HK vs. Yamaha vs. Denon vs. ?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Brock, Oct 19, 2003.

  1. Brock

    Brock Extra

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    Here's the ho-hum pedestrian question you guys probably get asked all the time here, but since I didn't know where else to look on the forum specifically regarding this, I'll ask anyway and hope you can stomach answering it one more time:

    With $500 to spend on a decent receiver, which would you choose: Denon, Yamaha, Harmon Kardon, or something else? And why?

    I guess I should ask, what are the primary sonic differences between these brands at the same pricepoint? What makes one slightly better than the other?

    I know this is all somewhat subjective, but I'm sure a lot of your feelings are rooted in reality (like one is brighter than another, or one is more natural sounding, etc.).

    I'll be using it for 2-channel audio and 5.1 surround, and want the most natural sound I can get.
     
  2. AndrewErickson

    AndrewErickson Stunt Coordinator

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    Listen to all of them and pick one.
     
  3. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    The sonic difference is going to show itself only when paired with a certain pair of speakers. A Yamaha receiver for example may sound good with JBLs (neutral sound), but won't sound very good with Klipschs (bright sound), since the Yamaha itself, at least in lower models, has a bright sound. The H/K is warm sounding, the Denon is more neutral. It really does end up depending on your speakers if you want a netural sound.
     
  4. CurtisC

    CurtisC Second Unit

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    Drew has it right.
     
  5. Jonathan:H

    Jonathan:H Auditioning

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    What other brands make bright-sounding speakers other than klipschs?
     
  6. Wayde_R

    Wayde_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Denon, Yamaha, HK. In that price range make sure you give Marantz and Pioneer a spin too.

    If your shopping for receivers try my "secondary" tests (secondary meaning after hearing their actual sound).

    Fiddle with the unit itself. How do the dials and buttons feel? Smooth, even flow, weighty. Not cheap. If what you can see on the box is cheap, what does that say about what you cannot?

    Heft the unit in your hands, yeah, go on, right there in front of the sales guy. Who cares, it's your money you're spending. Heft the unit in your hands and get a feel for its weight. Does it feel like it's made from natural resources rended from God's green planet? That's a good thing, real minerals in the transformer, fat capacitors in the power supply. You want to be sure the box you're buying isn't just filled with plastic. If the sound seems all the same after awhile and the feature lists are all six of one half dozen of the other, go with what "feels" right.
     

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