HT Receivers Compared

Simple Question:  Are any really better than the others - Marantz, Yamaha, Arcam, NAD, Rotel, et al in sound quality?  They all seem to get 5 star (or close) Performance reviews in Sound and Vision.  The local high fi shop even said they're all about the same.  What do you guys think?  I almost tend to believe them.  I bought into the hype a time ago in buying a Anthem receiver that ended up being supremely overrated IMHO.



“… I had the Cambridge Audio CXR200 and replaced it with an Anthem MXR 520 in order to implement a home theatre bypass setup.

Both were good for what they did, but if you are thinking they will work as the centrepiece of a high quality two channel system, you are delusional…”

MY TAKE: = +1000 …. BIG TIME! Point, set, and match in tennis jargon

That is precisely why my 7.1 HT system is just a “C” system sequestered in the basement HT arena used strictly for selected multichannel BluRay movies and multichannel BluRay music concerts .Let’s not forget that these 5.1+ and up multichannel performances are artificially mastered and manufactured sound tracks in a designated channel point source recording and point source only manufactured soundstage .

Contrast that to the Holy Grail in 2-channel audio wherein it’s a recorded and mastered performance in an endeavour to get a “live performance” experience to whatever degree possible. High end 2-channel creates an ethereal 3-dimensional sound stage wherein the speakers “disappear” in a holographic soundstage stretching L to R , and also Front  to Back,

My HT setup cannot compete with my 2-channel “A” critical listening high-end system

It also falls short of my “B” TV & audio 2.1 system audio performance, that is used 90% of the time for both TV and casual background audio performance.

Agree with others that if sound quality, and 2-channel in particular, is a priority you don’t want any AVR (unless you can connect up a good integrated amp thru preamp outs on the AVR).  That said, I compared several AVRs and Marantz is warmer and fuller sounding but lacks detail up in the treble region.  I much preferred the Yamaha sound wise to Denon, Onkyo, Marantz, and Arcam as it most resembled the sound of my much pricier separate stereo amp and preamp.  And along with Anthem, Yammy is the most reliable, which is not a small consideration. I don’t recommend Rotel, Cambridge, or NAD as their reliability is subpar, and who wants to deal with that?  Hope this helps a little. 

I do think they do sound different to some degree depending on your entire system I just recently tried to upgrade my HT Receiver(second system).  I have a 2011 Pioneer Elite A/B I thought could be easily improved.  Bought Marantz, Integra, Anthem 100-120W more recent models and resold them all.  My crazy Pioneer receiver in analog direct mode sounded much more realistic, warmer and better bass at low volume than any of them.  I confirmed it sounds pretty darn good and I enjoy it as something different than my main set up. 🤯 I did not expect that at all and I have now given up on my  search. I chalk it up to system synergy???

Anthem isn't terrible but the room correction is pretty mediocre in performance.

Some Marantz use the high end Audyssey MultEQ which lets you hand  tune the response.  For me that's a much better situation.

Go with the higher end Yamaha Aventage. It is tailored more for an advanced user, but, will let you create any sound signature you want. I use Aventage separates in my multichannel music rig, in combination with some other amps and it runs circles around my cost no object stereo rig.