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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am buying the B&W 685 this week and I need a receiver. So far I have picked the Denon 2310 as my choice. My main use for a receiver will be 90% movies and 10% music. Is there a better receiver in the same price range for movies or will the denon 2310 do just fine. I keep hearing about Rotel receivers with B&W speakers but that's out of my price range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
It cool everybody that I didn't get no response. I read the official Denon 2310 thread and decided to go with the 890. Just found it a Brandsmart for 670 , but the guy said he would hook me up when I come in on Friday. So tommorrow the day. I GOING TO BUY THE B&W 685 , the 62 for center channel , the 686 for surrounds , and the Denon 890 . I'll buy the HSU VTF- 3 sub in october.
 

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890 for $670? Just FYI, over in the 2310/890 thread, they're saying 6ave.com has the 2310CI for $549 shipped!
Myself and others don't see that, so it must need a coupon code or something, but keep an eye on that thread I guess...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well today I came home with half of my items. I went to go buy everything and they only had the 685 and the 686. They didn't have the center channel but they ordered it for me , so I haved to wait. I also went to Brandsmart to pick up the receiver , but the guy who was supposed to give me a deal was not there like he said he would be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I went to go audition the Denon 2310 vs the pioneer elite vsx-23 THX and the Pioneer sound was better in detail with sound. More punch , more tightness. He played a fighting scene on gladiator when maximus was fighting the big guy with the lion mask. First the Denon sounded really good to my ears. The sword fight and the tiger scene had me focused in on the movie. Then he put the pioneer elite on , rewind the movie on the same scene. What a difference. The swords was ringing with every hit. When maximus picked up the sand you could hear the granules hit the ground when he released it from its hand. The tigers roar was more fierce, as the other guards hold the tiger back with the chains you could hear chinging and grinding through the hoop. All of this I did not hear with the Denon 2310. For me I really don't need the video processesing feature of the Denon because I have the oppo blue ray player. So I'm going with the pioneer elite all the way because of the sound.
 

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emann... i haven't done that audition comparison, so i'll take you at your word...


but...


...it sounds suspicious to me that there was that dramatic a difference, so much so even i could probably hear it...


was everything kosher, i.e. same speakers, same audio settings, same *volume*, etc. it's just that with such a difference, it seems like a A/B setup to sell one over the other.


were you able to check settings etc? do you have any sense of what produced the big difference? i'm interested in your further clarifications...


thanks
 

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If the receiver wasn't set up properly, or there were differences in the settings (level, volume, EQ, sound modes), then you would hear those kinds of differences. Audyssey also has different target curves that are user settable, and that alone could affect the results dramatically. So I wouldn't conclude anything without knowing what all the settings were. Did he use Audyssey Flat which does't roll off the high end? Did he calibrate both receivers with all six positions?


There are WAAYY too many variables in the any showroom demo to make any sort of conclusion about sound quality of one brand compared to another. Did the salesguy check the volume levels after switching receivers? Even a volume level difference of a few dB would influence the outcome toward the louder one. If the front channels were down a few dB or they have the EQ boosted in the high end a bit, then the louder one would sound clearer.


Basically, the Pioneer probably sounded a lot better because it had settings that favored it. I'm not saying that the Pioneer isn't an excellent sounding unit, but the vast differences you heard were probably due to other factors due to the way it was set up (deliberately sometimes as well if the salesguy wants to push one model over another).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok here's what happened. On Saturday I went to Best Buy just to look around. I went into the magnolia Listening room and I saw that they had the Denon 2310 in the line up. I ask the guy could I hear what it sounded like. He asked me all these question about my set-up at home. What kind of speakers , how many watts the speakers was rated at , how big was the center channel , and what size subwoofer I had. He said he was going to try to match what I told him I had with what he had there. All I know is that he used definitive tech speakers with a eight inch sub to match. While he was setting up the receiver and speakers ( pushing buttons on the set-up lcd screen ) I asked him what was some other good receivers in the same price range. All they had there was Denon , yamaha , Pioneer , and 1 onkyo receivers. He said that he likes the sound from the pioneer elite vsx-23THX , but he owns a Denon . ( Last year model ) . I said ok can you play both of them for me. ( Read my post about what I heard ) . After I heard what both receivers sound like , he told me that he used the same settings on both receivers. He also said that he used the same volume level also. He also explained that the Denon 2310 sound was more neutral level , almost a even sound. And I heard that when I saw Gladiator. It wasn't a bad sound but I heard what he was talking about. I heard more detail in the sound that came from the pioneer.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by e.mann30 /forum/post/17051658


I said ok can you play both of them for me. ( Read my post about what I heard ) . After I heard what both receivers sound like , he told me that he used the same settings on both receivers. He also said that he used the same volume level also.

There are dozens of settings that will change the sound, how do you know that he really did use the same settings? One of the settings that WILL alter the sound is the Audyssey mode, did he use the right one? If he didn't, the whole comparison is completely invalid. The different Audyssey settings will change the frequency response. Did he check the volume with a sound meter while you were there? If not, then you can't assume he set up the levels fairly.


I would not blindly trust a random salesman in BestBuy to set receivers properly if it was me. There are dozens of things the salesman could have done wrong when setting them up. If you honestly believe that you heard both receivers set up properly and fairly, then buy the Pioneer, but it is my opinion that the receivers were not set up properly and they shouldn't have sounded that different.


Comparing audio equipment such as a receiver in a store is VERY tricky because you really do have to eliminate all the variables.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by e.mann30 /forum/post/17051658


Ok here's what happened. On Saturday I went to Best Buy just to look around. I went into the magnolia Listening room and I saw that they had the Denon 2310 in the line up. I ask the guy could I hear what it sounded like. He asked me all these question about my set-up at home. What kind of speakers , how many watts the speakers was rated at , how big was the center channel , and what size subwoofer I had. He said he was going to try to match what I told him I had with what he had there. All I know is that he used definitive tech speakers with a eight inch sub to match. While he was setting up the receiver and speakers ( pushing buttons on the set-up lcd screen ) I asked him what was some other good receivers in the same price range. All they had there was Denon , yamaha , Pioneer , and 1 onkyo receivers. He said that he likes the sound from the pioneer elite vsx-23THX , but he owns a Denon . ( Last year model ) . I said ok can you play both of them for me. ( Read my post about what I heard ) . After I heard what both receivers sound like , he told me that he used the same settings on both receivers. He also said that he used the same volume level also. He also explained that the Denon 2310 sound was more neutral level , almost a even sound. And I heard that when I saw Gladiator. It wasn't a bad sound but I heard what he was talking about. I heard more detail in the sound that came from the pioneer.

If you liked the sound of the Pioneer over the Denon get it. Bring it home and see if it sounds the same there after setting it up. If not bring it back. Then try the Denon, same thing. Thats the only way to get a good comparison. Is in your room, with your speakers and enviroment. Good luck, problably be hard to go wrong with either.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by warpdrive /forum/post/17052230


There are dozens of settings that will change the sound, how do you know that he really did use the same settings? One of the settings that WILL alter the sound is the Audyssey mode, did he use the right one? If he didn't, the whole comparison is completely invalid. The different Audyssey settings will change the frequency response.

Yeah, if you're really trying to compare the "sound of the receiver," I'd say any of the room EQ/correction features should be turned OFF. There's no way any 2 receivers, especially different brands and correction systems, are going to measure the same and alter the sound in the same way. Just compare them as "old fashioned" receivers, with basics like relative channel balance the same, etc. and they should sound pretty much identical.


Quote:
I would not blindly trust a random salesman in BestBuy to set receivers properly if it was me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I agree with all of ya'll. Look this is my first time with all this home theater crap and i'm trying to get the best that my money can buy. I really don't know what to look for when it comes down to buying a receiver unless I do the research myself , which is about 95 %. The other 5 % comes from other peoples experiences and opinions which is why I started this thread. Nobody answered the thread , so I continued to do some research and reviews about all the receivers in that price range. ( $500-$1000 ) I know best buy is not a professional home theater store but they had those particular receivers there. I really wanted the Denon 2310 and I still might get it , ??? ( I'm confused , I know ) ??? , or I might still go with the Pioneer elite vsx-23. The Audio Advisors store where I bought my B&W 685 only sell Rotel , integra , and 2 top of the line yamahas. I was going to go for the new integra DTR 30-1. I ask about the other brands of receivers including the Denon 2310 and they told me that they don't know about those , just what they sell in the stores. I was trying to put 2 and 2 together and think that if the B&W 685 speaker is a bright speaker ( this quote is from what I read about them ) , then the Denon 2310 would be a better receiver for those speakers because of the neutral warm sound the Denon produces. It would balance each other out . Man , who knows until I try right !Theres not to many reviews about the Pioneer elite vsx-23THX receiver yet . They just talk about what it can do and specs and crap. But from what I heard at the Magnolia listening room at best buy , the pioneer won hands down as far as sound goes. So please don't bash me about what I wrote. I'm new to this and just want the best for my budget. I REALLY DON'T NO WHAT SETTINGS THE SALES REP USED FOR THE AUDTION.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by e.mann30 /forum/post/17052840


from what I heard at the Magnolia listening room at best buy , the pioneer won hands down as far as sound goes. So please don't bash me about what I wrote. I'm new to this and just want the best for my budget. I REALLY DON'T NO WHAT SETTINGS THE SALES REP USED FOR THE AUDTION.

Hey man, we're just trying to help, not bash. Its very hard to judge sound quality when not all the variables are known and controlled. The differences you heard may have due to actual quality differences or not, but it's hard to conclude positively either way


If you feel the Pioneer was a good unit, then don't let me discourage you as they do have a good reputation for sound quality. The Denon is a superb unit as well and I feel it has a superior feature set. You have to decide which you are most happy with
 

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If you can wait for the prices to settle, you may want to add the Onkyo SR707 to your list... it's still hovering around MSRP but I expect it to creep down around the same price as the 890/2310ci fairly quickly. It's a step down in video processing but adds pre-outs and a few other pre-pro friendly features if you think you'll ever add external amplification on down the road. Not saying I'd instantly pick it over the 890/23010ci or equivalent Elites, but it may be worth putting on your list. Since you're auditioning at Magnolia, keep in mind that they will be carrying Onkyo (and Marantz) in the coming month(s) as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well today I went to a different best buy and they had the Denon 2310 ( which wasn't hooked up ) , the Pioneer elite vsx-23 , and the onkyo 707. So I compared the pioneer vs the onkyo 707. The sales rep used batmans Dark Knight , which I read wasn't a good disc to use as a audition movie. Well this time around the sales rep didn't ask me any question about my setup. I ask him so questions just to throw out there that I already new the answer to and the sales rep failed. ( A big F ) I noticed on the pioneer that the screen read THX on it but I still don't know the settings he used. The speakers he used were small and the sub too , which made a muffle sound. Well my final thought on these 2 was that the sound was almost identical except for the center channel. Both receivers volume was on 10. The sound and voice using the onkyo sounded more upfront , in your face. The sound from the pioneer seemed to pan around from left center right speaker or what I'm trying to say is that I heard the voices coming from the center channel and the left and right speaker. But with the onkyo I heard the voices more precise with the center speaker while the left and right speaker faded in the background. The sales rep was lost ( couldn't answer my questions ) and I was lost ( didn't know what to look for as far as sound goes ). But I like the sound from both receivers, but a bad audition.
 

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I think you are putting too much faith in the audition process. Auditioning at Best Buy is going to be a near pointless excercise. Even at a specialized home theater store, you are going to still run into problems getting a fair audition.


You really should try to identify the receiver that has the features you want first. If you care only about sound quality, it's highly debatable whether one brand will ever be that much better than another brand. Some people claim so but it's highly debatable, but there are people who like Pioneers better, there are people that like Onkyos, and there are people who like Denon better. I will say that all three brands are capable of excellent sound. I have had all three brands over the years in my own house (even some at the same time), and I can't say that one was clearly better than another. When I adjust each receiver to have the same settings (flat EQ, no sound processing, they all sounded similar)


I will say that if I like one brand better, it was due to the features which made it a pleasure to use daily or its flexibility in getting it to do what I want, not the sound quality. The ONLY brand that was clearly better in sound quality than Pioneer, Onkyo or Denon was my NAD, but those are 2 to 3 times more expensive and you barely get the same features.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ok , I'll do just that. Just need to wait for some more professional reviews on the other receivers. Thank to everybody who commented on this thread. When I finish ( hopefully by Nov. Still have to buy my recliner chairs and trade my 80 gig PS3 for the PS3 Slim ) I'll post some pics.
 

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Quote:
The ONLY brand that was clearly better in sound quality than Pioneer, Onkyo or Denon was my NAD, but those are 2 to 3 times more expensive and you barely get the same features.

and My NAD T-175 does not sound better then my Denon 2809 or Onkyo 885 for Movie playback so there is a subjective opinion on every corner
of course my measurements with all 3 of them confirmed my subjective opinion.


e.mann30, others have already posted that maybe you are going about this all wrong. Auditioning AVRs is like taking a car for a test drive but letting the dealer drive the whole way.


You keep talking about AVRs being neutral, detailed, etc. That stuff is 99% the speakers and the room actually. AVRs tend to not alter sound as much as you think when we are talking about digital audio and dolby plIIx, etc.


You are going to calibrate any AVR you buy so in the end every single AVR is going to have a decent and relatively flat Frequency response so its all just a waste of time going into stores and listening to non-calibrated AVRs in rooms that are very, very different then yours and on speakers that are very, very different then yours.


here is the simplistic conclusion. Buy electronics based on the best deal, based on the specs and published/validated measurements (if they exists). Some people foolishly waste a whole year actually thinking it matters to go out and listen to AVRs, don't fall for tha subjective mumbojumbo!

Quote:
Just need to wait for some more professional reviews on the other receivers.

Blah, they are usually a waste of time. If they do not post valid testing data or measurements you should ignore them.
 
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