I've actually never owned anything from Onkyo before, so it will be a test drive of sorts. For whatever reason, I don't feel much brand loyalty when it comes to receivers. Every mass-market brand seems to be ready to whore themselves out to the latest licensed (or equivalent in-house) technology instead of doing a better job at the basics. Marketing drives product development.
On the other hand, I could've voted with my dollars for another approach by going with a boutique brand that emphasizes the basics, so I guess I'm just as at fault. Don't say I'm not cynical, though.
Other brands I have owned are Pioneer and Sherwood. I don't get the same itch to upgrade receivers that I do for other gear...just now doing it for the convenience of HDMI and a powered 2nd zone in what will be my most permanent home theater yet. Had those features not been a factor, I think I would've been fine with my 10+ year old Pioneer for several more years.
I have yet to experience a jump in home theater sound quality (independent of speakers) equivalent to the switch from Pro Logic to AC3/DTS. Lossless codecs and 7+ speakers don't do much for me, I'm afraid.
Choosing options on this poll is kind of like deciding what brand of car to buy and limiting yourself to models from that brand.
You'll probably be better off picking a price range and level of features within that price range and then looking at specific models from various manufacturers that fall into that range. Every one of those brands has good receivers to choose from, and they've also all got junk.
I have a Yamaha V-RX765 which I like, but I think I am saving my pennies for either a Denon 3311CI or possibly a Denon 4311CI once the new models (presumably 3312 and 4312) come out and the current models go into clearance/discontinued pricing.
I like the presence feature on the Yamaha and YPAO has done a decent job in my room, but I think my next receiver will have Audsessy MultiEQ XT or higher, primarily for the possibility of enabling Audsessy Pro and having a pro calibration done at some point down the road. That is the primary reason my next unit probably won't be a Yamaha.
Other than that, I'm mostly looking for a unit with the advanced controls with regards to cross over points and amp configurations, etc. My heart isn't set on a Denon, just that the 3311CI seems to fit the bill at the moment.
Thanks guys for all the input, I know its very subjective and the brands listed might not include your favorites but I think we can all agree that that they are your more common products that you can find in most stores.
To me this is a perfect representation of what the average AV enthusiast might be interested in, in today's market.
One thing that I failed to mention is that -things that I am looking for are 3d compatibility more to entertain the kids and perhaps networking ability. The auto calibration is a big plus too(add to that the ability to do minor adjustments) and you have a winner, but as with all things you will only miss it if its not there to you it might be a missing HDMI port or shortage of line outs? Is it too much to ask for a high quality product that has it all without breaking the bank?> Well likely not but I am sure this discusion will help get us closer.
I recently bought the Onk 3008 for one big reason; it's the least expensive AVR on the market with MultiEQXT32 (and therefore, with the SubEQ technology). I'm looking to run 2 subwoofers in my theater, and having SubEQ onboard is a huge cost savings to me (the external processors are all about 400-600 dollars). Also, the MultiEQXT32 is a big upgrade from my older Pioneer room correction software.
Finally, it has HDMI overlay (as does almost everything now) which was another must have for me.
If you want the newest Audessey (which I think has a bigger impact on SQ than almost anything else they can put in an AVR today), you really only have a few options. Denon 4311, Onk 3008/5008, and then some of the CI gear (Integra, for example).
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