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    How's it going? Had to edit my first reply because there's a 2000 character limit. Anyhow wanted to add. In most cases new units in the same price range are going to be pretty close. Marantz, Onk, Denon, HK, Yamaha, Pioneer do this to compete against each other, and each one might have some point in there favor, but another point against them. There is no other way to keep the price close to the others. So when you hear someone rave about a particular model it's mostly just personnel taste/opinion, sometimes colored by the minds ability to hear and see things that may or may not exist, to convince them they made the right choice. All the AVRs on your list have pre outs, IMHO a MUST This keeps many options open. If you decide to add an amp to see if it improves the sound. If you change speakers to something that might require an amp. You are not painted in a corner with this option. AVRs and pre pros become obsolete so fast I personally do not put much stock in a large investment in them.

    If you already have plans of adding an amp, I would take a step down and give up some features "connectivity" "video up scaling" (most TVs have this capability) and get something in the $300 to$400 US range and then you can probably find a used or refurb amp around the same price. Then when the next new technology is released that you want, wait for it to hit the entry level products and then upgrade the AVR, the amp stays. If you really don't think you will add an amp, then go with your gut feeling on one of the AVRs from your list. Wanting this for mostly HT over music, I would say it still puts the Yamaha and Pioneer on the top of the list, although I still am not sure just what that Pioneer is.

    Also keep in mind how much rooms can effect the sound. So it really is hard to demo anything unless you hear it in your room and set up. That with personnal taste means that what works great for one may not for others.
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