Re: new guy,out of the loop
Depends on what you want to do.
If you want to have all the new audio formats that are on a few HD DVD's and Blu-rays, then you would need a new pre/pro and dump the receiver OR dump the amps and receiver and buy a new receiver. So far few if any available pre/pro's do these new audio formats (I say available as a few are out but they are currently unobtainable) and I suspect it will be a little while before many do.
If you got rid of the amps and receiver, you could roll over the $$ earned from selling them into a really nice receiver that would likely solve some issues I see with your system. You are running the old JBL's for fronts, not sure what the rest of your center and surround speakers are, but I would doubt they are matched as JBL wasn't making HT when these were made. You also have different amps powering your speakers which can lead to all kinds of imbalance, both in timber of the amps and the fact that even different amps from the same manufacturer respond to their inputs differently and can cause balance issues at varying volumes....
OK, IF you sold off all the stuff and got a really nice receiver, you would solve the balance issue with all the same amps, you also would/should get some type of room correction (likely Audyssey) that would help with the likely imbalance in the speakers making for a more consistent HT experience. Add in that you would have HDMI switching and all new new audio formats and assuming you could get another $1,500+ out of selling off the other gear, this would put you into a $3,500+ market, a nice place to shop for sure! This would easily allow you to get a nice receiver and either, or better yet both an HD DVD player and a Blu-ray player with some cash left over for cables and some discs. This not only gets you ready for the new formats, but INTO them in your budget. Add to that the fact you would still be eligible for the five free Blu-ray AND five free HD DVD discs, and you'd already be on your way with 10 high def discs to start your collection.....
You wouldn't need the top HD DVD player as your TV only does 1080i, but to be safe you might want to get one that does do 1080p for when the TV gets upgraded down the road. All Blu-ray players do 1080p so no issue there.
Some other perks of going this route is it's simpler to control for any less tech folks in the house (wife/kids) and getting rid of those amps would make room for both those new format players.....
Ken Taraszka, MD