Denon 5803 vs Rotel

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff Stahnke, Jul 10, 2002.

  1. Jeff Stahnke

    Jeff Stahnke Auditioning

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    I’ve recently begun reading this forum and find it very informative, useful and interesting. Thanks to the community out there. Lately I made some upgrades to my system and now have the bug and want to make more improvements.
    The receiver that has served very well the last four years is a Rotel RSX-965 (75W x 5, DD, DTS). I don’t want to bore you with details but the new speakers are Monitor Audio Silver 9i fronts, 12i center, Silver Fxi surrounds, and FB 110 sub. Great improvement over what I had. HT is very good and I listen to music more now. Front end for HT and music is currently a Sony DVP-NS900V (MSRP $700). That’s a whole other issue and perhaps what I should be focusing on first if I want better sound for music. For now let’s just say I expect to acquire a better CD player in the future.
    So I began considering an upgrade to the receiver looking for even more improvements to the already greatly improved sound. I narrowed it down to the Denon 5803 or Integra DTR 9.1 but then read a lot more about Rotel. Eventually I bought an RMB-1095 amp, using my Rotel receiver as a pre-amp/processor until this fall when I could buy the Rotel 1066 processor.
    Finally to the point. Sound is very good with the new amp but to my ears, not a lot different than the receiver alone. Dynamics are better of course, better bottom end control I think, but imaging, detail, sound staging etc. no difference that I can tell. Maybe you would not expect these characteristics to change with the amp?
    So I’m considering returning the RMB-1095 and going for the Denon 5803. The Denon will do more than the Rotel 1066/1095 combo in terms of features, but the rule of thump is separates are better sonically (I guess). There is much to consider in the comparison between the Denon vs. Rotel combo, and many of you are more knowledgeable than I about them. So what do you think?
    And then I could consider other processors to go with the RMB-1095 amp. At least keeping the amp gives me that option. But there seems to be much interest in the 1066, especially on this forum. Another consideration is I don’t think 7.1 will be important to me because there is only about 4 feet of space to the rear wall from the listening position in my 20x14 room. Also I’m not sure I would hear the difference between the Rotel and Denon in 5.1 or stereo mode unless I could AB them side by side. No dealers near me sell both, and the Rotel is not in stock anyway. There was a review in Stereophile VERY favorable to the Denon. See at:
    http://www.guidetohometheater.com/showarchives.cgi?12
    I have read many reviews of the Denon 5803, Integra 9.1, and Rotel amps and reviewers are impressed with all of them. Have not found any reviews of the Rotel 1066 yet. The Perfect Vision thought the Denon was the very best surround receiver for sound quality. I’m starting to ramble so will end with one final point. At the Rotel dealer I was shown a very nice tube pre-amp with an HT bypass switch. It was explained to me that to get really wonderful two channel sound, I should consider this with the RMB-1095 amp. This botique audio shop owner felt the reciver I have might be good enough to keep for HT, just add the tube pre-amp for music. Or if I want to, add the tube pre-amp after upgrading to he 1066 processor. Ok I've gone on long enough. Any comments from the great body of knowledge out there are much appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    The RMB-1095 is a very capable amp. However, mated with a receiver for its prepro stage will of course hamper its performance. I've not heard the Rotel 1066 personally, but many who have love it. I have however listened to Rotel's previous prepro offerings(976 and 985) and didn't quite like them. I ended up with an RMB-1095 and a TagMcLaren AV32R.

    I've not heard the 5803 either so I can't give you any direct comparisons, but if its worth anything, I've heard the 3801, and even a cheap Parasound AVC-1800 prepro beats it quite significantly. Of course the 5803 should be a huge step up from the 3801.
     
  3. ManojM

    ManojM Stunt Coordinator

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    What Sihan says is very correct. In a give system, the bigger difference in sound will come from changing the processor rather than the amp, and at the moment, your receiver is holding back your amp. To give you an example, for a short period of time I had an Adcom GTP-830, itself a nice processor, mated to a Classe CAV-150 amp. The performance was nothing short of mediocre, and after I hooked up a Sunfire processor to it, the change in soundstage, dynamics, and imaging was overwhelming.

    To further answer your dilemma, I belive that you will get better performance from your amplifier once you have the new processor, but you will also get similar performance from a high end receiver such as the Denon.
     

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