Is my $ 1,800 receiver better than a seperate combo costing $4,000?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Luis M, Jul 7, 2003.

  1. Luis M

    Luis M Second Unit

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    The marantz 8200 receiver which I own and love was rated at about 93 on the Home Theater magazine some months ago performance-wise. At the same time reading july's review of the adcom amp and pre-pro combo at around $4,000, the magazine gives it a 92 performance rating. Am I to believe that my 50 pound receiver sounds better than the 90 pounds, 300 watts per each five channels beast and seperate pre-pro from Adcom? Not me, I would take the adcom combination in a heart-beat, but is the Marantz review exagerated or is the Adcom performance under-rated? How can you make a wise decision with this kind of rating mess?
    I know listening to the equipment yourself is the only way to go but a possitive review of the receiver or amp is also something that a buyer usually looks for.
     
  2. Nick V

    Nick V Second Unit

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    They don't rate eveything as being equal in those reviews. If that were the case, there would be too many entry-level or mid-fi type products in the 60-70 range, and that doesn't do much to make a product look good.

    Instead they rate them relative to their competition, so no your Marantz isn't in the same league as the Adcom separates. On the other hand, relative to it's competition, your receiver is "Outstanding: Among the Best".

    This is the way most mags rate products in order to make them all look good, and keep the manufacturers happy.
     
  3. Luis M

    Luis M Second Unit

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    Nick, If that is the case as it appears to be, then those ratings are worthless. When does a receiver become a low,mid or high-end piece of gear? Is it the price, the number of inputs or the way it looks? Maybe the way it sounds but how would I know if everything is rated with a different standard. By not offending the manufacturers they offend us. (Marantz 8200=93) (Krell amp-pre combo=95)That is a subjective and bad rating system, give me from 0 to 100 and everything in between but don't make me guess what a 95 rating in a receiver is compared to a 95 rating in an amp-pre combo. And what about when they rate the Denon 5803 receiver and the outlaw pre and their less powerfull amps, How do I get an idea?
     
  4. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    By paying very little attention to magazine reviews and auditioning firsthand the gear that best suits your budget and preferences... the reviews are suitable to familiarize yourself with features and specs... and visiting these forums can be helpful to see if other enthusiasts think something is particularly good or problematic... but ultimately you've got to assess it yourself.

    Your 8200 is a first-rate receiver... and you would definitely hear a significant improvement if you moved up to Parasound separates... there's something for everybody.

    Besides, the real differences are heard in the various makes of speakers.
     
  5. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    Listen mostly to the reviews of fellow HTF members rather than magazines. Their reviews are done under ideal conditions where as most of ours are not. May review magazines should specify what category the piece of hardware is in and its appropriate subdivision. Then at the end of each review post a graph of all pieces of hardware in that subdivision to see where they stand.

    Kevin
     
  6. david stark

    david stark Second Unit

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    The magazines views and those of others you get, be it from friends or from sources such as this should only ever be used as a guide as to what you should listen to. When purchasing new equipment I'll read reviews, gather views from friends etc. From these views I'll go and listen to the ones I think I may like.

    Reviews etc should be the one of the first steps in your selection process, not the last.

    Also magazines ratings often take into account value for money, which for most people is important as price nearly always plays a big part in what you (can) buy. So if in one magazine I see two products get the same rating I would expect the more expensive product to be better.
     
  7. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    Be wise and stop your subscription to any of these magazines. The next time I read something bad about a product will be the first time I read it. Not even the lowly rated Pioneers or kenwoods get anything negative written about them. I have learnt to depend more on forums such as these than those over-rated mags.
     
  8. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    I am willing to be that Teac and Sherwood recievers get great reveiws as well. It seems that magazines dont like to upset any manufactures. And some of the magazines focus to much on audiophile models, and not on average gear that most people purchase. Not that I dont like reading about the high end gear but I would like to see a more ballanced review process. When there is something bad about a product the magazine should call it like it is. But I guess thats what we get in todays politically correct society.

    I agree that I would put more value in what others in this forum say about a product especially when they own the gear. Some one who owns a certain model is more likely to tell it like it is verses someone trying to make commission.
     
  9. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    I agree that you really have to take matters into your own hands. Magazine reviews are great to give you a general idea of what to expect out of a particular model. They are a lot like movie reviews. If you respect the opinion of the reviewer then you will pay attention to what he/she has to say. If on the other hand you have read one of his/her reviews and you disagree with it then you will have a tendency to ignore what they have to say.

    When Ron reviewed DVDs and Movies, for our site, I had a similar taste in movies. So if he said he thought something pretty much sucked I tended to agree with him.

    Now if I read a review about a particular piece of equipment and they give it a high rating it just makes me want to check it out in person to see if I agree. I then will listen to what others here on HTF have to say about it.

    After all of that though no matter what anyone else says I have to be happy with it. So everyone in the world may think that X product is the best thing to come along in the last 100 years and yet in my opinion it pretty much is blown away by about everything else in its category and I will not buy it.

    Everything is subjective. Reviewers are giving you their opinion. These opinions are to be used as a guide. Nothing more. In the end you are the one that has to be happy with the purchase.

    What this forum is about is educating others so that they can make informed decisions. But the decision to be made can only be made by you.

    Parker
     
  10. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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  11. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    What you are really looking for in reviews is not even printed on the page. You are looking for the subtext. Read what the reviewer said, then look between the lines and get an idea of how the reviewer felt about the product. I can say lots of good things, but still get the idea across that it is not my cup of tea.
     
  12. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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  13. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I like magazines for pretty pictures and the odd bench test otherwise I'll stick to people that don't have a vested interest in the products they review.
     
  14. Luis M

    Luis M Second Unit

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    I would never buy a piece of equipment based only on one review, I have been in this hobby long enough to know better, but I stand by my first post, these reviews are flawed and do not reflect the whole truth.

    My point is this, you can give a good receiver an 80 rating and still not trash the product, just point out its weakest points so that when I read a review that has a 95 score- I know it kicks ass.
     
  15. Ryan S.S.

    Ryan S.S. Auditioning

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  16. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Hmmm... I personally very strongly think that if you read *a lot* of mag reviews, that it becomes a lot easier to differentiate between simple "good" reviews, and reviews where a product really knocks a reviewer's socks off. Plus www.ecoustics.com , www.audioreview.com , www.audiovideoreviews.com , and HTF, of course! [​IMG]
     
  17. TommyL

    TommyL Supporting Actor

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    Luis...have you demoed anything against it? I have the same receiver, and didn't believe I could do a lot noticably better...well, I was wrong[​IMG] Go out and search and listen..you'll be amazed..try and get it home for a a/b test...[​IMG]
     
  18. Luis M

    Luis M Second Unit

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    TommyL, My question on the first post was a synical one. I know there are many choices out there that would better my system in many ways, I was just trying to bring to this forum what I think about profesional reviewers or the way big name magazines conduct their reviews, specially the review rating results where there seems to be nothing wrong with anything ever. I don't intend to change my receiver for sometime, I just may add two or three Outlaw mono amps to the chain but I am not sure if the benefits would justify the cost?
     
  19. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    There's only one way to find out....
     

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