Help picking a new AVR for a guy used to vintage. Current picks inside..

Discussion in 'Home Theater & Video' started by LenXIII, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. LenXIII

    LenXIII AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Tampa Area, Florida
    Hello everyone! I have been spending way too many hours lately looking at specs and opinions on a new audio/video receiver for my living room to replace an old pioneer SX1250 running in plain stereo mode. The fact is I have a small house and my wife just doesn't want the big receiver and big 1977 speakers I have taking up half the room. That said, I can get away with buying a new large receiver but will be downsizing the main speakers. The main problem I have is after listening to many speakers and receivers they just sound hollow to me compared to having a simple pair of large 4ways. I mean to feel a similar sound you really need to have a full system and powered subs running just right and even then I always feel like the vocals are just out of place. Granted I've only tested a couple systems in my house of this type and listened to some on display setups at best buy so please educate me with what I'm missing :)

    So...currently I would probably only use the receiver for a 5.1 up to a 5.2.2/4 BUT definitely want the ability to go much higher or biamp so I'm leaning towards the 9.2 and up AVRS. The reason I haven't bought a newer receiver yet is because of the way technology is these days - spend thousands on something and 5 years later it's either obsolete or simply out dated leaving you not satisfied. So, I want to buy something that has plenty of power, can expand when I break out a wall to make my living room larger, and won't feel like a lemon in 3-5 years. From what I can tell HDMI 2.1 is a little ways off and even when it's available pricing could still make it a couple years down the road before I was even interested. So let's skip that particular tech that could be worth waiting for but anything else worth mentioning please do!

    I don't have the ears anymore to appreciate certain subtleties. I feel like these days I prefer punchy bass and clear highs, sometimes highs that people would call too bright is ok with me as long as it's clean. Here are my current picks. Budget $800-1500 for receiver only.

    Budget ones:
    Denon AVR4400H
    Marantz SR6012

    Mid grade:
    Denon AVRX6400H
    Marantz SR7012

    My wife is starting to enjoy things like alexa more so that's a bonus. And we will primarily use this one for movies, plex, netflix (and other apps), and a turntable. I will probably buy a new set of thin towers and use existing surround speakers I already own to complete the system. Sorry for the long post, all info and opinions is appreciated!


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  2. donprice

    donprice Wound up workin' at a gas station....

    In my opinion, a subwoofer or two is the key to making smaller speakers not sound hollow. Adding 100-1000 watts of subwoofer power means your ~100 watt AVR does not have to do the heavy lifting to get proper (meaning thunderous) bass response. Small bookshelf speakers are fine when not asked to perform like floor-standing monsters....proper subs will make them sound like monsters.

    I'm a Yamaha fan so I have no useful comments about the Denon or Marantz units. I would look at getting last year's model at a discount and stepping up a model or two rather than paying full price for the latest (assuming no major tech change between them).

    Good luck and enjoy the hunt!
    Audiofreak71 likes this.
  3. Guest125

    Guest125 Active Member

  4. Bodyblue

    Bodyblue AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I have the smaller form factor Marantz NR 1608. I find the 50 wpc (all channels) to be just fine. I also like how stupid easy to get hooked up. The large Marantz unit with their retro small window on the front is not very helpful really. The window is much larger and easy to see on the series like mine.
  5. bigx5murf

    bigx5murf AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Las Vegas
    As someone who's owned dozens of AVR at all price points. The low to mid grade one's aren't going to have great amplification (I usually run these in stereo), and adding speakers to your system will just make it worst. Some mid grade ones have pre-outs to allow you to use external amplification, but I'm guessing that's counter productive to what you're trying to achieve. I'm thinking you want to be looking at those near TOTL models. Fortunately, even those depreciate quickly on the used market. You can find fairly recent TOTL AVRs for around $500 if you search. If you don't need 4k support, you can get TOTL AVR for even less. The 2005-2009 TOTL models are what some consider the golden age of AVR, many were overbuilt, and really do have nearly the performance of separates.
    awillia6 likes this.
  6. Ross6860

    Ross6860 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Canton, Ohio
    I like my current Onkyo HT receiver well enough (in my signature). Well within your budget.

    FWIW it replaced an EMOTIVA pre-pro driving an ATI 1505 power amp ( a "real" 150 wpc 5-channel power amp ). A setup which on paper should have been a better. Lost my but on the EMOTIVA.

    And no, none of the HT receivers I have owned sound as good as a dedicated two-channel system. I think that level of performance is beyond my wallet's comfort level. Besides, I'm tired of trying.


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  7. samosui

    samosui AK Subscriber Subscriber

    So Cal
    Not long ago I picked up a new RX-A3070 (last year’s model) for $1,200. It replaced an RX-A3010 and I’m quite happy with it.


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