Advice requested Yamaha RXV 3800/Denon 4308/ Pioneer VSX-94TXH

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by John-Miles, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    Ok, so im looking for a new amp, ive currently got a Yamaha RXV-1300 but i am thinking of upgrading for the HDMI and High Def audio, and generally more power to run my speakers.

    Right now I am leaning towards the Pioneer. As near as i can tell from the spec sheets it is the most robust of the three in terms of power output.

    A far as i can tell it is the only one rated at 140 W/ch with all channels driven, the spec sheets on the other two seem to avoid stating one way or the other.

    if anyone has any input on these three it would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    Hey John,

    I am in the same boat as you right now, I am also researching a receiver to replace my current ht receiver. I currently also have a Yamaha but mine is about 11 years old (Yamaha RX-V995). While the three you have choosen are all good its a matter of what one you like the best.

    Yamaha RX-V3800: MSRP $1,699.95
    140 Watts per channel (20Hz - 20KHz) X 7

    Denon AVR-4308: MSRP $2,499.00
    140 Watts per channel (20Hz - 20KHz) X 7 All Channels Rated @ 0.05 THD

    Pioneer VSX-94TXH: MSRP $1,600.00
    140 Watts per channel (20Hz - 20KHz) X 7 All Channels Rated @ 0.09 THD

    All three of these rating are 8 ohms.

    The only way to know if any of these receivers is actually more robust or has more head room is to look deeper into the specs. Another sign IMHO is to see how much the reciever draws from the wall socket. I do like Denon but IMHO the Denon AVR-3808 may be a better buy. It has most of the same features as the 4308ci but with 10 less watts per channel. And unless the 3808ci is that lacking which I doubt. That extra 10 watts will not be noticed in terms of volume or head room, not in this case.

    Believe me its not an easy choice and while my Yamaha has been good to me over the past 11 years. I am leaning towards the Denon AVR-3808ci (MSRP $1,599.00) as it seems to be the best bang for the buck. The Denon also has the Audyssey set up that can be actually upgraded to the Audyssey Pro. Pioneer Elite's MCACC does a good job but I feel the Audyssey is alot nicer. I am not sure if the 94TXH can be updated via ethernet but the Denon can be.

    Now if you like the Pioneer the most by all means do not let anyone talk you out of it unless there are any serious flaws? Which I am not aware of any such things with the Elite receivers. But as far as power goes I am willing to be they are identicall to each other. There are members here that have purchased the 3808ci and have nothing but good things to say about it. I was thinking about getting the 4308ci to be honest but can not justify the extra cost. Not with what it is offering over the 3808ci, now if the 4308 would have offered a Reon HQV or Realta HQV then I might just have to get it. But it has the same Faroudja chip that most of the receivers out there are using. A few of them might be using an older chip that does not upconvert, but most of them are using the Faroudja. All three of your choices have 4 HDMI 1.3a inputs as well. So basically the only difference is features and what room correction software they use.

    These are my considerations at this time, but due to the audio pop and heat issues I am not so sure about two brands at this time.

    Denon AVR-3808ci
    Onkyo TX-SR 875 or 905
    Integra DTR- 7.8 or 8.8
    Pioneer Elite VSX-94TXH

    At this time I am leaning towards the Denon 3808ci. Its been a very hard decision so far as I have really wanted to go with a Reon solution but the only two brands that use it. Well they seem to have a few issues that may just cause me to go with a Faroudja solution instead. And one last thing about the Denon and I am sure things could have changed but I doubt it. I was able to go to the 03' and 04' CES show in Las Vegas and the Denon demo used 4 ohm M&K speakers in a 7 channel configuration. Well at least in the 2004 show they did, I can not swear that they did a 7.1 in 2003 though. Anyway the Denon system was set up in a good size room and they pushed that receiver which I think was the 3806 at the time? Even after they pushed the receiver which did not seem to run out of steam ever run at 4ohms. The receiver did not run hot and it actually did not seem to break a sweat. I have head Pioneer Elite in peoples homes as well and they sound very good as well.

    Sorry about the post going on, I hope this helps in some way?
     
  3. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    Dave,

    thanks for the input, thats a HUGE help.

    I do have one major concern witht he denon though, looking at the spec sheet, it seems like the power rating was done without all channels driven.

    It lists the power for the two fronts, and then the center and the surrounds and then the rears.

    It gives me the implication that the testing was done with only 2 channels running at a time, and the Pioneer clearly states that their power rating is with ALL 7 channels driven at the same time.

    For me as well the extra 10 watts is important, mainly because my current Yamaha is rated at 110, and ive really noticed it running out of steam since i hooked up my Paradigm Studio 60's to it. ... so basically yeah i dont want to risk not having the headroom i need you know?
     
  4. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    Hey John,

    I honestly do not think a company like Denon would rate there receiver with anything but all channels driven. I am as impressed with the Denon line up as I was in 2004 when I went to CES. So I have no doubt that the Denon will even drive speakers even at 4ohms. If I remember correctly the Denon actually puts out closer to advertised power than the Yamaha and Pioneer Elite. Not putting Yamaha down, they still make a very good product and there dsp modes are great for those you love dsp modes. I have a Yamaha and I basically never use the dsp modes.

    You could go with the Denon AVR-3808ci that should have no problem driving your Paradigm's. Or you could consider the Onkyo TX-SR905 that uses a toroidal transformer and it puts out very close to what they advertise. Altough the Onkyo's do run hot and they have some quirks so you will want to read up on reviews and owners threads. And the Onkyo 875 and 905 both have the Reon scaler like the Integra 8.8 receiver. And you might be able to find the 905 online for close to what you would spend on the 3808ci. How ever like I said research it and check it out in person.

    The best one is the one that features, specification and price best match your needs. Let us know what you end up with and how it works out for you.
     
  5. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    I will definitely do that Dave,

    Just a sort of aside, do you know any way to actually measure the power output from a receiver?

    the only thing i can think of would be to use an spl meter with the same room and speakers swapped between receivers and see which is louder at a given volume. (or dB ratign as they mostly use)
     
  6. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    Sorry I have no idea how to test for actual output. The spl meter would actually give you different results depending on how efficient your speakers are.
     
  7. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    Yeah i know thats why i was thinking of using the same speakers and everything, get ti set up in the store or something to keep everything the same but the amps.

    I suppose a volt meter would work as well, across the terminals while playing something into speakers... hmmm gonna think more about this
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    My Denon 4308 has no problems driving my Paradigm Studio 100s.






    Crawdaddy
     
  9. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    Tanks for the input Robert, its good to know that cause i have been seriously thinking of upgrading my studio 60's to 100's at some point and making the 60's my surrounds
     
  10. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Actually I strongly I suggest you stop thinking about this [​IMG]. You're not gonna measure anything useful with a mere voltmeter. And I really mean no offense, but the fact that you would believe you could tells me you have no business attempting to measure anything at all in the signal path.

    Where is the spec sheet of concern? I looked at this: Denon USA | AVR-4308CI but found nothing suspicious.

    --
    H
     
  11. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    Well generally speaking the laws of physics do prove useful in measuring real world performance. If you know the resitance of your speakers that are hooked up to amp and you measure the voltage across the terminals you can calculate the power. sure this will not be 100% accurate, but using test tones, or taking the weighted average over the same section of a disc will give you relative performance from one amp to another.

    Of course its much more accurate if you can set up in a proper lab using an oscilliscope and 8 ohm resistors, and test through a range of frequencies, but thats a whole lot more difficult to set up in practice unless you do that kind of thing for a living, and even then it generally involves taking home the three receivers to test them all.

    And the spec sheet concerned me as i can see it being read two possible ways.

    Power Amplifier Section
    Rated output *THD figures are power amp stage values.
    Front 140 W + 140 W (8 ohms, 20Hz - 20kHz)
    Center 140 W (8 ohms, 20Hz - 20kHz)
    Surround 140 W + 140 W (8 ohms, 20Hz - 20kHz)
    Surround back 140 W + 140 W (8 ohms, 20Hz - 20kHz)


    Now one way to read this is to assume that this testing was done with all channels driven 140 x 7 simultaneously, another way to read it is to see it as the front channels were tested and rated at 140 watts per channel, then the center, then the surrounds and then the surround back channels.

    and see the sticking issue comes that most amps will give a much higher power rating when 1 channel is driven versus all 7 at once, so the spec sheet is slightly ambigious in its presentation as it does not clearly stae the tests were performed with all channels driven.
     
  12. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I looked at a couple of other Denon product sheets, and they list their amp specs exactly the same way, including on their much reverred flagship offerings:

    http://usa.denon.com/AVR-5308CILit_1219.pdf

    ...and just to make sure it's not a matter of quality drop over the years, the 4802 and 5803 and even the "venerable" 5800's specs are listed exactly the same way:

    http://usa.denon.com/AVR4802R_productsheet.pdf

    http://usa.denon.com/AVR5803_productsheet.pdf

    http://usa.denon.com/AVR5800_productsheet.pdf

    There was a time when this ^^^ was considered the best receiver money could buy. Save for the high end separates crowd, no one has ever complained about power with this beast. Hope this puts your concerns to rest.

    --
    H
     
  13. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    Yeah i was just thinking about it as a ROUGH way to get an idea of the actual power output.

    However while i was looking around on these thigns i also found a nice sound and vision article on the pioneer and denon, and their test results were interesting, they rated the denon at 111 watts and the pioneer at 61 watts.

    nice thign was though they rated the Onkyo 875 at 128 watts.
     
  14. bashton

    bashton Auditioning

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    I know I'm a little late, but needed to wait for my validation to come through so I could jump in on this thread.

    This is great -- really the same three options I had come to (also that the Denon 3808ci was more comparable cost-wise to the Yamaha and Pioneer Elite).

    In scanning the threads, a couple of things stood out -- no one seems to mention the network capability too much. Is it considered a non-enthusiast feature? When I first came upon the Yamaha, I was really intrigued about that, it would allow me to move all of my legacy, low-tech hw (CD changer, CD/R, even cassettes and albums) to somewhere else and stream my ~ 400 of so CDs. I also thought, that's one less device hanging off my receiver, I can focus my time and money on the receiver and a top-notch disc player.

    The second thing I noticed is not as many positive mentions of Onkyo and less mention or Marantz, in everyone's opinion are they a click below or as mentioned is it really a subjective choice?

    I think I've narrowed down my choice between Yamaha / Pioneer / Denon (not necessarily in that order), but maybe trying to over-analyze this. Upgrading all my current Sony stuff (another thread I guess), I'll probably be happy regardless of where I end up. I'll keep reading the history for more general comments about the three brands.

    Again, this is great, now hopefully I'll learn enough to contribute something back.


    Brett Ashton
     
  15. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    Well as ive stated my main concern is power output.

    I can run an optical cable from my PC to my amp if i just want to stream music, and honestly streaming anything from a computer is generally lower quality than the source, so i tend to avoid that.
     
  16. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I've also been looking at receivers in this price range. Lately it's the Onkyo 875/905, Marantz 8002 and the Pioneer 92-TXH (currently at the top of the list) though it could change, yet again. Man, this stuff can drive you nuts! Anyway, as for amplifier power, the spec I've been looking at lately is power consumption. Here's of few of our favorites taken from their owners manuals. The Pioneer Elite 92 pulls 530 watts from the wall. The Yamaha 3800 is 500 watts. The Marantz 8002 is 780. The Denon is listed as 7.2 amps. Is it true you times the amps by volts to get watts? If so, that's 864 watts. The Onkyo 905 is 9.8 amps (1176). By comparison, my H/K 435 (65 x 7) is near 1000 and the 7300 is 1480. The Sony ES series is listed at 480. The latest edition of S&V magazine rated the Pioneer 94-TXH at 84 X 5. If I'm remembering correctly I think the 7300 was 143 x 5. Again, not sure what it all means but it's something else to consider.
     
  17. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    The power drawn from the wall is a very good indication of actual power, but the next big thing to consider is the transformers in the unit itself, that is one of the reasons i am looking now at the Onkyo 905 by all reports the 875 is a great unit, but it runs hot, the 905 however has Toroidal transformers which give ti a much better efficiency, higher efficiency means less energy loss int he form of heat, it also explains why the 905 is rated at 70 amps as opposed to the 65 amps of the 875.

    I took a look for the HK 7300, but form all i could find thats an older 5 channel amp. infact i cant seem to find an HK amp that offers HDMI 1.3 so that pretty much booted HK off ym list.

    Odds are within the next year everyone will start offering the HDMI 1.3 and the new high def audio codecs.

    though on a complete aside, im still disappointed that no one went to DVD-A or SACD to start doing the movie soundtracks... it was my one slim hope to see a revival of one of those formats...
     
  18. Ricky c

    Ricky c Stunt Coordinator

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    Marant sr8002 also has toroidal transfomer.
     
  19. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    H/K never made my list for that very reason. The 7300 is a last generation model which I included in my little comparison because it's S&V magazine measurements were by far the best I've read so far and it sorta confirms my suspicions that power consumption and watts per channel seem to go hand in hand. Any receiver mentioned here would be enough for me as I listen at pretty moderate levels, but it's nice to know what they are capable of. My latest thing is getting SACD/DVD-A thru HDMI.
     
  20. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    Well i bought the 905 just waiting for it to be delivered.
     

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