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Recently Reviewed AV Receivers

Sony STR-DN1030 AV Receiver Review

Sony STR-DN1030 AV Receiver Review

On paper, the Sony STR-DN1030 looks like quite an impressive receiver, with a feature list poised to make other $500 receivers blush. Among those features are built-in WiFi, Bluetooth, Airplay, HDMI upconversion and a new user interface. In my opinion, Sony’s receivers have been lagging behind the competition for a long time, but the laundry list of features made me wonder if Sony had finally started to take their non-ES receivers more seriously. So, I was excited to hear that Audioholics was getting the STR-DN1030 in for review, but just like a romance gone wrong, I was afraid to put too much trust in a company that had burned me more than once before.

On paper, the Sony STR-DN1030 looks like quite an impressive receiver, with a feature list poised to make other $500 receivers blush. Among those features are built-in WiFi, Bluetooth & Airplay.

— September 24, 2012 14:25 in AV Receiver Reviews

Denon AVR-4520CI, Marantz, Boston and More at CEDIA HiPer Demo Room

Denon AVR-4520CI, Marantz, Boston and More at CEDIA HiPer Demo Room

We checked out some cool Marantz, Denon (AVR-4520CI A/V receiver) and Boston Acoustics gear at the 2012 CEDIA High Performance (HiPer) Listening Rooms. This entailed sinning up some Dire Straits on vinyl and also listening to some tracks on SACD from Marantz' new SA-11S3 SACD Reference player. Everything was being played back through a pair of Boston Acoustics M-Series tower speakers. What we loved was the detail and clarity of the tracks, particularly in the Dire Straits album - there was no compression to be found anywhere. The M-Series tower speakers also put out an incredible amount of bass that wasn't bloated or overdone - but it really made us wonder if "DenonMatt" was pulling the wool over our eyes and using a pair of subs to sweeten the soundstage (he wasn't). At times we could swear there were subs in the room.

We checked out some cool Marantz, Denon and Boston Acoustics gear at the 2012 CEDIA High Performance (HiPer) Listening Rooms. This entailed sinning up some Dire Straits on vinyl and also SACD.

— September 13, 2012 08:30 in AV Receiver Reviews

Sherbourn SR-8200 and SR-8100 AV Receivers Preview

Sherbourn SR-8200 and SR-8100 AV Receivers Preview

The Sherbourn SR-8200 ($1999) and SR-8100 ($999) 7.1 receivers are built really well, with full billet aluminum faceplates and buttons and a 10-year warranty that is almost unheard of in the industry. The products are simple, elegant and they just are built to work. In fact, Sherbourn released a ton of new custom installation products this year at the 2012 CEDIA Expo, but the company is, perhaps, most excited about their new home theater AV receivers.

The Sherbourn SR-8200 ($1999) and SR-8100 ($899) 7.1 receivers are built really well, with full billet aluminum faceplates and buttons and a 10-year warranty that is almost unheard of in the industry.

— September 11, 2012 09:25 in AV Receiver Reviews

Integra DMI-40.4 AirPlay Dock Preview

Integra DMI-40.4 AirPlay Dock Preview

The new DMI-40.4 AirPlay docking accessory integrates with just about any Integra receiver and finally allows users to stream or dock their iDevices, be it iPhone, iPod or iPad. It also comes with a nifty remote that navigates tracks through the iOS and provides other basic controls. I've got my iPad docked here and am streaming straight to the television. While the AirPlay support allows for high definition audio, this unit only has composite video out, so even when docked, video is limited to standard definition.

The new DMI-40.4 AirPlay docking accessory integrates with just about any Integra receiver and finally allows users to stream or dock their iDevices, be it iPhone, iPod or iPad.

— September 07, 2012 06:30 in AV Receiver Reviews

Integra DTR-70.4 9.2 Channel Receiver Preview

Integra DTR-70.4 9.2 Channel Receiver Preview

While $2800 is a lot for a receiver, considering the cutting edge features and flexibility, the Integra DTR-70.4 seems to be worth it. With 140 watts per channel, THX Ultra2 Plus certification, DTS Neo:X 11 channel support, MHL, InstaPreview, and four powered Zones of audio, there is something for everyone. While there was nothing on the Integra spec sheet that blew us away, we're guessing the new DTR-70.4 is going to become a favorite of custom installers because of it's power, features, and flexibility. And frankly, we think they are going to have a lot of very happy customers.

While $2800 is a lot for a receiver, considering the cutting edge features and flexibility, the Integra DTR-70.4 seems to be worth it. 140 watts per channel, THX Ultra2 Plus certification...

— September 07, 2012 05:00 in AV Receiver Reviews

Denon AVR-5308CI(A) and AVP-A1HDCI Update Review

Denon AVR-5308CI(A) and AVP-A1HDCI Update Review

Would you pay $1000 to update a $5500 Denon AVR-5308CI(A) AV receiver or the even more expensive Denon AVP-A1HDCI to the latest firmware and features? Me neither. OK, to spend that kind of money - first of all you have to be the type of person who actually buys a $5500 AV receiver like Denon's AVR-5308CI. And believe me, there are a lot of you out there - maybe not YOU. But how about the guy who was installing them in the homes of his clients...? That's where this update starts to really make a lot of sense. If you installed this AV receiver back in '09 and your client calls you wondering why their new 3D Blu-ray player doesn't work, this is your solution.

Would you pay $1000 to update a $5500 Denon AVR-5308CI(A) AV receiver or the even more expensive Denon AVP-A1HDCI preamp processor to the latest firmware and features?

— August 21, 2012 00:15 in AV Receiver Reviews

Onkyo TX-NR5010 9.4 Channel Receiver Preview

Onkyo TX-NR5010 9.4 Channel Receiver Preview

The big selling point of the Onkyo flagship TX-NR5010 is 11.4 channel DTS Neo:X support. While it can only power nine of those channels, if you are shelling out $3000 for a receiver, we're guessing you have a few external amps lying around somewhere. With tons of other top of the line features like ISF calibration, HDMI output for Zone 2, 4k upscaling, InstaPreview, and much more, the TX-NR5010 has the guts to be the heart of your home theater. But if you aren't planning on using all 11 channels, you might be able to get most of these features (plus a few more that aren't included) for less elsewhere.

The big selling point of the Onkyo flagship TX-NR5010 is 11.4 channel DTS Neo:X support. But if you aren't planning on using all 11 channels, you might be able to get most of these features for less.

— July 12, 2012 06:40 in AV Receiver Reviews

Yamaha RX-A2020 AVENTAGE 9.2 Networking A/V Receiver Review

Yamaha RX-A2020 AVENTAGE 9.2 Networking A/V Receiver Review

The RX-A2020 retails for $1700 and is the 2nd to top-of-the-line receiver in Yamaha’s 2012 Aventage (pronounced Ah-ven-taj) lineup (under the RX-A3020). The Aventage series has consistently impressed us with its build quality, sound quality, and abundant features, so the RX-A2020 has a lot to live up to. This year seems to be the year of 4K, Airplay, and network apps. With all of the potential options on the market, we were excited to see what Yamaha put together for the xx20 line-up. The receiver has 11 speaker connections, 2 independently controlled sub outputs, dual HDMI outputs, 3 powered zones, plenty of inputs, and a plethora of network features. Read on to find out how well all of these features are implemented and how the RX-A2020 stacks up against the competition.

The RX-A2020 retails for $1700 and is the 2nd to top-of-the-line receiver in Yamaha's 2012 Aventage lineup under the RX-A3020. This year seems to be the year of 4K, Airplay, and network apps.

— July 06, 2012 06:35 in AV Receiver Reviews

Yamaha Aventage RX-A2020, RX-A3020 A/V Receiver Preview

Yamaha Aventage RX-A2020, RX-A3020 A/V Receiver Preview

Sometimes when manufacturers release such a large line of receivers, they run out of steam when they get to the top. Not Yamaha with their Aventage line. The top two, the RX-A2020 and the RX-A3020 not only are improvements over the rest of the Aventage line, but they are significantly different from each other. If you are looking for the most flexible, three-zone receiver we've ever seen, the RX-A3020 is for you. The RX-A2020 is no slouch, however, with tons of options, features, and state of the functionality that you are going to be hard pressed to top with any receiver offering.

The Yamaha RX-A2020 and the RX-A3020 not only are improvements over the rest of the Aventage line, but they are significantly different from each other.

— June 13, 2012 07:30 in AV Receiver Reviews

Yamaha Aventage RX-A720, RX-A820, RX-A1020 Receiver Preview

Yamaha Aventage RX-A720, RX-A820, RX-A1020 Receiver Preview

We like this new trend in receivers. Rather than doling out features as the price going up, we are seeing features hitting lower price points and the number and types of connections increasing with price. The Aventage line from Yamaha has been popular since it was introduced and we see no reason to think that this new line will be any different. With 4k upscaling, Apple AirPlay, advanced YPAO room correction, and extra speaker terminals for easy configuration switching, there is little to complain about with the new RX-A720, RX-A820, and RX-A1020 receivers. The only question is which will best fit your needs and your wallet.

The Aventage line from Yamaha has been popular since it was introduced and there is little to complain about with the new RX-A720, RX-A820, and RX-A1020 receivers.

— June 07, 2012 16:00 in AV Receiver Reviews

Marantz SR5007, SR6007 & SR7007 A/V Receiver Preview

Marantz SR5007, SR6007 & SR7007 A/V Receiver Preview

Yes, the comparison between the new Marantz and Denon lines is apt - they share a lot of the same features such as Apple AirPlay, 3D pass-through, 4k upscaling, Audyssey MultEQ XT, and more. But lots of receivers have these features. What distinguishes the Marantz offerings from the rest of the crowd, is the number and types of connections. These are receivers for those that aren't first time buyers. These are for those that might have (or plan on having) external amps. For owners of legacy gear that either don't want to or can't afford to upgrade. The new SR5007, SR 6007 and SR7007 A/V receivers from Marantz appear to be truly high end offerings for discerning buyers. Solid build quality, great cosmetics and generous power offerings are all hallmarks of Marantz A/V receivers that they appear to be continuing with the new 07 series of A/V receivers.

The comparison between the new Marantz & Denon lines is apt - they share a lot of the same features. What distinguishes the Marantz 07 offerings from the rest, is the number and types of connections.

— June 01, 2012 11:45 in AV Receiver Reviews

Denon New '13 IN-Command Series Receivers Preview

Denon New '13 IN-Command Series Receivers Preview

It is easy to see how Denon has targeted their new '13 IN-Command receivers. The difference in price, rather than adding features that you wanted at all price points, adds additional power and connections. This means that the consumer (or custom installer) can pay for exactly what they need in terms of connections without sacrificing all the cool streaming and upscaling features in the process. We like this idea and hope that it resonates with consumers. With 3D and 4k support, 4k upscaling, Audyssey MultEQ XT, discrete amplification, Apple AirPlay and a host of streaming features on all models, all you need to do is pick the one that matches your connection needs without having to sacrifice features.

It is easy to see how Denon has targeted their new '13 IN-Command receivers. The difference in price, rather than adding features that you wanted at all price points, adds power and connections.

— May 25, 2012 07:20 in AV Receiver Reviews

Marantz NR1403 & NR1603 Slimline A/V Recievers Preview

Marantz NR1403 & NR1603 Slimline A/V Recievers Preview

The Marantz NR1403 is a bare bones receiver with some of the best bones we've ever seen. With discrete amplification, tons of HDMI inputs, and Audyssey MultEQ, it is a new buyer's dream at $400. But if you want more, Marantz has it with the NR1603. Adding video upconversion, two channels of amplification, a second zone, Apple AirPlay and other streaming options, you are getting a lot for your additional $250. Add to that the attractive slimline case and you've got a product that will be turning heads not only of first time buyers but those that are looking for a second (or third) receiver. Great looks and features, reasonably priced, compact form factor, and carrying the Marantz name- what's not to like?

The Marantz NR1403 features discrete amplification, tons of HDMI inputs, and Audyssey MultEQ. The NR1603 adds video upconversion, two channels of amplification, a second zone, Apple AirPlay and more.

— May 24, 2012 21:45 in AV Receiver Reviews

Pioneer Elite 2012 SC Series Reciever Offerings Preview

Pioneer Elite 2012 SC Series Reciever Offerings Preview

The new Pioneer Elite SC line for 2012 is truly full featured. The question you need to ask yourself is what you really need in a receiver. They are all great but you'll pay a premium for specific features that you might not need. Even the SC-68, the top of the line offering, is only $2500. Even in this economy, that seems pretty reasonable. Pioneer has made a name for themselves on making sure their receivers work with your phone. With these Elite receivers, they are making sure they work with your custom installer and all your high-end music files. If you are on the market for a receiver, you owe it to yourself to take a look at these new Elite receivers.

The new Pioneer Elite SC line for 2012 is truly full featured. If you are on the market for a receiver, you owe it to yourself to take a look at these new Elite receivers.

— May 08, 2012 06:45 in AV Receiver Reviews