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Sony vs Denon

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bob J., Apr 6, 2002.

  1. Bob J.

    Bob J. Extra

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    Help! I'm trying to decide between the Sony DA5es and the 3802. I currently have an older Denon and have never been happy with the logic it employs in switching from input source to input source, output to output, etc. It seems rather convoluted to me. Does anyone else have that complaint or do I just need to read the instruction manual again?

    I've also owned Sony and they always seem to be very logical compared to the Denon. I mean, when you want to play a DVD you hit the DVD button and off you go.

    So the real question is how the two sound in comparison. I have Boston towers for primary speakers and a Mac HT5 center with KEF AV2 satellites. Which is warmer, etc? Is the Sony considered a "real" contender for H-T? Is one better for music only?
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Personally, it's a toss up between those two. I'd go with whichever I could get for less, and would be happy with either. For music, I would probably say the Sony would be better, it's a little more full sounding to my ears. The Sony also has one feature I like, that is the ability to choose the crossover for each speaker individually. I did some listening with a friend's new 3ES about 2 weeks ago, and it sounded like it had plenty of clean power and music was smooth and detailed.
     
  3. Kyle_Y

    Kyle_Y Stunt Coordinator

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    I would certainly say to go with the Denon. It has better processing, the SHARC 32 bit, also, 7 channels of amplification. IMO the Denon has a warmer sound, more appealing for music. If it is musicality you are concerned about, get an Onkyo 797....THX certified, THX surround EX post-pro, and 192khz/24bit DAC's. But the Denon of those two is better.
     
  4. Earl Simpson

    Earl Simpson Supporting Actor

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    I agree! Go with the best deal! Thats a tough one. I would have got the 5es if I had waited. 6 full equalizers one for each channel. $750 for the 5es is a steal and my secret source for the 3802 $770. Good luck![​IMG]
    PS/ The 898 is more of a contender than the 797 for Onkyo. If I had $1100 I would have got the Onkyo 898.
     
  5. Aaron Holbrook

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    As far as "warmness" goes, for 2 channel stereo the denon is alot warmer. At least from what I've heard the sony's are fairly bright. I also remember something from the other day where someone said the sony is much more geared toward Home theater rather than music. The denon is very nice musically.
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    When auditioning the 3802, I found exactly the opposite. I was not impressed with it's music ability, but found the HT to be quite good. I compared it to the Marantz SR6200 and 7200, and ended up going with a 6200 because music just plain sounded better, and I listen to more music.

    I like the fact that the 3802 has 7 amps internally, and the 9 speaker capability (for selecting different sets of rear speakers for music or HT).

    I have heard Sony's called bright, but I didn't hear any brightness with my friend's 3ES, and it wasn't really even broken in yet. We did limited HT listening, and a lot of 2ch stereo music from various sources.
     
  7. Gary W. Graley

    Gary W. Graley Second Unit

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    I owned the Sony DB840 and upgraded to the 5ES, world of difference! Where the 840 was very Bright sounding the 5ES has a more subtle feel and sound to it, liking it more and more all the time!

    G2
     
  8. Aaron Holbrook

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  9. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    Ok, well I've had the denon 3801 and 4802, also have owned the sony 777es reciever. Have nht speakers all around and parasound amplification. Have also auditioned the str-da5es. My opinion is in my setup that the sony was incredible for HT. It was clear, detailed, seperation and decoding excellent. Sony employs 3 sharc 32 bit processors instead of just one or two. It also has the best bass management on the market in any reciever or pre-pro for that matter! It also has more tweaks and setting flexibility plus eq for the speakers. Now the bad news, for music in my system it was just too bright, it made my ears ring, cant explain it but just wasnt pleasant for music. I much prefer the denons for music as they are smoother/warmer and just more pleasing to listen too in music. But if I could put my perfect reciever together it would be the sony ht part and denon music part..You must decide for yourself and dont let anybody tell you that they are about the same. These two recievers couldnt sound any different from each other then they do, which sound do YOU Like ??
     
  10. Bob J.

    Bob J. Extra

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    John, my sentiments, exactly. But the problem seems to be finding a retailer who has this equipment up and running in a dedicated room. You know how it is, last yr's model is hooked up and the new one is out of stock, etc. If it IS hooked up, it's invariably to some inferior speaker or one totally different to your own. Yes, frustrating, isn't it? And no one seems to carry the 2 or 3 units a person is interested in. Boy, how difficult it is to compare from one retailer to another. (I have the same problem when looking for cars and boats :)
     
  11. Jeff D.

    Jeff D. Supporting Actor

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    I can't comment on feature sets, so I will let others chime in there.
    In terms of sound quality, I think it comes down to preference. On any spec sheet I'm sure either of these machines looks good. Instead, its the 'house sound' of each unit that would sway your opinion, I think.
    I find Sony to be very 'digital'. Any Sony receiver will be absolutely determined to nail you down in your seat and impress you. It will feature all the 'digital' hallmarks: wide dynamic range, kick-you-in-ass bass and a sheening high end. Not subtle, and not appropriate if you have a 'live' room or bright sounding speakers or you simply don't like that kind of presentation.
    Denon will try and add some musicality to the above. It won't be quite so in-your-face, but it will still retain a touch of digititis.
    The best bet is to audition both (if you haven't already) and possibly find somewhere that offers a home trial. Use a variety of music and movies (assuming you use both) and let your ears pick a winner. [​IMG]
    /Jeff
     
  12. John Besse

    John Besse Supporting Actor

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    I myself being really partial to Denon would strongly advise to go that route. Denon pushes a bit more currents and If I remember right has a better THD rating. I have a Denon 3801 with Energy C-6s up front and the sound is great for music. I'm looking to do an upgrade to the Veritas 2.2s and center. I will probably use the Denon as a preamp and add a second power source to the fronts and center.
    However, I really like the Harman Kardon 520 as it pushes a lot more currents then the Denon and has the whole dual power source and all. I also like Marantz and Onkyo a lot as recommended earlier. But, out of the two receivers you have listed I would definitely advise the Denon AVR-3802 over the Sony any day. Although, I'm sure you'd be happy either way because it is probably going to be an improvement over what you currently have, right [​IMG]
     
  13. Bob J.

    Bob J. Extra

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    Actually, I have a Denon AVR810 with Pro Logic as it's primary feature. I've never been happy with the sound as only in PL can I get any sound from the center channel. So all the other formats are for music only. This ends up being a very limited sound IMO. I guess that's why I feel there has got to be another way to go. Yes, maybe the Marantz or H-K would be a better choice, as the Yammi appears too bright to me.
     
  14. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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  15. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  16. John Tompkins

    John Tompkins Supporting Actor

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    ChuckF, I used the sony as a stand alone reciever and then added an amp to it (chiro c-500) thinking it would warm it up for music but it didnt. I believe that it is the pre-amp section on the sonys that give them a digital bright sound on music, as I also tried a denon cd player dacs and still it was bright.

    PS. I use nht speakers all around with 2.9 towers up front.
     

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