Sherwood R-972 receiver
All right, traditionalists -- if Sherwood's NetBoxx AVR with all its internet streaming is too radical for you, the R-972 and R-774 might strike a chord with your "the receiver must have a volume knob" sensibilities. The 7x100-Watt R-972 has been awaited mostly for its 3D Trinnov Optimizer room equalization, which has made some pretty big promises -- we'll have to see how it fares when paired up with Silicon Optix REON video processing, three zone support, and compliment of 4xHDMI inputs, which seems like a negative in the current crop of $1,500 AVRs. Rather than just scale things down for the $850 R-774 model, Sherwood keeps the power at 7x100-Watts, but touts Anchor Bay video processing, two zone support, and optional pairing with the BT-R7 Bluetooth receiver so you can send tunes wirelessly to your receiver.

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