Denon vs. Pioneer Elite

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Gary Q, Jan 29, 2003.

  1. Gary Q

    Gary Q Extra

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    Trying to decide between the Denon 3802 and the Pioneer Elite VSX-43TX.

    Any experience out there with either or both of these? Opinions? Positives, negatives?

    Thanks in advance, Gary

    My setup:
    DVD Player: Sony DVP S530D.
    Main Speakers: Bose 301 Series IV
    Surround Speakers: Bose 301s Series IV
    Center Speaker: Bose Center Channel Speaker VCS-10
    Sub: Polk PSW50
    No Surround Rear speakers at this time.

    I’ll probably upgrade the sub and center channel speakers at some point soon; and later, the main and surround.

    Ps. Sorry about the double post.
     
  2. Modena

    Modena Stunt Coordinator

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    Gary,

    The answer to your question is whatever sounds better to your ears. That's it. If you pick a receiver because someone in here likes it and you don't, who cares? If one receiver gets better "reviews" than the other, but your ears don't like it, who cares? Go listen to both and pick the one that sounds best to you, they are both good receivers and I don't think one outshines the other in any fashion. I have the 2802 Denon and love it, I tried a Marantz and just didn't like the sound. Most will say the Marantz has a better sound quality, but I thought it was too tonal and the bass management was horrific, so I went to the Denon and couldn't be happier (for this price) cause my ears enjoy it. Again, your ears are the judge, not what we think would be best for you.
     
  3. Dave Ma

    Dave Ma Stunt Coordinator

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    Look into a Rotel RSX 1055.[​IMG]
     
  4. Gary Q

    Gary Q Extra

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    What I am looking for, and have found here and there, are opinions and observations from those who have listened to these, or similar, models from these manufacturers.
    For example, I have read (at this great forum) that the Denon models don’t live up to their power (Watt) ratings—that a 75W H/K seems to deliver more power than a 100W Denon.
    This jives with what I have found with the Denon 2802 I just purchased (and will trade in/ up on – just not sure yet for what system).
    To my ears, the Denon, rated at 90 Wpc, isn't delivering as much power as my H/K AVR 510 did, (apparently conservatively rated at 70 Wpc). And I'm not talking simple volume here, but overall sound quality as well. I've read similar things about the Pioneer Elite series.
    Overall, at this point I prefer the H/K AVR 510 (the one that went on the fritz) to the Denon 2802. If it were between these two, I would go for another H/K.
    Problem is, the store where I purchased the Denon doesn’t carry the H/K line, just Denon, Pioneer, Yamaha, and maybe another, can’t remember. (My choices here in Fredericksburg, VA are a bit limited with regard to walk in stores: Circuit City and (just opened) Tweeter).
    I think I’m allowed to just plain return the Denon to the Tweeter store, no strings, but I don’t normally like to do that sort of thing, so my plan was to find a receiver there that I do like and get it instead. (30 return/ exchange period). I don’t have a problem with that, really, if I can find one that performs as well as, or better than the H/K did for the right price.
    I have to turn the Denon up to +5 and louder to get a decent volume vs. the H/K gave me what I was looking for at a much lower dB setting. The H/K was a whole lot easier to manage and configure as well, and the remote was easier to use.
    I do like some of the features on the Denon, e.g., different crossover frequencies, the additional rear channel (6.1 vs. 5.1 on the H/K), DTS/ ES and Dolby PL II.
    But I need more power. What I was hoping for was a decent “step up” from the H/K 510—the Denon 2802 doesn’t do it for me, ergo, I move on… I’m hoping the Denon 3802 or the Pioneer Elite VSX-43TX will give me what I am looking for. So, I’ll be going back to the store until I get it right. But listening in the store, even A/B testing, can be a tricky business; the differences in the systems, esp. there, in the store, can be so subtle and difficult to realize—and something that isn't especially noticeable in the store may be a determining factor in my HT room.

    I’ll get it right in the end.

    Thanks for your help, Gary
     
  5. Modena

    Modena Stunt Coordinator

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    Gary,

    Purchase the Denon at Tweeter. You have 30 days, if it doesn't do it for you, buy the Pioneer. Tweeter is sick because if you buy a Denon 3803 for 1200, they will give you 1200 back whenever towards the upgrade. So if you want another model later that is better, you have a 1200 dollar credit towards a 2000 dollar receiver. They will price match (I gave them the price of an open box 2802 and took off 50 bucks. They matched it no questions asked or even checking.) I think the difference between the 2802 and 3802 is 20 watts per channel divided by the fact they don't put out what they advertise, to me may not be that big of an upgrade you are looking for. But you won't know until you try. Good luck.
     
  6. RobD

    RobD Second Unit

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    Home cinemachoice reviewed both amps, there measurements of output are a pretty good guide, here the fidelity firewall figures (This gives a good idea of output under real conditions):
    2802 - 104.2W
    3802 - 128.7W

    Typically Pioneer over rate their amps but the newer ones seem to be better. Pioneer has a stronger midrange than Denon which sacrafices bass for a little extra detail (Personally if matched with the right speakers I prefer the Pioneer sound, im not familiar with Bose stuff). This what it it's all about though, Personal taste.
     
  7. Gary Q

    Gary Q Extra

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    Rob, thanks for your info and opinions on the Denon and Pioneer, and esp. for the tip on the home cinema site—hadn’t been there, very helpful.
    Gary
     
  8. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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  9. Dave Ma

    Dave Ma Stunt Coordinator

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    Again the Rotel will trounce the ones you mentioned. Under rated WPC,great amp section,sound quality, no hype, 5 year warranty and "UPGRADEABLE" too. Give a listen to and your jaw will drop.[​IMG]
     
  10. Andrew_Ballew

    Andrew_Ballew Second Unit

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    Haha! Dave, come-on- I am a Rotel fan, too, and their products sound great, but I don't think their receivers will "trounce" either of the aforementioned receivers. Does Rotel make a better receiver? Possibly, but I think its a lot more qualified than your assessment.

    For what its worth, I loved the sound of my Rotel RSP-1066 pre/pro, but as a preamp I consider my Pioneer Elite VSX-45tx receiver to be much more "refined" around the edges. The Rotel was just rough in some ways. Pops and clicks, very slow to auto-detect, and noisy multi-channel inputs. BUT, when it comes down to sheer audio quality, I give the Rotel the nod, especially for two channel stuff. But, again, its an incremental increase.

    I understand that my personal comparison is a bit outside of the scope of the thread topic, but I think it still serves to strengthen my point a bit.

    Bottom line- just have fun with this hobby!! We all take it too seriously sometimes. Denon, Rotel, Pioneer- you probably can receive great enjoyment from each. [​IMG]

    Cheers

    Andrew
     
  11. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Not to mention those mains need to go anyway, or it won't really matter what receiver you get. That being said, that rotel looks awfully nice. Marantz makes some nice units in this range too. Take a look, and as always, take a listen.
     
  12. Dave Ma

    Dave Ma Stunt Coordinator

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    Andrew,
    Have no clue where you came up with this:
    For what its worth, I loved the sound of my Rotel RSP-1066 pre/pro, but as a preamp I consider my Pioneer Elite VSX-45tx receiver to be much more "refined" around the edges. The Rotel was just rough in some ways. Pops and clicks, very slow to auto-detect, and noisy multi-channel inputs. BUT, when it comes down to sheer audio quality, I give the Rotel the nod, especially for two channel stuff. But, again, its an incremental increase.
    My Rotel gear is silent, no pops and clicks, no noise,and not a slow auto-detect, but the sheer audio quality is there.
    I just gave my opionion of the Rotel and many other people I know would say the same thing.
     

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