Originally Posted by Rich Wiegard
I do hesitate a bit due to the massive amount of Denon fans I see posting on the forums here
as one who has owned Pioneer gear for many years & also seriously considered Denon pieces for several years, I sympathize. It's hard to resist "group mentality". I came to my senses when I continued to realize that to make the swap in AVR or prepro + player + amp, I'd end up spending many thousands in pursuit of what could have been a very minor improvement at best. That said, Pioneer should be & I believe is going to looking at subwoofer EQ. That would level the playing field and quiet the "herd"
Trust your own judgment, do your own due diligence, go & listen to the gear and check out how it functions at your dealers, download manuals & get a feel of how they work, how they differ & what ea offers. THEN make a decision.
The forums & numerous posters I have a great deal of respect for, can be a big help. Denon seems to be the "brand of choice" now, almost all of which is due to Audyssey and perceptions of Audyssey. Plus discounted pricing on the soon-to-be-replaced 4311 have helped a lot.
Until you can make some kind of comparison of an Audyssey corrected system vs a Pioneer MCACC system, you won't know. Some claim "night & day" results, some don't. Some have said they get tighter integration. Well, what does that mean, exactly
I didn't get these huge improvements when I put an Audyssey based sub EQ'r into my Pioneer system. While it looked to be slightly better than my Velodyne EQ'r it was definitely not "night & day", very subtle at best. As for "tighter integration", I listen to my soundfield & I don't know how it can be that much better. I already get tight integration & a seamless surround field. MOST of that is due to my speakers!! The most important things to your sound are speakers & room. Investing in better speakers will reap far more benefit than swapping electronics. True decades ago, still true today.
That said, if you decide on a non-Audyssey receiver, like Pioneer, Yamaha, & others, you could benefit from adding an external sub EQ, like the Velodyne SMS-1 or one of their subs with EQ included, or a used SVS AS-EQ1, or Antimode. The only major advantage of Denon over Pioneer is Audyssey's sub EQ but the best version of that is MultiEQ32XT. The 3312 has the older MultiEQXT that also EQ's sub but does not have the resolving power of M32XT.
The class D amps in the SC models are very robust & do not run out of gas all channels driven.
Pioneer & Denon are both great choices. I came close to swapping myself. But then I'd lose several features that I've come to greatly appreciate in my Pioneer setup. "Group think" can't make those personal choices for you. What I may value, others won't, so in their minds what they
value trumps yours. Trust me on that
In truth, you can't go wrong with either one. My only advice is decide for yourself, don't let "feeling left out" by all the Denon supporters drive your decision
Their enthusiasm is a factor but you will find a lot of Pioneer support & enthusiasm here, too. New models have just come out & some are just getting started with them.
A parting tidbit - some actually prefer Pioneer MCACC over Audyssey
Imagine that! You can manually tweak MCACC to your heart's content, not so with Audyssey unless you shell out $750 for their Pro kit.