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OK, OK, .... Analysis Paralysis is now in full swing.... can you help???

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Paul Fa, Nov 29, 2002.

  1. Paul Fa

    Paul Fa Stunt Coordinator

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    Happy Holidays to all!
    I have read product brochures, spec sheets, ad literature and all the posts in this forum, and I'm starting to go crazy! Every time I think I understand even 60% of the factors that I should use as buying criteria for my new HT receiver some article or post or spec sheet uses the numbers/stats in a slightly different way - making me less sure of the qualities I think I need/want in this next box. I think I have the choice narrowed down to the Denon AVR 3803 and the Marantz SR8300. Kudos to Bob McElfresh for his chart on receivers, but it doesn't exactly state these two receivers specs as they are laid out in the product spec sheets from each companies web-sites. I have listened to both boxes outputting to the same speakers and can't really hear enough of a difference to make the decision based on ear alone. I guess I am now more focused on features, build quality, and upgradability/slow obsolescence.
    Specific questions I have are:
    Power/Channels : The SR8200 is 120W x 6 and the 3803 is 110 x 7 - what does that extra channel really buy me? Isn't the decoding that sends sound to the 'extra' channels above 5.1 matrixed anyway? Is this really only useful for better 2nd room amplification? If so, will the 10W difference make a difference? If not, what am I missing here? Others may need to understand the finer points of this comparison also.
    Component Quality Etc.: The SR8200 is a certified 'THX Select' box and the 3803 isn't. The 3803 literature makes a big deal about their 'Melody 100' DSP, the 24 bit 192 kHz high res Burr-Brown DAC for all channels, their ability to auto store surround modes for 4 input sources, and their ability to use 'Component Video Conversion'(although some on this forum haven't been too impressed I've noticed). The SR8200 touts their 'Crystal' 24/192 DACs, their massive toroidal power xformer w/ oversized filters and high output wattages/current, their adaptive dual differential mode for 2 channel independance, and that all of the digital, analog, and control circuits are have their own power supplies and are separated and heavily shielded to prevent crosstalk and interference. So . . . does either's impressive component architecture make a big difference in quality today and tomorrow? Will either be less able to handle future sound needs?
    Specifications/Future Upgradability: With exception of their channels/wattage, and THX certification, both of these receivers have almost identical THD, FR, and S to N ratios. The Denon has one more composite and S-Video input and apparently 3 more Audio inputs than the Marantz, and some other features as well. The Marantz has an RS-232C connection for upgradability that isn't mentioned in the Denon literature. The Marantz has two assignable DC triggers and the Denon has one (what are these used for??). The Denon has an adjustable xover for the sub, and I can't tell from the Marantz if it is adj or fixed.
    With the price of these two high class receivers being so close . . . . which one really will give me more bang for my buck over the long run (next 5-10 years or so) and why??
    Thanks for helping me get out of my hopeless Analysis Paralysis!!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. Paul Fa

    Paul Fa Stunt Coordinator

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    Uhmmm . . . Buurp! Did I catch everyone in a triptophan induced post T-day coma???[​IMG] [​IMG]
    35+ views and no replies! I know how enamored a large group or you are with the Denon line and others speak highly of the Marantz - so where are you??? If someone can speak to my specific questions with regards how they would be better handled by another AV receiver that I've overlooked in the $1,000 to $1,300 range, then please blast away. I've got the money and the wife's interest for only a short period of time before they both are frittered away - so please help!!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. Gianni

    Gianni Agent

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    Paul,

    Welcome to the paralysis club. I can by no means offer a comprehensive comparison of these 2 units. It does seem as you have done your homework. I have looked at these as well
    and I think the 3803 will be hard to beat on features and IMO the sr8200 will have a slight edge in the amplifier. There are several reviews available on line with test results. Also, I am quite sure the sr8200 uses an EI transformer not a toroidal design.

    Another receiver you should consider is the Rotel RSX-1055. I have compared it side by side to the sr8200 and actually prefer the 1055. Don't let the power rating deter you--it performs quite well against the Marantz additional rated power. Also, the 1055 includes HDCD decoding, a great feature if your CD player is not so equipped. The 1055 lists for $300 less than the sr8200. This is just a personal preference, but I prefer the Rotel remote to the sr8200's. In the end, the 1055 sound is what won me over even though I am a fan of the sr8200.

    All 3 of these are great units. Just depends on your emphasis. Mine was music(although the 1055 does a great job w/ movies as well). Also I liked the straight forward operation of the 1055.

    Good luck w/ the paralysis. One possible cure might be to put away the specs and brochures and just go listen.
     
  4. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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  5. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

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    Everyone has really put everything down here for you. The 8200 has a better amp section and will probably sound better and the 3803 has more features and better DACs. You really should just give them a listen.

    The difference between the 6 channel amp (Marantz) and the 7 channel amp (Denon) is that the Denon can power one extra speaker in the back for DTS-ES, DD-EX. Both back speakers in the Denon will give you the same info as the single one the Marantz can power. The one complaint I've sometimes heard about a single rear speaker instead of two is that a single one sometimes throws its imaging in front of the viewer.

    For me, the big thing the 3803 has over the 8200 is the video section. The 100 MHz bandwidth is awesome and the video upconversion is the icing on the cake. With the upconversion I should be able to completely take the red push out of my Mits RPTV.
     
  6. DanielSmi

    DanielSmi Second Unit

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    Paul I don't think you could go wrong with either. I just depends on what features do you like the most and have to have, whether it's the 7ch, video upconversion, or THX certification and processing, or RS-232c port for the chance of upgradability. I personally like the 7ch even though I've never heard 6ch, I also like upconversion, but on the other hand I find THX certification a must for my receiver or pre/pro not necessarily for an amp though. By the way have you given thought to the Pioneer Elite 45TX. With the automatic MCACC, THX cert, USB port, 7Ch amp. There's alot of good reports on that one a real bang for your buck receiver. So as you can tell I'm just as confused as you are, there's no clear winner.

    Alex,



    How would upconversion get rid of your red push? Do you only have red push on your composite inputs, I'm confused?

    Daniel Smith
     
  7. Paul Fa

    Paul Fa Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the input guys!!
    I guess you are kinda confirming what I thought I had found - namely that the Denon and the Marantz are very similar in some ways, but have a few different features from each other.
    I tried closing my eyes and listening to each on the same set of Paradigm speakers on the same passages of a music CD and a movie DVD and unfortunately I just couldn't seem to be able to tell them apart. I guess I just have very pedestrian uneducated ears - they both just sounded great compared to my old system!
    I guess I will now include the Rotel and the Pioneer in my quest!
    How important do you all think RS232C and USB ports really are?? I work in the computer field and of course in that world s/w upgrades are considered mandatory (companies don't usually own both your H/W and S/W) - but with HT will the companies really want to allow their boxes to be field upgradeable w/ s/w or just sell you a new box after promising upgrades that somehow never make it to the field or do little if they do?????
    Thanks again for the ideas....anyone else out there want to weigh in? I haven't really thought of the members of this board as 'shy' before!!!!
    I guess I'm kinda starting to lean towards the Denon . . .??? Although I'm gonna look at the others too!
     
  8. Mike*Gillgannon

    Mike*Gillgannon Auditioning

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    I sympathize with your paralysis. Here's my handy-dandy rule of thumb for receivers:

    Toss all those brochures and spec sheets in the recycling bin, then buy the heaviest receiver you can afford. After that, take two years off from reading about receivers -- yours or anyone else's.:wink:

    --Mike
     
  9. romid

    romid Auditioning

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    Paul I'm very happy with my 3803. It's easy to set up and sounds pretty good too. I looked at/listened to the Marantz, Denon, Rotel(1055 and 1066)and the Pioneer and the difference between the Marantz and the Denon are pretty subtle. The Marantz seemed to lack a little detail in the low-mids, the Pioneer was a little to pushy and the Rotels sounded very nice, warm and detailed, and the 1055 would have been my choice but it was a little too laid back for home theater. This, of course, is just my opinion based on my speakers(Dynaudio) and my taste in music. I don't think you can go wrong with any of these receivers. Since you're in Socal, if you decide on the Denon there's a place in El Monte that has it for $800
     
  10. Paul Fa

    Paul Fa Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Romid, nice info! Mike - can't stop laughing....I think you've got the right answer!!!
     
  11. BrentPollard

    BrentPollard Second Unit

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    Yeah don't make a decision until you have auditioned the Rotel
    35+ views and no replies!
    Some of us like to keep our ignorance to ourselves[​IMG]
     
  12. DanielSmi

    DanielSmi Second Unit

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    Paul the USB port on the 45TX will connect to your computer and make your 45tx act as your computer's soundcard. If you have Win98 or higher your computer will recognize it as USB audio device. I don't have a 45TX so I can't tell you how well it works. But since you said you were into computers I thought you might find that interesting.

    Daniel Smith
     
  13. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

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    Daniel,
     
  14. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    I'm with Daniel here. I use a Yerrington red push attenuator with my Mits, but I don't understand how up converting the signal can attenuate the red push problem.
    Could you explain further?
    Thanks you,
     
  15. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    The red push attenuator only works on component inputs on the tv, obviously won't work for S video or composite.

    If one had a receiver that could upconvert composite and S video and pass it out as component video to the tv, then the attenuator on the cables between the reciever component video outputs and the tv component video inputs would also fix red push on composite and S video sources connected to inputs on that receiver. Thus one could attenuate red push on sources that do not have component video outputs.

    No attenuation or other red push correction is being done by the receiver, but the S and composite sources are being converted into something the attenuator can take care of downstream of the reciever.
     
  16. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Steve, you took the words right out of my mouth.[​IMG]
     
  17. JohnBrianW.

    JohnBrianW. Stunt Coordinator

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    I hate to add more options to your decision...because I know exactly how you feel but I think you would be cheating yourself if you never had a chance to listen to both NAD and Arcam. Musically these should be better than the above mentioned. If you're into music I would shy away from the Pioneer. Atleast thats my opinion.

    Between the Denon and the Marantz, I would go with Marantz.
     
  18. JimDMass

    JimDMass Auditioning

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    I purchased an 8200 in February after listening to comparably priced Denon and Onkyo receivers, as well. (I believe that the Denon was the 3802, at the time).

    My decision was based on the fact that music is a very high priority for me, and is more important to me than home theater. I was able to audition the Marantz and Denon with the same model B&W speakers that I own. To me, the music quality of the Marantz was distinctly better than the Denon. Once I heard the same classical and jazz CD's on each unit, the decision was a no brainer.

    From a home theater perspective, they sounded about equal to me.

    Beyond the sound there were a couple of minor things that I liked better about the Marantz:
    - front panel AV jacks - I sometimes like to connect a video camera or my son's DAT (the Denon, surprisingly, does not have a front panel input)
    - Cleaner, less cluttered look - IMHO, better aesthetic appeal.

    I'm still very pleased with the Marantz.
     
  19. Paul Fa

    Paul Fa Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm still going quietly nuts!!!
    Heres my latest takes on the boxes and questions:
    1.) The Denon seems to offer the most 'features'
    2.) The Marantz seems to be better for 2 channel music
    3.) The Rotel only powers 5 channels w/o adding amps
    1.) Does anyone know if the serial connection on the Denon can be used for upgrading it's internal s/w in the future? The website only says something about using it to connect to other accessories.
    2.) Jim, I'm with you - it's hard to believe there aren't any inputs on the front of the Denon 3803 - I also would like to be able to connect other devices w/o the hassle of pulling the unit out of a cabinet to do so - Anyone have a workaround you'ld suggest?
    Please correct any misguided ideas I've stated/asked. I like music and HT about equally and am replacing a 10+ year old Sony system that was one of those 'sets' - phono, tuner, tape, amp, CD w/ cabinet and speakers. I upgraded the speakers and CD player at time of purchase and the unit has met our needs while we had babies in the house etc. Now we can turn the music back up and play DVD movies so we need to be able to utilize the features of a nice 5.1/6.1/7.1 HT receiver - I'm going to start upgrading my four current speakers (the 2 Sony's that came with the system , SS-U930AV 3 ways' and my 2 'b' speakers - Infinity RS-5001 3 ways) with a full matched set of Paradigm Monitor series.
     
  20. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Paul:
    Here's another take on the Denon versus Marantz versus Rotel decision, from a perspective other than previously offered. Buy the least expensive unit, take the money saved and stock up on some new DVDs, CDs and SACDs and start enjoying.
    There aren't orders of magnitude of difference between these units, so why continue to paralyze yourself?
    --AM
     

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