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Thread: thoughts on denon?

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    Default thoughts on denon?

    http://reviews.cnet.com/av-receivers...wBody;continue

    i've been thinking about getting the denon avr 1912. anybody have one or heard good/bad things about it?

    please let me know.

    thanks!

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    Default Re: thoughts on denon?

    the funny thing is that today the soundwise there no difference between all those brands.
    difference mainly in extra features supposedly for user's convenience.
    so perhaps you should do your choise mainly based on those extras, such like availability of
    phono stage, analog multichanel interface, multichannel pre-out, multizone, supported formats, etc.
    and of course your funds for such purchase. so in general all comes to "how many extras i'll get for my buck"

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    Default Re: thoughts on denon?

    I have to disagree, in my experience they don't all sound the same!

    I went from a Denon receiver (AVR1910) to a Yamaha (RXV-2067) and the difference is night and day!

    Admittedly the Denon was a low-mid range receiver (500) and the Yamaha a mid to higher end (1,000) so not a direct comparison, in fairness you'd expect the more expensive model to be better spec'd and have more watts per channel etc than the Denon.. but even factoring in the price difference (and with experience of my neighbours' Denon 3310 which was disappointing and why i pursued an alternative when it came time to upgrade) in every regard the Yamaha wipes the floor with it my old Denon!

    The Yamaha sounds so much warmer and smoother yet still sounds accurate across all the mids, highs and lows.

    plus I prefer Yamaha's YPAO room EQ and parametric EQ
    to the Denon's Audyssey (which always gave me bloated bass and rolled off high frequencies no matter how many times I calibrated it!) and Denon's graphic EQ was pretty useless too.

    To top it all off the Denon remote control was totally terrible, a two-sided affair where the simplified side had too little control and the main side was a cluttered mess of teeny tiny buttons! On the other hand in this regard the Yamaha receiver is great and even comes with two remotes! One little remote control for basic everyday volume/input changes, the main chunkier one has its own LCD display and plenty of buttons (some less used functions are hidden under a flap) for tweaking and everything else.

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    Default Re: thoughts on denon?

    I've generally been disappointed in modern receivers compared to my vintage marantz quad amp, but if you want modern surround decoders and hdmi connections, it's a necessary evil. One of my biggest disappointments with the Denon I picked up is I went out of my way to get a model that has a multi-channel analog input, only to find out that none of the EQ settings can be applied to this input at all, making it useless unless I pick up some external equalizers. So, I'll never use it now, and can't listen to any quad materials on my main system anymore, only conversions. I'm often tempted to set the marantz back up and just hook the oppo up directly to that, but it would make everything else such a pain in the ass...

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    Default Re: thoughts on denon?

    one thing I do agree with is the bang for buck!

    The Denon had 3 hdmi's, no pre outs, no GUI or hdmi onscreen overlay.

    Whereas the Yamaha has 8 Hdmi in's, 2 Hdmi out's (so I can drive my Projector and TV at the same time), 7.2 pre out's
    and a lovely colourful comprehensive full GUI that overlays via Hdmi.

    Oh and the more expensive Yamaha also has Ethernet connectivity for streaming music files from the PC, Internet radio and the ability to bitstream DSD direct from my SACD player.

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    Default Re: thoughts on denon?

    Many have weighed in already. There is some truth to what everyone has said. Admittedly, I haven't shopped for a receiver in years, so I'm a bit unfamiliar with specific models currently available. Otto has a great point. Although I don't believe all brands are the same, all the major brands are very good. Denon/Marantz (same brand today), Yamaha, Onkyo/Integra and Pioneer, you won't go wrong with any of them. As someone who sold hi-fi in both the Quad and modern eras, here's what you should consider:

    1- Your price range. Based on the Denon AVR 1910, I'd assume under $600.
    2- Connectivity. Exactly what/how many devices do you intend to hook up? What do you intend to add in the future? 6ch analog inputs?
    3- Features. What's important to you? Surround/decoding/synthesis modes? Multi-zone? Ease of operation? Remote control layout?
    4- Sound. You need to LISTEN and COMPARE. At the same store, with the same software, same speakers, same tone settings (neutral or bypassed), and at the same volume level, switch back and forth. Do you hear a difference? If so, what appeals to you. Use music as your demo. A very well-recorded modern recording is preferable. If you listen to any amount of classical music, use that as your demo, since it is acoustic music that will more easily reveal the accuracy and flaws (or lack thereof.)
    5- Buying gear on-line sounds like a great proposition, but exchanges and tech support become dicey. Personal service can be a worthwhile value-added benefit. Many people use stores as the demo center for the on-line retailers. I question the ethics of this method. A great independent retailer is a Godsend, if there is such a thing in your area.

    10 years ago, when I sold surround, I sold all the aforementioned brands. Although I use B&K seperates for my main system, I own both Denon and Onkyo surround receivers. I also own an old Marantz Quad amp. The old Quad gear had a better build quality than the lower priced (under $1000) modern receivers, though they have limitations and may not be well suited to today's digital world. Modern equipment incorporating multi-channel analog inputs can do any of the old Quad formats, with the proper tape equipment, decoders, and/or demodulators attached to it. That is the best of both worlds.
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    Default Re: thoughts on denon?

    I have done all the R&D regarding avr's. the absolute best for the money are Onkyo's. mid-level start with pre out and multi channel analog inputs. Higher level with burr-brown dacs all with on screen gui. higher leverls also incorperate the qdeo-marvell chip for video prosessing.I used to love Dennons until I got a Intengra. Been running this thing 12 yrs now without it ever being pulled for service. I will admit the higher level Dennons are terrific though.
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    Default Re: thoughts on denon?

    Quote Originally Posted by fredblue View Post
    I have to disagree, in my experience they don't all sound the same!
    I went from a Denon receiver (AVR1910) to a Yamaha (RXV-2067) and the difference is night and day!
    i have both brands, Yamaha and Denon and can assure you, in the pure direct output, when digital processing isn't involved,
    there absolutely no difference in the quality of the sound. those features, which let you tweak the sound nothing but an extra
    and varying from the model to model even within one brand.

    Quote Originally Posted by ArmyOfQuad View Post
    I've generally been disappointed in modern receivers compared to my vintage marantz quad amp, but if you want modern surround decoders and hdmi connections, it's a necessary evil. One of my biggest disappointments with the Denon I picked up is I went out of my way to get a model that has a multi-channel analog input, only to find out that none of the EQ settings can be applied to this input at all, making it useless unless
    that's intentional with purpose to deliver unaltered audio stream to end of the system chain - speakers.
    in your case you cannot blame amplification but source of the sound, which is dull enough and in needs EQ
    tweaking to be improved in accordance to your preferences. there are numerous titles issued in HiRes which
    freq.wise balanced very well and sounds incredible good in direct mode without use additional EQing.
    i have bunch of antic amps and receivers and none of them can beat, from the view of sound reproduction,
    modern amplification.

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    Default Re: thoughts on denon?

    Onkyo appear to be good value for money and they generally garner good reviews for their sound and features but they seemingly have a terrible reputation for reliability. Just search on avs or av forums for owners' threads (so many horror stories!) and you'll see what i mean.

    Sony receivers are reportedly only worth considering at the very top end of their range. I had a mid range Sony a few years ago and it was dreadful, crucially particularly lacking for music.

    Anecdotally Pioneer do not appear to have as flat/neutral a sound as most of the competition and only their latest range is well-specced in number of Hdmi inputs, features etc.

    Unfortunately Integra do not feature in the UK, nor H/K very much and Rotel seem not to have updated their receiver line for some time, so despite Rotel's great sound quality for the money, if you need newer features such as 3D etc, you can discount them.

    As a safe bet, unless you can audition (or better still try components in your own home) if you have to blind buy I'd choose a mid to higher end Denon, Marantz or Yamaha over any but the most expensive Onkyo or Sony receiver, or go for Pioneer if you like a brighter, more forward sound.

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    Default Re: thoughts on denon?

    If you insist there's no difference in the unadulterated "pure" sound between Denon and Yamaha just on the basis of the sonic signature of their amplification thats your call Otto, i don't agree but still i respect your opinion.

    Crucially, where EQ and DSP are concerned (in effect the sound delivered to the speaker system after processing) thats the killer blow for me in a shoot out between my Denon and Yamaha, not least because Pure Direct is something I seldom use for multi channel music or movies because I find it too limiting.

    My biggest bugbear with Denon is that they use Audyssey which I find too inaccurate, resulting in boomy low end and lacking treble detail. Plus you can't tweak Audyssey MultEQ after its calibration set up has given you the room correction results.

    Conversely the YPAO of Yamaha does allow you to use the systems set up findings as a base to then tweak the sound output to your liking. Also the YPAO on my higher end Yamaha features Subwoofer calibration which my old Audyssey featured Denon did not.

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    Default Re: thoughts on denon?

    Quote Originally Posted by fredblue View Post
    If you insist there's no difference in the unadulterated "pure" sound between Denon and Yamaha just on the basis of the sonic signature of their amplification thats your call Otto, i don't agree but still i respect your opinion.

    Crucially, where EQ and DSP are concerned (in effect the sound delivered to the speaker system after processing) thats the killer blow for me in a shoot out between my Denon and Yamaha, not least because Pure Direct is something I seldom use for multi channel music or movies because I find it too limiting.

    sound reproduction by amplifying of fed to amps signal is a main purpose of amps/receivers.
    inspite of different brands, the principal schematic is very similar and often uses same components
    from single supplier. main objective of ideal sound re-creation is to deliver the sound to the speakers
    in maximum possible flat condition with none (or minimum) distortions and coloration by the circuit of
    amplification. and all modern gears from mid to top class doing today this job just perfectly.
    use of build-in decoders, DSP, EQ, calibration systems has another purpose and, as i mentioned above,
    may differ pretty significant between brands and even models of the same brand.
    thus i believe today quality of the sound more rely on those, who did recorded/mastered sound, than
    on the hardware amplification

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    Default Re: thoughts on denon?

    thank you everyone. you've given me some good food for thought.

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    Default Re: thoughts on denon?

    Quote Originally Posted by 0tto View Post
    sound reproduction by amplifying of fed to amps signal is a main purpose of amps/receivers.
    inspite of different brands, the principal schematic is very similar and often uses same components
    from single supplier. main objective of ideal sound re-creation is to deliver the sound to the speakers
    in maximum possible flat condition with none (or minimum) distortions and coloration by the circuit of
    amplification. and all modern gears from mid to top class doing today this job just perfectly.
    use of build-in decoders, DSP, EQ, calibration systems has another purpose and, as i mentioned above,
    may differ pretty significant between brands and even models of the same brand.
    thus i believe today quality of the sound more rely on those, who did recorded/mastered sound, than
    on the hardware amplification
    if, as you suggest, all modern receivers feature the same amplifier stages and hence sound the same, what's the point of all these brands even existing?!

    Beyond maybe their individual DSP implementation, or feature count, or even aesthetics.. what's the point if a major part of all their guts is the same and sounds the same??

    I accept that often there's many, great similarities these days between Denon & Marantz receivers, they are one and the same now they're D&M Holdings and tech specs in many models of Denon & Marantz kit are identical, so that I would concede.

    However I can't believe that a Pioneer receiver with, say, ICE amplification can/will sound just like the Class D amps in a Rotel receiver, or the A/B amplification in another manufacturers' receiver. Flat response/distortion levels etc, whatever.. These differing technologies have their own particular sound qualities even before you go into what DAC's a receiver has, or even before those amps have been tuned by the receivers' designers & engineers.

    I'm sure all the receiver manufacturers would have something to say (much more eloquently and hopefully technically accurate & factual than I can muster!) on the matter that the internals of their receivers are just the same as their competitors!!!

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    Default Re: thoughts on denon?

    Quote Originally Posted by fredblue View Post
    I went from a Denon receiver (AVR1910) to a Yamaha (RXV-2067) and the difference is night and day!
    I went from a Yamaha RX-V1800 to a Denon 4310, and my experience was that any sonic differences were too subtle for me to perceive. However, the Denon did have several features that I wanted, and I've been extremely pleased with it.

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    Default Re: thoughts on denon?

    Wow, just found this thread, this is the best argument for separates. A preamp/processor with all the inputs and processing you might want, with good analog outs; driving monoblocks, stereo, or multichannel power amps, or the power amp stage of 2 or 3 stereos, a quad receiver, or modern receiver. This way we could separate (mostly) the sound quality from the functionality. That said, I don't have a dedicated pre/pro myself, but that's a cost decision.

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    Default Re: thoughts on denon?

    I've used separates for nearly 35 years. If you're willing to devote the extra space and $$$, it IS the way to go. Even as used gear, somehow I don't think separates are going to hit that $600 price point.

    Quote Originally Posted by quadsearcher View Post
    Wow, just found this thread, this is the best argument for separates. A preamp/processor with all the inputs and processing you might want, with good analog outs; driving monoblocks, stereo, or multichannel power amps, or the power amp stage of 2 or 3 stereos, a quad receiver, or modern receiver. This way we could separate (mostly) the sound quality from the functionality. That said, I don't have a dedicated pre/pro myself, but that's a cost decision.
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    Default Re: thoughts on denon?

    I'm a Denon man having owned 7-8 of them, I also own Marantz 4140, Proton D940 etc for reference.

    The living room system (less critical) now has the AVR-2112CI; I was able to score one for little more than the AVR-1912 was going for. The main rig in my office is an AVR-990 (same as AVR-3310CI less Zone 3). This model retains 7.1 Ext In *and* provides HDMI 1.3 + HD Radio...

    I would tell you that the obvious difference is between the base-midline Denons and the middle/high-end amps labelled DDSC is significant. Denons are generally bright and thus a good match to Advent, Cambridge Soundworks neutral sounding speaker systems.

    Opinions? Everybody's got one.
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    Default Re: thoughts on denon?

    Quote Originally Posted by quadsearcher View Post
    Wow, just found this thread, this is the best argument for separates. A preamp/processor with all the inputs and processing you might want, with good analog outs; driving monoblocks, stereo, or multichannel power amps, or the power amp stage of 2 or 3 stereos, a quad receiver, or modern receiver. This way we could separate (mostly) the sound quality from the functionality. That said, I don't have a dedicated pre/pro myself, but that's a cost decision.
    agree with you completely!

    I would have gone down the pre/power route if it weren't so expensive and didn't take up so much room! processors here in the UK that get well-reviewed and recommended start in the thousands of pounds and are huge behemoths built like tanks plus there often a bit feature-light!

    I've had my eye on a Rotel pre/power combination for some time but i've read there have been a fair few teething troubles with Hdmi and other firmware problems on those models and of course lack of 3D video implementation.

    I guess the alternative is to get a multi channel power amp and use my Yamaha receiver purely as a pre-amp. That said I'm not sure how that'd work out, as I've seen a fair few reports of people moaning that the pre-out's on the Yamaha Aventages' are only rated at 1V, whereas the accepted norms 2V. What that would mean in real-world terms I've absolutely no idea as I've always been an integrated amp and receiver man the last nearly 20 years but until I either try something like an affordable (i.e. NAD or Rotel) M/C amp with my Yammy as the pre-amp, who knows?! It could be brilliant, it could be a let-down..!

    Meantime I'm happy with it as it is and regardless of manufacturer, going from a low to mid range receiver (the Denon) to a mid to higher one (Yamaha) has (in my personal experience) brought sonic improvements as well as many more useful features, greater ease of use and an indisputably superior user interface.

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    Default Re: thoughts on denon?

    Quote Originally Posted by timbre4 View Post
    I would tell you that the obvious difference is between the base-midline Denons and the middle/high-end amps labelled DDSC is significant. Denons are generally bright and thus a good match to Advent, Cambridge Soundworks neutral sounding speaker systems.

    Opinions? Everybody's got one.
    I guess that bears out that the higher end ranges of any of the big manufacturers should be superior to their cheaper offerings, which, Denon vs Yamaha business aside, has been my experience. Why pay more for just features? They must sound better or the manufacturers would produce smaller ranges with no differences in their amplification circuitry across the range if that were the case, surely!?

    What is curious is your findings that Denon's are bright-sounding.

    Two follow-On's from that:

    1.) Are you using Audyssey MultEQ and still finding the sound bright? With my Denon, Audyssey bloated the bass and cut back the treble at its uppermost audible reaches (audible to me at any rate, about 16k), resulting in a boomy sound, lacking in detail and top end sparkle.

    2.) if a Denon's bright, is a Pioneer brighter? Or a Denon duller sounding compared to an Onkyo? Not being facetious at all, just curious as to your point of reference as you have had 7 or 8 Denon's. Is it bright compared to your Marantz, or your other system?

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    Default Re: thoughts on denon?

    just to add, I also found that Audyssey resulted in some pretty horrible changes to the actual sound field and placement of sounds in lots of discrete music and so to my ears altered the sound balance of any mix I put through it.

    Of course this was at the time only compared to my first Audyssey-less Yamaha but going from the first Yammy playing SACD's & DVD-A's via 6 channel analogue in's with an unadulterted signal, then to the Audyssey-tinkering of the Denon was quite a shock!

    Apart from the chronic MultEQ problems, no matter how many times i re-ran the setup, there were often noticeable Rear speaker sounds that bled into the front channels. Why not turn off Audyssey, I hear you cry!? Well without it, the sound was lacking, too lean and really quite anaemic, no matter what volume level i played back, or tone control fiddling I did.

    Going back to an Audyssey-less Yamaha (for receiver number 4) whether via analogue or Hdmi I found the steering of channels to be great once again, with no filtering of sounds from one channel to another and the sound field was just as authentic, natural and un-futzed with as I remembered from my old Yammy. I can't explain it but in 10 years+ of tinkering with multi channel music playback, I just never warmed to my Denon receiver the same way I did with my old Yammy and do now with my newer one!

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    Default Re: thoughts on denon?

    Quote Originally Posted by fredblue View Post
    if, as you suggest, all modern receivers feature the same amplifier stages and hence sound the same, what's the point of all these brands even existing?!
    someone has target in life to own Rolex and someone quite satisfied with Timex.
    what i trying to say is that with present technology even mid class audio gear
    absolutely sufficient for their purpose and everyone can chose pretty good audio
    system for their priorities and budget. there isn't necessity to go broke, just because
    some equipments is well known brand and to some degree is mainly used as a Rolex just
    to show their social status

  23. #22
    Moderator on Bass timbre4's Avatar
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    Default Re: thoughts on denon?

    The Denon struck me as brighter than previous JVC, Pioneer, Proton and Marantz amps.

    Audyssey was certainly my friend on the AVR 3806; the soundfield improved immensely and I NEVER touched channel balances after that. The AVR 2112 setup (Nov 2011) routine came back sounding good but with the rears too loud. I put all channels to zero for now. That setup is for Saturday Night Live and occasional movies so not exactly sweating it at the moment. The AVR 990 setup did something similar; I set the channels to 0 and it's sounding good. Since this system is reference for mixing I will tinker with it considerably in the next week or so to get what I had with AVR 3806. The mics and setup did change between these....

    It sounds like you think Yamaha is higher in the food chain and the decision is already made!
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    6k Club - QQ'ophile fredblue's Avatar
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    Default Re: thoughts on denon?

    Quote Originally Posted by 0tto View Post
    someone has target in life to own Rolex and someone quite satisfied with Timex.
    what i trying to say is that with present technology even mid class audio gear
    absolutely sufficient for their purpose and everyone can chose pretty good audio
    system for their priorities and budget. there isn't necessity to go broke, just because
    some equipments is well known brand and to some degree is mainly used as a Rolex just
    to show their social status
    really?! Wow! That's an analogy I never expected.. You really think people aspire to have a great big black hulking lump of equipment like a Denon or Yamaha receiver in their homes as some kind of lifestyle statement!?

    If I wanted a pretty system to show off it's looks and attain some uber cool status, I'd get a Bose or a Bang & Olufsen..!! Then suffer a 10-fold dent in my wallet only to discover that it looks nice but more than likely doesn't sound better (or possibly as good!) as a Denon!

    Also in a fair few peoples' home theatre installations they hide their (mostly pretty industrial, boxy, kind of ugly) kit away! Why then buy a "Rolex" receiver if nobody ever sees its outer casing sparkle?

  25. #24
    6k Club - QQ'ophile fredblue's Avatar
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    Default Re: thoughts on denon?

    Quote Originally Posted by timbre4 View Post
    The Denon struck me as brighter than previous JVC, Pioneer, Proton and Marantz amps.

    Audyssey was certainly my friend on the AVR 3806; the soundfield improved immensely and I NEVER touched channel balances after that. The AVR 2112 setup (Nov 2011) routine came back sounding good but with the rears too loud. I put all channels to zero for now. That setup is for Saturday Night Live and occasional movies so not exactly sweating it at the moment. The AVR 990 setup did something similar; I set the channels to 0 and it's sounding good. Since this system is reference for mixing I will tinker with it considerably in the next week or so to get what I had with AVR 3806. The mics and setup did change between these....

    It sounds like you think Yamaha is higher in the food chain and the decision is already made!
    Ah! Thank you! At last! Some clarity based on experience and not just conjecture or fluff about fancy watches!

    So, I deduce that if the Denon sounds brighter in your opinion then I can't be alone in feeling that not all receivers sound alike!?

    Oh no! I certainly don't consider Yamaha to be above Denon. Don't get me wrong, I had some fun with my Denon in the couple of years I had it (despite the bad effect Audyssey had on the sound & soundfield, for me) until I got the Yamaha and heard stuff I'd been missing (and then some! Oodles of detail and presence without sounding harsh or forward!).

    My experience is based on the nature and quality of sound I encountered and lived with over prolonged periods listening and playing with settings between one manufacturers' receiver and another.

    I do suspect my dislike for the bog standard Audyssey MultEQ (which I also felt introduced some weird compression & pumping type stuff going on along with the awful rolled off high frequencies and O.T.T. lows!) has a fair bit to do with my Denon issues, not just the basic amplification of each brand... but still even without Audyssey enabled, I found the Denon to sound a bit cold and underpowered. Straight out of the box the Yammy was less forward, fuller sounding and just more my cuppa tea ultimately I suppose!

    Once i'd got it properly setup and now I've tweaked and fiddled with it, I love it even more and would only consider another upgrade if/when I could afford a substantially more powerful & superior (pre/power perhaps) setup, or if Hdmi were to be replaced with another type of connection (along the lines of Apple's "Thunderbolt" port, say) or if something like 4K video were to take off (or some other unforeseen future technology) and I felt the urge to get on board and replace it.

    Phew!

  26. #25
    Quad Goddess & Moderator Quad Linda's Avatar
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    Default Re: thoughts on denon?

    First, the watch analogy was a good one. Otto is right in that any of these receivers would be adequate.

    Most people who pop for a flagship receiver aren't doing it for the cool factor. As someone who has sold both Bose and B&O, I see woefully few similarities. They are both far from the best value. However, B&O is superbly crafted, great performing gear, where Bose is not, IMHO. IMHO, if people are buying Bose for the cool factor, they don't know much about hifi.

    About those receivers: higher line receivers will provide more features and flexibility. Significantly higher will provide higher performance. Like sportscars, the law of diminishing returns comes into play. Every miniscule amount of additional performance past a certain point will require lots of $$$$. The next higher receiver in anyone's line might only provide 1-2 more features and no more than 1 1/2 times the wattage. That increase in wattage means virtually nothing in volume level, although the additional headroom may be significant.

    As to separates or those flagship receivers, they will offer more headroom, better fidelity, more features and likely a wider dynamic range than the lower or midline receiver will. That is what one buys when stepping up to higher price ranges. None of that comes cheap. It isn't for everyone, even if they can afford it. Again, its the law of diminishing returns. Through a set of budget speakers, that flagship receiver may only sound sligtly better. Through a more substantial set of speakers, it may sound hugely better. It can also play significantly louder and offer lots more headroom.

    As to why there are so many receiver brands with similar chipsets inside, my recommendation to fredblue is to write whichever manufacturers he deems unnecessary, and kindly request that they cease business operations immediately. Perhaps they'll oblige. Or, they may decide that they're profitable enough to ignore his request and decide to stay in business.
    KWAD KITTY

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