AVR recommendations

I currently have a Yamaha RX-v683, which from a functionality perspective I’m happy with, BUT it doesn’t have front pre-outs. This is limiting my ability to connect an external 2-channel amp for music.

I’m currently looking to replace it with a decent, mid-level, AVR (must have front pre-outs). Based on what I’m seeing the retail price for a unit with this feature set starts in $500 range.

I’ve come across some discounted Marantz NR series (slim line) AVRs which seem decent and include pre-outs but I don’t have experience with the brand.

I’ve also been looking at various pre-owned units but there are so many brands/models to sort through.

Recommendations/suggestions would be appreciated.

Can not realy go wrong with Marantz. They have been arround for a long time and know their amplifiers.
At some point they driffted off a bit and focused mainly on home theater recievers (including monsters like the AV8805, a 13.2 HT-pre-amp).

My father replaced his Marantz PM-72 recently (now it is mine!) with a PM6006. Both are solid amplifiers.
Zeos also liked the HD-Dac1

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Ummm… your current Yahama has Zone 2 pre-out. Could you use that.

Send signal/music from that to a External amp and separably control the volume for both amps. Haven’t tried it but this should in most AVR’s and work just like that.

But Marantz amps in AVR region are good (under brand is Denon). Haven’t had any issues, one update issue in 10 years of Marantz amps but support helped with that.

You might be able to adjust the output in settings to send full range output

@MazeFrameThanks for the feedback. I’ve always read positive review about their amps, but wasn’t sure about their AVRs. Although I suspected they were solid too.

Congrats on inheriting the PM-72!

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Thanks! I appreciate you looking in the manual.

This is how I currently have it hooked up:
-Zone 2 output to external amp input
-front speaker cables connected to external amp
-reconfigured menu setup so zone 2 is outputting to amp
-adjusted setup so output is considered full range (thanks @M0N!)

I am able to play music via Yamaha AVR (e.g. internal Spotify Connect) through Zone 2. So that’s positive progress!

Here’s my issue…when I want to watch TV/movie I only get sound in the rears?
I can’t figure out how to engage the fronts? I’ve tried tuning Zone 2 off. Turing the amp on/off.
It’s like the Zone 2 stops outputting a signal in movie/cable mode?

Any suggestions?

Uh it could be that you have to configure the surrounds to output on all zones on the active mode. It might be set to only output to fronts, so perhaps you have to set it to output on all surround channels

I figured it out…the zone 1 and 2 inputs were out of sync.
Now it seems to be more of a volume control issue. Trying to play with the fixed/variable settings