AVR 7300 or Marantz SR8500

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Brian Lachow, Jun 25, 2005.

  1. Brian Lachow

    Brian Lachow Auditioning

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    Thoughts?

    I currently have the AVR 7200 and am happy with it, but the idea of upconversion of signal is what drives me.

    I pretty much shop at onecall.com for everything and these are the two in my price range. Well, the Sony is and so it the Onkyo but from what I've learned about the two companies - I trust neither. Their nubmers are usually overinflated wherein HK underrates their systems.

    Anyway - I'm getting off topic. I would like to know what the thoughts are out there. I've never owned Marantz but have heard good things about them. HK has always impressed me, but I wouldn't be afraid of trying out something new.

    I've read some reviews here about the 7300's set up. To me, not an issue. The 7200 was a similair pain, but again, to me not an issue.

    Thanks for any input.

    --bml
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    If you're happy with, and familiar with H/K, I'd say it's a good bet that you will be happy with the 7300. Soundwise, I've always liked H/K. I'm a Marantz guy though, so I'm more likely to be biased towards them. I've owned and installed quite a few Marantz receivers and have yet to have one that didn't deliver. I'm currently running an 8300 and I love it.

    Upconversion of signals won't improve your picutre quality, it will merely give you a few less cables to connect an a button or two less to push. The PQ will remain only as good as it originally was from whatever source fed it to the receiver.
     
  3. Brian Lachow

    Brian Lachow Auditioning

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    I guess the question I should ask is...

    Is it worth it to change from the AVR 7200 to the AVR 7300.

    Or should I just save my money for something else.

    I have the Axiom speakers and they are incredible. Maybe..should I...think about God forbid...save money?

    Any input will be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    --bml
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Well, if you're only looking for video upconversion, I would say no, it isn't a worth while to upgrade. [​IMG]
     
  5. Brian Lachow

    Brian Lachow Auditioning

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    Well,

    Are there any other differences that would make it worth it?

    --bml
     
  6. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    No
     
  7. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    When it comes to Marantz...gotta trust John.

    As to HK...if you must do something, consider this:

    The 7200 and 7300 are of course flagship units and you may well be a strictly flagship kind of guy. But while the 7300 has the Faroudja upconversion it lacks the EZ/EQ, 2 way video transcoding and the TI 610 chip, among other things of the 635. Of course it also has greater power and High Current rating as well as one would hope, more refined electronics.

    It seems everything is in a state of flux nowadays. Lesser models can now have things higher models lack, competition being what it is. In due time the new flagship of HK will be out and that unit will most assuredly contain all of the best features currently available.

    If I were you I would stick with the 7200 and wait for the new flagship or...heresy, I know, sell the 7200 and drop down to the 635 temporarily. You will lose some power but with HK this is not a significant matter unless your speaker set is very demanding. You will not gain the Faroudja upconversion but you will have significant useful technological upgrades over even that which is current in the 7200 and still have a cutting edge, quality receiver and change in your pocket.

    Just a thought.

    P.S. I tried the DPR2005 and found it to have great sound quality...but for a variety of reasons I returned it and (in the interest of full disclosure) am preparing to purchase the 635 in short order.
     
  8. Brian Lachow

    Brian Lachow Auditioning

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    That's actually not a bad idea.

    Here's the only thing I have with it. I can probably sell my 7200 to a friend for about $1000.00 - Which would more than cover the 635, the only problem is when the new REAL flagship comes out from HK, who will buy my 635?

    I think I'll wait and if the REAL flagship shows up I'll see what he'll give me for the 7200 or make a run for it on ebay.

    Either way it should, hopefully, put me better than halfway there.

    Thanks for all the great feedback and info.

    --bml
     
  9. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Paul,

    can you elaborate on why you returned the dpr2005? I thought that was supposed to be the best of all the pure-digital receivers under $1000?
     
  10. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    Sure, it was a refurb from the HK Ebay store. Won it at a ridiculously low $575 bid. Kept waiting for it to go higher..never did. People must have been snoozing. So it was $603 delivered.

    The reasons for return were mostly cosmetic...not sound quality, I assure you. I am in the middle of reconfiguring my HT setup and somewhat redesigning the space. So the new pre/pro (I would likely never have used the digi-amps once installed) will be more on display than ever. This unit had scratches and non-removable buff/smudge marks on the upper faceplate and small nicks and cuts all around. Just too much to deal with or try to touch up. Also the slim row of exposed buttons on the front was a rather wavy line with some of them clearly out of alignment...not appealing. And the tilt down door was a pain to operate and would not do so unless I pushed dead center on the bottom of it. Side oriented pull-down was impossible. Overall, the look of the AVR's is superior to my eye but in real terms this is a minor issue and were it not for the more exposed setting in my new layout I could have lived with all of it. The smaller form factor in terms of height was very appealing though.

    I trialed it in my upstairs setup which serves as the initial testbed for new equipment. Everything there is easier to connect up and the speakers are similar to my main system in spec and sound.

    Very good mid-bass delivery, especially in the center channel for dialogue. Ran warm but not hot as I stressed it. Surround steering top-notch and SQ filled with impact in HT. Noise floor very quiet. 2 channel was typical HK...to me a good thing, but I have a house filled with Harman so you have to take that into account. Also the remote is a killer and is backwards compatible to my older HK equipment. I really like the newer design.

    I have my own theory on this transaction...I may be full of it, may be not. Harman has their own website for their refurbs and also sells out of Ebay. If you look at the price differential between what they charge onsite and what one can pay if lucky on Ebay (as I was), it makes me wonder if these units are not culled and graded in some fashion as to who gets what. I know the warranty is the same as is the return/exchange policy but surely there is some allowance made for the unit condition beyond that of functionality.
    My transaction took twice as long to finalize as normal (almost two weeks to my door). I believe the unit shipped from a different location than normal. And had cosmetic issues I have never seen with any other HK refurb. Hmmmmmmmmm?

    No question performance-wise it was a steal and many advised me to keep it or re-sell it myself for a likely profit. I was impressed with the SQ no end but unless I could repackage it cosmetically...and I didn't want to shuffle off the problems to someone else...so, back it went for a refund.

    I will be ordering the 635, but may wait a little longer for the firmware fix. I run strictly 5.1 so the 7.1 issue is not one with me...but overall I am in no hurry to finalize this particular purchase really. J&R now has it with free S/H and that does make it tempting. I'm hopeful the added (as compared to the DPR2005) EZSet/EQ, TI 610 DSP and component video transcoding will warrant the switchout in receiver pre/pros.

    Jeesh!!!! Sorry for the length.
     
  11. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Thanks Paul, I appreciate all the details---more is better, in my book! [​IMG]

    BTW have you ever listened to any other all-digital receiver like the Panny, JVC or Kenwood? Just wondering how much of a sound improvement the HK 2005 provides over those, or if it's more of a build quality and audiophile features difference.
     
  12. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    I have heard most of the current crop of Digi's. It is said that one either likes them or hates them. I would suspect that many of the haters come from the classic analog background and have a preference even though they utilize digital streams. I myself come from this group and were it not for the Bass management provided by digital I would always prefer analog. Adding digital amping on top of a
    digital source stream is likely too much for some and simply adding more of what they dislike.

    I would liken the sound to what you hear when the previews come on in the theater. Very crisp with strong mid-range and mid bass punch. Somewhat sterile (probably a bad description---perhaps clinical) with little coloration. The 2005 had gobs of power (my speaks are all nominally 6 ohm) but I did notice the difference in the volume level when it was calibrated from my main system. The upstairs speakers are actually a little flatter in response than my mains and only dip to 4 ohms at very high frequency. They are also more sensitive at 90dB vs. 88dB. Still it required a good bit more volume input than I am used to seeing to reach similar levels. Of course the main system is fed with 200W+/channel at 6 ohms. The DPR2005 is likely no higher than 150W at 6 ohms so some of what I experienced is found there.

    I would say most definitely both the amping and the feature set of the DPR2005 put it in a class above the other offerings. The 1005 has the same innards however and just outputs less wattage so as a pre/pro it would be similar to the AVR435/635 situation. If you don't need the few extras of the higher model it may make sense to drop down.

    I can add little more other than to say I first became impressed with digital amping when I bought my wife a simple replacement shelf system awhile back. That little sucker just knocked my socks off and competed very well with the Onkyo mini-system I was also considering. I was instantly sold on the digital amp possibilites and remain so. Only time will tell if analog will go the way of all flesh (likely it will).

    UH-OH...you did say more is better.
     
  13. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    So when you had the 2005 were you using the analog or the digital connections to hook it up to your Cd player? I get the impression the analog connections yield better results for music.

    > I can add little more other than to say I first became impressed with digital amping when I bought my wife a simple replacement shelf system awhile back.

    Which shelf system was it, do you remember? I thought all the shelf systems were analog except for the ones which are a combined DVD and receiver in a very slim case, like those by Samsung, Pioneer, etc. which are often sold in big-box stores.
     
  14. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    It is the Philips MCM530. Nothing special by any means...but amazing power.

    Originally I was looking to get a DVD/CD receiver combo as it made sense to move that feature into the bedroom for efficiency. My wife basically wanted smaller form factor and greater CD multi-play while not losing SQ. But all the units I tried which were DVD capable had issues of one kind or another and the wife didn't really place a priority on it over Music. A number of them had subwoofers and yet when played side-by-side with the same music as the unit above they barely kept up. I was impressed.

    I was not looking to spend a bundle and the Onkyo mini-system I tried for around $400 as well as a JVC system for $300 or so were very tempting and extremely high quality. Unfortunately they were both too long (deep) and would not fit into the entertainment rack upstairs. So I eventually settled on the Philips MP3 system, partly out of convenience and partly out of comparative value. Not the best, not the worst...but great sound for the money. The wife is happy.

    Here is the Philips link:
    http://www.consumer.philips.com/cons...CSHQNHKFSESI5P

    In terms of the 2005 connections I tried both types and in the end preferred the digital with this receiver. There is simply no noise with this path and the clean signal combined with the very effective Bass management made it the only real choice. Analog was still rendered with high quality and very decent noise floor. I would say very similar SQ to the AVR's 510-520 in this regard.
     
  15. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Interesting, sometime I'll have to go find that little thing and listen just out of curiousity.

    So tell me, how much better does the $800 HK2005 sound compared to the $150 MCM530? Probably not 5 times better, but would you say at least twice as good?

    I'm just wondering about the point of diminishing returns, this must sound like a very wacky question.

    Did you keep the OEM speakers for the Phillips? In my experience the minisystems always have horrible speakers, even cheap $100/pair aftermarket bookshelves make for a huge improvement. But I remembered reading somewhere a while ago that Phillips actually uses aluminum not paper drivers in some of their minisystem speakers.
     
  16. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    Well, that is a difficult comparison to make...but I wouldn't say wacky. [​IMG] One is not only much more expensive but is also much more capable as a 7.1 AV receiver. The little Philips is strictly 2 channel Audio only...but as it has an AUX connection it could be used for TV sound as well as tied into a DVD player for simple HT.

    The only basis for any real direct comparison I can use is 2 channel CD play. The 2005 wins that running away for several reasons...the superior DACs, the 2x power (roughly) and the extremely quiet signal path just to name a few. For critical listening there is no substitute for quality...and that almost always has a commensurate price. The Micro Philips is not quite intended for that purpose.

    The quality of the Onkyo unit is superb and everything sounds, functions and feels as if it were serious about audio. If the Onkyo system had been able to fit into the AV stand it would likely have been the choice (although the JVC model was very nearly as good and was cheaper). If that had occurred the situation would possibly have been closer to what you are postulating in terms of comparison to something of the caliber of the DPR2005...both in terms of capability and SQ. At $800 I would of course still buy the HK simply because it is a full 7.1 receiver and as such better answers the 'quantity/quality ratio' for the money question in all transactions.

    The speakers are OEM and are very good. I test all OEM speaks with my personal demanding selections when I shop and these were better sounding than the small DVD capable systems with subwoofers in overall frequency range and quite similar to the Onkyo set in SQ. The drivers are composites and the enclosures are very solid. I'm very happy for the money spent.

    Also...apologies for not specifying the other units model numbers I specifically considered. For JVC I actually considered two DVD units: the FSGD7 (Analog amp multi- play) and the FSY1 (Digi amp but single-play). Never got a chance to hear the new Digital EXD1 (but it is still single play). The Onkyo is the by now famous MC35TECH. No DVD and analog amp but it is special. I figure I got about 90% or more of its value for 1/2 the money with the Philips.
     

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