Originally Posted by Alimentall
Well, there's a difference between 'high-end' and 'mass market' design. We've been through this before in another thread, but IMO, the Denon stuff is still a mass market design, even though the price is high. It's a perfect match for B&W speakers. Or a Cadillac Escalade or a Rolex. It's a luxury mass market product. A truly high-end customer wouldn't need 75% of the circuitry in it and no more than 7 of the amp channels, so why bother putting in except to look cool? Hey, as long as it sells, they've achieved their design goals, but high-end design, it isn't.
I just sold off my beloved Lexicon MC12-HD, and put the Denon AVP in its place. As an initial observation, I won't say it sounds better than the Lexicon, but it clearly sounds as good as the Lexicon.
The real point I think is getting missed by a quote like the one above, is that Consumer Electronics Snobbery (the real "CES") is beginning to border on outrightly perverse logic. The Theta thread on "when" the CBIII will get HDMI has current owners buying Onkyo receivers and praising the "workaround" (psst . . . that's really not a workaround . . . that's just keeping your Theta box in your rack, while letting another piece of equipment do what it should have been doing at least two years ago); it has the whole host of what we once worshipped as "high end" products creating a stunning silence from those high-end manufacturers, on just what the next step is. In the interim, everything the devotees of these products want is contained in budget receivers.
So when Denon comes out with a no-holds-barred piece that boasts every feature that the traditional high end owners are clamoring for, it gets criticized . . . for what? For having everything
that the "high-end" pieces lack. It's like a guy arguing that his buddy's girlfriend is somehow diminished because she's smart, pretty, big boobs, and really wants to make him happy (that's right--give us that old hag on antidepressants and running up your credit cards, now there's
I'm personally using the Denon with Halcro amps (MC20x2, MC30x1), two Velodyne subs (HGS-18s), and a PSB Synchrony One system (matching center and 4 surrounds). It sounds spectacular on both music and movies. It's the equal of my Lexicon in that department. It doesn't have Logic7, but it has a lot of other features (including the Audyssey) that everyone should value. The build quality on the Denon is bulletproof, and if it had a different nameplate on it, dealers would want to charge at least double what it's going for now.
The fact is that the high end, particularly with audio, is being redefined. I've owned Proceed, Krell, Lexicon, and now this piece as my processor and this is as good as any, with the features that don't make me go out and buy "workarounds" that amount to nothing more than a slavish devotion to an idea of the high end that is now dead.
I've been fortunate enough to own a lot of high end pieces over the years, and, hopefully, I've become smart and discerning enough to look beyond the "I-must-pay-more" mentality that often characterizes the high end. The Denon is high end, at least if that's defined objectively by performance and features. If that's not how it's defined, then what does that say about its patrons?