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New Receiver Advice (7.1.2 or 7.2.2 Atmos) (1 Viewer)

Josh Dial

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I'm in the market for a new receiver. I could also be persuaded to go with separates if the collective wisdom of the forum advises. I've been out of the proverbial game for close to a decade now. My last upgrade was when lossless audio first the scene. Hopefully you fine folks can point in the right direction or make a few suggestions.

Here are my details:
  • Budget: Roughly $3,000 USD
  • Likely looking for 7.1.2 or 7.2.2 Atmos.
  • Speakers: Currently 5 x SVS prime towers (https://www.svsound.com/products/prime-tower) plus 1 x SVS PB-1000 (https://www.svsound.com/products/pb-1000). I'll be adding an additional sub as well as the necessary loudspeakers for Atmos.
  • Dedicated room in my house's basement. All of my gear is in a separate rack room.
  • Front projector, 120" screen. Only 1080p right now. 4k is my next upgrade once my current projector gets near end-of-life.
  • Use: Movies and TV. The odd Playstation game when I don't care about the input lag using a projector. No dedicated music listening.
I'm in Canada so I'd prefer to buy from somewhere in North America who won't kill me on the shipping. If it's available locally (Calgary) even better.

Please, friends: help me spend my money! Thanks in advance.
 

JohnRice

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You might want to go half way toward separates using a receiver, but with an external amp to drive 3-5 of the channels. The front three are the primary ones.

You didn't say how large the room is, but I'd say a primary area to upgrade is the subwoofer. Not just a second one, but better one.
 

Josh Dial

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You might want to go half way toward separates using a receiver, but with an external amp to drive 3-5 of the channels. The front three are the primary ones.

You didn't say how large the room is, but I'd say a primary area to upgrade is the subwoofer. Not just a second one, but better one.

Thanks. I'm not looking to upgrade the speakers right now. The receiver is the bottleneck right now since it only does 5.1 lossless.
 

John Dirk

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Room size is an important piece of the puzzle. Also, what are your listening habits? Are you listening at moderate volumes or do you want theater-like performance? My advice would be to strongly consider separates if possible as they will save you money in the long run, however the initial budget hit would exceed $3000.00 by, well, a lot. An interim receiver such as this one might be a way to buy some time while you prepare for what you really want.
 

Josh Dial

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Room size is an important piece of the puzzle. Also, what are your listening habits? Are you listening at moderate volumes or do you want theater-like performance? My advice would be to strongly consider separates if possible as they will save you money in the long run, however the initial budget hit would exceed $3000.00 by, well, a lot. An interim receiver such as this one might be a way to buy some time while you prepare for what you really want.

Thanks, John.

My room is about 17 feet long (but see below) and 15.5 feet wide. My listening position (a single couch--it's just me and my spouse).

The room is carpeted but otherwise not treated. My spouse is planning on putting up heavy velvet theatre-like curtains on the wall through which you would enter (sort of like an old time theatre) but that's her summer sewing project.

My projector screen is audio transparent and is mounted on a false "wall" frame with about 2 feet of room behind it. My fronts and centre are behind the screen and away from the wall (of course).

Our movies are played at high volumes. Maybe not theatre levels, but certainly loud.

I'm not looking for an interim solution: I'd prefer to get something that will work for what I want for the foreseeable future. If that means upping the price then so be it. It wasn't really a budget--I really just guessed at a dollar amount that I thought would get me to a solid Atmos-capable receiver. The receiver is the weak point right now (as noted above, it's an older 5.1 lossless-only Denon).

Thanks again, John--your advice is appreciated.
 

John Dirk

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Thanks, John.

My room is about 17 feet long (but see below) and 15.5 feet wide. My listening position (a single couch--it's just me and my spouse).

The room is carpeted but otherwise not treated. My spouse is planning on putting up heavy velvet theatre-like curtains on the wall through which you would enter (sort of like an old time theatre) but that's her summer sewing project.

My projector screen is audio transparent and is mounted on a false "wall" frame with about 2 feet of room behind it. My fronts and centre are behind the screen and away from the wall (of course).

Our movies are played at high volumes. Maybe not theatre levels, but certainly loud.

I'm not looking for an interim solution: I'd prefer to get something that will work for what I want for the foreseeable future. If that means upping the price then so be it. It wasn't really a budget--I really just guessed at a dollar amount that I thought would get me to a solid Atmos-capable receiver. The receiver is the weak point right now (as noted above, it's an older 5.1 lossless-only Denon).

Thanks again, John--your advice is appreciated.

I like the way you think! With these considerations in mind I would definitely steer you towards separates. Again, the initial investment will be higher but you won't have to replace power amplifiers as receiver technology evolves and you simply cannot beat the performance levels, especially in a room the size of yours.

There are many decent choices for power amps but Emotiva and D-Sonic are highly regarded brands worth looking into. Hopefully others will also chime in with recommendations. The choices for quality Pre/Pros isn't as daunting. I would recommend either the Marantz AV7706 or the Anthem AVM70. As previously stated, I'm looking at moving from Marantz to Anthem because I am disappointed with Audyssey and want to give ARC Genesis a try.

You might want to take a look at this thread for possible inspiration.
 

JohnRice

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I'm here, of course, but finding myself exceptionally slammed currently. Dealing with vacationing as well as (not COVID) employee illness. I'll try to read this and collect some thoughts... maybe... but I'm not making any promises. :dance:
 

JohnRice

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Of course, look into used amps and used/closeout preamps for great deals.
 

Josh Dial

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Okay, @John Dirk and @JohnRice, I think I'm looking seriously at the Anthem AVM70 for the processor. Given that I would like to move to 7.2.2, do you have suggestions for an appropriate set of amplifiers? Assume I'm upgrading my speakers in two or three years, but for now the seven loudspeakers will be SVS Prime towers (and the height speakers will be the SVS Prime Elevation speakers).

Thanks as always!
 

John Dirk

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Okay, @John Dirk and @JohnRice, I think I'm looking seriously at the Anthem AVM70 for the processor. Given that I would like to move to 7.2.2, do you have suggestions for an appropriate set of amplifiers? Assume I'm upgrading my speakers in two or three years, but for now the seven loudspeakers will be SVS Prime towers (and the height speakers will be the SVS Prime Elevation speakers).

Thanks as always!
@JohnRice and @Dave Upton are both imminently better qualified to handle this question but, personally, I would suggest upgrading the speakers first. I owned a pair of SVS Prime towers and several pairs of Prime elevations before I bought my current speakers. They're perfectly fine for what they are but, if you're going to spend the money on the AVM70 then, as you said, you'll definitely be looking for new speakers at some point.

The power amplifier(s) you eventually purchase should ideally be acquired based on the characteristics [sensitivity, impedance, etc] of your long term speakers, not the interim ones.
 

Dave Upton

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@JohnRice and @Dave Upton are both imminently better qualified to handle this question but, personally, I would suggest upgrading the speakers first. I owned a pair of SVS Prime towers and several pairs of Prime elevations before I bought my current speakers. They're perfectly fine for what they are but, if you're going to spend the money on the AVM70 then, as you said, you'll definitely be looking for new speakers at some point.

The power amplifier(s) you eventually purchase should ideally be acquired based on the characteristics [sensitivity, impedance, etc] of your long term speakers, not the interim ones.
@John Dirk definitely has it right here. You will love the AVM 70, but if your speakers are the weakest link in the chain, you won't get to take full advantage. I generally recommend speakers, then amps, then pre/pro/electronics last.
 

Josh Dial

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@John Dirk definitely has it right here. You will love the AVM 70, but if your speakers are the weakest link in the chain, you won't get to take full advantage. I generally recommend speakers, then amps, then pre/pro/electronics last.

Thanks, Dave. Much appreciated.

I think that's sound wisdom. All I'll say is that right now, I think my ancient Denon 5.1 receiver is the weak link in my system. Heck, it only has two HDMI inputs!

My first goal is getting to a 7.1.2 soundscape. I've been listening to 5.1 since the late 90s (when I joined the forum--I think my "joined date" got reset during a old forum software upgrade). It's time to move on to something more modern.

Perhaps I'm doing things out of order, but my plan was:
  1. Upgrade the receiver to something that can do 7.1.2 or 7.2.2. A receiver or separates--whatever is best future-proofed. This is my number one priority even if it's not ideal, because, well, I simply want it. ETA: As soon as possible (I could buy the Anthem AVM70 or MRX1140 this weekend at a place in town). Budget: initially I guessed around $3,000 USD but maybe I need to double that if separates make sense?
  2. Upgrade my 1080p projector to a true 4k projector. My Epson has done a good job, but it's a few years old now and it's time to upgrade. ETA: probably mid-2022 unless something really enticing comes out before then. Budget: $5,000 to $7,000 USD.
  3. Upgrade my speakers. ETA: late 2022. Budget: ???.
I'd prefer not to deviate from this plan since it is set out based on the order in which I want to increase my overall enjoyment of my system (Atmos first, then 4k, then better speakers). The timing is really just based on my free time (I only have so many hours in a week to spend researching and setting up/calibrating--and I'd rather spend those hours watching stuff) and me being honest with myself about how much I over think things (like I say I want to upgrade the project mid-2022, but I know I'll spend way too long researching and deciding so it will likely be closer to the end of the year).

Thanks again everyone.
 

Htoad

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@John Dirk definitely has it right here. You will love the AVM 70, but if your speakers are the weakest link in the chain, you won't get to take full advantage. I generally recommend speakers, then amps, then pre/pro/electronics last.
I'm following this conversation closely because I'm in the same boat as Josh, although probably with a little lower budget. I have new front speakers (Klipsch RP-800F and RP-404C, and for better or worse that's what I'm staying with) and now I want to replace the Pioneer Elite with separates, but if I buy an amp before the pre/pro, the amp is just sitting there until I get the pre/pro. So do I just figure out what amp I WILL be buying and figure out the pre/pro from there?
 

Dave Upton

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I always recommend you start with your amp if looking at amp and pre-pro, since your amp will be with you for a long time.

That will also inform other considerations like whether you want to feed your amp with a balanced (XLR) or unbalanced (RCA) signal. The great thing about many receivers is they can still act like pre-pros and have the necessary RCA pre-outs for an amp to work.

That lets you get your amp and benefit from improved sound immediately, and then when budget and time allow, upgrade to a proper Preamp/processor.
 

Dave Upton

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Thanks, Dave. Much appreciated.

I think that's sound wisdom. All I'll say is that right now, I think my ancient Denon 5.1 receiver is the weak link in my system. Heck, it only has two HDMI inputs!

My first goal is getting to a 7.1.2 soundscape. I've been listening to 5.1 since the late 90s (when I joined the forum--I think my "joined date" got reset during a old forum software upgrade). It's time to move on to something more modern.

Perhaps I'm doing things out of order, but my plan was:
  1. Upgrade the receiver to something that can do 7.1.2 or 7.2.2. A receiver or separates--whatever is best future-proofed. This is my number one priority even if it's not ideal, because, well, I simply want it. ETA: As soon as possible (I could buy the Anthem AVM70 or MRX1140 this weekend at a place in town). Budget: initially I guessed around $3,000 USD but maybe I need to double that if separates make sense?
  2. Upgrade my 1080p projector to a true 4k projector. My Epson has done a good job, but it's a few years old now and it's time to upgrade. ETA: probably mid-2022 unless something really enticing comes out before then. Budget: $5,000 to $7,000 USD.
  3. Upgrade my speakers. ETA: late 2022. Budget: ???.
I'd prefer not to deviate from this plan since it is set out based on the order in which I want to increase my overall enjoyment of my system (Atmos first, then 4k, then better speakers). The timing is really just based on my free time (I only have so many hours in a week to spend researching and setting up/calibrating--and I'd rather spend those hours watching stuff) and me being honest with myself about how much I over think things (like I say I want to upgrade the project mid-2022, but I know I'll spend way too long researching and deciding so it will likely be closer to the end of the year).

Thanks again everyone.
Josh,

You certainly don't need to defend your approach - as it's your money and theater after all. I think the AVM70 will make you quite happy, though be warned it will be quite expensive. I think the MSRP on it is 3500.

One option would be to keep an eye on the classifieds here, and on USAudioMart for a used AVM60 that you could grab cheap. That will let you invest the remainder in your amp. There are some great amp options out there, and like i've recommended to many others, I generally steer folks towards D-Sonic.
 

Josh Dial

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I think the MSRP on it is 3500.

One option would be to keep an eye on the classifieds here, and on USAudioMart for a used AVM60 that you could grab cheap. That will let you invest the remainder in your amp. There are some great amp options out there, and like i've recommended to many others, I generally steer folks towards D-Sonic.

Thankfully because it's made in Canada I can get it locally here in Calgary without extra fees for $4000 CAD (about $3150 USD).

Very good though about the AVM60. They might still be available here in town at a nice discount.

Thanks again, everyone.
 

Htoad

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Sorry for the stupid question, but how would you connect an SVS PB 2000 Pro sub to an XLR output on the AVM70? Adapter cable?
 

JohnRice

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Sorry for the stupid question, but how would you connect an SVS PB 2000 Pro sub to an XLR output on the AVM70? Adapter cable?
Yes, but processors usually have both RCA and XLR outputs.

They're on the left side...
 

Htoad

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Sorry, told you it was stupid question. I swear I looked twice and didn't see the RCA subwoofer outputs on the AVM70, just saw the XLRs.
 

Josh Dial

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So, after making a few calls, it seems like I can get a good deal on the MRX1140 (about $800 off MSRP). Thoughts on using the MRX1140 as a receiver now and then later on down the road using it as a processor only in concert with separate amplification? It seems that specs-wise it's very close to the AVM70 except that it lacks the XLRs, non?
 

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