My Comparison Results- Denon 1613 Vs. Denon 3313 Vs. Onkyo 818 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 10-07-2013, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
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My foray into home audio started about 10 months ago with a Denon AVR 1613. I ran that with (4) Polk Monitor 70's, a Polk 255 C center, and (2) Polk PSW 505 12" subs and still use the same speakers today. I thought the 1613 was great overall including sound, features (Airplay, Pandora, remote app etc.). The main problem was the receiver would shut down on overload when playing music in 5 channel stereo at high volumes (78 absolute) for more than one song.

I then got a 3313 with the hope of the more powerful amps being more capable of handling the music without shutting down. I also wanted Spotify that this unit features. Before learning about the extra wattage required to increase loudness, I also hoped my system would be louder as I love my music loud.

My latest purchase/ demo was the Onkyo 818. I wanted to see if this would solve my overload protection/ overheating problem. I also wanted to try the Audyssey XT 32 that many rave about and are dropping big bucks on with the Denon X4000 (I know the Onkyo does not have the sub EQ feature like the 4000).

Please keep in mind that I realize my findings may have technical explanations, some of which I even know, but my goal is to relay both objective and subjective information that may be relative to my expectations.

Here are my findings:

Denon AVR 1613

What I liked:

-Affordable
-Great detailed sound
-Power output likely to satisfy most
-Good amount of features
-Not overly complex/ intuitive operation

What I did not like:

-Shuts down due to excessive heat when pushed
-Wattage mongers like myself may want to see a higher wattage output number

Denon AVR 3313CI

What I liked:

-Everything listed for 1613
-Powered second zone (compared to 1613)
-Preamp outputs (compared to 1613- not necessary but gives me the option if I ever get the urge for an amp, but doubt it)
-Higher wattage output number (it's psychological I guess)

Disappointments:

-Still shuts down on overload (maybe increased playtime by half a song)
-Going from 75 to 125 WPC provided a very minimal increase in loudness (almost negligible)

Onkyo TX-NR818

What I like:

-Solved my overload protection shut down problems finally!
-Unit has 2 cooling fans
-Runs cooler
-Heavy unit with bigger transformers and capacitors (I know some argue this is of no value, but I still like it- again maybe psychological)
-Bass seems to hit a little harder/ more powerfully
-Dialog loudness/ quality seems better when watching TV/ movies
-Higher wattage output number than the 1613

Disappointments:

-Sounds seems less detailed/ crisp compared to either Denon when listening to music. It sounds flatter, like when I used to have an equalizer in my car stereo and had the midrange turned up and the treble turned down, or maybe having all settings at zero. I had limited success adjusting the eq in the avr and with Audyssey. I could get it sounding brighter after eq adjustments, but not as detailed and crisp as the Denons
- After trying Audyssey XT with the Denons and 32 with this Onkyo, I found that I do not like it for listening to music. I haven't yet wanted to shut it off for movies, but music I do not like either one. I would say that the 32 seems better, but I still do not want it for music. I do not like the bass response with it (not as hard hitting) and feel the sound is flatter.
- Going from 75 to 135 WPC again provided a very minimal increase in loudness (almost negligible)
-I kind of miss Airplay

Ultimately, I wish I could get a Denon for its music sound quality, with Onkyo's sound for movies, and Onkyo's ability to run cooler

Or

Get an Onkyo for its movie sound quality, with Denon's music sound quality, and with Airplay

I am still not sure if I will return the Onkyo and go back to Denon. I have only had the Onkyo for a few days and will give it more time to make adjustments. I have decided that I will not spend more $$ for Audyssey though.
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post #2 of 12 Old 10-07-2013, 05:09 PM
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Since you like experimenting, try a Marantz.
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post #3 of 12 Old 10-08-2013, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I wonder if the components of the Denon and Marantz AVR's are any different since they are the same company.
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post #4 of 12 Old 10-08-2013, 02:26 PM
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I have the onkyo and don't like it for music either. I wonder if this is a common thing and if others have found settings they like for music?

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post #5 of 12 Old 10-08-2013, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
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So that's two people. Has anyone else had similar or dissimilar results?
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post #6 of 12 Old 10-08-2013, 03:56 PM
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Sounds like you should try the Elite series with D3 amps from Pioneer so far our clients have not shut them down plus they run cooler.
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post #7 of 12 Old 10-09-2013, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oztech View Post

Sounds like you should try the Elite series with D3 amps from Pioneer so far our clients have not shut them down plus they run cooler.


I have read that they do run cooler. Do class D amps provide the same sound quality as AB?
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-09-2013, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrenalineJunky View Post

I have read that they do run cooler. Do class D amps provide the same sound quality as AB?
The SC-77 and 79 were Air Studios certified and from my own experience they sound great .
There is a lot of bias in audio at least demo for yourself and trust your ears after all they are what you have to please.
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post #9 of 12 Old 10-10-2013, 09:50 AM
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The Denon 3313CI also has a slightly lower THD then the 1613. Specifically %0.05 compared to %0.08
http://usa.denon.com/us/Product/Pages/productcomparision.aspx?pIDs=AVR1613(DenonNA)|avr3313ci(denonna)&catID=AVReceivers(DenonNA)

I see that both have Pure Direct Mode :-) The "​Pure Direct / Direct / Stereo Modes on Digital / Analog inputs" as they market it.

Looks like the 1613 (and 1713) has a nice price!

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post #10 of 12 Old 10-10-2013, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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So my girlfriend, who never seems to notice differences in sound, noticed the difference between the Denon and the Onkyo. While listening to music with the Onkyo she said it sounded like the singers were "yelling" at us, lol. I think she means she noticed what I did, that the midrange is very pronounced, yet the detailed background sounds are either drowned out or non existent. She also noticed that the Onkyo home theater sound is louder in dialog and more enveloping overall. She came to these conclusions just by me asking if she notices any difference, not by telling her what I noticed and asking if she agrees.
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post #11 of 12 Old 10-10-2013, 11:45 AM
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If you want an av receiver for music, try Harman Kardon AVR 2700 / 3700? I own a 2700 and it is fabulous. The amps are so good I prefer the aound (as many do) especially with music with the room correction switched off.
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post #12 of 12 Old 10-10-2013, 12:46 PM
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I too had an Onkyo 818.  It was amazing for movies, best I ever heard in my room.  However....  It was almost unlistenable for music.  One LP and I had listener fatigue bad.  CD's and SACD's were no better.  I returned it and got a Marantz 6007.  Now we are talking.  Roseanne Cash sounded as pure and beautiful as I have ever heard her on LP.  Gaia from JT's Hourglass SACD was amazing in 5.1.

 

I am still working to get the 6007 set up for movies.  Right now it has a crossover set at 40HZ which cuts all the low bass off from my full size speakers (NHT 2.5i with unpowered  built in 8" subs in each) which I haven't figured out how to turn off.  I have no subs, don't need them with the NHT's, and yes I have my fronts set to full size.  I am sure I will figure it out.

 

http://www.soundandvision.com/node/100296

 

This review really mates with my view of the 818's sound, even though it is of the newer model.

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