Flagship receiver or similar priced seperates?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark Yatchak, Jan 12, 2002.

  1. Mark Yatchak

    Mark Yatchak Agent

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 1999
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I am ready to retire my old faithful friend, the Denon 3200.

    I'm looking to spend roughly $3500.00 and am considering the usual suspects, Denon 4802 (has all the latest features), Denon 5800, B&K307 (lacks some of the latest features) and the Marantz 9200 (which also has all the latest features).

    Ideally, I would like to have three component inputs and have all the latest sound formats which the 4802 and Marantz 9200 do.

    My knowledge is very limited when it comes to separates but I have read many, many posts on the advantages.

    I know my limited budget does not allow a plethora of choices, but I would like to hear suggestions before I purchase another receiver.

    F.Y.I. I currently use B&W CDM1 SE speakers and will be using my old Energy take 5's for 6.1 or 7 channel listening. I will soon add additional B&W speakers when my budget allows it.
     
  2. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    2,210
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Go with Separates. For $3500 you have a perfect budget and the time is right. The problem with getting the new Denon is that every time you want to upgrade your receiver, you are also paying for new amplification. If you went with Separates, you only have to upgrade the pre/pro whenever new formats come out or have your pre/pro upgraded. Your Amp can stay the same for many, many years.

    I recently got an Anthem MCA5 Amp (200X5) up in Canada for just over a grand. If you are looking stateside, you can get great 5 channel amplification from Rotel, Parasound, ATI, Anthem, Breyston, or even Outlaw. These Amps will run you anywhere from $1100-2000.

    You can pair it with the new Rotel Pre/pro coming out in March, or Outlaw's 950, coming out in late January. The Outlaw has an introductory price of $899, probably going up to about $1200 by March. The Rotel is supposedly $1500 MSRP. Either one of those Pre/Pro's combined with any of the above Amps will give you performance that exceeds that of the Denon IMO and will allow you more flexibility in the future. If you want to go to 6.1 or 7.1, you just add another 2 channel Amp. Amps never go out of style. They will be consistent performers for years to come and with how quickly technology comes and goes, you can always go the used route for your Pre/pro upgrades and get a great piece at about 50% off if you don't need the latest bells and whistles. I'm never going back to a receiver.
     
  3. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2000
    Messages:
    1,165
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  4. Marty Neudel

    Marty Neudel Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 1999
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Mark,

    It's a simple fact of economics. It is cheaper to produce one receiver than it is to make a pre/pro and a separate amp. There are so many redundant components in each unit (i.e. power supply including expensive transformer, cabinet, sheet metal chassis, etc.) that the overall cost of two units is higher even if the circuitry and component quality are the same.

    If you are on a very limited budget, this fact is even more critical. Moreover, there are improvements in amplifier circuits every couple of years that correspond to the increase in new feature of the processor section.

    As you aproach $5,000 the savings become a significantly smaller part of the overall cost. When you get above $7,000 separates are the only way to go.

    However, from what you are saying of your personal budget, you probably will do best with a receiver.

    Marty
     
  5. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 1999
    Messages:
    921
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I love this type of discussion, and really like Marty's economic analysis. Most people are firmly on one end of the spectrum at the typical $2-4k budget, and most don’t like my answer……my answer is BOTH, flagship receiver and separate power amps.

    I have owned several prepros (Angstrom 200/205 ddd/dts $6k retail, adcom gtp600 dpl, citation 7.0 dpl, Sherwood 9080, HK Signature 2.0), several power amps (adcom 5300, carver 705, HK Signature 2.1, Parasound 1500A, Parasound 800II, Audiosource AmpTwo, Citation 7.1) , several decoders (denon avd2000, sony ep9es, technics 500, sony sdp-e800), and receivers as prepros (hk avr55, nak av10). IMO, the main advantage of separates over receivers is the amplication. Sonic differences between prepros and the prepro section of receivers are much smaller (and the top of the line receivers can sound better than a prepro). However, the top receivers will beat a prepro in terms of video switching, numbers of inputs, useability, latest features and sound modes.

    I think the best bang for the buck setup in the $2-4k range is: receiver as semi-prepro (drives rears and rear centers) and outboard amps for front 3 speakers (either 3 channel amp, or 5 channel amp and biamp mains). Once you marry the front amps to the front speakers, they can stay for years.

    I currently use the Onkyo 989 as a semi-prepro with two citation 5.1 amps (bridged to 300x3 for front 3 and 100x2 for subs). The Onkyo even has mains-in/preouts for the front 3 channels..so it is “designed” to “pass” a signal to a power amp, and the front amps are not on if I don’t want them to be.

    Therefore, my suggestion to you is: spend $2000-2500 for a receiver (Elite 49tx, Denon 5800, Onkyo 989) and $1000-1500 on a big 3 channel amp for your front 3 speakers (with DC trigger, I can suggest models).

    Ricky
     
  6. Geo

    Geo Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Messages:
    245
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well said Ricky,

    However the Outlaw 950 may throw a monkey wrench in the receiver vs separates debate. In my experiences separates does not automatically mean better sound.

    Until recently I believe the Denon 5800 was the best "prepro" available anywhere near it's price when "all" factors are considered.

    geo
     
  7. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    876
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Many good choices listed here. That new Pioneer does look sweet...also look at the new Yamaha RX-Z1 which is coming out soon. Good luck!
     
  8. steve paul

    steve paul Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have the new Pioneer and I owned the denon 5800 for 8 months prior. I audioned the B&K for a few days (did not like it as much as the denon or pioneer) and tried out the marantz 9200. The pioneer I triedout and I love it. It beats all the others easily. I would recommend the 49tx, and if you want more..add an amp. The 49tx is better than the denon 5800...trust me. I lived with both. Now the Denon is gone.
     
  9. Geo

    Geo Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Messages:
    245
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Steve,

    What exactly is it about the 49TX that you prefer over the 5800 and the B&K?

    thx

    geo
     
  10. Mark Yatchak

    Mark Yatchak Agent

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 1999
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I appreciate the informative responses. I have more to think about and listen to than I thought. I stopped by a local home theater store today and listened to some equipment. As bad as I wanted to leave with a shiny new receiver, I had to muster all the testosterone I could and walk away empty handed.

    I will continue to monitor these forums, learn from you, and see what the manufactures bring to the market within the next couple of months. This will take extreme discipline I know, but I will try.

    The Pioneer, as suggested, sure looks tempting though.
     
  11. steve paul

    steve paul Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I prefer the sound over the B&K and Denon for HT big time. I prefer the features of the 49tx over both the B&K and Denon. I slightly preffered the B&K for 2 channel stereo, but the 49tx does awesome as well in 2 channel. I like the looks and build over both the denon and B&K PLUS I actually LOVE the remote. ITS SOOOO much better than the 5800 remote. I used to have an elite 29tx a couple years back, and its the same remote, but its really good once you learn it. If I could have any recieveron the market it would be this one (49tx) and I do have it.
     
  12. Vinny Petronio

    Vinny Petronio Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2001
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You should look into Parasound you can pick up the 2500u with a matching 5 channel amp for about $3500 great prepro and amp combo for the money.[​IMG]
     
  13. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2001
    Messages:
    640
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Here's what I'd do...
    Outlaw 950 - $900
    Amp for front mains:
    Aragon 4004 MkII - $850 (used) http://cgi.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cl.p...ran&1014942688
    Amp for remaining 5 channels:
    Acurus A200X5 - $999 (used) http://cgi.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cl.p...739&class&3&4&
    $900 + $850 + $999 = $2749
    That leaves $750 for interconnects, speaker wire, and a cool remote (pronto or similar). Buying used is an awesome way to go when it comes to amps. You get so much more for your money over buying new. Not to mention having some great pieces that will upgrade well with you as you select different processors over the years. I wouldn't scoff at those amps even if they were matched with some of the high-end pre/pros (Lex MC-12, Integra RDC-7, etc).
    IMO, this setup would stomp a mudhole in any flagship receiver and would drive any set of speakers with ease and style. Great stuff. [​IMG]
     
  14. Jim Golden

    Jim Golden Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 8, 1999
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Go with separates. Like others have said, there will be many changes in receivers and pre-amps through the years, but there aren't as dramatic changes amongst amplifiers.

    I've had my B&K amp for 5 years now, since then, I've made 3 changes to my processors (HK AVR 80, B&K Ref 10, and a planned upgrade to the Reference 20+).

    Jim
     
  15. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 1999
    Messages:
    921
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    To those who promote a prepro over a receiver as a prepro, have you ever compared a top receiver to a prepro in the same system with the same amps and speakers?
     
  16. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    2,210
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ricky, why would you? Why would you pay upwards of 4 grand on a flagship receiver to use it solely as a pre/pro? That defeats the whole purpose of the separates vs. flagship argument. Are you advocating buying a Denon 5803 just to use it as a pre/pro? Sounds like a waste of resources to me when you can get a dedicated pre/pro for that price whose only job is to produce great sound, not drive speakers at the same time. I'm not trying to lash out at you here, I guess I'm just missing your point.
     
  17. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 1999
    Messages:
    921
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I never said anything about spending $4k. Alot of people seem to be automatically implying that prepros as low as $900-1500 will sound better than a flagship $3000+ receiver. I really don't think so. In fact, I would say a $1500 retail/$1100 street receiver like the Onkyo 898 or Sony DA5ES (as prepros) can can sound just as good as comparably priced prepros.

    On the hyped-up Outlaw prepro: first, it's not out yet, and second, the $600 Outlaw receiver is competive with $600-700 receivers and the $1100 Outlaw 750 amp is competitive with other $1100-1200 5 channel amps......

    With a prepro, you need to buy 7 amp channels. Since I think $1500+ receivers can drive most rear/rear center speakers adequately, what do you think will make your front soundstage sound better for the same money (especially for 2 channel music): 7 amp channels for 3 bigger/higher-end amp channels?
     
  18. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    2,210
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    OK, that's cool. I understand what you are saying now. I thought you were talking about getting the flagship models JUST for processing, not for amplification. If you are talking about getting a 989 or something of that ilk and just adding a 2 or 3 channel amp to power the front 2 or 3 speakers it makes more sence. Interesting point. No, I've never experimented like that.
     
  19. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2001
    Messages:
    1,523
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    how do you guys detect these electronic disturbance inside the receiver? can you listen to it? i am leaning toward separated with only one reason : i dont need fancy features on flagship receiver such as avr5800. especially the remote. now after reading this thread i got another reason : upgradeability of separates.
     
  20. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2001
    Messages:
    640
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That's the #1 reason Felix, at least as far as I'm concerned. Perhaps the sound is a bit better, but I'm just wanting to get some gear that I can upgrade easily without having to throw "everything" out every few years (such as with a flagship).
    FWIW, I'd much rather go with seperates, but currently my budget just won't allow for it. So I have an Onkyo 797 (which also powers my center and surrounds) and an Aragon 4004 MkII for my mains. At some point though, I will be moving to all seperates. It's just going to take a while. Too many other expenses in life. [​IMG]
     

Share This Page