AV RECEIVER REVIEWS

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Kim Wilson Posted: Mar 17, 2008 0 comments
Never has the field been so full of top-quality A/V Receivers and the competition is fierce among the top manufacturers for these types of components. It used to be that low-end models kept costs down by eliminating features and seriously compromising sound quality. However, consumers have come to expect the most bang for the buck, at any price, significantly raising the bar on less expensive models such as the $749 Denon AVR-888.
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uavKim Wilson Posted: Mar 13, 2008 0 comments

If a Pioneer A/V receiver is given the distinguished Elite status, you can bet it's going to provide top-level features and performance. So it is with the Pioneer Elite VSX-94TXH, a 7.1-channel, THX Select2-certified AVR that employs Pioneer's proprietary Advanced MCACC (Multi-Channel ACoustic Calibration) speaker and EQ configuration along with a Faroudja DCDi video scaler. It also features Pioneer's Home Media Gallery, which lets you access audio files from PCs and receive Internet radio stations.

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David Vaughn Posted: Mar 07, 2008 0 comments

The A/V receiver marketplace is a crowded world these days. At one end are low-cost models sold through retailers such as Best Buy and Circuit City, while the other end is occupied by upscale brands with upscale prices. (Interestingly, some of these upscale brands are now showing up at the big-box retailers as the average selling price of AVRs increases, due in part to the influence of Blu-ray.)

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 02, 2008 Published: Apr 02, 2008 0 comments
From the company that goes itself one better.
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Fred Manteghian Posted: Feb 10, 2008 0 comments

In <I>Donny Darko</I>, Drew Barrymore's character, Ms. Pomery, says that a famous linguist once proclaimed "cellar door" to be the most beautiful phrase in the English language. I'm here to recommend we consider "Marantz" for that title, because it reproduces the most beautiful sounds in <I>any</I> language. Be it Zoot Sims on JVC XRCD, Claudio Arrau playing Beethoven sonatas from a Philips CD, or that gawd-awful good <I>Transformers</I> movie on HD DVD, the Marantz is beauty personified!

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Feb 04, 2008 Published: Jan 04, 2008 0 comments
From Youngstown with love.

There are people who claim to read your future in your palm. Others reach conclusions about your income, taste, and character according to what type of shoes you're wearing. For my own part, I can look at your selection of loudspeakers and know exactly what kind of home theater person you are.

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David Vaughn Posted: Feb 03, 2008 0 comments

With nearly 100 years of history behind it, Denon Electronics has high standards for any product it releases. The company is particularly strong in AVRs (audio/video receivers), with products ranging from the budget class all the way up to high-end models surpassing the $5000 mark.

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Kim Wilson Posted: Jan 21, 2008 0 comments
Sony offers two lines of A/V components and has always saved the best features and performance for the ES Series. While more stripped down than some higher-end models, the STR-DA4300ES offers an abundance of state-of-the art features and performance including onboard decoding of Dolby Digital TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, plenty of power for a full 7.1 home theater system, automatic set up and room calibration, HDMI ver.1.3 switching and Sony's powerful Xross Media Bar user interface.
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 18, 2008 Published: Dec 18, 2007 0 comments
Dress your home in cherry and amber.

If I didn't know better, I'd suspect some kind of hands-across-the-water design coordination in this month's Spotlight System. When the people at Aperion Audio hit upon the handsome cherry veneer finish that graces the Intimus 533 Cinema HD speaker system, the last thing on their mind was the amber display, a longstanding traditional trait, incidentally, of Yamaha receivers. Nonetheless, a harmony did arise between the two golden hues. Of course, the speakers also come in a high-gloss, piano-black finish, but then, the receiver has a black chassis. This merely proves my point, doesn't it?

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Dec 17, 2007 0 comments
What your money buys in budget, moderate, and high-end surround receivers.

At the heart of a typical home theater system is the surround receiver. True, the video display might be the emotional heart of your system—but only if you're willing to settle for tinny sound. You might also go bleeding-edge and ditch the surround receiver for high-end separates, namely a preamp/processor and multichannel amp. In that case, I salute you. But I aim today's homily at the average Joe or Jack or Jill who wants the best surround sound available from a one-box receiver.

Jerry Kindela Posted: Nov 15, 2007 Published: Oct 15, 2007 0 comments
Price-sensitive yet refined, sophisticated sound.

Paul Barton doesn't merely talk about Canada's National Research Council; he preaches about the facility, acting as the Billy Graham for Canadian scientific research. And well he should. The NRC was founded to provide scientific, practical, and developmental support to Canadian companies wishing to compete in a global economy. Barton began using the NRC's facilities and its scientific minds in 1974, just two short years after he launched a modest little speaker company called PSB. Within a year, PSB released the Avante, the first speaker the company designed with the NRC's help. Since then, Barton has continued to design well-received and well-reviewed speakers, each delivered with assistance from the NRC facilities.

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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 05, 2007 0 comments

Evolution is the continual process of change. For electronics manufacturers, evolution is often defined as updating equipment just enough from year to year to make consumers willing to upgrade to the latest and greatest. One could argue that until the advent of HDMI a couple years ago, the evolution of the AVR (Audio/Video Receiver) hadn't featured a compelling reason to upgrade in a while.

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Oct 29, 2007 0 comments
Kickin' butt and takin' soundfield names

For as long as I can remember (although the time scale is questionable nowadays), Yamaha has been a strong player in the AV receiver game. While Yamaha is not really a "high-end" company mentioned in the same breath with the likes of, say, Krell, Classe, or Lexicon, it certainly pioneered the behemoth, all-in-one-piece- hernia-inducing monster AV receiver starting with the $4,499 RX-Z9 several years ago (Yamaha's latest, biggest, and baddest, the 11.2-channel RX-Z11, will appear in November for $5,499).

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Oct 22, 2007 0 comments
High-end audio goes green.

There is a link in the public mind between scale and quality, a notion that, if you want something better, you also want something bigger. After all, top-of-the-line surround receivers are expected to have more powerful amplifiers and more features. Bigger speakers come with a tacit implication of better bass response. And who doesn't dream of buying a bigger plasma or LCD?

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Kim Wilson Posted: Oct 15, 2007 0 comments
Even lower priced Pioneer Elite models appear rich and substantial. Pioneer's Elite models are to Pioneer as Lexus is to Toyota. According to Pioneer, the driving force behind Elite A/V receivers is uncompromising sound quality, impeccable design, and the most sophisticated digital processing.

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