we recently put the sr5003 on display at work (priced about the same as the avr2309 from denon) and it so far sounded great. It doesn't have as many features as the denon but on music comparisons, it appeared to have a better midrange and a slight softening of upper frequencies then the avr2309. This is not scientific, just a quick subjective test between a few of us at work. Overall, they will probably sound similar to most people. I do like the look of the new marantz line!