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.


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.

I have exclusively used Denon since the 80’s super affordable if purchased used. Around the late 90’s i started using my Denons are pre/pro’s and opting not to use the onboard amps. Once Outlaw audio started making those 200watt monos i was sold. This story has come full circle, now i use a stack of 7 outlaw m200’s and the assignable denon receiver amps for Atmos duty.

i install professionally and to be honest i can hear the bigger amps capabilities but as to sounding different or one better than the other, i never heard that. Denon is a simple unit that is my swissarmy knife for sure.

as to Audyssey, i have done my own setting up style as to SPL levels and used Audyssey and i like mine and theirs. Mine is solid, great dynamics…..but at low levels not so much.Audyssey at lower levels 75db MV Audyssey is a ckear winner