I appreciate all the insight, but some of it I guess I need to learn myself. Maybe school of hard knocks
In all seriousness, I do like the beefy build of the Onkyo, granted it aint the most stylish of the bunch. I wish Denon would put a little more heft in, but maybe we are at a point in the tech where weight really doesnt matter at all. I for one do not know a lot on the audio size, but have read a lot of comments on caps and what they do, transformers and how they function, then there is the amp section itself. All 3 matter. Juice in, stabilize the juice, then juice out
Now whether all that matters, Denon vs Onkyo, probably not especially with the speakers Im using. Headroom is something that's hard for me to agree on, but thats because I come from terminal back ground and conveyor experience, where drives are engineered with a lot of headroom for certain reasons, and I guess I see an amp the same way. If a 100wpc amp is run at 100%, I prefer the 120w amp because it is not. Simple enough, but I know a lot of you spend more time with it.
Id of course never say "go buy the Onkyo because it has 20 more wpc as tested, because itll make your stuff sound better"
Sorry you thought that an explanation of the pointlessness of pursuing headroom for the sake of it was 'smartass'. It wasn't intended as such.
I agree there is much discussion about headroom, but I can't see how anyone can argue with the logic in the example I gave. Just sayin'.
WRT to the room size, yes, if you have a huge room and sit 40 feet from the speakers, then room size is important But most people seem to sit about 9 feet to 14 feet from speakers. SPL drops off logarithmically as distance increases, so as long as you can get the SPLs you want, at the distance you sit from the speakers, then you are all set. It doesn't matter that someone sitting 25 feet further away can't hear the same SPL because, of course, nobody is sitting there. It's somewhat different wrt to subwoofers, but they invariably have their own amps anyway.