I am looking to spend around $500 on a new receiver sometime this summer. It will be replacing my Sony STR-DE545 that I paid $300 for over three years ago. I am looking at the Yamaha RX-V650 or HTR-5760, and will also be checking out the new models that Onkyo and Denon will have out this summer. But once I get my new receiver will I be able to hear a difference? I am assuming I should, since my new receiver will have better DAC’s and a better amplifier section. My front speakers are older floor standing Advents, and even though my Sony is rated at 100 watts per channel I doubt it is putting that out so it may be under-powering the speakers. I have noticed that when I put my receiver up really loud the speakers get very harsh sounding, esp. with music, this is only when really loud and almost near the receivers max volume though, and at normal to moderatly loud volume they sounds fine. I don’t know if this is just my speakers or the receiver or a combination of both. Anyway I think that it would suck to spend $500 and hear no improvement, but I am sure that I should be able to.