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Yamaha Rx-Z9 or Denon 5803a

 

New member
Username: Iano

Post Number: 1
Registered: 03-2004
I am trying to decide between these two. The denon is an older product but upgraded (and upgradeable!), the yamaha newer- but with no history of upgrades being available for yamaha. (the rs-232 is listed as for remote control rather than software upgrade).

Despite usually perferring Denon as a brand I am leaning to the Yamaha with its quoted better drive of low impedance, ilink vs 2nd 8 channel input and the convenience features such as volume trim on each input and night mode.

Am i foolish? Any thoughts appreciated?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Gdawg

Post Number: 86
Registered: 12-2003
Foolish?..Maybe

What speakers are you running?
 

New member
Username: Iano

Post Number: 2
Registered: 03-2004
Mains are martin logan quests.
Centre and surrounds are to be the next upgrade.


Any other comments on the merits or shortcommings of either amp?
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Post Number: 262
Registered: 12-2003
With Martin Logan speakers I would probably lean toward separates. I would buy a 150-200 watt amp with a quality preamp. This is not to say that either the Yamaha or the Denon won't be more than adequate.

I just think a good separate amplifier would be best-obviously you'd need a separate preamp.
 

New member
Username: Iano

Post Number: 3
Registered: Mar-04
Yes a separate power amp would drive the speakers best, but that is not the purchase option i am considering at this point.

I have narrowed it down to a receiver as giving an unrivaled feature&performance over current separate preamps.

I may bi-amp the martin logans with a separate stereo power amp if i deem it necessary. From my observations the the flagship receivers have more facilities even when compared against only AV processor/premaps. Spending far more dollars on separate preamps gives potential improvement is sound (arguable) at the trade off of loosing out on facilities and connections.

Separate power amps - of course these give the clear advantage and no dissadvantage. But with main out jacks on the receiver i can still go this way in future if i choose.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cargoil

San Diego, Ca US

Post Number: 11
Registered: Dec-03
For years Denon was my choice in receivers. I must say now Yamaha has caught my attention. It's flexibility is unsurpassed and I feel in recent years its quality has improved tremendously. I just purchased the 2400 model and had a choice of this receiver or waiting a week or so for the new 3805, I chose not to wait. the features far surpassed the Denon. I don't think you could really go wrong with either receiver. These two flagships will drive those ML's any time and most anything you decide to add in the future.
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 269
Registered: Dec-03
I would then lean toward the Yamaha. Mostly because of the YPAO (parametric equalizer) and the i-link. Denon has a Denon-link form of i-link that is incompatible with other brands of dvd players, HDTV's, and HDTV receivers.

I would think their sonic performances are comparable. A good clue on which amp section is better would be to find out which draws more power from the outlet (not what they say they have in wattage output) and how high are the amp fuses on the back. That will clue you in on the real life amp performance, rather than the stated performance.
 

New member
Username: Iano

Post Number: 4
Registered: Mar-04
I chose the yamaha for a variety of reasons.

I will post more detailed impressions soon, focusing on functionallity but can report an initial report to an improvement in base tightness and general detail compared to my old (and recently departed) pioneer elite m91 power amp. Which is quite a surprise did not expect to match that amp with the receiver alone.

Anyone have any questions on the Yamaha Z9 ??
 

Cory
Unregistered guest
Ian; I too am considering the same two receivers, and also the Sunfire ultimate receiver...any thoughts on the Ultimate? What eventually steered you away from the Denon? Does the Yamaha distort?
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 282
Registered: Dec-03
The Denon is an excellent receiver, but it's firewire version doesn't allow you to use anything other than Denon products. Yamaha and Pioneer Elite use universal firewire, hence you cn use any dvd player with firewire, ant HDTV with firewire, and any HDTV receiver with firewire. And any other piece of equipment that comes down the pike.

The Sunfire Ultimate is certainly the most powerful receiver at 200 watts x 7 channels. It comes with a very good remote too. Suprisingly, it has no separate bass management for different speakers, no THX EQ, and doesn't let you vary crossovers on your different speakers. Now if you have towers all the way around that is no problem.
Of course, someone could buy the Outlaw Audio separate bass management piece to solve the bass management problem ($249). And from what I have heard the Sunfire has a better AM/FM tuner section than most receivers.

If you have difficult speakers to drive I would go with the Sunfire. If you have 8 ohm speakers I would probably go with the Yamaha.
 

New member
Username: Iano

Post Number: 5
Registered: Mar-04
Cory, I also considered the Sunfire for a short time but it was eliminated early. Reports from friends, a review at audioholics and my own earlier testing of a carver power amp (same technology although earlier generation) quickly had me feeling this was not the amp for me. Audition the sound on your speakers if you can, particularly the sunfire.

Between 170 and 200 watts the diffence is insignificant (less than one dB?) and i suspect the biggest difference is not in the rating but the way current is delivered etc. I have been very surprised by the yamaha driving my martin logans. These speakers dip impedance below 2 ohms and i was not satisfied with the 5803 and expected to need to bi-amp the main martin logans to be fully happy. That seems overkill with the yamaha. The power delivery at that level is a bonus- control amp facilites had more to do with my choice. One note of warning- the yamaha tune section has no RDS (in this day and age!!) on FM and i suspect the AM reception is nowhere near the quality of my old tuner.
I will post some other comments I have collected over the past few days. I am collecting notes together.
 

New member
Username: Denon_lover

Post Number: 1
Registered: Mar-04
Yamaha has finally made a real Reciever with this Z9.I have traded up every year since I really became serious about audio.From sound Quality to Versitility and really surprising power output(givin Yamahas history with Amps).This one can actually drive my Maggies just as well as my Bryston 4B.So stop thinking and go get a Z9.

By the the way the new video processor improved
the video quality my HD Zenith projector which I thought was as good as video can get.
 

Unregistered guest
am choosing between onkyo tx sr801 and yamaha rx v1400,need some advise,and what speaker is perfect match for the receiver,thanks
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cargoil

San Diego, Ca US

Post Number: 31
Registered: Dec-03
Congrats ian. I wish I had the capital to have the choice between those units. I looked hard at the Yamaha and felt the Z9 was fantastic but just couldn't step up to the plate. I ended bought the 3805 Denon and love it. Right for my size room and equipment but I do love that Z9. Enjoy!



 

Unregistered guest
Gents,

I chose the Sunfire after several hours at Ultimate Electronics running from room to room with the same CD. I couldn't be happier with it. It doesn't have all of the frills the Yamaha and Denon have, but it has everything you need. I guarantee you will stop playing with all of those features after a few weeks if you haven't already. I thought the Yamaha was more shrill, though it was more quiet. It was a tough choice. I haven't heard any of the pops or static the unfortunate gentlemen at Audioholics mentioned, I am keeping my fingers crossed. Ian, what do you think about all of that heat your Yamaha puts out? As an eletronics engineer, this concerned me and was one of the deciding factors for choosing the Ultimate. What warranty did you get? I heard (don't know if it's true) the Yamaha only has one year?

Cory.
 

Unregistered guest
Where can you buy an rx-z9?
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 344
Registered: Dec-03
You can go to the Yamaha website and they have a dealer list by state. You can also risk buying from unauthorized resellers, usually at a cheaper price, but often without the warranty being recognized by Yamaha. These places often sell warranties for those that want the peace of mind.

Plaza Audio sells this unit at $3,699 as do various other un-authorized dealers. AVBDirect.com has it at $3,585. Absoluteaudiovideo.com is another.

The least expensive I saw was Hometheatertown.com
Their price was $3499 and they sell a 3 year warranty at $170. I found it humorous that they spelled "theatre" incorrectly on their web address. They seem to be a Yahoo approved vendor, for whatever that is worth. I must admit I was amazed that they had a price for the Pioneer Elite 59TXi of $2745---shockingly low.

Now how reliable any of these resellers are--it is variable. Certainly to protect yourself you should only pay by credit card.

You can always go to an authorized dealer and see if they will give you at least 10-20% off.

At these prices, I'd rather have the peace of mind if the difference is $200-$300.
 

New member
Username: Hsquared

Post Number: 1
Registered: Apr-04
How does the Denon 5803A sound compared to the Z9 for CD repro, SACD, DVD Audio and music video's?

I am thinking of mating either with the Denon 5900

Comments appreciated
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