Pioneer 49TX vs. Denon 5803

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Alex Yang, Apr 27, 2002.

  1. Alex Yang

    Alex Yang Stunt Coordinator

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    Has anybody here listened to BOTH of these flagship receivers side by side? If so what are your opinions...? Please answer ONLY if you've listened to BOTH receivers...

    Thanks,

    -Alex
     
  2. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

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    Alex - I've spent a good 3 hours on both units in the same HT room at my friend's B&M store - Both are worth units and are priced accordingly. I have to give the edge to Denon in overall sound, most notably its PURE DIRECT mode, which employs 4DACs/channel (I think)

    The Denon exhibited more power from its amps, so, in order to make the comparison more fair, we used a 5 channel outboard amp (ATI2505) to power the mains and rears. We let the 2 units' internal amps power the surround back. Using the THX EX demo disc (TEX trailer and Jungle Sounds) as well as various CDs, we switched the receivers back and forth twice to note the differences.

    On the TEX trailer, the Denon's imaging was impeccable. The TEX robot sounded like it was truly in a 3 dimensional space almost beyond the wall of the display! The Pioneer sounded CLOSE, except that we felt that the 49TX sounded as though there were a very SLIGHT veil covering the sound, which made is just slightly less "transparent" sounding and the soundstage sounded a bit smaller overall.

    Panning -Front to right, to rear, from right rear to SBs, to left rear and back to front - The Denon sounded EVER SO SLIGHTLY more convincing. Both are excellent, and definitely much better than the processors in the Denon AVR3802.

    Dynamics - The Denon and Pioneer provide the same amount of punch in the bass. There seemed to be more extension on the Pioneer, so it's a matter of perspective on which one is better. I liked the "tighter" sounding bass on the Denon, while my friend preferred more extension on the THX trailer - call it a toss up there. However, in the mids and highes, the Denon sounded a bit more dynamic, which may not be as beneficial for bright sounding speakers, but with both receivers' THX processing engaged, the sonic differences were much less apparent.

    Alex - It's really up to you which receiver is going to fit your tastes and your current equipment. I prefer Denon as a brand because the focus of its products have always been geared toward the audio end. I prefer their flagship receiver products because they have been the true "pioneer" in pushing the receiver performance threshold and have, arguably, the most experience with the flagship receivers. Pioneer makes a decent product, but, overall, it's not for me. (I never liked touch screen remotes, and, I my limited experience with the Pioneer flagships, their touch screen remotes are the most cumbersome for me to use. I applaud Pioneer's use of some real quality components in its 49tx and its design philosophy, but my ears still tell me that the Denon is still king. I have recommended Pioneer products to friends on budgets and I know that the Pioneers can be had for even cheaper later on in its production cycle because my friend carries the "B" stock items from Pioneer as well. (75% off retail)

    Denon, on the other hand, does not offer b stock in the US and, therefore, for me, their receivers holds more of their long term value.

    Elbert
     
  3. Michael Lee

    Michael Lee Supporting Actor

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    Alex-

    I cannot offer you a side by side comparison...but if you'd like to hear the 5803 in a home environment, rather than a demo room--you are welcome out here anytime.
     
  4. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    Elbert:

    Do you know for certain if the MCACC had been run on the 49TX and if it was engaged? The reason I ask is that over some 2 months of in-home use, I have found the MCACC (front align mode) offers an increase in preceived detail and a more open, more precise soundfield.
     
  5. RajeeK

    RajeeK Second Unit

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    Elbert,

    Nice review comparing both. You are the first person I know who has truly done this to that extent. Being a 49TX owner, it always nice to hear comparisions and other opinions out there.
     
  6. RajeeK

    RajeeK Second Unit

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  7. Gifford L

    Gifford L Agent

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    I will be doing this comparison on some klipsch reference series in 2 weeks.
     
  8. Alex Yang

    Alex Yang Stunt Coordinator

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    Elbert,
    Thanks very much indeed for your info, in another thread started by Rajeek, I basically stated that the reason why I'm leaning towards the Denon over Pioneer is basically because of the bells and whistles that the DENON has over the PIONEER piece. I figured that the sound of the FLAGSHIP receivers from BOTH companies would sound close if not EQUAL and that any differences would be SUBTLE, therefore I would only base my FINAL purchasing decision based on FEATURES and DENON won.
    DUAL 8 CHANNEL inputs
    Denon Digital Link
    More inputs
    etc...
    The only thing I was missing out on is the MCACC... Originally since I had prices of way WAY over $3500 $$$ for the DENON, I decided that at this price range separates was the better route to go with and I was HEAVILY leaning towards the AVM20...
    Until someone showed me where to pick up the unit for $2800... Then it was GOODBYE Anthem AVM20 hello DENON AVR5803... Until I stumbled onto Rajeek's review and AWESOME pictures of his 49TX... I still have until MONDAY to decide on which unit... Hence the start of this thread and the open ended question on Rajeek's original thread...
    Thank you ALL for your wonderful input, I'll let you all know how the DENON works out in my home... [​IMG]
    -Alex
     
  9. Alex Yang

    Alex Yang Stunt Coordinator

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    Michael Lee,

    Thank you VERY VERY much for your kind offer, but I think that at this time, my purchasing decision is final...

    Denon here I come!!!

    -Alex
     
  10. Tony Meconiates

    Tony Meconiates Stunt Coordinator

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    Alex,

    Where might I ask are you able to get the 5803 for 2800? If you can get it at that price, you just cut the 800 dollar gap between the 49tx and the 5803 in half! Do you still have to pay NYC sales tax?

    Edit: BTW, I am pretty much in the same boat as you. I have been considering the 49tx, the 5803 and separates like the 950/770 combo, and the anthem avm20/MCA 50 combo, or maybe even a parasound amp... the features on the 49tx like the MACC and the video conversion really excite me, but I love the amps in the denon. Having everyone rave about the 950 and the avm20 doesnt help either... I have no idea what the hell I want anymore. All I know is that I need a audio rack because half my equipment is sitting on a lamp stand next to my TV... lol
     
  11. Alex Yang

    Alex Yang Stunt Coordinator

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    Tony,
    Denon DOES the VIDEO Conversion too!!! Unless I'm missing something??? It converts Composite video SVIDEO to Component inputs or composit to SVIDEO... Please DO let me know ASAP I'm wrong about this?
    The $2800 price is including shipping to NYC, NO SALES tax!!!! [​IMG]
    I don't know if I can divulge the source just yet, I've just left him a voicemail asking his permission...
    If he says yes but Private, then I will email you, IF he says yes AND it's public, I'll post it here on the board....!!! [​IMG]
    Either way, I'll keep you posted via emai... [​IMG]
    -Alex
     
  12. Tony Meconiates

    Tony Meconiates Stunt Coordinator

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    Alex,

    I think you are right about video conversion... Thats what is says on the denon website on the 5803... I wonder why I thought otherwise... I think I read somehwere that their was an issue with denon meeting the THX cetification in regards to video conversion and switching whereas the 49TX had no problems - perhaps the source where I read this was mistaken.

    Oh, and whatever you decide to get, please keep us informed as we all will expect a review! One last thing - the place where you can get the denon for 2800, can you get the 49tx for less than 2400?
     
  13. RajeeK

    RajeeK Second Unit

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  14. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    I think the difference is in the on-screen display. The Pioneer was able to meet the THX Ultra 2 spec for component video switching and still have on-screen display from the component output by using a separate signal path for the character generator instead of a simple overlay which does indeed degrade whatever video signal is being output. This is more complex and more expensive to implement so I am guessing Denon did not want to increase the cost of their unit any more than it already is.

    As far as i know, the video format conversion in the 5803 will convert composite to component.
     
  15. RajeeK

    RajeeK Second Unit

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  16. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

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    thanks for the kind remarks, guys. Robert - the answer to your question is YES - we made sure to engage the Pioneer's MCACC the 3 times we switch units. That's a real plus of the Pioneer. Being used to Denon receivers, I'v never had any problems calibrating their receivers. The Pioneer's truly a beautiful looking and sounding unit. I wouldn't mind owning one except for the fact that I don't care for its remote.

    I plan to do another comparison in about 3 more weeks after the Denon and Pioneer display units have had ample time to break in. My friend's store has them both on display in separate sound rooms, playing the exact same demo material and being powered on at the same time every day. I want to hear how they'll sound like after a good 100 hours of break in .

    Elbert
     
  17. Miguel Stanic

    Miguel Stanic Stunt Coordinator

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    My vote is for the 49TX all the way. This is a great sounding unit. Of course, I have not listened to the 5803 so I can't say that the 49TX is better. However, I will not even consider the 5803 as I can only see it being a lateral move. It's great, however, that people buying now have the option of listening to both whereas the 5803 was still around the corner when some of us bought our 49TX.
    Having owned the 5800, the 49TX does a much better job in all aspects of it's features. The big thing for me is the Auto Calibration seeing as my room is not a perfect square. It's amazing what this feature can do. Multi channel music and movies never sounded better. I find bass to be tight and clean. The center channel is better than ever with dialogue crystal clear and crisp like I haven't heard it before. 7.1 music is AWESOME not to mention movies. I have to agree with Rajeek on the display as well. It's nice to be able to see it from a relative distance whereas Denon's display is awful at best.
    My only gripes with the 49TX is the power cord's end that connects to the unit which is only two prong and doesn't sit tight at all. However, I understand the Denon 5803 also uses the same. As well, the 49TX's remote has to be aimed directly (or pretty close to it) at the unit in order to operate. This is kind of a pain in the ass depending on where I'm sitting. All my other remotes work without even pointing at the units. Are you guys finding this with the remote at all.
    I've yet to find a CCF file for my PRONTO TS1000. Rajeek, you did email me one but your higher version does not appear to be backwards compatible. Thanks anyways. I will start creating my own instead of trying to cheat by copying off someone else....sounds kind of like my homework days of school...cheers everybody....happy listening all you Pioneers and Denonnites.[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  18. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    Miguel:

    I emailed you my Pronto CCF. Try the "AMP" section for your 49TX. This is one I made myself, but I think it covers most functions.
     
  19. Michael Lee

    Michael Lee Supporting Actor

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    Miguel-

    I am pretty sure the 5803 comes with a 3-prong AC plug. Also, is Rajeek's Pronto ccf incompatible or are you trying to load it with the proper editor? If you download the new Pronto Edit 4.0, it is compatible with all three versions of the Pronto...making things much easier in the end.
     
  20. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

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    Michael - The Denon PDF file shows that the back of the unit does not have the the 3 prong iec. I haven't checked the back of the unit myself yet..

    Elbert
     

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