reviving this thread as i'm looking at similar decision between 3900 and 8002.
background - this will be my first receiver - i'm a bit of a newbie, but i'll jump into the HT hobby quickly and likely hi-fi as well. will have similar mix of listening as corpfan, maybe more movies and games and less sports/tv. music is 10% but as mentioned above will increase over time. fronts/center will be either monitor rs6s or totem rainmakers.
From my personal perspective:
In favor of 8002
- at a shop using rs6s and listening to cds vs 3900 and 906, thought marantz/onkyo to be richer/warmer than the yamaha.
- audyssey, i get the general impression perusing forums that it is better than ypao and my space will be a bit hard to configure (small room, high ceiling, surround channels likely odd placement), so putting this into 8002 corner unless noted otherwise.
- thx select 2, i really don't know how relevant it is compared to real-life listening experience but i am of post-george lucas generation so having vs not having thx still has to have some weight
- price, see below
Now in favor of 3900
- at the same shop as above, tested dvd for surround effects vs 8002 and 906 and found the surround effects more immersing. the exaggerated way to describe it is that though the 8002 and 906 gave me the impression that bullets were flying left to right, the yamaha made me want to duck. the shop seemed to be pushing yamaha's though, more on that later, so not sure if didn't pick up on some different settings they may have used to differentiate. They did take forever to set up the other two receivers.
- 2hdmi outs (where i could have plasma+projector at same time, to be honest not sure if this is the case for 8002 but i think not)
- gui. i havent seen it, but have read its good, and moreover marantz doesnt have over hdmi. to me a good interface is important for something with so many features and options, especially as i'm starting off.
- video features - havent tested and not sure how relevant it will be but i intend to learn more post purchase, and don't hear about marantz in this department at all..
- ethernet - i'm a big fan of networking stuff around though Im not sure how it will benefit my system yet, but having it is definitely in favor of 3900 if just for ease of firmware updates - reading on 8002 threads the difficult fw update process.
Independent of price, given my mix of usage i'm pretty set on 3900. However, the price factor is the main reason why i havent bought the yamaha yet. Where I am (not north america) the yamaha looks to cost around 700-800 usd more than the 8002. Comparing to prices I'm seeing on forums and online it looks like the yamaha is a touch pricier while the marantz is cheaper (for me <1k usd) than in NA.
Honestly havent shopped around aggressively for the yamaha but I feel the differential is not going to improve by that much. Moreover although I'm still leaning towards yamaha in price, now i'm not rushing to buy it immediately unless price differential much lower so i may as well vet out any lingering concerns about 3900 in the meantime, which are:.
- audyssey configuration vs ypao in room environment i described above
- could surround effects be that much more distinct with yamaha than a marantz, or if its just some setup differences in the shop i was in (the price differential was similar at that shop - so it won't surprise me if they were pushing yamaha over marantz after i told them home theater my priority)
- thx select 2, what am i missing
- On music/cd playback quality I figure a 3900 + another external amp to pass through the front channels will be better than marantz. Stupid question but checking if that would be the case? As music playback quality is something i see myself appreciating more in future than now i see this is the better way to approach it.
- speaker fit - havent tested any of these with totems yet, and i'm likely to be going with them for various reasons, and unable to test the combination where i am.