Recommendations for a new 7.2 AVR


Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 63
Registered: Jul-12
I'm looking to upgrade my sound. Right now I have an 18 years-old JVC receiver with Dolby Pro Logic (Surround Sound). I already have Klipsch Reference RF-52 II fronts, RC-52 II center and an SW-310 sub. The sound I have now is pretty good but definitely not high-end. I'm listening to mostly classic rock, some Jazz and classical and lately i've actually gotten into House / EDM (electronic dance music) which is very hard to get sounding good anywhere except with headphones because of the heavy deep bass.

That aside - i'm looking at new amps. I'm leaning towards a 7.2 AVR that will allow me to bi-amp my fronts (although I seriously doubt that will have any noticeable improvement as small as my speakers are but what the heck), give me the newest decoders (TrueHD, DTS-HD MA) and give me a reason to buy surround speakers. While i'm doing this I want to make sure I get an upgrade in quality in the amp itself.

Yamaha makes what they call the "Aventage" line - Pioneer has the "Elite" line and Sony makes the "ES" line. Are these receivers really any better than the standard lines or would I just pay more for the same thing?

Are any of these receivers of good quality? So far I like the Yamaha Aventage RX-A720/820 and the Pioneer Elite VSX-60/70. These are what - class A/B amplifiers? Would these be better than what I have now or not enough difference to notice?

Many of the Pioneer Elite receivers have what they call a "Class D3" amp in them. I'm really not feeling good about that - I think i'll steer clear of D3 if I can - the VSX-60 and 70 do not seem to be D3. Pioneer calls them Discrete Direct Energy amps.

My guts tell me that these new amps are probably not much better if any at all than what I have now. I'm having a hard time imagining myself throwing out a piece of equipment that has "made in Japan" written on it - one that has lasted 18 years and is still going strong - and replacing it with something that has "made in China" written on it that most likely will have to undergo a firmware upgrade the minute I turn it on just to function.

Anyway - how good are these new amps - the under $1000 class - brands like Denon, HK, Onkyo, Pioneer, Yamaha, Integra? Are there brands that you suggest if I want to keep it under $1000?

Gold Member
Username: Magfan


Post Number: 3032
Registered: Oct-07
HT receivers are built in 'obsolete' as the tech / features / bells / whistles change monthly.
Also, do NOT even expect whatever power is advertised as real world watts into a real speaker. For one thing, whatever x 7 channels will not happen....maybe 60% of it. Another thing is low impedance speakers need NOT apply. I don't know what your Klipsch are....but they should be OK since they were meant for HT duties, anyway.....

Can your Klipsch support bi-amp?

Emotiva makes a nice pre/pro for 600$ which will mate with any of their stereo amps.....add amps and speakers as you 'upgrade' time. I think emotiva makes a 3 channel amp....or you can even buy monoblocs......
check 'em out.....

Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1331
Registered: May-05
Not sure why you don't have Denon and Outlaw in your list. Denon comes closer to real world watts than several you mentioned and the Outlaws will give you real world numbers and then some. Also, you might look at something like an Adcom pre/pro and multi-channel amp or a Krell, but you'll start to spend a bit more but the power and quality come through. Lots of options out there and you don't give us your budget.

However, if you're really looking for something to listen just to music you'll do much better with a dedicated stereo set-up IMHO.

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2226
Registered: Oct-10
"However, if you're really looking for something to listen just to music you'll do much better with a dedicated stereo set-up IMHO."

My thoughts exactly.

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 766
Registered: Jul-07
Hi again. I went through the whole AVR shopping and buying experience with the help of the AK forum. No offense to those here who have been very helpful to me in the past.

Skipping all the details of the short list I ended up deciding that Marantz upper models, in your price range would be most likely to be best for music listening. Because my HT will be in the living room I will want to use it for music way more than movies.

Long story short, I bought a store demo Rotel RSX1056 instead simply because it was local and on sale. It is a HUGE heavy receiver giving the impression of quality. It sounded good for both music and movies for the two weeks it lasted. That's right it locked out on standby mode while still new.

I then started over looking at AVRs and added Outlaw as Dukulis suggests. Their basic separate 975 pre-processor, $550 and their cheapest 7 channel amp 7075, normally $700 now on sale at $600. The set bought together is now $1050, just over you budget.

Coincidentially, Outlaw is selling Marantz AVRs because they are redesigning their own brand avr and don't have one to offer. They have the AV 5007 model for $850. They can't really say if it sounds as good at $200 less because, well they work for Outlaw, so they say it comes down to if you want separates.

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 767
Registered: Jul-07
As Dukalis pointed out, you have to be aware of the power. I talked to the Outlaw salesman and he wanted the info on my speakers. I am judging by the old AVR that it had enough power ie 75 watts x 5 into 8 ohms. Since the Outlaw is 75 ix 7 channels I guess it would be ok for me.

Outlaw has a forum and there are a bunch of old posts complaining of lack of volume. They seem to not be so recent.
The Outlaw amp is described as: "The Model 7075 delivers high quality amplification for those of us with smaller rooms or highly efficient speakers." Some on the forum recommend the next Outlaw amp up in power which puts us over budget, taking me back to the Marantz. Full circle.

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 768
Registered: Jul-07
I understand the advice to stay 2 channel for those of us who want the system to also be excellent for music only. Really, I have had 2 channel "home theater" for over 25 years and was having fun with the 5.1 set up.

So that makes 3 choices that I see
1- as discussed, get a good one that is ok for music. Many or most like the Yamaha have dedicated 2 channel setting.
2- some sort of switching between 2 channel and surround in the same room, using the same speakers, but not with the AVR. Too bulky for my space and too complex for my limited knowledge and skill with hifi.
3- A completely separate set up for 2 channel, which isout of the question in my limited space.

So I when I listen to music in the living room, it must be with the HT.

I am therefore back to Daves' original idea of a HT near a grand. I am now down to Marantz and Outlaw.

Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1339
Registered: May-05

Good luck, I hope it works out for you. My HT system changes about every 5 years or so. Once I find the sweet spot for a 2 channel system, it stays in place for a very long time. But, I have a wife so I know some of the limitations that you are likely facing, financially and use of space wise . . . LOL

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 769
Registered: Jul-07
THanks Dakulis. I am still waiting for an estimate on the broken Rotel AVR so I just went back to 2 channel for now. Well see...

Platinum Member
Username: Glasswolf

Columbia, South Carolina America

Post Number: 14824
Registered: Dec-03
Pioneer's AVRs are nice with their class D amplification making them run cooler and mroe efficiently while saving weight, but unless you're really a big Apple person, I'm not sure they are an ideal choice, since their entire line of AVRs is aimed at Apple product integration.

I just bought an Onkyo TX-NR1010, which is a 7.2 AVR, and an outstanding one at that. If you want some less expensive Options, Onkyo also has the TX-NR818 and NR828 as well.
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