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Denon 5308 or AVP-A1HD?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
ok, I am trying to decide between a Denon 5308ci or a AVP-A1HD + amp. I really don't understand the difference.

What I have read says that the AVP has balanced outputs and weights the same as the 5308, what does that really mean? What are the real differences?

Is a AVP + an Amp worth the extra money if you are going to have the same wpc?

Which should I buy? Why?

Thank You!
post #2 of 5
I think the feature set of the 5308 would be better for most people.

Denon puts a lotta love into the 5xxx series equipment.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
I guess I was looking for a more scientific answer.

I really don't care about the cost, I want the best equiptment.

If I get the 5308, I will still buy an external 3x500 amp for the front LCR speakers.

I have read most of the XLR vs RCA threads, most seem to agree that if the connections are 2-3 feet it does not matter. If that is true, the XLR outputs don't really mean much.

so why should I buy the AVP over the 5308?

I don't mind paying for the best, but I am having a hard time understanding what the AVP has over the 5308...
post #4 of 5
Mine was scientific... The feature set of the 5308 will far out way the benefits of a dedicated pre/pro section for the vast majority of people.

I'm not sure what else your looking for. The 5308 can be difficult to setup, I'd bank more difficult than most dedicated pre/pro's.

Fidelity and design is strong in the 5000 series Denon stuff. I'd rate the fidelity between the two as close enough to call it good.
post #5 of 5

I think this interview with Jeff Talmadge from Denon will help clarify the differences between the 5308 and the AVP:

As to my two cents concerning whether you should purchase the AVP or 5308 (I have an AVP on order by the way), you really need to answer one question:

Do you want the unit serving as a prepro (either 5308 or AVP) to deliver state of the art, top quality sound for music? If the answer is yes, I'd recommend the AVP over the 5308 because it was designed in large part for this purpose. Conversely, if your system will primarily be used for HT and only music on occasion for casual listening, I'd go with the 5308.

I'll offer my opinion of the technical advantages of the AVP over the 5308 from a music reproduction perspective based on Jeff's interview plus feedback from several AVP owners on their thread http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...php?t=1006957:

1: Because the 5308 and AVP weigh about the same without the AVP having a power amp section, that means most of that weight in the AVP (~60 lbs) belongs to its power supplies. That kind of weight for a prepro is close to, if not unprecedented and suggests a no holds barred effort to achieve world class sound quality. Any preamp or amp designer will tell you that superb power supplies are a key ingridient of superb sound quality. The weight of the AVP's power supplies suggest that they are very large, stable, and highly regulated (again, good design omens for sound quality)
2: Jeff mentions that the AVP's DACs and even volume control are fully balanaced (dual-differential). This is rare in preamps at any price, generally costs more than single ended designs to implement, and is specifically designed to reduce noise in circuits. This design feature is another indicator that Denon's goal for the AVP is top notch sound quality.
3: I've spent a lot of time on the AVP owner's forum and most owners have found its sound quality for music comparable to prepros from Halco, Meridian, and Theta Digital (I owned Theta's Casablanca prepro for several years myself). That says a lot about the sound quality of the AVP. Moreover, a few users found the AVP's sound quality sufficiently good that they sold their high-end, two channel preamps.

Despite all of the verbiage I've expended on the AVP, I want to reiterate that it won't necessarily provide the best value for you. As I stated previously, this depends how much you value top-flight music reproduction vs. HT use. Note that as you might expect, pretty much all AVP owners have also found it to be superb for HT use as well. In my experience, I've never encountered a prepro that performed well for music that did not do the same for HT, though the inverse was not always true.

I hope this helps.

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