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Hey guys. I just recently bought a 50" Widescreen Toshiba 50HDX82 RPTV, and now I'm looking into audio options, and I need some help. I decided to start my search in receivers. My room is 25' x 15', and the system will be used for TV (satellite and antenna) and DVD and VHS movies. My price range is $300-500, and I want the best bang for my buck.


I looked around in various places, and the Pioneer 811S seems to be getting some pretty good reviews. I'm not tied to this receiver, it just look good. But people are also talking about its high THD - what does this mean and does it matter? And if you don't like that receiver, what are some other recommendations in my price range? The Denon 1803 also looked very good. I'm trying to make a short list, so don't ramble off a bunch of products, try and pick the best one. I'm around a lot and I respond quickly to questions, so feel free to ask and clarify anything.
 

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the Pioneer is an entry level unit. Denon has them beat hands down. You mentioned the THD. I looked up the specs, that particular Pioneer is 1% THD in surround mode. That was acceptable about 8yrs ago. That is like 13x higher THD than the Denon unit. Get the Denon. And only a 1yr warranty on the Pionner. Bleh
 

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and just a FYI - THD stands for 'Total Harmonic Distortion'... I think it's calculated by dividing the amplitude of the harmonics by the amplitude of the original signal.


I believe generally, you want to keep it around 0.5% or less.
 

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I had the Denon AVR-883/AVR-1803 receiver. I replaced a Denon AVR-1802 with it. My AVR-883 was purchased soley because I wanted it to delivery sound to the 2nd zone and 5.1 in my main zone. I tried 8 ways to Sunday to get the 2nd zone to work, but it wouldn't. I even contacted Denon support and they were very thorough with me, but still we couldn't get the 2nd zone to work. I ended up returning the AVR-883 within my 30-day alloted exchange/return period.


Instead, I picked up a Sony STR-DA4ES for $600 + shipping from an authorized retailer. Yes, over your budget by $100. However, I will state that the 4ES is in a completely different league. The sound and separation on the 4ES is way, way better than the Denon AVR-833/AVR-1803 and the power - 110 watts per channel (for 7 channels) is only 30 watts more than the AVR-883/AVR-1803 - but, you can really tell that it's there. I don't listen to my music any louder, but there's now plenty of headroom. The Sony also made my 15 subwoofer really (and I mean really) come alive. I'm running a Dayton 15" DVC sub.


Again, though, I maintain that Denon makes some great gear. Their stance on warranty issues vs. authorized vendors has put a bit of a sour taste in my mouth, though. The Sony has a 5-year parts and labor warranty which is quite a bit longer than Denon provides.


OK, now that you've heard my pitch on the Sony, let's get back on topic. Between the Pioneer and the Denon. Definately, get the Denon AVR-1803. The Pioneer would make an OK pre/pro if you were going to connect external amplifiers to it though. However, the AVR-1803 will provide enough power to the listening area that you described.
 

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i agree with everything that's been said..i own the 810s which is only different in that it doesn't have DPII...it's a nice receiver but it will giveup if you really like to play your home theater loud..i'm looking for an reasonable external amp now to drive it in a pre/pro situation..i love my pioneer but get the denon..or go with a higher (elite) pioneer.


brickie
 

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Was faced with the same decision this last week on the 811s or the 1803.


We ended up getting the 1803 for about $400 + Tax (CA). Very happy with it paired with some Axiom M3Ti's, QS4's and VP100.


Matthew
 
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