Marantz 4300, H/K 225

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dean_D, Jan 22, 2003.

  1. Dean_D

    Dean_D Auditioning

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    I would like your opinions on these "musical" receivers around $400 to replace an old dying Sony. I am not looking at Denon very seriously because I can't find any authorized dealers selling the 1803 at a competitive price and I feel that the 1603 is not as good.

    I will use it for music & hometheater (50/50) and it
    will be connected to a 5.1 setup in a 15x20 room with
    vaulted ceilings (20ft).

    I am trying to decide whether Logic7 will be more useful
    than the 6x80W amps. For H/K receivers othen than the 8000 it is limited to 2 channel input, so the question is if it is that much better for music than a all channel stereo DSP. I am also not convinced on 6.1 as compared to 7.1 and I am not sure I will be upgrading to 6.1. I have N-series JBLs (N-26, N-24, N-center) + 10" JBL sub and as far as my upgrade plans are concerned, I will upgrade the speakers I find them lacking.

    My auditions so far have been inconclusive, but I am leaning towards the Marantz ...

    Thanks!
     
  2. Jose G

    Jose G Supporting Actor

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  3. Dean_D

    Dean_D Auditioning

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    I'm sorry for the poor explanation. I am not sure how useful Logic7 is in the lower-end H/K receivers when from what I see it takes 2.0 source material and converts it to 5.1 or 7.1 (conversion from 5.1 to 7.1 is implemented in the most expensive model). Wouldn't it be better to stick to Dolby digital for movies and use the all channel stereo mode for music? I understand it is better than PrologicII but I also think that 2.0 to 5.1 conversion depends primarily on the movie. For example, I am not convinced that an algorithm can understand consistently where an explosion is coming from in 2.0 material and even though it may improve some things, it may mess-up some others.

    In any case, it seems to me that this implementation of Logic7 is not such a strong plus for the H/K as it could have been.
     
  4. Jose G

    Jose G Supporting Actor

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    I see. I actually didn't know that the high end HK's handled the logic 7 any differently than the low end- at their site it implies it's the same decoding scheme for all units- from 2.0 material to 5.1 or 7.1, but I guess that would make sense. I believe that you are correct in thinking that much of the decoding itself has to do with the source material- for example, decoding the low frequency signals and redirecting them to the sub all depends on if they were installed and configured on the source material. In my mind, logic 7 is just a better mode than many other modes, including PLII, but not a substitute for using DD or DTS on DVD's encoded for this, and as far as analog music is concerened...well, I don't have a real opinion on this because I focus on simply using 2.0 stereo mode for music as I think that's the way stereo music should be listened to- after all, that's what all the fuss over the imaging of the speakers was over, right? As far as the unit decoding the algorithms well, I think the HK225 does a pretty good job at that in all the modes- but I'm no expert in this by any means. Now I know you mentioned 6.1 and 7.1 when discussing choosing between receivers. This reference was toward the marantz unit I'm assuming, as the HK225 is a 5.1 unit- unless you were talking about 6 ch direct input vs a 7 ch direct input on the marantz unit and that's a choice only you could make. Room size- nice ceiling height, but that makes the room pretty big. Now I have plenty of juice with the 225 in a 12 X 18 X 8 room and I think the 65 X 2 or 55 X 5 amps might fill your room pretty well with good speakers, but that is a big space. The fact is that the difference between an 80W unit and a 55W unit is only about 3 dB's anyway, so if you need more juice- you may have to go with more juice- something in the realm of 250W- which will get you what? 6 dB's difference? So when choosing- I think it's best to look to the features that you will need and want (as you are doing), and not too much at the power rating (unless that Marantz unit is highly underated). In the end, I like both Marantz and HK, so either way- you will probably be pretty happy. Good luck and go with your ear!
     
  5. Dean_D

    Dean_D Auditioning

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    Update:

    I am leaning away from the Marantz because I decided to
    focus on a 5 channel system. I don't want to pay for extra amps. It also is not a true 6x80. See power consumption specs. Sound is not that different from H/K. H/K is a little cheaper so I am leaning towards it. I also relistened to the denon 1603 and it was quite good.

    Any other suggestions for a good 5 channel receiver? I would like something with true 5x75 watts. The H/K 520 seems buggy from the comments I am reading.

    I am still unclear is Logic7 is important enough to make me decide on the H/K.
     
  6. Jason GT

    Jason GT Second Unit

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    My thoughts on logic7: it's neat. [​IMG]

    There is no real proper comparison between 5-channel stereo and a processed output like DPL II or L7, IMO. I am no audiophile, but I find that, in brief listening of 2-channel music sources, I prefer L7 to DPL II. There's a greater sense of envelopment (subtle but nice) and the front soundstage seems to be a bit more developed.

    Multichannel stereo pretty much sends a full-strength stereo signal to the speakers on each side and a half 'n half mix signal to the center channel.

    No comparison can be made between multichannel stereo and the DSP stuff like L7 and DPL-- and it's not a matter of L7 or DPL being better than 5-channel stereo -- it's just that the sound is so different, I'd imagine one would use 'em for different purposes.
     
  7. Dean_D

    Dean_D Auditioning

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    Update:

    I got the AVR-225 and decided to post why I came to this decision:

    1. The Marantz is a little warmer and 6 channel, but I couldn't say that it sounded better than the H/K.

    2. H/K is a little more powerful per channel,

    3. I listened to Logic7 on more material and found prefering it to most other DSPs. All channel stereo is better with music for parties but I think Logic7 is better when listening from a fixed position.

    4. H/K seems better built, offers a DSP which works better than PLII in utilizing my surround speakers.

    5. H/K was 20% cheaper.

    I also want to add the following:

    I considered the AVR-520 and AVR-320 but decided against them because I prefered a new product which has less firmware issues and I could get at a better price. I have no use right now for main-ins, multi-zone, component switching or the extra 2 channel decoding. I'd rather get a new receiver if I go to 7.1 in a few years. The better crossover flexibility made me hesitate, but after auditioning and research I decided that I am not obtaining any advantage with the 320 series (the triple-crossover of higher-end x25 models is nice though). I also looked at the models Frys was selling for 299 and 399 (320, 520). They were in really bad shape (way too much dust inside) and some did not have remotes! The refurbished models go through similar ordeals as display models do and even though I belive H/K tries hard to have them return to the best shape possible they will not offer the satisfaction a crackling-new product offers when it is taken out of its box and wrapping. The prices (even at ebay) seem to be quite high for 320-z (the 520 can be found new).

    How does the 225 perform at home? Much better than the Sony it replaced and much better than expected. It doesn't tire like the Sony at large volumes, it fills the room and it separates frequencies very well. I noticed that I could detect audience cough in a live recording of classical music at much lower frequencies. This actually spoiled the listening experience of this recording since I now I generally want to go louder than I did to enjoy more subtle contributions to the overall sound but in this recording the cough annoys me (I can hear it at -15db in L7 Music Mode). And yes, the LOTR and Matrix "tests" were more than satisfactory. Definetely a step up. I will be looking for another definite step-up when I upgrade it in a couple of years and I think I will probably end-up looking at separates.
     
  8. Jose G

    Jose G Supporting Actor

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  9. Dean_D

    Dean_D Auditioning

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    Thanks Jose. I believe that if you purchase something that you have researched well so that it satisfies the requirements you want you will not be dissapointed. Perhaps something else is better when compared through more objective measures but I can't say I have noticed a dissapointing performance flaw so far. This forum is very helpful providing you the necessary information to make in the worst case a simply good purchase.

    I also want to clarify that I meant to write that I can detect audience cough at lower volume and not frequencies [​IMG]. This may be a drag for classical music but its really good for rock concerts! [​IMG]
     
  10. RussB

    RussB Auditioning

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    Dean,

    Sound like you are happy with your purchase. I also just upgraded to the H/K 225, along with some NSP-1 and a DLS 10. The sound could not be any better for the price. I did not understand all the fuss about the sound in LOTR until I watched it with my new setup!!

    Russ
     
  11. Jose G

    Jose G Supporting Actor

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    Russ, have you tried the opening scene of Star Wars- the latest one. I always use that to show of this $99.00 sub. And check out Brotherhood of the Wolf (in French with subtitles- it makes a difference for some reason). I love the DLS with that flick!
     
  12. RussB

    RussB Auditioning

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    Jose, That is next on the list. Did not have time due to the wife and ongoing home improvement project. That will be done soon and then time to play with the new toys....

    Russ
     

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