A sidenote on "intimidating": Hopefully it's not apparent technical complexity that has you worried. Setup is only marginally harder than a conventional AVR: HDMI inputs to Pre-Pro. Speaker cables from Amps. Just like you're used to. And you add the cables from Pre-Pro to Amps.
That’s right, it is compatible with more recent models that work with the Denon smartphone app.
No go for our 7702.
These are all reasonable and shared concerns about this approach.
My view is simple: if it gives ARC performance for $500 lower cost, I would consider it.
If this iteration on Audyssey does a good job, it might be part of the value question of paying $3000 + $200 for a Marantz 7706 and MultEQ X versus $3800 for an Anthem AVM70.
Or at a lower-cost high-end AVR, getting a $1000 + $200 Denon 2700 with MultEQ X versus $1700 Anthem MRX 540.
Audyssey is trying, finally. $200 software license per AVR. It’s brand new and early adopters are just starting to play with it. There are some encouraging early reports. My hope is that it closes the gap with ARC and Dirac, while keeping the $1000+ price benefit of Audyssey AVRs from Denon and...