Upgrading a TAG McLaren AV32R sl


Novice Member
Hi guys, first time poster, long time fan.

I have an upgrade question but also some general questions that I would love some expert advice on.

This is a long post for those interested in details but I have tried to highlight key points for those who are not.

I have just been given some home cinema equipment from my dad, it's really nice high end stuff, but it's well over 10 years old and I want to bring it into the 21st century with HD digital audio.

Current setup:

Preamp: TAG McLaren AV32R sl
Front and centre amp: Bryston 5B-ST
Rear amp: Bryston 3B-ST
Front and centre speakers: KEF Reference Model Four (see here for details)
Centre: KEF (I assume from the same line as the fronts, can't remember off the top of my head)
Rear speakers: Castle (again can't remember exact model)
Sub: REL Q400E
All hooked up with some very nice Nordost cables.

Like I said, very nice setup, it has served us well over the years.

As far as I'm concerned the only thing that needs replacing is the TAG preamp, everything else, I'm sure you'll agree, is timeless quality and I'll keep using it till it stops working.

So the question is, what to replace the TAG with? I am no expert so would love some input.

Main criteria:
  • Budget is around the £2k mark, ideally closer to 1. Can go higher if there are big gains to be made.
  • Main use is home cinema with Blu Ray quality films, some music listening
  • 7.1 channel (only have 5.1 at the mo but want the option to add the extra 2 spekers)
  • 4K passthrough and ideally upscaling
    • Bonus criteria:
    • HDMI 2.0 for 4K @60Hz for my gaming PC
    • Bluetooth and Wifi connectivity for connecting devices like phones and laptops to play music
    • Room audio correction as the room is very cluttered and far from an ideal soundscape
I am looking at:
  • Anthem MRX510 av receiver (£1700) - no bluetooth, wifi or 4K60Hz
  • Emotiva XMC-1 processor (£1500 ish) no bluetooth or wifi. has 4K 60Hz passthough
  • Marantz AV7702 mk2 processor (£1700) has everything
My main concern with the Anthem is obviously how much am I paying for amps I don't need? I'm already saving £500 by getting the MRX510 (100W per ch) over the MRX710 (120W per ch).

Which leads nicely onto my next point of confusion: why are high end processors more expensive than high end receivers? I would assume receivers should be more as they have processors + amps.

For example:
Anthem AVM 50 processor - £6000 - over 3x the price of the top end receiver above
Marantz SR7010 receiver - £1400 - just shy of the processor above

Am I right to assume that the processor technology in the pure processors far outweighs that in the receivers, and is this a massive difference to listening experience that justifies the cost?

Hope you made it to the end. What do you guys suggest I go for?

Thanks in advance

Last edited:


Established Member
What about something like the Marantz AV7702 MK II which is in the region of £1699?
It'll cover all your main criteria and be under your £2k limit.


Novice Member
Hi baggy, thanks for the suggestion. I actually edited the post before I saw your response. That was a mistake to put the AV8802 up there.


Established Member
I thought it strange you included the AV8802 when it's above your budget.


Prominent Member
Something like this would suit I think: Yamaha CX-A5100 Black

Around £1700 with the exchange rate and free shipping. I've bought a fair bit from Lsound and they are a reliable dealer.

EDIT: 10% off this month with the code BLACK10, so around £1500! That is a bargain.

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