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  1. #1

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    Default MCACC v. MultEQ XT32 (Pio SC-35 v. Denon 4311CI)

    I am planning on upgrading in the near future and basically my decision has come down to either a Pioneer SC (leaning toward the 35) OR a Denon AVR-4311CI. The big factor for me is the EQ ability of each, as right now I only have Audyssey 2EQ.

    The Denon has MultEQ XT32 and pre-outs for 11 channels (though it can only drive 9 at a time) and does heights OR wides. The Pio has MCACC and pre-outs for 9 channels, and does wides BUT NOT heights. Not sure how big a deal that might be so I will call it a wash. The Denon has 2 HDMI outs so thats somewhat an advantage, but the ICE amps in the Pio make up for that in spades....

    So its down mostly to the EQ. Which EQ program is better in your opinion and why?

    Looking forward to your guys thoughts.
    Last edited by EndersShadow; 10-05-2011 at 02:00 PM.

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    I like the sound of the Elites better but like the features of the Denon much better. Pioneer needs to step their
    game up.

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    I would agree - in the short time I've had my Pioneer, about the only gripe I have with it is that lack of a UI for accessing features & status info and the OSD. The Denon 3311 it replaces blows it away in terms of usability - but the Pioneer sounds better. I've said it before ..kind of an odd omission for your top of the line receiver.

    As for MultEQ XT vs MCACC - I think they're equally effective, though MCACC tells you more about what it's doing when it's doing it. Considering they are different receivers it's hard to compare apples to apples. I will say that I like the MultEQ day / night / midnight modes as they are effective for when you're watching tv late at night. I think ALC is a similar mode on the Pioneers.
    ALL BOXED UP for a while until I save up for a new place :(

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    Are either of you running dedicated amps or no? I ask because I plan on having a Sunfire Cinema Grand at some point (bi-amp my LSi 15's and use the LSiC) and more than likely keeping my 5 channel Carver in the mix as well...... If I did that I would be driving ALL the surrounds off the Denon OR just the rear surrounds if using the Pio, and I might not use the side surrounds, only the rear ones....

    I just keep seeing myself with a LSi 15, LSiC front 3, a set of LSi 7 heights and LSi 9 wides...... which is probably unrealistic but I think that would be a heck of a front setup, especially since I doubt I will ever do anything other than rear surrounds....

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    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
    Are either of you running dedicated amps or no? I ask because I plan on having a Sunfire Cinema Grand at some point (bi-amp my LSi 15's and use the LSiC) and more than likely keeping my 5 channel Carver in the mix as well...... If I did that I would be driving ALL the surrounds off the Denon OR just the rear surrounds if using the Pio, and I might not use the side surrounds, only the rear ones....

    I just keep seeing myself with a LSi 15, LSiC front 3, a set of LSi 7 heights and LSi 9 wides...... which is probably unrealistic but I think that would be a heck of a front setup, especially since I doubt I will ever do anything other than rear surrounds....
    very close to what im going for but ill have 2 LSiC aswell as the LSiFX with LSi7 or LSi9....

    the sunfire amp is 400wpc ???
    Last edited by mole'; 10-05-2011 at 03:44 PM.
    mole'

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    Quote Originally Posted by mole' View Post
    very close to what im going for but ill have 2 LSiC aswell as the LSiFX with LSi7 or LSi9....

    the sunfire amp is 400wpc ???
    The one I want is the Sunfire Grand Cinema Signature Edition which is 450wpc @ 8ohms x 5 and 800wpc @ 4ohm x5.

    But yes I am looking at something similar to your setup so I am following your dual center thread with interest, specifically the post from John......

    My fronts will all be LSi's (or such is my thinking currently) and my surrounds will be all be your standard 8ohm speakers, probably Infinity Primus P162's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by endersshadow View Post
    the one i want is the sunfire grand cinema signature edition which is 450wpc @ 8ohms x 5 and 800wpc @ 4ohm x5.
    bonecrushing!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by codyc1ark View Post
    bonecrushing!!!
    Yup, and we all know LSi 15's love them some POWA!!!!!!!!

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    MCACC = 9-band broad EQ with full-range phase adjustment from a single listening position. MultEQ XT 32 = hundreds of sample points across the frequency range to correct equalization and phase/delay across multiple listening positions. MCACC tells you more about what it's doing because there's no way to visually represent what MultEQ does on a low-resolution AVR UI, and MCACC lets you tweak the 9-band EQ... whereas there's no way to shape MultEQ's equalization outside of the Pro variant of MultEQ XT (which uses a computer). For my money, I'd take MultEQ XT over MCACC.

    More relevant to this discussion, if you're using external amplification for the front soundstage, I'd go with the Denon for the feature set, since the Pioneer's amp section would then be irrelevant. But then, I would never give up my height channels... and I'd love to do an 11.1 setup.
    Equipment list:
    Onkyo TX-NR3010 9.2 AVR
    Emotiva XPA-3 amp
    Polk RTi70 mains, CSi40 center, RTi38 surrounds, RTi28 rears and heights
    SVS 20-39CS+ subwoofer powered by Crown XLS1500
    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player
    DarbeeVision DVP5000 video processor
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuntasensei View Post
    MCACC = 9-band broad EQ with full-range phase adjustment from a single listening position. MultEQ XT 32 = hundreds of sample points across the frequency range to correct equalization and phase/delay across multiple listening positions. MCACC tells you more about what it's doing because there's no way to visually represent what MultEQ does on a low-resolution AVR UI, and MCACC lets you tweak the 9-band EQ... whereas there's no way to shape MultEQ's equalization outside of the Pro variant of MultEQ XT (which uses a computer). For my money, I'd take MultEQ XT over MCACC.

    More relevant to this discussion, if you're using external amplification for the front soundstage, I'd go with the Denon for the feature set, since the Pioneer's amp section would then be irrelevant. But then, I would never give up my height channels... and I'd love to do an 11.1 setup.
    Thank you, thats kinda what I have been hearing. And yes I would love to do a 11.1 setup (but currently you can only use either heights or wides but not both at the same time), but to start with honestly it will more than likely be without the far back surrounds. My new place might allow for that, but then I also have to get the wife to allow it and thats a little bit harder to do, but possible if I bribe her with a new purse or two....

    And as you stated that kinda makes ICE power a little less needed, BUT I am still curious how much wattage my surrounds would get from the Denon. I know I HATED my 1611 but its pretty underpowered and MUCH lower on the totem pole than the 4311.

    Still appreciate as many opinions as possible.
    Last edited by EndersShadow; 10-05-2011 at 04:50 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
    The one I want is the Sunfire Grand Cinema Signature Edition which is 450wpc @ 8ohms x 5 and 800wpc @ 4ohm x5.

    But yes I am looking at something similar to your setup so I am following your dual center thread with interest, specifically the post from John......

    My fronts will all be LSi's (or such is my thinking currently) and my surrounds will be all be your standard 8ohm speakers, probably Infinity Primus P162's.

    800WPC!!!

    im gonna play with my LSiC when i get home today.
    mole'

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    Eric Edoggrc51 has the 4311. i remember him saying the MultEQ was really NICE!!!!
    mole'

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    Quote Originally Posted by mole' View Post
    800WPC!!!

    im gonna play with my LSiC when i get home today.
    That rating is ONLY if your Sunfire is one of the SIGNATURE editions however. Otherwise if its just a Grand Cinema its only 450 wpc @ 4 ohm.

    Basically if your Sunfire has Bob Carvers signature its a Signature edition, otherwise its just the regular Cinema Grand.

    With a Signature edition you could run 2 LSiC's in series (so 4 ohm + 4 ohm for total of 8 ohm) and just let them share the 450 wpc @ 8ohm. Your AVR would calibrate the levels to ensure matching.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
    And yes I would love to do a 11.1 setup (but currently you can only use either heights or wides but not both at the same time), but to start with honestly it will more than likely be without the far back surrounds.
    Actually, you CAN do 11.1 with the 4311CI... but you have to drive the additional two channels off the pre-outs. SeattleHTGuy over at AVSForums runs the 4311 in 11.1 if I recall correctly. Wish it worked that way on my Onkyo 1007, but the pre-outs are either/or on the Onkyo. It's fine though... Not sure where I'd put width channels in my room anyway (and the dipoles on the side kinda' eliminate the need anyway).
    Equipment list:
    Onkyo TX-NR3010 9.2 AVR
    Emotiva XPA-3 amp
    Polk RTi70 mains, CSi40 center, RTi38 surrounds, RTi28 rears and heights
    SVS 20-39CS+ subwoofer powered by Crown XLS1500
    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
    That rating is ONLY if your Sunfire is one of the SIGNATURE editions however. Otherwise if its just a Grand Cinema its only 450 wpc @ 4 ohm.

    Basically if your Sunfire has Bob Carvers signature its a Signature edition, otherwise its just the regular Cinema Grand.

    With a Signature edition you could run 2 LSiC's in series (so 4 ohm + 4 ohm for total of 8 ohm) and just let them share the 450 wpc @ 8ohm. Your AVR would calibrate the levels to ensure matching.
    sounds like a kick @$$ amp...... and $$$ im sure.


    Quote Originally Posted by kuntasensei View Post
    Actually, you CAN do 11.1 with the 4311CI... but you have to drive the additional two channels off the pre-outs. SeattleHTGuy over at AVSForums runs the 4311 in 11.1 if I recall correctly. Wish it worked that way on my Onkyo 1007, but the pre-outs are either/or on the Onkyo. It's fine though... Not sure where I'd put width channels in my room anyway (and the dipoles on the side kinda' eliminate the need anyway).
    you know whats better than a 11.1 system????

    11.2
    mole'

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    Quote Originally Posted by mole' View Post
    sounds like a kick @$$ amp...... and $$$ im sure.

    you know whats better than a 11.1 system????

    11.2
    LOL... yes its a bit of coin, but its an amp I wont ever need to replace so its worth the scrilla.

    And yes 11.2 is better than 11.1, but not always. 2 PSW125's are not better than 1 DSWMicropro 4000

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    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
    LOL... yes its a bit of coin, but its an amp I wont ever need to replace so its worth the scrilla.

    And yes 11.2 is better than 11.1, but not always. 2 PSW125's are not better than 1 DSWMicropro 4000
    mole'

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    Quote Originally Posted by mole' View Post
    you know whats better than a 11.1 system????

    11.2
    So if you're running a sub AND a Buttkicker LFE, does that count as ".2"? 'Cause if so, I'm running 9.2.
    Equipment list:
    Onkyo TX-NR3010 9.2 AVR
    Emotiva XPA-3 amp
    Polk RTi70 mains, CSi40 center, RTi38 surrounds, RTi28 rears and heights
    SVS 20-39CS+ subwoofer powered by Crown XLS1500
    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player
    DarbeeVision DVP5000 video processor
    Epson 8500UB 1080p projector
    Elite Screens Sable 120" CineWhite screen

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    Quote Originally Posted by kuntasensei View Post
    So if you're running a sub AND a Buttkicker LFE, does that count as ".2"? 'Cause if so, I'm running 9.2.


    Buttkicker LFE??? that the lil mini sub that goes under your cushion on the couch?

    EDIT:

    just looked it up, i was right.....


    nope, you dont have a .2

    you have a .15


    hahahaha
    mole'

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    Quote Originally Posted by mole' View Post
    im gonna play with my LSiC when i get home today.
    Sounds DIRTY! I like! - I've been following your dual thread, and I can't wait to hear your results, I think this is an upgrade I could be very interested in.

    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
    That rating is ONLY if your Sunfire is one of the SIGNATURE editions however. Otherwise if its just a Grand Cinema its only 450 wpc @ 4 ohm.
    Yeah, only, stupid underpowered 450wpc amp. Pssshhhhhtttt.

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    I had an Onkyo 3008 with Multeqxt32 and after it broke I went with Pioneer. I liked the XT32 over the MCACC, however it is really nice that the Pioneer lets you tweak the 9 band eq if you want. If it's mainly a pre the Denon does have a few more features and onscreen GUI, but I still prefer the sound of the Pioneer hands down.
    Theater Room: Pioneer Elite SC-35, RTi12's, Csi5, Fxi5's, Fxi3's, ED A5-350 sub, Optoma HD20, 92'' Elite Screen, Xbox One, APC H15, MIT Exp 2 SC's, Pepster PC's

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    I'm surprised no one has mentioned but the 37 would have 2 HDMI outputs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drenis View Post
    I'm surprised no one has mentioned but the 37 would have 2 HDMI outputs.
    so does the SC-35
    mole'

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drenis View Post
    I'm surprised no one has mentioned but the 37 would have 2 HDMI outputs.
    And its only for controlling other gear, they are not both "true" HDMI's. The Denon does, so you can go from watching something on TV to the same thing on a Projector.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
    And its only for controlling other gear, they are not both "true" HDMI's. The Denon does, so you can go from watching something on TV to the same thing on a Projector.
    Are you sure? My VSX-32 will output on both. SC35 looks identical in setup.

    And mole, your right. My bad for confusing it with a different model.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drenis View Post
    Are you sure? My VSX-32 will output on both. SC35 looks identical in setup.

    And mole, your right. My bad for confusing it with a different model.
    Thats what I thought the manual said, but I glanced over it. If it does output over both then its still a wash as so does the Denon.
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    I would still pick the Pioneer over the Denon due to sheer sound quality alone. All the bells and whistles at the end of the day doesn't equal good sound quality.
    So what bells does the Denon have the Pioneer lacks? Are you going to ring those bells? Why not look at a SC-57 and get the king of all SC models right now? The SC-57 has Airplay built in which is really nice. It also has dual sub outs so you can tune each sub by it self. No receiver has dual HDMI outs that is Matrix. They are just a splitter.
    Maybe it's because I don't like every single receiver that has Audyssey but I think MCACC does a much better job. The Denon after calibration actually sound worse. I also don't believe in picking multiple seats , one king one king seat. Everyone else will get a good experience. Not everyone can sit in the sweet spot.
    Who uses Height or width channels? I'm curious as whats recorded in this speaker layout? Most content is still recorded in 5.1. I have yet to do a job that someone wanted Height or Width and it's been out for awhile. I personally think it's a marketing gimmick to give people reasons to buy new gear just like 3D. Years ago I was all about 7.1 , I installed it in my personal system and found myself just about never using it. Even today not many things are recorded in 7 channels. It's still a 5 channel world with a sub.

    I'm curious about what the attraction is to the avr4311? What does it have thats attractive? If your looking for something to compare to the Pioneer I would throw in Integra and Marantz. If your looking for the best sound quality possible , I would really consider NAD , Cambridge audio or the new Anthem MX700 which has a very nice Auto set up in ARC. Rotel has no Auto calibration , it's back to manual style but from what I hear they are working on that. They sound fanastic but it's about as featureless as it gets much like the Cambridge Audio.

    If you plan on a Sunfire amp , why not just get a preamp? The NAD looks pretty killer and it sounds amazing. If I ever go back to
    separates , I would seriously consider NAD. The Integra is pretty damn nice as well. Strong choice IMO.

    I understand it's tuff out there trying to figure out the right piece for your system.

    Features are extremely cool after you find your sound quality.
    Last edited by mantis; 10-06-2011 at 07:10 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mantis View Post
    Who uses Height or width channels? I'm curious as whats recorded in this speaker layout? Most content is still recorded in 5.1. I have yet to do a job that someone wanted Height or Width and it's been out for awhile. I personally think it's a marketing gimmick to give people reasons to buy new gear just like 3D. Years ago I was all about 7.1 , I installed it in my personal system and found myself just about never using it. Even today not many things are recorded in 7 channels. It's still a 5 channel world with a sub.
    1) I use height channels. Marketing gimmickry aside, Dolby's implementation of height is designed to work with the existing mixing standards for movies, wherein ambient sound is mixed out-of-phase in the surrounds, so nothing HAS to be recorded specifically for this format. In the theatrical space, this method of mixing allows sound to resolve as if it were generally above you because the speakers have enough distance from the listener to allow a dipole-like effect. In the home space, the speakers are too close for this to fully resolve. The height channels work in conjunction with the surrounds to anchor that sound above you in a smaller space, giving you the sound of the theatrical space in a much smaller home area without any fakey environmental simulation DSP sound. Because mixes have been done this way since the advent of digital 5.1, DPL-IIz Height tends to be very effective even with catalog titles. It's subtle... until you turn it off and realize that theater sound is suddenly missing. Audyssey's DSX height is a bit more in-your-face, but still effective.

    2) 7.1 for the home was initially created to address propagation of sound directly behind the listener in the home space, because a single rear point source can have a perceived reversal such that it sounds like it is coming from in front of you. This made reproducing Dolby Digital EX mixes difficult in the home space. Having two rear surrounds defeated this perceived reversal as it allowed the sounds panned around the surrounds to always come from multiple point sources, effectively reproducing the effect of speaker arrays in the theatrical space. Since most modern mixes are done for DD-EX and have been for some time, your statement that most content is recorded in 5.1 is woefully incorrect. Most modern mixes are done for 5.1 with a matrixed rear surround channel for the theater, and the only way to correctly reproduce that in the home is with a 7.1 system (though 6.1 with DPL-IIz Music applied to the surrounds spreads the rear data across multiple point sources fairly well).

    3) Now that Dolby 7.1 is becoming common in the theater, 7.1 in the home is a definite boon. Recent releases mixed for discrete 7.1 include Tron: Legacy, Tangled, Megamind, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, Thor, Toy Story 3, Captain America: The First Avenger, Cars 2, Super 8, Kung-Fu Panda 2, and Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Upcoming movies in theatrical 7.1 include Real Steel, John Carter, War Horse, Brave, and Puss In Boots. Just sayin'... It's not a 5.1 world anymore... and hasn't been for some time.
    Equipment list:
    Onkyo TX-NR3010 9.2 AVR
    Emotiva XPA-3 amp
    Polk RTi70 mains, CSi40 center, RTi38 surrounds, RTi28 rears and heights
    SVS 20-39CS+ subwoofer powered by Crown XLS1500
    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player
    DarbeeVision DVP5000 video processor
    Epson 8500UB 1080p projector
    Elite Screens Sable 120" CineWhite screen

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    Quote Originally Posted by mantis View Post
    So what bells does the Denon have the Pioneer lacks? Are you going to ring those bells? Why not look at a SC-57 and get the king of all SC models right now? The SC-57 has Airplay built in which is really nice. It also has dual sub outs so you can tune each sub by it self.
    The Denon has 11 channel pre-outs for heights/wides, and apparently can do both at once. The Pio can only do wides. The Denon also has 2 sub outs and tunes each sub independent of the other (new features for the XT32 version of EQ).

    Quote Originally Posted by mantis View Post
    The Denon after calibration actually sound worse.
    That is the first time I have actually heard that one. Will have to look into it more.

    Quote Originally Posted by mantis View Post
    I'm curious about what the attraction is to the avr4311? What does it have thats attractive? If your looking for something to compare to the Pioneer I would throw in Integra and Marantz. If your looking for the best sound quality possible , I would really consider NAD , Cambridge audio or the new Anthem MX700 which has a very nice Auto set up in ARC. Rotel has no Auto calibration , it's back to manual style but from what I hear they are working on that. They sound fanastic but it's about as featureless as it gets much like the Cambridge Audio.
    Mostly EQ is what I was looking at the 4311CI now does airplay as well and its almost a wash with feature differences between the Pio and Denon.

    In regards to Integra, I have one now and wont rule one out, but the cost is much higher than the Denon (looking at refurbs @ Dakmart) and Pio. Marantz does not have a model currently with XT32, only XT (SR7005) and I want the XT32 since it EQ's the subs independent.

    NAD is a company I know squat about but seems to be highly regarded, but normally they are priced up there. I will have to do some more research on them to see if they fit my needs. Same with Anthem. I have been interested in their ARC system and I have a dealer near me with them so it might be time to make a visit there again.

    **edit** MX700 only has 4 HDMI's. Thats a pretty big problem since right now I have 3HDMI sources. Very little room for growth compared to some of the other AVR's in that price range.

    I really want something with an Auto EQ since I am not really good at dialing things in manually yet nor do I want to spend the time to do so everytime I move.

    Quote Originally Posted by mantis View Post
    If you plan on a Sunfire amp , why not just get a preamp? The NAD looks pretty killer and it sounds amazing. If I ever go back to
    separates , I would seriously consider NAD. The Integra is pretty damn nice as well. Strong choice IMO. Features are extremely cool after you find your sound quality.
    A pre-amp means I always HAVE to have 1 amp channel per speaker. A AVR w/ pre-outs allows me flexibility in how I use the amp channels I have. This deals mostly with heights/wides. If I dont use those then yes by adding a Sunfire I would have enough amplification to bi-amp my LSi 15's, run 1 (or 2) center channels as well as 2 sets of surrounds for a 7.1 setup. If on the other hand I use heights or wides, and I want 7.1 I need 2-4 channels of amplification to run my surrounds.

    This isnt something happening tomorrow so I will keep doing some research, I just know lots of folks super happy with the Pio's and also the XT32 AVR's (Onkyo, Denon, etc)
    Last edited by EndersShadow; 10-06-2011 at 09:18 AM.

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    Man, now I am seriously considering one of the NAD T775 units. I like the scaleability they have by adding new boards as things come out. Thats kinda what I am looking for so I can keep updating w/o rebuying everytime. Add to that the fact that NAD underrates their power, and the T775 might be my winner.

    Its HDMI 1.3 so its not "new" meaning I can get it for less, its got all the power I would need, its got good analog hookups for 2 channels, pre-outs and doesnt look as bad as the Integra I have........ plus there are modules already out there to make it go HDMI 1.4. I just dont know if I want to buy something knowing its missing one of the main things I wanted Audysseey XT32. Its got XT which is a decent step up from my current gear...

    Darn you mantis lol......

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