Originally Posted by joerod
I was asked this in the 3009 thread but I wanted general opinion here. Obviously besides the amp section and xlr versus RCAs is there any alarming differences between the 80.3 and 3009 as pre-pros? Both have many o the same specs. Same a the 5009. I am Reviewing a 5509 soon and I expect it to perform the same as well. Video processing should definitely be exactly the same.
Conventional wisdom has it that the pre pro and AVR versions of similar Onkyo units function identically when both are used as pre pros. IOW, their features and performance are identical.
HST, I think one needs to take account of the fact that a prepro does not have those huge, powerful amplifiers inside it, with their big high level signals and their potential to interact negatively with the delicate little preamp signals. This could result in subtle sonic differences. It would be next to impossible to determine if this was indeed the case using any form of ABX test though so it is, at best, currently a theory rather than a demonstrated fact.
FWIW my own view is that there is likely to be very little, if any, audible difference between the two.
The conclusion would be, for me at least, that the 3009 represents probably the absolute best value of any AVR out there on the market at this time, and especially so when used as a prepro (the amps coming along free so to speak).
EDIT: Same applies to the Denon 4311 now I think about it.