Needing New Receiver Advice

Elcs

Standard Member
I currently have an Onkyo HT-R518 receiver from a purchase in mid-late 2008. Whilst it's a very good receiver and has provided my ears with many years of joy the display is starting to fade, becoming difficult to read and I'm very tempted to invest in a new receiver.

The receiver was a part of this HTIB, of which I still have the subwoofer (adequate quality and zero neighbour disturbance) and the fronts of that set are now my rear channels. For my new fronts I have a nice pair of Wharfedale Diamond 9.1's with the 9.CC for a centre speaker.

Currently my primary audio usages are PC Gaming, Music and Radio. My PC is hooked up to my Onkyo Receiver via HDMI cable (carrying display signal) and optical cable carrying audio from an X-Fi Titanium Pro to the receiver. This Onkyo receiver can only passthrough HDMI audio and cannot do anything with it by itself.

I have been looking at the following Receivers:
Sony STRND-840 - £200
Denon AVR-X2000 - £240
Onkyo TX-NR526 - £250
Yamaha RVX675 - £269
Sony STRND-1040 - £300

Also Denon AVR-X500 - £100/120

The £300 for the Sony STRND-1040 representing the highest I can afford to go up to.

To be fair I don't need many bells or whistles, especially as my graphics card can easily output at 1080p to my 47" LG LCD HDTV and should be able to provide the Receiver with DolbyHD or DTS Master Audio formats (AMD HD7950) and my radio usage is either FM/AM or via a cable TV box which has a SCART output at best. And if you look at it, my speakers are good for what I could afford at the time and the space I have available but they're not going to be showstopping.

I am not likely to be moving up from a 5.1 system for quite a while. My own music collection is mainly FLAC and 192-320kbps MP3's. Internet radio would be quite handy as my cable box has limited digital radio channels and the FM/AM tuners aren't the best. As far as 4k goes, I'm not really sure whether I need anything here as my TV viewing is low and re: PC gaming, I have no idea when gaming will take the step up into the 4k arena with a 4k TV and bells and whistles.

So yes, I am quite unique in my audio usage, don't have a great speaker set and feel quite overwhelmed by the whole AV receiver market. I apologise if things are not presented well or in as coherent a fashion as is expected for this site but I am grateful for any support and willing to answer any questions as they come up.

Many thanks!
 
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Elcs

Standard Member
If you'd be willing to overlook certain features, e.g. Internet Radio, and prioritise sound quality (which should always be the case), the biggest bargain out there at the moment is the Cambridge 351R @£200 (RRP £500).

Cambridge Audio AZUR 351R Black | AV Receiver | Richer Sounds

Fantastic sounding receiver which will wipe the floor with all the ones you've listed.

I had seen those receivers but skipped over them for being rather featureless and nothing stood out to explain their price... but in all honesty I can do without the internet radio and 4k displays won't likely affect me for a long, long time. I even looked up the CA Azur 551R, which is £100 more, and didn't find anything that I needed, just some things that might be nice like analogue 1080p upscaling and the ability to bi-amp my Wharfedale fronts.

With my current speakers, would I be likely to hear a substantial difference between the Azur 351R and the ones I listed in the OP?
 

Silver Serpent

Well-known Member
The main focus on the Cambridge build is sound quality, hence quality (audiophile) components are used throughout the entire series which don't come cheap.

At 51R's current pricing however, they are a bargain (compared to their RRP).

Sonically speaking, the 351R is better than all the receivers you've listed and will excel with music.

That said, given the level of your speakers, the difference probably wouldn't be substantial.
 

Elcs

Standard Member
The main focus on the Cambridge build is sound quality, hence quality (audiophile) components are used throughout the entire series which don't come cheap.

At 51R's current pricing however, they are a bargain (compared to their RRP).

Sonically speaking, the 351R is better than all the receivers you've listed and will excel with music.

That said, given the level of your speakers, the difference probably wouldn't be substantial.

Looks like I might be waiting until I can add more money to the budget.

I have had a quick scout around and can see a pair of Mission 731's which would fit in my budget with the CA AVR but I'm not sure that they're a big enough step up over my Diamond 9 1's to warrant the purchase
 

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