I can't decide between Pioneer VSX-D811 or Denon AVR-1803

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Cal, Nov 4, 2002.

  1. Brian Cal

    Brian Cal Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm looking for a 6.1 receiver, but can't make up my mind between these two. I currently have an old Pioneer 80 watt per channel Dolby Digital receiver that I have been very happy with. If I get the 811, it will eliminate most of the learning curve, as I'm sure most of the setup functions are the same as my current receiver.

    One thing I do not like about my Pioneer is the fact that 100Hz is the lowest crossover setting. I definitely want my new receiver to cross over at 80Hz. Does anyone know if the 811 can crossover at 80Hz?

    I am looking for something that sounds good for both music and movies, but mostly movies. I have heard that Denon has a better sound overall, but that the Pioneer is also excellent. Does anyone know the THD of each units? Also, the Pioneer is 100 watts per channel, while the Denon is only 80 watts per channel. My current 80 watt per channel Pioneer performs just fine, but I was kind of hoping to get a bit more power when I upgrade.

    My speakers are the JBL S-Center, two JBL S-38 for mains, and JBL N-24 for the rears, which I'll also be using for the rear surround channel.

    Any help as far as performance, sound quality, etc. between these two units would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    I'd check out Crutchfield's webpage for comparison of the specs.

    I've played around a bit with both units, and would recommend either without much reservation. I think the Denon at 80W will give you as much if not more power than the Pioneer at 100W, so that shouldn't make/break your decision.

    As far as sound quality, neither piece is earth-shattering. The Denon sounds a bit better to my ear, but just a bit. If theater is your priority, the Pioneer will suit you just fine, and will have all the connectivity/options/flexibility you'll need.

    --AM
     
  3. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I've had the 811S and currently have the 1803. I was able to trade my 811S to a friend along w/ some speaker stands i made him for his 1803.

    That said, i've been able to notice only the most minor sonic differences. The 1803 is just the smallest bit warmer, and seems to have just a bit more power in the low end.

    The 1803 is built like a tank. The 811S is by no means built poorly, but the Denon has such build advantages as a solid aluminum front panel and knobs. It's also a bit heavier, which is usually a good indication of better components. The denon is also a bit bigger. All of pioneer's components are narrower than standard AV components. I'm not sure why, but they are.

    Feature wise, the Denon offers a 80hz crossover which i like, but lacks 7.1 analog inputs (does have 5.1 inputs) and pre-outs for all channels. The 811S has both of these features.

    The 1803 remote is horribly designed. There are 2 toggle switches used to select what device the remote will control, and none of them are for the receiver. I had no problems with the 811S remote, although i did wish it was backlit. The 1803 remote is not backlit either, but the volume buttons and a few others do glow in the dark (but not for long, you know how glow in the dark stuff goes...).

    If i were trying to decide between these 2 receivers, i would probably pick the D811S. It has all the same features (minus the 80hz crossover), and a few extra, they sound the same to me for the most part, and the 811S is expandable. You'll also save around $75 w/ the 811S.

    If the superior (but not greatly superior) build quality of the denon and the 80hz crossover are major selling points for you, then go with the 1803. Just remember, w/ the 1803, you won't be able to use it as a pre/pro if you decided to migrate into separates and wish to add separate amplification.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. Brian Cal

    Brian Cal Stunt Coordinator

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    Very helpful, thanks. So, am I to understand that the Pioneer still uses 100Hz as the lowest crossover? This is not a huge deal, but I find that 100Hz can sometimes sound a tad localized, not to mention, all of my speakers can handle frequencies below 80Hz.

    Remote controls are not an issue, seeing as I will be using my universal.
     
  5. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Yes, the lowest crossover point on the 811S is 100hz. One thing you might want to consider (if you go w/ the 811S) setting your mains to "Large" and the sub to "Plus". This sends the full frequency range to the mains AND sends everything below 100hz to the sub. This would help get rid of some of the localization of the sub. I would only suggest this if you have mains w/ a frequency response of 50hz or lower.

    Hope this helps.
     

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