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DACs used in A/V receivers  

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I intend to purchase a receiver to use as a pre/processor only to my EAD PM2000 amp, and Bryston 4B-ST amp. I will have a separate pre-amp for 2-channel.

The 2 finalist are the Denon AVR-3801 and the Pioneer Elite VSX-36TX. ( I know that the Denon does DTS-discete while the Pioneer Elite only supports the matrixed variant of THX-EX. )

The Denon uses Analog Devices 24/96 DACs while the Pioneer Elite uses Burr-Brown 24/96 DACs. I have read forever that "all-things-being-equal" the Burr-Brown DACs are the better sounding DAC chip.

If I am going to use the recevier as a processor only for HT, can I bank on the Pioneer Elite sounding better ?

I know there are more Denon junkies than Pioneer Elite junkies at AVSFORUM - thoughts anyone ?

- Andy
post #2 of 3
My vote would be for the Pioneer since you're not going to use the amps. I think Denon recievers have better on-board amps. A local dealer handles both brands. I like the Pioneer's ergonomics better. Denon units typically come with miserable remote controls too. I have not looked closely at this one's remote yet, but I wouldn't expect much...

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Rachael,la gata del disco Grande
post #3 of 3
Andy,

I don't know the Denon but I have a Pioneer VSA-E07 (it was last year the top european model DD, DTS, THX, 5x110W, now superceded by the VSA-E08 which supports EX) and I must say that I am not too happy with it. I find it is unacceptably noisy (very audible hiss from my loudspeakers) and more in multi-channel decoding than in stereo. I am almost convinced this is due to the pre/pro section: I tried it with external amps (Bryston 9B-THX much better than the Pioneer internal amps) and it was still noisy. I have now decided to go for separates (I anyway have to upgrade my amps first, I just started with a stereo Chord amp) and later I shall select a separate pre/pro (Meridian, Lexicon, TAG,...?) and not a receiver to use as a pre/pro.

Michel
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