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Yeah I may have to go into a Magnolia BB and take a listen. In the past I always thought Marantz was nice for music but didn't have what I was looking for in the HT part. I had an Onkyo many years back that did well. Thanks for all the input so far.
Without having a direct comparison of the A860 and only going off memory, the 1060 is perhaps little bit more detailed /cleaner and maybe a little bit brighter (not in a bad way). This review kind of confirms this: https://www.whathifi.com/yamaha/rx-a1060/review but I would definitely not call it bad for music. It's kind of typical SABRE dac type of sound. Here's the same review site comparing the sound vs a pioneer SC-LX701: https://www.whathifi.com/pioneer/sc-lx701/review
Marantz and Denon are both part of the Harmon family, at least until Samsung decides to shut them down. They are very similar, differing mostly in voicing and aesthetics. As you noted, the Marantz is voiced to sound warmer than the Denon. This warmth translates to highs that are a little more forgiving. Since I use Omega speakers with my Marantz this works well for me.I also owned a Yamaha before the Marantz. It was nice, sounded good, but had some shortcomings in my application. It sounded a bit more clinical than I preferred compared to the Marantz. It also used its own DSP (YPAO) whereas Marantz and Denon use Audyssey MultiEQ. In some newer models it also uses the Audyssey MultEQ Editor app that allows you to graphically adjust the EQ curves (or select from preset curves) from your phone or tablet.
I think at this price level, the receivers are probably more similar than different from the major brands, and it just comes down to personal preferences Some brands have had issues with some quality in the past but not sure if this is still an issue. At least the Yamaha and Marantz I looked at seem to be built very well.
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