Found the 2011 award winning Sony strdh820 for £150 at richersounds
what benefit would I get if I purchased this years models instead of this, has anything really changed that much in the amp world?
I kept up to date with the tv side but not the audio side
With AV receivers you generally get a 'trickle down' effect year on year, with features that were previously available on 'premium' models being extended further down the product range (eg AirPlay, network capability, front height/width channels etc); have a look through the spec sheets for both models and there will almost certainly be differences, you then just need to ask yourself whether you'll actually need/use the extra features.
Lounge: Panasonic TX-P60ZT65B (calibrated), Pioneer SC-LX75, Denon DPB-2012, Sky-HD1TB, PS4, Xbox 360, Apple-TV, Atacama Equinox AV stand, Monitor Audio Silver RX8, RXC, RX-FX, RXW-12. Kitchen: Pioneer XC-HM81, Monitor Audio Bronze BX2. Bedroom: Samsung UE37D6510, Samsung BD-C5900, Sky-HD, Pioneer N-50, Rotel RC-03 (pre-amp), Rotel RB-9708X (power-amp), Mordaunt-Short MS914
So is it more of a feature thing rather than the quality of the audio. With tvs the pictures generally get better each year a new model comes out and it gets a load of added features. Do the amps audio quality increase each year or is it just feature based? If its feature based then that makes my decision a lot easier, if its audio improvement as well then then that makes it a little harder
Audio quality can change with new models at a given price point but not always for the better, sometimes the manufacturer will skimp on the quality of core components (eg power supply) in order to get the new features included while retaining their profit margin - a few years back I changed a denon 3805 receiver for a 3310 receiver, because I wanted HDMI switching and HD audio, and while the HD audio was a huge step forward when watching blurays (and the front height speakers were a great addition) the 3310 was never as good for standard music playback and after 2 years I changed again to my current pioneer (which I'm now happy with).
I think the 2011 Sony receivers were meant to be very good for the money (friend of mine had one that he was very happy with, until I persuaded him to buy my 3310! can't remember the model number of the sony but he paid around £500 for it when new, and sold it on to another friend who is happy with it to this day), so at that price it could well be a bargain.
Cheers for the input, I might try and talk the wife into a demo of the Sony for the price. Out of interest what's the front height speakers you mention?
Most current AV amps have the option of an additional two channels for either 'front height' (an extra two speakers that go above the main front speakers) or 'front width' ( an extra two speakers that go to the left and right of the main front speakers). The formats not supported on the actual BluRay soundtrack, the receiver extrapolates the info for the extra channels from the signal being sent to the main front speakers. It's a nice effect if you have the space for the extra speakers, but not essential if the budgets not there (and my fiancé always complained about more speakers cluttering up the lounge).
Cheers for the link, that will give me some reading and thinking over the weekend
I know this is a bit more money, but would be a fantastic amp for the money, and pretty well future-proofed.
LOUNGE: Panasonic TX-P50GT50 / Panasonic DMP-BDT120 / Yamaha RX-A2020 / Q Acoustics 2020i (front) / Q Acoustics 2020 (rear) / Q Acoustics 2000Ci / Q Acoustics1000Si / Roksan Radius 5.2 (is poorly, so Pro-ject Debut III) / Sky HD / WD My Book Live / Tacima CS-929
BEDROOM: Samsung LE32C450 / Sony BDP-S360 / Echostar HDS-600RS / Netgear WNCE2001
The good news..... The wife said yes
the bad news..... The condition was a new car first
the good news..... I won't then have a limit so I can get a slightly better amp
...if you get a slightly worse car?
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
good news all round! That denon that BBB posted could be well worth a look if you've got a bit more to spend.
You won't know what you're missing until you've experienced a subwoofer!
In my opinion, it's the most important component of a home cinema system.
I half agree with this. Get a sub before upgrading the receiver imo.
(I personally think the most important component is the centre speaker)
“Out beyond ideas of wrong and right, there is a field.
I'll meet you there."
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