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Network Receiver Battle - Denon 3808CI or Pioneer Elite VSX-94TXH? (1 Viewer)


Nov 16, 2008
Real Name
Geoff C
After a nauseating amount of online research of looking for the latest affordable network receivers will next-gen capabilities (4 1.3a HDMI inputs, video upres, Wi-Fi, iPod) and audiophile power & quality, I'm down to these two bad boys. I also looked at the Yamaha 3900 but its just too expensive relatively.

I'm leaning towards the Pioneer, as its got phenomenal reviews by its owners, and Denon has some setup complexity complaints on the boards and some initial firmware issues. And to be honest, the Elite just looks more like the bad-ass monster I want in return for $1000+ powering my home theatre Death Star.

Both models are a little older (released early 2007) but the newer models of each don't seem to have any new killer apps (mostly better software, and cooler running amp), so I'll take the cheaper price. Anyone have any final input before I make the final decision for a rookie audiophile? Setup below. Thanks.

Samsung HL-S5687W 56-Inch 1080p DLP HDTV
Dynaudio Audience 40 fronts
PremierAcoustic PA-6S rears & center
Motorola HD-DVR
Sub (downstairs neighbor)
X360 Elite
PS3 Metal Gear LE


Supporting Actor
Jul 24, 2002
I don't know nearly enough about the Pioneer to offer any input other than what can already be gleaned from the product info; however, I do own the Denon...if anything, because I've always wanted to own one. Yes the 3808 may have had some initial firmware issues but the beauty of the 3808 (and that of most of the other network-capable Denon receivers) is that the firmware can easily be upgraded over the internet (I dunno if the 94TXH offers a similar capability). And--based on online specs--although the 94TXH is rated at 140 watts x 7 (vs. 130 x 7 for the 3808), the 3808 output is at .05% THD vs .09 for the 94TXH. Also, the 3808 offers Audyssey MultEQ, with the option to install Audyssey Dynamic EQ for free (after $100 mail-in rebate--you also get Audyssey Dynamic Volume; Rhapsody music capability--if you're willing to subscribe to it after the one-month free trial offer; Sirius Satellite capability--although I don't know how useful that particular feature would be today, given that XM and Sirius are now one and that the 3808 is XM-ready; and HDMI CEC capability).

The 94TXH does list for $100 more than the 3808, and the 3808's current list price is actually $100 higher (IIRC) than it was earlier this year. I dunno what street price is for the 94TXH but FWIW let's just say that I didn't pay anywhere near the $1599 list for my 3808. ;)

Anyone can make a decision based on comparing product features but you really should A-B them as far as audio quality is concerned because ultimately that's what matter more than anything else when it comes to mid- to high-end AVRs.

Scott Merryfield

Senior HTF Member
Dec 16, 1998
Mich. & S. Carolina
Real Name
Scott Merryfield
I just purchased a Pioneer VSX-94TXH yesterday as an upgrade over my Elite VSX-47TX. The local dealer was having a sale on Pioneer equipment, and this model was also being sold at a close-out price.

I spent the afternoon getting everything connected, setup and calibrated. So far we have only watched one high resolution BD -- The Nightmare Before Christmas. The Dolby TrueHD soundtrack was incredible!

For lossy DD5.1/6.1, the 94-TXH sounds very similar to my old VSX-47TX -- which is a good thing. The 47TX was an excellent sounding receiver.

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