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I'm getting tired of integrated receivers for 5.1 or 7.1 HT, and I'm investigating my options for an affordable video & audio 5.1 processor, with HDMI and all.

Separately I will provide the amplification,

What are my options?

So far I know the Emotiva UMC200 and the Outlaw 975, both around $600. Which BTW is also the price of a complete receiver!

So I wonder if there are no more affordable options than that? Are there?
 

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Unless you're willing to purchase used equipment, most pre/pros are quite a bit more expensive than the ones you mention. You'll have to decide if their additional features are worth the additional cost.

Preamp/processors tend to be more expensive than the equivalent receiver just because of the savings due to manufacturing large numbers of identical items. Far more AVRs are made than pre/pros. An exception is the 2014 Marantz AV7702 pre/pro, which (in the US) has a list price of $2K, which is identical to the US list price of the equivalent SR7009 receiver. (This a strange anomaly: the SR7009 is significantly cheaper in European markets.)
 

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Preamp/processors tend to be more expensive than the equivalent receiver just because of the savings due to manufacturing large numbers of identical items. Far more AVRs are made than pre/pros. An exception is the 2014 Marantz AV7702 pre/pro, which (in the US) has a list price of $2K, which is identical to the US list price of the equivalent SR7009 receiver. (This a strange anomaly: the SR7009 is significantly cheaper in European markets.)

EZ to understand....
A typical North American user is less likely to connect other external audio components such as an amplifier up to his AVR..
Market research shows that < 8% of the North American users connect external audio components to their AVR vs. 23% of the Western Euro users will connect up external components. Additionally, since Marantz Euro distribution is more skewed to AV specialists that have component system expertise, their sale of a component friendly AVR (such as the SR7009) results in higher $ and more system sales including external component audio amplifiers.

Another insight, is to check out some of the Euro audio publications that are sometimes biased... :rolleyes:
They do more indepth test reports than our qwikee in/out magazines here in North America..

Just my $0.02... ;)
 
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