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Receiver and Processor Reviews

Pioneer VSX-1021K 7.1 A/V Receiver

Pioneer VSX-1021K AV Receiver for the Home Theater

Pioneer has consistently brought innovation and quality to the home theater market. From their famed Kuro plasma displays to its Elite brand AV receivers, Pioneer is always on the mark. Here, we review their VSX-1021K 7.1 A/V receiver. It performed about as well as could be expected at a price point of $549.

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McIntosh MX150 7.1 A/V Surround Sound Processor (SSP)

McIntosh MX150 A/V Processor

McIntosh Laboratory is well known for producing some of the finest quality luxury audio components on the market. I've always been a fan of McIntosh products and I enjoyed visiting the McIntosh suite at CES 2011 this past January. I was intrigued by the MX150 A/V Control Center, which is McIntosh's take on the ultimate home theater processor (SSP). I asked for a review sample, and a few months later couldn't believe that I actually had an MX150 on my front porch.

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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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Onkyo PR-SC5508 9.1 SSP and PA-MC5509 Nine-Channel Power Amplifier

Onkyo PR-SC5508 for the Home Theater

Onkyo has been on a roll with their professional line of preamps recently. Starting with their 885 model, and continuing through the 886 and 5507 they have managed to hit a previously weak area in the home theater market. Their new PR-SC5508 surround sound processor (SSP) hits a higher plateau with nine channels. Along with the Onkyo PA-MC5509 nine-channel power amplifier, let's take a look at how nine channels are configured and how the processor and amplifier combination perform.

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Pioneer VSX-1020K 7.1 A/V Receiver

front-teaser

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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Yamaha RX-A2000 7.1 A/V Receiver

Home Theater Yamaha RX-A2000 receiver

I've been using a Yamaha receiver in my home theater for well over a decade. The fact that I've been happy with the sound from this receiver for so long though, speaks volumes for the quality Yamaha built into their receivers back then. Although I have reviewed one of their entry-level receivers, I decided it was time to take a look at one of their better, current offerings, the RX-A2000 to see how far they have advanced in the past decade.

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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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Anthem MRX 700 7.1 A/V Receiver

Anthem MRX 700 A/V Receiver for the Home Theater

Anthem has long been recognized as a leading manufacturer of processors and amplifiers. Anthem's AVM series processors have always offered a tremendous blend of functionality and performance. With the introduction of the Anthem Room Correction (ARC) system, Anthem took things a step further by offering one of the finest room correction systems on the market. While all of this capability and performance was available to those with the budget and space for separates, Anthem did not offer a solution for those looking for an A/V receiver - until now. The Anthem MRX 700 is the subject of this review.

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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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Rotel RSX-1550 7.1 A/V Receiver

Rotel RSX-1550 AV-Receiver

Almost 50 years at Rotel has culminated in the 15 Series relatively new and was highly anticipated from 2009. The RSX-1550 arrived at my home in mid-2010. Admittedly, I'm a little behind on my review of the Rotel receiver and although this is an apology to the good people at Rotel for their patience, it speaks volumes about the product I've had it in my system for many, many months.

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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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