Picking The Right A/V Receiver



In the current world of AV and Home Theatre systems, there is no more important piece of gear than that of the Audio/Video Receiver, or AVR for short.  They are the brains of the organization and what makes your system tick.

An AVR is the home base for all your connections, and is able to reprocess  any source, and output it over a single cable, HDMI.  It also decodes, processes, and amplifies the audio signal to be sent to your speakers.  Whether it is a low quality MP3 song from your iPod, or an uncompressed DTS Master Audio track from the lastest Bond BluRay.  It can handle it all. But, how do you select the right one?

We break down AVRs` into two categories;  good sounding “features laden” models, and superior sounding “no frills” models.   Figure out which camp you are in, and half the battle is won.

I will use a budget of around $1000 – 1200 for comparison   purposes

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Brands like Denon and Pioneer Elite tend to fall into the “features” side of things.  Models like the AVR3313ci from Denon, or the SC63 from Pioneer Elite.  These are great sounding receivers that are full of features.   Network connectivity, internet radio, audio streaming services, Apple Airplay, remote apps,  along with plenty of HDMI connections for all your high def needs.

While very good sounding, they may lack the ultimate high horsepower that audiophiles demand. Which is where the other category comes in.

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Where the features driven models may fall behind in terms of heavy duty power,performance brands like the Anthem MRX300, and NAD T757v2 pick up the steam.

Neither of these models are known for their laundry list of features. What they are known for is power, and power reserve.  Higher amounts of current, from large transformers, make bigger speakers sing.  You will hear less distortion at higher volumes, and your soundfield will be larger.   But you give up some of the toys under the hood.  They still maintain all the necessities, like HDMI1.4 switching, 3D passthrough, and room calibration.  But all the bells and whistles listed in the other category are scarce.

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So, when searching for a new AV Receiver.   Start off with these two categories.   Pick one, and focus on the models available.   At Liptons Audio Video we have both types of receivers on hand for viewing and listening.

By Ryan Peddle    ryan@liptons.ca


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