Looking for a good AVR receiver for around $1,500


Novice Member
I just upgraded by two front towers to the B&W 603 Anniversary editions this past weekend. I have a 5.1 setup (AVR is Denon X3200W) where I'm slowly going to start upgrading components and the towers were my first priority as I listen to a lot of stereo music on them as I'm working from home (my desk is right behind the couch, kinda nice setup wise).

I went to Best Buy this weekend to demo a bunch of speakers and also decided to demo some amps and was surprised how different the sound was from a Denon to an Arcam. They had a Arcam 550 (open box) where they were able to sell it at $1,400 which seemed like a great deal! The downside is that they only had the Arcam AV20 so I listened to the B&W's on them but the the Magnolia rep was saying that I should expect the same sound quality from the AVR550.

At that price point (plus or minus a few hundred), is the best I can do, or can I do better?

The only feature I really care about in a receiver is that it can do 4k HDR pass through, I don't really care about something greater then 5.1 as I don't plan on doing that until I get a significantly larger place. I care for sound quality more than features in an AVR but do still want it to support at least 5.1 and 4k hdr pass through.

I also just recently saw an Anthem MRX540 for a similar price range as well...

Thoughts on if I should stick with the Arcam AVR550 at this price point or get something different?


Welcome to the Forum.

That sounds like a good price for the Arcam. The Arcam will slay the Denon for stereo music and with Dirac it will do a better job on EQing your room that Audyssey can achieve. If you are happy with the Denon for film, which they do rather well, then you could consider an integrated stereo amp with HT by-pass for stereo music via the pre-outs. Get the right amp and that could give you a better sound than the Arcam providing you can connect all your music sources directly to the stereo amp.

Denons, even some of the high end models, are very poor with stereo music. A complaint that can be levelled at the majority of AV amps. Arcam is probably the best for music if you wish to have a one box solution.


Novice Member
interesting...never thought of it that way. I think I'd lean towards having one box as I live in an apt and I don't think my fiance would appreciate another box on the tv stand. if I went with the Anthem MRX540...how much of a sound quality difference would it be compared with the Arcam AVR 550?

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