Denon AVR-3803 vs. Pioneer Elite VSX-43tx -- which one?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Trevin Chow, Nov 19, 2003.

  1. Trevin Chow

    Trevin Chow Stunt Coordinator

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    Just wondering people's opinion of Denon 3803 vs. Pioneer Elite 43tx.

    They are about $100-$125 difference in price when you factor in the 3803 deal at 6ave.com.

    One attractive feature for me is that I've read that with the Pioneer 43tx you are able to rename the sources, instead of sticking with the standard CABLE< DVD, VCR, VCD, etc labels. Another advantage is I've read that pioneer is much easier to use than the Denon which is important to me for the whole WAF.

    Advantage of the 3803 is that it has upconversion to component which will minimize cable clutter (another plus for WAF).

    I will likely be using these to either drive 4ohm M&K speakers (K7 adn K4) or Deftech procinema setup.

    How do these receivers compare in sound? Am I crazy for just going with teh denon 3803?
     
  2. Mike Pollmann

    Mike Pollmann Stunt Coordinator

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    My main reason with going with a Denon was the number of A/V inputs. The Pioneers only have 4 A/V inputs. With 3 game systems, a VCR, a Tivo, and a DVD player.. this wasn't anywhere near enough.

    (The low number of optical inputs doesn't help the case, either).

    In any case, the 3803 is a fantastic receiver!
     
  3. Steve F M

    Steve F M Screenwriter

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    I have 3 game systems, Tivo, Hidef Directv STB, Pioneer DVD Player, VCR, and Comcast HDTV STB and I had enough inputs on the 43TX when I had it. Your right though the Denon haS 2 more Optical Inputs then the Pioneer but they have the same Coaxial Inputs. The Pioneer has ample inputs for Video and Audio. 5 Digital inputs enough for even the craziest HT person.

    The Pioneer is much easier to control and Setup as Trevin has mentioned. Again I own the new Denon but for some the $150 difference might not be worth it. Trevin I would again suggest going with the 45TX. Can be found at the around the same price as the Denon ($648) and I feel is a much better Receiver. Built very solid. Look at the weight comparison between the 2. The 45TX weighs a good 10lbs more. Also the Auto MCACC will be the nicest feature you have ever seen on a receiver. Plug in a mic hit auto config and leave the room for 15 minutes. When you come back the whole thing is setup. You will go WOW!

    I will be upgrading in about 3 months to the Elite 47TX or 49TXi and that will be my last receiver for awhile. The Elite series has done well.
     
  4. Mike Pollmann

    Mike Pollmann Stunt Coordinator

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    Did you have all those components switching at the receiver? Or did you need a separate switchbox? I couldn't see how it'd be possible with more than 4. (Only 4 SVideo ins, for example).
     
  5. Steve F M

    Steve F M Screenwriter

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    1st it has 5 A/V or S-Video Inputs plus 2 Component Inputs thats 7 total through the Receiver. I had my HDTV Directv and my Comcast HDTV Box switching via the component inputs through the Receiver. I had the Tivo, VCR, PS2, and Gamecube switching via the S-Video Inputs on the Receiver. And my DVD Player and Xbox was straight to my TV with Component cables into my 480p inputs on my tv. Of course I ran the audio via coaxial for the DVD through the receiver and the Xbox to an optical input via the receiver. I had 1 other S-Video or A/V input I could have used on the receiver if needed.

    95% of normal people don't have this much equipment and the 43TX had plenty of inputs.

    I used all the Digital Inputs on the Receiver though with the PS2, XBox, Comcast Box, Directv Box, and DVD b ut again how many people use this many Digital Inputs? Not many!
     
  6. Scott Phillips

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    With HD Steve I think a lot of people will be needing more digital inputs. I had a 43TX and needed more. I have a dvd player with coax, Tivo with optical, Xbox with optical, HD receiver with optical. Their is no reason why an Elite should have less than 4 opticals. It's a top of the line unit. Sony has more on their cheap models. Another thing that you forgot to point out is that the 45TX is an old model that nobody sells except for "non-authorized" dealers. So the new "50" series is the way to go but is more than $150 more over the Denon. I'd rather take the more inputs, audio delay, and upconversion over the renaming inputs, THX, and heavier built Pioneer. The DAC's in the Denon are also better. Weight isn't everything.
     
  7. Stephen_Moor

    Stephen_Moor Extra

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    Who needs more then 5 Digital Inputs. I'm not bashing the 3803 I own it right Now. But between the 2 if I had to choose I would take the 45TX. The Auto MCACC is wonderful the amps are better which is where the extra weight is probably coming from and it is THX Certified which usually does not mean alot but it has it. The 45TX is still easy to find and I would not pay the extra money for the New Elite 5 series as it is pretty much the same receiver with a different label. Pretty much the same thing Denon did with the AVR-4802 to the New 4802R.

    Scott why would HD cause the need for more Digital Inputs? Pretty much you only need 1 STB for HDTV which you usually will get from either cable or Directv.

    The Inputs should not be the deciding feature on buying either of these 2 receivers. As both have plenty. Like I said earlier these 2 are very comparable and some options will make people interested in the Denon and others the Pioneer.

    I can only give my honest opinion as I have owned them both in the last 2 months and that is I think the Elite is a little better sounding and a little better receiver then the 3803. My opinion and I would tell anyone thats looking to buy to go and sample the receivers.
     
  8. Scott Phillips

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    The 45TX is not easy to find! Trust me I've looked. Most components seeem to have optical more than coax connections so 3 is not enough! One thing about HD programming is 5.1 so people will now be using the digital out more on boxes. The Auto MCACC is a nice feature. But when it comes down to price the Denon is the winner. If it was $999, that would be a different story. I don't know why you gave up the Elite though. I want you to give me a place that is an authorized dealer that sells the 45TX for around the same price as the Denon though. You won't find one.
     
  9. Stephen_Moor

    Stephen_Moor Extra

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    Well here's one site that had them and is now selling the New Version the 53TX for $654. Whats nice on the new one is that it had OSD via Component Cables, which does not work with my Denon or the 45TX. They honor Pioneer Elite's warranty.

    This receiver is pretty much the same as the 45TX with a few better tweaks. Very Good Price!

    website:
    hometheaterphiles.com and search for Pioneer vsx-53tx

    I will be upgrading soon to the 47Tx or the 49TXi so I will report my finds on these also. I can't wait.

    You can also find the 45TX on ebay for around $650 but again if its new make sure of there warranty policy.
     
  10. Scott Phillips

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    It's very rare that you get a warranty from someone on Ebay. Hometheaterphiles is not an authorized dealer either. They might say that but Pioneer does not.
     
  11. Stephen_Moor

    Stephen_Moor Extra

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    hometheaterphiles is not an authorized Pioneer Elite Dealer and either is 99% of any other online store, but some will honor the warranty through there company. Meaning they will repair your receiver if it breaks just like Pioneer will. hometheaterphiles is one of these just call and ask them. Brandnamez.com is another online etailer that does this also and you can find many good deals there to. Ebay is so so risky but again it will be cheaper. I have purchased and sold many receivers on Ebay and have never been burned(Knock on Wood).

    You seem very defensive on this comparison between the Pioneer and Denon. Don't be the Denon's a good receiver.

    I sold my Pioneer VSX-45Tx to buy this Denon and to be honest I e-mailed the guy I sold it to, to see if he would be interested in trading my Pioneer back to me for the Denon. I just like the Pioneer better when watching movies and playing my Xbox.

    I'm telling you the Denon's good, but the Pionner is a step above in sound quality for HT!!!!!
     
  12. Trevin Chow

    Trevin Chow Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm seriously considering the 43tx or 45tx over the Denon 3803 now. Not only can I get it sooner, but may be able to save some cash here as well and contribute it toward my subwoofer.

    I'm not seeing the 45tx anywhere, but am seeing the 53tx which you guys are saying is its successor.

    Seems that the 43tx is only $450 or so right now from a few sources (etronics or hometheatrefiles). The 53tx is $650. Is it worth teh $200 extra to get MCACC and OSD via component? I'm thinking no?

    Maybe the best compromise is to find a 45tx.. anyone have a source? For the OSD on the 43tx and 45tx, does the volume show up via component?
     
  13. Stephen_Moor

    Stephen_Moor Extra

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    Its upto you whats important. The auto MCACC is nice but is it worth $200. The component OSD is not that big of a deal. I only use the OSD to set up the receiver anyway. Whats important is your call but you can't go wrong with any of the receivers listed above for the prices. The 43 and 45 are basically the same except for the MCACC(Auto vs Manual) and the Denon is very good to. I personally would take the $450 deal from etronics. I think they are also a certified Elite dealer, but check anyway to cover yourself on the warranty.

    Then put that towards a SVS Sub! The best component I ever bought!!!!
     
  14. Chris Elm

    Chris Elm Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm a happy 45TX owner here. In fact, I bought it just before the new models came out for a sweet price (at the time). If you can find a 45tx, I would take it over the 53 for a few reasons.

    The 45 has the RS-232 and USB ports which I don't think the others have.
    The 45 has a much nicer remote (so I've heard) that is backlit with a small screen at the top that tells you what you have done.
    If I am wrong here I'm sure someone will correct me.

    And yes, I think the auto MCACC is worth the extra 200 dollars. It does an amazing job adjusting the level and EQ'ing each individual channel. Besides, when you factor in an SPL meter and AVIA, you are only really talking about a difference of maybe 70-100 dollars. Plus you don't have to spend hours tweaking, it does it for you in 15 minutes.[​IMG]
     
  15. Trevin Chow

    Trevin Chow Stunt Coordinator

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    where can I get a 45tx from? I can't find it anywhere other than ebay and I don't want to buy a receiver off ebay. Etronics.com is not a authorized pioneer dealer, but they have good ratings, have been around a long tiem and offer their own warranty. So I can get a 2, 3 or 4 year warranty ranging in price from $40-$100 (i think).

    Someone tell me where to get a 45tx.
     
  16. ChrisHeflen

    ChrisHeflen Supporting Actor

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  17. ChrisHeflen

    ChrisHeflen Supporting Actor

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    I went back to their site and found this.

    "All products are new and carry the manufacturer's warranty through Downtown Audio".
     
  18. Larry*P

    Larry*P Agent

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    Please note: Downtown Audio is not a authorized reseller of Pioneer consumer electronics and Pioneer will not honor the warranty on anything that is bought thru Downtown Audio. Please refer to our warranty policy on our privacy page.

    Chris, this was copied from the Pioneer products page.
     
  19. Mike Sloan

    Mike Sloan Second Unit

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    That's what is so cool with the $649.00 price at 6th ave for the 3803...they are authorized to sell Denon and will honor the warranty.
     
  20. Paul.Little

    Paul.Little Stunt Coordinator

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    If you are going to buy the Pioneer, make sure you don't get the 4 ohm speakers. Or vice versa, if you already have the 4 ohm speakers, don't get the Pioneer. You will have nothing but grief. The Pioneer amplifiers are just not robust enough.
     

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