AVS Forum banner
  • Get an exclusive sneak peek into our new project. >>> Click Here

Denon 5800 or Integra 9.1

408 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  tommyboy2
Denon 5800 or Integra 9.1

Looking for recommendations on a new A/V receiver. Is the upgradeable feature of the Integra line a very important feature? Will both units handle 4ohm speakers ok? What are the pros/cons of these units? Looking to purchase a unit real soon. Any help would be very appreciated.
Not open for further replies.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Review based on the Onkyo 989 (same basics as the Integra).

Also see http://pub7.ezboard.com/faussiedvdan...formationforum

for more

1) No distracting fan noise for early Onkyo users (though a hardware/software fix has been made available for units purchased from authorized dealers, with persistence, from authorized service centers).

2) Weight. Denon is heavy, but in comparison, Onkyo is still pretty back breaking. Understand transformer weight, but I don't know why this is a big differentiator for folks.

3) Size. Denon is "deeper" about an inch, and higher, less than a couple inches. Both are big units.

4) Ergonomics. Onkyo is more straightforward in the front panel & in the menuing system. Part of this is the crazy Denon remote.

5) Remotes. As a confirmed Pronto user (com'on ProntoPro), I prefer the Onkyo remote with more directly accessible user keys to ... program the pronto. It took me a while just to figure out how to get the RC-8000 lit well enough and contrast to be useful. It's bigger than the Pronto with less customizability. I'm sure I could get used to it, but would have preffered a lower Denon price with a more straughtforward key based remote.

One thing I dislike is that I cannot use the Dish 6000 remote as an auxillary remote. (I could with the Onkyo). There appears to be no code, including the Denon code to change the volume on the receiver).

I am not getting used to the RC-8000. I would not even attempt to customize it w/o PC based software.

6) Congurability of sources. Onkyo clearly bests the Denon here. The assignment & labeling of component video sources to up to video sources which are not "hard coded" as on the Denon. The assignment of any of the video sources to audio paths is also useful.

7) Configurability of speakers. Denon gives the option of 2 vs. 1 rear surrond. Onkyo does not. Denon setup here is good and I seem to get better back surround calibration on the Denon despite the comments on ergonomics. I played with the sub & shut off the "protection" feature. It appears to "blend" better, regardless of content. I guess I'm just used to it being more noticeable (a bad quality in a sub).

8) Volume. The Onkyo wins here, having better (IMHO) controlability, and ability to drive lower volumes).

9) Speaker seperation. Even though I have dipoles in the back surround, I generally prefer direct speakers (which I use on the side surrounds). With the A, B, or A+B I may pick up a second set of side surrounds (maybe bipoles). Know the feature is provided to "swap" directs & dipoles for music vs. cinema, but like I said I like the directs for both.

10) Video switching. The component switching for HD (1080i) is fantastic, better than the Onkyo which was very good. The S-video switching is unquestionable the best I have seen. Noticeable on LDs.

I did try to hook my Toshiba 5109 Progressive DVD (480p) through the unit, along with the other component sources, but found performance was better on the second set of inputs on the Toshiba set (actually HD1, set to DVD vs. DTV. My understanding is the only difference on these settings is black levels). The Progressive DVD looked much better not going through the Denon, which is interesting in that the 1080i sources look great.
See less See more
Thanks for the informative reply Rudolpht. If I read this correctly, you like some of the more user friendly features of the Onkyo, but when the smoke clears the Denon has more benifits in both the audio and video categories. Thanks again for the great info. I am a newcomer to the AVScience forum and I am amazed at the information available and the willingness of people helping others that are not so informed. Thanks AVScience and thanks Rudolpht
Just a few comments. In terms of power, when Sound & Vision tested these two units with five channels running, they were only one half dBw apart (126W vs. 132W as I recall), a negligble difference.

The Onkyo/Integra will be upgraded at dealers/service centers for a nominal fee in Spring '01 for DTS 6.1 Discrete and DPL II; the Denon will not be upgraded for DPL II. Preliminary info seems to suggest that DPL II is superior to DTS:Neo, used in the Denon. See WSR's site for a preliminary report on DPL II.

For my part, I can not emphasize enough the remote factor which is entirely a matter of personal preference. Arguably, the $600 premium in the Denon's cost comes from its LCD remote. I personally prefer button remotes in a dark room, since I easily learn button controls after using them. Others love the unparalled flexilility of LCD remotes. It's up to you, but don't consider it a minor issue in making a choice.


I owned the Integra 9.1 and now own the Denon 5800. There isn't much comparison IMO from a sonic perspective. The Denon is much richer and has vastly better channel separation. I could never warm up to the Integra even though it was an extremely clean unit. But I could peg the volume and my speakers still seemed like they wanted more. The Denon is much more powerful.

Sadly, the stuff I really liked on the Integra is not on the Denon 5800. i.e. custom labels, assignable inputs/outputs, different speaker configurations with different levels per audio type (MPEG, DTS, Dolby Digital, etc.).

Despite the above I sold my Integra for $2,100. Then I bought the the Denon 5800 for $2,700 and sold the remote for $450. So for $250 I upgraded to the Denon and haven't regretted it yet.

Go listen to both if you can. Some folks prefer the warmth of a Denon. The Integra is a bit too bright for me, but you may like it.

Good luck.

See less See more
The problem I see with buying the 5800 and selling the remote is, if your nuts like me and replace your receiver every year or so (they're completely warn out by then), that it may hamper your ability to sell it with out the remote.


Robert, call me nuts then! I've been through 3 other receivers (5700, RX-V1, Integra 9.1) in the last 6 months. I think I'll be hanging onto the 5800 for a while though.

As for the resale value, I'm confident I can sell the unit without the Aktis since its I think most prospective buyers would not want the Aktis anyway. I know I wish I hadn't been forced to buy it. I'd rather have had the old 5700 remote than the Aktis.

1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Not open for further replies.