Denon 3805 vs Onkyo 801 vs Marantz 7500 on NHT's

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Peter Su, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. Peter Su

    Peter Su Extra

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    Hi, this is my first time posting. I've seen many posts about receiver comparisons, but I think they really depend on the speakers you have, so everyone will have different answers as to which to get. As for me, I have a set of 5.1 NHT's (ST4 fronts x2, SB3 rear x2, SC2 center, and SW-12 sub) and am deciding among those 3 receivers.

    I first looked at the Onkyo because its Net-Tunes feature really tempted me, as most of my music collection is in mp3 format. But after looking various user comments about it, I found out that it seemed really lacking compared to other wireless media centers. I'm currently testing the Onkyo with a wireless ethernet bridge (which in theory can hook up the Onkyo to my wireless network), but so far only the net-raio has worked and not the music server that shares mp3's on my computer. If the Net-Tune feature isn't really worth it, I might as well return the Onkyo and check out other viable receivers around the same price range. Since I've heard many good stories about the Denon and Marantz I thought I might as well give them both a shot.

    According to PriceGrabber.com, The Onkyo go for around 600, the Denon low 700's and the Marantz mid 700's. I'm not sure if anyone else has the NHT's, but I have no idea how do they compare to other speakers (whether it sounds warmer or colder) since I've never tested any other speakers and mainly bought them for their looks over their reputation, and for the really good discontinued price. I do know that the Denon is supposed to sound warmer than the Onkyo. Since all 3 receivers has very similar features, the compatibility with my NHT's should be the deciding factor. I plan to do about 70% movies and 30% music with my receiver in case if that should decide which receiver is more fitting.
    I would greatly appreciate any help and thank you all for your patience [​IMG]
     
  2. Kin Poon

    Kin Poon Stunt Coordinator

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    those ST4 and SB3 demands alot of power, i would honestly opt and go for separates. What is your spending limit?
     
  3. Peter Su

    Peter Su Extra

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    What you mean by separates, as in amplifier + receiver? As for spending limit... I guess total on those should be under 800-1k, depend how good of a deal I guess [​IMG] If I could get a better combo by buying an amp + a 5.1 receiver with better quality sound than a single 7.1 receiver then I would probably go for that instead.

    Also, what you mean by that the ST4's and SB3's demand a lot of power? Does that mean they are potentially powerful, or just that they require a lot more power than other speakers to get the same sound?

    Thanks again!
     
  4. Mark Russ

    Mark Russ Second Unit

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    Out of those three, the Marantz all the way to match the NHTs.

    In that price range, you also might want to consider the NAD T743/T753, the HK 435, and the Cambridge Audio Azur 540R for the NHTs
     
  5. Peter Su

    Peter Su Extra

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    Why would you say the Marantz is better? What makes NHT special to other speakers and have a selective receiver compatibility? Why would you recommend the NAD T743/T753, the HK 435, and the Cambridge Audio Azur 540R for the NHTs? Sorry if I have so many questions, I'm just trying to understand the reason behind your selection, so I can make better decisions for myself [​IMG]

    Again, thanks for the help.
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The NHTs are a tad on the bright side so a warmer receiver will generally work well with them. I haven't heard the STs, but I have heard all of the SBs and SC. I've owned a number of Marantz receivers and I have to say it's tough to go wrong with them for sound quality. The other suggestions are also very good.

    Besides net-tune, do you like the 801? I would expect it to do fine with the NHTs.
     
  7. Peter Su

    Peter Su Extra

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    The 801 is my 1st receiver ever used. I really have no other comparison to, but I do like its features. I also got it for $425 at Fry's since it was used as a display model for about 6 months (it came to around 530 after tax and a 5 year protection plan), which was another reason that I bought it. I checked some Marantz 7500 reviews and they seem very positive. Its auto room acoustic calibration feature sounds really cool, but I don't know if that would be its definate selling point. Also, the 7500 is going to cost me about 250 bucks more, since the best price I found was $770 or so.
     
  8. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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    Since you only have 5 speakers and a sub you might want to consider a higher quality older AVR instead. Yamaha DSP-A1 would do nicely at the going rate on he used market.
     
  9. Peter Su

    Peter Su Extra

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    Even though I Can't seem to get the net-tune to be working wirelessly, and it's too much hassle to get it wired to upstairs computer, I'm still pretty content right now with the Onkyo... not sure if I'm getting the value out of the 30-40% more cost if I upgrade to Denon or Marantz. Can someone please convince me to? [​IMG] There's all the advertisement and hype about those 2 brands, but I'm not sure if they are really the truth. The only reason I may upgrade now before the return policy expires is for HDMI, since we may change the TV within the next 5 years, but otherwise so far the movies sounded great (I think the classical music could be better though, especially the piano).
     
  10. Kin Poon

    Kin Poon Stunt Coordinator

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    the best upgrade for u in my opinion is to save up for an external amp. I would goto audiogon and find a decent 2chnl amp for the ST4 and let the onkyo drive the rest.
     
  11. Peter Su

    Peter Su Extra

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    Does that mean I'm biamping the ST4's? How much do standard (non-fancy but ones that are good for their value) 2 channel amps cost? and any good amping guides out there? Thanks again [​IMG]
     
  12. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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    Since it appears your price range is in the 600-700 range, your three choices are to get a new AVR in the mid-line product range, used upper AVR, or used mid-line AVR with pre-outs and an used two channel amp. You haven't stated what AVR you currently are using but if it has front pre-outs or all channel pre-outs adding a two channel or more amp might be the best (and fourth) option. What AVR do you currently have and/or what are you using?
     
  13. Peter Su

    Peter Su Extra

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    Using an Onkyo TX-NR801 currently. I got about a week before the return policy to Frys expires. I got it for $425 from their display model, added tax and a 5 year replacement program it ended up to be around $550.
     
  14. Mark Russ

    Mark Russ Second Unit

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    Peter Su

    "Why would you say the Marantz is better? What makes NHT special to other speakers and have a selective receiver compatibility? Why would you recommend the NAD T743/T753, the HK 435, and the Cambridge Audio Azur 540R for the NHTs? Sorry if I have so many questions, I'm just trying to understand the reason behind your selection, so I can make better decisions for myself

    Again, thanks for the help."

    Well, as John already stated, NHT's just flat out mate better with warmer sounding electronics.

    Also, they are relatively inefficient speakers which require an amp/receiver with some juice behind it.
     
  15. Peter Su

    Peter Su Extra

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    Will adding a stereo amp for my fronts make them better sounding even at the same loudness? Will I be able to get one for under $200 used?

    I'm starting to regret that I should have gotten Infinity Beta series instead of the NHT's 8/
     
  16. Peter Su

    Peter Su Extra

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    I found some great prices on the Marantz 7400's. Are there any sound quality differences between the 7400 and the 7500's? If the only difference is the auto-sound calibration and the THX name tag, I might as well just go for the 7400 and the cheaper price
     
  17. Peter Su

    Peter Su Extra

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    Wow, another interesting find. I found that using the Denon 3805 I can biamp the front 2 channels using the unused back-surround amps, while still maintaining 5.1 setup. I think I'm sold on Denon now [​IMG] lol

    btw, aren't Denon's supposed to be warm sounding too?
     
  18. Peter Su

    Peter Su Extra

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    This forum is so dead compared to AVSforum's 8/
     
  19. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    I have the 3805, and I would say that's it a neutral receiver that leans more towards warm than bright. It also sounds amazing, even with the old JBL speakers I'm using.
     
  20. Peter Su

    Peter Su Extra

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    It's not going to be as warm as the Marantz's? [​IMG]
     

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