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Technics vs. Denon. Opinions needed for receiver upgrade

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#1 of 11 OFFLINE   Jeremy Allin

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Posted November 17 2001 - 10:06 AM

Repost - I changed subject line to be more descriptive. Hopefully that leads to more feedback.


I'm in need of some advice from those who have already travelled down this road...the upgrade road. Here's my situation:

I'm looking to upgrade my receiver, but I'm wondering if the results it would yield warrant spending the money. The receiver I'm currently using is a Technics SA-AX720 and I have the Technics SH-AC500D hooked up to it for Dolby Digital/DTS capability. These pieces are roughly three years old (at least that's how long I've owned them). I've been pleased with their performance but the 720 gives me a hissing out of the centre/surround channels that is a bit annoying. Dolby Pro-Logic II isn't a necessity in my case but would be a nice bonus.

So, I'm thinking of selling this combo and purchasing a Denon AVR-1802. The Denon only has 80wpc output whereas the Technics has 100wpc. I've heard, however, that Denon makes higher quality receivers so the 80wpc may in fact be better than the Technics 100wpc. Without touching my speakers, will this receiver upgrade improve overall sound?

The speakers I'm using are all Nuance (please refer to the picture of my HT for their sizes). I'm also using an Energy XL-S8 sub-woofer (100 W powered). OK guys, I've been reading messages on the HTF for quite some time and I know that many of you will have some wonderful input. Thanks in advance!


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#2 of 11 OFFLINE   Tom-G



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Posted November 17 2001 - 11:37 AM

Jeremy, I had the exact receiver and decoder that you have and I recently upgraded to Denon. I'm using Klipsch Reference Series Speakers and the minute I heard sound produced by the Denon, I could hear a big difference for the better. The Technics you have is pretty good, but Denon is far and away superior.

The only thing is, my Denon is a 3802, so obviously it's a little higher quality than the 1802, so is something to keep in mind. There are members who own the 1802, I know because I've read their posts, so I'm sure someone will give some more details on it. The members here are very helpful and knowledgeable. Posted Image

#3 of 11 OFFLINE   Mark Bates

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Posted November 17 2001 - 06:00 PM

Consumer Reports did an article on lower end recievers in the November issue. They compared 12 recievers including the Denon 1801 and the Technics SA-DX1050 and according to them they liked the Technics better. Overall they liked the Onkyo TX-DS696 the best, but the Technics came in second and at $500 list price cheaper.
I don't consider them an authority on home theater equipment, but they do have the ability to do something most of don't and that is to compare items head to head with the same software and supporting hardware.
I am not up on either of the units you are looking at as far as features ans such so I have no idea if this helps.

Hope this helps,

#4 of 11 OFFLINE   Bobby T

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Posted November 18 2001 - 12:01 AM

I would have to say go with the Denon. An 80 watt Denon will sound better than a 100 watt Technics. Remember a lot more than wpc affects sound quality. Also, didn't Consumer Reports rank Pioneer and Bose the best 2 Bookshelf speakers on the market? Did CR take the time to properly set up each receiver or did they just run them out of the box with the factory settings?

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#5 of 11 OFFLINE   Zbigniew


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Posted November 18 2001 - 01:13 AM


my stable of receivers include:
Pioneer VSX-604S (DPL, no digital connectors);
Sony STR-DE545
Denon 3300
Denon 5800
used with variety of speakers - B***, Paradigm Monitors, Paradigm Actives.

IMHO, making small changes does not bring you best bang. Couple other options to consider:
1) delay upgrade, go for either 3802 or 4802 unit;
2) if you need up to date processing modes, look at Outlaw 1050 or 950;
3) if you do not need expanded modes, look at used amps; or at used receivers - you can get 2 years old 3300 below $500... and it is one sweet receiver.


#6 of 11 OFFLINE   joe goswami

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Posted November 18 2001 - 01:52 AM

I am a proud owner of a Denon AVR-1802/Adcom GFA-555II combo.

I've upgraded from a Denon AVR-1400/Adcom GFA-545II combo. I too owned the AC500's predecessor, the Technics AC300 non DTS version. An excellent unit for its time. This box was ran with the aforementioned Denon/Adcom rig.

I recently traded all this stuff in for the 1802/555II. The Denon is am excellent unit by any standard. If I could have afforded it, I would have kept my trusty 545II for L & R duty using the 555II for CTR/SUB. Right now, the Adcom powers my CTR/SUB and the Denon AVR-1802 powers the L & R channels.

Last night after a few Tequilla's, I listened to Peter Gabriel's So for the first time in ages. Let me tell you that the Denons produce a sound that can compete with any seperate amp you put it against. That said I still prefer the sound of an amp an its own. Maybe one day I will get another 555II or equivalent for L & R duty. For now I'll stick with the Denon.

My advice : Buy the 1802, find some traded in amps and use the money you've saved to buy more DVD's!!! I don't see the need to fork over $1000 plus dollars on a totally integrated receiver when you can go cheap on the receiver (as I did) and get some external amps (used amps will do fine) for your front channels. Use the pre-outs on your receiver, that's what they're there for!!

[Edited last by joe goswami on November 18, 2001 at 08:54 AM]

[Edited last by joe goswami on November 18, 2001 at 08:57 AM]

#7 of 11 OFFLINE   Corbin Stirn

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Posted November 18 2001 - 03:13 AM

Let me interject. You have the SD-FX720 combo. A friend of mine owns the step-up combination:the SD-FX6. The SA-AX6 receiver that comes with that is actually very good; the 720 reciever that you have is OK. An upgrade to the Denon would be a significant improvement over what you have currently. A lot of the detail that you are missing now would be restored, as well as give you more headroom. If at all possible, try to step up to the 2802.......if you can save for another month or two, get the 3802. The 720 receiver was a decent intro to HT......But the SA-AX6 receiver was a big improvement, ALMOST as good as the entry level Denon 1600(I sold them both, as well as Denon and personally own the 5800). Upgrade to the Denon 1802 or 2802..............you will enjoy many,many hours of bliss Posted Image. Good luck!

#8 of 11 OFFLINE   Andrew Pratt

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Posted November 18 2001 - 04:19 AM

I once owned the Technics SA-AX6 and the same decoder you had. While it was ok I was never happy with its sound and it ran very hot. I ended up buying the Denon 3300 and the differences were like night and day. I wouldn't rely to much on review from consumer review they tend to recomend all sorts of stuff that shouldn't be on a recomended list. Anyway IMO yes moving from the technics to the Denon would be a big step forward but I might see about picking up a higher end model from last year over a current model since you should be able to find a used denon 2800 for a similar price that might offer stronger amps etc. Sure you'll give up PLII but it might be worth it for beefier parts. Now an alt route would be to pick up the 1802 and add external amps later (providing it has pre outs).

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#9 of 11 OFFLINE   Jeremy Allin

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Posted November 18 2001 - 05:14 AM

Thanks for all your replies! Very much appreciated! Posted Image

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#10 of 11 OFFLINE   jacek p

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Posted November 18 2001 - 05:56 AM

I had Technics SD1050 for a few weeks. CR influenced my purchase, but I am returning it. It has only 3 switchable video inputs (4 total) including DVD. Not enough for me. I am waiting for a delivery of Kenwood VR409 with the same power (5x100W) and many additional things (more video inputs, including component ones) and most importantly, Dolby Prologic II. Averybody on this board loves DPL II. It sounds like it is a great thing for most stereo sources.
By the way, what is wrong with the Pioneer ISO bookshelf speakers (I ordered them, too)?


#11 of 11 OFFLINE   Kwang Suh

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Posted November 18 2001 - 06:07 AM

I also had your Technics setup and then upgraded to a Denon 3300. MUCH better (but to tell the truth, the Technics is actually pretty decent). I love Denon stuff. You might also look at Marantz stuff. Their stuff is great as well (even with the 7200 bru-haha).

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