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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What would be a good upgrade and compareable model to what I'm wanting to replace which is my AVR-3805? Not necessarily in the price comparision, but in the features...what's lateral and whats an upgrade?


My first guess is the 2309CI would be "todays 3805"?

Then an upgrade would be the 3808CI?


What are your thoughts?
 

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In terms of features, most modern HDMI receivers will present an upgrade. In terms of build quality and amplification, you're probably going to need to go to at least the 2808/2809 for a true equal. The 3808ci would be an upgrade in all regards, but still more so in features than build quality and amplification.


Are looking exclusively at Denon?


What is your budget?


Describe your room?


What speakers are you driving?


What features are you wanting to upgrade for?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Hopkins /forum/post/15543493


In terms of features, most modern HDMI receivers will present an upgrade. In terms of build quality and amplification, you're probably going to need to go to at least the 2808/2809 for a true equal. The 3808ci would be an upgrade in all regards, but still more so in features than build quality and amplification.


Are looking exclusively at Denon?


What is your budget?


Describe your room?


What speakers are you driving?


What features are you wanting to upgrade for?

Not exclusively Denon, however my past 2 have been Denon and I've never had any issues, where before I had bad luck with Pioneer and Sony. I would favor Denon over all but not sold exclusively on them.


My budget would be in the $500 - $1300 range, but would LOVE to stay below $1000, but I understand you pay for what you get.


My living room is a retangled 18' x 15' or so, wood floors, pretty open on two sides. I do not have my rear in ceiling speakers installed yet, that will be soon or with the new AVR.


I have Klipsch speakers, they are about 4/5 years old, approx, nice speakers, I can update when I get home on all the models of each. 2 large L/R, Large Center, and Large sub...again no rears yet. My speakers are similar to these, but these appear to be a newer model, but they are REFERENCE speakers...from around 2003/2004.


I think they are Klipsch RF3, and the sub is a KSW-12, and the center is an RC 52 or 62?




That is my exact subwoofer there, and I think the speakers are the same. My center is a LOT bigger.


The main reason for the upgrade would be the HDMI inputs, right now only need 3 but want 4 for future expansion (have zero in the AVR 3805). I have a 61" Samsung DLP, XBOX 360, TIVO HD Series 3, Wii, and will be buying a PS3 or Blu-Ray player very soon (another decision I need help on here with).


I've started looking and I'm interested in the 2309/2808 Denon's with some regards for the 3808CI. I love the fact that the 3808 has the "network" abilities, but don't necessarily need them for playing my music via the network, as I use the XBOX 360 (Media Center) or my Tivio to do that. So what does that give me, a quicker firmware install? After talking to a friend who is a former co-worker of mine (we worked electronics at Target many years ago), who is now a sales guy at Ultimate Electronics, he seems to think the 2309 has all I want and need and not worth the price difference compared to the 2808. He can get me the 2309 for $749 out the door, price comparing to the J&R online deal.


So I'm looking for a unit that is similar in features to the 2309, and just as worthy a unit. I think the 2309 has all I want, except HD Radio! But I don't think thats a deal breaker, since I rarely listen to AM/FM, especially with an XM account in my car, I can double it up at home and be happy!


My only other plan with this unit is to get a speaker selector, hook it up to the Zone 2, and eventually run speaker pairs all over the house.


I think the 2309 fits me, but I have not shopped other brands besides the Denon, so I don't know what models are comparable that I should look at.


Everyone's input and advice is appreciated!
 

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Those look like Klipsch Reference... maybe RF3s or RF5s? Either way, great speakers and very efficient. You'll be able to drive them to reference levels with very little amplification. Based on that, you could ALMOST make your receiver choice on features alone.


The 2309 is a solid choice, but others to consider in the price range might be the Pioneer 1018AH, or maybe a refurb Marantz SR5003 or Onkyo SR805/SR806. The SR805 has better amplification and audio components (Burr-Brown DACs and Audyssey XT) while the SR806 adds some (slightly) better video scaling abilities. If you're willing to step up into the middle of your specified budget, refurbished SR876s are a steal and have the same beefy amplification and DACs as the SR805/SR875 along with Reon video processing and ISF video calibration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Hopkins /forum/post/15546607


Those look like Klipsch Reference... maybe RF3s or RF5s? Either way, great speakers and very efficient. You'll be able to drive them to reference levels with very little amplification. Based on that, you could ALMOST make your receiver choice on features alone.


The 2309 is a solid choice, but others to consider in the price range might be the Pioneer 1018AH, or maybe a refurb Marantz SR5003 or Onkyo SR805/SR806. The SR805 has better amplification and audio components (Burr-Brown DACs and Audyssey XT) while the SR806 adds some (slightly) better video scaling abilities. If you're willing to step up into the middle of your specified budget, refurbished SR876s are a steal and have the same beefy amplification and DACs as the SR805/SR875 along with Reon video processing and ISF video calibration.

Stephen! Ok, woah! Remember, noob here, you went over my head with all that, can you dumb it down a bit? I'm not totally dumb, but need a better explanation to what you were saying...


Like, I think I kind of understood, the better video upscaling stuff, is good because I'll have everything going HDMI into the AVR, and will want the better video upscaling? Would that be if I watched say a normal DVD in my Blu-Ray or XBOX and it upscales the video? Or what is the difference in the upscaling from the source player vs. the AVR? See more questions open up other questions, like an onion, sorry...
 

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Video processing is not all that helpful in most receivers, near as I can tell. I have some explanation of why this is the case in the AVR FAQ.


PS, you mentioned playing DVDs from an XBox. I tested my XBox 360's DVD playing abilities with the HQV benchmark DVD, and it failed most tests. So I would recommend using a different player if you want the best video quality.
 

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Ok... your speakers are very efficient, so they won't need very much power to reference (loud) levels. Because of this, you don't necessarily need to buy a more expensive receiver JUST for the better amplification.


As for video scaling... this is the process of converting a video source from one resolution to another, usually higher, resolution. All displays have to scale signals to their native resolution (720p, 1080i, 1080p) but sometimes an external scaler (either stand-alone, in a DVD player, or in a receiver) can do a better job. For your setup this would mainly be beneficial for the Wii since it only outputs a 480p signal and needs to be scaled to 720p or 1080p (currently done by your display). Of the receivers mentioned, the Onkyo SR875 or SR876 will likely have the best video scaling due to it's use of a particular scaling chip, the Reon processor by HQV. The others all use either Faroujda processing or proprietary technology.


Another video issue is upconverting, more accurately called transcoding, which is when a signal carried by one type of cable (usually analog cables like composite, s-video, or component) are converted to another type of cable (usually component or HDMI). Going from an analog cable to HDMI (a digital cable) is more complex than going from one type of analog to another, since the signal has to be converted from analog to digital. Some receivers do a better job of this than others... the SR805 is a great receiver for audio but not so great at transcoding from analog to HDMI. Again, your Wii is where you would see the benefit of this function. I would say all but the SR805 will be acceptable in this category.


In terms of audio performance, there's a lot of subjectivity and debate on how much electronics affect sound quality, but most will agree that it's nowhere near as much as your speakers. I'm a strong believer that power is more about quantity and lack of distortion and that a properly designed receiver sounding "warm" or "bright" is right up there with bigfoot and little green men. In terms of pure power the SR805/SR875/SR876 are likely going to be clear winners, but again, your speakers are very effecient so you don't necessarily need to buy the beefiest amp in your price range to drive them to reference levels.


Other features I've mentioned and quick descriptions:

DACs - chips that convert digital signals to analog so they can be amplified
Audyssey - Automatic room EQ/correction. MultiEQ XT > MultiEQ > 2EQ
ISF Calibration - tools that allow you to accurately calibrate your display's color, brightness, contrast, sharpness, etc.
 

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In my experience, Stephen, conversion of resolution makes little difference. A poor deinterlacer vs a good deinterlacer does make a difference. For that to matter you have to have a 480i source fed to a receiver with a better deinterlacer than your TV's own deinterlacer.


Converting 480p to 720p or any other conversion of progressive signals seems hard to mess up. I have yet to see a difference in scaling from device to device. No matter whether I let my player scale, my receiver scale or my TV scale it looks the same to me.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman /forum/post/15546949


Video processing is not all that helpful in most receivers, near as I can tell. I have some explanation of why this is the case in the AVR FAQ.

In the sub-$1k (MSRP) price range I would agree... above that, there are some AVRs that contain great video processing. Whether it's truly needed is more of a function of the sources used, screen size, screen resolution, and seating distance. I do think most put too much emphasis on video processing, but I wouldn't completely discount AVR based video processing as useless.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman /forum/post/15547045


In my experience, Stephen, conversion of resolution makes little difference. A poor deinterlacer vs a good deinterlacer does make a difference. For that to matter you have to have a 480i source fed to a receiver with a better deinterlacer than your TV's own deinterlacer.


Converting 480p to 720p or any other conversion of progressive signals seems hard to mess up. I have yet to see a difference in scaling from device to device. No matter whether I let my player scale, my receiver scale or my TV scale it looks the same to me.

Care if I ask what your display is, and more importantly, the size and seating distance? I will agree that given HD sources, scaling is much less important, but there are those crazy folks out there holding on to SD sources for dear life.
 

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I'm in a similar boat to you. I also have Klipsch Reference speakers RF-3, RC-3 and RS-3 with a Denon 3802 AVR, and I've been brousing around getting upgraditis mainly because my TV only has one HDMI input. I now run all my video straight to the TV and audio to the avr. I thought it would be nice to get a new AVR to run my video thru it thus avoiding having to cycle thru all my TV inputs to change sources. However, since I get my local network stations Over the Air with an outdoor antenna I would not get much benefit. So my urge to invest in a new AVR has slipped a little but is still there if I can find a good deal.


My first choice is naturally a Denon 3808, but the only dealer that carried it within a 2 hr drive from here (SW Mich) went belly up recently so the 2809/989 is my next choice. I would also consider a Yamaha 863 if I can be convinced that it is not much of a downgrade from my 3802 (which has been great).


BTW those Klipsch speakers are great.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Hopkins /forum/post/15547092


Care if I ask what your display is, and more importantly, the size and seating distance? I will agree that given HD sources, scaling is much less important, but there are those crazy folks out there holding on to SD sources for dear life.

Sure. I have a 46" Panny plasma. I sit about 10ft from it.


It's possible better scaling cleans up some jaggies but I have not personally seen visual evidence of it.


My receivers have been the Yamaha RX-V2700 and now the RX-V3900.


I tested settings with a variety of sources. My most extensive testing was using Silicon Optix HQV DVD.


I have seen differences with deinterlacing peformance. The RX-V3900 actually does impressive things with 480p from the XBox 360 when playing DVDs. It can re-deinterlace the 360's poorly deinterlaced output using ABT's PReP processing. Unfortunately, there's no obvious noise reduction on the 360 which is what I really want. Sometimes shows off cable look pretty bad. And I had hoped the 3900 would improve these shows to some extent. I see zero improvement, sadly.


I believe the Yamaha RX-Z7, using the same ABT chip, does implement all of it's NR modes. I would love to see it in action to see what I am missing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok guys, thanks for stepping in here to help.

Here is my equipment list...


Samsung 61" DLP - HLS6187WX/XAA

Denon AVR-3805

Klipsch RF-3 II (Front L/R)

Klipsch KSW 12 (Sub)

Klipsch RC 35 (Center)


XBOX 360 (Component to TV) Want upgrade to HDMI to AVR.

TIVO HD Series 3 (HDMI to TV) Want to upgrade to HDMI to AVR.

Nintendo Wii - Want to upgrade to component to AVR.


Blue-Ray to be determined...will be my main movie playing unit.


Let me read all your responses now, and reply.


Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok so let me ask this...


If I plan to watch movies via the Blu-Ray Player (PS3/Samsung/Sony/Panasonic) it will do the upscaling for me right?

So the upscaling from the AVR won't matter right? Same with the Xbox?

Same with the TIVO or ATT Uverse or Cox Cable box?
 

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42" display at 10', I agree, you're likely not going to see the benefit of a higher end video scaling solution. I have 100" 720p front projection at 15' and since 90% of my viewing is HD (TivoHD, Samsung UP5000 dual player with Reon) I don't even see much need for better video scaling in my setup. But a lot of people holding on to SD sources (for whatever reason) with medium sized (50" - 70" at 8' - 15') could see some benefit from better video processing including ABT like in your V3900 or Reon like in the SR876.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman /forum/post/15547277


Sure. I have a 46" Panny plasma. I sit about 10ft from it.


It's possible better scaling cleans up some jaggies but I have not personally seen visual evidence of it.


My receivers have been the Yamaha RX-V2700 and now the RX-V3900.


I tested settings with a variety of sources. My most extensive testing was using Silicon Optix HQV DVD.


I have seen differences with deinterlacing peformance. The RX-V3900 actually does impressive things with 480p from the XBox 360 when playing DVDs. It can re-deinterlace the 360's poorly deinterlaced output using ABT's PReP processing. Unfortunately, there's no obvious noise reduction on the 360 which is what I really want. Sometimes shows off cable look pretty bad. And I had hoped the 3900 would improve these shows to some extent. I see zero improvement, sadly.


I believe the Yamaha RX-Z7, using the same ABT chip, does implement all of it's NR modes. I would love to see it in action to see what I am missing!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisMc73 /forum/post/15547697


Ok so let me ask this...


If I plan to watch movies via the Blu-Ray Player (PS3/Samsung/Sony/Panasonic) it will do the upscaling for me right?

So the upscaling from the AVR won't matter right? Same with the Xbox?

Same with the TIVO or ATT Uverse or Cox Cable box?

That's correct. Wii and standard definition DVD are where you could see the benefits of better video scaling... Wii would especially see the benefits of properly implemented component-HDMI transcoding. If you want to avoid the cost associated with better video processing, a Samsung BD player with Reon processing would give you about the best standard definition DVD performance you can get. I paired one of these (UP5000) with an SR805 (killer audio, basic video) and I'm thrilled with the results. Other Samsung units with Reon processing are the BD-P2500 and BD-P2550. The only video portion of my system that is left lacking is the mediocre component-to-HDMI transcoding of the SR805 applied to the Wii.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Hopkins /forum/post/15547999


That's correct. Wii and standard definition DVD are where you could see the benefits of better video scaling... Wii would especially see the benefits of properly implemented component-HDMI transcoding. If you want to avoid the cost associated with better video processing, a Samsung BD player with Reon processing would give you about the best standard definition DVD performance you can get. I paired one of these (UP5000) with an SR805 (killer audio, basic video) and I'm thrilled with the results. Other Samsung units with Reon processing are the BD-P2500 and BD-P2550. The only video portion of my system that is left lacking is the mediocre component-to-HDMI transcoding of the SR805 applied to the Wii.

Stephen,


Honestly the Wii is the LAST concern I have with my system, the Blu-Ray Disc player, XBOX, and then DVR unit is what I care most about.


Funny you mentioned that Samsung BD player, I juat was reading about the Samsun BD-P2550 in my latest Sound & Vision magazine. What is the top of the line Samsung? THe UP5000 or the BD-P2550?


Back to the AVRs, I'm thinking the 2309 is closing in as the winner, unless I really really want networking capabilities as such in the 3808CI?


And I think you've helped me narrow down the Samsung Blu-Ray players unless someone can convince me the PS3 is better?
 

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The UP5000 WAS the top of the line since it's a Blu-Ray and HD-DVD dual player with Reon processing and TrueHD/DTS-HD decoding. There's no longer a dual-player in the lineup so the P2500/P2550 is now the top of the line (though there have been some new players announced at CES, not sure where the fall).


Wii is the last priority in my system as well (or maybe equal with SD TV channel performance) which was the main reason I chose the SR805, a great niche product with flagship amplification and audio features and basic but adequate HDMI implementation.


The PS3 is a fine BD player and maybe the most future-proof, but if you're planning on running a large percentage of standard DVDs then one of the Samsungs may be a better choice... though since you're not running a large screen front projection display, any of the name-brand players or the PS3 would likely do an adequate job scaling standard DVDs. The PS3 would also act as a network music player and digital video player, so if those are features you're interested in then you may not want to completely discount it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Hopkins /forum/post/15548256


The UP5000 WAS the top of the line since it's a Blu-Ray and HD-DVD dual player with Reon processing and TrueHD/DTS-HD decoding. There's no longer a dual-player in the lineup so the P2500/P2550 is now the top of the line (though there have been some new players announced at CES, not sure where the fall).


Wii is the last priority in my system as well (or maybe equal with SD TV channel performance) which was the main reason I chose the SR805, a great niche product with flagship amplification and audio features and basic but adequate HDMI implementation.


The PS3 is a fine BD player and maybe the most future-proof, but if you're planning on running a large percentage of standard DVDs then one of the Samsungs may be a better choice... though since you're not running a large screen front projection display, any of the name-brand players or the PS3 would likely do an adequate job scaling standard DVDs. The PS3 would also act as a network music player and digital video player, so if those are features you're interested in then you may not want to completely discount it.

You bring up a good point. I like the netflix and pandora features in the new Samsung BD Player, does the PS3 offer these kinds of features? I'm using the XBOX 360 and Media Center for networking my music files to the entertainment center. I guess I'll have to go over to the PS3 thread to ask more depth questions on what the PS3 can do, besides playing Blu-Ray Discs.
 

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No Netflix on the PS3, but the XBox 360 does Netflix if you have a Live Gold membership and the Tivo HD does it for free (this is how I access the Watch Now library). I'm not sure if either does Pandora.
 
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