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Receiver and Processor Reviews

Marantz AV7005 7.1 A/V Processor

Marantz AV7005 processor

In 2009 I got to review the Marantz AV8003 processor and amp, and they helped to convince me of the benefits of separates over a receiver, and with how important it is overall to the performance of your whole system. In this review, we take a look at the AV7005 7.1 A/V Surround Sound Processor (SSP), which has an excellent feature set, including fully balanced analog audio XLR outputs for all channels.

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Pioneer VSX-1020K 7.1 A/V Receiver

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The marketplace for receivers is undergoing a rather interesting transformation. In the early days, most of the pieces that went into a receiver were a result of in-house development. This was also a time when the audio components dominated. These days the audio specifications nearly show up as an afterthought behind a laundry list of audio formats. It seems the majority of manufacturers have accepted the reality that keeping in-house solutions competitive with third party solutions is difficult and costly. Pioneer's VSX-1020K is a 7.1 receiver with all the bells and whistles for only $549. It delivers very good performance for that price range. Read our review for the details.

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Sherwood Newcastle R-972 7.1 A/V Receiver with Trinnov Room Optimizer Technology

Sherwood Newcastle R-972 A/V Receiver with Trinnov

The Sherwood Newcastle R-972 A/V Receiver is the latest high-end receiver in the Sherwood product lineup. The Newcastle brand is Sherwood's premier product line. The R-972 A/V receiver boasts some impressive features including 7 channels of amplification at 100 watts per channel, 4 HDMI 1.3 inputs, on-board decoding of DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD high-resolution audio formats, XM satellite, and a Silicon Optix Reon video processor supporting upscaling to 1080p. In addition to all this functionality, the R-972 is the first product to offer a consumer version of the Trinnov Room Optimizer technology.

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Pioneer VSX-32 7.1 A/V Receiver

Pioneer VSX-32 receiver

Last year I had the opportunity to review one of Pioneer's Class D receivers, the SC-27, and I came away completely impressed with the performance of that product. While I would love to know how their new version of the SC-27 performs, I also wanted to experience another model of the Elite line and see how well one with a more conventional Class AB amplifier would perform. So, in this review, we take a look at the Pioneer VSX-32, which is a seven-channel receiver.

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Yamaha RX-V2065 7.1 A/V Receiver with MusicCast System

Yamaha RX-V2065 MusicCast Receiver

One thing that you'll notice if you ever attend CEDIA is that certain types of equipment are far more common than you would expect because of the type of Expo that it is. Since it's geared towards the custom installer market, whole home solutions for audio and video are everywhere, offering a variety of ways to get your media anywhere that you want. One system that proved very interesting to me at the time was the MusicCast system from Yamaha. In this review, we take a look at the RX-V2065 7.1 A/V receiver, along with the MusicCast system.

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Harman Kardon and Definitive Technology

Affordable Systems Reviews; Harman Kardon and Definitive Technology

This is a complete 5.1surround sound system. The front end is the new Harman/Kardon BDP1 Blu-Ray player. The Harman/Kardon receiver is also a new model, the AVR 3600. The speaker package is the Definitive Technology ProCinema 800. These products are not typically discounted, so the anticipated system price comes in just under $2,700. This places the system just over the threshold we've established for "Mid Priced" systems which we have defined as systems with a street price between $2,500 and $5,000.

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Integra DTR-50.1 7.2 A/V Receiver

Integra DTR-50.1 Receiver

Integra is a major electronics manufacturer which markets and sells their products through custom installation supply chains. Their focus goes beyond sheer performance and encompasses upgradability, system integration and multi-zone capabilities. These are qualities that are widely needed and used within the custom installation industry. The Integra DTR-50.1 Receiver is right in the middle of the lineup of Integra's receiver offerings.

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Integra DHC-80.1 Surround Sound Processor

Integra DHC-80.1 Preamp/Processor

The AV receiver has become a very important component in home theater today. This box is the hub that ties all our other components together. Everything runs to and from this key device. While receivers have nearly reached dime-a-dozen status, those of us desiring separates have fewer options. The choices that do exist are usually very expensive. The problem is once you've experienced the superior dynamics and power handling of separates, it's hard to go back to a receiver.

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Rotel RSX-1560 7.1 A/V Receiver

Rotel RSX-1560 7.1 A/V Receiver

The RSX-1560 is Rotel's flagship receiver in their new Series 15 audio components. The new cosmetic look of the 15 series is simply stunning and very elegant. More importantly, the 1560 posses two firsts for Rotel receivers. One is the use of Class D amplifiers, specifically Bang & Olufsen ICE power modules. Second, it decodes the latest high resolution movie codecs.

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NAD T785 7.1 A/V Receiver

NAD T785 Receiver

Most stereo and home theater enthusiasts know NAD, and can almost certainly pick out a piece of NAD gear without seeing the label from it's distinctive, slate gray color scheme. While most people probably know NAD more for their CD players and integrated amplifiers, they have a whole line of home theater equipment, from receivers to processors, Blu-ray players and multi-channel amplifiers. Recently, NAD came out with a whole new line of receivers and processors featuring their Modular Design Construction.

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Denon AVR-3310CI 7.1 A/V Receiver

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When shopping for a receiver, most consumers either get the bargain of the week at $499 or the macho machine at $2,499. But, what about those receivers in the middle, as in $1,499. Not cheap enough for the bargain hunter, not "impressive" enough for the high end. Maybe you should take a second look. At that middle price, you can still get the hot features, but not break the bank. Here, we review Denon's AVR-3310CI which clocks in at 120 watts x 7 and decodes everything, even that new kid on the block . . . height channels.

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