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Receiver choice for ~$400: Onkyo 595 or Denon 1802


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#1 of 12 Jeff Krane

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Posted October 03 2001 - 06:04 AM

I'm just beginning to put together a Home Theater setup and have already learned a lot by reading this forum. My goals are fairly modest: a low end (read $$), decent quality, setup mainly for DD5.1 from satellite and DVD with music a lower priority. Ease of use will be important for spousal acceptance and volume is not important for the same reason (my wife complains when I play the TV too loud!). Right now I am looking for a receiver and am thinking Denon 1802 vs Onkyo 595 (want to have DPLII). I gather that Denon remotes are not great, but this seems trivial as I anticipate using an add-on universal remote. I have heard that Denon receivers do not retain settings when switching sources, if true this could cause annoying volume fluctuations that could influence my choice. At present, I am leaning towards matching the receiver with Energy Take 5.2 speakers and sub.

Any opinions on these receivers would be greatly appreciated. --Jeff

#2 of 12 Nick G

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Posted October 03 2001 - 06:11 AM

You can not go wrong with either receiver, they are both good units. I have the Onkyo 595 and am perfectly happy with it. Try to listen to them both with the speakers you want to buy and get the one that sounds best to you.

Regards, Nick

#3 of 12 BryanZ

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Posted October 03 2001 - 08:45 AM

Are you going to add any amplifiers on in the future or do you think you will? If the answer to that question is yes or maybe, go with the Denon. If the answer is definately not, get the Onkyo. Listen to both regardless. If DPL II isn't that important, look at a B stock Outlaw 1050 or Yamaha RX-V520 (maybe 620).

To me, the Onkyo had the better faceplate and better remote. The Outlaw had preouts for all channels and an excellent remote versus the Denons LCR preouts and horrid (IMO) remote. The sound (to me): Onkyo is fairly nuetral. Denon is warm. Yamaha is a little bright (compared to the Onkyo and Denon). The Outlaw is clean.

[Edited last by BryanZ on October 03, 2001 at 03:53 PM]

#4 of 12 DaveF

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Posted October 03 2001 - 08:48 AM

I've got the 696, which is the same as the 595, with a few minor extra features. I really like it, and would also recommend the 595. From what everyone says, the Denon is also an excellent choice.

The Onkyo has a better remote and nice front panel interface; the Denon arguably has a better overall reputation.

#5 of 12 John Garcia

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Posted October 03 2001 - 09:42 AM

Marantz SR5200.

------------------
All progress is based upon a universal, innate desire on the part of every organism,
to live beyond it's income.
ITRCA ** Speedring (sorry, car guy)

HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

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#6 of 12 Jeff Krane

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Posted October 11 2001 - 04:37 AM

Still haven't made up my mind on this, but here are some factors:

Remote: I've decided this is not entirely trivial. I NEED for this system to be easily used by other non-technically inclined family members and to have one remote that can handle all components. The Onkyo remote seems pretty nice except for a lack of backlighting and should be able to accomodate my other components (Pioneer DVD, lousy RCA VCR, Mitsubishi TV, Dishplayer satellite receiver). The Denon remote clearly is awful and would require a universal replacement (RS one for all type). My question to those who have Denon receivers is this:

I have read both Denon and Onkyo manuals online, the Onkyos seem rather easy to use, the Denon's seem rather cumbersome even for easy tasks like tuning an FM station -- is this just because of the remote? is it just my perception from the horrible English in the Denon manual? Can these things be easily overcome with a well set-up universal remote? OR is the Denon interface too cumbersome? Again, this is more of an issue for others than for myself, but I want my wife to enjoy this new investment, not to feel like it is unnecessarily complicating her life.

How important is it to be able to adjust settings in the Music mode of DPLII (Denon can, Onkyo can't)?

Does the Onkyo have a good 5 channel stereo setting? I've heard that many like this setting for listening to music with Denon receivers?

I don't think that the lack of a preamp out in the Onkyo will bother me.

Thanks again in advance.

#7 of 12 Jeremy Anderson

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Posted October 11 2001 - 05:11 AM

Jeff, a few things:
1) The Onkyo is definitely easier to setup and use. My mother can operate my 595, and she's a hardcore technophobe.
2) While the Onkyo remote can handle all your equipment, it just isn't a very comfortable remote in the hand and button placement is odd. I programmed my Radio Shack 15-1994 and chucked the Onkyo in the closet.
3) I've fiddled with the DPL-II settings on my friend's Kenwood and another friend's Denon, and frankly I'm glad that I don't have the options on the 595... because that'd just be one more thing I'd sit around endlessly tweaking. The 595 uses the default settings from Dolby Labs, which sound pretty damn good so long as you properly calibrate speaker levels. I use DPL-II for digital cable and a LOT of music, and I'm very satisfied with the Onkyo's handling of it.
4) The Onkyo does have 5-channel stereo, though frankly I only use it for music and only then for times I'm not in the sweet spot (like when I'm cleaning or having a party).
5) Make sure the Energy Take5.2 system has speakers rated well below 80hz. The 595 (and most receivers in this range) use a 80hz 12db/octave crossover, which means your speakers need to be rated down to at least 60hz if possible. If the Energys don't go down that low, you're going to end up with a gap in bass response as the bass management makes the transition from speakers to sub. Admittedly, most people don't notice because of how little that range is emphasized in soundtracks, but it can make some music sound really off. You might consider a package from Home Theater Direct instead, but I'm really just being picky on this point.

#8 of 12 Thomas_Berg

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Posted October 11 2001 - 06:49 AM

even though i happily own a 595, i'm gonna have to second the Marantz SR5200. Posted Image

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#9 of 12 Jeff Krane

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Posted October 11 2001 - 06:59 AM

Thanks again for the feedback. I've heard of some problems with the video on some Marantz receivers, so I'm a little bit leery.

As for the Energy Take 5.2s --I think I am moving away from them as it is a large room (25 x 14 with cathedral ceiling) and I doubt they would be up to the job. Seems like people are very positive on the Ascend Acoustics systems, so I'm thinking about giving that a shot, although it is more than I wanted to spend. Going off my own topic, but I would appreciate other thoughts on a 5.1 speaker setup in this price range ($500-$1000) that can handle a pretty large room.

#10 of 12 Jeremy Anderson

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Posted October 11 2001 - 07:28 AM

I know you can't audition them anywhere (unless someone near you has a set), but I've heard the Level 3 Combo X 5.1 setup from www.hometheaterdirect.com, and can wholeheartedly recommend them. They're rated down to 43hz, and have a very even and clean sound without any harshness. In fact, I'm considering replacing my Polks with that setup soon.

I know this is the second time I've mentioned them, but if you do a search here or at www.audioreview.com, you'll see almost nothing but positive feedback on them. I think www.cheaphometheater.com gave them a glowing review as well.

#11 of 12 BryanZ

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Posted October 11 2001 - 07:33 AM

The Ascends/HSU package is among the best there is at that particular price point. You may want to consider getting the nOrh 4.0 package and a Sony SA-WM40 sub until you could upgrade the sub to either a SVS or Adire Audio.

#12 of 12 JeremySt

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Posted October 11 2001 - 03:51 PM

Ive owned MARANTZ, ONKYO, KENWOOD, and DENON digital receivers in the past, all inside of 3.5 years. The past 2 years have been spent with DENON. most recently, the 3802. My experience is that DENON has the most pure sound. Marantz is built lousy and sounds thin, as does Yamaha (my buddies) Onkyo is good, but my prefrence is certainly with DENON. Built better and sounds better. The Onkyo does have a better remote, but how important is that really?