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Moving to a new house and convinced my wife to allow me to massively upgrade our home theater system from my current Denon AVR-591 and Paradigm MilleniaOne speakers with an SVS PB-12 NSD (only thing I'm keeping). Yay!


For speakers I've decided on the new(ish) SVS Prime towers and satellites (for rear surround) and the Ultra center, but now I need some help picking a receiver to power these bad boys.


The receivers I'm considering are the Marantz SR7008 and the Yamaha Aventage RX-A2030. I can get both of them for right around $1,000, and I'm sure they'll both be light years better than my 4 year old Denon. Just want the best sound I can get for my $$$, and thought I'd get everyone's opinion.


Also, I'm not worried at all about "future-proofing" as I won't keep this setup for more than 3 or 4 years tops.


Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Both are very comparable AVRs .. the Denon uses Audyssey MultEQ XT32 and the Yamaha YPAO. Check the feature set of each one and select the one that meets those requirements, although neither is HDCP 2.2 so would require a dual HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 BDP if upgrading to a 4k TV.
Thanks JD!


Just bought my 64" Samsung F8500 last year, so I won't be upgrading to 4k for quite some time. :)


Anyone else care to chime in with their thoughts/opinions?
 

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The Yamaha AVRs are rated #1 in reliability, Denon is #4 ...
Note that as JD mentioned HDMI 2.0 & HDCP 2.2 will be available this Fall in both Yamaha and Denon AVRs to be introed in the 2nd half of 2015. Note that Yamaha just started shipping their entry level 5.1 AVR RX-V379 ($299) that has HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2, step-up models to follow.


Just my $0.02... ;)
 

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"Just want the best sound I can get for my $$$."

They're comparable receivers. Assuming that each has whatever particular features you want (number of HDMI in and out, etc.), choose whichever one you want. Within a given price band, receivers don't have much effect on what you hear. Room and speakers have much more impact. Pick the cheaper one. Or the prettier one.
 

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I have never owned a Yamaha receiver, so my opinion here is biased. I currently own a Marantz receiver, which was purchased to replace a Denon. Over the course of a few years I had moved through four different Denon AVRs, increasing the feature set and cost on each successive one. Then I jumped ship and went with a Marantz, and I will never go back to Denon. The Marantz has much more user intuitive menus; features are easy to find and make adjustments to. The Marantz has a dizzying selection of surround sound options. While everyone will say that AVRs have little influence on the sound, I feel that the sound of the Marantz AVR is better suited to my personal taste than any of the Denons I had previously.

Your mileage may vary.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The Yamaha AVRs are rated #1 in reliability, Denon is #4 ...
Note that as JD mentioned HDMI 2.0 & HDCP 2.2 will be available this Fall in both Yamaha and Denon AVRs to be introed in the 2nd half of 2015. Note that Yamaha just started shipping their entry level 5.1 AVR RX-V379 ($299) that has HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2, step-up models to follow.


Just my $0.02... ;)



Yeah like I said, future-proofing isn't what I'm going for here, as I know I'll be upgrading again in a few years. I've got at least 4 years before I can convince the wife to let me get a new TV after dropping $2500 on my Sammy F8500 last year. :D





I have never owned a Yamaha receiver, so my opinion here is biased. I currently own a Marantz receiver, which was purchased to replace a Denon. Over the course of a few years I had moved through four different Denon AVRs, increasing the feature set and cost on each successive one. Then I jumped ship and went with a Marantz, and I will never go back to Denon. The Marantz has much more user intuitive menus; features are easy to find and make adjustments to. The Marantz has a dizzying selection of surround sound options. While everyone will say that AVRs have little influence on the sound, I feel that the sound of the Marantz AVR is better suited to my personal taste than any of the Denons I had previously.

Your mileage may vary.



Thanks for the input. I'm REALLY leaning toward the Marantz since it's got Audyssey MultEQ XT32. Everyone around here seems to think that's the bee's knees, so I think that's what I'll go with.


Thanks again everyone!
 

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Both are very comparable AVRs .. the Denon uses Audyssey MultEQ XT32 and the Yamaha YPAO. Check the feature set of each one and select the one that meets those requirements, although neither is HDCP 2.2 so would require a dual HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 BDP if upgrading to a 4k TV.
So the Yamaha then, as the Marantz seems bare-boned by comparison. Sorry, couldn't resist.

I have never owned a Yamaha receiver, so my opinion here is biased. I currently own a Marantz receiver, which was purchased to replace a Denon. Over the course of a few years I had moved through four different Denon AVRs, increasing the feature set and cost on each successive one. Then I jumped ship and went with a Marantz, and I will never go back to Denon. The Marantz has much more user intuitive menus; features are easy to find and make adjustments to. The Marantz has a dizzying selection of surround sound options. While everyone will say that AVRs have little influence on the sound, I feel that the sound of the Marantz AVR is better suited to my personal taste than any of the Denons I had previously.

Your mileage may vary.
I've owned many Denons, the last being the 3808, their flagship 5805 before that. I've always found their menu navigation somewhat confounding too. The Marantz 7008 improves on it a little, but Yamaha makes even the 7008 seem just as head scratchingly unintuitive.

Moving to a new house and convinced my wife to allow me to massively upgrade our home theater system from my current Denon AVR-591 and Paradigm MilleniaOne speakers with an SVS PB-12 NSD (only thing I'm keeping). Yay!


For speakers I've decided on the new(ish) SVS Prime towers and satellites (for rear surround) and the Ultra center, but now I need some help picking a receiver to power these bad boys.


The receivers I'm considering are the Marantz SR7008 and the Yamaha Aventage RX-A2030. I can get both of them for right around $1,000, and I'm sure they'll both be light years better than my 4 year old Denon. Just want the best sound I can get for my $$$, and thought I'd get everyone's opinion.


Also, I'm not worried at all about "future-proofing" as I won't keep this setup for more than 3 or 4 years tops.


Thanks!
I agree with others that they're both potentially great machines. The Marantz's ace in the hole is Audyssey XT32 IMO. YPAO just doesn't seem to compare. I'm far more confident with the results I get from the 7008 than even what I get from the 3030 which has a slightly better version of YPAO than the 2030 you're asking about and maybe one or two extra music dlcs (maybe not on that last part). If movies is your only concern, the Marantz will very likely provide better auto-results, with emphasis on the word "auto". XT32 is the first auto solution I've used that didn't bump the sub 10dbs too. Even with basic XT I always had to dial back the sub 10 to 15 dbs. YPAO did the same.

The Marantz has independent amplification, so it technically has more real power, if you're driving all channels at once, but the Yamaha should still have plenty of power for any install that doesn't demand the kind of wattage you can only really get from separate amplification.

Yamaha sports newer ESS dacs, but I'd consider that more marketing hype than genuine reason to go with one or the other, if I were you. Without any EQ applied, both units sound unremarkably similar. Though, Yamaha is often said to have a characteristically bright sound, which with EQ applied, even at the natural setting, I sometimes notice, slightly. It's not something that I'd be discouraged by, but may not pair as well with certain speakers, and can likely be toned down or even eliminated with some manual tweaking, which is one of Yamaha's over-riding strengths.

Having used the Yamaha 3030 (a very small, potentiall negligible upgrade from the 2030, depending on your rooms needs, which I'd demoed prior to purchase) for about a year and having used the Marantz 7008 for only a couple weeks I get a very strong sense that Yamaha takes a lot more pride in their brand. The Marantz seems more like a budget receiver in build. The 7008 is smaller and lighter, surprisingly so for their flagship. My last Denon 3808 (Denon makes Marantz now, in case you were wondering why everyone keeps mentioning it, they're very similar, but not identical) has a weight and footprint similare to the Yamaha and the 3808 was I believe a 3rd or maybe even 4th-string player when I bought it in 2008, nowhere near Denon's flagship model.

I'm not overly concerned with Marantz build, but there is cause for concern in reports of Denon's floundering reliability in recent years, augmented by the fact that Marantz seems to have very few service centers (not a single one in our state according to their online search engine) and won't pay for shipping. So, if' you've got a warranty repair, it'll cost you about $150 for round trip shipping. Yamaha has the best rep for reliability, but I haven't checked into there service network yet. Yamaha reportedly puts their HDMI boards through certification, where I don't believe Marantz/Denon does. I've already noticed the HDMI handshake with the Marantz might be more problematic than the Yamaha: With the 7008 special features on BDs are always heard before they're seen. While I haven't had any dropouts so far in the middle of movies, there appear to be more and longer signal blanks when loading BDs, so I fear there may be more layer change dropouts and such. Neither the 3030 nor the 7008 can properly decode discs like Total Recall (remake) extended cut edition. But I still blame Sony for that, as their own PS3 and PS4 won't decode it properly either.

But what is potentially the thing that sets the Yamaha apart from the Marantz more than anything is the abundance of flexibility and features it has. Coming from the 3030 I was literally shocked how bareboned the 7008 seemed. Even basic features like dialogue enhancement are almost a useless with the 7008 which only offers a simple center channel bump, not a real tweak, independent tweak of the frequency range to enhance mid-range voice clarity. With straight (non-prologic) processing of stereo to two-channel mono (most mono encodes are two-channel) it's completely grayed out.

That 7008 seems to be built around Audyssey as it's primary selling point. It doesn't even have as many dlcs as it's sister brand Denon, not that Denon's dlcs are anything worthwhile other than maybe the basics like multi-channel stereo. But Yamaha takes dlcs to a whole other level. I haven't found them all that desirable for modern movies, but I did discover surprising results in a Fox disc recorded or originally mixed in 4.0 surround I believe; I think it was Romancing the Stone or Jewel of the Nile on BD. Using one of Yamaha's movie modes it actually sounded more natural and enveloping than the straight encode, though I need to check it out through the 7008 to confirm it was the disc and not something YPAO was doing.

I've never been an admirer of dlcs in general, but for music, I'm actually wondering if some of Yamaha's dlcs might prove hard to live without, relatively speaking. With well mixed lossless BD tracks not so much. But for poorly mixed tracks, stereo/PCM, or even lossy multi-channel - which most of my concerts are still from dvd and will never be made available on BD I now fear - some of Yamahas dlcs had profound benefit, better than what prologic was doing on the Yamaha. Which Prologic, Neo6 and multi-channel stereo are about the only choices offered by the 7008 and even those don't appear as tweakably implemented as they are via the Yamaha.

I haven't listened to any concerts via the Marantz yet, which I plan to rectify tonight to confirm if Audyssey might make as much difference with music as it does movies. Unless it does, effectively eliminating most of my desire to tweak those sources too, I'm really going to be scratching my head on which of these two units to keep. Through the Yamaha's incredible manual tweaking flexibility, I should be able to achieve the same calibrated results as I'm getting automatically from XT32, but having not done so in a year, I'm not really sure I have the time to learn something as seemingly complicated as REW.

I love what XT32 is doing for movies and TV. If Yamaha would abandon YPAO an auto solution they likely haven't invested a fraction of the R&D into that Audyssey has, I think it would be hard to dispute Yamaha as being the clear champ between these three brands. As is, Yamaha is the clear winner for advanced tweakers. Marantz wins out for those who want the trust the AVR to do everything automatically.
 
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Having used the Yamaha 3030 (a very small, potentiall negligible upgrade from the 2030, depending on your rooms needs, which I'd demoed prior to purchase) for about a year and having used the Marantz 7008 for only a couple weeks I get a very strong sense that Yamaha takes a lot more pride in their brand. The Marantz seems more like a budget receiver in build. The 7008 is smaller and lighter, surprisingly so for their flagship. My last Denon 3808 (Denon makes Marantz now, in case you were wondering why everyone keeps mentioning it, they're very similar, but not identical) has a weight and footprint similare to the Yamaha and the 3808 was I believe a 3rd or maybe even 4th-string player when I bought it in 2008, nowhere near Denon's flagship model.
The A3030 is a true "flagship" model while the SR7008 is not considered a "flagship" D&M model (ie. mfr'd Japan, 32bit vs. 24 bit DACS, better features), rather it is the sister model to the Denon X4000.

I'm not overly concerned with Marantz build, but there is cause for concern in reports of Denon's floundering reliability in recent years, augmented by the fact that Marantz seems to have very few service centers (not a single one in our state according to their online search engine) and won't pay for shipping. So, if' you've got a warranty repair, it'll cost you about $150 for round trip shipping.
More likely no more than $50 as D&M pays the return shipping cost.

But what is potentially the thing that sets the Yamaha apart from the Marantz more than anything is the abundance of flexibility and features it has. Coming from the 3030 I was literally shocked how bareboned the 7008 seemed. Even basic features like dialogue enhancement are almost a useless with the 7008 which only offers a simple center channel bump, not a real tweak, independent tweak of the frequency range to enhance mid-range voice clarity.
A true Dialog Enhancer feature is offered on the "flagship" models of that time period (ie. AV8801 and 4520CI).
 

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The A3030 is a true "flagship" model while the SR7008 is not considered a "flagship" D&M model (ie. mfr'd Japan, 32bit vs. 24 bit DACS, better features), rather it is the sister model to the Denon X4000.
I assumed Denon distinguished the two lines more clearly, since I've read a number of comparisons about design differences that supposedly makes Marantz better, even now that Denon produces Marantz. I personally never viewed the 4520 as the big brother to the 7008. Though, based on the price, one might reasonably think the 4520 even a step up from the 3030. Even though it wasn't justified by the feature set, just the units power supply, as I recall. Not even Denon's behemoth $6000, 5805 was comparable in features or tweakability to the 3030.

Flagship or not, I think the 3030 vs 7008 is still probably the most relevant comparison, considering they're closest in price and output power rating.

From what I remember of the Yamaha 2030 demo, it's feature set was almost identical to the 3030 - despite clearly being a tier down from the 7008 in price. The 2030 was just missing YPAO angle correction (only useful for odd rooms with mismatched speaker placement, and only used for their dlcs at that, according to a Yamaha tech, who I'm not convinced was certain of his answer) and maybe one or two dlcs.


More likely no more than $50 as D&M pays the return shipping cost.
That's more encouraging. I'd read where someone posted they had to send their's off and it cost them $75 and they were expecting to pay the same for it's return. Sounds like they were either mistaken or got carried away being upset a new unit needed to be fixed so soon, or that their phone help wasn't very helpful. I checked out site to find the nearest service center as soon as I'd read that and selecting the maximum distance to search, no results were found, so I knew I'd have to ship it off. I've never needed service on an AVR before. Hope my luck holds out.


A true Dialog Enhancer feature is offered on the "flagship" models of that time period (ie. AV8801 and X4520CI).
Still seems pretty rediculous that such a basic feature found in entry level devices, many of which aren't techically audio-phile devices, like basic dvd/BD players, isn't included in the $2000 7008.

The dialogue enhancement in the Yamaha 3030 was the best I've heard, not that I've heard even a minority of what's available, but it seemed to augment voice clarity without being too objectionable elsewhere in the sound.

And to further elaborate on build, the only aspect of build I was novishly disappointed in with the Yamaha was the power cord. I have no idea if power cords make any real difference as some producers of aftermarket products have made out, but for an AVR I expected a much more robust cord - even if it's just a thicker insulated jacket - than what comes with the Yamaha 3030. It was more the size of a laptop power cord. The Marantz power cord was hefty, like one would expect from a biggish, power hungry AVR. Whether that has anything to do with anything, like the Marantz independent channel amplification, I don't know. Might've just been a heartier, thicker insulated jacket to avoid interference with the other cables piled behind our equipment racks.
 

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I've only used dialogue enhancer once or twice (Lexicon MC-8) movie had a knackered audio mix, speech was hardly audible.

Not a feature that be a must-have.
 

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I've only used dialogue enhancer once or twice (Lexicon MC-8) movie had a knackered audio mix, speech was hardly audible.

Not a feature that be a must-have.

It's always possible that YPAO was the problem, and that I wouldn't have felt as much need with Audyssey, but I've ran across several BDs of 80's low budget films that weren't mixed/recorded particularly well, where dialogue enhancement was a nice perk. Maybe not a deal breaker, but beneficial nonetheless. Yamaha's non-dialogue specific enhancer has offered a milder improvement a few times too. I even found some benefit playing The Last of US on the PS4, which has some confoundingly inarticulate dialogue reproduction with characters at a distance. I really hate the way Naughty Dog mixed that game. I guess they feel audibility takes a back seat to realism. The main character's voice also seems too bassy most of the time, even via the Marantz. And, correct me if I'm wrong, but when Audyssey is engaged you can't even make basic adjustments to bass and treble, I believe.
 

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Talking about dialogue enhancement, I think Yamaha Dialogue Lift is a true gem. As AVR is targeted at home users where majority have their center speaker placed below the screen, manufacturers should come out with DSP to "lift and align" the center channel sound to the center of the screen. Yamaha nailed it.
 

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I'm not sure if it will make a difference to the OP, but the Marantz has 3 HDMI outs vs the Yamaha which has only 2 HDMI out. Helps if you have a projector and 2 TVs.
 

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You can indeed adjust Bass/Treble with Audyssey engaged, rather only Dynamic EQ must be disengaged.
Thank you!!! That's very good to know!

I guess I'm just an Audyssey guy, as I think I'll be switching from the 3030 to the 7008 after listening to some concerts last night. Even if I put in the hours to learn REW, I'm not confident I can manually do with the Yamaha what Audyssey is doing outside the sweetspot. With YPAO there was a very clear sweetspot in our HT, but with XT32 the sound was just as seamless no matter where I sat last night.

I'll really mis Yamaha's music DSPs though. I played The Corrs Live at Lansdowne Road dvd last night. Great concert, but not a particularly well mixed or even well recorded one. But with several Yamaha dlcs tweaking the PCM track it sounded pretty terrific the last time I watched it. With the Marantz I got the best results from either straight PCM stereo or switching to dolby prologic on the DD 5.1 track. Neither Neo6 nor prologic could provide the immersive, dynamic experience the Yamaha achieved with PCM. But, while not as reverberant or dynamically articulate, I was satisfied with prologic on the 5.1 track for an immersive, being there feel, even though there was a bit better articulate fidelity from the 2-channel PCM track, as if often the case with concerts on dvd.

Then I put in Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds Radio City BD and couldn't turn it off. Granted this is one of the best mixed concerts I've heard - so amazing I didn't even want any DLC engaged with the Yamaha - but the Marantz seemed to breath something extra in it still, presumably because of Audyssey. And it sounded no different from the sweetspot to the other two chairs in the room.

Ultimately, I think you get a lot more for your money with the Yamaha - not sure I'll ever consider paying new prices for current gen Denon/Marantz now. I'd have been disappointed, maybe even a little resentful of DM with the Marantz had I paid $1600 or more for it a year ago. The feature set just isn't there - they're not even trying compared to Yamaha. Not that I've ever been impressed by the feature set of any of the Denons I've owned, but I thought Marantz's musical heritage was a little more in line with Yamaha. And I have concerns about HDMI reliability and the longevity of the build, as I don't upgrade almost yearly, like I did when I reviewed. Even the remote that comes with the Marantz seems cheap compared to the feel and function of Yamahas remote - half the time I hit the back button it skips back two menu entries instead of one; it's very light, cheap feeling, like using textured plastic to give the appearance of a metal face, the Yamaha is plastic too, but doesn't try to hide that fact. And who was the idiot that decided the backlight should only stay on for only 2 seconds (literally 2 seconds according to the manual)? That's next to useless! It turns off before your eyes can even focus in on the tiny, hard to read writing on the tightly packed buttons. At least it stays on constantly as long as you keep the button depressed.

The current closeout pricing on the Marantz makes it almost a killer bargain. Though one might say more of a "fair price" as there's major markup on this level of device, from my past experiences buying direct from Denon at dealer cost. But if not for the inclusion and utter prowess of XT32, I wouldn't consider it even at the current price due to lack of faith in the manufacturing of Denon these days and virtually dismissive attempt at a feature set.
 

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Tnx to all of you that have contributed to this thread as I, too, am considering a new AV receiver that has enough power to drive my 4 ohm Polk LSi15 mains along with
surrounds. My current setup uses a Yamaha RX-V1 receiver but now I'm wanting to jump into a new 4K big screen and update most everything except my speakers. Any
suggestions would be much appreciated - leaning yamaha right now. Tnx in advance.

Carol Stull
 
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