Which one, Denon AVC 3800 or AVC A1 or VA555ES?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Arby, Nov 5, 2002.

  1. Arby

    Arby Auditioning

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2002
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    I bought a new SONY STR VA555ES about a month ago. Then for an offer i cannot refuse, last week i bought an old demo unit DENON AVC 3800 which has been on display for a very long time but the machine works perfectly and I paired it with 3 Marantz MA6100 to drive the FL,C and FR speakers. My home theater was never been so good with this combination. Meantime the VA555ES was kept in its box. Again, 2 days ago I bought an old model DENON AVC A1 (but brand new in the box, never been used) for the same reason that i cannot refuse the offer. I am very satisfied with the performance of these 3 machines but now I must decide which one shall i retain? Any combination suggestion is most welcome.

    -VA555ES?
    -AVC 3800 with 3 marantz ma6100?
    -or AVC A1 with 3 marantz ma6100?

    I am 90% into movies 20% music.

    For me, the 3 machines are equal but i thought i would take into consideration any suggestion from those who have experience with these machines which one is really good before i decide what to do with the spare machines.
     
  2. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2002
    Messages:
    4,368
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    "on a little street in Singapore"
    Real Name:
    Yee Ming Lim
    I have no experience listening to these receivers, but based on my understanding of the specifications etc, my 2-cents' would be that between the 3800 and the AVC A1, the AVC A1 is the higher end receiver and should be better (and more powerful).

    the VA555 is, relatively speaking, probably not as high-end a receiver, BUT it is much newer and has all the latest formats, and supports 6.1 (DTS-ES Discrete), as well as DD Surround Ex and other "bells and whistles" like DPL II and Neo 6. it appears to be quite highly regarded in most reviews.

    any particular reason why you aren't considering the VA555 with the Marantz monoblocks? I would imagine that this would address any issues of lack of power (assuming anyone can really say that the VA555 is underpowered in the first place), or for that matter smoothness of the amps. at the same time, you would retain the benefits of the VA555's newer chipsets and decoding ability.
     
  3. Arby

    Arby Auditioning

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2002
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yee, thanks for your thoughts. VA555ES has everything of new whistles in it including the most sought bass management for dvd-a/sacd. AVC A1 has all the power for movies aside from RF input which i really wanted. 3800 has abt the same specs and back cracking weight as AVC A1 except power. So for me all are about the same considering the plus and minuses for each machine. Adding a marantz ma6100 would be too much for va555es because i thought it would be abt the same power at 125W. It is difficult for me to decide but except to ask for more feedback on these machines' performance. I just have to make a right choice before i let go of the others, so i need more feedbacks.
     
  4. Steve Adams

    Steve Adams Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2001
    Messages:
    432
    Likes Received:
    0
    my opinon is ditch the sony, keep the denon, until you can get something with all formats. Sony is going downhill with regards to the quality of their products. I will never again buy any sony products. everything i bought from sony, besides my playstation, was crap! both my head units, the top es model from the year it was bought in are junk. sound like crap and are falling apart. keep the denon.
     
  5. Mark Davenport

    Mark Davenport Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sony ES products are much better than their consumer line. They also contain more features and tweaks not contained in any recveiver line.
     
  6. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2002
    Messages:
    4,368
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    "on a little street in Singapore"
    Real Name:
    Yee Ming Lim
    FWIW, What HiFi's Awards 2002 issue has the Sony STR-VA555ES as Product of the Year for surround receivers.
    [typing mode on]
     
  7. Arby

    Arby Auditioning

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2002
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks guys, your inputs are all well noted. I bought the VA555ES because i was so excited that it has bass management. But then, when i have the AVC A1, i love that punching power so that is why now i got confused which once shall i let go. I am thinking of pairing the marantz mono to va555es but i thought that the punching power would not make so much of a difference so i thought let alone the va555es and compared with 3800 with marantz and avc a1 with marantz, which one is the best?
     
  8. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2002
    Messages:
    4,368
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    "on a little street in Singapore"
    Real Name:
    Yee Ming Lim
    it strikes me that if you are planning to use the Marantz monoblocks regardless of which receiver you decide to keep, the lower power capability of the Sony (or for that matter any perceived lower quality in the amplification) becomes less of an issue, since the monoblocks are doing the work for the front three channels.

    of course, since the receiver is still powering the other surround/rear channels, there would be less power available there if you keep the Sony instead of the Denon AVC A1. but that tends to be less of an issue since surrounds tend to have lesser demands on power anyway, save for the most "explosive" action movies with very aggressive surround mixes. and in any case 100W per channel (taking the specs at face value) is still plenty of power.

    hence, what becomes more critical is the decoding ability of the receiver, rather than its amplifiers, since you're half-way to using the receiver as only a processor with a separate power amp. here, it becomes much more subjective, as compared to comparing power output which at least is measurable.

    it would appear both Sony and Denon are fine receivers when it comes to decoding, the rest is really opinion and YOUR ears should tell you which you prefer. the only objective thing I can see from here which sets decoding ability apart is the fact that the Sony is newer and handles more formats, but if you're only going with basic DD or DTS 5.1, that becomes less of an issue.
     
  9. Arby

    Arby Auditioning

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2002
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ahha!

    I think the curve now goes toward the AVC A1. Have watched a couple of explosive titles last night and i thought, mm m mmm... seems like i would go for it. But once i slip inside the dvd-a/sacd with va555es, its just amazing. However, since i go most on the time on movies with all the whizzing surrounds and loud bang, i thought i would go for Denon.
    Just my 2c.

    Although i have tried the monoblocks with sony but it seems i would still go for the loud bang of A1. I think i have to make a tally of +- for these machines. One thing is getting clearer now that wherever i go, i thought that these babies are worth it.
     

Share This Page