Flagship receivers = Overpriced??

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MiltK, Apr 14, 2002.

  1. MiltK

    MiltK Stunt Coordinator

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    I've been reading all the hoopla about the upcoming Denon 5803 that I have to ask this question. Who else here thinks $3500 is a little too much to spend on a receiver??

    A new Sony STR-DA5ES receiver will run you about $750 shipped and will have basically the same features as the new flagship. IMHO, it has unprecedented flexibility with separate crossovers and equalization for each channel amongst other things that other receivers can't touch at a fraction of the price. Using this receiver as a pre/pro and coupling it with a good used stereo amp you'll end up paying hundreds of dollars less for the same, if not better performance in music and HT. Read the specs on some of the good
     
  2. Mark Larson

    Mark Larson Supporting Actor

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    You pay a lot more for the fastest processor in computers because of the same reason - the 'cachet' of having the fastest/biggest system around!

    People who want absolutely the best are prepared to pay the price.
     
  3. MiltK

    MiltK Stunt Coordinator

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    That's my point Mark. Besides the "snob" appeal and possible WAF, what reason is there to buy one when less costly alternatives are available with the same or better performance and added flexibility (e.g., Sony DA5ES + 2-channel amp).
     
  4. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Yeah, that Sony DA5ES is a real bargain, even after you add the cost of a Bryston 5B-ST....
     
  5. Rick Radford

    Rick Radford Supporting Actor

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    >what reason is there to buy one when less costly alternatives are available with the same or better performance and added flexibility<

    In the case of Onkyo 989 and Integra 9.1, upgradeability would be one answer. You might argue that the upgrade path may not be absolute (and I'm sure you're right), but for $50, these two receivers became DPL II, DTS-ES Discrete and Matrix 6.1, DTS Neo:6, etc.

    I hear there's another upgrade in the works for THX Ultra 2 (and I don't know what else).

    If for no other reason, this has value to me.
     
  6. MiltK

    MiltK Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree that the Onkyo and Integra 9.1 does show some added value given that upgrades have been available to justify the extra price. But then again look at the B&K307 and Denon 5800. These were >$3000 receivers that promised upgradability that was very late (and expensive) or never materialized. Unfortunately, salesmen use this "upgradability" promise to sucker people in and sell these flagship units.

    A Sony DA5ES + Bryston combo is even a better deal considering that you can get 5B-ST Brystons for
     
  7. Rick Radford

    Rick Radford Supporting Actor

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    > Look at it this way - would you rather have a Denon 5800 or a Denon 3802 + Bryston 5B-ST for a $1000 cheaper?<
    Good question! But in all fairness, you are comparing new receivers vs used amps. Put a used flagship receiver into the equation and the price difference may be much different.
    With a new receiver, you do have a factory warranty which also may have some benefit. (but only if it gets used!)
    I don't think it's quite as cut and dried as you imply.
    OTOH, getting more gadgets is an attractive option... Nah.. I think I'll stick with my 989 for now. [​IMG]
     
  8. MiltK

    MiltK Stunt Coordinator

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  9. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    I had a Sony 777ES Receiver that costed me $950 NIB. I'll never forget the day I put it up against a Denon 5800 at the local HiFi Buys (a while back), and the Sony matched it perfectly in HT and bested it in 2-channel stereo. I will never buy an expensive, big bucks flagship receiver, ever. The sweet little secret in HT is that a nice middle-of-the-road receiver used as a preamp along w/ a $800-$1000 multichannel amp can hang easily, and in alot of cases exceed a top-of-the-line flagship receiver.
     
  10. MiltK

    MiltK Stunt Coordinator

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    Exactly Kevin. I would even venture to guess that a 777es + said amp would perform the same as a separate $2000 pre/pros + said amp. Plus it will have a lot more features.
     
  11. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    Would any owners of the Denon 5800 or 5803 like to chimne in? I've yet to hear from any of you.

    Reg
     
  12. JackS

    JackS Supporting Actor

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    I'm Using a five channel receiver powered by two 2 channel amps and a monoblock, total cost with careful shopping, about 3k. The amps and components are posisitioned between two speakers with a 31' TV in the middle. The amps plus receiver weigh a little less than 200 pounds and create a wall of equipment about 10 feet long. I think from this description alone, it is easy to understand why many would prefer an all in one high end receiver. I sort of look at my wall as functional furniture and enjoy the appearance almost as much as the sound. With a high end receiver, one can forsake most of the "black boxes" and give up very little in the music department, and nothing at all in Home Theater. In the end it all comes down to personal preferences. I'm happy with my setup and I'm sure most people with the big receivers are just as happy.
     
  13. Jeff D.

    Jeff D. Supporting Actor

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    Ultimately, I think one needs to listen to these high-end receivers to determine if they are worth the dosh. At that price, they better sound bloody good. Also, their ergonomics (ie. remote control) should be well thought out compared to their bargain basement cousins.
    At that price level, however, one must recognize that another route is open to you - seperates. I would definitely be looking at a seperate pre/pro/power combo at those price levels. However, there are downsides to this - usually such a setup will require more physical space to operate. Also, some people may be intrigued by the 'plug and play' aspect of an all-in-one receiver.
    In the end, I can see the arguments for both ways.
    /Jeff
     
  14. Wayne McRae

    Wayne McRae Stunt Coordinator

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    I think Jeff hit it right on the head.There is a good argument for both sides.I have a Denon receiver which I was very happy with until I got my fat tax refund and started to upgrade.I purchased a 5 channel Adcom and run it thru the Denon.The improvment was remarkable.I know that I'll never go back,but in my case I'm lucky because I have a dedicated theater in the basement.I'm currently looking for a great 2 channel to fill out my system once the Outlaw makes it my way.So I will eventually have 3 amps(250w Yamaha for my SVS)and the Outlaw where I used to have 1 piece only.I can see my wifes face if I tried to put all this in our family room[​IMG] My point is,If I didn't have the room in the basement I'd probably have the Onkyo 989 hidden in the stereo stand in the family room.I think that it's great that we have the choice.
    Wayner
     
  15. Aslam Imran

    Aslam Imran Second Unit

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  16. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    "Its outrageous IMHO. If you want pure sonic performance go for the Outlaw 950 + 770 combo to beat the 5803's (or any other Flagship's) performance by a considerable margin."
    Come on Aslam...
    Have you even heard either of these units? Much less both?
    There is no way in HELL I'd take an Outlaw 950 over a 5803. If you would, cool. But how do you know that this Outlaw combo will handily beat the 5803's (or any other Flagship's) performance by a considerable margin? [​IMG]
    Jeremy
     
  17. Aslam Imran

    Aslam Imran Second Unit

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  18. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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  19. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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  20. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    Aslam,

    This is an incorrect way to audition the equipment you are talking about. If you were to add the SAME outboard amplifier to the 5800 that you did to the 4802, you would be comparing apples to apples...instead, you are comparing apples to oranges.

    The 5800 and 5803 have an incredible pre amp section. I own the 5800 and I've added outboard amplification for my Nautilus mains...the difference between the new amps and the internal ones is significant. The differences between the 4802 and the 5800 are significant as well. Both in the internal component isolation, power supply, connectibility, Alpha24 processing, etc. The upgrade for the 5800 will allow flexible bass management like the 4802, but it will also add 24/192 DACs on all channels (2 per channel), and in pure direct, it'll use 8 DACs per channel for some very good sound...It's tough to compare the sonics of the Outlaw 950 and the 5803 without hearing either of them for me. But my money is on the 5803 performance wise.

    Jeremy
     

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