 7.1 audio but I am only driving a two channel system at the moment.

But I would very much like a receiver that will sound great with two channel music. I don't care about bells and whistles. I just want the best audio quality I can get for music as well as movies. Is there anything that sounds as good as a dedicated stereo amplifier for example? I want quality DACs and enough power to drive two speakers to fill a room with great music. I just don't want to have to have a receiver for movies and a separate amplifier for music.

I was looking at getting a used Emotiva Fusion 8100. It seems to be the right price and from what I have read, it should sound better than receivers twice its price or more.

I am wondering if there are any other options I should be considering? I'd really like to find something for around $500 or so. Even if I could find something used just barely under that mark, I'd be interested.

Should I go for the Emotiva unit?

Please give me your feedback. Thanks.
 

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Any AV receiver will play stereo music as well as it will play movie soundtracks. This is not a reason to choose an AV receiver. Choose one that fits your budget and has the features you want and will use.
 

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If you want stereo, get a stereo amplifier. Why pay for something that you won't use? And usual the usual cloth eared people come along, with the same old nonsense.

Stereo amps lack HDMI inputs, coaxial/optical, DSP, any DAC conversion etc.
 

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I was about to recommend Anthem's MRX series or Cambridge's Azur series or the newer CX when they become available. Both Anthem and Cambridge are known for having good stereo/multi-channel, less frills and focusing more on sound quality. However for around $500 I don't think there's going to be any A/V receiver that is going to shine brighter than another.
 

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NAD D 3020 stereo amplifier -- expressly designed to meet your need and priced at $500.

In broader terms, boutique manufacturers (Anthem, Arcam, Cambridge Audio, Emotiva, NAD, Outlaw) are more likely to use higher-quality bits and pieces than are the Pacific rim manufacturers because they don't have to skimp to meet price points. Not coincidentally, boutique products tend to cost more.

My Arcam 380 handles music beautifully, but it's way beyond your price range. My Marantz 5007, much more modestly priced, also handles music well.

Within a given price band receivers/amplifiers sound pretty much alike. Your speakers and your room have the greatest effect on what you hear, followed by your sources.

With your budget, for music, I'd listen attentively to the NAD D 3020.
 
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