I used to use an Arcam A80 in the living room. I upgraded to 5.1 with a Yamaha RXV 667 and haven't noticed any lack in quality. I think all the talk about AV recievers being poor for music is exactly that, all talk. If it's well designed to give stunning audio quality for soundtracks, then why would it not when dropping 3 channels?
I also personally use it set on "straight" for music, that way I can utilise the bass crossover which spares the main speakers from attempting frequencies they can't reproduce, which I've found increases overall clarity, and allows higher volume.
Thanks for your input. Ive read the Yamaha is good on stereo thats why I am tempted by this option. At the moment I have kef eggs but am selling these . I now have some full size wharfedales to do both stereo and surround.
I used to have a Denon 3803 and upgraded to a newer HDMI Av Amp - Sony DA5400es.
It was on What Hi Fi's Best Buy reccomendation for months before it was knocked off by a newcomer. Stupidly, I didnt demo it before buying, although I did get it for peanuts (would still get more for it now than I paid for it if I sold it on ebay now).
Its a fabulous amp for movies, up-scaling etc .... However its a real disappointment in stereo, my old beloved Denon was brilliant and I seriously miss it in that respect.
Just make sure you try before you buy - something that I will always do from now on. If it helps, my mates Yamaha av amp sounds lovely in stereo (its quite old - cant remember the model no).
I want an Arcam (despite their Gremlins) for exactly the dilema you are going through but cant quite stretch to it yet.
I think all the talk about AV recievers being poor for music is exactly that, all talk. If it's well designed to give stunning audio quality for soundtracks, then why would it not when dropping 3 channels?
I totally agree with that logic but, as someone who has spent three years now mucking about with nice AVRs and now with nice hifi's I can assure you that it is true that a good dedicated hifi knocks the socks off even really good AVRs for music, even while sounding stunning with HD soundtracks. I have a Sony STR-DA5400ES and Cyrus hifi. Neither can do the others job, and music sounds gob smackingly good through the Cyrus. Something I might have refused to believe before I started the hi fi journey.