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Monday, 22 November 2010
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A/V Receivers 2010 Holiday Gift Guide



Things start getting really fun once you hit the mid-range.  Video and audio capabilities increase and more features get added.  You get to go beyond the essentials and into the fun stuff.
Pioneer 1120Pioneer VSX-1120

The 7.1 channel Pioneer VSX-1120 is a slick receiver that should meet the needs of any bourgeoning home theater enthusiast.  It's a well equipped receiver that's nearly identical to the Elite VSX-32.  The only real difference is that the 1120 lacks 12 volt triggers.

The 1120 handles the usual audio formats and adds Dolby Pro Logic IIz for those that want a height channel too.  Pioneer's receiver is THX Select2Plus certified, which means it's been thoroughly tested for quality at 10-12 foot viewing distances.  It packs Marvell upscaling and processing from PureCinema.  It's also 3D capable and boasts a total of six HDMI 1.4 inputs.

Denon AVR-1911Denon AVR-1911

Denon's AVR-1911 is a fairly low priced receiver with plenty going for it.  It's the same as the AVR-791 in the essential specs, but it brings a few extra features to the table that make it well worth spending a few extra bucks on.  For starters, the 1911 introduces HD radio for your high-quality audio needs.  You'll also find Zone 2 pre-outs which allow you to enjoy 7.1 channel audio in your main room and stereo in a second one.

The AVR-1922 is a 7.1 channel receiver that boasts seven discrete power amp circuits, each rated at 90 watts.  It comes with Audyssey MultEQ which uses an included microphone to automatically adjust sound based on your room.  It's also 3D capable thanks to the four included HDMI 1.4 inputs.

Onkyo NR808Onkyo TX-NR808

Onkyo's NR808 receiver is a few steps up from the 608 in terms of both capabilities and features.  The $400 difference in price between the two – the NR808 carries a $1,099 MSRP – gets you access to online music streaming services like Pandora, audio streaming from PC and more.

The 808 boasts 7.2 channels and a total of seven HDMI inputs.  It sports the same Audyssey audio features but adds MultEQ for auto calibration.  It also steps things up in the power department, offering 135 watts per channel.  The 808 also includes a third zone for your multi-room audio needs.

SR6004Marantz SR6004

Marantz makes the list again with the impressive SR6004.  It's a 7.1 channel receiver that puts out 110 watts per channel.  It can handle just about any surround format you can throw at it, including Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby Pro Logic IIz for height.  It has Audyssey MultEQ, Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume and packs a pair of HDMI outputs to suit your individual needs.

As our own Todd Whitesel says in his review of the receiver, "The SR 6004 is a fine performer across the board."   He adds that the audio quality "dulls the line of sonic differences between an all-in-one receiver and stereo separates."


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