New A/V Receiver Help!

N

NDyse10

Junior Audioholic
Fellow Audioholics,

Been a long time since I posted/lurked here but I am back (with a larger budget!). I have some outdated gear and I'm ready to start upgrading. First on my list is an updated receiver as I'm working with a model not able to even do 4K passthrough.

Current Setup:
5.1
Marantz SR5005
Definitive Technology Mythos STS Towers
Definitive Technology Mythos Seven
Definitive Technology ProMonitor 800
SVS PB-12 NSD

My budget is roughly $2000 but willing to go above if it will further future proof me or is a significant increase in quality. This will be for multimedia use. Gaming with Ps5, surround sound and music. I likely will not be adding more speakers or incorporate Atmos so I'm really going for sound quality and being futureproofed.

I have also heard great things about Dirac Live so have been favoring that functionality (or ability to upgrade). I'd say my largest questions center around how much power I need and how important Dirac Live is.

My receiver short list sits at:

Arcam AVR5
Anthem MRX540
Denon AVR3800H
Yamaha A4A
Yamaha A2A
Onkyo RZ50
Denon S970H (budget option)

Would love to hear your recommendations!
 
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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Fellow Audioholics,

Been a long time since I posted/lurked here but I am back (with a larger budget!). I have some outdated gear and I'm ready to start upgrading. First on my list is an updated receiver as I'm working with a model not able to even do 4K passthrough.

Current Setup:
5.1
Marantz SR5005
Definitive Technology Mythos STS Towers
Definitive Technology Mythos Seven
Definitive Technology ProMonitor 800
SVS PB-12 NSD

My budget is roughly $2000 but willing to go above if it will further future proof me or is a significant increase in quality. This will be for multimedia use. Gaming with Ps5, surround sound and music. I likely will not be adding more speakers or incorporate Atmos so I'm really going for sound quality and being futureproofed.

I have also heard great things about Dirac Live so have been favoring that functionality (or ability to upgrade). I'd say my largest questions center around how much power I need and how important Dirac Live is.

My receiver short list sits at:

Arcam AVR5
Anthem MRX540
Denon AVR3800H
Yamaha A4A
Yamaha A2A
Onkyo RZ50
Denon S970H (budget option)

Would love to hear your recommendations!
So what is it about those particular units that have you interested? Not much to go on as to how much power you need but making sure the unit has pre-outs would take care of that anyways if singificantly different power is needed. Are you already using measurement gear to setup/analyze with?
 
N

NDyse10

Junior Audioholic
So what is it about those particular units that have you interested? Not much to go on as to how much power you need but making sure the unit has pre-outs would take care of that anyways if singificantly different power is needed. Are you already using measurement gear to setup/analyze with?
A combination of articles and review videos. The Arcam interested me as what I read is it had fantastic build and sound quality with ability to upgrade to Dirac Live. The Denon appeared to have almost everything you could be looking for in terms of features along with Dirac Live capability. Honestly, I'm looking for something that works well with my Ps5 and has great sound quality. I don't need tons of channels or all the bells and whistles (Alexa, streaming apps etc.)
as I don't see me using it.

All I am doing for measurement gear is whatever onboard Audyssey my current Marantz has. I definitely have some room to improve in that area. I know enough to be dangerous but have lots of room to improve my knowledge.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
A combination of articles and review videos. The Arcam interested me as what I read is it had fantastic build and sound quality with ability to upgrade to Dirac Live. The Denon appeared to have almost everything you could be looking for in terms of features along with Dirac Live capability. Honestly, I'm looking for something that works well with my Ps5 and has great sound quality. I don't need tons of channels or all the bells and whistles (Alexa, streaming apps etc.)
as I don't see me using it.

All I am doing for measurement gear is whatever onboard Audyssey my current Marantz has. I definitely have some room to improve in that area. I know enough to be dangerous but have lots of room to improve my knowledge.
Meant more what features/connectivity attract you to one over another particularly, don't know what you got out of reviews/videos :) I wouldn't think of avrs as being fantastic build quality particularly. Sound quality doesn't vary significantly IMO. The x800 series Denons (and A1H) with the new sub capabilities and chances to buy upgrades for certain Dirac features are interesting, tho. Seems your current avr handles your audio needs, so perhaps a player with dual connection to display and avr, or even just to tv, might be interesting enough?
 
N

NDyse10

Junior Audioholic
Meant more what features/connectivity attract you to one over another particularly, don't know what you got out of reviews/videos :) I wouldn't think of avrs as being fantastic build quality particularly. Sound quality doesn't vary significantly IMO. The x800 series Denons (and A1H) with the new sub capabilities and chances to buy upgrades for certain Dirac features are interesting, tho. Seems your current avr handles your audio needs, so perhaps a player with dual connection to display and avr, or even just to tv, might be interesting enough?
Features/connectivity wise I need 4k pass through at 4k/120 for my Ps5. Needs to have Spotify connectivity and a good/intuitive room correction software available knowing that I have never done my own calibrating before.

If the sound and build quality doesn't drastically differ than why buy a $1500-$2000 receiver vs. a budget one? Surely it's more than just features or connectivity. Being that I don't have a desire to go beyond 5.1 right now are you saying I'm looking at too high end of a receiver?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Features/connectivity wise I need 4k pass through at 4k/120 for my Ps5. Needs to have Spotify connectivity and a good/intuitive room correction software available knowing that I have never done my own calibrating before.

If the sound and build quality doesn't drastically differ than why buy a $1500-$2000 receiver vs. a budget one? Surely it's more than just features or connectivity. Being that I don't have a desire to go beyond 5.1 right now are you saying I'm looking at too high end of a receiver?
If not going beyond 5.1 then not much point to upgrading hardware that provides more than that audio-wise, perhaps your video can go direct to your display?
 
N

NDyse10

Junior Audioholic
If not going beyond 5.1 then not much point to upgrading hardware that provides more than that audio-wise, perhaps your video can go direct to your display?
That is what I am doing now with Optical connecting the receiver to the TV. Current receiver is giving me issues though so need to get something new. Would prefer to upgrade regardless of the 4k pass through.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
That is what I am doing now with Optical connecting the receiver to the TV. Current receiver is giving me issues though so need to get something new. Would prefer to upgrade regardless of the 4k pass through.
Just checking that you're considering the alternatives....no particular suggestions ottomh
 
M

Mike Up

Audioholic
If you have been happy with your Marantz, I would stick to Marantz or Denon. Are you planning to put atmos speakers up or planning to go with surround back speaker or just keep your current 5.1 speaker setup??

While I could afford more, I always go for the best bang for the buck. If you don't plan on using a 9.1 setup, you can get some really nice 7.1 receiver for much cheaper. Why pay for stuff you don't need or want, right? Unfortunately, 5.1 is only available in low end budget receivers now.

You could go with an older Marantz SR5015 100 watt/channel 7.1 receiver with 1 8K input or a new Marantz Cinema 60 100 watt/channel 7.1 receiver with 3 8K Inputs. 5015 is $200 cheaper.

Or you could go to a Denon AVR-X2800h 95 watt/channel 7.1 receiver or AVR-S970h 90 watt/channel 7.1 receiver . Pretty much the same except 2800h has Audyssey XT compared to just regular Audyssey in the 970h and the 2800h has more customization and Zone 2 features.

The same can be said of the AVR-2700h and AVR-S960h except they have 1 8K input compared to the newer 2800h/970h 3 8K inputs.

I just replace my Denon AVR-2312ci receiver (2011 105 watt/ch 7.1 receiver) with the Denon AVR-S960h 90 watt/ch 7.1 receiver w/1 8K input. The Denon AVR2312ci is the Marantz 5015 direct cousin, same 2011 year.

The Denon AVR-S960h dropped from $850 to $600 this week and I grabbed one. 2700h dropped from $1100 to $800. I didn't need the customization of the X series and I hate Audyssey XT as it sounds like garbage to me. A relative had a SR5005, and hated Audyssey as well.

I did talk to Denon and the only difference between my AVR-S960h and the new AVR-S970h is 1 vs 3 8K inputs and the 970h has a HD graphic User Interface now.

If you want 9.1 channel, the AVR-X3800h is the one to get as it has Dirac Live, if it's any better than Audyssey, and I believe some other good improvements over the AVR-X3700h.

I tried an Onkyo TX-NR6050 which is pretty close to a twin of the TX-NR6100 and Pioneer Elite VSX-LX105. It had to many quirks and design issues I couldn't stand, so it went back to Costco. It had a great amp section but the processor side lacked. Some of those issues carry over to the TX-NR7100 and TX-RZ50.

I say your best bet is the Marantz SR5015 or Cinema 60, or maybe even the Denons.

Good luck in your choice.
 
M

Mike Up

Audioholic
That is what I am doing now with Optical connecting the receiver to the TV. Current receiver is giving me issues though so need to get something new. Would prefer to upgrade regardless of the 4k pass through.
That's how I had my Denon AVR-2312ci setup to my 4K TV. All devices went direct to the TV's HDMI inputs, no switching done in the Denon except for 1080p devices. Then I fed the optical digital output from the TV to the receiver.

Going to a receiver than can do the switching lets you get better DD+/DD True/DTS-HD and Atmos for more discrete channels (in my 7.1 case) plus DD+ should sound marginally better.

Plus it's so much easier changing settings and checking Audio information when the receiver is doing the switching. That's why I switched. My Denon AVR-2312ci is running very strong on my Media Room 1080p and 3D only 5.1 system now.
 
-Jim-

-Jim-

Audioholic General
If you have been happy with your Marantz, I would stick to Marantz or Denon.

Or you could go to a Denon AVR-X2800h 95 watt/channel 7.1 receiver or AVR-S970h 90 watt/channel 7.1 receiver . Pretty much the same except 2800h has Audyssey XT compared to just regular Audyssey in the 970h and the 2800h has more customization and Zone 2 features.

The same can be said of the AVR-2700h and AVR-S960h except they have 1 8K input compared to the newer 2800h/970h 3 8K inputs.

The Denon AVR-S960h dropped from $850 to $600 this week and I grabbed one. 2700h dropped from $1100 to $800. I didn't need the customization of the X series and I hate Audyssey XT as it sounds like garbage to me.

I did talk to Denon and the only difference between my AVR-S960h and the new AVR-S970h is 1 vs 3 8K inputs and the 970h has a HD graphic User Interface now.

Good luck in your choice.
@NDyse10, I maybe just chiming into the choir, but there seems to be 2 directions to go based on your posts. Spend a little and grab something on sale (Black Friday sales?) like a Denon AVR-S960h or 2700h for better Audyssey (which some folks don't like but others do - it did a decent job for me in my Atmos set-up. At least according to my ears and REW.) That way you've future proofed your self by saving $1200 to $1400 for you next receiver already! Or spend a lot more and get features (and channels) you won't probably use, but it will have lots of 8K inputs and the like in case the world shifts that way. BTW I've not seen any 8K TV Broadcast nor any other sources - but then I'm not a Gamer these days either.

I typically recommend folks run all their HDMI sources thru their receiver (passthrough) and let the TV do any upscaling required. The TV usually does a better job of it.

Good luck with whatever you choose .

I hope this is helpful.
 
M

Mike Up

Audioholic
@NDyse10, I maybe just chiming into the choir, but there seems to be 2 directions to go based on your posts. Spend a little and grab something on sale (Black Friday sales?) like a Denon AVR-S960h or 2700h for better Audyssey (which some folks don't like but others do - it did a decent job for me in my Atmos set-up. At least according to my ears and REW.) That way you've future proofed your self by saving $1200 to $1400 for you next receiver already! Or spend a lot more and get features (and channels) you won't probably use, but it will have lots of 8K inputs and the like in case the world shifts that way. BTW I've not seen any 8K TV Broadcast nor any other sources - but then I'm not a Gamer these days either.

I typically recommend folks run all their HDMI sources thru their receiver (passthrough) and let the TV do any upscaling required. The TV usually does a better job of it.

Good luck with whatever you choose .

I hope this is helpful.
The problem with future proofing is that you really can't but you can try as long as the cost is reasonable.

An example, some previous 4K receivers either lacked HDR10+ or Dolby Vision. These, IMO, can provide just as much benefit as more resolution.

So even with 8K or 4k 120p, some future HDR format could come in the not to distant future, making that receiver obsolete even though it's 8K compatible. Then you're still upgrading the receiver, or running your new HDR content straight to that new TV and back feeding eARC High Resolution audio back to the Receiver.

That was the case in an Onkyo receiver I considered, the TX-NR696 (no eARC only ARC). It wasn't even compatible with my 4K formats even though it was a model right before the 8K models came. It isn't compatible with HDR10+ which I really like and is abundant on Amazon Prime programming.

My plan is to spend less on receiver, and computers, so that I can upgrade more frequently without a lot of cost out of pocket. That way I get the most recent formats! ;)
 
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D

dlaloum

Audioholic
I would go for the Onkyo RZ50 or a step down to the Integra DRX 3.4... The 3.4 has lower power and less channels - but you already have an external amp so the power is not going to be an issue.

Dirac has provided noticeably better results for my 5.1 setup, over my previous Audyssey XT32 based AVR

The Denon dirac options are a bit of a red herring - they are optional, and raise the cost of the AVR substantially.... on top of which they will not be available until at least March next year - and multi-sub not until sometime in 2024.

The AVR5 would be interesting - but again all Dirac licences are optional - so you need to include the software licencing costs

Anthem MRX540 - that was on my shortlist for quite a while, has a good reputation - I have no experience with it myself...

I have an Integra DRX 3.4, with external amps driving my difficult and inefficient speakers - and am very happy with the results - currently running 5.1 - planning to extend it to 5.1.4
 
jonmartin84

jonmartin84

Enthusiast
Arcam all day from a performance standpoint, I sold my new Marantz Cinema 50 and went with an AVR 11 and there's no comparison when it comes to sound quality even without Dirac room correction. BUT the Arcam definitely has more quirks. The Marantz GUI is top notch and that is basically non existent on the Arcam.

I've also had a Denon 3700H before the Marantz and a Marantz AV77002. If you can get an Arcam and at least try it out with a fair return period Im pretty sure thats what you'd prefer in the end. Just make sure you spend the time to properly set it up with the correct distances and use an SPL meter to set the levels and you're golden.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
I've also had a Denon 3700H before the Marantz and a Marantz AV77002. If you can get an Arcam and at least try it out with a fair return period Im pretty sure thats what you'd prefer in the end. Just make sure you spend the time to properly set it up with the correct distances and use an SPL meter to set the levels and you're golden.
You could be right, but don't be so sure. The trouble is, as repeated many times including those by respected experts, we are all affected by our bias in various ways, so such comparisons don't really mean much. Level matched is a good and important step though not nearly enough.

It didn't take me long to find one example of how subjective reviews/comparison is not that useful, for example, there are so many different views, one might end up going with the majority views that are naturally influenced by hearsay, groupthink etc., or believe in what one's own preconception. Imo, objective reviews/measurements are not totally reliable either but still a better way to go with.

Arcam AVR10 Review | Page 6 | Audio Science Review (ASR) Forum

I got rid of mine avr390 asap after Amirm’s review and bought Denon AVR3600 and I will never ever buy Arcam AVR nor Yamaha again ... I am so pleased with Denon sound and my overall movie sound experience that I’ve stopped looking into constant changing of components. Most probably you do not even need dirac live as audysey with the app and some room treatment + minidsp if you have over 2 subs is quite sufficient.
By the way, in your other post, you asked about my username on ASR, the answer is yes.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
You could be right, but don't be so sure. The trouble is, as repeated many times including those by respected experts, we are all affected by our bias in various ways, so such comparisons don't really mean much. Level matched is a good and important step though not nearly enough.

It didn't take me long to find one example of how subjective reviews/comparison is not that useful, for example, there are so many different views, one might end up going with the majority views that are naturally influenced by hearsay, groupthink etc., or believe in what one's own preconception. Imo, objective reviews/measurements are not totally reliable either but still a better way to go with.

Arcam AVR10 Review | Page 6 | Audio Science Review (ASR) Forum



By the way, in your other post, you asked about my username on ASR, the answer is yes.
I think I’ve heard someone say, “I sold my Arcam and got a Bose system and I’m never going back!” :D

People say something like that all the time. I sold X and got Y, and now and Y is so much better. Blah, blah, blah.

Internet hearsay and bias ALL DAY LONG. :D

I suppose it’s human nature to JUSTIFY everything we do, especially since we invest so much money and time.
 
jonmartin84

jonmartin84

Enthusiast
You could be right, but don't be so sure. The trouble is, as repeated many times including those by respected experts, we are all affected by our bias in various ways, so such comparisons don't really mean much. Level matched is a good and important step though not nearly enough.

It didn't take me long to find one example of how subjective reviews/comparison is not that useful, for example, there are so many different views, one might end up going with the majority views that are naturally influenced by hearsay, groupthink etc., or believe in what one's own preconception. Imo, objective reviews/measurements are not totally reliable either but still a better way to go with.

Arcam AVR10 Review | Page 6 | Audio Science Review (ASR) Forum



By the way, in your other post, you asked about my username on ASR, the answer is yes.
Yea, I've seen that thread and had I made a purchase decision purely based on the information I wouldn't even consider the Arcam and unfortunately I'm sure most don't because of that thread, however I do things differently. I'm glad I gave the Arcam a chance I'm not here to debate anyone on the topic but just sharing my experience. Amir's "reviews" are somewhat useful but in the end doesn't tell you much there's alot of other important factors that matter that aren't even considered and considering he spends very little time with the gear vs someone like me who spends much more time I'll go with my opinion over his.

For example everyone on that forum seems to think the Denon 3700h is the greatest AVR available at just about any price point based on his data and I'll simply laugh at that considering I have both available on hand and he has to borrow them from strangers. Most of the people on the boards haven't heard either and yet have made an opinion and thats even more laughable. Also there been discussion about his methods not being useful because his test methods and standards seem to change on the fly. This also isn't one of those "I like it more because I spent more" type of situations because I'm in the industry and don't pay retail for anything.
 
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P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Yea, I've seen that thread and had I made a purchase decision purely based on the information I wouldn't even consider the Arcam and unfortunately I'm sure most don't because of that thread, however I do things differently. I'm glad I gave the Arcam a chance I'm not here to debate anyone on the topic but just sharing my experience. Amir's "reviews" are somewhat useful but in the end doesn't tell you much there's alot of other important factors that matter that aren't even considered and considering he spends very little time with the gear vs someone like me who spends much more time I'll go with my opinion over his.

For example everyone on that forum seems to think the Denon 3700h is the greatest AVR available at just about any price point based on his data and I'll simply laugh at that considering I have both available on hand and he has to borrow them from strangers. Most of the people on the boards haven't heard either and yet have made an opinion and thats even more laughable. Also there been discussion about his methods not being useful because his test methods and standards seem to change on the fly. This also isn't one of those "I like it more because I spent more" type of situations because I'm in the industry and don't pay retail for anything.
Laugh all you want and its what you like that counts anyway. That being said, there are not much mystery in audio science, not for avrs and amps that have been around for years. They are engineered products and engineers are not artist, their work are based on science. Their performance are all measurable. I agree there is no point arguing, no one knows what the other hears and/or perceive. That's why I don't/won't rely on subjective measurements.

Good for you finding what you like after a couple trials. Congrats!
 

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