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Receivers

Arcam AVR750 7.1 A/V Receiver

Arcam AVR750 Receiver

Receivers are hard to review. It's almost impossible to directly compare them to another model as there is so much wiring involved. Attempting to rely on memory has its own challenges, as it can be unreliable when it comes to audio. With all the difference sections of a receiver, from audio and video handling, to room correction and amplifiers, it is difficult to determine what is performing right and what is wrong. It was with great anticipation I delved into the new Arcam AVR750 receiver, the flagship model from the well-regarded UK company.

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Anthem MRX 710 7.1 A/V Receiver

Anthem MRX 710 A/V ReceiverAnthem's second-generation MRX receivers now offer more HDMI inputs, dual HDMI outputs, 4K upscaling and pass-through, faster HDMI switching and come in three models with the primary difference being the amount of amplification and number of channels. The entry level receiver is the MRX 310, which offers 80 watts per channel for 5.1 channels. The MRX 510 is the middle receiver in the MRX lineup and offers 100 watts per channel for 7.1 channels. The flagship model is the MRX 710, reviewed here, which offers 120 watts per channel for 7.1 channels. As for other differences between models, the MRX 710 and MRX 510 allow the front left and right speakers to be bi-amped. The MRX 710 and MRX 510 have seven rear and one front-panel HDMI input, while the MRX 310 has seven rear HDMI inputs. All three models support software updates via USB.

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Pioneer SC68 9.1 A/V Receiver

Pioneer SC68 ReceiverPioneer has been revising and refining their Class D amplifier technology inside of their Elite receivers for a few years now. The performance has kept improving, as it is one of the few receivers out there that actually delivers its rated power output into all channels at once. Pioneer's SC68 is a 9.1 receiver, and yes, there are nine power amplifiers in there, rated at 140 watts each. It weighs only 39 pounds. How do they get that much power in a 39 pound package? The Class D amplifiers.

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Pioneer SC-79 9.1 A/V Receiver

Pioneer SC-79 ReceiverThe SC-79 marks the fourth revision of the Pioneer SC-line that I have reviewed. From the beginning I've been impressed with the amount of features they fit inside and the performance they offer. The SC-79 announcement is as excited for a new receiver as I have been. Far from a marginal upgrade, Pioneer went all-out and packed in new features galore. The biggest is a pair of ESS SABRE32 9016 DACs. A single-step below the 9018 used in top-flight two channel audio products, the 9016 is the highest end DAC in a receiver today.

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Integra DTR 50.3 THX Select2 Plus 7.2 A/V Receiver

Integra DTR 50.3 THX Select2 Plus ReceiverIntegra has produced a high-quality, high value product in the DTR 50.3 7.2 receiver. It has all the bells and whistles you could ask for in a modern receiver, and still has that clean, neutral Integra sound. Read our review and find out why we say, "Definitely recommended!"

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Onkyo NR929 9.2 A/V Receiver

Onkyo NR929 A/V ReceiverWhile the TX-NR5010 remains the company's flagship model, the TX-NR929 is Onkyo's most fully-featured receiver released in 2013, carrying the THX Select2 Plus variety. Having both owned and reviewed Onkyo receivers, I was greatly looking forward to putting this model through the paces.

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Integra DTR-80.3 9.2 A/V Receiver

Integra DTR-80.3 A/V Receiver

The Integra name always makes my short list of leading companies in the receiver and processor market space. While Integra is a premium manufacturer of high-end A/V equipment catering to custom A/V installers, their products offer a great mix of leading-edge technology along with outstanding performance at an attainable price. At CEDIA 2011 this past September, Integra introduced their latest product updates, including the flagship DTR-80.3 receiver, which I cover in this review.

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Sony STR-DN1040 7.1 A/V Receiver

Sony STR-DN1040 ReceiverWhen I turn on the Sony STR-DN1040 and am greeted by a colorful, interactive full screen graphical interface, I am surprised. It is even in high definition! Someone has actually been listening to complaints from users and decided to do something about it. They are trying to make the home theater less complex than the PC of the 1980's. Is the Sony STR-DN1040 just a pretty face or does it have the brains and brawn to go along with its beauty?

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NAD T757 7.1 A/V Receiver

NAD T757 Receiver

Like most people I have some pet peeves. When I shop for televisions, I am always hoping to find one without speakers. I have a dedicated theater with speakers and electronics that are leaps and bounds ahead of what I could possibly get in a TV. I don't need speakers; I'll never turn them on. I don't want them! Simply having them adds cost, complexity, and size to my TV. I don't want to pay for what I won't use! So, instead of TV's built-in speakers, a receiver will deliver much better quality sound, and surround sound at that. NAD's new T757 is reviewed here, and it does the job well.

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Pioneer VSX-43 7.1 Elite A/V Receiver

Pioneer VSX-43 Elite ReceiverBack in my college days, I had a roommate that had a nice stereo Pioneer receiver. It cost him a few hundred bucks. Since it was pre-digital, the inputs were pretty basic. Simply hook up to a cassette deck and turntable and we reveled in the audiophile sounds that its 30 watts/channel produced. Ah, the 70's were the "golden era" of audio. Point being, everybody has to start somewhere in their journey to musical nirvana. Fast forward to 2013 and now for around $500 you can get a 7.1 surround, network capable, DSP loaded, phone/Android integrated, Bluetooth, 80 watt/channel Elite receiver from Pioneer. True, the VSX-43 is their entry level Elite receiver, but it is packed with features that would have cost you a lot of money, even just a few years ago. But does the VSX-43 have what it takes to be the brain and brawn you are looking for in a modern home entertainment system?

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Pioneer SC-57 9.1 A/V Receiver

Pioneer SC-57 9.1 A/V Receiver

I've reviewed a fair number of receivers, and owned a fair number of them myself as well. The unit that I was the most sad to part with was the Pioneer SC-27 a couple years ago. With its Class D amps, it was fast and powerful, but not harsh. The new SC-57 is a 9.1 receiver, with Class D amplification, but Pioneer has built the amplifier modules themselves rather than using ICEPower modules. Was the sound different? Read on . . .

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