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Best AVR for seprate amp?

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You are correct. After my 5 hour OCD read-a-thon last night, looks like the UMC-200 isn't the right choice for me either. I might just up my budget and get back into another Pioneer Elite Receiver. That Sherwood AVR for $600 also looks pretty interesting. I have officially confused myself AGAIN AVR shopping.

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Look for a flagship Pioneer SC 37 - SC 61 and don't look back. I like external amps but, I prefer the amp/avr combo. It is very cost effective since reallly good preamp can be expensive. Because of economy of scale, Pioneer can offer all the bells and whistle that a smaller company can't offer in a preamp looking at cost.

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i wonder about outlaws similarly priced preamp in the 600$ range? i read about all the issues with the emotiva products but i also read that alot of people say they sound so much better than all the name brands. i am pretty goof friends with user joshjp on here and he went from pioneer to emotiva and loved it but then wanted to try audyssey and bought an onkyo 818 and he hates it. said his pioneer was better and the emotiva was the best sounding. he is the one that told me about the volume. that they just kind of did their own thing with it. that would drive me crazy not never knowing exactly how loud i was listening

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any of the older SC pioneer elites are great.

a SC35/37 is in your price range OP

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I actually owned the SC35. The best receiver I have ever owned, just got the "upgrade" bug and got rid of it. I went into a Best Buy (I know but I was on my lunch break right next to the big blue and yellow shop) to look at the Denon X4000 and the Pioneer Elite SC-75 but they couldn't get the wall to work. I really wanted to hear them side by side, oh well. I will probably just get the SC-72 or SC-75 and hold off on separates until I have a dedicated theater room.

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I've been running the Sherwood Newcastle R-972 for several months now. Previous to that I've had an Onkyo 906, Yamaha RX-V1500, and Denon 3805. I demoed an Anthem MRX-500, Denon 4520, and HK 7550. It is by far the best sounding of the bunch. The pre-amp section is very clean, and I would characterize the sound as highly detailed without sounding thin or bright. I've yet to hear an AVR or processor under $2500 or $3000 that sounds as good as this does. And Trinnov truly does amazing things to multichannel recordings. The speakers disappear completely. I dont use Trinnov for stereo sources, since i notice less of a benefit and love how stereo 2 channel sounds unadulterated through this thing. However...



This thing is quirky as hell, and it is definitely not for the novice user. First, the remote is absolutely useless, and the front panel controls are not intuitive. IMHO if you aren't planning a universal remote you are wasting your time. The HDMI switching is very slow, and the audio syncs a good 5-7 seconds after the video does. This happens every time you change codecs or listening modes, so if you channel surf a lot, keep it in mind. It doesn't bother me all that much because of my listening habits, but I can see how it could drive some people nuts. My video processing has never worked properly, and this is a recurring issue on every forum. The Reon is a good chip, but the implementation in this AVR is very buggy and poorly optimized. Thus, I run it in bypass mode, treating it like it has no video processing, and most users (even those who got it replaced under warranty) do the same. Also, none of the parameters are adjustable if Trinnov is enabled (no adjustment of crossovers, channel levels, or even listening modes. There are ways around the last one, but...) so those used to tweaking Auddysey or MCACC won't have the same flexibility.



Having said all that, I'll never part with. If you go in with the expectation that this is a dedicated audio device that also happens to do HDMI switching (kinda like an Outlaw model 975 with amazing room correction...) and that it will take patience and growing pains to implement, it will reward you. For the $599 its going for at A4L, its nigh untouchable. Things you will "miss" because of its original planned date of release?:


-no network/streaming capability of any kind
-no PLIIz or Auddysey DSX
-"only" 7.1
-realistically, no video processing, upconversion, on screen volume display, or cross-conversion of legacy inputs to HDMI
-only 4 HDMI
-4k passthrough
-audio passthrough when the unit is off

Sorry for the essay...

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Have you looked at any Sherbourn models? The brand is being phased out so they have deep price cuts on some of their models. Check out Sherbourn PT-7020. It's basically a 2,000$ processor for 400$. I'm not 100% sure how it works, but I believe Emotiva's parent company also owned Sherbourn, so you'd get Emotiva's customer service on it, which in my opinion, has been nothing but absolutely stellar.

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Yeah, I want to buy a future proof amp and replace the AVR or pre/pro in a year or two.

Wouldn't pretty much any amp be considered future proof? Granted, I know that there's been things that have come out like the digital amps in my receiver but in general not much has changed in amplifier technology or compatibility in the last several decades. A robust 5 or 7 channel amp should be all you need for the rest of your life. [:)]

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Wouldn't pretty much any amp be considered future proof?

Yes, just decide if you want a traditional power supply or a class D amp. The class D amps are ver efficient and light weight compared to the traditional amps. IMO, they are just as good but cost an arm and a leg.

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