Marantz vs Denon vs Yamaha receivers

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Yoon Lee, Sep 3, 2001.

  1. Yoon Lee

    Yoon Lee Stunt Coordinator

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    Pros and cons comparing them altogether? I'm interested in amp section of the receivers with their sound characteristics not which has DTSx.x format.
     
  2. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

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    I don't want to risk offending any owners of these products. I have had experience with all 3 as well as Onkyo and Pioneer and i have to say that there are pros and cons to each. Sound-wise, I would say that the Marantz and Denon have traded places in these areas the most. Yamaha has been regarded by audiophiles as a peculiar piece because of all of its sound modes. Since the inception of Dolby Digital, Yamaha has paved the way for more expensive receivers with the intention of enticing entry level separates buyers to the higher level receiver market. Denon was quick to follow with even more expensive flagship receivers. I have always found Denon to produce better all around sound and better separation for movie soundtracks. The AVR 4800 is an excellent example of how Denon decided to package their receivers. When comparing the AVR 4800 and the Yamaha Flagship RXV-1 (I have owned both for over 1 year), I found that the Denon sounded consistently better mainly due to its power. As pre-amps using an outboard amp, the Yamaha produced a smoother overall sound (for some reason the soundstage was slightly smaller), and better depth, but probably due to its superior DACs and other superior components. However, the surround sound panning from left to right, front to rear on the AVR 4800 was better! I currently use a Denon AVR 5800, which souunds head and shoulders above either the AvR 4800 and RXV-1.
    I used a Marantz SR18 for a period of 2 months and found that its 2 channel sound was superb. If you are going for a sub $1500 receiver, you may seriously want to consider the Marantz SR19 or SR 18. (ignoring featurs of course)
    If you are going with a $2000 flagship, I would strongly consider the successor to the AVR 4800, which is the 4802 (should be reaching stores this week). I don't have a doubt that it will be the equal or better than its predecessor.
    It's not that I don't like Yamaha - I like the build quality, but I would much rather have seen some of its cost go toward its internal amps. I think Denon and Marantz builds a more comprehensively packaged product because, frankly, not a lot of people I know of like to fiddle with so many surround modes. My local dealer, with whom I have a great relationship with, is having problems with clearing out of their Yamaha Receivers and are getting huge cost cuts from Yamaha on purchasing the current models. They aren't doing so well at the moment, but you can't go wrong if you can get a deal on one. From what I understand, dealer cost on the flagship RXV-1 will be dropping dramatically next month, so I wouldn't be surprised if you find one under $1800 by the end of the year.
    Good Luck
    Elbert
     
  3. Razvan V

    Razvan V Stunt Coordinator

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    About the Marantz SR18: how did it sound in surround mode? Was its sound in stereo better than the Denon 5800? Build quality? I'm asking because I'm considering the SR18EX but haven't had the chance to listen to it extensively.
    Razvan
     
  4. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

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    Razvan - The Marantz had a more "laid back" sound quality than the Denon. The Denon definititely exhibited more power and thus may be more appropriate if you have full range towers. All in all, the Denon is a superior piece, but then again it is indeed more expensive.
    As a pre-amp, I would say it's close. I would say that it depends on your gear. Denon's 5/7 channel stereo is still the best but the Marantz's 2 channel performance may appeal to others.
    Build quality-wise - Toss up. Both are built like tanks although I suspect a little more copper goes in the Denon. Personally, I like the feel of the buttons on Marantz receiver as well as the retro dial on the face. Very cool and very solid. But, alas, I want features and the Denon 5800 promises upgradability. If there will be indeed an upgrade to DTS 24/96, I want it....
    But, if you can get an SR18 for under $1900, it's not a bad purchase at all. I am, however, a bit disappointed with the SR14ex in terms of overall sound quality for a piece that costs $4500. I felt that the Denon's preamp performace was a bit more transparent, but then again, it could be that I was more used to it on my system. The SR18 was very smooth, but I felt that it lacked fidelity on certain source material as well as a diminished soundstage.
    It's lack of the extra 2 channels for EX speaker support is baffeling. They should have just made a $4000 pre-amp like the Integra.
    Elbert
     
  5. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    Much of these receivers' relative pros and cons will depend on the speakers with which they are paired. As an example, Yamaha coupled with "brighter" speakers like Paradigm can get pretty nasty on the high end (my former combination), but with a "darker" speaker like Atlantic it can really bring them to life. Denon is relatively neutral, and Marantz is relatively "warm" (for lack of a better word) if you want to place them across a spectrum. All have solid reputations in the industry for quality components at the various price points. And they have all offered receivers that at some point pushed the envelope for features and performance.
    I find that Yamaha spends too much time on their DSP modes, none of which I care for. If you're really into simulated listening environments than this is the horse to bet on. If you prefer listening to music and movies straight ahead than Marantz and Denon may be better options as I feel they provide better overall sound quality with richer sounding amp sections. But also keep the speaker combination in mind. If it's possible I would encourage you to try each in your system for a weekend and judge what works best in that environment.
    ADDENDUM: One feature of the Marantz line (at least with the higher level receivers) that is still unique among receivers (at least as far as I know) is multi-channel preamp inputs in addition to outputs. Yamaha & Denon also offer outputs to allow expansion with an external power amp. But Marantz's ability to plug back into the preamp (on all channels) allows you to use an equalizer to tailor frequency response in your room (with the onboard amp section). If this is important to you consider this a lockout spec. But also remember that equalization can cause more harm than good if you're not prepared to adjust it properly using test signals and response curves - "earballing" it is not going to work (unless you're a pro sound engineer [​IMG] ).
    ------------------
    --Jay
    "No one can hear when you're screaming in digital."
    My Home Theatre Pictures...
    "You're no messiah. You're, you're a movie of the week. You're a ... t-shirt, at best."
    [Edited last by Jay Mitchosky on September 04, 2001 at 08:50 AM]
     
  6. Gregory S

    Gregory S Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,
    I have ACI Sapphire III LE speakers and I am wondering if the Denon 3802 or the Marantz 7200 would be a better match. Does anyone have these speakers and what are your opinions about these receivers?
    Thanks,
    Greg
     
  7. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Yes Jay, that feature is nice, and I wish the SR 6200 had that. Apparantly, the SR 8000 has main-amp inputs, something the 6200 lacks. With that, you can insert a crossover to tailor the bass response. Alas, I guess outboard amps are the only solution with the 6200.
     
  8. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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  9. Lance_R

    Lance_R Stunt Coordinator

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    What ever you choose make sure it has one screen programing, I have a Denon and setup was a snap, my friend got a Yamaha and trying to read what the menus are on the side scrolling LED pannel was a huge hassle. I really don't think the sound difference is very noticable unless you have really good ears, speakers and a room that is acoustically good.
    My $.02
    ------------------
    [​IMG]The best Sci-Fi in while
     
  10. Andrew Beacom

    Andrew Beacom Supporting Actor

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    Jay,
    I have the SR8000 and I'm a bit confused about the feature you are describing. Are you talking about using pre-outs to go to an external XO and then the 6 channel in's to bring the signal back through the 8000 for amplification of the externally XO'd signal?
    I do remember reading that this either didn't work or wasn't advisable.
     
  11. MatthewJ S

    MatthewJ S Supporting Actor

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    Man, I've rarely read a thread whose posts so closely match my own opinions, so ,in a word, DITTO !
     
  12. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    That's exactly what I have asked in another post:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/uub/...ML/043360.html
    although I'm asking about the SR 6200. I was under the impression that there were no Marantz receivers that would accomodate that external XOVER or EQUALIZER loop.
    Perhaps someone with with an SR series receiver who had done this might comment? The 6 channel inputs, are they main-amp inputs? Or are they inputs which you must SELECT in order to use? If you have to SELECT them, then they are not main amp inputs and are really for another source, right? If you select the 6 channel inputs, then you've got no way of using DVD, LD, CD or whatever.
    Andrew, are you able to do what we're talking about here or not? What does the SR 8000 manual say about the 6 channel inputs? What are they described as?
    SR 6200 and 7200 owners, what about your receiver, can you insert a xover in a loop like the above?
    [Edited last by Chris PC on September 05, 2001 at 11:39 AM]
    [Edited last by Chris PC on September 05, 2001 at 11:43 AM]
     
  13. Gregory S

    Gregory S Stunt Coordinator

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    There are no MAIN IN's on the Marantz SR6200/7200 - the only way to use an external X/O is to send the pre-outs to an external amp. There you go wasting those amps! Actually it's probably not a bad idea, but I'm one of those guys who has a hard time wasting those amps, even though it's probably cheaper than buying separates. It bugs me!
    Sending the pre-outs back to the 6.1 input (those inputs for SACD, etc.). I don't see how that could work, because you have to select an input (your source), which for example might be your CD player or DVD player. If you select that, then how could you select the 6.1 inputs, which is just another source!
     
  14. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    quote: Are you talking about using pre-outs to go to an external XO and then the 6 channel in's to bring the signal back through the 8000 for amplification of the externally XO'd signal?[/quote]
    The SR-18 (at least) had 5.1 preamp outputs and inputs independent of the 5.1 channel decoder inputs. The latter is intended as an analog input for any given multi-channel processor/decoder for a new sound format (read: SACD or DVD-A). The pre in/out loop allowed you to:
    • Simply use an external power amp via the pre-outs (pretty common among receivers now), or
    • Loop the signal through an external EQ or crossover for all 5.1 channels and then back into the onboard amps (very uncommon)
    This is completely discrete from the 5.1 channel analog inputs. As I mentioned above, Yamaha has this loop on some receivers for only the mains - from the factory they're connected with little jumpers. My first HT receiver (a DPL Yammie, can't remember the model) had this feature and I used it with my (then) Paradigm PS-1000's hi-pass filter as the external crossover. It worked exceptionally well and allowed me to dial in what frequencies went to the sub and what went to the mains. The ability to do this on all 5.1 channels for crossover adjustment (ie. you would set everything as Large and fine tune externally) or equalization was a compelling feature of the SR-18 over its then chief rival, Denon's 5700 (which only has the pre-outs for use with an external power amp). I am not sure what other Marantz receivers offer this same ability.
    Hopefully that helps.
    ------------------
    --Jay
    "No one can hear when you're screaming in digital."
    My Home Theatre Pictures...
    "You're no messiah. You're, you're a movie of the week. You're a ... t-shirt, at best."
    [Edited last by Jay Mitchosky on September 05, 2001 at 09:56 PM]
     
  15. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    I am going to try the SR 6200 as is with my fronts and subwoofer using the 100 hz xover. I may try using the fronts as LARGE and SUB as yes. Many have been doing this and have had good results. I'll just experiement away.
    If I do go with an external amp, I have 2 choices, in terms of affordable external amplification. An NAD C270 120 watt x 2 stereo amp for around $600.00 Canadian plus tax, or a 10 year old NAD 2400 100 watt x 2 stereo amp for $400.00 Canadian, no tax. With either one, I will use a xover between the SR 6200 pre-outs and the subwoofer and amplifier.
    Come to think of it, that NAD 2400 100 watt x 2 stereo amp would be a perfect way of taking that single rear center/surround and using a y-cable to power 2 identical rear center surrounds. Hmmmmmm.....
    [Edited last by Chris PC on September 05, 2001 at 10:23 PM]
     
  16. Andrew Beacom

    Andrew Beacom Supporting Actor

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    Chris,
    I'll have a look at my manual but from memory it doesn't say too much about anything.
     
  17. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    My setup on the 6200 is: all speakers=large, sub=yes. Works like a charm. I was not as impressed with my speakers set to small, though they did play louder. The fact is, that most decent speakers will go well below 100Hz, in which case the 6200 manual recommends setting them to large. Since all my speakers roll off completely by 55Hz, I set them all to large. Then I roll in the sub around 75-80Hz to blend in smoothly and give a little support in that range.
    ------------------
    All progress is based upon a universal, innate desire on the part of every organism,
    to live beyond it's income.
    ITRCA ** Speedring (sorry, car guy)
     
  18. Andrew Beacom

    Andrew Beacom Supporting Actor

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    John,
    With all speakers = large and sub = yes I wouldn't set your sub XO to anything other than it's maximum value. Your speakers are getting full range signals and your sub is only getting the LFE channel. The LFE channel spec allows for signals up to 120hz, although it probably isn't used up to that frequency that much.
    Unless I mis-understood what you are doing?
     

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