Receiver - I've heard excellent things about Denon, Onkyo, NAD and Marantz, and I believe I will stick to one of these four brands. Are there any other brands worth considering? Not a big fan of Yamaha and other brands' brightness. I like a good neutral sound, but also need to be able to crank it up. Not deafeningly loud, just loud enough to thoroughly enjoy my movies.
Speakers - I have read strong reviews about the Athena AS-F2's. Went to Best Buy to give them a listen despite the warnings on this and other forums about that. What a waste of time. I think they had the speakers miswired as the bass response was awful, worse than the Athena AS-B1 bookshelf. If you know anything about the AS-F2, you'll know that it draws rave reviews for its bass response. Needless to say, whether it was the fault of the wiring or the Yamaha that was driving it, I did not have an opportunity to hear these speakers properly. I have considered Magnepans, but don't know if they will fit in with my music tastes. How do they handle rock at loud volumes? I have also considered old budget favorites Epos, PSB and Paradigm. Any others worth exploring?
DVD - I have little success in researching a good budget DVD player. Any good sources for research? Recommendations?
Sub - Considering Velodyne, Hsu and SVS. Would it be better to get one of these subs or one that matches with the pair of front speakers I get? Will a sub be even necessary if I get a pair of fronts with excellent bass response like the AS-F2's?
Thank you for your help.