why Denon AVR3803 over HK525?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by FritzL, Jan 6, 2004.

  1. FritzL

    FritzL Auditioning

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    just curious, is there something I missed
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

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    Talk about your open ended question.... lol


    I picked and still pick Denon on sound. Their power amps attain a neutrality that is rarely matched by others.
     
  3. FritzL

    FritzL Auditioning

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    yea, it was meant to be open ended.
    a couple people have said that there is atremendous difference between Denon soundstage and HK, Marantz & Onk. I find it hard to belive at this level of rcvr, but....
     
  4. JackS

    JackS Supporting Actor

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    Fritz- Are you going to buy what you like or are you going with a concensus? Sorry, but also curious.
     
  5. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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    HK's are ugly............[​IMG] (j/k)?
     
  6. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    The H/K will feature Logic:7 - which the Denon won't offer. However, you have to listen to both of them - to see what sounds best for you.
     
  7. GregorySB

    GregorySB Extra

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    I purchased an HK 630 for Christmas. I was able to listen to both the HK and the Denon 3803, but only in dealer showrooms, and only at different dealers (i.e. I was not able to A/B them).

    I went with the HK 630 over the Denon 3803 for a few reasons. First, I had a subjective feeling that the 630 did a better job with music and had a bit more real power then the 3803. Second, the extreme flexibility of the bass management options on the 630 were a huge plus over the 3803, especially the ability to do bass management of the 8 channel analog input (very useful for SACD and DVD-Audio). Third, I really like the look of the new silver/black HK receivers. Fourth, the HK 630 has a serial port that can be used to upgrade the firmware (i.e. for Dolby PLIIx). Finally, I got a killer deal on the 630 from OneCall.

    I was very happy with the performance of my 630 for a couple of days, after which I noticed a hum/hiss from the left and right main channels. After hours of troubleshooting and on the recommendation of HK tech support, I am now in the process of returning the 630 (presumed defective) for a replacement. Assuming the replacement unit is OK, I'll be very satisfied with the purchase.

    If I happen to get another bad unit, I'll be looking for a replacement from another manufacturer, and the Denon 3803 will be on my short list.

    Oh, BTW, I was going to mention that when watching DirecTV, I experimented quite a bit with the different surround modes (including the HK proprietary Logic 7). Dolby PLII, DTS Neo:6, and Logic 7 all seem to be quite similar in what they do, but I felt that Logic 7 provided the most channel separation and surround information. I use Logic 7 almost exclusively when watching TV, and switch to PLII occasionally. I never used the surround modes much for music and prefer music without the surround processing. BTW, SACD sounds great on the 630, and the quality loss when letting the receiver do the bass management for the 6.1 analog input is minimal, and well-worth the added flexibility which results in an overall better sound, IMO.
     
  8. Mort Corey

    Mort Corey Supporting Actor

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    Denon.....no phono out on the HK and vinal is coming back [​IMG]

    Mort
     
  9. FritzL

    FritzL Auditioning

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    vinyl never left. I've got pantloads of it.
    That's one of my peaves with HK. But I've had good experience with them otherwise.
    I've had miserable experience with Denon pro gear, more the ergonomics of it then the quality or performance. I've been looking into tube phono pres, just in case.

    I'm gonna pick what sounds best, if I can A/B, I hope. I was more wondering why there is so much hype with Denon. I can't believe that there's much difference, sound wise, between Denon, HK, Marantz and Onk at this level. Features wise, yeah.

    All modern hifi is ugly, kind of like most passenger cars. Design has suffered severly since 1972 Blue Dino 246. But that's a different matter.

    SACD is an imprtant format for me. I'm a Stones and Dylan fan. Nuff said
     
  10. Ray_C

    Ray_C Stunt Coordinator

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    For those who have tried a lot of different receivers, there seems to be a definite difference in tone to the above-mentioned receivers. From what I can gather:

    The HK's and Marantz's seem to be rather similar, in that they have a warmer overall sound (especially the HK's), a fuller midrange, and a bit rounded top-end. This seems to lend itself particularly well for music and 2-channel listening, and help tame some of the 'brighter' speakers like Klipsch's. Good power.)

    Denon is pretty much in the middle of the pack, 'neutral' to many listeners. Smooth but clear, nicely detailed, perhaps a little more airy in the midrange than HK's. Nice definition when used in 5.1 HT applications. Also good power that holds together well as you turn up.

    Yamaha ('Yammies'), are quite bright, which brings out tremendous detail...especially to surround mixes. Can seem a bit harsh to some because of the brightness...almost the opposite side of the spectrum for fans of the HK sound. Perhaps a good match with speakers that are more 'laid-back' sounding, like Polks.

    Personally, I have been delighted with my Denon 1802 with Klipsch Reference speakers in a 5.1 system. I play DVD's more so than music, so I like the detail of the combo. For 2-channel, I'd probably like the HK more, but the Denon is nice enought that the overall package is a real performer for the price. I'll be soon upgrading to a Denon 2803, but I've read a lot of good things about the HK 520 and 525.

    My advice would be to try out a few receivers and see which suits you. All the above-mentioned manufacturers make quality products that are very affordable.
     
  11. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    There really is no best choice. It is all a matter of personal preferences; what sounds best to you and has the features you prefer. As Ray points out, Yamaha is considered to be bright, but I prefer this sound. I think it is an accurate sound that brings out the details of the music.
     
  12. FritzL

    FritzL Auditioning

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    interesting. The HK had been said to me as warmer, in general a quality I like when I'm recording (with tube pres or EQs). For music neutral is more what I'm looking for. I had no feedback on the Marantz sonic until now. The Yams, Sonys, Panas and the like all are quite bright to my ears. I've owned or used all 3 and that's why they weren't mentioned as possibles.

    I'm hoping the Axioms or Cambridge Soundworks (or some other unknown contender) are going to do the job for me. Professionally, the last few years have been spent with mostly Genelecs (which I quite like, even though they too have their shortcoming), and occasionally, Spendors (spendmores), Meyers (a close fave to the Genelecs) and others of this ilk. In the past, most hifi speakers, no matter which side of the scale they've been, have been too bright for me.

    Originally I was just going to buy a tube pre and a pair of Gens or whatever. But that would either leave me out of "theatre" or require a second system for theater. So I'm buying the second system first and maybe, down the road...... if I still care.
     

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