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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, I'm looking for some recommendations on upgrading my Denon 2807.

After countless nights running forum searches and reading posts here I am at a loss for next steps.


My motivation is to improve sound quality. I consider myself 50/50 for music/HT.


I have paradigm studio 100s, 690, adp surrounds, an HSU vtf3mk3 sub, an emotiva xpa5 amp. My primary source is the ps3 (along with time warner hd cable box, etc). I would like to retain the single HDMI cord to my epson 6500 ub solution as well as having HDMI carry audio/video to the unit for ease/simplicity (but am willing to reconsider if need be). My 14X20' room is already treated with ~10 ats 4" panels and two 6" DIY OC bass traps. I am comfortable going the used route.


For taste, I auditioned an anthem avm50 and really liked the way it sounded but didn't like the price...the marantz av8003 intrigues me but I haven't had a chance to listen...


I would be greatful for any recommendations in the sub 3K range for a processor (or great sounding receiver with pre-outs) that would fit the bill.


Many thanks for your recommendations.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaketh /forum/post/16848021


Hello all, I'm looking for some recommendations on upgrading my Denon 2807.

After countless nights running forum searches and reading posts here I am at a loss for next steps.


My motivation is to improve sound quality. I consider myself 50/50 for music/HT.


I have paradigm studio 100s, 690, adp surrounds, an HSU vtf3mk3 sub, an emotiva xpa5 amp. My primary source is the ps3 (along with time warner hd cable box, etc). I would like to retain the single HDMI cord to my epson 6500 ub solution as well as having HDMI carry audio/video to the unit for ease/simplicity (but am willing to reconsider if need be). My 14X20' room is already treated with ~10 ats 4" panels and two 6" DIY OC bass traps. I am comfortable going the used route.


For taste, I auditioned an anthem avm50 and really liked the way it sounded but didn't like the price...the marantz av8003 intrigues me but I haven't had a chance to listen...


I would be greatful for any recommendations in the sub 3K range for a processor (or great sounding receiver with pre-outs) that would fit the bill.


Many thanks for your recommendations.

I think you are on the right track with the Marantz unit. It is right in your price range. It has had excellent reviews. If I wasn't totally in love with my Denon AVR 5308CI, I would buy the Marantz separates. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Anyone have thoughts on the Onkyo 886/Integra 9.9 for my purposes? Anyone have a chance to compare SQ on these units to the Marantz and/or Anthem? (my local dealer does not carry all three lines for me to directly compare)


I understand these are sitting at a few distinct price points, but would like to get a better sense of the tradeoff of quality/price.
 

· The Village Idiot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaketh /forum/post/16851905


Anyone have thoughts on the Onkyo 886/Integra 9.9 for my purposes? Anyone have a chance to compare SQ on these units to the Marantz and/or Anthem? (my local dealer does not carry all three lines for me to directly compare)


I understand these are sitting at a few distinct price points, but would like to get a better sense of the tradeoff of quality/price.

I don't think you'll hear much differences between prepros. I've swapped out 2 different AVRs used as prepros to an Emotiva LMC-1 to an Onkyo SC885 in the space of 6 months. Not much differences other than how the room correction works - best it seems on the Onkyo. I'm going back to the LMC-1 until the UMC-1 gets here - and I'll be waiting to see if there is any problems before buying.

ShopOnkyo sells the SC886 for cheap - join their 'club' and the price is reduces by $200.


Accessories4Less also carry the SC885 and SC886 . I'm not sure the 886 is worth $250 more than the 885 - that would be up to you.

Onkyo seems to get high marks for their preamp products. I have no problem with it - I just want my preamp and amp to match - I have the UPA-7.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Knucklehead, thanks for the thoughts; sorry for the belated feedback, somehow I missed your reply.


I listened to the integra 9.9 today. As you predicted, I didn't really hear an appreciable difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Had a thought to use my 2807 for video switching only while buying something used like an Anthem D1, 50, etc for audio to get the SQ I want while not scrapping my current avr...(that way I can use the HDMI switching in the 2807 and not pay up for the latest/greatest in video processing in the new Anthems, or the like).


Do any of you do anything like this? Am I missing something obvious that makes this unappealing (other than the multiple units, which I'd be fine with)


Thanks for the thoughts.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaketh /forum/post/16951005


Had a thought to use my 2807 for video switching only while buying something used like an Anthem D1, 50, etc for audio to get the SQ I want while not scrapping my current avr...(that way I can use the HDMI switching in the 2807 and not pay up for the latest/greatest in video processing in the new Anthems, or the like).


Do any of you do anything like this? Am I missing something obvious that makes this unappealing (other than the multiple units, which I'd be fine with)


Thanks for the thoughts.


A few thoughts/ideas:


Given that SQ (Sound Quality) is of some importance to you, you have a path that is not easy.


FWIW, I had/have two mid-range Denon AVR units. One similar (identical? given away as a gift to a friend) and also a Denon 3808ci AVR (the 2 remotes with this unit drive me crazy!).


I'm still in the process of upgrading my SS (Solid State) pre (currently a Cary Cinema-8 prepro), and think that ease of use as well as SQ are both a factor (at least for me).


AFAIK, there are decent SQ AVR units out there which may (?) provide what you want in terms of SQ and/or convenience. But I've no 1st hand experience, other than the 2 mid-level Denon AVR's that I've owned.


Good Luck and Cheers
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaketh /forum/post/16951005


Had a thought to use my 2807 for video switching only while buying something used like an Anthem D1, 50, etc for audio to get the SQ I want while not scrapping my current avr...(that way I can use the HDMI switching in the 2807 and not pay up for the latest/greatest in video processing in the new Anthems, or the like).


Do any of you do anything like this? Am I missing something obvious that makes this unappealing (other than the multiple units, which I'd be fine with)


Thanks for the thoughts.


you can do this but I got lost on the basic reason you want a new pre-pro

I was in you situation about 6 months ago when my Marantz SR broke ( it was an AVR but I had my Rotels running the amp duty). listened to another marantz and got a chance to listen to a Denon. i took the denon home

o.k., if you want a used anthem, go for it, but now, your HDMI switching is coming from Denon and the audio processing is on the HDMI side which then goes in the Denon and you loose the anthems features?? did I get this right??

if you decide to get use the denon as pure video only switcher and use the source (Bluray players 7.1 outs) to feed to the anthem, maybe this is o.k, but again you looose on the features of audessy, etc which to me is good features in tuning you room acoustics for Home theater use.


what I got is for listening to audio only (SACD or a good CD) i use the denon direct mode and use the SACD player audio --> denon --> Rotel amps

and I think / believe that it sounds as good as it can get with my current setup. my advise, check out the Marantz and denons and see if it may work with your current setup.

sorry if I got you more confused?? but this was how i understtod your post
 

· The Village Idiot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaketh /forum/post/16951005


Had a thought to use my 2807 for video switching only while buying something used like an Anthem D1, 50, etc for audio to get the SQ I want while not scrapping my current avr...(that way I can use the HDMI switching in the 2807 and not pay up for the latest/greatest in video processing in the new Anthems, or the like).


Do any of you do anything like this? Am I missing something obvious that makes this unappealing (other than the multiple units, which I'd be fine with)


Thanks for the thoughts.

Before you go off spending lots of money read this article - then read some or all of this thread that starts off with that article. I've been reading it - personal insults and all.


Lots to be learned from both if you keep an open mind - especially in that article I linked to.


You have a very good set of speakers and sub - very little will be gained from high priced pre/pros and amps unless your speakers are under powered and the XPA-5 isn't known for being under powered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OtherSongs /forum/post/16951252


A few thoughts/ideas:


Given that SQ (Sound Quality) is of some importance to you, you have a path that is not easy.

I could not agree more with that statement. Not sure what you actually meant - my take on it is that its like a dog chasing its tail - a rather futile effort in the long run. That path is littered with cast off parts and pieces of audio gear - not to mention the money it cost in chasing that last little bit. Find a good setup and learn to enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks for the replies.


The thought was to use the denon for the video only, while feeding the audio to the separate unit in hopes of improving my audio enjoyment (right now, I'm getting a "tinny" effect in lots of my music, very headache inducing and not at all pleasant, particularly for long listening sessions). Thus, getting better sound quality while not having to find a unit that had all the bells/whistles of HDMI upconversion, etc, was the goal.


Thus, the chain would be:

Source Video (HDMI) -> Denon -> Epson 6500ub

Source Audio (Digital out) -> New Processor -> emotiva xpa5 ->studio 100s
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 /forum/post/16951357


Before you go off spending lots of money read this article - then read some or all of this thread that starts off with that article. I've been reading it - personal insults and all.

Thanks for the links, I have followed the thread here for a bit, then once it got off track with the mud flying, i ducked out. I do feel that in my audition at my local AV shop, the anthem sounded superior. Flawed? certainly because I knew what it was that I was listening to. However, I did go back and try the 9.9 as mentioned above and didn't hear anything better than my denon, however that audition was a train wreck for comparative purposes (diff speakers, diff setup, etc) and I walked away with my money firmly in my pocket for another day.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 /forum/post/16951357


Find a good setup and learn to enjoy it.

Am doing my best and I think I'm close, but I've got to get rid of this harsh tinny sound that even my wife is complaining about (and she doesn't give 2 shakes about this stuff).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 /forum/post/16951357


Before you go off spending lots of money read this article


Nice ref.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 /forum/post/16951357


- then read some or all of this thread that starts off with that article. I've been reading it - personal insults and all.


Lots to be learned from both if you keep an open mind - especially in that article I linked to.


As I suspect that you know, I don't much like penngray. So I never bothered to check that ref (1st one you gave above).


Quote:
Originally Posted by OtherSongs /forum/post/16951252


A few thoughts/ideas:


Given that SQ (Sound Quality) is of some importance to you, you have a path that is not easy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 /forum/post/16951357


I could not agree more with that statement. Not sure what you actually meant - my take on it is that its like a dog chasing its tail - a rather futile effort in the long run.


Well 1st you agree, and then proceed to follow it up with some questionable comments.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 /forum/post/16951357


That path is littered with cast off parts and pieces of audio gear - not to mention the money it cost in chasing that last little bit. Find a good setup and learn to enjoy it.


IMO getting top SQ (note *IMO* and *top*) with different electronic gear is a bigger challenge than with different speakers.


OTOH SQ is only as good as whatever the weakest link is in your system.


FWIW at the moment I'm running 3 decent disc players through a Zektor MAS7.1 switcher (mainly for it's excellent switching of 5.1 RCA interconnects and secondarily to switch the HDMI video from the Zektor straight to the flat screen TV). Also I've a 2nd Zektor on order.



So I'm using my prepro strictly as as MC pre, and am considering getting one or more high-end pre's (or even another high-end prepro), so long as it has *two* 5.1 inputs. e.g. maybe a Parasound P7 MC pre (factory refurb) from AA (with warranty) at something like $1,500 or an older used very high end prepro (without warranty) for roughly the same money.


I won't know if it is worth it until I do it, adding that it won't be cheap. After my marginal experience with the 2 mid-level Denon AVR units, I decided to not put any more money/time into another AVR unit.


But certainly nowhere near as expensive as what I see people doing with their purchase of a new high-end prepro (e.g. Cary Cinema 11a or B&K Ref 70) and the nosebleed and/or time delays (Ref 70) that they are all too often currently going through with audio problems when one uses the HDMI cable for both video and *digital* audio into the prepro.


Cheers
 

· The Village Idiot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OtherSongs /forum/post/16954041


Nice ref.






As I suspect that you know, I don't much like penngray. So I never bothered to check that ref (1st one you gave above).


Well 1st you agree, and then proceed to follow it up with some questionable comments.



Cheers

Penngray tends to have that effect on people. I don't know who he's made friends or enemies with - its no concern of mine so posting that was not directed towards you with an eye to get a rise out of you.

On occasion I agree with him - and oftentimes I don't. My comment on chasing the tail is appropriate to how I view this hobby and I have more than a few hobbies - I ride motorcycle - Harley FLHTCUI 2001 - I have a few telescopes - I golf - and photography - stuck on a Nikon D200 - yeah old technology - but it takes great pics. I have friends that try to eek out that last HP out of their rides - friends that tinker with their telescopes - and friends that are never happy with the current camera/lenses when the latest stuff is announced - and one that is never happy with that $400 driver for long - hint - it ain't the club Jim! And a couple of friends with audio gear that is never quite right sounding.


My point is that there is always someone that has top rated stuff and is not happy - no matter the hobby - and never will be.


I just don't want to be like them - I want to be able to enjoy what I have and thats the best advice I can give someone chasing audio nirvana. At some point you have to ask yourself - What am I chasing?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaketh /forum/post/16955225


So, any ideas why so tinny? If it's not the electronics, then I'm bummed about my recent Studio purchase.


There's wide agreement on AVSForum that best bang for buck (i.e. for AQ) is spent on speakers and/or room conditioning.


With regard to electronics, (i.e. disc player and pre (pre or prepro) and amp, the weak link is likely to either be the disc player or the pre.


With regard to your AVR, have you tried putting it into pure direct mode?


(i.e. disable all digital processing)


I did this with my Denon 3808ci AVR (took a while to get there with it's large confusing menu system), and got a noticeable improvement in the SQ. It wasn't a "night and day" difference, but it was there and audible which is what convinced me to give up on any further purchase of any more AVR units.


Do/try what is inexpensive and easy 1st: i.e. try pure direct mode (assuming your AVR will let you). Do a temporary loan (from a friend) of a decent disc player that they think well of. Etc.


Cheers
 

· The Village Idiot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OtherSongs /forum/post/16955422


There's wide agreement on AVSForum that best bang for buck (i.e. for AQ) is spent on speakers and/or room conditioning.



Cheers

+1

I can't imagine a 'tinny' sound coming from Studio 100s but you never know. I've never heard them - are they considered to be a bright speaker?

I at first attributed this to room treatment - or a lack thereof but given the type of room you have it sounds like you have the room reflections under control.


Is it possible you've damaged a speaker listening at high volumes?


It may be time for a 'trial' speaker audition in the home to see what other speakers might sound in your home environment. A pair of Polks might be a good start - never heard them being described as bright.
 

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i have heard reports of the studios being bright--i guess you have a few options--the first being to simply adjust the eq on your current gear.


i briefly had a denon 2808 in my system and it sounded quite bright and thin and this resolved as i returned my parasound c1 back into my system. the new parasound c3 should be good but the marantz is a relatively good deal and there have been reports that its preamp section is voiced a bit on the mellow side so it may work out for you. now the doenside of this one is the video processing is sub par so i wouldn't recommend using it for anything but switching. it does have 2 hdmi outs which is nice. uoi also cant use audessey with the prepro decoding dtsmahd or truehd but you can get around this by sending it multichannel pcm assuming your player can do this.


the other option would be to replace the speakers with some viennas or perhaps some sonus fabers. i have been rather disappointed with the sound of the denon avr's in the last 2-3 years but to each his/her own.


in any case best of luck and let us know what you end up doing and how it works
 
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