Choosing a receiver 2: Marantz vs. Denon

 

Bronze Member
Username: Argento

Post Number: 29
Registered: Apr-04
Continuing with my receiver search, yesterday almost by chance,
I made a comparative among the Denon 1604 and the Marantz 5300.
The music came through a DVD Pioneer (I don't remember the model)
connected to the receivers through optic fiber.
The speakers neither accompanied, first we connect the JBL E-50 that were
terribly aggressive and then we attempt some Sony of low quality, but less
aggressive as to simulate a "European" sound.
For the audition we prove some themes of Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, Beatles and some thing more.

With both speakers, the Marantz showed its superior power from the beginning, moving
better the speakers, especially the "hungries" JBLs. The topic is that the aggressiveness of the JBL together with the character a little "early" in the voices of the Marantz made a very bad combination. The Denon, threw it stops the whole middle range behind, softening them a little, making more passable the audition. Then we decide to change the speakers because really bothered to hear those JBL.

With the Sony, the thing was calmer and being able to appreciate those differ apparent more clearly. With the Marantz were listened all the instruments clearly, with a lot of detail, but almost all in oneself line and thrown to the front, that toward that in the music's strong passages one wanted to retire a little back.
With the Denon, the first thing that was noticed was a bigger "airly" sensation, Eric Clapton that was to a meter with the Marantz, left toward the bottom, maybe I just behind of the guitar. The scene was cleaned enough, what allowed to listen some details more clearly, mainly in the high frequencies, that the Denon manages marvelously, making them sweetter. The details also were reproduced by the Marantz, but it was more difficult to listen to them.
It is difficult to say on the bass tones, because the speakers were lacking them, as impression could say that they were more potent in the Marantz, but drier and defined in the Denon.

Conclusion: I arrived with the idea of finding an overwhelming winner and I left with more doubts. Really before beginning to listen, it was convinced that the Marantz would be the overwhelming winner, but.... oh!! surprise!! the Denon was willing to give battle.
The Denon 1604, in spite of being an entry model , it demonstrated to be able to compete of similar to same (except in power) with the Marantz 5300 that it corresponds with the middle line of the mark, that makes think that superior models of Denon as the one that I am seeing, they should even sound better.

The ideal thing for my... to take the clarity and power of the Marantz and the detail, control and soundstage of the Denon.....
Does it exist?

 

Bronze Member
Username: Argento

Post Number: 30
Registered: Apr-04
To continue with the selection of my receiver, I make a re-post of the last modifications to my list of candidates:

-----------------------
Making a selection on the initial list in function of the comments received up to now:

- I eliminate Onkyo for not being clearly superior to the other receivers in any item and to be expensive regarding the other ones
- I eliminate to the Elite 55 Txi because it is similar to the Elite 53 save for the firewire entrance that at the moment don't need it
- I eliminate the Denon 2803 because their construction quality and features doesn't seem to be at the level of the other receivers
- I eliminate the HK 630 because for what I could see in the specifications it is similar to the HK 430 save for a difference of 10 watts of power that I don't believe to need

The up-to-date list is then:

1)Marantz SR5400
2)Pioneer Elite Vsx-53TX
Harman Kardon AVR-430
Marantz SR7400
3)DENON AVR-3803

-----------------------

Keep in mind that for me the topic of the absence of problems is very IMPORTANT in the election of the receiver.
I wait their comments. Thanks.




 

Bronze Member
Username: Argento

Post Number: 31
Registered: Apr-04
If somebody wants to know the beginning of this selection, go to this link:

http://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/27638.html
 

Silver Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 168
Registered: Feb-04
I have never been a fan of JBL and I dont even know/remember how do they sound like. If I remember right you did have Tannoy Mercurys? They are smooth and neutral-warm, so you shouldn't be scared of in-your-face sound with any of those receivers.

I found the SR-6300 better than the AVR-2803 with Dynaudio speakers wich have a similar tone than those Tannoys. It was more detailed and had a fuller sound. The Denon was not bad, but either it was not at the same class with the Marantz. Also the difference in continuous power output is quite shocking. Marantz ~5x80/110W, Denon ~5*30/15W (8/4ohm). The Denon might run out of juice in big rooms and systems without an active subwoofer.

But you'll have to make your decision based on your listening experiences. If you like the Denon sound more, it's the Denon you should get.
The AVR1804 would be a better choice than the oldish 2803. If possible you should step up straight to AVR3805.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Argento

Post Number: 32
Registered: Apr-04
Before yesterday's test I considered superior to the Marantz, but I liked the sound of the Denon a lot.
As well you say, speaker's type can mark the difference. In next days I will be testing a Marantz 5400 with my Tannoys and then I will comment them the result.
I still have not been able to listen any H/K receiver but, is this brand the solution of commitment between Marantz and Denon?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Argento

Post Number: 33
Registered: Apr-04
The next candidate in leaving the list is the Pioneer Elite, simply because they are not very well-known where I live, I have never seen neither listened one, so....

The up-to-date list is this way (in price order):

1)Marantz SR5400
2)Harman Kardon AVR-430
3)Marantz SR7400
4)DENON AVR-3803

I wait inputs.
Thanks.
 

New member
Username: Fletcher

New York, New York USA

Post Number: 7
Registered: May-04
Hi there. I tested the Marantz 7300 against Denon 2803, Yamaha RV740, and I found that I love the Marantz sound. I used psb and B&W speakers, and the marantz impressed me a whole lot. It has greater bass extension and definition than the denon, and less harsh than the yamaha. Also, the denon seems to have a less defined mid-range. The marantz seems to have a very sweet warm sound that's great to listen to without fatique.

However, the sound I think changes with your choice of speakers. I think you should listen to them using the speakers closest to the ones in your home or the ones you want to buy. Some speakers like Paradigms sound bad with Marantz.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Argento

Post Number: 34
Registered: Apr-04
Yes, this week or the one that comes, will test the same receivers with my speakers.
And also, as alternative, I will test an integrated NAD 3020(a legend!!!).
Then I comment them...
 

Bronze Member
Username: Sulfur

Post Number: 19
Registered: Dec-03
Hi if you do a search in this forum there are lots of opinions on Marantz vs Denon. Hawk for one has owned a 3803 and *disliked* it very much.

6 months ago I spent days comparing NAD 7x2 vs Marantz 7300/7300ose w/ KEF Q series, and then Denon 2803 vs Marantz 7300/7300ose on B&W 600 series. For each pair of comparison, the tests were done using the same CD/DVD source, cables, speakers, and CD tracks, ie only the receiver was changed.

I will only comment on my impression of Denon vs Marantz since they're on your list. But for the record the NADs did sound awesome. I found the Denon too dry & way too detailed for music. It was very fatiguing, especially paired with B&Ws. I got headaches (this is definitely not good cuz I have MB Quart w/ Soundstream & PPI amps in my cars for 10+ yrs, and I can have those titanium dome tweeters blast at me for hrs w/out getting headaches) after listening to my favourite Celine Dion CD for 15 minutes. The Marantz was noticably smoother & much more enjoyable. I literally listened to it for hours non-stop w/out any discomfort.

In terms of difference in details, I compared the same section of a track multiple times, the Denon made the Marantz sound a bit *muddled* at times, but only relatively speaking. So I think Denon might be good if your prime use is HT & not music, eg if you're watching an action movie, I'm sure you can virtually pinpoint where that stray bullet wizzed from. :P

But for music, I don't want a unit that blindly reproduce the notes on the track in 100% detail. I want a unit that is fun & comfortable to listen to.

Sorry could probably rephrase this reply better if I have more time. Hope it helps.

BTW I have a Marantz 7300ose w/ B&W 603/601/LCR600 and am VERY happy with it.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Argento

Post Number: 35
Registered: Apr-04
Thank you Anthony for your opinion. Your opinion coincides with most in the forum, but in the audition my impression was another. As I said in a post previous, the quality of the speakers used in the audition can have influenced in the result. Maybe with speakers of low quality, the Denon works better, while the Marantz shows the deficiencies of the speakers.
In next days I will listen the receivers again with my speakers, I am also evaluating the possibility to create a separate stereo equipment. Also in next days I'll go to listen a NAD 3020 with NAD 2140 amps and I will know the differences with the sound of the receivers.
 

New member
Username: Fletcher

New York, New York USA

Post Number: 9
Registered: May-04
Anthony, I am considering the exact same system as yours with the Marantz 7300. Will you share more about how you find your set up against others from Acoustic Energy, Monitor Audio, Mordaunt Short, Etc (if you've tried them). Since I like warm and mellow sound, I might share the same tastes as you, and I really dislike harsh and bright speakers. So that is the reservation I have with B&W, that they might be to bright for my liking. Further, my room is quite big with flat surfaces, which will enhance the brightness. For that reason, I'm leaning towards warmer sounding ones such as PSB and Acoustic Energy. Would you like to comment? Thanks a lot
 

rich_e
Unregistered guest
Anthony wrote: "I found the Denon too dry & way too detailed for music." and later: "But for music, I don't want a unit that blindly reproduce the notes on the track in 100% detail."

This is exactly what I DO want, specifically for the type of music I listen to. I currently have a nad t743 which has a very nice sound, but I am considering replacing it with the denon 3805 in hopes of getting more detail. Do I hear any gasps of dissaproval? Anyone else think I would get more detail from this switch?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Kev5

Post Number: 17
Registered: Dec-03
Fletcher,

I have the Marantz 7300ose paired with PSB Image 5Ts and I am very pleased with the combination. I originally had a Yamaha receiver with the PSBs but found the combination too 'bright' sounding.

I have read posts stating that the PSB speakers are too laid back for the Marantz but I disagree. I find the metal tweeters in the PSBs can cause listener fatique at higher volumes with the wrong receiver.

I already had the PSB speakers so I went on a quest to find the right receiver. My research brought me to NAD and Marantz.

I did an in home audition with the NAD T752 and the T763 but at the end of the day I preferred the Marantz.


 

Bronze Member
Username: Sulfur

Post Number: 22
Registered: Dec-03
Hi first off I just want to emphasis my earlier post only reflects the experience I have with Denon when paired with KEF or B&W, and my personal taste of music & perceived definition of enjoyable sound. There are alot of happy Denon owners out there (including my father in law). :-)

Alejandro, you are probably right. Denon is so precise & detailed, and so is B&W. They will be more fatiguing & definitely make a poor recording sound really bad. That's why I prefer Marantz. But if the speakers are poor & say muddles the sound, then Marantz may actually have the opposite effect & make that worse.

Rich, see if you can borrow one home for a couple days. Also mention what speakers you own so some of the more knowledgable people like Hawk, JohnA, Elite Fan, etc can comment. :-)

Fletcher, I didn't audition too many brands/combos because of availability & what I considered as important factors *personally* (price, sound, built quality & country of manufacturing, size & color & looks a.k.a. wife acceptance factor, etc etc).

My 1st choice after weeks of visits to a few stores was a NAD T762 paired with 5 Dynaudio Audience 42/42C. Unfortunately the dealer & I couldn't agree on the price. There is no doubt in my mind the "low end" Dyns outperforms the "low end" B&Ws by a margin. I didn't spend much time comparing Dyn Contours vs B&W 800 series because they were way out of my budget.

I was then lucky enough to find a dealer who has NAD & Marantz with KEF Q series all in the same sound room. T762 was a clear winner, but I spent most of the time comparing the T752 vs Marantz 7300ose, and found those to be a very close battle in terms of quality & value. I do prefer the 7300ose because it is made in Japan (7400 are not, which is sad) but NADs are made in China, and if we have a "number of issues per 100" survey like the auto industry, there is a good chance NADs have more issues than Marantz. Please don't flame me on this. Yes there are happy NAD owners (and T762 was my 1st choice remember?), just like there are alot of happy "Big 3" car owners. :-) The KEF Qs were nice but their built quality & looks were just average at best.

Then I went to another dealer with Denon & Marantz with KEFs & B&Ws. I briefly listened to the N805 (very nice), then 703/704 (nice but personally I would either get the 600 or save up for the 800 & not something in the middle), then spent the longest time with the 600 series. Like I said I prefer 7300/7300ose over 2803 in this setup. As for KEF vs B&W, my friend & I agreed the KEFs sounded a tiny bit better. For the same price he bought the Q7 but I got B&W 603 because of the sorrento/yellow kevlar looks (speakers are considered part of the *furniture/decor* in an apartment, so my wife says, and that's why maggies are definitely out) & built quality. The KEFs were made in China but B&Ws in England and had noticably better workmanship.

I have heard alot of good comments on the other brands you guys mentioned & am sure when paired with the right receiver, will be equally enjoyable.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Argento

Post Number: 37
Registered: Apr-04
So, the list remains the same:

1)Marantz SR5400
2)Harman Kardon AVR-430
3)Marantz SR7400
4)DENON AVR-3803


Any news...
 

Silver Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 224
Registered: Feb-04
All great, you'll have to select yourself.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jonmoon

Post Number: 61
Registered: Dec-03
Alejandro: I think we all would like to pick the best receiver and get the best price. You are looking at receivers that have excellent reviews and each have many adherants on this and other boards. My thought is to listen again and try to spend as much time as you can. Make sure that a sound doesn't become fatiguing. Make sure that the unit has enough power for your needs and has the requisite inputs and other technology. As above, the common lore would be Marantz for music and Denon/HK for movies. If you really like the Denon for music too (and the NAD audition didn't sway you), I would really consider the Denon 3803 or the 3805. The other thing is to make a decision and then get on with your life.
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