Best modern AVR under $2500

Discussion in 'Amps, Pre-Pros & Receivers' started by Sridhar C, May 6, 2011.

  1. Sridhar C Enthusiast

    Sridhar C
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    I am looking to update my HT with an HDMI based system and am posting this to get some recommendations on an av receiver. Currently, I am using a B&K AVR 505. I have 5 Triad in-wall speakers and a Velodyne sub on the floor. The 505 only has component out and is not upgradeable. I like the B&K sound, but don't want to shell out $4-5K for a new 705/707. I have done a little reading on the Yamaha Aventage and Denon 3312/4311. My main concern is, would they deliver a comparable audio experience? The networkability and Rhapsody integration is really appealing.
  2. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    I think they will sound like the B&K in Direct or Pure Direct mode; you won't notice the difference.
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  3. PENG Audioholic Warlord

    PENG
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    B&K units are more costly because they are more costly to produce and being semi high end they could command a higher margin. They are more costly to produce mainly because they don't have the advantage of mass production like D&M, Onkyo, Sony etc., not necessarily because they have better design and components. People natually thinks they sound better because for the money they should, but in a blind tests any mass produced Denon, Yamaha, Onkyo products will sound just as good.
    PENG,
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  4. GranteedEV Audioholic Ninja

    GranteedEV
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    consider separates... Marantz AV7005 + ATI 2005
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  5. dalumberjack Audioholic

    dalumberjack
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    nothing wrong with the Onkyo 5008 (can probably get it for around 1,80 - 2,200). They will probably release the 5009 soon too.
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  6. JaBear Junior Audioholic

    JaBear
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    yeah I would go separates at this price point as well. I lean more toward the Onkyo preamp and think you can get a good used one that does better than the av7005, but if are are looking for new you can't go wrong with the AV7005. Pair it with an emotiva xpa-5 or something like that and you have a kill setup under 2500
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  7. PENG Audioholic Warlord

    PENG
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    I agree the Onkyo prepros are better in terms of features and specs but if he does not need those extra features the Marantz may be better overall. The better specs of the Onkyo will not likely translate into audible differences. The Marantz may also be more reliable but a few posts reported humming issues that seemed to be related to the way they were hooked up but it is something to consider. Onkyo seemed to have more reliability issues in general but these are all anecdotal information.

    No doubt for 2500 separates become an option but depending on your needs an AVR will still likely get you more bangs for the buck. I took me a long time to decide on going with the AV7005 plus mch amp or the AVR-4311 + a 2ch amp for the front only.
    PENG,
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  8. bmninada Junior Audioholic

    bmninada
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    I would avoid Onkyo and go for Emotiva: UMC-1 (pre-amp) paired with Emotiva: UPA-7 (amp). For media (in case required) would opt for Oppo BDP-93
    The entire setup would be within USD 2500.
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  9. k_lewis Junior Audioholic

    k_lewis
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    Integra DTR-80.2 will fit your budget and deliver a superior experience. Check the specs / features on Integra website, and of course the many reviews on the internet. If you don't need XLR capability, the 40.2 is the same without XLR at a lower price.
    However, you'll get the best upgrade by going separates. The Integra DHC-80.2 or DHC-40.2, coupled with the 9-channel 70.1 amplifier is a setup to be reckoned with at their price points. There is a DHC-80.2 and 70.1 pair for sale on Audiogon for $3200 I think. That is a deal. You can find a review of the Integra 70.1 amplifier here on this site.
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  10. Sridhar C Enthusiast

    Sridhar C
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    Well, with this info, I've narrowed my choices to: Denon 4311, Yamaha a3000, or Marantz AV7005 + Emo XPA 5 or similar. My next step will be to check rack space and power handling of the speakers (Triad in-wall silvers).
  11. PENG Audioholic Warlord

    PENG
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    If you end up going the 4311 or A3000 route I highly recommend you go with a two channel amp such as the Emotiva XPA-2, Parasound 2250, MCA20 or the Quad 909 that TLSG often recommends. That way their reasonably potent internal amps and power supplies will not be totally wasted, and you will have a very powerful two channel system for serious stereo music enjoyment. The XPA-2 is much more powerful than the XPA-5 as they both have the same size (1200 VA) transformer.
    PENG,
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  12. AVRat Audioholic Ninja

    AVRat
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    What are the dimensions of your room?
  13. Sridhar C Enthusiast

    Sridhar C
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    This is for my family room. It's two stories and open to pretty much the whole house. I have a theater room in the basement, but we (wife, 2 kids) spend more time in the family room.
  14. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    I also have a wife and 2 kids, and they do NOT like the same LOUD sound I like in my HT room.

    And I don't even listen to anything above 85dBA!

    I always have a handy digital Galaxy SPL meter around to measure sound level.:D

    So for my family room (18'L x 20'W x 10'H, open on 3 sides), I use a Denon 3310, but with only a pair of Infinity P362s.
  15. DenPureSound Senior Audioholic

    DenPureSound
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    Take a step back and see if you can get a Denon 4310CI NEW for around $900, and later if you want more punch, grab an EMO amp.
  16. DenPureSound Senior Audioholic

    DenPureSound
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    Those are sure cute kids, I remember when mine were that young, but now in there Mid-20's, guess I gave my age away. :cool:

    Let me check now watching HDTV with Denon AVR-3311CI and EMO XPA-5, on Multi Ch Stereo mode (5.1) .2 with Klipsch RF-82II's+, at 75db I am down -15db from ref.
    And at 85db (Super Loud), I am close to reference level 0db on Denon.

    75db SPL is a very nice acoustical level for listening to HDTV about the same as your size room, and open on two sides.
  17. DenPureSound Senior Audioholic

    DenPureSound
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    What is the sensitivity of those Triad In-Wall speakers, at 2.83V/1M?

    Or better yet, what is the Total Specs on them?
  18. DenPureSound Senior Audioholic

    DenPureSound
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    Or check with Emotiva and see if they have any "B Stock" XPA-5's in house their! Might save you some $$.
  19. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    DOH!:D

    Now when I say "85dBA", I went "MAX of 85dBA". But as we know, it varies from 60dBA - 85dBA.

    And, of course, it varies with content.

    For example, with The Eagles "Hotel California" a volume of -11dB produced a Max of 85dBA.

    However, on Greg Laswell's "High & Low" a volume of -15dB produced a Max of 85dBA.
  20. FirstReflection AV Rant Co-Host

    FirstReflection
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    There are a lot of cases in receivers/pre-pros where a higher price does not lead to any actualy improvements in sound.

    One thing that DOES make a difference though is Audyssey MultEQ XT32. This highest-level version (other than Audyssey PRO) of Audyssey's auto-setup/EQ is substantially more sophisticated and capable than any other auto-EQ program that is out there right now. When you are playing in this $2500-ish price range, MultEQ XT32 is a must have feature, IMO.

    To that end, out of your short-list of candidates, the Denon AVR-4311CI or the soon upcoming AVR-4312CI would be my top recommendation. If you discover that you require or would simply like more power from a separate amp, you always have the option to add separate amps with the 4311/4312's pre-outs.

    There are the options from Onkyo as well. Their entire TX-NR5008, TX-NR3008 and upcoming x009 receivers and the PR-SC5508 pre-pro. Other than the THX processing though, the Onkyo's have nothing else to offer over the Denon. The upcoming TX-NRx009 Onkyo receivers will be worth consideration though due to their more capable Marvell Qdeo video processing.

    In any case, keep a look out for MultEQ XT32 because it is a very worthwhile feature, IMO.
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