Elite VSX 55TXi vs. 53TX vs. Marantz SR7300 OSE ?'s


Need to upgrade my HT (and music) receiver in order to support Multi channel in sources. My original receiver was the Marantz SR780 which was really good for HT and alright for music. I'm running with 4 NHT Super1 XU's and an NHT VS1.2A for a center channel.

I brought home an Elite VSX 53TX and hooked it up to my new Elite DV47ai. I ran the auto acoustic setup and was fairly pleased with the sound after calibration. Movies and music (DVD-A and SACD) sounded nice. Since I had the I-link on the DVD player I decided to upgrade the receiver to the VSX 55TXi which I believed would sound identical to the VSX 53TX.

After running the MCACC on the 55TXi, the music sounded a bit harsh in the treble ranges compared to the 53TX. Would there be any reason why the 55TXi would sound this way?


I've got a few days left in the 30 day return period so I picked up the Marantz SR7300 OSE and will try it out over the weekend.

I know the Marantz is supposed to have 192/24 bit DAC's for ALL channels. I can't tell if the Elite receivers have DACs for all channels or just 2 channels, etc, nor am I sure this would make much of a difference in sound quality.

I like the THX select and EX decodes on the Elite receivers. These are not available on the Marantz.

Pricewise, the Elite 55TXi is a bit more expensive than the Marantz SR7300 OSE. The SR7300 OSE is a bit more expensive than the Elite 53TX.

I need help deciding which trade-offs are the most important regarding quality, sound, versatility, etc. between these units.

P.S. - I can't always trust my ears....


Trust your ears. Give the Marantz the weekend to see what you like best come Sunday night. I am a bit concerned that the Elite sounds harsh to you--it shouldn't. But see what you think after trying out the Marantz.

Here's the rundown on what I found after comparing the Marantz SR7300OSE vs. the Elite VSX55TXi.

Hooking up the Marantz was very easy, connect all cables, adjust the speaker levels, and let 'er rip.

I could immediately tell that the Marantz had a much fuller sound, more smooth than what I had heard from the Elite 55TXi. I used mostly the direct mode (stereo), and multi channel direct mode to get a feel for how the music sounded with the receiver setting at "default".

I was thinking about how the Elite sounded a bit harsh when it dawned on me what the likely problem was.

I hooked the Elite receiver back up and reset it to "default", clearing all automatic settings that were stored in the unit. I went into the manual mode of configuring the surround. I used an SPL meter to set the speaker distances.

When I played the SACD's and DVD-A's, as well as CD's I had been using for comparison, the sound was nearly the same as the Marantz!

What I didn't realize when I ran the automatic (MCACC) setup on the 55TXi the first time around , was that along with the distance/delay settings, the speakers were also "equalized". It was this equalization that caused the "harshness" I was detecting.

Depending on a persons budget, either one of these 2 receivers would be a "keeper". The NHT Super 1 speakers need a lot of good clean power to sound really good, and both of these receivers delivered.

Although I liked the Marantz a lot (in fact, more initially), I kept the Elite VSX55TXi due to some of the extra features, and specifically the i-Link (firewire) that digitally connects the DV47Ai Universal player with the receiver.

Like you mentioned Hawk, I did trust my ears after finding out NOT to trust the "automatic" settings. Perhaps if I had an ideal room configuration the speaker equalization would not have had such an adverse effect. Anyway, lesson learned.

Great review, Nick. It explains a lot and helps a lot of us make good informed buying decisions. Best of all, you got a system that works for you. Thanks for taking to time to let us know what you learned.
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