receiver delima: easier setup (Denon 2112) or more power (HK 3600), or more feature? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 09-30-2012, 09:38 PM - Thread Starter
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As my first post here, I must say this is a great forum --- I learn a lot from here and your guys are very friendly.

I have recently got a set of pioneer speakers (6 ohm) and try to get a decent receiver powerful enough for them. Any recommendations will be highly appreciated

I am deciding between Denon 2112 ci ( influenced by many people on this forum, from my initial targeted 1612 model !) and Harman Kardon 3600 (knew for high audio quality) and pioneer 1122-k.. I mainly use it for movies(70%) and some music (20%) and potentially in the future karaoke (10%)... My budget is OK for either of them but not any further..(it seems never ending).



for Denon 2112 ci,
pros:
*audyssey MultEQ XT, this feature is highly recommended by many people here.
*network,
*airplay,
*more hdmi

HK 3600
pros:
*more power (>100 wpc?)
*7.1 pre-out
*more audio input
*better amplifier?
*up-convert to 1080p

Pioneer, 1122
pros:
*lots of other features...I have no idea about the audio quality or video quality of it...
*user friendly? --- I heard from a BB sales rep, not sure whether this is true...

from audio perspective,

Would Audyssey MultiEQ XT make 2112 sound better (more balanced) thank HK 3600? I know HK 3600 might be better for audio quality , but I am not sure how much better it is than calibrated 2112 set-up with the same pioneer speaker set.

from video perspective,

I heard HK 3600 has some issues (especially with video), not sure whether they have been fixed/solved... I have not heard complain on 2112, does that mean the build quality for 2112 is better?

for 'modern features'
I have WD TV live media player (w. Ethernet jack) which can stream many different types of media.. airplay is nice, but I can live without that... 4 hdmi on HK3600 is quite tight , however with 1080 conversion, a feature lacks in 2112 ....It would be better with pioneer 1121-k, but can not easily find it now... for 1122 I know it has lots of additional features, but it does not count if audio and video are not on par with the other two...

many thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 16 Old 10-01-2012, 12:29 AM
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*audyssey MultEQ XT, this feature is highly recommended by many people here.
A: Audyssey over other technologies, but many now rec XT32 over XT. There are still fans of other AVR brands not using Audyssey so it's only one factor in the purchasing decision.

*more power (>100 wpc?)
A: Tell us exactly the speaker models, or look at the amp FAQ for how to work out how much W you need for how many dB at what distance.

*up-convert to 1080p
A: Players and TVs also upconvert. Upconversion by AVR is not strictly needed and often not better or absent in lower models. Unless it's one of the big names in higher models it's not to get excited about.

*better amplifier?
A: The vast majority of regulars here believe all amps sound the same.

*network,
*airplay,
*more hdmi
*7.1 pre-out
*more audio input
*lots of other features...I have no idea about the audio quality or video quality of it...
A: Features you aren't going to use aren't useful at all unless you're upgrading in the near future to make use of them. I don't buy based on 'more features = better buy' philosophy.

*user friendly?
A: can't comment it's really both user and brand model dependent...

Would Audyssey MultiEQ XT make 2112 sound better (more balanced) thank HK 3600?
A: not necessarily, if your room isn't particularly acoustically in need for RC

does that mean the build quality for 2112 is better?
A: not really

It all sounds a bit non-committal but a common approach here is: tell us the speaker model, the room size, what features you must have, and your budget. What you used before may also help. It won't be a 'dilemma' once you sort out the basic requirements and priorities...

Audiosceptics accept audio trials using 25 people. A recent Oxford study with over 353,000 patient records from 639 separate clinical trials shows for every 1,000 people taking diclofenac or ibuprofen there would be 3 additional heart attacks, 4 more cases of heart failure and 1 death every year.

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post #3 of 16 Old 10-01-2012, 04:12 AM
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Power wise they should all perform similarly with marketed ratings: 2212CI/1121 (90W) and 3600 (80W).

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post #4 of 16 Old 10-01-2012, 05:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Kilian.ca and jdsmoothie, thanks a lot for your replies.

The Pioneer 6 ohm speakers are : SP-FS51(pair), PS-BS21(pair), SP-BS41(pair), SP-CS21, SW-8. Most of them are rated at 130W... They will be placed in the living room as 7.1 or 5.1 (pair of BS41 will be in the bedroom).

I live in an apartment... living room size is about 15' x 15' with carpet , connect to a 14'x10' dining room. bed room is 14'x10'.

Features I must have:
solid video and audio quality/performance (i.e. less problematic receiver, avoid sending receiver back/to manufacturer)
easy setup ( I am quite newbie and manual setup is not a good choice for me)
firmware upgradable
hdmi, 3d pass through


my budget for the receiver is $300-$500, I plan to use current system for a few year before next upgrade...

thanks a lot!
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post #5 of 16 Old 10-01-2012, 05:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

Power wise they should all perform similarly with marketed ratings: 2212CI/1121 (90W) and 3600 (80W).

I read some posts (on this forum or elsewhere) suggesting the actual power output for HK3600 can be around 100 wpc. And Harman Kardon's under-rated power (compared to other major brand) was also mentioned in many reviews... well, according to some posts I read here, 80w, 90w , 100w probably won't be of much difference...is this true? thanks.
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post #6 of 16 Old 10-01-2012, 06:33 AM
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Likely closer to 100W into 2CH only just as the 2112CI benchmarks at 96W into 2CH only, although a difference of even 10-20W would be moot.

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post #7 of 16 Old 10-01-2012, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intfan View Post

I read some posts (on this forum or elsewhere) suggesting the actual power output for HK3600 can be around 100 wpc. And Harman Kardon's under-rated power (compared to other major brand) was also mentioned in many reviews... well, according to some posts I read here, 80w, 90w , 100w probably won't be of much difference...is this true? thanks.

HK doesn't under rate their AVR power - its the other makers who tend to over state their power output. Having said that and being a long time HK fan I'd opt for the Denon. Of all your choices its the only one with Audyssey - and it has XT - it's very good.

When all else fails - RTFM!

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post #8 of 16 Old 10-01-2012, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 View Post

HK doesn't under rate their AVR power - its the other makers who tend to over state their power output. Having said that and being a long time HK fan I'd opt for the Denon. Of all your choices its the only one with Audyssey - and it has XT - it's very good.

Knucklehead90, thanks. Your comment on the power rating is more accurate. Was there any particular reason(s) for your switch from HK to Denon? Just curious, thanks.
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post #9 of 16 Old 10-01-2012, 05:46 PM
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Note that the 3600 has Dolby Volume for dynamic range control....
There are other similar DSP schemes but Dolby Volume works the best, pertinent for off-air viewing of satellite or cable TV..

Just my $0.0.2... wink.gif
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post #10 of 16 Old 10-01-2012, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks M Code.

I was about to ask the difference between "Dolby Volume" or "Audyssey XT" , and found this thread...
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post #11 of 16 Old 10-01-2012, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks M Code. ---- could anyone comment on Dynamic Volume on 2112 when compared to Dolby Volume on HK3600? thanks.
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post #12 of 16 Old 10-01-2012, 07:39 PM
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While some people keep claiming that there are absolutely no difference between receiver brands, I beg to differ. In my own setup with Klipsch RF5, RC7, RS35 speakers, I found HK to be better sounding compared to Denon and Onkyo. My Denon was 2803 (sure it was from a few years ago but my statement still holds). I was comparing this 2803 to HK AVR 247. It was a huge difference for me in clarity, etc. I had them both level matched and channel leveled.

I loved HK so much I ended up upgrading to HK AVR 745. After having that for 4 years, I got the 7550HD, but was not as impressed with it compared to the 745. I ended up selling the 745 and switched to a NAD T775HD. I love the sound of NAD too. Very neutral and great sounding.
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post #13 of 16 Old 10-01-2012, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intfan View Post

Knucklehead90, thanks. Your comment on the power rating is more accurate. Was there any particular reason(s) for your switch from HK to Denon? Just curious, thanks.
I haven't owned a Denon for about a year. I have an Integra DHC 40.1 - and an Emotiva UMC-1 which I'm currently evaluating. The Integra is made by Onkyo. My next buy will be either the Emotiva XMC-1 or an Onkyo PR SC5508/9. I'm waiting for the XMC-1 to be released for reviews - or the SC5509 to come to the US. The last HK I owned was an 254 I had about 3 years ago - not bad as AVRs go but it did have problems. If I were given a choice of the HK or the Denon I'd pick the Denon. As I said - the Audyssey MultEQ is superior to the room correction in the HK - just my opinion of course.

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post #14 of 16 Old 10-02-2012, 01:42 AM
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Features I must have:
solid video and audio quality/performance (i.e. less problematic receiver, avoid sending receiver back/to manufacturer)
A: The three brands you listed are reliable.

easy setup ( I am quite newbie and manual setup is not a good choice for me)
firmware upgradable
A: most have easy/quick setup that needs you to specific your basic requirements, it's not completely automatic plug and detect. Some manual changes may be needed even after auto set-up for best results.

hdmi, 3d pass through
A: All comes with HDMI, I think 3D pass through too but worth checking.

Power:
pioneer SP-FS51: 6Ω, 87dB, max. power 130W

At 1m away at 87dB it needs 1W.
...
At 4m away at 90dB it needs 32W
At 4m away at 93dB it needs 64W
At 4m away at 96dB it needs 128W

So, a difference of 3dB between 64W and 128W, what difference is it between 90W and 100W?

Given it's 6Ω, it probably dips to 4Ω a bit more than an 8Ω speaker so best not to assume it can safely go to 96dB.

Beware the budget AVRs at the $300-400 range are so light, down to 15lb you really wonder how many real W they can put out with all ch driven.

Do you need 96dB or even 90dB in an appt. and your room size?

I've never had the need to use any dynamic range compression as I listen at low levels to cable TV and louder ads don't go to annoying levels. YMMV.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bommai View Post

I love the sound of NAD too. Very neutral and great sounding.

Moot point as it's some way outside OP's budget.

Audiosceptics accept audio trials using 25 people. A recent Oxford study with over 353,000 patient records from 639 separate clinical trials shows for every 1,000 people taking diclofenac or ibuprofen there would be 3 additional heart attacks, 4 more cases of heart failure and 1 death every year.

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post #15 of 16 Old 10-02-2012, 06:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilian.ca View Post

Features I must have:
solid video and audio quality/performance (i.e. less problematic receiver, avoid sending receiver back/to manufacturer)
A: The three brands you listed are reliable.
easy setup ( I am quite newbie and manual setup is not a good choice for me)
firmware upgradable
A: most have easy/quick setup that needs you to specific your basic requirements, it's not completely automatic plug and detect. Some manual changes may be needed even after auto set-up for best results.
hdmi, 3d pass through
A: All comes with HDMI, I think 3D pass through too but worth checking.
Power:
pioneer SP-FS51: 6Ω, 87dB, max. power 130W
At 1m away at 87dB it needs 1W.
...
At 4m away at 90dB it needs 32W
At 4m away at 93dB it needs 64W
At 4m away at 96dB it needs 128W
So, a difference of 3dB between 64W and 128W, what difference is it between 90W and 100W?
Given it's 6Ω, it probably dips to 4Ω a bit more than an 8Ω speaker so best not to assume it can safely go to 96dB.
Beware the budget AVRs at the $300-400 range are so light, down to 15lb you really wonder how many real W they can put out with all ch driven.
Do you need 96dB or even 90dB in an appt. and your room size?
I've never had the need to use any dynamic range compression as I listen at low levels to cable TV and louder ads don't go to annoying levels. YMMV.
Moot point as it's some way outside OP's budget.

Thanks bommai, Knucklehead90, Kilian.CA for your replies. my room size is 15' x 15'. Living in the apartment, I do not want to rock the walls apart. But I also want to make sure the receiver is powerful enough for a larger living room when I move into a house in the future. Or I should not consider this at all?

The weight of budget AVR at this range does caught my attention. It seems HK 3600 is the heaviest (34 lb , according to amazon) among the three: denon 2112ci (22.5lb), pioneer (22lb). Does this suggest HK 3600 can output more power than the other two?
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post #16 of 16 Old 10-02-2012, 06:30 PM
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There is some correlation between weight and power but it's not strictly linear. The three are all >20lb so probably OK for an appt. It's the 15lb ones I'm really concerned about. A difference of 10lb is significant and indicative of larger transformer and possibly heavier chassis/ext. casing. The HK 3600 is listed as 80Wx7, has its own EQ ver and weighs 31.5lb (heavier than Denon 3312). I've not used HK myself but based on these attributes it's the winner of the three, if you feel more reassured about power. The pre-outs also give you the option of adding power amps when you move to larger space. Of course it has HDMI and 3D. The Faroudja scaler isn't highly regarded compared to the top ones now.

There aren't many HK users here. You have to decide if these attributes override the lack of Audyssey so raved about here.

Audiosceptics accept audio trials using 25 people. A recent Oxford study with over 353,000 patient records from 639 separate clinical trials shows for every 1,000 people taking diclofenac or ibuprofen there would be 3 additional heart attacks, 4 more cases of heart failure and 1 death every year.

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