Well, Here's the story. My Onkyo receiver went to never, never land. The Dolby board failed. Out of warranty. The kicker is Onkyo won't give me an estimate on repair. I have to ship them the unit at my cost. Then they troubleshoot and gave me the cost including troubleshooting time. If I don't want to pay that much, I still have to pay for troubleshooting labor AND return shipping! Maybe that's standard ops now? Don't think I'll be buying anymore Onkyo equipment.
I did some research with our 2 (only) local audio shops and the brands they carry. Then I asked for an at home demo. One store was happy to come out and hook up the new receiver and demo it. The other store said they only demo in store unless you pay them $90 per hour for demo (door to door clock).
So I listened to the newest Pioneer VHX-? top of the line and the Anthem WRX-720. I preferred the video of the Pioneer because it up-scaled to 4K resolution. (Oh I had to buy a new TV too. The 12 year old Mitsubishi projection HDTV bit the dust a month ago and I replaced it with the new Samsung 65" class 3D 4K curved Wi Fi set.) Video on every source was outstanding! It also had Class D amps for all audio channels. Unfortunately the sound wasn't all that good. Just didn't match up with the NS-1000s well. The Anthem doesn't have a video card, just 4K pass through. However, the sound was awesome! He even brought over 2 Parasound Halo A23 amps and hooked them up to the front bi-amped NS-1000s. One drove the woofers L/R and the other mid/treble L/R. They have input level controls so one can set the bass versus M/T. This combo was remarkable. Stunning! The impact of the front speakers in all areas; dynamics, separation, focus, sound field, etc. was an improvement. The best part was hearing my Eagles Blu-ray concert video at -20 dBs' (101 db peaks on my cellphones sound pressure meter, loud in my room) Instant sale!
I wound up buying the whole package. They installed and calibrated it with the ARC, Anthem room correction program. Its like REW. Gives you traces of sweeps and automatically saves the corrections for you. You can use that setting or enter others. Can program settings (6) for each source. Or you can over ride it as I did. It sounded "baffled" with ARC on. Lost the openness and spaciousness. Lost way too much bass response. It's still saved in case I change my mind. I've "tuned" the NS-1000 controls to align the response curves in ARC, but they sound better at 0 dB. I've had the set up for 2 weeks and as it "burns in" it only gets better! I never have heard the famous break in period before, so I was a little surprised.
The Anthem also has Dolby ATMOS. I had them set up my old KEF A7s ? and my PSB 1As as overhead (depth?) speakers. Can't mount them on ceiling so they are placed to reflect the signals upward. This works because I have a V-shaped cathedral ceiling with 45 degree angles to correctly reflect the sound. I don't have any ATMOS Blu-ray 4K discs, but we did listen to one after setting things up. He brought a Oppos 3D 4K ATMOSs player ($1400) and a ATMOS demo disc. I was skeptical, but you can actually hear the difference! It certainly gives the illusion of height to the sound track. It must sound real with 9.2 or 11.2 set ups. Mine is 7.2. That means you guys can buy me a 4K player for Christmas!