Denon AVR-X2200W or Marantz NR1606 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 23 Old 01-11-2016, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Denon AVR-X2200W or Marantz NR1606 (or Marantz SR5010)

Looking to replace my somewhat outdated Denon AVR-1804. A little information about my setup/what I'll be using it for:


Like the receiver, my speakers are a bit old as well:
Front: B&W DM601 S3
Center: B&W LCR600 S3
Rear: Never got around to buying the 603's for front speakers (and using the 601's as rear), so just some random Pioneer speakers not worthy of further mention.
Subwoofer: B&W ASW675


I'm mainly using the 1804 for movies/home theater, but I used to listen to music quite a bit. I haven't done that for a while, mainly because I moved into a smaller place where 1-2 hours of loud music wouldn't sit well - but it's likely I'll get back to that before I replace the new receiver (my 1804 has been with me for around 10 years - having said that, I need something that is somewhat future proof).


I'm planning on connecting everything to the receiver with HDMI (Blu-ray player, DVB-C tuner, Raspberry Pi) - except for my Wii which will be connected with component video - and HDMI monitor output to TV.


I've been looking at Denon AVR-X2200W, Sony STR-DN1060, Pioneer VSX-930, Onkyo TX-NR646 and initially narrowed it down to the AVR-X2200W based on features and user opinions from AVS that seems to be a bit more positive towards this receiver than the others.


However, I just fell over the Marants NR1606 at the same price tag as the AVR-X2200W and I haven't been able to find that much info on the NR1606 or comparisons with the AVR-X2200W. They seem to be pretty similar except for the fact that NR1606 has Audyssey MultEQ where AVR-X2200W has Audyssey MultEQ XT and the power output, which seems a bit low for the NR1606. Any idea if that could be a problem?


Any thoughts on the two receivers and what might be the better option?

Last edited by Woodgnome; 03-13-2016 at 09:49 AM. Reason: Added Marantz SR5010 to title
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post #2 of 23 Old 01-11-2016, 05:45 PM
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If your speakers are 8-ohm, 87db+ efficiency, the NR1606 should provide plenty of power to drive them, however, it also features a set of FL/FR pre-outs should you want to connect a more powerful 2CH amp. The X2200W features a 2nd HDMI monitor output (eg. TV and PJ in the same room). Warranty on both is 3 years.
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post #3 of 23 Old 01-11-2016, 06:10 PM
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Do you need the slimline chassis or preouts for the front channels? If so, get the Marantz.

The Denon has dual HDMI outputs which might come in handy for you. Denon has an extra optical input plus the Audyssey MultEQ XT which you already mentioned.

The rest of the feature sets are the same as far as I can tell.

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post #4 of 23 Old 01-11-2016, 06:40 PM
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By the way Fry's has the Denon x2200W on sale for $399 this week. That might help you make a decision.

http://slickdeals.net/f/8432701-frys...c=SiteSearchV2

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post #5 of 23 Old 01-14-2016, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post
If your speakers are 8-ohm, 87db+ efficiency, the NR1606 should provide plenty of power to drive them
Well, the specs for the 601 S3's is 8-ohm 88 dB and if I were to invest in the new 683 S3 it's 8-ohm 89 dB. Sounds a bit like it's in the low end, but on the other hand, B&W themselves recommend 25-200 W amplifier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post
By the way Fry's has the Denon x2200W on sale for $399 this week
I'm from Denmark, so after delivery and taxes it probably wouldn't be worthwhile, but cheers anyway ^_^

In any case, for anyone else looking for answers to the same topic, I think the best answer I can provide at the moment is limited to the the popular opinion of Denon vs. Marantz:
  • Marantz has a "warmer" sound and is generally considered better for music.
  • Denon is generally considered better for movies/home theater.
Found some comments over on Reddit (can't post links yet, so Google "Denon vs. Marantz : hometheater") and I'm quite sure there are plenty of these around AVS as well.


Any idea if the Audyssey MultEQ XT is a big upgrade over Audyssey MultEQ?
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post #6 of 23 Old 01-14-2016, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodgnome View Post
Well, the specs for the 601 S3's is 8-ohm 88 dB and if I were to invest in the new 683 S3 it's 8-ohm 89 dB. Sounds a bit like it's in the low end, but on the other hand, B&W themselves recommend 25-200 W amplifier.


I'm from Denmark, so after delivery and taxes it probably wouldn't be worthwhile, but cheers anyway ^_^

In any case, for anyone else looking for answers to the same topic, I think the best answer I can provide at the moment is limited to the the popular opinion of Denon vs. Marantz:
  • Marantz has a "warmer" sound and is generally considered better for music.
  • Denon is generally considered better for movies/home theater.
Found some comments over on Reddit (can't post links yet, so Google "Denon vs. Marantz : hometheater") and I'm quite sure there are plenty of these around AVS as well.


Any idea if the Audyssey MultEQ XT is a big upgrade over Audyssey MultEQ?
Big, no ... better, yes.
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post #7 of 23 Old 01-22-2016, 04:23 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm considering getting both receivers and then decide based on a listening test.

Anything I should be aware of before doing that?

Any recommendations for a switcher box that doesn't mess with the sound?
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post #8 of 23 Old 01-22-2016, 04:24 AM - Thread Starter
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I should probably add that I'm only planning on checking stereo vs. stereo, so I will only need a 2-channel switcher box.
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post #9 of 23 Old 02-19-2016, 01:55 AM
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please update what went into your final decision? you went with Marantz NR or Denon ?
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post #10 of 23 Old 02-19-2016, 02:52 AM - Thread Starter
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I haven't actually bought anything yet - still want to do the comparison, but waiting for the economy to get both receivers at the same time.
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post #11 of 23 Old 02-22-2016, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodgnome View Post
I haven't actually bought anything yet - still want to do the comparison, but waiting for the economy to get both receivers at the same time.
very interested to hear your findings - as these are my top two choices as well

I'm leaning to the Marantz due to the form factor
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post #12 of 23 Old 02-27-2016, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Got the receivers now, but it's hard to do a comparison without a switcher box.


Any idea if there could be a potential risk to the receivers if I hooked up speaker #1 to receiver #1 and speaker #2 to receiver #2 and had separate (digital) sources for each receiver playing the same audio?
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post #13 of 23 Old 03-01-2016, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
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The verdict's in.

Just repeating my setup first:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodgnome View Post
Front: B&W DM601 S3
Center: B&W LCR600 S3
Rear: Never got around to buying the 603's for front speakers (and using the 601's as rear), so just some random Pioneer speakers not worthy of further mention.
Subwoofer: B&W ASW675
In other words; a set of pretty old speakers (~10 years), but still in good condition (the surrounds are still soft with no cracks, no audible issues, etc.). Compact speakers so the low frequency output is somewhat limited.

I would also add that I am by no means an exprienced listener (by my own standards at least) - I watch movies, I listen to music and I'm into Hi-Fi, but living in an apartment complex for the last 6 years I've had limited chances to have some good sessions without disturbing the neighbours (and girlfriend) too much.

With all that said and done, lets get to the more exciting stuff!

For both the AVR-X2200W and NR1606 I've connected the front/center/subwoofer (no rear) speakers and run the Audessey guide (Dynamic EQ disabled). I haven't tinkered with settings outside of that. I also turned off the subwoofer for music listening, because I didn't want to get confused about whether I was listening to the speakers or the subwoofer.

I left the Sound Mode in Pure/Auto which means that I've been listening in stereo mode except for movies with DD/DTS tracks. All sources have been connected via HDMI and all decoding done by the receivers.

While I probably spend more time watching movies than I do listening to music the latter is where I notice differences/care about the experience the most, so I've been testing mainly with music.

I started out with the Denon connected for a day and then swithed to the Marantz for a day. My initial impressions were 90% "Can't tell a difference" and 10% "The Marantz seems pack a bit more sound in the low frequency spectrum", but I couldn't be sure I wasn't just biased by reviews stating that the AVR-X2200W lacks a bit of punch.

To get a more in depth comparison I went with the setup mentioned in my previous post, i.e. connected left speaker to the AVR-X2200W and right speaker to the NR1606 (front right terminals on both receivers) and hooked up a source to each receiver playing the same track.

It took a little time, but with certain music tracks I started to notice some minor differences; the NR1606 does have a bit more sound in the low frequency. Kinda like the AVR-X2200W bottoms out at a slightly higher frequency. The AVR-X2200W has some strength of it's own though; at higher frequencies there seemed to be a bit more clarity (there's a scene in the start of Master and Commander where I noticed this in particular; prior to the first fight a drummer is beating to quarters on a snare drum and it sounded like a thin piece of cloth had been put in front of the speaker connected to the NR1606 compared to the speaker connected to the AVR-X2200W).

To ensure that it wasn't just a result of differences in the speaker positioning/sources/the speakers themselves I also tried switching the speakers to the opposite receiver and switching the sources, but still came to the same conclusion.

There differences are there but they are very minor - I wouldn't have been able to discern them without the side-by-side comparison. Larger speakers might provide a more distinct difference in the low frequency, however.

So who's the winner?

Well... It depends.

For music I would pick the NR1606. The extra power in the low frequency adds a sort of "fullness" to the sound picture that I would prefer over the AVR-X2200W. For movies, however, I would pick the AVR-X2200W for the higher clarity.

If you were dead set on getting a final answer from me, I would go for the AVR-X2200W, but it wouldn't be based on the sound. Due to how minor the differences are, it would be based on the fact that the AVR-X2200W has a higher power output; 2x95 watts @ 2 channels driven vs. 2x50 watts @ 2 channels driven for the NR1606. I might not keep a new receiver for nearly as long as my old AVR-1804 (~10 years), but likely long enough for me to move into a place where I can get a full 7.1 setup and 2x50 watts simply sounds too low for that scenario.

Having said that... I've traded in the NR1606 for a Marantz SR5010 and will be giving that a listening test over the weekend (will be updating this thread with my findings). It's slightly more expensive (175$ more at my local dealer), but I'm hoping it'll give me the best of both worlds. We'll see.
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post #14 of 23 Old 03-01-2016, 08:00 PM
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thanks for the observation. You can probably do a demo testing video and post it on youtube
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post #15 of 23 Old 03-08-2016, 07:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post
If your speakers are 8-ohm, 87db+ efficiency, the NR1606 should provide plenty of power to drive them, however, it also features a set of FL/FR pre-outs should you want to connect a more powerful 2CH amp. The X2200W features a 2nd HDMI monitor output (eg. TV and PJ in the same room). Warranty on both is 3 years.
Curious, do they drive 6-ohm 87db speakers, such as the Pioneer SP-FS52 floor speakers?
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post #16 of 23 Old 03-10-2016, 03:54 AM
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Originally Posted by tbrown187 View Post
Curious, do they drive 6-ohm 87db speakers, such as the Pioneer SP-FS52 floor speakers?
Sure. Designed to drive 6-16 ohm speakers.
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post #17 of 23 Old 03-13-2016, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Done with the SR5010.

Used the same testing methodology as with the AVR-X2200W vs. NR1606. Unlike that comparison I literally can't tell a difference between the AVR-X2200W and the SR5010. Even with the side-by-side test I was having a hard time making out any differences.

I'd say >95% "Can't tell a difference" and <5% "Maybe there's a difference" - but only in a few tracks and I wouldn't be able to put any words to the differences. I'd be able to tell the NR1606 from the AVR-X2200W in a blind listening test, but not the SR5010.

I tried the HDAM circuitry as well. Definitely a difference here, but not for the better in my opinion. Noticeable drop in clarity. Having said that I will stress that I only tried the HDAM circuitry for a short time and more importantly; my analog sources are terrible or mediocre at best (laptop, Raspberry PI and Sony BDP-S490 Blu-ray player).

Keeping the Denon AVR-X2200W for now.
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post #18 of 23 Old 03-13-2016, 04:39 PM
 
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Not sure what you mean by you tried the HDAM circuitry....its inherent in the Marantz avrs, no way to bypass, is there?
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post #19 of 23 Old 03-14-2016, 03:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
Not sure what you mean by you tried the HDAM circuitry....its inherent in the Marantz avrs, no way to bypass, is there?
As far as I'm aware the HDAM circuitry is only in use when using the analog multi channel inputs. There are several topics on the subject here at AVS Forum - here's one for example: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/173-2-...antz-hdam.html
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post #20 of 23 Old 03-14-2016, 04:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodgnome View Post
As far as I'm aware the HDAM circuitry is only in use when using the analog multi channel inputs. There are several topics on the subject here at AVS Forum - here's one for example: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/173-2-...antz-hdam.html
Thanks. Don't follow it, just thought it was their special IC op-amp tweak and mostly marketing. Thought all the Marantz avrs had it, too, for some reason. So only good for analog inputs, eh? I'd like to compare my Denon to one of the upper end Marantz to see if this makes a difference but the only input it would make a difference if you're right is my turntable, the least used of my sources.
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post #21 of 23 Old 03-22-2016, 09:30 PM
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Did you feel the 1606 lacked oomph in music and movies?
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post #22 of 23 Old 03-23-2016, 12:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodgnome View Post
As far as I'm aware the HDAM circuitry is only in use when using the analog multi channel inputs. There are several topics on the subject here at AVS Forum - here's one for example: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/173-2-...antz-hdam.html
Other way around .... all inputs except the multi analog inputs.
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post #23 of 23 Old 03-23-2016, 12:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RicFlair View Post
Did you feel the 1606 lacked oomph in music and movies?
The "oomph" will be determined by the quality of your sub .. not the AVR.
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