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Author Topic: HT Showdown: Yamaha vs Sony (Yet Denon somehow Wins)  (Read 1941 times)
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Hrothgar
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« on: March 14, 2008, 04:00:49 AM »

In honor of Daehawk, I'm making this a separate thread.   ninja2

I'm slowly upgrading my home theater one piece at a time.  Next up is the receiver.  My old one is fine but doesn't handle all my inputs and has none of the fancy new lights and whistles.  I'm looking for something that does the whole HDMI 1.3a.  Upscaling of other sources is nice as well.  I think I've narrowed it down to two, but I'm open to suggestions if you know of something comparable or better.

I'm considering:

The Yamaha RX-V1800

or

The Sony STR DA4300ES

I'm kind of leaning toward the Yamaha since I've had such good experience with their products.  On the other hand, on screen XMB controls might be nice.

« Last Edit: April 11, 2008, 09:43:49 PM by Hrothgar » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2008, 04:05:17 AM »

I've no experience with either, but both have similar (good) reputations.  That being said, DENON FTW.

gellar
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2008, 04:40:42 AM »

Quote from: gellar on March 14, 2008, 04:05:17 AM

That being said, DENON FTW.

Agreed.
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Devil
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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2008, 05:43:28 PM »

I liked my Yamaha a lot...until I got a Denon!  icon_biggrin
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Jimmy the Fish
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« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2008, 05:48:46 PM »

I have a Yamaha, although not that same model. It's been great. No problems and nothing about it that annoys me. Don't know about the Sony as I have never owned a Sony receiver.
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« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2008, 05:51:04 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on March 14, 2008, 04:40:42 AM

Quote from: gellar on March 14, 2008, 04:05:17 AM

That being said, DENON FTW.

Agreed.

+1000.  Though one of the optical ports has gone out on my 4 year old Denon.
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leo8877
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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2008, 07:08:07 PM »

FWIW, I have an Onkyo receiver and it's great!
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Hrothgar
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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2008, 08:14:13 PM »

Hey, I like Denon too, but to get HDMI 1.3a inputs, I'd have to go up to the AVR-5803CI.  That's very cool, but has a MSRP of $5200.  That's well out of my range.
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« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2008, 12:13:47 AM »

Quote from: Hrothgar on March 14, 2008, 08:14:13 PM

Hey, I like Denon too, but to get HDMI 1.3a inputs, I'd have to go up to the AVR-5803CI.  That's very cool, but has a MSRP of $5200.  That's well out of my range.

Actually...

Tongue

That said I still think if I was going to get one now it would be one of the newer Onkyo series. They're the only affordable receivers that support all the new audio formats on Blu-Ray like DTS-HD and it's Dolby competitor.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2008, 12:15:45 AM by Thin_J » Logged

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leo8877
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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2008, 12:16:06 AM »

Quote from: Thin_J on March 15, 2008, 12:13:47 AM

Quote from: Hrothgar on March 14, 2008, 08:14:13 PM

Hey, I like Denon too, but to get HDMI 1.3a inputs, I'd have to go up to the AVR-5803CI.  That's very cool, but has a MSRP of $5200.  That's well out of my range.

Actually...

Tongue

That said I still think if I was going to get one now it would be one of the newer Onkyo series. They're the only affordable receivers that support all the new audio formats on Blu-Ray like DTS-HD and it's Dolby competitor.


Yeah my $400 receiver supports 1.3a
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Hrothgar
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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2008, 12:51:57 AM »

Quote from: Thin_J on March 15, 2008, 12:13:47 AM

Quote from: Hrothgar on March 14, 2008, 08:14:13 PM

Hey, I like Denon too, but to get HDMI 1.3a inputs, I'd have to go up to the AVR-5803CI.  That's very cool, but has a MSRP of $5200.  That's well out of my range.

Actually...

Tongue

That said I still think if I was going to get one now it would be one of the newer Onkyo series. They're the only affordable receivers that support all the new audio formats on Blu-Ray like DTS-HD and it's Dolby competitor.
Unless I'm reading that wrong, you can't output a non HDMI source through the HDMI connection and you can't use HDMI as the sound cable.  Perhaps I should have said "HDMI 1.3 a inputs with audio and video processing" instead. slywink
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leo8877
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« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2008, 01:35:37 AM »

Quote from: Hrothgar on March 15, 2008, 12:51:57 AM

Quote from: Thin_J on March 15, 2008, 12:13:47 AM

Quote from: Hrothgar on March 14, 2008, 08:14:13 PM

Hey, I like Denon too, but to get HDMI 1.3a inputs, I'd have to go up to the AVR-5803CI.  That's very cool, but has a MSRP of $5200.  That's well out of my range.

Actually...

Tongue

That said I still think if I was going to get one now it would be one of the newer Onkyo series. They're the only affordable receivers that support all the new audio formats on Blu-Ray like DTS-HD and it's Dolby competitor.
Unless I'm reading that wrong, you can't output a non HDMI source through the HDMI connection and you can't use HDMI as the sound cable.  Perhaps I should have said "HDMI 1.3 a inputs with audio and video processing" instead. slywink

Ok my Onkyo 605 can output any video input to the receiver, out to the monitor via HDMI.  For example my cable box goes into my receiver with Component cables, but there's just a single HDMI cable feeding my tv.  I can also use my HDMI cable to pass audio through to the monitor if I don't want to output it to the external speakers.  If that's what you're looking for, then it's available starting at $400.
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« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2008, 12:02:08 PM »

Denon or Onkyo will blow away Sony or Yamaha (in your price range for around the same price).  I love my Denon.
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Hrothgar
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« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2008, 11:42:49 PM »

Could one of the Denon experts around here explain the difference between the AVR-2808CI and the AVR-988?  I must be reading the site wrong since each time I look at it I find something different.  Now I'm thinking they are 1.3a.  Would I be better off jumping up to the 3808 to get the 4 HDMI ports?
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« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2008, 12:08:41 AM »

When I bought my receiver 3 years ago, the 985 and the 2805 were identical other than in name and color.  I'm pretty sure that's the case now with the 2808 and the 988.

gellar
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Hrothgar
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« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2008, 11:06:53 PM »

Well, it's hard to ignore the advice around here.  I ended up going with the Denon 3808.  I had pretty much decided to go with the 2808 and get a HDMI switcher when I needed more inputs, but then I read some switcher reviews.  I was surprised to learn how fickle even the higher rated ones can be.  The price of a high end switcher would bring the 2808 pretty close to the 3808. 

I'm still not sure I could tell you all the differences between the 2808 and 3808.  I do dislike the Denon website.  Their manual writing isn't much better.  Fortunately, the actual product is great.  The two differences I'm sure of are four HDMI inputs vs. two, and ethernet support allows things such as firmware updates and internet radio.  They also make a vague promise that some new features will be available for purchase and download.  It also turns out you can tweak a lot of the settings using a web interface and a computer on the local network.

I don't think I can do a PeteRockian description of the actual installation.  Suffice to say that replacing the receiver in your HT set up is more like heart surgery than the little outpatient affair of daisy chaining on a new peripheral.  I survived with only a minor scrape from putting my arm in a gap rather smaller than my arm to connect a cable.  The actual HT patient is doing better now than before the operation.  The only complications came from setting the correct audio outputs on the cable box and PS3.  I think I've run that metaphor into the ground.

Overall, I'm quite happy with the Denon.  The upscaling looks quite nice.  The sound is great.  I almost want to upgrade the speakers to hear how good it can sound.  Internet radio is pretty cool once I found out that I could set up my favorite channels online using the radiodenon website.   

Thanks to everyone for their advice.
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« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2008, 11:18:13 PM »

Nice.  If my receiver broke today, that is the exact one I would choose to replace it with.

gellar
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« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2008, 09:41:53 PM »

MARANTZ!
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« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2008, 01:54:40 AM »

Wow... why are those receivers $1,000?  Does the upscaling really make that much of a difference?  Couldn't an upscaling DVD player do the same thing?

Also... why is this thread dedicated to Daehawk?
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Hrothgar
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« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2008, 04:57:00 AM »

Quote from: hitbyambulance on April 12, 2008, 09:41:53 PM

MARANTZ!
A little late, but Marantz does have a better website than Denon. slywink  I  also liked that their recommended accessories for A/V receivers included their $1000 universal remote.

Thinking about it, I find the ability to easily update the firmware weighed more heavily than I expected it would.  The way the PS3 has improved through each firmware update has impressed me.  Though the first time I updated the firmware, it locked up.  There was nothing on the website or in the manual on what to do if that happened.  I eventually found a FAQ that said if you get a download error to do a hard reset.  Once I did that it gave me the option of trying again or aborting the update.  I told it to try again, and it finished successfully.  I hadn't bricked my receiver on the first night.

Quote from: jpinard on April 13, 2008, 01:54:40 AM

Wow... why are those receivers $1,000?  Does the upscaling really make that much of a difference?  Couldn't an upscaling DVD player do the same thing?

Also... why is this thread dedicated to Daehawk?
They're a $1000 because they're essentially a computer devoted to audio and video processing.  Part of the cost is discrete amplification per speaker.  There's even an option to biamp the front speakers, but that's beyond my tech level.  The video processing is nice because it can take any source (say a Wii or video from our camcorder) and output it at the top resolution of the monitor.  Also there's variation in the quality of upscaling.  You can buy a $50 upscaling DVD player or you can get one closer to $400.  Even the PS3 and Xbox 360 upscaling look different.  Most of the receivers also support multiple zones.  That allows you to output audio and/or video to another room while still using the main 5.1 set up.  Finally, if you look at all those logos on the Denon pages, most of them are licensed technologies that have to be paid for.  I think XM might be paying Denon, but otherwise that just another cost to be able to play all the standards.

When this thread was started, Daehawk, Calvin and Ike were having an argument over Daehawk starting a new thread for everything.  I could have added this question to one of the previous home theater threads, but I wanted to make sure I got as many people as possible to voice their opinion and help me make the best decision possible when spending that kind of money.  So I started a new thread.
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« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2008, 05:16:55 AM »

Sorry if I missed it, but where did you buy it for $1000?  I see it listed for $1600 in several places.
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Hrothgar
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« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2008, 05:27:29 AM »

Quote from: Jancelot on April 13, 2008, 05:16:55 AM

Sorry if I missed it, but where did you buy it for $1000?  I see it listed for $1600 in several places.
I didn't.  I grabbed it from Etronics.  I paid more to go to the 3808.  They do have the 988 under $1000.
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« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2008, 05:47:41 AM »

Rise from your grave. 

If anyone is still looking my Fry's (Houston) had the Denon 988 on sale for $700 this weekend.  That's a great price.  Having used my receiver for months now, I have no trouble recommending Denon.  I don't know if that price is at all Fry's, but it's worth checking out if you're in the market.
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« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2008, 03:32:32 PM »

Also, Denon is releasing this year’s new line any time this month. It looks they're going to be much more in line with the current Onkyo's in terms of features to cost.

I'm eyeing up the AVR-1909 or the AVR-2309CI.

http://www.productwiki.com/denon-avr-2309CI/

http://usa.denon.com/ProductDetails/4241.asp
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« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2008, 06:09:12 PM »

Quote from: Mookee on July 06, 2008, 03:32:32 PM

Also, Denon is releasing this year’s new line any time this month. It looks they're going to be much more in line with the current Onkyo's in terms of features to cost.

I'm eyeing up the AVR-1909 or the AVR-2309CI.

http://www.productwiki.com/denon-avr-2309CI/

http://usa.denon.com/ProductDetails/4241.asp

that's actually interesting to see Denon with something that's almost reasonably priced.  the AVR-1909 is almost functionally the same as my Onkyo TX-SR606 and doesn't cost too much more ($650 vs $500 MSRP).  i wanted to go with Denon when i bought my Onkyo about a month ago, but they didn't have anything with the same functionality at anywhere near the same price.
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