Receiver Question form Psuedo Newbie

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bobby Crumpley, Feb 10, 2002.

  1. Bobby Crumpley

    Bobby Crumpley Auditioning

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    Long time lurker, first time poster. I've got $800 to spend on a new receiver and have been leaning towards the Denon 3802, Onkyo 797, or ??. I hadn't really decided. Anyway, the more that I've thought about this, as a long time believer in separates, I think that I'd be better off with a $5-600 receiver (H/K AVR320, Denon 2802, Onk 696, etc.) and adding a high quality $300 used amp for my main channels such as a B&K ST140 or 442EX.

    My TV is a Sony 53HS10, so it only has one HD input, meaning that component video switching is mandatory. Also, I watch a LOT of TV, so I really would like DPLII. I know that the H/K's don't have a phono stage, but a low priced pre-pre phono amp would likely be better than what comes in any receiver in this price range, so that's no big deal.

    I'm a bit concerned about the Onkyos because of some of the Universal movies they have trouble with. Is this a valid concern? If Universal doesn't release any more DVD's with the compatibility problems then it'll be a non-issue for me (none of the three 'trouble' movies do much for me).

    So, I've read tons of real informative posts here and have a pretty good feel of what's out there, feature wise anyway. No reason to post again what you have already posted in response to other forum members queries about which is he best $XXX receiver. Mainly I would like to get some feedback on whether this is the best way to go and if one of these $600 receivers has a notably better preamp section than all the others.

    TIA,

    Bobby
     
  2. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    bob, if you decide to buy a denon receiver, from what vendor would you buy it? i think i am going to go for a denon avr2802 from buydig.com.
    http://buydig.com/cgi-local/shop/web...=yes&accy=&as=
    it is written there
    "This product is brand new, factory fresh and includes full manufacturer warranty"
    i really want to know their definition of "full manufacturer warranty".
    i also tried brandnewz. they replied my email, basically saying that they are not authorized dealer, but they bought the receivers from authorized dealer and would take care of their customer if the purchase got broken and denon wont fix it. (sorry my grammar sucks )
    my avr1802 has spent 2 weeks at etronics, and they havent even notified me about the status. i got a bad feeling about this. i am going to buy 2802 then sell the 1802 when it is returned to me.
     
  3. Kyle_Y

    Kyle_Y Stunt Coordinator

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    I would higly suggest just going in with a Denon 3802 or Onkyo 797, two reasons, it will make your life simpler, and the results won't be that significant. I own an Onkyo 797 and my friend, an avid audiophile, owns a stereo Mark Levinson amp and a pair of B&W Nautilus 802's, to create the best stereo I have ever heard I think. I begged him to bring over his Mark Levinson amp and hook it to the pre-outs of my 797 to my A/D/S tower speakers to do a comparison. I must say, it sounded a little better at normal volumes, at louder volumes, the difference was more noticable, the only area where the Mark Levinson pulled away was in power, at at those volumes, it was beyond reason. The 797 has no problems driving my 4ohm speakers, the Mark just gave more power, when we watched a movie, even at refrence levels, there was no noticable difference, and we are talking about an amp that is worth much more than my receiver, you are talking about an amp that is worth half the price of your receiver...save yourself the trouble and just go with an Onkyo 797 or Denon 3802, you will be more pleased IMO with the overall effect of your system. If you are into more stereo, the 797 is better than the 3802 though.
     
  4. Bobby Crumpley

    Bobby Crumpley Auditioning

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    Felix,

    I'm sure that I'll buy mail order, just not sure where from. If it breaks, I'll call Denon (or H/K, Marantz, whoever) and ask where to send it to get it repaired. As long as it's not a gray market item, I don't think that they'll refuse to repair it under warranty. I could be wrong, but I've never heard of this actually happening (refusing to repair under warranty). See my story on your post about length of repair time on my Sony ES receiver.

    Bobby
     
  5. Bobby Crumpley

    Bobby Crumpley Auditioning

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    Kyle,

    Thanks for the reply. This was the type of info I was looking for. Do you attribute the lack of difference to the preamp section in the receiver?

    Thanks,

    Bobby
     
  6. Brian O

    Brian O Second Unit

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    Bobby -

    I would recommend taking a good hard look at HK. They have a distinct sound advantage to me over the other models, especially on 2 channel music. Hopefully, that would equate to a better Pre/Pro use too.

    Dont be fooled by their wattage listed. Their units have lots of punch and their latest models (520, 8000) have all the format goodies and Logic 7 too with a nice assortment of inputs/outputs.
     
  7. Kyle_Y

    Kyle_Y Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, the 797 is THX certified, so in addition to meeting amplifier requirements, it also has to meet THX pre-amp standards, so no, it is not the pre-outs of the 797, it's just that unless you want VERY loud volumes(past ear bleeding) then adding an external amp is not important. I can vouch that the 797 has a beefy amp because my A/D/S towers when driven hard put my Pioneer into "overload". I thought I would have to add an external amp to the 797 for the fronts, but after extensive listening at high volumes, it will be pointless to add an external amp. If you have 3ohm or 2ohm speakers, or speakers with very low sensitivity
     
  8. Bobby Crumpley

    Bobby Crumpley Auditioning

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    Kyle,

    You are saying that quality wise, the amp in the 797 is the same as in the Levinson, only the Levinson has more power?
     
  9. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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  10. Bobby Crumpley

    Bobby Crumpley Auditioning

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    Well, I don't want it to go there. I've been down that road long ago and know that no minds will be changed. Looking again at my last post though, it does seem like I'm steering it that direction and could have done a better phrasing the question.

    Let me try again:

    Assuming that you hear appreciable differences in amps, would the combination of, say, a Denon 2802 & B&K ST140 be better than a Denon 3802 or does the receiver's preamp section make it not worth doing?

    I've owned many pieces of high-end gear over the years, but have been away from it for some time. I have an $800 budget and would like to replace my dead Sony ES receiver. I will be driving NHT Super2's.

    Thanks,

    Bobby
     
  11. Kyle_Y

    Kyle_Y Stunt Coordinator

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    I am not saying that quality wise a Mark Levinson amp sounds the same, but it just more powerful than an Onkyo or Denon amp, I am saying that if you are only going to buy a two channel amp, to get a significant improvement in sound, you will need to spend much more than $300 on a two channel amp, probably about $600-1000 on a Rotel, Parasound, or B&K. For a balanced sound in surround, and a neutral sounding stereo, and for convenience's sake, just go with a 3802 or 797. The 797 may sound better in stereo than a used $300 amp though. To be, in surround mode, it is better to sue a single 5ch amp, or a combo of similar amps, it's not that important, but I think it is a little better. I really like the sound of the 797 in stereo, it is not a Mark Levinson, but to me, it is not worth the extra $$$thousands. And to me, a $300 amp is not even worth it, and you should just go for the better processors and convenience of a 3802 or 797, if you are concerned about stereo, then a 797.
     
  12. Bobby Crumpley

    Bobby Crumpley Auditioning

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    Kyle,

    Looking back at my original post, I see that I was not that clear. When I mentioned a used $300 amp, I meant one that I could buy for $300 now, not the original cost. An amp such as the B&K 442 or ST-140.

    Sorry for the confusion,

    Bobby
     

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