Didn't realize I would have issues picking a AVR

mantis
mantis Posts: 16,997
Hello everyone,
I'm probably putting way to much effort into selecting my new AVR. I was pretty happy with the Sony STRZA5000es I just sold. I wanted different and wanted to try something new as I haven't done that in years with my family Room system. Speakers , sources and even cables, I really left alone for a long time.

I started fooling around with cables again, it's fun but It lost it's fun quickly as I'm kinda tired of messing around there.

Sources , The Apple Tv 4k has become the center of my attention as it turned into this one stop shop for music , TV and movie watching. I got rid of cable years ago and the Apple TV 4k gets used everyday. I even listen to music on it since Apple went with Spatial audio, Dolby Atmos music etc , even the quality seems so much better I'm pretty happy with that and the audiophile in me screams " Why the hell are you using a $199 streamer ?" But it works and i'm not un happy with it so I ignore that.

Adding a CD player , I had this short lived wind of wanting to put a new sexy model in like the Marantz in my other thread But I'm gonna hold off on that until I lock a AVR for this room.

Speakers it's been years , since I made a switch and now I'm in a cross between 3 different brands and haven't got enough seat time to pull the trigger on a new setup.

So back to this AVR madness I'm putting to much time into. Sony came out with their new models, I went to a Training on them and was impressed. I was locked into Denon , Marantz with Integra floating around and now that I have to wait until March to get a Sony, this time I have I find myself going round and round with the different models.

I cut out many choices as either they are way to much money vs other offerings or don't have the setup I want or need. So I'm at really 4 choices.

Marantz Cinema 40
Denon AVRX4800H
Sony STRAZ5000es
Integra DRZX5.4

All choices to me are solid choices and all have things Like about them. The Cinema is the sexiest choice and looks alone is far better than all others. BUT it's the most expensive and I don't get anything better out of it vs the Denon AVRX4800H which is basically the same exact AVR except the sexiness. So if I can live with less sexy, I'd pick the Denon.

The Integra came back into my life strong after a Theater Repair I recently did that had a Integra DTR60.6 running a full M&K THX theater package with 2 M&K THX subs that had this effortless dynamic range and clarity I lust after in any AVR. Yamaha and B&K years ago always had this , Pioneer Elite SC models had this , my Sony had this in my room with my current Speaker package and the new Sony AVR has better Cap's and a bigger better power supply so I'm sure without hearing it , will retain at least what the old one did but I expect it to exceed it. The Sony and the Integra is a toss up right now. The Sony on paper isn't superior and the Integra isn't either for many reasons. SO this choice for me is hard.

I might feel better going with either one of them over the Denon but the Denon has plenty of strong reasons to go with it.

Price wise they are so close I don't care at all about that. I'm not spending $4000.00 on a new AVR for my room like Anthem or considering NAD Rotel etc. I find NO value in going with those brands for me, not saying they are great, just I'm not interested. Even Yamaha, I looked over the new line and I know sound quality and power reserves should be awesome But something inside me doesn't want to revisit Yamaha anymore. I moved past them many years ago, I don't install or service them, I don't have any new seat time with them so going that route on paper or online just doesn't feel right.

So this is basically just a rant to let off some steam. When March rolls around and my patience holds out , I'll probably grab the new Sony EVEN though I wanted different and I'm now after basically the same thing. I make no sense to even myself.

So I have this Denon AVRX3100W used unit with some bad HDMI inputs but I was able to use the working HDMI inputs for APPLE TV and XBOX ONE X until I get my new AVR. I was borrowing a Sony model from work but we sold it so I had to put something else in there. I recently pulled the Denon out of a clients house due to the HDMI failures and put in a really sweet Marantz Cinema 70 which was awesome. I'm just waiting for the Denon to finish failing. I didn't want to put separates in my system , put in amps and use my NAD preamp I have that just chills , it's only 1080p as I don't have the upgrade 4k HDMI card.
It's an awesome preamp goes without saying, it's awesome but I don't want separates anymore, Moved away from that as well as I don't need external amp power in this room or want all the clutter and weight in my AV cabinet.


Dan
My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
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Comments

  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 25,017
    edited February 2023
    I don't think you can ever put "too much" effort into making an audio purchase. I research, read, lament, analyze, compare, read some more for months before I buy something. There are a lot of choices and roads to go down and it's a rather large investment (over time), so too much effort isn't really a detriment.

    My last really impulsive audio buy was a pair of R200's, based solely on the enthusiasm from long time members here. Didn't think I really needed them.........I am super glad I purchased them.

    Having said that, I'm not into AVR's, nor have I kept up with the tech, so I can't really comment on that.

    Good luck

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass Pass Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!
  • X4800H FTW or save some $$ on the X3800H
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,997
    If you compare the 4800 and 3800 , they are very singular and the 3800 has a full set of preouts. It's not a bad way to go.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,997
    heiney9 wrote: »
    I don't think you can ever put "too much" effort into making an audio purchase. I research, read, lament, analyze, compare, read some more for months before I buy something. There are a lot of choices and roads to go down and it's a rather large investment (over time), so too much effort isn't really a detriment.

    My last really impulsive audio buy was a pair of R200's, based solely on the enthusiasm from long time members here. Didn't think I really needed them.........I am super glad I purchased them.

    Having said that, I'm not into AVR's, nor have I kept up with the tech, so I can't really comment on that.

    Good luck

    H9
    How are those R200's? What color did you go with?
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • Maybe it was a rant but you have been on this for a minute here ! You know from our messages the love I now have for Marantz but more in the pre pro arena / owning both the 8802a & the 8805 these units are unbelievable in all aspects! How they pack up such a punch in such a small (to me) piece of gear is nothing short of amazing! They sound fantastic and rival all of the high end streamers easily!
    "if it's not fun, it's not worth it & remember folks, "It's All About The Music"!!
    *****************************
  • mantis wrote: »
    If you compare the 4800 and 3800 , they are very singular and the 3800 has a full set of preouts. It's not a bad way to go.

    Yeah that's why I bought one. I'm also very excited to compare Dirac to Audyssey multeq-x
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,997
    edited February 2023
    vader540is wrote: »
    mantis wrote: »
    If you compare the 4800 and 3800 , they are very singular and the 3800 has a full set of preouts. It's not a bad way to go.

    Yeah that's why I bought one. I'm also very excited to compare Dirac to Audyssey multeq-x
    Which one did you buy?
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,997
    I like the more power of the X4800H over the X3800H, really no need for power amps but the X3800H might need amps to really shine, that would have to be tested.
    The one major to me minor to probably most others is the front cover door with the control behind it. The X3800H has no door and no menu setup controls on the front.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • daddyjt
    daddyjt Posts: 2,290
    mantis wrote: »
    I like the more power of the X4800H over the X3800H, really no need for power amps...

    I have never heard a receiver that sounded anywhere near as good as a separate amplifier. That said, if you are not using quality speakers/source, then perhaps the performance advantage of a separate amplifier will be lost…?
    "Conservative Libertarians love the country, progressive leftists love the government." - Andrew Wilkow


    “Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free.”
    ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  • mdaudioguy
    mdaudioguy Posts: 5,165
    Hmm, I just replaced a customer's X3100 with an X3800H for the same reason. I also have an X2100 to be replaced this week, both installed within weeks of each other in 2015, I think. Anyhow, the 3800 was nice, but I also recently installed and setup an X4800H... Real nice. Actually "Made in Japan," btw. Quite easily runs a Def Tech 9080-based 7.1.2 HT. Super impressed with it, although I haven't had occasion to work with the other models you're considering.
  • gmcman
    gmcman Posts: 1,727
    edited February 2023
    mantis wrote: »
    The Integra came back into my life strong after a Theater Repair I recently did that had a Integra DTR60.6 running a full M&K THX theater package with 2 M&K THX subs that had this effortless dynamic range and clarity I lust after in any AVR. Yamaha and B&K years ago always had this.


    mantis wrote: »
    Even Yamaha, I looked over the new line and I know sound quality and power reserves should be awesome But something inside me doesn't want to revisit Yamaha anymore. I moved past them many years ago, I don't install or service them, I don't have any new seat time with them so going that route on paper or online just doesn't feel right.

    Can I speculate this might be one reason you might "have issues picking an AVR"?

    Otherwise IMHO, the choice may be easy and that you probably should go with the Denon.

    My thoughts are you might still be after what will deliver you the better SQ over how many bells and whistles, or aesthetics one has.


    What's keeping you from looking at the Yamaha Aventage R6-A6A if that seems to fall within your price range?

    With what you have debated over this, as well as your past experiences, I would at this point have to see what the Yamaha offers in terms of performance.

    Otherwise you may leave yourself wondering after the purchase if you at least didn't go for a test drive.

    I know this might not be what you want to hear, but it's easier to maybe help point you in the right direction, over backtracking and rethinking a purchase later.

    Good luck man!
  • pearsall001
    pearsall001 Posts: 4,971
    Man oh man you're over thinking this way too much & driving yourself crazy.

    Wait till the new Sony ES line comes out & grab one. You keep gravitating to that line anyway.

    You're not going to do Denon, Marantz, Onkyo or Yamaha. The other heavy hitters (Anthem, NAD, Arcam, Emotiva are also off the table due to pricing (which I totally agree with).

    Sheesh put your feet up, relax & go get yourself a Sony ES!
    "2 Channel & 11.2 HT "Two Channel:Magnepan LRSSchiit Audio Freya S - SS preConsonance Ref 50 - Tube preParasound HALO A21+ 2 channel ampBluesound NODE 2i streameriFi NEO iDSD DAC Oppo BDP-93KEF KC62 sub Home Theater:Full blown 11.2 set up.
  • gmcman
    gmcman Posts: 1,727
    To add further madness to our OP's decision....I found a store demo Anthem MRX-1120 for a few hundred less than the Denon...check your PM @mantis

    Might not be what you are after, but figured I would send it so you can look.
  • nooshinjohn
    nooshinjohn Posts: 24,928
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, Arcam AVR20, Oppo UDP-203 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk Audio Legend L800 with height modules, L400 Center Channel Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds. Marantz MM7025 stereo amp. Simaudio Moon 680d DSD

    “When once a Republic is corrupted, there is no possibility of remedying any of the growing evils but by removing the corruption and restoring its lost principles; every other correction is either useless or a new evil.”— Thomas Jefferson
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 24,366
    Toolfan66 wrote: »
    I thought you did this kind of thing for a living??

    It would seem this would be much easier for you..

    Took the words right out of my mouth!
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,997
    daddyjt wrote: »
    mantis wrote: »
    I like the more power of the X4800H over the X3800H, really no need for power amps...

    I have never heard a receiver that sounded anywhere near as good as a separate amplifier. That said, if you are not using quality speakers/source, then perhaps the performance advantage of a separate amplifier will be lost…?
    Then you haven't heard any good receivers. So many over the years that I have personally owned where incredible and rivaled separates all day.
    I had Rotel, B&K , Pioneer Elite even my last Sony STRZA5000ES had a damn good clean powerful quite back ground sound to it , fully dynamic etc.
    What is missed today is how damn good the preamp sections are in today AVR's. They make excellent Preamps. I hated Receivers as Preamps years ago.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • invalid
    invalid Posts: 1,247
    What separates were you using? I haven't seen AVR's with huge power supplies.
  • daddyjt
    daddyjt Posts: 2,290
    mantis wrote: »
    daddyjt wrote: »
    mantis wrote: »
    I like the more power of the X4800H over the X3800H, really no need for power amps...

    I have never heard a receiver that sounded anywhere near as good as a separate amplifier. That said, if you are not using quality speakers/source, then perhaps the performance advantage of a separate amplifier will be lost…?
    Then you haven't heard any good receivers. So many over the years that I have personally owned where incredible and rivaled separates all day.
    I had Rotel, B&K , Pioneer Elite even my last Sony STRZA5000ES had a damn good clean powerful quite back ground sound to it , fully dynamic etc.
    What is missed today is how damn good the preamp sections are in today AVR's. They make excellent Preamps. I hated Receivers as Preamps years ago.

    You are incorrect in your assumption - I have owned receivers from Rotel, Pioneer Elite, Sony(ES), Yamaha and Marantz, and that is to say nothing of the receivers I have installed and calibrated for others. Of those that I have owned, Marantz was the clear winner - and while it’s electronics are great, it’s power section just cannot compete with a standalone amplifier. It’s not a question of loudness, it’s a question of dynamics and clarity. If you have not heard that difference, I suggest auditioning a quality 2ch amplifier in comparison to receiver power - you may like what you hear:-)
    "Conservative Libertarians love the country, progressive leftists love the government." - Andrew Wilkow


    “Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free.”
    ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,997
    daddyjt wrote: »
    mantis wrote: »
    daddyjt wrote: »
    mantis wrote: »
    I like the more power of the X4800H over the X3800H, really no need for power amps...

    I have never heard a receiver that sounded anywhere near as good as a separate amplifier. That said, if you are not using quality speakers/source, then perhaps the performance advantage of a separate amplifier will be lost…?
    Then you haven't heard any good receivers. So many over the years that I have personally owned where incredible and rivaled separates all day.
    I had Rotel, B&K , Pioneer Elite even my last Sony STRZA5000ES had a damn good clean powerful quite back ground sound to it , fully dynamic etc.
    What is missed today is how damn good the preamp sections are in today AVR's. They make excellent Preamps. I hated Receivers as Preamps years ago.

    You are incorrect in your assumption - I have owned receivers from Rotel, Pioneer Elite, Sony(ES), Yamaha and Marantz, and that is to say nothing of the receivers I have installed and calibrated for others. Of those that I have owned, Marantz was the clear winner - and while it’s electronics are great, it’s power section just cannot compete with a standalone amplifier. It’s not a question of loudness, it’s a question of dynamics and clarity. If you have not heard that difference, I suggest auditioning a quality 2ch amplifier in comparison to receiver power - you may like what you hear:-)

    I've owned separates as well as receivers over my decades of being a professional and a hobbyist. Bottom line is you can't blanket statement this subject. Separates are not clearly better , they are a need when more power is required. In most rooms AVR's perform extremely well. But when you have speakers that are more difficult to drive or the room is on the larger size, you want too consider going separates or at least adding amps to your AVR. That's really all I'm saying here.

    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • daddyjt
    daddyjt Posts: 2,290
    mantis wrote: »
    daddyjt wrote: »
    mantis wrote: »
    daddyjt wrote: »
    mantis wrote: »
    I like the more power of the X4800H over the X3800H, really no need for power amps...

    I have never heard a receiver that sounded anywhere near as good as a separate amplifier. That said, if you are not using quality speakers/source, then perhaps the performance advantage of a separate amplifier will be lost…?
    Then you haven't heard any good receivers. So many over the years that I have personally owned where incredible and rivaled separates all day.
    I had Rotel, B&K , Pioneer Elite even my last Sony STRZA5000ES had a damn good clean powerful quite back ground sound to it , fully dynamic etc.
    What is missed today is how damn good the preamp sections are in today AVR's. They make excellent Preamps. I hated Receivers as Preamps years ago.

    You are incorrect in your assumption - I have owned receivers from Rotel, Pioneer Elite, Sony(ES), Yamaha and Marantz, and that is to say nothing of the receivers I have installed and calibrated for others. Of those that I have owned, Marantz was the clear winner - and while it’s electronics are great, it’s power section just cannot compete with a standalone amplifier. It’s not a question of loudness, it’s a question of dynamics and clarity. If you have not heard that difference, I suggest auditioning a quality 2ch amplifier in comparison to receiver power - you may like what you hear:-)

    I've owned separates as well as receivers over my decades of being a professional and a hobbyist. Bottom line is you can't blanket statement this subject. Separates are not clearly better , they are a need when more power is required. In most rooms AVR's perform extremely well. But when you have speakers that are more difficult to drive or the room is on the larger size, you want too consider going separates or at least adding amps to your AVR. That's really all I'm saying here.

    I get what you are saying - but these speakers will undoubtedly benefit from a separate amplifier :wink:

    wxybtiiiu12a.jpeg

    "Conservative Libertarians love the country, progressive leftists love the government." - Andrew Wilkow


    “Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free.”
    ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  • nooshinjohn
    nooshinjohn Posts: 24,928
    I too get what Mantis is saying... Many here still think I was out of my mind to turn away from my Pass Labs X0.2 in favor of an Arcam AVR. I do use my tube amps for the mains, and without hesitation can state that in my space, my setup has never sounded better than it does today.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, Arcam AVR20, Oppo UDP-203 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk Audio Legend L800 with height modules, L400 Center Channel Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds. Marantz MM7025 stereo amp. Simaudio Moon 680d DSD

    “When once a Republic is corrupted, there is no possibility of remedying any of the growing evils but by removing the corruption and restoring its lost principles; every other correction is either useless or a new evil.”— Thomas Jefferson
  • msg
    msg Posts: 9,214
    I like the speaker distance out from the wall.

    I wanna kick that Christmas tree, though.
    I disabled signatures.
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,997
    msg wrote: »
    I like the speaker distance out from the wall.

    I wanna kick that Christmas tree, though.
    It's my wife's little tree see decorates for different holidays. I'm not real fond of it either.

    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • msg
    msg Posts: 9,214
    I wouldn't really kick your Christmas tree, your wife's or otherwise.

    Do you always run 2ch speakers at wall distances like that? I'm experimenting with this as I slowly work on my main 2ch, and am becoming a fan.

    What do you notice about the audio in doing so?

    I used to wonder at this in those giant, exotic listening spaces we've all seen photos of - mostly about bass reduction without the wall proximity, but I'm using decent subs in any systems these days, and they fill nicely.
    I disabled signatures.
  • stangman67
    stangman67 Posts: 2,167
    I’m general speakers want to be at least a couple feet in the room to minimize interaction with the back and side wall. This definitely will drop bass production. For most of us getting a speaker a few feet (or more) into a room just isn’t feasible. I’m at about a foot and a half and that’s all I can manage without the speakers dominating the space

    Pulling the speakers out (in general) will greatly improve image, start to give you that impression that the speakers disappear etc. And will certainly help with managing the bass. I happen to like a little bass bump so having the speaks close to the back wall certainly makes me smile sometimes
    2 Channel in my home attic/bar/man cave

    2 Channel Focal Kanta 3 I Modwright SWL9.0 Anniversary Pre I Modwright PH9.0X I Modwright KWA-150SE I VPI Prime Signature w/ Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC I Lumin U2 Mini I North Star Designs Intenso DAC I Audience OHNO ICs/Audience Furutech FP-S55N and FP-S032N Power Cables/Acoustic Zen Satori I Isotek Sirius
  • stangman67
    stangman67 Posts: 2,167
    Of course this is all theory and YMMV. It’s fun to experiment for sure though
    2 Channel in my home attic/bar/man cave

    2 Channel Focal Kanta 3 I Modwright SWL9.0 Anniversary Pre I Modwright PH9.0X I Modwright KWA-150SE I VPI Prime Signature w/ Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC I Lumin U2 Mini I North Star Designs Intenso DAC I Audience OHNO ICs/Audience Furutech FP-S55N and FP-S032N Power Cables/Acoustic Zen Satori I Isotek Sirius
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,997
    msg wrote: »
    I wouldn't really kick your Christmas tree, your wife's or otherwise.

    Do you always run 2ch speakers at wall distances like that? I'm experimenting with this as I slowly work on my main 2ch, and am becoming a fan.

    What do you notice about the audio in doing so?

    I used to wonder at this in those giant, exotic listening spaces we've all seen photos of - mostly about bass reduction without the wall proximity, but I'm using decent subs in any systems these days, and they fill nicely.

    So a year ago I missed this reply and I was just looking around and saw it.

    Anyway to answer your question , NO I don't pt my speakers that far out from the wall. The Focal's are front ported and don't benefit from it like you would think.

    I usually have my speakers about 12-14 inches off the wall measured from the back of the speakers. The Def Tech Mythos ST are sealed so they also don't require a pull out in to the room at 24 to 26 inches.

    When you do benefit from speakers being further away from the back wall is when they are boomy. Bass will bloat sometimes when they are to close. They load up and then sound cloudy , messy and congested. Not the case with my 2 pairs of Towers that I rotate in and out from time to time.


    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,997
    b4ezsedrvka1.jpeg

    This is usually the Distance I run
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 27,900
    edited March 3
    Wilson audio has a technique they dubbed "the Wilson way" about finding "zones of neutrality" in a room. It is super easy to do and it truly works great to find a position in your room where the speakers are interacting less with the room which makes everything easier.

    This is of course for 2 channel.

    I also want to say that pulling speakers out from the walls of course changes the bass but imaging will dramatically improve giving the speakers room to breathe.

    For home theater, in my current setup I just use the Yamaha avr to power my in ceiling speakers, I do think I lose a tad bit of performance this way but I don't expect it would be night and day. The Yamaha sounds absolutely atrocious for 2 channel though.
    - Not Tom ::::::: Any system can play Diana Krall. Only the best can play Limp Bizkit.