Best Home AV Products 2020 - Editor's Choice Awards

N1ck

Active Member
Does this mean that during 2020 the Marantz 7015 is a better buy than the Arcam 550 which is £300 less?
I’ve been looking at these two models but was always under the impression that the Arcam sounded a lot better.
 
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SonOfSJ

Well-known Member
@Steve Withers Greetings again, Mr Withers! Alas, this time I do have a quibble, about the SVS PC-2000 Pro subwoofer, which I think that I might have mentioned some time ago in the review thread? It's a shame that since you originally reviewed it in July, I've never seen the £832 price that is quoted in the awards (which would be for the black ash option) from any retailer. I've just done another price check and the black ash option doesn't seem to have made it across the Atlantic, perhaps as you said previously because of Covid-19 restrictions, only the £999 gloss black option is available, from AV online, Audiologica, HiFix and Richer Sounds. So that's quite an uptick on the £832 price that is quoted in the awards list.
 

drillo

Active Member
Unfortunately we haven't had a chance to review any sub-£1,000 receivers this year, otherwise that would have been a category.
Sorry but most of this list makes very little sense to me. Best high end cinema speakers are a prime example. Who were the winners compared to? Procella? Krix? JBL synthesis? Please give us a clue

These awards seem like 90% nonsense. I wouldn't buy anything based on this article

Is this really awards based solely on what was reviewed in the confines of the yr - with many products having multi-yr lives or not being sent for review, the list is (I'd say pointless but don't mean to be rude)
Need context surely! Should it not be best products reviewed in 2020 that were released in 2020?
 
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xSLYx

Active Member
I've got a dedicated room and could spend more than £1000 on an AVR but the problem for me is that I can't fit anything larger (depth is the main issue) than a Sony STR-DN1080 in my Alphason AV cabinet. Simply put the more expensive AVRs are too big for me even with a dedicated room, so I'd like to see more £1000 reviews also.
Why the heck would you base your equipment decisions around a cabinet? Maybe get a different cabinet, as....well its just a cabinet, and it limits your choice of gearo_O
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
Why the heck would you base your equipment decisions around a cabinet? Maybe get a different cabinet, as....well its just a cabinet, and it limits your choice of gearo_O
I thought that when I read it. Isn't the point of having a dedicated room, that all of the choices in that room can be about best possible audio and not about pleasing the family and aesthetics?
 

Dean

Well-known Member
Why the heck would you base your equipment decisions around a cabinet? Maybe get a different cabinet, as....well its just a cabinet, and it limits your choice of gearo_O

Fair comment, but it's a small room so space is a premium. I've had equipment racks in bigger rooms from the beginning which is fine but aesthetics is important to me now and don't need everything on show. Also because the room is smaller I don't need a massively powered AVR. Everything else fits perfectly and has enough room, it's just amplifiers/receivers which tend to be much deeper.
 

xSLYx

Active Member
Fair comment, but it's a small room so space is a premium. I've had equipment racks in bigger rooms from the beginning which is fine but aesthetics is important to me now and don't need everything on show. Also because the room is smaller I don't need a massively powered AVR. Everything else fits perfectly and has enough room, it's just amplifiers/receivers which tend to be much deeper.
Maybe, but your talking a couple of inches there and I personally couldn't imagine having gone through everything you need in an avr which seems to be all time consuming in itself only to see its a tad to big.
And I've also got a small room (12ftx11) so like you don't need to much headroom but found out the best sq does come from the higher models, and want the best sound I can get.
 

Dean

Well-known Member
Maybe, but your talking a couple of inches there and I personally couldn't imagine having gone through everything you need in an avr which seems to be all time consuming in itself only to see its a tad to big.
And I've also got a small room (12ftx11) so like you don't need to much headroom but found out the best sq does come from the higher models, and want the best sound I can get.

Not sure I know what you mean but getting rid of a rack allowed me to fit much more in the room. If you saw a pic of my room it might be clearer. In a smallish room I've managed to fit so much while keeping it as spacious as possible using the Alphason. Might not be your choice but it is mine. It's a minor gripe for me not being able to fit a bigger AVR but I achieved what I wanted in my dedicated room.
 

xSLYx

Active Member
Not sure I know what you mean but getting rid of a rack allowed me to fit much more in the room. If you saw a pic of my room it might be clearer. In a smallish room I've managed to fit so much while keeping it as spacious as possible using the Alphason. Might not be your choice but it is mine. It's a minor gripe for me not being able to fit a bigger AVR but I achieved what I wanted in my dedicated room.
As long as your happy mate thats all that counts, if everyone thought the same way it'd be very boring. ;)
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
It's a minor gripe for me not being able to fit a bigger AVR but I achieved what I wanted in my dedicated room.
Good work! What is the room use dedicated for?
 

Grangey.

Distinguished Member
Is this really awards based solely on what was reviewed in the confines of the yr - with many products having multi-yr lives or not being sent for review, the list is (I'd say pointless but don't mean to be rude)
Need context surely! Should it not be best products reviewed in 2020 that were released in 2020?

Completely agree with this @Steve Withers , as a huge fan of this forum and having followed your awards previously, I’m very disappointed to find there’s been a year of reviews where the team have found more merit in sourcing and dedicating time to a review a £32k+ set of speakers, but somehow despite all of the industry contacts the team will have build with manufacturers and even AV stores over the year, that you didn’t have “the chance” to review any sub £1,000 receivers this year.

Awards aside, from a business model perspective in a year so many have been spending more time at home, I can’t imagine you get higher site and review visits on ultra high ticket items, as you do the more affordable ranges.

With such a huge influx of 4k affordable technology comming to the market this year (PS5, Xbox, and RTX/ 5 series gpus) there will be a large amount of people wanting to upgrade their setup to support all these who will be focused on this £1k and under price point, so can only see the site benefiting by improving the “chance” to review all the options possible on this category like used to.

Thanks and keep up the otherwise great work!
 

Toon Army

Well-known Member
A further point on reviewing sub £1000 AVRs is the need to attract new enthusiasts and not put them off with silly prices. We all started with far cheaper equipment and then built up to the higher quality equipment and accompanying prices.
 

CaptainJames

Well-known Member
A further point on reviewing sub £1000 AVRs is the need to attract new enthusiasts and not put them off with silly prices. We all started with far cheaper equipment and then built up to the higher quality equipment and accompanying prices.

A good point, a lot of people are very reluctant to even drop a bag of sand on a 65" TV, which as we know is peanuts, but......Big price points can look a bit elitist.
 

Badger0-0

Member
I struggle to see how £2500 dropped on a 12" sub is good value in any way whatsoever.
It's a nice looking thing, no doubt about it.
But does it actually perform any better than the usual suspects at half the price?

Of course, if it's about massively overpriced brand snobbery, Rel wins hands down and I can't fault the choice.
Much like a lot of the winners list, I feel.

AVForums needs to be careful, imo.
Any site can just say the most expensive is best and it's hard to argue, because it probably is.
But particularly now, a balance of best and value should be top of the list and this site is in danger of becoming elitist, imo.

The Paradigm Persona at £32k is just a joke, for example.
They might well be the best, but there's probably only a hundred people who read this site that could even consider buying them.
I'm saying they're ridiculously irrelevant and would guess the majority would agree.

I'm majorly disappointed with this year's list, I'm afraid :-(
 

steve sph

Well-known Member
Purely my two pennerth, but for me the reviewers are caught between two stools here - those being 'which item is definitively the best' and 'which item definitively isn't the best but offers the best value for money'.
And it's always nigh on impossible to reconcile the two, so they get slated if they say a pair of £32k speakers are the best and get folks moaning if, say, an £800 Denon receiver wins because it's demonstrably not as good as a Lyngdorf.
And even value for money is hugely subjective - one man's 'essential' purchase is another man's frivolous frippery.
That said, I'd argue that an 'under a grand' category would be a good idea for avrs/turntables/amps/tellies/speakers et al as at least it would be of help to those starting out as AV enthusiasts.
But I would also tentatively suggest that folks consider the plight of the poor reviewer before they vent their collective spleens, because it's often a thankless task where you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.
 

CaptainJames

Well-known Member
Purely my two pennerth, but for me the reviewers are caught between two stools here - those being 'which item is definitively the best' and 'which item definitively isn't the best but offers the best value for money'.
And it's always nigh on impossible to reconcile the two, so they get slated if they say a pair of £32k speakers are the best and get folks moaning if, say, an £800 Denon receiver wins because it's demonstrably not as good as a Lyngdorf.
And even value for money is hugely subjective - one man's 'essential' purchase is another man's frivolous frippery.
That said, I'd argue that an 'under a grand' category would be a good idea for avrs/turntables/amps/tellies/speakers et al as at least it would be of help to those starting out as AV enthusiasts.
But I would also tentatively suggest that folks consider the plight of the poor reviewer before they vent their collective spleens, because it's often a thankless task where you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

Yeah that's fair comment, of course reviewers can only review what is out in front of them and can only give their subjective opinion. Perhaps having three categories of "Budget", "Mainstream" and "High End" would help, but then where would you draw the line between them? One man's Budget is another man's Mainstream.....

Clearly a 32K set of speakers is going to be beyond probably 99% of members/readers on here, so such a review is of limited use, however still of academic interest to some.
 

Dean

Well-known Member

xSLYx

Active Member
It's an entertainment room



Not quite. It's probably better than your room.
Is your room better than my room,
Oh no. o_O
But you still can't get a cabinet thats a few inches bigger? Nope, mine is definitely better.🙄. are you kidding me.
 

Dean

Well-known Member
Is your room better than my room,
Oh no. o_O
But you still can't get a cabinet thats a few inches bigger? Nope, mine is definitely better.🙄. are you kidding me.

It's not just a question of buying expensive kit, I could spend thousands on an AV receiver if I wanted to, let alone a cabinet. Sometimes space is a premium which is my original point in this thread. I'll take a look at your amazing room if its in the DIY showcase section.
 

xSLYx

Active Member
It's not just a question of buying expensive kit, I could spend thousands on an AV receiver if I wanted to, let alone a cabinet. Sometimes space is a premium which is my original point in this thread. I'll take a look at your amazing room if its in the DIY showcase section.
And why would my room be in a showcase just because my cabinets a few inches bigger, why would you think its something to brag about.
Your situation is self imposed and has restricted you away from most decent units irrespective of cost and there is always a heat issue.
You've got to admit someone saying they've got a "entertainment room" then saying that a couple of inches on a cabinet makes it too big is something unique and a few people will give you a few digs about it so don't cry.
But if you do just don't use them man size tissues, they'll cover your house.
 

Dean

Well-known Member
And why would my room be in a showcase just because my cabinets a few inches bigger, why would you think its something to brag about.
Your situation is self imposed and has restricted you away from most decent units irrespective of cost and there is always a heat issue.
You've got to admit someone saying they've got a "entertainment room" then saying that a couple of inches on a cabinet makes it too big is something unique and a few people will give you a few digs about it so don't cry.
But if you do just don't use them man size tissues, they'll cover your house.

Nah there's no heat issue with my alphason cabinet, it's well ventilated at the back. I'm not crying about anything at all. I checked by pushing my AVR as far back as it could go and I can actually squeeze a deeper AVR at around 2 inches deeper than the Sony. It won't fit everything of course but good to know for my next upgrade.
 

xSLYx

Active Member
Nah there's no heat issue with my alphason cabinet, it's well ventilated at the back. I'm not crying about anything at all. I checked by pushing my AVR as far back as it could go and I can actually squeeze a deeper AVR at around 2 inches deeper than the Sony. It won't fit everything of course but good to know for my next upgrade.
Sounds ok then.
But remember most of the heat will come out the top, a few people have said 4 inches clearance is best.
 

localzero

Novice Member
@Steve Withers Greetings again, Mr Withers! Alas, this time I do have a quibble, about the SVS PC-2000 Pro subwoofer, which I think that I might have mentioned some time ago in the review thread? It's a shame that since you originally reviewed it in July, I've never seen the £832 price that is quoted in the awards (which would be for the black ash option) from any retailer. I've just done another price check and the black ash option doesn't seem to have made it across the Atlantic, perhaps as you said previously because of Covid-19 restrictions, only the £999 gloss black option is available, from AV online, Audiologica, HiFix and Richer Sounds. So that's quite an uptick on the £832 price that is quoted in the awards list.

It's available at £899 in black ash in loads of places now including Richer SVS SB2000 Pro (Black Ash)
 

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