Anyone who comes across this, I figured it out. I had placed the mic incorrectly and at an angle. Realised how important it is to have the mic on a tripod and proper placement. Also followed guide on what distance to place your speakers based on the distance of your seating position and distance from walls/corners. Follow all those little things they make a huge difference. Once I got all placement as perfect I could I ran audyssey with the mic on the tripod and it turned out great. A few tweaks here an there with crossover and room-eq and it's awesome.
hahahaha, speaking of audyssey - how much of a difference does it actually make? I know this may sound like a stupid question but I have no idea. I do know that I just set up the e-300 and its the first receiver i've used where it ran the room eq and it actually sounded better than before. Every other receiver (granted very cheap ones) have sounded really bad after the room eq ran.
So would getting the x1000 mean that the room eq upgrade would make it sound even better? Another thing to consider is - I am in University - in 2 years I will graduate at which point I will be moving and at which point dependent on where I move I plan to purchase more speakers to go from 2.1 to 5.1 and I plan to upgrade receiver. Sounds silly but this receiver is going to be for better part of 2 -3 years max. where as speakers I hope minimum of 5 - 6 years.
I know the x1000 would probably be great, but I really can't afford it right now. It's too much money considering how much I've already put into my system. I think it's time for me to call a time out and focus on studying and get a solid job The day I am out of University and working I will be sure to get the very best. But for now I feel I have to be satisfied with what I have
Also going back to the question of receiver for my parents - would a Denon X2100w be a good option? I see it's listed on amazon for $699 and it seems like a very solid receiver. Any thoughts? (would I be better off starting a new thread?)
Once again all the help and advice is greatly appreciated