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Yamaha's new RX-V '75 line may be an incremental change, but, if you are on the market for a new receiver, that won't matter. What matters is what it offers. For the money, Yamaha is offering a lot.
The harman/kardon HK 3490 redefined the modern stereo receiver and set the benchmark for others to follow. Stereo lovers rejoice as I don't believe you can find a better sounding stereo receiver.
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The $1000 Integra Audio DTR-30.5 Wireless A/V Receiver is a first for the company. It is not only Wi-Fi compatible, but Bluetooth is supported. Marvell Qdeo upconversion and scaling to 4K, MHL, InstaPreview, and more should appeal to those that care more about features than power. But, of course, the Integra DTR-30.5 has power as well. With 95 watts per channel, a two-way RS-232 port, legacy video connections, and three 12 volt triggers, installers are going to love this receiver. At $1000, consumers aren't going to be afraid of the price. Add in the savings from having to run an Ethernet cable to you home theater, and the Integra DTR-30.5 may be a home run for the company.
The Denon AVR-X1000 and AVR-X2000 are the newest in the lauded IN-Command series of receivers from Denon. The AVR-X1000 is the least expensive at $500 but it is packed full of features, including 80 watts per channel (five channels), discrete amplification, Apple's AirPlay, app control, two zones, six HDMI inputs, and Audyssey MultEQ XT. The AVR-X2000 adds $200 to the price but increases the number of channels to seven, adds 15 watts, 1080p and 4k upconversion, Windows 8 compatibility, and more. Regardless of which receiver you choose, the AVR-X1000 or the AVR-X2000, you're going to have one of the most feature-packed receivers at their price point.
The Denon IN-Command AVR-X3000 and AVR-X4000 receivers pack a lot of technology into their unassuming chassis. These are receivers that can send audio and video to more than one zone, are fully networked including AirPlay and many other streaming options, and have oodles of power. The AVR-X3000 will have nearly everything the average consumer could want to power a simple 7.1 home theater, but lacks some of the higher end features found on the AVR-X4000. The AVR-X4000 can handle a second or third zone, has full 9.2 pre-outs, and has Audyssey MultEQ® XT32, among a host of other features. When you are at this level of buying, it pays to make a list of what you need. If these receivers can't do it, it likely can't be done. At least, not at these price points.
The AVR 3700 has a lot of technology that many users clamor for. With built in wireless networking, pre-outs for those with external amplifiers, two zones of audio, eight HDMI inputs and two outputs, 4k upscaling, and much more, Harman has touched on all the right bases. At $1000, the AVR 3700 will have a lot of competition. Time will tell if this feature set mated with the Harman name will prove to be a winning combination.
The most exciting thing about the new Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A830 is the price. At under $900, it has enough features to please even the most ardent audiophile and feature-phile. A full suite of networking, iDevice compatibility, MHL, 7.2 inputs, 100 watts per channel, Burr-Brown 192 kHz/24-bit DACs for all channels, Pure Direct mode for bypassing any unnecessary circuitry, YPAO with multi-point measurements, 4k upconversion...the list goes on. At this price point, it is hard to believe that there is much more that could be offered.
Sherbourn has taken a stand with the SR-8100. They have said, "We will create a receiver and it will sound AWESOME!" It may not connect to your computer or stream cat videos from YouTube but that's not what you want is it? The Sherbourn SR-8100 has can push 80 watts into 8 ohms all channels driven, it has three zones of audio, and can stream CD quality bluetooth audio from your phone. With an integrated room correction system and three banks of 11 bands of parametric EQ for each channel and 3 bands for the sub, even the most dedicated tweaker will be happy. At $800 MSRP, this is an audiophile-quality receiver at consumer-level prices.
We've long been fans of the Marantz NR line, and the new NR1504 and NR1604 have done nothing to change that. Sporting high end audio components, discrete amplification, Apple AirPlay, Audyssey MultEQ, and much, much more, there is a lot to like. At a starting price of $500, the NR line isn't going to break the bank either. With a low profile design, potential customers don't have to sacrifice audio quality, features, and style just because they have limited space.
It may not be Christmas, but in the world of A/V receiver manufacturers, it's the most wonderful time of the year. Hot off the presses, Pioneer is announcing the VSX-523 ($279.99) and VSX-823 ($429.99) 5.1 channel receivers, the VSX-1023 ($529.99) 7.1 channel receiver, and the VSX-1123 ($629.99) 7.2 channel receiver. The name of the game for this release is integration, namely with smartphones, both Apple/iOS and Android, though Pioneer is sure to have a few more tricks up its sleeve. For those who haven't been shopping in the A/V receiver market for very long, you might be shocked as to how far your dollar goes these days in terms of feature sets. Pioneer seems to deliver. Read on to learn more.
With budget offerings, it is always important to know what features you'll need versus those you just want. With the new E series from Denon, you have quite a few choices. If you are tight on money but use exclusively HDMI devices, the E200 may be enough for you. If Internet connectivity, AirPlay, and room correction are important, you'll want to bump up to the E300. For scaling up to 4k, Zone 2 support, and 7.1 channels, the E400 will be the Denon for you. While compromises have been made on these receivers, that's always the case for budget offerings. It looks to us like Denon has a solid new line on tap for this year.