I s anybody as old as me, when I bought my first car I was like 16 and some bouncy girl sold my a little denon stereo, and all my friends said "denon what the Hell is denon", but it rocked pretty good. Now I only found one store while I was shopping that didn't carry Denon, and that was ugg, future shop. I would say that most people compare everything to denon because if you go to five different stores to try and buy a reciever the guy there will show you a denon in your price range and something else, almost always. peace
I think its because Denon seems to do it first a lot of times within the given price range - IE: Deneon's 3805 with the denon link for true one cable digital connection of DVD-A & SACD with fulll bass management (they are still waiting for clearance fron SACD licencers). I mean thats just a way too cool feature - Then more reviews can be written before competetors can get thier licks in. By the time they do and the reviews are written, Denon has come out with another wrinkle. Not to mention that Denon has a long standing rep for excellent audio reproduction with floor level noise ratios.
Another reson why Denon always seems to be mentioned first is because they seem, at least to me, to be able to cram as many features into thier "cruser class" models without sacrificing quality- again within the given price range.
Thats not to say that others don't have thier merrits to. Take for example Yamaha's amazing DSP for stunning, realistic recreation of sound stages and new GUI (RXV 2500) for ease of use. Or how about H/K's incredible power reserves with all seven channels driven while still having enviously low distortion levels.
The point is that no one receiver is going to win on all counts when compared to similar units at the same price level (OK so mabey, one day, one will-tell us all immediately when one does). The reson why this is true is because the competetor is always waiting to cash in thier next wild card, and aren't we all glad they are!
Dude, don't get hung up on name brands for quality and features alone. They also need to be concidered for reliability, warranty and ease of repair/replacement. For me I like the popular brands because I'm fickle and over the past 30 years I have discovered that when I needed to repace something, I had an easier time with more poular units. But mabey that's Just my luck.