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SR6005/AVR991/VSX33 to replace my old Marantz SR5200

 

New member
Username: Vishwajit_pantvaidya

Post Number: 5
Registered: Jan-10
I have an old Marantz SR5200 (no HDMI) and Paradigm (8 ohm) speakers and I use them to mostly watch blu-ray movies. I was looking to upgrade to either Marantz SR6005 / Denon AVR991 / Pioneer Elite VSX33 and have the following doubts:

- I hear that Marantzes are better built, but what does that mean? That they last longer? If I am paying 1000 bucks for a Marantz that will last 10 years, I may be okay paying 600 bucks for a Denon if it will last 5-6 years.
- Would there be perceptible sound quality difference between these 2 receivers
- VSX 33 offers THX certification at about same pricepoint besides everything that AVR991 / SR6005 have.
- I am looking for decent quality receivers at an affordable price tag - Denons/Pioneer Elite seem to fit the bill. The Marantz model seems to be the cheapest of the high end receivers while still being pricier than Denon. I understand Onkyos and Yamahas are not comparable to these models. Any other receiver brands that I should look at?
- Is it okay to use a receiver with higher output (AVR991 has 125W X 7) than my speakers (100W) as long as I dont turn the receivers to full power. My old Marantz is rated for 90W and I always felt like the sound I was getting from the speakers was not enough.
- Typically does the volume control know of a receiver have a linear response. Assuming that, for a 125W receiver, the volume control when turned 4/5ths of full capacity will give approx 100W output.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 15983
Registered: May-04
.

You're looking to upgrade to buy features? HDMI?

OK, first, you'll probably get a different answer here than you will if you ask the same question in the HT receivers section of the forum. Second, read this thread; https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/674889.html

You'll also find most of your other questions answered if you take the time to read through a few archived threads in this section.


The difference between using your current receiver and a receiver/processor with HDMI amount, IMO, to two things; first, you'll have one omnibus cable to connect with the HDMI. Second, you'll be seeing the difference between progressive and interlaced video content. 1080 video can be passed through your component video cables to either the receiver or directly to the TV through the (three color) component video cables already on any receiver or TV built in the last ten or more years. Whether the visible difference between progressive and interlaced video is going to matter to you is a question only you can answer. If you watch a lot of action films on a very large screen monitor - and you are very picky, then you would want the highest quality video you can afford. Otherwise, your bluray player is your only source for 1080i resoltuion. A few players will serve as pass throughs which will do some upscaling of a decent video source which would make any current library of DVD's better looking but, still, at this time your only source for the highest video resolution which will make use of a HDMI cable is your bluray player.

I would have to ask why you're running your video through your receiver in the first palce. There's no need other than the convenience of switching only one input on the receiver when moving to the bluray. Otherwise, common opinion would say plug your player directly into the monitor and don't bother with the video switching on your receiver.

Personally, I wouldn't buy an Elite receiver; https://www.ecoustics.com/cgi-bin/bbs/show.pl?tpc=1&post=1941046#POST1941046 Nor would I invest in a Denon at this time. The Marantz products have a reasonable reputation at this time; https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/673538.html


"Would there be perceptible sound quality difference between these 2 receivers"

HT receivers are HT receivers IMO. Buying them for "sound quality" is hardly their purpose. What are you going to be judging the sound quality of? A thermonuclear implosion in GammaGamma III, Quadrant XYZ? As far as music goes, (once again) IMO, most mass market HT receivers suffer dearly when compared to a dedicated two channel system at virtually any price. Additionally, the current crop of mass market HT receivers have a sufficient number of features to allow you to change the sound any way you like. Don't care for Dolby's twenty to thirty preset surround modes? There's another twenty or more in DTS. Maybe you and I are on different pages on this topic but I see only disappointment buying a HT receiver for music listening.


If you don't have a THX certified system from start to finish, buying a THX certified component is, IMO, largely a decision to give George Lucas a good sum of cash and not much more.


Your speakers don't actually have any watts and don't actually care about how many watts you buy. You shouldn't be clipping the amplifier into distortion and that's about the only criteria for watts. You'll find numerous answers to the "how many watts" question in this and the speakers section of this forum. Volume is primarily obtained through your speakers and not how many watts the HT receiver manufacturer claims can be produced on a test bench. The position of the volume control has virtually no direct relationship to how many watts are being supplied. Once again, the answer is provided in numerous threads here and on the speakers forum. If you do some reading and still don't understand what's being said, come back and ask a few more questions.


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New member
Username: Vishwajit_pantvaidya

Post Number: 6
Registered: Jan-10
Jan - thanks for replying. Let me provide more detail.
My existing Marantz is outputing distorted sound (cracking noises etc) into the speakers - it is 10yrs old and has probably reached end of life. Thats why I need to upgrade.

I watch mostly blu-ray movies and some DVD content etc, and some music. The reason to route video thru receiver is bcoz I thought the upscaling may help with non HD sources like DVD, cable etc.

The reason for my speakers and watts question was that I am wondering if the existing Marantz being 90W while the speakers are rated for 100W means that I am not unable to get the peak sound output from the speakers, and so would a receiver that is able to deliver higher power help.

I have spent some time going thru some of your links. Will complete that and then pose questions if I have any.
 

New member
Username: Vishwajit_pantvaidya

Post Number: 7
Registered: Jan-10
Jan - I see suggestions in this and other forums to using the weight of a receiver as an approximate indication of its power delivering capability. If I do that with my shortlist, the results come out to be very unexpected with the Onkyo as the heaviest and Marantz lightest. Can I take this really to imply that the Onkyo model can deliver the power it claims?

Marantz 5005/6005 - 25 lbs
Denon AVR 991/3311CI - 26 lbs
Pioneer Elite VSX32/33 - 29 lbs
Onkyo TX-NR708 - 27 lbs
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 14145
Registered: Feb-05
My tech measured the output on the Marantz units and they are honest. It's also well designed and laid in a way that makes it easy to service for authorized service techs. Marantz and HK offer solid AVR's that have good service records. All AVR's have lower reliability than say an integrated amp. More features equals more to go wrong.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16008
Registered: May-04
.

My reference standard for judging the truth about watts and "power" has always been the weight of the amplifier. For the most part, no other on paper spec really matters. If the weight is higher, there's a good chance the weight is in the power supply. Any amplifier amounts to a modulated power supply so the ps is the single most important part of an amplifier. A possible clause to consider is also which amplifier offers the lowest wattage for the money spent. If the manufacturer is boasting about watts they cannot actually accomplish when the amp has to work into a real world speaker, then you have a problem no matter the weight of the receiver.

Because weight matters when you ship an amplifier across the ocean, weight is also the single most critical matter when it comes to cost to the manufacturer and final price to the consumer. Therefore, several manufacturers are now producing amplifiers - receivers most especially - with lighter weight power supplies which are still up to the task of running an amplifier. These amps use a "switching" power supply. As with all things in audio there are advantages and disadvantages to the use of a switching supply. Reliability doesn't seem to be one of the disadvantages. If the amp is well matched to the speakers in the system, a switching supply should perform well. Here I'd say a little detective work on your part would be worth your time. If the Marantz has a switching power supply, I wouldn't feel bad about buying it if it otherwise suits your needs. If there is a "conventional" power supply in the amp, then what the amp does on a test bench might have very little to do with what that same amp can manage when attached to a real world loudspeaker. If you read a few of the archived threads here on this forum, you should find more information about matching speakers to amp and the role the power supply fills in making the combination operate effectively. If you are mating this new receiver to existing speakers, then you need to know a bit about the electrical characteristics of those speakers. They become a part of the amplifier's circuitry when attached and how well the two work together will be determined by some fairly straight forward numbers. If you don't understand what you read in the archives, ask questions.


There's quite a bit more than sheer weight that goes into a HT receiver and, with the small disparities between components that you show, there isn't a significant reason to discount any of the bunch on weight alone. Since no manufacturer states the amperage capacity of their receivers (with the occasional exception of Harman Kardon who consitently champion high current delivery) there is no way to actually determine which amp can deliver the highest amperage over the longest sustained need and into the most reactive load. That's essentially what you'd be looking for from an amp to say this amp is "better" than that amp. And, even if you had that information, sound quality is what matters in the end. After you've narrowed down your choices to two amps, try to audition them both hooked directly to a set of speakers (yours would be preferable) and without a switch box in between. That's asking a lot from a store. You might instead ask about trying both receivers in your home for a weekend. As I've stated, buying a HT receiver for sound quality is almost IMO a contradiction of terms.


Hope that helps.


.
 

New member
Username: Vishwajit_pantvaidya

Post Number: 8
Registered: Jan-10
Thanks Jan.

I was looking into some reviews to find out how these receivers in my shortlist perform under load. Here's what I find:
- Onkyo's seem to be doing pretty bad under 7 channel loads (sometimes to the extent of going in protection mode)
- the Marantzes as well as the Denon CI models and the Pioneer Elite SC series models seem to be delivering 60%+ under that kind of load

While I understand that there are no real life situations where the amp would be subject to such a load, I guess these tests would give some idea of the power delivering capacity of the amp.
My shortlist has Denon AVR-991 (not a CI model) and Pioneer Elite VSX-32/33 (not an SC model), so I am not sure if those models will deliver performance comparable with their higher end cousins. So from this, Marantz remains the only safe option.

About the power supplies, I was able to find following info:
Marantz - AB amp, linear power supply, EI core xformer
Pio Elite - advanced direct energy (MOSFET amplification)
Denon - fully discrete power, stable power supply
Onkyo - H.C.P.S. (High Current Power Supply) Massive High Power Transformer

In summary, the Denon and Onkyo information does not tell much.
Does the Pio Elite advanced direct energy mean class D amplification?
Marantz provides the clearest info indicating it is not using a switched power supply and that the amp is class AB not class D.

Again based on this, seems like Marantz and Elite would be good choices.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16020
Registered: May-04
.

The Pioneer info means gobble-de-gook. There's nothing to find in that wording, just something to confuse you. Next model year will have something different.


Performance under a load is seldom much of a test when performed on a typical test bench. Unless the reviewer is telling you there is a "simulated loudspeaker load", the test was still performed with nothing more than a simple load resistor. That results in a test which doesn't take into account the typical speaker's reactive nature. I wish I had better answers for you but the industry has made it very difficult to find actual real world information pertaining to most amplifiers. In a way it doesn't matter as two amplifiers can test very much alike and yet sound very different from each other.



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New member
Username: Vishwajit_pantvaidya

Post Number: 9
Registered: Jan-10
I listened to the Onkyo 708, Denon 991 at Fry's and the Elite VSX-32/33, Marantz 6005 at BestBuy = the Elite sounded the most awesone followed by the Marantz. Actually the 6005 did sound cleaner and the Elite had more sound than the Marantz(not sure if that was distortion / from the soundtrack). So finally i decided to go for one of the Elite receivers VSX-32/33. But seems like if I buy over the web, I would not get the warranty. I confirmed that in a phone cal with Pioneer. Marantz did say that purchases from authorized web dealers carry full warranty.
Since I understand VSX 1120-K is the same as the VSX-32 - I am thinking of buying that over web.

I have just one concern about the Pioneer and the Onkyo models - their power consumption is listed as 400W while the Denon's and Marantzes take 650+ watts. Do you think with such a low power consumption, these guys can deliver the goods? They certainly sounded very good.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16041
Registered: May-04
.

Rated power consumption is another place where manufacturers can be telling the truth but not the entire truth. A more than 50% hike in rated power consumption though makes for a rather suspicious claim on the part of Pioneer and Onkyo. Now you are faced with a decision by numbers which has the Marantz being the lightest amp by weight but drawing the highest wattage from the wall which might indicate a somewhat higher amperage power transformer.

Just based upon what you've shown me I'm leaning toward the Marantz if I have to confine my selection to the lines mentioned. They would appear to be giving the most honest specs and, at the moment represent a set up from the Denon. Both Marantz and Denon are owned by the same parent company - D&M Holdings; http://www.dm-holdings.com/eng/about/ D&M has gathered together a pretty impressive stable of brands under their roof and like HK they can pull from the various technologies established in a higher end line to produce a better product at a lower price. I suppose you can absolutely overthink this and make unreasonable assumptions but over the last few years it would seem Denon has become D&M's entry level product meant to be a step above the average Pioneer and Sony. Marantz would appear to be a step above the Denon product. To get a fair slice of technology along with a well built product, I can only guess - and that's about all you can do at this point - the Marantz would offer the best value for the dollar. Judging by numbers will only take you so far.

I would be concerned about service should problems arise. Not only repair service - everyone builds stuff that breaks and that's why there are repair shops - but more importantly about after the sale service. Will there be someone to answer questions and how do you get to them? Is the service on line or by phone or, is there a knowledgeable person you can talk to face to face in the store. What are their service and exchange policies? You can buy an extended warranty from Best Buy but they are a way to bet on the worst happening and giving more profit to Best Buy.

I've actually had extremely good service from Best Buy when I was buying a MP3 player. They exchanged a series of defective units with no questions other than, "Why are you returning the item?" Their sales staff wasn't terribly helpful but I have to expect they don't know much about every product they carry. (They still seem to know virtually nothing about most things in reality and their demos are IMO a joke.) In the end I have to say their after the sale service was very good - but I was exchanging defective merchandise the day after I bought it and not having anything to do with their repair service. Their service was not good enough to get me to buy a TV from them a few months later as most of their brands still aren't what I'm after or they don't carry the portion of the manufacturer's line that I want to own - plus their demos suck and their sales staff doesn't know how to do a good demonstration that informs the decision. But for what they are and, if you know what you need and they are the only place to buy it, I would go back to Best Buy for smaller purchases. My experiences with Fry's have been mostly disappointing from start to finish.

As you have found out, some on line retailers are not selling authorized products and you will forgo a warranty if you save a few bucks buying from them. Unfortunately, stuff does break and even the best lines do have repair facilities. You will find most independent dealers are banking on geting your business by offering higher levels of personal service. That still doesn't prevent finding a bad salesperson but I'd tend towards the smaller stores if I could find what I thought I wanted. I suppose, all things equal in price and service (most repairs are sent off to a central repair facility and not performed in the store nowdays) and judging from lines that all represent about the same level of perceived quality, I'd just stay with the independent retailer if at all possible.

I don't mean to muddy the waters but have you made any comparions to lines which are more traditionally thought of as slightly higher quality? Something like HK, NAD, Rotel or Cambridge?


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Bronze Member
Username: Klaussner

Post Number: 28
Registered: Jul-05
Excuse me for jumping in here but I was curious about something. How is HK considered higher quality? Better amp? I have seen many comments that would suggest many problems with that brand.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 14180
Registered: Feb-05
HK is in the same league with other mass market brands. The one thing that separates them is honesty around the power supply. Both HK and Marantz consistently measure at their manufacturers stated output. All AVR's regardless of price or pedigree are prone to a higher rate of failure than many other products in the audio market.

HK has been through troubled times with their AVR's with higher than average failure rates and so has every other manufacturer. Most notable NAD who has consistently produced great sounding AVR's with one of the lowest reliability ratings on the market...it is what it is a very complex piece of gear.

HK and Marantz at this point have a good reputation for producing AVR's that can drive real speakers in real world applications. Not all AVR manufacturers have been that honest.

BTW, I've owned every brand of AVR there is with the exception of HK, Arcam and Cambridge and I've listened to them all when shopping for the others.

At present my top brands are Marantz, Pioneer Elite and HK. They produce products that are equally good with movies and music. Other brands specialize and fall down in one area or the other. Arcam is excellent with music but lacks excitement with movies. TOL Yamaha's can be excellent entertainers with movies but fall way short with music and performance DVD's. These are just my opinions and everyone elses MMV.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Klaussner

Post Number: 29
Registered: Jul-05
I appreciate your opinions very much.

What are your opinions on Factory Refurbished receivers?
Would you consider one with a 1 year warranty bought from
an authorized dealer?

Thank You
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 14183
Registered: Feb-05
I have no problem with factory refurbs. More often than not it was a cosmetic issue and even when it wasn't it simply means that your unit has been inspected a second time, that's not so bad. I just bought a refurb integrated amp from Spearit and couldn't be happier. I would do it again.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Klaussner

Post Number: 30
Registered: Jul-05
Thank you for the info Jan and Art.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Klaussner

Post Number: 31
Registered: Jul-05
I am actuall considering a refurb Marantz 6004 receiver but have stumbled upon what they are calling pop of death for those units.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 14185
Registered: Feb-05
Go with an HK or Marantz 6005 or even a 5005. Remember that the internet is full of folks with an axe to grind. The reports of the "pop of death" may be quite exaggerated, who knows.
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