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Home theater Electronics rec.

So if you guys were going to buy some front end electronics (AVR/PRE-PRO, AMPLIFIERS, DSP/EQ) and keep things under $3k (new, refurbished, used) what would you go with?  I currently use a Denon X4000 and a handful of QSC CX pro amplifiers.  One thing I hate is not having any clue or adjustability on the substage.  XT32 (circa 2014) does OK but not great on everything else.  The QSC amps are reliable, great power, but produce incredible amounts of heat.  I run my subs as "two" subwoofers, the four 13A's as "one" subwoofer and the two 19O's as the "other" subwoofer.  

I'm fairly green to all the products that are out there, so figured you guys may be able to shoot some ideas.  Trinnov looks ridiculously expensive, Dirac is limited and Audyssey gets mixed reviews.  I'm hoping to go with efficient surround channels so An AVR isn't out of the question but I don't mind amplifying either.  And the substage will be efficient all around once the 19O's get rebuilt.

Thanks and should be fun seeing what comes up!


  • My deal with av stuff is that you buy the latest and greatest today and by the end of the week, it's outdated.  Now my inclination is to buy the cheapest av receiver that will do the job and it must include audio out to drive independent amps.  When the whiz-bang is gone and the next best must-have thing comes along, goodwill it (move it to the shed, garage, or gift it to a neighbor) and move on.  To that end, places like  will probably be where my next av purchases are made. 
    Story time:  In the past there was a good somewhat local hi'r end av store whose salesmen would let me borrow equipment for an extended in-home evaluation.  Most of the time it was a demo piece, but some times they were brand new out of the box.  The last time purchasing from them meant home demoing 5 different receivers; Sony es, Pioneer elite, two Dennon, and Marantz.  They did all this for a $1500 purchase.  Huge difference in bells and whistles between the brands.  At the time, ht versatility was second to 2-channel sound quality and each one of them had a certain 'flavor' of sound.  Demoing the gear is what made the sale.   
    Sadly, that store underwent some changes.  Last time we went there to shop, there was no in-home demo offer and they gave me a wft look when asking.  Have not spent another dime there.  Not long after that, they restructured and now operate out of a small corner of their previous building.
    Anyhow, if you have a local dealer, especially if they will let you home demo gear, maybe work with them.  Sans that, I do a lot of online research and buy the cheapest unit that gets the job done.           

  • That Denon looks like a great piece of gear. A couple of years ago, I switched to Marantz HTR and I really like it. For some reason, it seems more rock solid and transparent than the entry level HTRs I had been using.
    I've heard about a number of problems with Emotiva prepros, so I can't reco those, but the setup of separate prepros and separate amplifiers will give you a lot of flexibility. I haven't heard one person ever criticize Emotiva amps, and would be looking at a great separate amp for the front LR, and let the HTR handle the surrounds and sub feed.
    Besides the standard "24 or 32/192" DACs in HTRs, poking around the high resolution audio forums shows DSD256 and some others. I just looked up a Marantz SR6014 and it shows: decodes DSD 2.8MHz and 5.6MHz tracks
    Basically, your setup shows me "I am not worthy!" 
    Don, Donno, or "Hey you" all work for me, But never "Mr Johnson"
  • I have had my last two avr's from A4L, great site.  Was looking at the marantz SR7013 refurb.  I have a NR1603 and LOVE IT.  Want an updated one and have been sold on Marantz/Denon.

    The Denon has been great but as stated before.  I've had Emotiva products, the UMC wasn't bad at all and I never should have sold my XPA-3.

    I've stumbled on the Antimode for the subwoofers and may give that a shot, there's always the miniDSP.....
  • I love A4L, as well. 
    I have a signature.
  • After doing the at home auditions, we wound up with a Marantz sr8400 because it, everything that measure the same sounds the same, sounded better.  It and the elite were neck and neck with the edge going to the Marantz.  Really liked all the bells and whistles on the Dennon though.   
  • I have the 3500 here, and I believe JP has the 3600. I'm generally impressed with it. 
    I have a signature.
  • Shit, that 3600 looks like a winner.  Great performance, tons of accessories and expandability and $900 on A4L.  
    Someone buy my stuff.🤣🤣🤣🤣
  • That looks like a hell of a machine!
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