Help me decide: Denon 4400 or Onkyo 1100 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 13 Old 02-25-2018, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Help me decide: Denon 4400 or Onkyo 1100

Hi,

I've been using a Denon 4306 for the past 10 years or so and I need a replacement. I am not using a surround speaker setup, I listen in stereo exclusively (music as well as movies and TV shows). I have a pair of Dynaudio Contour 3.3 speakers, which are 4 Ohm and pretty demanding.

I have looked at a ton of different receivers, including current Yamaha and Marantz models and I have narrowed my search down to the Onkyo TX 1100 and the Denon 4400. My heart tells me to go with the Onkyo, because from everything I've read so far, it has a superior sound to the Denon, especially when it comes to music. It also has Google Chromecast built in, which I would really love to have. On the other hand, I keep reading how inferior their AccuEQ system is compared to Denon's Audyssey. And with Denon, I would know exactly what I would get, since I had Denons most of my life.

So I am a bit torn. I do keep reading some negative comments about the Onkyo here and there and the Denon feels like the safer bet.

Any thoughts that would help me out?

Thanks
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post #2 of 13 Old 02-25-2018, 02:31 PM
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On the Denon side, why not step down to the X3300 or X3400? Its basically the same unit with 4 less processing channels and two less amp channels, for 1/2 as much money. Its the exact same room-correction software, Audyssey XT32.
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post #3 of 13 Old 02-25-2018, 02:36 PM
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Denon, but if only plan on using it for stereo. Id go with a lesser model, no need in paying for features youll never use!

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post #4 of 13 Old 02-25-2018, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Why Denon and not Onkyo?

Any would the lesser model (3400) have enough power to drive my Dynaudio Contour 3.3?
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post #5 of 13 Old 02-25-2018, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkahdafi View Post
Why Denon and not Onkyo?

Any would the lesser model (3400) have enough power to drive my Dynaudio Contour 3.3?
I can't answer the first question for you. I always buy Denons because I am used to them and don't feel like learning how a different brand of receiver works.

On the second question, the difference in the power supply between X3400 and X4400 is fairly trivial. Both will in all likelihood either be sufficient or both will be insufficient. The good news is, both units have pre-outs and you can add external power if you end up needing it.
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post #6 of 13 Old 02-25-2018, 03:20 PM
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If power is a real concern, I'd still get the cheaper Denon and then drop something like this in the mix if need be:

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=15595
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post #7 of 13 Old 02-25-2018, 06:04 PM
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A couple of thoughts: since you are 2 channel only, have you though of other 2 channel set ups?

you don't mention how you route your sources for TV and movies. what is your locus of control? The receiver or the TV?

I readily admit a receiver puts a lot of functionality into a single package. A couple of things to consider re: your options are the ecosystem and the app control.

You already mentioned chromecast for the Onkyo. It also supports Play -fi, which is a more "open" standard. Denon's ecosystem is HEOS.

Pull down demo versions of the app and see it that sways you. I had a Denon x4000 and replaced it with the x4400. All things considered, I am pleased and it works well. There are some adjustments, however, and perhaps if I had a little more information, or time to evaluate, I may have went a different direction. I am still warming up to HEOS. I definitely do not like that I cannot control some functions such as Pandora from the main panel. I am forced to use the HEOS app. Another driver in my decision to go with the 4400 was because it presented a shorter learning curve for my wife.

Another thing, the 4400 runs on the warm side. so think about the space you are putting it in. I just ordered an AC infinity blower unit to cool mine down. I believe the onkyo/pioneer may have moved to all class D amplification. ( the difference is constantly being debated in these forums!). one thing is for sure class D runs a lot cooler.

Hope it helps
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post #8 of 13 Old 02-26-2018, 02:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, so actually I considered normal 2 channel stereo amps, but I need room correction due to sub-optimal listening conditions. There is a hand full of stereo amps that have room correction, but they are usually more expensive than an AVR. I just get more bang for the buck with an AVR. And having a central "switching board" of sorts that lets you connect all devices is another plus.

The reasons I am looking at the Onkyo are really just design (I like it a lot better than Denon), features (Chromecast in particular), power consumption (as you mentioned with the class D amps).

The only thing that lets me go back and forth between Denon and Onkyo are Denon is a lot cheaper where I live and the Denon has Audyssey, which seems to be the holy grail of room correction by most peoples standards.

Let me put it this way: My heart is with the Onkyo, my rationale is with the Denon.
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post #9 of 13 Old 02-26-2018, 02:31 AM
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If you're thinking about the Onkyo TX-RZ1100 then you should also consider the TX-RZ920. It has basically the same capabilities and it's newer (only major difference I can see is 135w/ch instead of 140; both are digital amps / 5.2.4 expandable to 7.2.4). The major reason I'd lean towards the newer unit is that in my experience there appears to have been a massive improvement in AccuEQ with the newer models.

I recently had the opportunity to use both a TX-RZ810 and a TX-RZ920. I originally purchased the RZ810 but then decided I wanted to do four height channels instead of two, so I returned it and bought a refurbished RZ920. The AccuEQ on the RZ920 works a lot better than on the RZ810. On the 810, it wouldn't accurately detect the distance to my sub or center channel. For some reason it thought my center channel was at 4 feet, when it actually was at 12 feet! The sub also gave some weird result like 6 feet when it was at more like 15 feet. On the 920 all of the distances are accurately detected.

On top of that, the AccuEQ routine on the 920 is much more involved. On the 810 it just briefly cycled through pink noise on all of the channels. With the 920 the EQ process takes probably 3-4x as long, with multiple different tests, and like I mentioned before it works a lot better. I think the overall sound balance with the 920 is also much better than the 810. With the 810, bass seemed really overemphasized and just weird somehow--I think it just wasn't doing something right considering the odd distances it was giving to the sub.

I've never used Audyssey, so I don't know how it stacks up, but I suspect the differences between them has been cut down with the newer version of AccuEQ.

Granted, the 920 is a more expensive receiver, so I can't completely rule out that it has a better processor, and that is what's responsible for the better calibration program rather than it being newer. All I know is I'm glad I switched over to the 920 from the 810! (I actually have a RZ620 on the way for another room, so I'll see in a few days whether it has the better calibration program.)

For what it's worth, you can get a refurbished TX-RX920 right now from Accessories4Less.com for $900 (the 1100 costs $1000 from the same place). Just something to consider.
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post #10 of 13 Old 02-26-2018, 02:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. I looked into the 920 before but unfortunately (and for unknown reasons) Onkyo chose to not make this model available in Germany (strangely enough, we do have the 820 though).

So even if I wanted to, I can't get it. I also read that the 920 is back to the old A/B amp design. As for the AccuEQ, some people say it's the same "version" that is in the 1100. Either way, I can't get the 920 in Germany, so that's a no, unfortunately.
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post #11 of 13 Old 02-26-2018, 04:18 AM
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I realize that you've stated you looked into Yamaha's. Are they available to you and at what cost? The 2070 is a very nice AVR and should have plenty of power for your needs. Below is a review of one of those.

https://www.soundandvision.com/conte...eceiver-review
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post #12 of 13 Old 02-26-2018, 04:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Yea, I looked at all of them but ruled out Yamaha and most others for various reasons. The only two vendors that made it to my short list are Onkyo and Denon.
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post #13 of 13 Old 03-03-2018, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkahdafi View Post
Thanks. I looked into the 920 before but unfortunately (and for unknown reasons) Onkyo chose to not make this model available in Germany (strangely enough, we do have the 820 though).

So even if I wanted to, I can't get it. I also read that the 920 is back to the old A/B amp design. As for the AccuEQ, some people say it's the same "version" that is in the 1100. Either way, I can't get the 920 in Germany, so that's a no, unfortunately.
If the 1100 really has the same version as the 920 then I think you'll be satisfied with it. There's a definite difference between it and the AccuEQ on the other Onkyo receivers I've tried recently. It's an entirely different test cycle and the results are much better in my experience. With the 810 and 620 the receiver boosts my sub way too high, which doesn't happen with the 920's system.

My rz-620 arrived and it has the lesser version on it, just like the 810, so it's not as simple as the 920 being newer--well, I guess the 920 was only released a few months ago so it still could be that it's newer. I'm trying to wrap my head around this, as I find the AccuEQ on the 920 to be significantly better, and I'd like to have a receiver in my office with it, but I can't justify spending $900 for that location. I've tried searching but it seems like getting information on this change is a challenge (I suppose it could be that few people own the 920 to start with, and then they'd also have to have another Onkyo receiver to compare to in order to recognize there's a difference).

But, anyway, back to your situation, if the 1100 has the better AccuEQ I'd think you'll probably be satisfied with it. If it's the lesser version it's less clear (it's not terrible, just not as good).

Last edited by Nagorak; 03-03-2018 at 01:48 PM.
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