How is denon etc. better than sony etc recievers

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Babek, Jan 12, 2003.

  1. Babek

    Babek Stunt Coordinator

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    When I went to the store to buy a receiver the guy there said that the denons, marantz, onkyo, and harman kardons sound the best while sony, pioneer, kenwood and so on sounds average. Also, there is a huge price hike from the sonys etc to the higher end ones like onkyo etc.

    My question is, how exactly do these higher end receivers sound 'better'? Because quite frankly, I came from a friends house who had a 3 year old Dolby digital/dts sony receiver and it sounded unbelievable.
    A complete explanation would be nice becuase I'm likely to base my buying decision on you guys.
     
  2. Rich Wenzel

    Rich Wenzel Supporting Actor

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    a good sony receiver hooked up to vienna acoustic mahler's is still gonna sound good...it would probably sound better with an anthem avm20 and a sunfire cinema grand though...

    my only point being, the receiver is only one piece of the puzzle...your friends system could sound great because his room is set up well and his speakers are really good, etc...

    if you are asking me my opinion...as receivers go, i would stay away from japanese brands, in my mind they concentrate on features that i will never use and less on amp and sound quality...now someone may jump on this post and say, i am clueless, onkyo 898 rocks, and he is probably right, it probably does. what does that mean? it means that its all subjective...

    the only one general constant is that the market is fairly efficient, one company's $1000 piece will sound better than another company's $500 piece as long as the features are fairly similar. if it doesn't, the market won't buy it (i mean why would someone pay more for equal or worse sound?), and the price will come down anyway....

    The best thing to do is listen to each receiver while holding most of the other components and music constant. Also, try to keep volumes similar, however, notice how hard it is for the receiver to push it to that volume....

    Rich
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Taking that approach, though, would rule out most receiver options on the market. The products from Japan offer tremendous value for the dollar. And the top-dollar Japanese receivers, which tend to be pretty high-priced, are universally praised among equipment reviewers and pleased owners and are often compared favorably with separates of equal or greater value.
     
  4. TomH

    TomH Second Unit

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    The Denon will only sound better if you purchase it from an "authorized" dealer. Warranty and that little bit of hype that make it sound better than the other Japanese products are not included with internet sales.[​IMG]
     
  5. Babek

    Babek Stunt Coordinator

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    hmm, interesting.

    But you guys still haven't really gotten to my question of why the denons etc sound better? Are tehy more clear or crisp or what?
     
  6. Jason GT

    Jason GT Second Unit

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    In general they're more expensive but do essentially the same stuff. That means that both a cheaper and more expensive receiver will have an amplification stage, but the more expensive reciever will *probably* have a better amplifier section.
    It could be better ICs, capacitors, more complex design, etc.
    How they sound better? hard to say, one would have to listen for themselves. If you ever DO get to compare them, ensure that the other variables (source material, speakers, cabling) are kept as constant as possible.
    Essentially it's not unlike cars -- a Focus will get you from point A to B; a 911 will get you to point A to B with greater speed and panache. It costs a bit more though. [​IMG]
     
  7. Jamey F

    Jamey F Stunt Coordinator

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  8. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Sony, Pioneer, and Kenwood all make receivers comparable to the $1299 Denon 3803, but they don't sell for $299-399.

    The Sony ES line, Pioneer Elite, and Kenwood Soveriegn are the higher end models, and competitive with Denon, Onkyo, HK.

    Many stores like CC don't carry the Sony ES, Pioneer Elite, or Kenwood Sovereign lines, only the lower end models, but do carry Onkyo and HK. So if a salesman in one of the mass-market stores tells you the Marantz or HK he sells is better than the lower line models they sell from Kenwood, Sony, or Pioneer, he's right, but as previously stated it's like comparing a Focus to a BMW. Sony, Kenwood, and Pioneer also make BMWs, but the store you went to probably doesn't carry those higher end models.
     
  9. Phil Dally

    Phil Dally Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm using a Sony STR DE945 and it seems to be doing the trick for me. I may sound like a hick when I say this, as long as I can see a movie clearly , can hear it beside me, infront of me and behind me, and I can make my floor vibrate at the right times, I'm happier than 90% of my friends who don't have a home theater.
    However, my 945 is better than the Sony DE345 that I upgraded from, but not as good as the one I may eventually have.[​IMG]
     
  10. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    That's the spirit!
     
  11. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Phil,

    You got it right. There are plenty of good choices out there for less than half the cost of a 3803.

    I started out with a $300 Technics DD-ready, Energy Take-5 plus 8 inch sub and it rocked.
     
  12. Scott_Jua

    Scott_Jua Stunt Coordinator

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    not sure you got the response you were looking for yet. So I will quote yet again, my take on some of the more popular models, based on me actually listening to them all. Hope this helps:
    from another thread:
     
  13. Scott_Jua

    Scott_Jua Stunt Coordinator

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    I guess I could have given a shorter more general answer...basically each brand tends to have certain tonal charactersistics and is able to produce a certain type of sound in a unique way over another brand. I have found that to MY EAR at least, the SONYs and Pioneers sound about the most accurate to the source, while being not overly bright or lacking any mid or low range. The pioneers see less bright to me and slightly more warm, where the SONYs sound balanced overall with a slight lean towards the bright or "crispy" side.
    The Denons seemed to have a more bright and balanced sound over the Kenwoods, but seemed to lack some mid range punch and depth. Their highs seemed slightly bright yet, muddled. The denons also seemed to vary greatly from chipset to shipset where most of the other brands stayed somewhat more consistant with their sounds. (although you get better soudn the higher up the chain you go, I believe) The Kenwoods sounded balanced, but the highs were tinny sounding...not as accurate as some others. Onkyo was very bright to me, although accurate and decently warm in the midrange. But, the overall high range was too bright for my liking.
    and so on... Since I think my short reply became long as well...I'll leave it to what I said before...narrow down features and price points...then listen to them in your home. [​IMG]
     
  14. Brad Newton

    Brad Newton Second Unit

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    I am also looking at these 3 units. I thought that the Sony had more "umph" than the Pioneer & especially the Denon. Now, I am by no means an expert. I am just now trying to understand the lingo & the features of all of these units. I just thought that the Sony sounded clearer, sharper, especially in the dialogue area. The Pioneer that I listened to had not been calibrated. It was straight out of the box to the display. I listened to all 3 receivers with Klipsch rf7's & theil speakers. Would calibrating the Pioneer sway me.......again, I don't know. The Pioneer and the Sony sounded great. I am still trying to decide between these 2 units. I guess it boils down to me wanting the auto calibration & thx or the video conversion??????[​IMG]
     
  15. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Brad,

    I have the 45tx and the MCACC eq settings can be bypassed with one button on the remote without affecting distance and speaker level settings. The difference with it on or off is quite noticeable. I much prefer the MCACC eq turned on. Just sounds more natural, less "canned" and seems to have more defined channel separation.

    My previous reciever was a Sony 333ES, which I calibrated with AVIA and RS meter.
    Since getting the 45tx and running MCACC I've watched several movies that were favorites on the Sony and have found dialog intelligibility to be noticeably better with the Pioneer. I don't have to resort to subtitles nearly as often as I used to. I usually use the THX mode on the Pioneer and find this also helps dialogue come through more clearly without adversely affecting channel separation. On some movies with the Sony I'd have to turn up center level on occasion, haven't had to with the Pioneer.
     
  16. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    I find that there is a wide difference in reciever due to there target demegrafic. You can compare one reciever against another and there will be differences. Due to the differences in preamp sections, capacitors, power supply, cross overs etc.... Much of it is subjective and depends on the speakers that are connected to the reciever. IMHO I find Sony's to be drab and flat but many others think they rock. I prefer the Pioneer Elites especially with the MCACC feature that seams to really help. It does a good job at compansating for acustics and speakers used. I like the Pioneer Elite 45,47,49tx and the Denon 5803 flagship reciever. There are many fine recievers like Marantz, Sunfire, Rotel and Harman Kardon. And because recievers are geared more towards a certain task. You need to know what you are going to use the reciever more for? Do you listed to movies or music. Some do one better than others and vice versa. And others do a good job at both. I find that while japaness brands can produce a really nice HT reviever. The US and European brands can match them in performance for a higher price. And the music part of these products especially in the music area is better. Because of better preamp sections built to handle music. But again we get back to it being subjective. What sounds great to me may not sound great to you. So I hope you get something that you will be happy with and I hope this forum helps you as much as it has helped me.
     
  17. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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  18. Alex Dydula

    Alex Dydula Stunt Coordinator

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    I have had many receivers over the past 30yrs and just got a $640 SONY DA4ES receiver and absolutely amazed at how well it sounds and what it is capable of doing for this price....theres lots of great stuff out there and you can mortgage the farm on a lot of it.

    Spend your bucks on the best speakers you can afford/fit in your room, and any one of these $500-$1500 receivers will do you just fine.

    I have a PS Audio 2CH 200watt amp and a bunch of high end stuff, but none of it sounds thousands of dollars better than the cheap old SONY reciever, the listenting tests were don in my listening room with program material that I like to hear....not in a showroom with someone trying to sell me something they thougth was good.

    Good luck in your search, aint this a wonderful pastime!

    A.
     
  19. Mark All

    Mark All Second Unit

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    1. Set a price range and stick to it. There's always something up the price range that offers more.
    2. Identify each receiver in your price range.
    3. Do some internet research to compare features in the price range.
    4. Pick two or three and find local authorized dealers with good return policies.
    5. Listen patiently to the salesman but let his advice go in one ear and out the other. Only your ears in your listening environment can tell you what you like.
    6. Start by buying the one you think looks best cosmetically.
    7. Try it at home with your speakers in your room.
    8. If you're happy with it, keep it. If it seems like there's something missing, or too much of something, return it and try another.
    9. Don't regret what you end up with, because you may be going through the process again two years or sooner from now.

    This was how it worked for me. I started out with the DA4ES but found it to be overly "bright" with my speakers. The Denon matched my speakers to me ears. Features tend to be comparable in the same price range.
     

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