I'm relatively new to the world of good home audio equipment. I'm looking to match a receiver with a set of Athena AS-F2s and matching surround speakers. I really liked the Boston VR1s but couldn't justify the extra $$ for the VR center channel. I'm torn between the Yamaha 740 and the Denon 1804. Which would be a better match for bright speakers like the Athenas? Also, would there be a substantial difference in sound quality by moving to the Yamaha RX-V1400 or Denon AVR 2803? Thanks.
Steve, I work for a HT company, probably the company you're shopping with (since not that many stores that carry Yamaha, Denon, and Boston). At any rate, the Yamaha's all tend to be on the brighter side of the amp spectrum while Denon tends to be more mellow and warmer. But, when comparing the 740 to the 1804, I'd go w/ the 740, esp. for HT. The amp design and cinema processing of the 740 is worth the extra $100 over the 1804. The 1400 and 2803 are both nice recievers and provide a justifiable upgrade in SQ. When comparing these 2, if rocking HT is your ultimate goal, go with the 1400. If you're very concerned with music playback (both 2ch and SACD/DVD-A), then I'd go w/ the Denon. Also, dont forget about good cables and power line conditioning.
BTW, the Boston's with the VR center would've been worth it, its a quality speaker. I understand the price issue, but keep in mind that close to 60% of what you hear in a movie comes from the center channel. The Athena F2's are nice though.
I don't know if I agree with your analysis of the Athena's as "bright." (The Boston's are an example of a "bright" speaker)
At any rate, your speakers need 100 hrs of use to properly break in and they should mellow out. Also when you get your reciever, let it "burn in" for a day or 2.
Have fun purchasing!
Hey thanks for the advice AVS! My preference in a receiver gravitates more toward music than movies- maybe a 60/40 split. I also like the sound to be a little warmer. I think you've swayed me to the Denon 2803, so I guess now I need to decide whether it's worth an extra $200 over the Yammie 740. Any other receivers you'd recommend in that range? I plan to couple it with the Denon 2200 DVD player. I appreciate your help.