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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been reading these forums for a while now, and it appears to me that most people here like Denon receivers the most, at least they seem to be the most talked about. Being that I am a newbie trying to put together my first home theater system, I'm trying to decide what receiver to buy for 80% movies/20% music use. My choices are between the following possibly:


Denon AVR-1803

Denon AVR-2803 (when it comes out)

H/K AVR-325

H/K AVR-525

Onkyo TX-SR600


As you can see, I'm trying to keep the cost of the receiver below $700 hopefully. So why should I choose Denon over Onkyo or H/K? Is it better quality, better sounding, etc? Are there any problems with the other brands? For example, I'm worried that the Denon AVR-1803 does not have enough component video bandwith to output a good signal to an HDTV. I'm hoping the AVR-2803 will. On the other hand, I've read about Onkyo's problems with their power being way overstated. I'd like to hear people's opinions on this based on their experience, and I am also open to other models/brands that anyone can suggest.


Thanks!


Javier
 

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I'm going to tag along on this thread as I'm considering a very similar list. I'm less into H/K for some reason, and also have the Intergra 5.3 as a lead contender.
 

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Well, here's my guess. My first receiver was a Denon. I still have it and it still works. Not one single bit of trouble. Bought a Pioneer a few years back to replace it. It was in the shop 3 times. Finally they replaced for a 47TX with some cash (I forget how much). I sold it on eBay and bought the 3802 for $750 (recently sold for $695) and pocketed the cash. To this day not one single bit of trouble. For around $750 bucks I got a great sounding receiver, good warranty, 110 watts X 7, all the surround sound modes I need, and a company history of producing good sounding/ high-value receivers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi edkotch, I wasn't looking at H/K much either until I saw them at Circuit City and the sales guy spoke very highly of them, even over the Onkyos. Of course, the guy has to sell the stuff, but I have also found some good comments about the 325 and 525 in these forums, which is why I added them to my list.


Clint, so it seems like you think Denons are very high quality, long-lasting, mostly problem free receivers. That seems to be the opinion of many other people around here. What about the quality of the sound compared to the others? I've also read that Denons have higher quality DACs on the low end of their receivers, as opposed to their competitors.


Javier
 

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you should find someplace to listen to them. I'm an HK person myself. You can't go wrong with any of the receivers on the list. The HK is probably going to give you the best mix of HT/Music. They simply rock with music, and are very good at HT, and have everything except THX. Out of that list I'd narrow it down to the Denon 2803 and HK AVR525. Try and find someplace to listen to them. Sound Advice, Circuit City, Fry's etc


As for the Onkyo overrating, I think they are falling into that same mass market pit that JVC, Sony, Kenwood, all use to rate their receivers. Onkyo is still better than all them though
 

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For me, going with Denon was a no-brainer. I bought an Aiwa or sony small stereo in my college days, but when I did my radio show or directed a play in the school theater, I was using Denon equipment, which was what the school used. I'd also used Yamaha pro sound equipment, and it sounded damn fine too...I bought the Denon equipment because it had the options and expandability I wanted, plus the quality and sound I know. I researched for a while, listened to quite a few things, and nothing really stacked up. Marantz sounded good, but was almost a one trick pony next to the bells and whistles the Denon provided (wow, lots of cliches here...HA). NAD had solid amp power, but the quality is sketchy. HK was the closest to Denon, but just lacked the "OOMPH" sound wise that put the Denon over the top. Yamaha just didn't have the quality on the "consumer" price level...


I ended up with a 3803 after 6 good months of research.


But out of the list you put up, the 1803 is what I would choose, because there really is no timetable for the 2803 as far as I've heard, even from the Denon rep himself. Considering the 1803 is basically the 2802 plus some stuff, you might be better served saving a few bucks and getting the goods now, instead of waiting for the 2803, provided it's able to put out enough power for what you want...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi lord_zeppelin,


Actually my main concern with the Denon AVR-1803 was the component video bandwith, which seems to be too low to run a good HDTV signal. I've read that either 37MHz or 50MHz is what's required. Otherwise it would be an easy choice, I think, based on people's opinion of Denon around here. I think I'm coming to the conclusion that no receiver is problem-free, there's always someone that has found something wrong with each one, even if it's just a little thing. Well, again I have to remember probably no receiver is perfect, at least not in this price range :)
 

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I have sold, and owned, Denon, Onkyo, and Yamaha. I use Denon for HT for a few reasons. They come to market very quickly with the latest technologies- DPLII 6 months before Yamaha, 5/6/7 channel stereo, etc. They tend to be more "loaded" than others in the similar price point- the 3802 was multi-room/source and 7 amplifiers. They do this without sacrificing quality.

Denon tend to be trouble free and easy to use (low return rate). Denon only makes audio products, and they don't sell through many mass market chains. Onkyo is at Circuit and Yamaha is at Best Buy. Denon doesn't sell through these chains.

Denon communicates with "the people" through this forum! They certainly don't have to. I don't see Onkyo and HK reps posting here every week. They own up to problems that may arise in their products (DVD3800) and work on solutions. Maybe they are not as quick as some would like, but the point is they communicate.

There are a lot of good brands out there and mass market receivers are better than ever, so we are talking small differences for most people. Denon is not perfect but there are many good reasons why people buy their products.


Dave
 

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One more vote for H/K. I own numerous H/K products including several receivers and have not had a single problem. I would seriously consider giving the 325 and 525 a listen along with appropriate Denon models. You would do well to consider Marantz also.


The 1803 has no pre-outs, which may or may not be of any importance to you. Some have found that as they go further into HT the need for more power arises. There are many reasons for this, some real and some just in the minds of the people involved. Only time will tell if such a consideration will become a factor for you. But if it does, you will have to sell off any receiver which lacks pre-outs in order to do anything to upgrade. Just a thought.


Lastly, while there are and have been many Onkyo receivers of note, I would avoid the 600. Onkyo has gone the way of the mass marketers with their low and mid level line and has made build concessions which it previously did not. Just an opinion.
 

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Is it just an opinion? Or did you read it somehwere?


I've heard a similar story before about this years Onkyo products. I was heavily leaning towards them, but I'm starting to wonder. Does anyone know for sure that they are making a less high end product now?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jandrade
I have been reading these forums for a while now, and it appears to me that most people here like Denon receivers the most, at least they seem to be the most talked about. Being that I am a newbie trying to put together my first home theater system, I'm trying to decide what receiver to buy for 80% movies/20% music use. My choices are between the following possibly:


Denon AVR-1803

Denon AVR-2803 (when it comes out)

H/K AVR-325

H/K AVR-525

Onkyo TX-SR600


As you can see, I'm trying to keep the cost of the receiver below $700 hopefully. So why should I choose Denon over Onkyo or H/K? Is it better quality, better sounding, etc? Are there any problems with the other brands? For example, I'm worried that the Denon AVR-1803 does not have enough component video bandwith to output a good signal to an HDTV. I'm hoping the AVR-2803 will. On the other hand, I've read about Onkyo's problems with their power being way overstated. I'd like to hear people's opinions on this based on their experience, and I am also open to other models/brands that anyone can suggest.


Thanks!


Javier
I just ordered an 1803 after conducting a fair amount of research. The Denon 1803 was selected based on the criteria:

DD

DD-EX

DTS

DTS-ES

Component Video input with suficient BW for progressive video, 27Mhz

5:1 inputs - additionally the 5:1 inputs on this HT receiver has 100mhz BW

Phono input, I have a Phono turntable that I want to continue to use


Many in its price range do not have the combination of features that the 1803 does

I confess that the Onkyo 700 would have been an excellent choice but for its >$500 price,

My other criteria.

Note, other budget receivers do not have 27Mhz component video inputs let alone suffecient BW at least 27Mhz for progressive video.


Just a few personal observations about the 1803

dcl
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Great choice, and congratulations on your purchase. Please let us know how you like it when you hook it up!


Actually, the one thing that has kept me from buying the 1803 has been the video bandwith. I want to get a receiver that will allow me to send a good video signal to an HDTV, when I get one. From what I have read, 27MHz is enough for progressive scan DVD, but not for HDTV 720p and 1080i. I really don't mind not having a phono input on the 1803. But because of the low bandwith, I was thinking about waiting for the 2803, hoping it would have the 100MHz bandwith that the 3803 has. The Onkyo TX-SR600 on the other hand has 60MHz and the H/K 325 and 525 have 50MHz bandwith.


If anyone is interested, I found this article through another forum that explains the video bandwith issue: http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/bandwid.htm


Also, what do you mean by "5:1 inputs on this HT receiver has 100mhz BW"? I wasn't aware that the bandwith on the 5.1 inputs mattered. Can you please explain why this was part of your selection criteria?
 

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My 3802 and of course the 3803 has the ability of multi-room. In fact with only 7 amplifiers I can actually run 9 speakers at one time. I do not ever do this at anything over low volume but it is possible. I have a 5.1 system in my main area and 2 in the bedroom and 2 outdoor. I can run 5 channel stereo with both A+B (with B being bedroom) selected and run multiroom for the outdoor. It is a bit tricky with the not so great 3802 remote but it can be done. Otherwise if you wanted 3 rooms playing stereo it will work at normal (read high) listening levels.
 

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While I haven't had a chance to audition a 525 yet I have heard a couple of people on this and other forums that the cooling fan is fairly loud and bothersome. I've sold both Denon and Onkyo in the past and I've always been very impressed with Denon's receivers. In two years only one came back with a problem and it was the owners fault. I also think they are warmer sounding than Onkyo which I prefer, YMMV. I would bet that Denon will intro the 2803 at CES and think it may be worth the wait.


Alex
 

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I sprung for the Sony STR-DA4ES. 5 -year warranty, better remote, more power and outstanding sound. Plus, you can get it shipped for as little as $619 from an authorized vendor. I like Denon a lot, but I LOVE this Sony. ;)


Forget the Onkyo stuff that you mentioned. The SR600 is weak in the amp area. 80 wpc is claimed, but testing confirmed it to be much less (range of 34 wpc.)
 

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out of curiousity, where can you get the 4ES for $619? In canada that's a $1500 receiver. $619 converted to Canadian is about $1000. For that price I would pick the Sony over the yamaha 1300 I'm about to buy.
 

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wilk1,


Try crazy eddie ( www.crazyeddie.com ). I bought my last Sony ES receiver from them. They are ranked as a very good Internet customer on cnet.


BTW - I do not find the remote on the 4ES to be that great as mentioned by wje. I had the similar remote on the AVD C70ES receiver and it was a joke. My family could not use it and to change channels on my HD receiver was impossilbe to do easily. (But the cheap sony remotes US$29-$75 would be a great option.)


So I am in the process of trying to replace my AVD C70ES ( I had two fail on me so now I will go with seperate DVD/SACD and receiver. I was all set to get the 4ES with a different remote (because I llike Sony and they have a switch for 4 ohm impedance speakers) but after a friend just tested the 5803 Dennon and reading some of the inputs here - I am seriously considering a 3803 (and I will hope that the 4ohm impedance M&K speakers will not cause the Denon to shut down.)


Reggie
 

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I have the chance to get the 3es for 450 brand new in the box from an authorized dealer. Does that sound reasonable? Is is a huge step down from the 4es?


Thank you in advance and sorry about my ignorance on the subject.
 
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