going thru some AVR manuals and online reviews, Ive found that Pioneer VSX 1123 is something that has all the possible features/price-range that I am looking for. Wanted to see what you have to say about this choice and suggestions/options if any, you may have for me.
Crystal clear sound. If older Marantz receivers are "warm" like wood then Pioneer would be "clear" like glass (analogy sounded better in my head then it looks on the screen ). User friendly MCACC automatic setup/eq with 6 MCACC presets which also remember individual speaker volumes and can easily be copied from one preset to another. Many sound adjustments like Dialog Enchancement and X-Curve. Pioneers are a tweakers dream. I like the remotes (but some others don't). Fairly reliable (depending on who you ask), nice looking, not best-in-class power but more than enough for most users. I would say Pioneer is a little better for movies/tv then music but if you have the right speakers (for you and your rooms acoustics) then Pure Analog (regardless of receiver brand) is wonderfull for two channel music.
MCACC doesn't eq the subwoofer and only one crossover setting for all speaker groups. The many user adjustments can be intimidated/frustrating at first. Some of the new "apps" apparently don't always work as well as hoped/promised.
Marantz and Yamaha are good alternatives if you favour Pioneer. Denon Onkyo/Integra if you don't.
I have an Elite vsx-23, BD-23 bluray and 58avi universal dvd player in one room and see no reason to replace them. But I'm also stuck in 2009 as far as receivers are concerned. Not yet interested in the new whizz/bang features.
I also have a Marantz 7005, 7006 bluray and 4003 cd player in the livingroom. Very nice setup but a little over-priced imo.
Marantz is slowly turning into Denon knock-offs but as of now they're engineers still have some input on sound quality, etc. and they are much easier to setup and operate then Denon's IMO. More expensive based on name alone.
Of the 15-20 receivers I've had over the last few years none have been a Yamaha. I really need to get one. The 3030 with the ESS Sabre DACS has me drooling. But too expensive for me right now. Maybe some day.
There is no perfect receiver. it's all about chosing the right features/performance/price combination and living with the compromises.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.
"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
Also have MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.