Originally Posted by Sean Spamilton
Did you audition them in a store or in your home? Quite often in stores salesmen will make subtle adjustments to the settings of receivers to make the more expensive model sound better, like turning on dynamic volume on the more expensive model or fiddling with the bass and treble settings to make one sound less full then the other. Beyond that, you must be talking about room correction - where the more expensive Denon or Elite had a higher level then the less expensive model. Beyond that - there's simply no way two receivers in the same line will sound any different then one another. They might sound better subjectively to you
, but often times this is a result of your brain simply expecting the more expensive model to sound better, thus tricking you into thinking it does. This isn't a knock against you - millions of dollars are spent in marketing that is designed to make you think that the 2000.00 unit WILL sound a lot better. In blind a-b testing there is zero percent chance you could tell one over the other. These tests have been run a thousand times by people much smarter then me - and no one can ever tell the difference between a 500.00 receiver and a 2500.00 receiver ( all things being equal with respect to settings ). The OP's best chance at being happy will be to find a receiver with the features he wants. The layout of the room and the type of speakers he's using will make a HUGE difference; the receiver, not as much. That being said, because room boundary's play such a pivotal role in the end result of his final sound, buying a receiver with the best room correction software available will go a long way. With that said, I again would recommend to the OP to look for a unit with XT32
, ( and subEQ if he has 2 subs ), or ARC
from Anthem. So a Denon, Onkyo, or Anthem would be my first choice if I were in his shoes.
I do not disagree with everything you say, but I will offer more background.
Again, this is my experience and what I feel is an accurate account when I auditioned this equipment.
I do not remember all the various models, but the cheaper Denon that I ended up buying is an AVR 2805. When I compared to similarly priced units from Integra, Sony, Yamaha, Pioneer, and NAD, they all sounded very similar. I choose the Denon over the others due to its functionality and quantity of inputs. Your suggestion to look at its functionality is logical and I agree with that statement.
Auditioning was done in store. It is possible the salesmen did some adjustments I did not notice, but to the best I can remember, both the AVR 2805 and 3805 were being used in pure direct pass which should remove any kind of room compensation or bass boost as I recall... (The receiver should have acted as a simple pre-amp for volume control and an amp.) In two channel pure direct, I found the Chours 716S sounded more full when powered by the 3805 when compared to the 2805. (The same Marantz cd/sacd player was used... again, it is possible they made some adjustment on this player, but I did not notice them make any adjustments.)
Regarding the room correction, I actually did not notice much difference in movie playback, which is the main reason why I went with the cheaper 2805 rather than the 3805.
Regarding two receivers in the same line sounding different. I invite you to audition more receivers. In the 2805 vs 3805 example I have been using, the 3805 has a better power supply and better amplifier than the 2805 which assisted in the better sound from the Chorus 716S speakers.
Was my brain being tricked... This is a possible situation, however, I auditioned a lot of equipment, and I did notice small changes from one to the other, but over all, I noticed receivers in the same price range were all about equal in sound quality. The biggest changes were the features and quantity of inputs. Similarly, I auditioned receivers at different price points... I believe I auditioned a more expensive Integra that I noticed no audio improvement over the ~$700 Integra. Perhaps if you auditioned these same receivers, you would see no difference in the two Denons and you would in the Integras... Everyone hears things differently... What $500 and $2500 recievers are being used and what other equipment is being used in these blind tests you reference?
FYI, I have Anthem separates, and when I listen to 2channel music, I run them on direct without any adjustments. Any speakers I have played on this equipment sound better than using any type of room correction in my opinion... Perhaps to your ears, running a room correction would sound better and that is perfectly fine and acceptable, just not what I prefer.
You're welcome to disagree with my opinions, now at least you have more background on how I formed my opinions and see I did not just throw some junk opinion out with no background to support it.
FWIW, I think room correction helps greatly for movies... but I will stand by my opinion that a good source and good receiver will let the 726V shine for 2ch audio.
FYI, the Onkyo TX-NR818 does look like a good receiver from specs and is greatly discounted in the link above.
I just did a quick google search and apparently there are others who have similar opinions.
[/Edit]Edited by SuperPoser - 1/6/14 at 3:04pm