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Upgrade - need AV Amp and 2 front speakers (budget 4K) (1 Viewer)


Dec 25, 2008
Real Name
I am looking for a great AV amplifier, with 2 front speakers. My budget is 4000$. Sound quality is my top priority.

I have been using a Denon (DRA-335R) for the last 18 years. I now wish to add Video with 7.1 capabilities. I hope to re-use my current speakers (four D-Box Iliad bookshelves, one center and a sub, all bought in 2004) and use them as 2 rears, 2 sides and the center/sub.

I intend to get the Pioneer Kuro PDP-5020FD display.

Missing is the AV amplifier, and 2 front speakers. I was recommended Yamaha (RX-Z7?), but I was told the change in sound from my Denon might not be nice to my ears (go for AVR-4308CI?). Then I read on Marantz, Onkyo (TX-NR906?), Arcam (AVR-600?), and now on Harmon Kardon. I quickly learned that this is not my field and I’m way over my head. And I haven’t started to look into speakers yet.

So I hope to limit my choices after a few suggestions from the pros here. I’m open to EVERYTHING; I will read on suggestions and take my final decision after some listening at the store.

My first and outmost priority is sound quality for Music. Rock, classic, some opera, old blues, a little jazz and some electro-lounge. My CD collection is ripped on a Network drive, but usually at the utmost quality rip.

My second priority is watching movies, my DVD collection is also ripped, into an Inoi device, I will probably upgrade to an Inoi-MH720. I tend not to rip at the best quality, except for sound; I usually try to keep the original AC3 track.

Since I tend to keep all my media ripped great up-scaling and analysis to restore sound and images is very important. Also because I keep the files on network drives network access was important, but I was disappointed to read that most Network access of devices are only for sound files, so perhaps for the price of Ethernet interfaces I should go for a USB device instead.

Here are my priorities in order:
1. Incredible sound quality
2. Digital enhancer for ripped CD and DVD (compressed digital data enhancer)
3. Enough input for current and future needs.
4. Auto-adjustment of the sound (acoustic room correction?)
5. Analogue to HDMI video conversion/scaling (480p/720p/1080i/1080p)
6. At least 2 zones, 4 preferred
7. Network capable to access digital library on LAN
8. USB Port
9. On screen display of album information (folder image?)

Thanks to all, and a happy new year.

David Willow

Babbling Idiot
Senior HTF Member
Jan 23, 2004
Mechanicsburg, PA
Real Name
Hi Eric,

I have just a few comments before we get to recommending anything....

It seems that you are trying to combine the AVR with a media server. Not sure you will get what you want, but there may be something out there.

Sound Enhancers: Remember the rule - garbage in, garbage out. The sound enhancer will make a bad file sound bad, only louder. It will be really apparent if you use good speakers. All the flaws will be evident.

For movies, you should have matching speakers - especially across the front. It is a bad idea to purchase new mains and use an old, unmatched speaker as the center.

For recommendations, I suggest you find a local B&W dealer and listen to the CM7 (or CM9) mains. Match these with the CM Centre for movies. You will need some horsepower to drive these, but with your budget you should be able to do it.


Dec 25, 2008
Real Name
I tried to keep my first post short … and failed. Here is a bit more info for those interested:

The room is a 15x19 basement, with the back being stairs to go up, so a big space gap of 15-20 feet high. On the left double-doors to an office area, so not much sound rebound there I guess.

In any case, my hope is to get a system that will fit my next house (in 5 years) where I intend to have my media center in a big living room with high ceilings, opened to a dinning area and half open to a kitchen.

I intend to connect either now (*) or in the following year (#) the following items:

# HD Television
# HD-TV antenna
# Cable / satellite receiver
* DVD player (Inoi, includes an AVI decoder)
* CD Player (Sony 50 CD changer, now in box, CDP-CX571)
* MP3 player (USB port, now thru regular headset output into Phono)
* Wireless music bridge (Linksys WMB54G) now in CD input
* Tape player (boxed for the last 8 years)
# Digital file server (Audio/Video) with HD Digital output (Inoi-MH720?)
# Game console (X-box or Playstation)
* Computer (Very low priority)

Thanks to David for the Answer. I switched to a Media Center as I was tired of constantly swapping discs. To have an entire collection at a glance sorted by directories is great. Perhaps I should get a decent CD player.

Thnks again.

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