This is a repost from a thread that I responded to a few weeks back..
Hello all,just got a 50.4 the other day.I'd been shopping for a newer reciever,I'm upgrading from an onkyo 805 & didn't want to step down from that.I was looking at the denon 3313ci and a yamaha & pioneer elite,but I don't remember their model numbers but they were close in the specks of the denon.I auditioned them at Best Buy to get an ideal of what was what with em.The sales person seemed to try to push me to the pioneer,he stated it had the best low end umph of the 3 & it sounded better.I informed him I wasn't worried about how the low end was on the reciever I was looking for,I wanted a reciever that sonicly sounded well,by that I mean not sounding too thin,good imaging,(or at least to my ears..lol),& enough power not to strain at the level I may turn it up to.I have an old svs pb+2 sub so low end isn't an issue for me.The salesman used a pair of bowers & wilkins speakers,(much more in price than mine),for the comparison.I asked him to make sure the recievers were crossed over at full-range,no eq & the tone settings flat or at 0,he assured me that he'd had them already set up that way,so the test began with a John Mayer cd he had put in.The denon had a pretty good sound,heard,what to me is depth in the song,highs were present,more than I expected but I thought that's probobly because of the bowers & wilkins speakers,midrange & mid-bass were decent too but it was a tad thin & at high voulume I seemed to hear a little distress in the sound,( I had turned the voulume to max on all recievers with nothing playing to see what my volume threshould would be on each reciever,may not be scientific but hey,novice here..lol),then on to the elite,I couldn't belive how much fuller the sound stage was compared to the denon but at the higher volume it sounded about the same as far as maybe not enough clean power,the volume was there but not as clean to me.The yamaha had the most neutral sound of the 3 but lacked the clean sounding presence that I got outta my 805.I figured maybe because even though my reciever's tone settings are flat,maybe because I used the Audyssey set up & my speakers are some old a** infinity beta 50's,(though I love em,never let me down),maybe that was why the recievers performed like that.After switching between the 3 the pioneer just sounded so full at a flat state I asked the salesman if he'd cut the tone from flat maybe to - 3 then that's when I discovered he kinda was leading me to the elite.After bout a minute of trying to find a way to get to the tone settings,he had to get someone to help get it done.While he was gone I quickly found it & discovered the bass was at +4 & the Treble was at +5.I set them to zero & BAM,not so much fuller than the others,(I also checked the settings on the other 2)in fact,there wasn't one that blew me away,mind you ,they all had decent & different sounds about them,but none shamed my 805.
I then searched out HT shops,3 of the 4 I contacted carried Integra,one had nad's,another,denons\marantz,pioneer.None recomended Pioneer,even the one that carried it,they said that the models they had were old & they just stopped carrying them,not that they made bad recievers.What was I going to do,was really going in circles here,but one HT shop invited me to bring my own speakers to the shop to hear how the Integra would sound on them,so I took him up on it.The best move I've made..They made my speakers sound like I've never heard before..I mean the clairity was that much more,& my speakers always sounded good on the 805,but the integra 50.4 took em to another level.Needless to say I broke the bank & got it but boy I am one happy camper.
Once at home I hooked em up,set the speakers to 80hrz cross-over,gain to 3 on the fronts,sub on 2 & fired em up..pure bliss & amazement,without even using the Audyssey set up yet,will do that this weekend.I put it in one of the dolby modes while watching tv & even the wife notice a difference in the sound.If anyone has had an onkyo & liked it,they should love this one.
Just FYI,the Integra 50.4 is lighter & not as wide as the 805,but I guess that's new teck for ya,it is a vast improvement over a fine,(subject to my opinion) onkyo 805 reciever & I give it 5 stars on initial listening without tweeking it as of yet.
Hope this long a** post is helpful to someone.PEACE!!!