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HELP: Denon 4306 vs Pioneer VSX-84-TXSI - Page 2

post #31 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacksonian View Post

Can anyone answer that one? I still don't quite understand the new audio formats and which device is doing what.

Both the 4306 and 84 accept multichannel PCM via HDMI. The source component, such as an HD DVD player, must decode the new audio formats and send the audio through a PCM stream for the receiver to handle. The only major thing that HDMI 1.2 adds is support for SACD's DSD streams.
post #32 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacksonian View Post

Can anyone answer that one? I still don't quite understand the new audio formats and which device is doing what.

HDMI 1.2 will pass SACD in it's native DSD format. HDMI 1.1 can't.

As far as HDMI 1.3... HDMI 1.3 allows for the new DD and DTS audio formats to be output in their native compressed bitstream from a HD-DVD / Blu-Ray player to a receiver, where the reciever will decode the bitstream (like is done currently with DTS and DD). Of course this requires that both the player and the receiver both be HDMI 1.3 capable.

It also isn't any real advantage over the current method where the player decodes the new DTS / DD encoded audio to uncompressed 5.1 PCM audio and then passes this PCM 5.1 audio stream digitally to the receiver via a HDMI 1.1 compliant connection. The end result is the same. You have an all digital signal path, and as long as the decoders are compliant the resulting audio output from the receiver should be the same. The supposed story behind all of this is that the receiver makers wanted to put DD True-HD and DTS-HD logos on their receivers, so they lobbied for this inclusion in HDMI 1.3.
post #33 of 55
Thanks guys, I think I'll trade my Pioneer 49txi for the 84 so I can do HDMI switching.
post #34 of 55
So which one sounds better the Denon or the Pioneer in terms of pream (dacs) and amplifer
SD
post #35 of 55
Do you have to have a new HDMI cable when 1.3 come out?
post #36 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by KERMIE View Post

Do you have to have a new HDMI cable when 1.3 come out?

No...
post #37 of 55
Have any of you 84 owners had direct experience with the scaler in relationg to, in general, rhythm games and in specific Guitar Hero? The 84 is appealing to me because of its scaling capabilities - my 1080p HDTV DLP has no games mode, and its built-in scaler induces a long (half-second or more) lag in 480i signals. I'm hoping that the 84 can remedy that. It handles 480p okay (no lag, but "combing" in the image) but Guitar Hero unfortunately only outputs at 480i.

Thanks in advance!
post #38 of 55
I actually was struggling between these 2 myself. I ended up buying the VSX-84-TXSI on features alone. I didn't have a chance to hear either. I was told [and read] by multiple people that the Pioneer was better suited for movies and the Denon was better suited for music and that the Pioneer was less "bright" than Denon. Being that I have Klipsch Reference speakers, it seemed like a no-brainer.

Well, I have had the VSX-84-TXSI set up for a week now and I am extremely disappointed. It is actually brighter with my Klipsch speakers than the AVR-3802 that I upgraded from. Also, the HDMI switching has lots of issues.

I am wondering if my Pioneer is set up wrong since everyone else is raving about it. There are many EQ settings. Could those adjustments alone make all the difference? Is there a DVD out there that helps adjust audio frequencies?

Also, for someone looking for HDMI switching, I would highly recommend the Gefen switches. I originally purchased one to run 2 sources in and split to 2 different displays. I am even splitting a Comcast DCT 6412 and DCT 3412 which no one else seems to be able to do with A/V Receivers.
post #39 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by slorente View Post

Well, I have had the VSX-84-TXSI set up for a week now and I am extremely disappointed. It is actually brighter with my Klipsch speakers than the AVR-3802 that I upgraded from. Also, the HDMI switching has lots of issues.

I am wondering if my Pioneer is set up wrong since everyone else is raving about it. There are many EQ settings. Could those adjustments alone make all the difference? Is there a DVD out there that helps adjust audio frequencies?

Also, for someone looking for HDMI switching, I would highly recommend the Gefen switches. I originally purchased one to run 2 sources in and split to 2 different displays. I am even splitting a Comcast DCT 6412 and DCT 3412 which no one else seems to be able to do with A/V Receivers.

1) As for the brightness with your speakers, did you run the MCACC?

2) What HDMI issues are you having? Please explain.
post #40 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacksonian View Post

Thanks guys, I think I'll trade my Pioneer 49txi for the 84 so I can do HDMI switching.

I also had a PE49txi, that I wanted to replace for the HDMI switching. I thought audio wise it was an awsome receiver and would be hard to replace. After a lot of research between the 84txi and Dennon 4806ci I went with the Dennon. It was a bit more expensive and lacked one HDMI imput but overall it more matched the 49txi build quality and power. I think the curreent PE receivers are a bit short on build compareed to the past. I did love the PE49 and never had a problem. I always had great experience with Pioneer CS too. So far the Dennon is awesome, Great sound and power and flawless HDMI switching and upscaling. Had two months and still discovering a lot of new things about it. Got a great price here in NJ too from and authorized dealer.
post #41 of 55
Wow, I didn't realize that the Denon 4806 was more than double the MSRP of the Pioneer 84.
post #42 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacksonian View Post

1) As for the brightness with your speakers, did you run the MCACC?

2) What HDMI issues are you having? Please explain.

I did run Auto MCACC. I even tried it a few different times changing a few variable of the room (door open vs closed, projector on vs off, ec.)

Here is a quote from a post I made about 1 of the switching issues I am having:

Quote:
Originally Posted by slorente View Post

I am having a lot of issues using the HDMI switching on the VSX-84TXSi. I am running a DCT-3412 Comcast DVR and a Denon 2910 to the reciever. The displays are a Sony HS-20 projector and a Panasonic Plasma. I am running HDMI from both sources and HDMI out of the reciever to the displays. Since both sources have upscaling, I am running both at 1080i.

Either of the sources work fine when running them directly to either display. However, when I run them though the reciever with no conversion (pass through), there is no video signal to the plasma. However, I can get video to the projector.

Any ideas?
post #43 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by slorente View Post

I actually was struggling between these 2 myself. I ended up buying the VSX-84-TXSI on features alone. I didn't have a chance to hear either. I was told [and read] by multiple people that the Pioneer was better suited for movies and the Denon was better suited for music and that the Pioneer was less "bright" than Denon. Being that I have Klipsch Reference speakers, it seemed like a no-brainer.

Well, I have had the VSX-84-TXSI set up for a week now and I am extremely disappointed. It is actually brighter with my Klipsch speakers than the AVR-3802 that I upgraded from. Also, the HDMI switching has lots of issues.

That stinks. I tried the 74 vs the 3806 at two different places and in both cases at the basic settings, the Pioneer had more bass while the Denon sounded hollow as if I were listening to the tiny Bose satelite speakers.
post #44 of 55
Quote:


That stinks. I tried the 74 vs the 3806 at two different places and in both cases at the basic settings, the Pioneer had more bass while the Denon sounded hollow as if I were listening to the tiny Bose satelite speakers.

If the Denon sounded like it was running through Bose satellite speakers, I would suggest then that the Denon was never set up properly. These two units are going to sound more similar than different if they are configured correctly. I don't know about the Pioneer, but there is quite a bit to configuring the Denon 4306, particularly where it comes to the settings for Direct/Pure Direct modes to ensure that bass is being sent to the subwoofer.

I mean seriously, if the Denon sounded so poorly, how could they be reviewed so well and have the user base that they have?
post #45 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by slorente View Post

I did run Auto MCACC. I even tried it a few different times changing a few variable of the room (door open vs closed, projector on vs off, ec.)

Here is a quote from a post I made about 1 of the switching issues I am having:

slorente,
It looks like your question in that thread has been answered. This doesn't appear to be an issue with the 84TX, but rather the other equipment in your system.

As for your audio, maybe the 84TX just doesn't gel well with your speakers. I personally don't like Klipsch because they're just too harsh/bright for me.
post #46 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdS View Post

If the Denon sounded like it was running through Bose satellite speakers, I would suggest then that the Denon was never set up properly. These two units are going to sound more similar than different if they are configured correctly. I don't know about the Pioneer, but there is quite a bit to configuring the Denon 4306, particularly where it comes to the settings for Direct/Pure Direct modes to ensure that bass is being sent to the subwoofer.

I mean seriously, if the Denon sounded so poorly, how could they be reviewed so well and have the user base that they have?

Two different unrelated businesses, same flat setting, same speakers and the same results. Others had similar experiences. It seems like many of the reviews are weighted towards video performance.
post #47 of 55
I haven't heard either one, but the cheapest street price I can find on the Denon is close to 3x the street of the Pioneer. If it doesn't perform better, something's wrong.
post #48 of 55
I've been trying to point out that the comparatively priced Denons, Pioneers, Yamahas, etc. are closer in SQ than they are different. When someone says that the Denon makes speakers sound like "Bose satellites", then IMO that info should be taken with a grain of salt. I just purchased my first Denon (4306) after owning the likes of Yamaha, HK, and Pioneer receivers. I can tell you that I am very pleased with the Denon, and it does not make my speakers sound like Bose satellites. Rather than just take my word, I've put together a handful of quotes from several AVS threads. My suggestion is that the readers make their own judgements as to whether the Denon is audibly inferior to the Pioneer or any of the other brands noted in this thread.

When compared to the Yamaha 2600
Quote:


I'm just astounded at how much better the sound is on this Denon 4306. It's not that the sound's better (as in clearer), but it's more encompassing. I begin to forget there are speakers and just hear sound.

General comments about the 4306
Quote:


And, once I realized that much of my problem was that I have a feature-rich A/V receiver, the operational complexity is only to be expected? The user interface is not what I would call great and IMO the manual is barely better than useless... But the receiver itself? Fantastic!

Another comparison to the Yam 2600
Quote:


well I returned my yamaha 2600 and got the avr 4306 and I can say that I'm so beyond pleased with the sound that you have no idea. I'm pretty new to HT setups and I have an axiom epic 50 system with the 12 in sub (a little overkill for my apartment) and I was really unhappy with the way the yamaha sounded.

Comparison to the Pioneer VSX-82
Quote:


A/Bing the 3806 and the VSX, the 3806 had much better bass response and lower midrange (vocal) response. The pioneer had almost no bass response, little lower midrange and sounded very compressed overall. I really didn't like the Pioneer Elite.

Another comparision to a Pioneer Elite VSX-74 vs. Denon 4306
Quote:


As an aside, on more subjective territory, after spending the past couple of hours listening to the Denon 4306, I'm now rather pleased the Pioneer has a problem. I would not have considered replacing the Pioneer with the Denon without some reason, and now that I have, well, let's just say even if Pioneer gets this issue sorted out, I won't be giving up this Denon.

Finally, a quote from an Audioholics 4306 review
Quote:


Denon has scored several goal-winning points in the last several years, and the AVR-4306 may actually be a product that hits the mark for many consumers looking for an affordable high end product to control their home theater system. I would highly HIGHLY recommend this receiver to anyone looking for the best performance and feature set available for a receiver under $2000. This is a true benchmark, trend setting product!

Just to be clear, I am not dissing the other receivers, it just seemed that there have been a lot of statements in this thread stating that the Denon does not measure up audibly to the Pioneer and some other receivers. You can go search for yourself and find any number of reviews (both user & professional) which clearly believe otherwise.

Peace.
post #49 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdS View Post

I've been trying to point out that the comparatively priced Denons, Pioneers, Yamahas, etc. are closer in SQ than they are different. When someone says that the Denon makes speakers sound like "Bose satellites", then IMO that info should be taken with a grain of salt. I just purchased my first Denon (4306) after owning the likes of Yamaha, HK, and Pioneer receivers. I can tell you that I am very pleased with the Denon, and it does not make my speakers sound like Bose satellites. Rather than just take my word, I've put together a handful of quotes from several AVS threads. My suggestion is that the readers make their own judgements as to whether the Denon is audibly inferior to the Pioneer or any of the other brands noted in this thread.

Just to be clear, I am not dissing the other receivers, it just seemed that there have been a lot of statements in this thread stating that the Denon does not measure up audibly to the Pioneer and some other receivers. You can go search for yourself and find any number of reviews (both user & professional) which clearly believe otherwise.

Peace.

No offense, but most of the quotes you references are as over the top as the one you're complaining about. I bet you and all the people you quoted couldn't pass a properly level matched double blind test (yes I said double blind) between the two units they compare in their quotes.
post #50 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdS View Post

Just to be clear, I am not dissing the other receivers, it just seemed that there have been a lot of statements in this thread stating that the Denon does not measure up audibly to the Pioneer and some other receivers. You can go search for yourself and find any number of reviews (both user & professional) which clearly believe otherwise.

Peace.

I'm not a fan of either, but you've only posted positive comments for the Denon, which is biased because there was not one positive quote of the Pioneer. There are various other threads making the same comparison and you'll see that there are just as many comments favoring Pioneer for the exact same reasons.

I initially wanted to buy a Denon 3806 or 4306 because of the reviews and when I heard it, it sound fine. Then I heard the Pioneer, switched back and forth and the Pioneer sounded deeper. Listening to the Denon alone, I would not have noticed that it sounded more hollow than the Pioneer. I would have thought it was great.

Realize that audio quality of receivers in this class are objectively similar on paper, but each brand creates its special sound that is subjectively more appealing to certain audiences. Sony's for example have historically sounded very bright while Harmon Kardon at one time focused on bass while Yamaha at one time sounded less bright than the Sony. I'm not sure what these brands sound like these days, but however each sounds in their flat settings, one can always adjust the sound to their liking. So, it's almost a mute comparison.

Basically these days, it almost comes down to features, video performance, price and brand 'name'. The later infers Denon to always be pricier than a similar Pioneer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by EdS View Post

I've been trying to point out that the comparatively priced Denons, Pioneers, Yamahas, etc. are closer in SQ than they are different. When someone says that the Denon makes speakers sound like "Bose satellites", then IMO that info should be taken with a grain of salt. I just purchased my first Denon (4306) after owning the likes of Yamaha, HK, and Pioneer receivers. I can tell you that I am very pleased with the Denon, and it does not make my speakers sound like Bose satellites.

Do you currently have all these receivers connected to the same speakers and audio setup? If not, your test results are not equal comparisons. Your review would therefore not be fair.

By the way, I'm still deciding between the Denon or Pioneer receiver. The one I pick will depend on what becomes of the new Denon 3930 dvd player.
post #51 of 55
Quote:


No offense, but most of the quotes you references are as over the top as the one you're complaining about. I bet you and all the people you quoted couldn't pass a properly level matched double blind test (yes I said double blind) between the two units they compare in their quotes.

That was my point, it is easy to find over the top reviews that receiver "A" kicks the ass of receiver "B". I felt that there were some over the top comments being made in this thread about the Denon not having anywhere near the same SQ as some of it's comparably priced competitors. I've no doubt in my mind that I would be hard pressed to pass a double blind test of similarly priced receivers from the major manufacturers. One of the biggest reasons I selected the Denon 4306 over some of the other receivers was because of it's feature set. Remember, I opened my post by stating:
Quote:


I've been trying to point out that the comparatively priced Denons, Pioneers, Yamahas, etc. are closer in SQ than they are different. When someone says that the Denon makes speakers sound like "Bose satellites", then IMO that info should be taken with a grain of salt.


Quote:


Do you currently have all these receivers connected to the same speakers and audio setup? If not, your test results are not equal comparisons. Your review would therefore not be fair.

As I previously said, I have owned receivers from Yamaha, HK, Pioneer, and now Denon. I did not mean to imply that the Denon was the best of the lot, I was trying to point out that I am open to owning differentt brands of receivers and I do not have a bias such as "Yam's are bright, Pioneers are warm, Denons are sterile, etc.". I've been fairly happy with all of the equipment I have owned, and typically upgrade receivers every 4~5 years. The only two units which came even close to being compared in my room with my speakers were the Yam 2095 and the Denon 4306 which replaced it. After I installed the 4306 and had it properly set-up and "tweaked" it's settings, I found that with with Audyssey turned on there was a huge difference between the 4306 and the Yam 2095. With Audyssey turned off and both units set to a "flat" setting, I would probably be hard pressed to tell a difference, though I never set out to A/B them under those conditions.

By the way, I firmly believe that to properly compare any of the equipment being questioned, that it needs to be set-up in your room, with your speakers, properly set-up, and tweaked to it's optimum settings. I remember when I was receiver shopping and after hearing the Denon 3806 I asked the dealer/owner (who also offered installation services) what he thought of Audyssey and was it difficult to set-up, at first he didn't know what Audyssey was, then said that "yeah, the Denon has an auto-setup program". Unfortunately I suspect that this is an all too common scenario.
post #52 of 55
AB testing receivers is difficult. I used a SPL to insure that the volume levels are similar across all three and used the most optimal mode for 2ch music. All three provide a pass through option to bypass much of the up front processing. The most revealing speakers that the shop had were Martin Logan Clarity's. While these speakers are ok, they really didn't tell the whole story.

At first the Denon 4306 was the more impressive from a SQ perspective. The upper midrange is more pronounced and vocals and stringed instruments really stand out. The Pioneer by contrast seemed more subdued overall. Upon more listening however, the Pioneer seemed to reveal more detail. While the some of the vocals were slightly less obvious on the Pioneer, they seemed more cohesive with regard to the rest of the music. Somehow more connected. This gives the overall impression of a more complex connected sound. In contrast to the Denon where the sound seemed to be pushed to you, the sound of the Pioneer seemed more laid back. This less flashy presentation wasn't as impressive at first but I found that the Pioneer drew me into the music to an extent that the Denon didn't. I found myself leaning forward into the music from the Pioneer and enjoying it more.

The real surprise for me was when I borrowed the Pioneer to take home and test with my speakers--Magnepan MG12's. These are much more revealing than the Martin Logan's. Here the Pioneer really impressed me. The level of detail that it reveals is something that I haven't heard before. Tracks that I though just had a bass guitar plucking a single string--I discovered that there were 4 or 5 different notes that he was playing. I put in CD after CD and heard things that I hadn't heard before on those tracks.

As a point of reference, I owned an Arcam AVR350 that I ran on these speakers for a couple of months prior to acquiring this Pioneer. I have also tested the Rotel RSX 1067 in this setup. The Arcam AVR350 is a wonderfully musical receiver but I have found the Pioneer VSX 82 to be more engaging. Even the music that I found uninspiring in the past, I find interesting enough to listen to.

I'm so happy with the sound that I have decided to upgrade to the Pioneer VSX 84 and aren't really interested in borrowing the Denon at this point. I made my choice for the Pioneer based on the sonic performance of Martin Logan electrostatic speakers where the differences were fairly slight.

The poster above makes a good point about them all being similar. With the speakers that many of these shops have, it's difficult to hear the difference even when AB testing them. For me the sonic differences between them are:

Denon:
Wonderful detail and air in the upper midrange and highs. Vocals seem to float out and almost envelop you. The upper bass is subdued giving the overall impression of a dip in that frequency range. Great for vocals and stringed instruments.

Pioneer:
A very detailed presentation. The vocals and stringed instruments don't bloom out toward you but the sound stage is very layered. There is good separation between all the elements in the music but none seem to stand out. The overall impression of one of more complexity and interplay within the music. The bass is strong but strangely has separation from the rest of the material. When you hear it, it sounds as ample as you would want but doesn't interfere with or color the other elements. This is a key element in that bass response can color or alter the vocals especially of female vocals on other amps. The presentation seems less rich than the Denon but more natural.

So both are great and you won't be disappointed with either. I found that I favored the deeper sound stage and more detail of the Pioneer over the slightly richer/brighter/dryer presentation of the Denon. For me the sound quality was the only determining factor. I passed on the Arcam AVR350 at $2500 for the Pioneer based on sound quality alone.

That's my $.02
post #53 of 55
What use is better sound if the receiver can't properly process the incoming signal???

I own the Pioneer 84 and am currently very unhappy. Due to the an oversight by Pioneer, the receiver doesn't properly handle the LFE channel from LPCM over HDMI, therefore rendering the high-end audio options on Blu-Ray and HD-DVD useless. I'm tired of waiting for a firmware update that might never arrive. Does the Denon 4306 handle this properly? I've been considering the Denon and the Sony 5200ES as replacements for the Pioneer 84, which I'll dump on Ebay.

Thanks
post #54 of 55
cjmac97,

Wow, I owe you. I was able to cancel my order of a new VSX-84 last night based on your post. Is this still a problem in that new shipping receivers don't handle LFE channel of LPCM over HDMI correctly?
post #55 of 55
I purchased a Pioneer Elite VSX-84 and it appears to map channels correctly. Perhaps the problem has been fixed now. The MOSFET power amp in the Pioneer sounds like a tube amp. It's less full sounding than the Denon but more detailed. It's kind of a trade off but with highly revealing speakers I prefer the more detailed sound of the Pioneer. It's a good match for my Magnepan MG12's. Can anyone else confirm that Pioneer has corrected their channel mapping problems? I have searched the internet and haven't come up with anything definitive.
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