Denon AVR5803, Sony STR-DA9000ES, Yamaha RX-Z9


I need to purchase a new reciever for my Energy Veritas (2.4 floorstanding) speakers. Like everyone says, I listen to both music and movies (mainly movies in my case). I have heard so many good things (minus the remote) about Denon's AVR5803. I have read very little about the new Sony STR-DA9000ES and Yamaha's new RX-Z9. I cannot find any info if Denon plans to replace the AVR5803.

Without going to separate components, what do you recommend? What is your opinion of the companies (Denon/Sony/Yamaha)? If there is something better in the under $4500 price range, let me know.

Your opinions are HIGHLY appriciated.


I would look at the B&K507, Sunfire "ultimate", Pioneer Elite vsx49txi. I don't think Yamaha or Sony makes anything anywhere near as good as these 3 or the Denon5803. One other would be the Marantz9300.

I would look at the B&K507, Sunfire "ultimate", Pioneer Elite vsx49txi. I don't think Yamaha or Sony makes anything anywhere near as good as these 3 or the Denon5803. One other would be the Marantz9300.

I would look at the Yamaha RX-Z9, McIntosh or Krell. I don't think Pioneer Elite or Sony makes anything anywhere close as good as Yamaha.
Pioneer Elite is good in music but poor in movies, period.
Even on direct processing of DD or DTS (w/o DSP) Yamaha still outperformed the PE.

Thinking about going separates instead - has anyone heard anything +/- about Parasound (C1/C2) or MonsterPower Amplifiers (MPA 2250 SS/MPA 3250 SS)?
[Don't consider prices on Parasound/Monster, because I'm not paying full price.]
While we are on the subject of Monster, do any of you use MonsterCables? Z-Series?

Comments are always welcomed...

I love Parasound amps! I have heard a couple demo'ed and, without question, they are better than any of the receivers mentioned in this thread. If you can get them for less than full price, I would do in a heartbeat and never look back. It is really good gear.

Hawk is right. Parasound amps are killer. If your budget allows they are hard to beat.There are lots of great amps but Parasound has been one of my favorites for years. Wish I had a big enough room to justify separates but alas not the case.

I bought a Parsound Halo C2 and a Parasound HCA-2205 AT lately, new for $3800 total. I guarantee the combo outperforms any of the receivers you are considering Alex by leaps and bounds. I know because it replaced a Pioneer VSX-49TX (which I chose over the Denon 5803 to begin with). You must do yourself a favor and strongly consider separates if you are shopping in the flagship receiver price range...

Alex, if you are going to buy from a local dealer then you have the luxuary to taking them home for an audition. For the budget you do have more options in separates, e.g., Parasound. So take home Yamaha and Parasound and choose one from the two. Forget the rest ...

For anyone to suggest a home demo between a Yamaha and a Parasound is absurd. Yamaha is so inferior to a separate amp like a Parasound it just not a useful way to spend one's time. To recommend Yamaha over the Elite or the Marantz is ill-informed to say the least.

elitefan, I don't think so?... Now I own a YAMAHA RX-Z9 w/ Paradigm studio series. I can hear the clarity & definition (specially on mids) that I never heard on PE before. It is so much better than PE and Marantz (and litle bit better than Parasound). How is that?

Formerly elitefan,
I am glad you like your new system and wishyou luck but if you think any Yamaha is better than Parasound seperates I think you need to get your hearing checked. I would not pair Elite or Marantz with Paradigm either but to think any Yamaha sounds better than Parasound is just weird. To each his own and I'm glad yours is yours and not mine.

Formerly elitefan

How come you have a Z9 ? It is not out yet. Where did you get it from?

Much depends on room size, what tv and if you watch tv surround (or what budget for buying a new monitor), what dvd player (Or if you want a new one) , lots of questions. You mentioned those Energy speakers--I presume you have a surround set-up.

Depending on your answers above I would get the B&K, the Denon 5803, the PE 49TXi or the soon to be released 59TXi. Top of the line Yammie is fine too-particularly if you have a large room and want to add up to 9 speakers in a surround. All these have good DSP's--the Yammie has a a lot more. It all depends if you like playing with them a lot. I have never found myself short of sound alterrations.

For those who like the best quality and the most control and the most sound alterrations--Lexicon separates are the answer. But they aren't a receiver.

Personally, if I got a new tv it would have to have HDMI input and hopefully firewire too--although not necessary. Then I would get the ne PE 59TXi and the PE Avi DVD player that has HDMI hookups--and uploads standard tv, dvd, etc. to HDTV.

The Sony has something special. It is a digital amplifier. It might sound way better than any other amps described above. Be sure to do some research on it.

If I were looking at the top of the line "black boxes" I would seriously consider only two the Sunfire Ultimate Receiver and the Yamaha RX-Z9 I have heard both and they are both very good between the two I would go with Yamaha. The new Z9 will sound better than any other single box on the market. All though I have not heard the Parsound next to a Z9 I would be willing to bet Z9 is better. Last time I heard the Parsound it was with Monitor Audios and it was just awful, bright, the music did not blend together, etc. One thing you may consider if you are going to spend this kind of money on a receiver would be to step into good quality seperates (not an outlaw those suck) like the Sunfire stack, or the Anthem system. If I was looking at this price range I would buy the Antem AVM 20 and MCA 50 or Audio Refinement Multi 5. The best would be the Antem AVM 20 with the Audio Refinement Multi 5. This will be a little bit more $ but will sound much better than any receiver. $5900.

What about inputs? The AVM 20 is one of the most
flexible pre/pros out there but it only has two
component inputs. The Yamaha RX-Z9 has six inputs
and most of the other units mentioned above have
three. As for sound, don't kid yourselves. Under
rigorous scientific conditions, even "golden ears" cannot tell the difference between a two hundred dollar receiver and mega-buck separates. Such testing has been performed and the data is
irrefutable. Differences in gain, the acoustical
envionment in which the audition takes place, and
most of all preconceptions based upon cost and
cache' have far more bearing on perceived sonic
quality than do subtle differences in circuit
design. Speakers are an entirely different matter. Electronic purchases should be based more
on features, and aesthetics than some
spurious notion that Pioneer is inherently superior to Yamaha (or vice versa). There is nothing wrong with purchasing a "statement-piece" just be aware that a big chunk of your cash is being spent to impress the neighbors
and not your ears.


You are so wrong! I never cease to be amazed at this attitude that all electronics sound the same, but that overlook the fact that the various parts within receivers vary so much and these parts each have an influence on the sound. It also ignores the fact that makers of electronics can tailor the sound to achieve certain results. The Pioneer Elite brand, for instance, wants to emulate the sound of a tube amplifier, consquently, their receivers have a very warm sound that is easily distiguishable from a Yamaha.

I have attended double blind tests where I have heard several receivers and didn't even know which receivers were going to be used, much less which receiver was which. I, along with the nine other people who attended could all easily tell the difference between receivers because the sound of each was different. This was through the very same speakers and using the same source material. Believing any differently just means you have bought into the marketing strategy of the giant mass market receiver makers that the only thing that matters is features. That is why I am a very disappointed Denon owner today. I have since learned my lesson.

If you are so sure that that the $200 receiver sounds just as good as the high priced receivers, just tell me that you have a $200 Sony! In fact, if you truly feel that way, why do you bother to even read this board and comment?

Each of these brands have achieved a certain type of sound and the purchaser should always find the sound they like best. For some people that will be a Yamaha and for others it will be a Pioneer Elite. But don't tell me they sound alike--that just tells me you don't listen.


You sound like a Stereophile subscriber. I have some six hundred dollar inter-connects and some
eighty dollar iso-elastic polymer mega-pads to
go under your CD player. They will vastly improve the sound. You believe me don't you? It isn't the "cosumer" level, but the higher
echelon of the A/V industry which is filled with
snake-oil salesmen peddling goods promising to
tweak your system to perfection. Some of these
products are of first rate construction, but
many deliver vanishingly small increases in performance.

Hawk, your statement that you "...didn't even
know which receivers were going to be used"
demonstrates a lack of understanding of basic
scientific methods. If you HAD known which
receivers were to be tested, then it surely
would not have been a double-blind test! In
any event, I am extremely impressed that you
and nine other individuals were able to
consistently and with statistical significance,
perceive differences which eluded the editors,
staff, and invited guests of a well respected
audio joournal with national distribution.
Many of the participants were men with decades
of experience in the field of audio. They
were all unable to discern any difference between
the units they tested WITH STATISTICAL SIGNIFICANCE. maybe you should brush up on your
science if you don't understand the term.

In any event, I doubt that even you would argue
against the fact that while cost increases
exponentially, performance benefits are
arithmatic between the low and high end of the
industry. I do indeed have high-end equipment
because it is reliable, of excellent build
quality, and it gives me pride of ownership;
but I'm not stupid enough to think that it sounds
TEN TIMES BETTER than what could be achieved with
a five hundred dollar receiver.

Not another "everything sounds the same" arguement again! This is such an old, ridiculous subject and so wrong it's hard to believe anyone still thinks all brands sound the same. This is like argueing religion and/or politics. It's pointless since some can't hear a difference between two vastly different sources even though they employ very dissimilar philosophies and use vastly different internal components. Just incredible.


Where can we find this study that you're talking about? What machines are we comparing? What is the sample size of your "panel of experts" to achieve your p < .05 of statistical significance. What nationally distributed peer review journal are you talking about? Are you talking about the New England Journal of Medicine? Nature? Science or Cell? For heaven sake, please don't try to impress us with your incredible perceived knowledge of statistics. No one is stating that there is a one to one relationship between price and performance in audio equipment. Can one really quantify performance? Hawk is simply stating that it is rather easy to distinguish a $200 crappy Sony receiver from a well made receiver such as a NAD/Marantz/Rotel etc. Of course, it really helps when you clean your ears on a timely basis to avoid cerumen build up to maximize your chance of hearing anything at all. True, it may be harder for some people to tell the difference between a $20,000 Krell system to a $2000 Rotel system, and it may be hard to justify the extra $18,000 for some. But, if you can afford it, and can hear a difference, then perhaps it's okay to buy it. Let's not get carried away!

Here is the deal. PE, Sony, Denon or Marantz can't touch this receiver. The only really competition is the B&K model but that is last years. Now everyone is talking about separates. I think the first comment was "without going to separates". I am a custom HT designer and I have some experience in this field and have a pretty unbiased opinion. I have nothing to gain my promoting someone equipment. I would put the B&K above Yamaha's last flagship but not above this year Z9. If you are going to go to separates for 4500 -- 5000K or less you can look at Rotel, B&K, Sim Audio, Conrad Johnson or Musical Fidelity. Now it also depends on Speakers. Pound for Pound, I feel, the Musical Fidelity is the best out of all these products.

I don't care for any Denon product. Sorry to all Denon lovers...that is just my opinion. They make a quality product but I just don't care for their sound. PE are a little brighter and don't seem to give that umph needed at critical times. But I have a problem spending 4500$ on an A/V receiver. I would have to agree with the others. If you want to spend 4K + I would go with separates. Now if you were looking in the 2500$ range there are some excellent products on the market to do a wonderful job.

Rotel, Integra, Pioneer Elite, Yamaha, B&K (on sale), NAD or the new Harmon . I would not look at Sony.

Good Luck


Golden Ear. That a line of crap. Dude I can take an average person in and let them listen to a 12,000K setup (speaker and all) that is very reveiling and they will hear things they have never heard before. I was a non-beliver until someone sat me down. I then moved to a 5K system and what I heard was missing. Yes you can tell a HUGE difference between system of all prices and configurations.

Yeah dude, You did include SPEAKERS in your 12k
setup. Speakers do make a "HUGE" difference,
electronics much, much less so. The best advice by far is from the cusom installer above. The
Rotel 1098 paired with a 1075 would make a nice

PS to Alan

The magazine in question,(I did say "audio journal") was Stereo Review now known by the lengthy moniker "Stereo Review's Sound and Vision". First they tested receivers and separates and later CD players.....same results...generated enormous controversy over ten years ago maybe as many as fifteen, I've
been buying this crap since before CASSETTES
were introduced so sometimes I forget. I
probably can't even hear above 15khz although
many of today's products are only down 3db at
100khz. I guess that extended performance could
entertain the neighborhood bats.


My point is this: do not bring the "scientific method" and talks of "statistical significance" in the realm of stereo equipment. Seriously! Stereo Review is now a respected scientific peer reviewed journal who follows the "scientific method??"

I'm a surgeon who reads a ton of peer reviewed medical journals, and even in those journals, more than 90% of the articles have significant flaws in their statistics and methods. That's why only the few large prospective randomized studies with large sampling sizes have some weight in their findings. And only these findings have the ability to change opinions and subsequently, the standard of care. A "journal" such as Stereo Review, which is mostly written by average Joes who happens to listen to stereo a lot, with absolutely no knowledge of anything scientific, cannot be taken seriously.... It may cause a "stir" in the "audio community" and that's fine, but please do not consider the "stir" to have any scientific or statistical basis.

Also, no one is stating that an equipment that puts out 100Khz is better than the standard 20hz to 20 khz machine. It's true that humans cannot hear 100Khz and anyone who thinks paying the big money to hear 100Khz is a fool. But Hawk and the many others who visit this site are saying the electronics in a $200 Sony receiver are inferior to the ones found in a more expensive and respected brand of receiver, and one can indeed hear this difference easily. NOT Everyone on the planet can hear this difference, but I would say that most who visit this site can. Okay, enough...happy listening!

Yes speakers were included. 12k system
SimAudio Moon i5 intergrated reference amp, SimAudio Eclipse CD player. Synergistic Research cables with JMLab Micro BE.

5K system (Rotel RB-1090 / RC-1090) with Paradigm Reference Studio 100 v2 series.

Both system just rock but the JMLab speakers are very revealing. They made any rock music sound like crap because of the distoration in the recording.

It all comes down to listening habits and musical taste. You should always take that into major consideration when purchasing equipment.

What you listen to sound great on some systems but not all hardware.

By the way. I'm the custom designer. I just read your golden ear comment and had to jump into the ring.

Everyone make great point but it is all down to a few things. Way is your budget, musical tastes and what sounds good to you. That is all that counts.



May I suggest you check out for the life of an "Average Joe". Julian Hirsch was an audio pioneer and he deserves the respect of even someone of your elevated socioeconomic standing and elitist sensibility.
Logging off.


Who said this?

"Hawk, your statement that you "...didn't even know which receivers were going to be used" demonstrates a lack of understanding of basic scientific methods."

I wasn't the one who started the elitist remarks in this thread. No disrepect to Julian Hirsch, but to say that the Stereo Review findings were based on strict scientific principals and to use those findings to attack a well respected veteran in this forum who provides a wealth of information to the many who visit here is absurd IMHO and worthy of few "elitist" remarks back his way.

Hawk and Alan

You're right Alan, I was condescending to Hawk;
sorry Hawk. My purpose is not to offend, but to
engender debate. Please note that I was also self-deprecating re: my advanced age;
concomitant hearing and memory deficits. I do
hope none of us are taking any of the B.S. we're
ALL slinging too seriously.


Proper use of the scientific method does not
require letters addended to someone's name.
Grade-school children can do it if they are capable of following proper precedures. No
scientific experiment is perfect and the results
of even those that are scrupulously designed
are sometimes highly suggestive, but never absolute; thus the term "scientific theory"

The performance of electonic compnentry CAN be
quantified into a set measured specifications
which may or may not be useful from an
evaluative perspective. (I can remember the days
when some equipment generated plainly audible
disortion).Certainly, these numbers don't tell the whole story, but can be helpful as a
starting point

Human perception IS notoriously difficult to
quantify because it is so easy to fool the senses
ie: optical illusions etc. Our responses to external stimuli are most acute at the onset of the stimulus and tend to diminish over time because our brains filter out much of the extraneous informaqtion we receive from the environment automatically. We are not constantly aware, on a conscious level, of the clothes on our back for instance.

It is usually assumed that extended listening sessions are of benefit in determining the
differences between two units, but the facts I've
outlined above would seem to counter this idea.

Individual variation in physiology and sensory
sensitivity will always make any experimentation
involving hearing perception problematic, but it
doesn't follow that such work is impossible, useless, or could not generate interesting

The greatest scientists throughout history have
almost always questioned the basic assumptions
of the established order. It is the very foundation of the discipline. (and no, I'm
certainly not trying to equate myself with
any of these great men and women)

I find the results of the test I mentioned compelling not because I think Stereo Review
magazine is a paragon of science, but because
the participants were so sure they WOULD hear
differences and were unable to do so.
By the way, the protocol they followed was
well designed: an A/B/X comparator, calibrated
high resolution SPL meters, a control group,
and a sample of several dozen. Ideally, these
results would have to be repeatable with larger
samples etc. but to dismiss them out of hand
without further examination of any kind does not represent an open mind. Perhaps the magazine
found the whole thing counter-productive given
their advertizing base and the rabid response it


All your points make sense and I do agree with you. I am very much in favor of bringing up interesting debates, and I do think the one you brought up is worthy of a good debate. I just can't stand blatant personal attacks in this forum. Lately there seems to be so many of them and I'm sure its driving people away. Anyhow, I second what you say about taking any of our B.S. seriously.

geeze could we get larger posts with more fancy
words please.

there are very suttle differences in audio equipment be it speakers,recievers or whatever.
if you sit down and listen some people can hear
it and others can't or don't try.(some things have very noticeable differences rite away)

some times it takes longer periods of time and many different types of source material to truly
get the full oppinion of a piece of equipment but
if you listen to enough units you start to develop
a sence of sound for a particular brand.

there really is no correct sound it's just what
you prefer to hear.

but some unit's are made better than others and
generally do a better job for extended periods of time and or louder listening levels without sounding strained.


"KEGGER" peace out

I am in the same boat as the guy who started this post. I have not used my amps .. which are a combination of sonance and haflers.. I have 10 year old carat 40 speakers with some smaller pairs and I have an old Lexicon CP1 plus. I was going to just buy the Yamaha rx z9 and forget about all of the separates. But I guess what I am hearing is that separates are better. So now I need to buy a new processor because the Lexicon is ancient . What should I buy ?


Can we have a little more information so that our advice will be of some use to you? What are
the approximate dimensions of your listening room? The THX Ultra 2 enhancements common to
many separates are designed for larger spaces (if
this feature set even interests you.) Are you
a tweaker or would you prefer more automation?
Would you like to be able to listen to films
at theatrical levels or do you live an apartment
with neighbors who might complain? These issues
are relevant to your selection of components.

I would definately suggest that without the full
complement of nine channels,(including the two
front "presence" channels,) the Yamaha would be
something of a waste.

Unregistered guest
The Yamaha RX-Z9 is an A/V receiver. There may be several products which exceed the Z9 in the "A" department, but I don't see anything that competes with it in the "V" department. That makes it seem to me to give me a lot of bang for my home theater buck, as well as greatly simplifying my whole system while giving me all the functionality I need.

- video up and down conversion any-to-any between composite/s-video/component so I can always use component out to my HD display

- 4 types of video processing including TBC and Faroudja scaler.

- lip-sync control

If it had DVI (or better yet HDMI) switching, a mute button on the panel and a flywheel FM tuner control a la the Marantz 9300 and others, I would consider it the "perfect" receiver for me. But perfection is only a dream, I've decided to buy it.

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