Originally Posted by JMak00
I've only had a single Denon AVR, so no context about differences in sound between Denon, Onkyo, Pioneer, etc.
What difference did you detect between the Onknyo and Denon that compelled you to go back to the Onkyo?
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Originally Posted by asabrag
It cant be explained. Thats why you should audition your next AVR. Preferably at home.
I auditioned at home: Technics, Sony, Onkyo, Yamaha, Denon, Pioneer and I went back to Onkyo.
As someone with in-home experience with them all, I can explain
... In my experience, Denon is very Audessey dependent. Basically, you are forced to be satisfied with the Audessey results because if you disable it, you find that there is nothing special about the Denon sound; it's a very bland, veiled, and uninspiring sound with rolled off highs from my experience. If you happen to encounter room correction issues and opt to disable Audessey like some do with MCACC, AccuEq, YPAO, or any other room correction, you are left with a literal hot mess with regards to sound quality, and the fact that they run somewhat hot. Most of the recent receivers I've had from Pioneer Elite, Yamaha, and Onkyo exhibit a base signature in sound quality (some, a unique signature quality) that is satisfying when independent of room correction whereas Denon does not in my opinion. In other words, with the likes of Yamaha, Onkyo, and Pioneer, you can turn off room correction and manually set everything with satisfactory results. With Denon, you have to keep Audessey engaged which is why Denon loyalists shout Audessey, Audessey, Audessey from the rooftops. On top of this, you pay a premium for Audessey licensing. Honestly, I can't speak for the Denon flagship AVR-8XXX, but for the price I would hope it to be different from the mid-range and lower Denons.