Originally Posted by afrogt
There is a huge difference from the Pioneer SC-1222 and Marantz? Which one? You first mentioned the Denon and said the Marantz was a huge difference. . Did you actually try the Denon too? Which model?
I had a Marantz SR6003, and that was a huge improvement to my previous Onkyo TX-SR805 which was a better room heater than AV receiver. The SC-1222K brought new life to my speakers 3 months ago. I couldn't believe that a switched amplification stage (AKA Digital amplifier) could make such a difference! There are many users in the SC-1222K threads saying that it is better than some Denon, like javigonx who says that it is better than his other Denon 3311
. The Pioneer has the Advanced MCACC that calibrates the listening environment in order to make it as close as possible to a THX room, far better than Audyssey MultEQ XT. It does a good job and it even allows you to tune up all the parameters to your preference. After discovering the Adv. MCACC I realized that Audyssey was like walking with the shoe laces tied together.
your candidate Denon AVR2313 is similar to the Marantz SR5007. Denon and Marantz are basically the same amplifier, both are brands of the same owner, D&M Holdings Inc. and both brands shares engineering, purchasing, manufacturing and distribution resources. Both amplifiers have a THD of 0.08% at 100W, really good for a traditional class AB amplifier but nothing compared to the Pioneer SC-1222K. It is a class D3 amplifier and features a THD of 0.008% at 100W, 10 times less than the other contenders. That is a whole order of magnitude that leaves the Marantz and Denon in the dust regarding sound fidelity.
The maximum real output power of the SC-1222K in multichannel mode @ 8ohm, 600W, can never be reached by the Marantz because the efficiency of a class AB amplifier near the non linear operation point is far from 100%. The SC-1222K can deliver 190 W/ch with 4 ohms speakers while still running cold. Yes, the SC-1222K is also 4ohm certified so it opens the door to another level of speakers.
I am sorry, but those amplifiers are far behind the SC-1222K in sound quality and technology. It is up to you, the three amplifiers are good and you won't be disappointed by any of them, but IMHO the SC-1222K is by far the best from the sound quality point of view within your price range.