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Denon or HK Receiver?

 

New member
Username: Aavin

Post Number: 1
Registered: Dec-04
Hi All,

Just getting around to upgraded my home system, I am replacing an old Onkyo receiver with what is the question. I have been researching the HK AVR7300 and the Denon 3805. I am replacing old B&O Redline speakers with the BeoLab8000. Anyone have any recommendations on the two receivers? Also, does anyone know if you can hookup an older B&O phonograph to the AVR7300?

Thanks, in advance, for any recommendations!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Riches1

Atlanta, GA US

Post Number: 46
Registered: Apr-04
They are both fine recievers, it just depends on what your tastes are. I have owned H/K and liked their warm midrange. They seemed a little soft on the bottom and rolled off the highs a tad, but never objectionally so.

The Denon is less colored, very nuetral, and extremely dynamic. Some people find it "bright" because it does not roll off the highs, but it still is able to present the high end in an extended manner without any harshness. I have never heard a receiver with such control over the bass as the Denon AVR 3805. It is tight, punchy quick and most importantly - musical.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kano

Post Number: 160
Registered: Oct-04
The 7300 is HK's current flagship receiver though. When it comes to mulitchannel power, the HK will blow the Denon out of the water. It also has Faroudja video upconversion and component OSD if you have an HDTV which is valuable.

On the other hand, you're looking at buying powered speakers, so you likely will never utilize the full power of either receiver. The Denon has some great DACs and sound processing.

Two totally different sounds and focuses when it comes to features.
 

Silver Member
Username: Johnny

Missouri

Post Number: 524
Registered: Dec-03
There was a review of the HK AVR-7300 in the November issue of Sound and Vision. It is kind of tough to gain any useful information from a magazine review as the reviewers very rarely (at least in my experience) say anything negative, but it may be worth your while to check out. One thing you can get from these reviews is the "true" power ratings of a receiver. The HK's specified power output is 110w x 7. When Sound and Vision tested it, they found that it actually output 139w with all channels driven. The reviewer said that it was the most powerful receiver he had ever reviewed.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Riches1

Atlanta, GA US

Post Number: 48
Registered: Apr-04
I had to laugh when I saw the comment about H/K blowing Denon out of the water!
Power comments remind me of the Dodge Truck advertisement "Hey, dude, you got a hemi in that thing?"

Power ratings are way overblown. They mean virtually nothing. Go this link to learn more:
http://www.audioholics.com/techtips/audioprinciples/amplifiers/allchannelsdriven .php

Read the reviews on the Denon 3805. There are lots of test where the Denon is driving 4ohm load speakers (loudly) and never breaking a sweat. The Denon and H/K are the recommended recievers to drive Axioms 4 ohm M80 speakers. Hmmmm.

I have no beef against H/K. I have owned two of them. But I have a Denon 3805 NOW and it's the best SOUNDING receiver I have ever owned.

 

Silver Member
Username: Elitefan1

Post Number: 986
Registered: Dec-03
Riches1,
I have read that article before and while interesting find it basically an apology or excuse for a few specific companies that that particular writer likes, namely Yamaha. TRUE multichannel power is not overated at all, it's a good indicator on how well built and what kind of thought went into the design of a certain model. Denon's have never lacked good multichannel power in my experience, but the 7300 is in fact a more powerful unit than the 3805. Not enough to be a legitimate factor in deciding between the two however. You can't find two more different sounding brands than H/K and Denon so it's all a matter of what you like. Glad you like your Denon but my old 3803 was the WORST sounding receiver I have ever owned and I hope the 3805 doesn't sound anything like it.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Riches1

Atlanta, GA US

Post Number: 51
Registered: Apr-04
Therealelitefan:

I didn't say that the 7300 wasn't more powerful. In fact, in the lab, it puts out about 40 more wpc.

The point is that one is a flagship receiver (7300) and one is a "near flagship" (see CNET and audioholics.com) receiver. They sound different, but they are not night and day different. Neither blows the other "out of the water". If either one diverged too much from neutral, they would not be able to charge the premium price that they command. They are both in the same neighborhood of "upper middle class hi-fi".

The referenced article is based on laws of physics and principals of electricity, authored by a degreed electrical engineer, musician and professional audio engineer. He also has a killer testing lab. Disagree with him all you want.

Your experience with Denon does not match up with the numerous outstanding reviews on Denon written by audio professionals for many years.
 

Silver Member
Username: Elitefan1

Post Number: 992
Registered: Dec-03
Riches1,
I have owned two Denon's, the 2802 and the 3803. I liked the 2802 and was astounded at how much I hated the 3803. Way brighter and harsh. Sibilance so bad it was virtually unlistenable. As I said I am glad you like your 3805, but I will never buy another Denon.
I totally disagree with your statement that Denon and H/K are "not night and day different". To my ears they could not be more different. The H/K is smooth and warm and "some" Denons's I'll say are very thin and bright. Of course it all depends on your speakers on how they ulimately sound.
As far as my experience not matching the reviews I couldn't care less. I know what I hear and that's all that matters.

 

Bronze Member
Username: Riches1

Atlanta, GA US

Post Number: 54
Registered: Apr-04
One bad Denon (or any other brand) does mean that the entire line is bad. I had a 2803 that sounded "thin" and exchanged it -problem solved. I have had H/K's that had auto setup problems and lock up problems, but I wouldn't characterize the entire brand based on that experience. It is much more plausible that some of the posters had a defective Denon when they refer to them as "the worst sounding receiver I ever owned", especially when you read the professional reviewers comments on Denon - like the 3805 being named both an Editor's choice by CNET and Receiver of the Year by Audioholics.com.

No person can realistically tell someone else what a receiver sounds like. They can only comment on what a receiver sounds like TO THEM. Their are too many variables to be considered (interconnects, speaker wire, speakers, room acoustics, source input, recording material, listening mode, analog vs., digital, personal preferences, etc). It's like the old parable of the blind men describing the elephant. They were all right, yet they were also all wrong.

I have read every review about Denon on ecoustics.com and a few others as well. I have read comments on Denon describing them as everything from "warm" - the prevailing view, to "on the dry side of neutral", the latter comment being viewed in a favorable perspective. Compiling all of the reviews would lead to the following impression: Highs - extended and smooth but not harsh. (if you favor receivers that "roll off" the highs, you might not like Denon); Mids - slightly warm, natural vocals, not overly colored ( if you like your midrange "forward" sounding, you might find the Denon thin,) Bass - One area where almost all of reviewers concurred, terrific bass, tight and well defined, with plenty of impact with some stating that they had to double check that their subs were turned off in two channel mode because the bass was so prominent. Overall, the sound was described as "neutral", lacking any excessive coloration at any particular frequency. Also, Denon got high marks for imaging, sound stage and handling transients with speed and aplomb.

I purchased my first "hi-fi" rig in 1970. In just the last 10 years I have owned Kenwood, 2 Yamaha's to include the $2000 Yamaha RX-V3000, 2 Harmon Kardon's (AVR 325 and 625), Onkyo 701, Denon 2803, Denon 2805 and now have a Denon 3805. I have Denon 2910 Universal DVD/SACD/CD player, Axiom M22ti's, Axiom EP175 sub and Axiom center and surrounds. I listen to mostly CD music. I put the Denon 3805 in Pure Direct Mode and the 2910 in Pure Direct Mode. What I hear is this: Highs - smooth, detailed, and extended, Yes they are "bright", but in a good way, they are never harsh, to include Dylan's, Young's and Tyler's harmonicas, guitars that have the appropriate "ring", (I play the guitar and know what it supposed to sound like, the Denon delivers the goods)
Mids: excellent vocals, Norah Jones, Sarah McLaughlin, Ray Charles, Dianna Krall, all sound slightly warm and like they are sitting on the other side of the room, very realistic. Bass: tight, tuneful, and impactful.

I cannot comment enough on the detail. I have heard things that I have never heard (maybe never noticed) on a number of recordings. Instruments are placed in positioned on the soundstage, with each having a distinct sound, rather than being mixed into some kind of musical stew where you know it's in there, you can hear it, but you can't tell where it is. Finally, the overall sound of the receiver is neutral and musically accurate. All of the comments apply to mulitchannel music as well. I use the room EQ setting on "Flat" or "Off". The "Normal" room setting is way to warm and colored for me. But if you like H/K receivers, you might like that sound. Home theater is also exceptional.

So, there is my "opinion" on the Denon 3805. I upgraded from the 2805 about 30 days ago. The 2805 was also an excellent receiver, but not quite as good as the 3805. I think the Burr Brown DACs make a difference. Also, the 3805 has 4 higher grade power supplies vs. the 2805's one PS. I would also invite you to read Russ Whites comments on the 3805 in the "Denon Auto Setup" forum. I hope my comments were helpful to anyone contemplating purchasing the 3805.



 

Bronze Member
Username: Riches1

Atlanta, GA US

Post Number: 55
Registered: Apr-04
First line above should read "one bad denon does NOT mean that the entire line is bad."
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