Denon 100w per channel Stereo Reciever worth $400?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by EricHM, Sep 16, 2001.

  1. EricHM

    EricHM Agent

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    Hello, I've been strongly considering purcahsing the denon DRA-685 for my college dorm room stereo system. I will likely be using phase technology 2.1 bookshelf speakers with this reciever. Does anyone have expereince with denon stereo recievers and do you thing they put out their rated power? Is the quality and reliability I will get from this 100 watt per channel reciever worth the 400 dollar price tag?
     
  2. Eric Stuckey

    Eric Stuckey Second Unit

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    Hi Eric,This is Eric in Indiana.
    I have the Denon 2800 and love it.I had the Marantz 550 and I think the Denon blows the Marantz out of the water.
    But that is M.O .
    $400 is worth it if it has DTS & DD.
    Eric
     
  3. JohanK

    JohanK Second Unit

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    Denon makes nice stereo receivers; in the garage, I'm still using a 10 year old model. I think they run pretty close to their ratings; it just depends on how they state the ratings.
    Another option to consider would be used separates. Combinations of used Adcom, NAD, Rotel or Parasound gear can be had for under $400 and sound very good. Used preamps would probably be analog so you'd want a CD player with a good analog stage (including good DACs).
    Other possibilities include the HK stereo receivers and maybe a NAD integrated amp.
    BTW, http://www.ubid.com
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Norm Strong

    Norm Strong Stunt Coordinator

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    This is a stereo receiver? If so, it's only worth $200, tops.
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    Norm Strong (nhsns@aol.com)
     
  5. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I would agree with Norm.
    Just got a Technics stereo receiver for a bedroom system. 100W/channel, for ... $99.
    Technics is certainly not Denon, but $400 is still too much.
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  6. EricHM

    EricHM Agent

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    BTW, I found it for only $325 online. I really cannot afford seperates, even cheap seperates like AUDIOSOURCE, this reciever seems to come close to seperates quality according to denon:

     
  7. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Eric,
    I second Johan's recommendation for used separates. I replaced my excellent HK 3270 stereo receiver with a used adcom gtp600 DPL preamp/tuner (same sonics as their gtp450 stereo preamp/tuner, but adds video switching, learning remote, subwoofer out) and used adcom gfa5300 80x2 amp. I got them on ebay for $200 each (retail was $1100 and $600), mint and working perfectly. The amp and tuner sections are noticeable improvements over the HK.
    On ebay or audiogon, you can easily get the an adcom preamp/tuner (gtp450, 500, 550, or 600) for $150-200; and a 60-100 watt stereo amp for $150-200.
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    For $325, I would get an NAD C 350 integrated amp. I use one in my second system and paid $325 for it through Sound City (1-800-370-3156), and authorized NAD dealer. That's a very good price considering it retails for $430. NAD rates the C 350 at 60W x 2 into 8 ohms (full bandwidth), but two British hi-fi magazines independently measured the continuous power into 8 ohms at 95W x 2. Of course, the power rating should not be the most important factor in choosing an amp. Anyway, NAD integrated amps are very well regarded, as British magazines such as What Hi*Fi? and Hi-Fi Choice routinely rave about them. For example, What Hi*Fi? named the NAD C 370, a more expensive version of the C 350, stereo amp of the year for 2000. The C 350 was rated very high as well.
    If music is your primary concern, I would get an NAD integrated amp or something similar. My feeling is that a receiver with video switching circuitry and other extraneous features could compromise the audio side of the equation.
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  9. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Keith,
    I specifically asked Adcom tech if the extra video switching/other features in their gtp600 would degrade the sound quality...but they verified (twice) that the gtp600 is sonically identical in stereo to their stereo only gtp450.
    Eric,
    How much do you use a tuner?
    Happy Listening!
    Ricky
     
  10. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Norm and Kevin, care to elaborate? Why exactly is a stereo receiver not worth this much?
    I have a Harman/Kardon HK3270 receiver in my office/studio and I would not hesitate to recommend H/K analog stereo gear. Particularly the phono stage of my 3270 is very nice.
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  11. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Ricky, I guess I would want to hear the two Adcom receivers side-by-side. The often pervading theory in audio is the simpler, the better. Hence, many audiophiles prefer separates to all-in-one boxes. While separate components may appear more complicated, each box has a focused purpose. Most audiophiles would prefer to have a separate tuner, pre-amp, and power amp to a receiver. There are bound to compromises in a receiver (the "jack of all trades, master of none" philosophy). For less money than full separates, but without sacrificing sound quality too much, one can buy an integrated amp and add a tuner if so desired.
    I'm not sure if any of the true "high-end" manufacturers make stereo receivers, but many make integrated amps and all offer separates. When it comes to home theater, it seems to me that many of the high-end brands offer separates rather than receivers. So, in the case of stereo amplification, I would think that a more basic integrated amp that focuses purely on audio would be the better choice than a comparably priced receiver that has a tuner, video switching capability, multi-room capability, etc. Some stereo receivers even have surround sound modes. In my opinion, such features are unnecessary for stereo music and can lead to compromises in the audio quality while trying to maintain a reasonable price for the product (e.g., considering a $400 stereo receiver vs. a $400 integrated amp). I suppose there can be exceptions, however.
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  12. EricHM

    EricHM Agent

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    I would say I use a tuner about 20% of the time, because I do enjoy listening to the radio.
    I will look more closely into the NAD integrated amps however.....
     
  13. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Eric,
    The tuner is one area of my H/K that I have been a little dissapointed with. It's adequate, but not as sensitive as that in the Philips DPL recevier that it replaced. If you're listening to strong local stations it is excellent but for weaker distant stations my 3270 is lacking. An Integrated Amp may be a better way to go depending on your needs.
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  14. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i agree with keith completely!
    if i was running 2-channel i would want the least amount of extras as possible. just give me the amp, a pre-amp with source-switching and (possibly) a tuner.
    i don't want status-lights, tone controls or any bells and whistles!
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  15. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Keith,
    Adcom does not make any receivers. The gear I am talking about are DPL preamp/tuners (ie, gtp600) vs stereo preamp/tuners (ie, gtp450). I would trust Adcom tech when they say these models are sonically equivalent. The next step up sonically is the superb adcom gfp750 $1400 retail, Stereophile Class A active/passive preamp (no tuner).
    The adcom amps are separate stand-alone power amps.
    Whether you want preamp/tuner plus amp OR int amp plus tuner is a matter of brand preference and budget.
     
  16. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Ricky, yeah I have never seen an Adcom receiver, but as I am not familiar with their product line, I wasn't sure what products you were referring too. I would likely believe an Adcom rep. in such a situation, but the proof is in the hearing. That said, it should not be impossible to design a great sounding amp when including extra features, but I would think that extra care would have to be taken to preserve audio quality. A company like Adcom is likely to do it right. I'm not so sure with Denon or Harman/Kardon, however. Nothing against those manufacturers, but some of their products are more mass-market in design relative to Adcom. NAD products often look and feel mass-market in some respects, but they are known for good design on the inside at a great price. In the end, it's all a matter of preference.
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