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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After searching and reading the archives, I'm close to buying a Sony STR-DA5ES as a new A/V receiver. Just wanted to run this past the group to get some input prior to pulling the trigger.


This receiver will be primarily used for video-related stuff. (DirecTV, DVD movies, etc.) Few, if any, audio-only considerations. In my mind, that ruled out the Denon line because their 3800 series has signal degredation due to lack of bandwidth (and it would be noticable on my plasma HD screen) and I don't want to cough up $3200 for the 5800 series. (though that extra component input is appealling)


Any other units that I should look before I buy the Sony? I'd like to stay under $1500, but might go up to $2000 if I could get something with the quality of the STR-DA5ES and with 3 component inputs.


Thanks.


--kurt
 

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I'm (almost) same boat as you, but I have a hard limit of $1500. I think I've zeroed in on the Onkyo 898, which has almost identical features to the DA5ES, with a few added ones.


First off it has 7 amplified channels, as opposed to the 6 in the Sony (not sure if this is a big deal to you or not, a lot of people don't have the room setup for a 6th let alone 7th speaker). Secondly, it does composite to s-video up-conversion. So that's one less cable running to the tv and one less input to switch on the tv. It's also THX certified. Again, to some folks that's not very important, but to some it a little extra prestige. Comparable price as well (~$1150 from authorized dealers such as www.jandr.com ).


One thing the Sony does better than the Onkyo is in the cross-over department. Onkyo's is fixed at 80 Hz, whereas the Sony allows you to set the crossover individually for each set of speakers (40-200 Hz)


BTW, you don't have to go up to the 5800 model of Denon to get three component inputs. The 4802 model has three (at 50 MHz, so no signal loss for HD), and the rest of the features are comparable to the Onkyo 898. I've seen prices around $1700 online, though I'm not sure if they were authorized dealers or not.


Onkyo 989 also has three, but that's more in the Denon 5800 price range.


I've yet to find a sub-$1500 A/V receiver with more than two component inputs, but you find any let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by mdm144
BTW, you don't have to go up to the 5800 model of Denon to get three component inputs. The 4802 model has three (at 50 MHz, so no signal loss for HD), and the rest of the features are comparable to the Onkyo 898. I've seen prices around $1700 online, though I'm not sure if they were authorized dealers or not.
Thanks for the suggestion -- I had seen the 4802 at Crutchfield and wrote it off because of the $2500 price tag. However, $1700 is much more appealing, especially considering that would give me 3 component inputs.


I'm not familiar with how much of a stickler Denon is for warranty issues -- what are the ramifications if I buy from a non-authorized dealer?


--kurt
 

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From the Denon website:

Quote:
The warranty on DENON Electronics products is NOT VALID if the products have been purchased from an unauthorized dealer/on-line E-tailer or if the original factory serial number has been removed, defaced or replaced in any way....DENON Electronics sell products through authorized retail and on-line channels to insure that consumers obtain quality pre-sale and after-sale support and service. PROTECT YOUR WARRANTY. Buy from an authorized DENON Electronics dealer/E-tailer.
So they seem to fall in the same boat as most other high-end manufacturers. Not authorized = no warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by mdm144
So they seem to fall in the same boat as most other high-end manufacturers. Not authorized = no warranty.
And, of course, the corrolary:


Authorized == price fixed


Not one authorized denon dealer sells the 4802 for under $2499. Several "unauthorized" denon dealers sell the same unit for ~$1700.


Last I checked, price fixing was illegal, no? (semi-rhetorical question)


--kurt
 

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Prices on Denon gear from authorized dealers are not "fixed". You can bargain for a 4802 at dealers like Tweeter. BTW, the 5800 is old news now.. the 5803 is availble and if the price was "fixed", i'd've paid full list at $4200.00 which, i didn't. I paid $3100.00.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OK, fair enough -- thanks for the clarification. Looks like they have to display a certain price (at least online) but they have some flexibility behind the scenes.


--kurt
 

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I'm also looking for an AV receiver in this price range and came across the Kenwood Sovereign VR-5700 which seems to have an interesting feature set. You can see the specs on Kenwood's Website .


Since I'm new to the higher end AV category, how does this unit size up to the Sony and Onkyo? ...and where does Kenwood stand in terms of reputation and quality?


Thanks for your comments...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by bittman
I'm also looking for an AV receiver in this price range and came across the Kenwood Sovereign VR-5700 which seems to have an interesting feature set.
I was looking at this as well, until I ran across this thread in the DVD forum. Seems as though there are (were?) some serious issues with the Sovereign series. I confess that I didn't read all 588 replies to that thread, but I decided that there were probably other receivers that I could spend my money on.


In terms of Kenwood's reputation, from what I've been reading (again primarily in these forums) they had a poor reputation but have been putting out some good products recently and perhaps some of the tarnish is wearing off. (now, how that jibes with the mega-thread above, I'm not sure)


--kurt
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
In looking at the Kenwood specs, I can't see any mention of bandwidth used for component video switching. (their manual doesn't seem to have it either. Bad Kenwood)


Anyone have any idea what the bandwidth is on this model?


--kurt
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Bump. Interested in Kenwood specs for component video switching as well as any other thoughts people might have on a good A/V receiver for

--kurt
 

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You know, when I replied to your original post I had pretty much sold myself on the Onkyo 898. Then in researching some of your questions, I found the Denon 4802 was in my reach and started considering that. Now that I've done some further poking around, I come to you with one other alternative (and the one I think I'm going to be purchasing shortly): the Pioneer Elite VSX-47TX. Same price range as the Denon (~$1700 on non-authorized internet dealers) and very similar features, with the added bonus of being THX Ultra 2 certified. It also has a very cool auto calibration routine where you set up a mike in the primary listening position, and it calculates the proper delays and settings for all your speakers. Sweet. I think it has less digital inputs than the Denon (6 vs 8), but 6 should be fine for me. Still has 3 sets of component ins. It and its older brother (49TX) seem to be very highly regarded and reviewed. Unfortunately I can't seem to find a dealer around here that carries them to do A to B comparisons with the Denon.


Don't have any info on the Kenwoods, except that you seem to be correct that they don't really have a reputation of being high quality. I'm sure someone around here must have some experience with them.
 
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