Denon 3803 or Pioneer Elite VSX-45TX


I am trying to decide between these two AVR. I like the MCACC feature of the Pioneer, but wondering what others opinions are of the two for a home system.

DENON period

Sorry anonymous but you are so wrong. I have had both receivers in my home with a Def Tech system and a Monitor Audio system and the Elite blew away the Denon. The 3803 is very bright and sibilant whereas the Elite is smooth and sounds much better with a variety of sources. I had a Denon 2802 before and it sounded better than the 3803.The Elite beats them both. I have never been so disappointed an an a/v product as the 3803. Go with the Elite.

you should wait for the pioneer vsx-55txi which is an improve version of the 45tx with the i-link(firewire,) which you can use to hook up with the dv-47ai digitally.

I already have the DV-47Ai, but was too shy to dish out the money for the VSX-49TXi. Good thing I waited. The VSX-55TXi will be easier to handle, price wise. Thanks for your opinions. I had a Denon in the past as well. What a dog!

In respond to previous post:
"I had a Denon 2802 before and it sounded better than the 3803"

- Come on! this does not make any sense. I owned Denon 2802, 3802 and Denon 3803 and know for sure the 3803 is the newest and much better receiver. No doubt about it. I do not own Pioneer 45TX so do not ask me how it sounds. I am sure that the Denon 3803 is much better than my older Yamaha RX-V1 (older flagship of Yamaha brand). So as far as I heard, within the three brands, Denon, Pioneer, Yamaha, they all make good receivers. If you ask many people to rank the three brands it would come up with Denon to top the list, then Yamaha, then Pioneer the bottom of the list. However each person has a personal listening preference. I think whoever posted the above post either had experenced with defective receivers or perhaps do not know how to setup or unable to recognize better sound quality.


There is no right answer to your question about which is the better receiver because we do not know what speakers you are driving. The poster who supports the Elite tried them with both Def Tech and Monitor Audio speakers. These are both great brands, but they are on the bright side, so the warmer Elite sound compliments both speakers systems well as it tames the sound of the speakers.

Conversely, if you told us you had Paradigms or PSBs, the Elite would be a lousy combo, because those speakers need a lively receiver to bring out their accuracy and detail.

Either receiver is a very good product, but may not be right for you. So, come back to us and tell us what you've got, speaker-wise. Then you might get an informed opinion that can really help you.


This is from the guy who liked the Denon 2802 better than the 3803. In response I would say that if you heard what i heard in my home with these units with my Def Techs you would know whatI mean. To Hawk; my Def Techs are anything but bright. They are mellow and laid back and image beautifully. The Monitors are brighter but are a perfect match with my Elite 45-tx. As to the ranking of the brands there needs to be a distintion made between Pioneer and Pioneer Elite. Pioneer is for the mass market, Elite is for people like us. We are fortunate that there are several good brands to choose from. Buy what your ears tell you. For me it's the Elite. I do know how to set up a system. I've been doing this for many years and i do know how to recognize good sound. 35 years of this stuff had taught me a thing or two. Good luck to all.

Hear, Hear.. Hawk.
I know this "elite guy" and he sold me the 3803 at a great price. I'm waiting for the next good electronic buy from an unappreciative buyer.
I've had no problems w/ the Denon.


I am somewhat perplexed by your response. I didn't attack you nor your equipment. In fact, I thought I was praising you by getting a nicely balanced system that even I, a snob about good sound, would enjoy listening to.

I would disagree about the Def Techs. They may not be as "bright" as say Klipsch, or JM Labs, but they are definitely a very forward speaker that I think is a bit on the bright side of what I consider neutral (as I have said, neutral is a badly overused term that everyone seems to apply to their equipment, but it is more a theoretical than a reality). That does not mean I think the Def Techs are a bad speaker--to the contrary, they are very good. Nor are they as bright as your Monitor Audios, which are also a very fine speaker. But you seem to be reacting to my use of the word "bright." Hey, it is not a perjorative term, just a charecterization of where those speakers fall in the range of types of sound. It is all relative to what all is out there. In my mind, it is the combination that makes for a good or bad system, and I thought I made myself clear that yours was one of the good ones! Sound sent from the PE receiver to either the Def Techs or the MA speakers are not going to be bright because of the balance in your system. But I wouldn't want to pair either of those speakers with a Yamaha receiver!

Everyone hears these things a bit differently, and the range of different sounds available reflects that the many manufacturers hear things differently too. I have also been listening to hi-fi equipment for over 35 years and I was trying to help Ron (you remember Ron, the guy who started this thread with a question?) to understand that without knowing his speaker choice, we can't give the best advice. I simply used your system to illustrate how combinations worked because you were so obviously pleased with your choices. Otherwise, these threads become just a little kids' argument over who has the best receiver (See, e.g., the threads between hip1ster and Phil Krewer which are always popping up on this forum). That is no help to Ron at all.

The real test of a system is does it convey a sense of reality--that is, is the sound compelling that is as good as being there? That is why the combination is so important. If a product is "bright" it doesn't mean it should be ignored or dismissed, just properly intergrated into the sound system as a whole so that the strengths of each component may be allowed to come out.

So enjoy your system--it sounds like a nice one to me and if Ron has either of those speakers systems, would be a fine endorsement of the Elite receivers. Obviously, there are other speakers systems that would make a great combination with the PE receivers, as well. But don't take the attitude that "one size fits all", i.e., that the PE receiver is right for everybody. No receiver is.

Sorry for the misunderstanding. I should have mentioned that my Def Tech mains were the DR-7 bookshelfs which are about 8 years old. Current Def Techs might be a little bright, I don't know but the DR-7 is very mellow and laid back sort of like the Paradigm sound. I loved them but after 8 years it was time for a change. I just can't seem to stay out of the stores and magazines etc. and therefore seem to need to update maybe when I don'nt need to. It's only money,right? Just when you think your system is what you want someone comes out with a component that you just have to have.[Like the Elite DV-45A dvd player] Thanks for the feedback and talk to you later.

This is Ron again. Thanks for all of the responses and an understanding of receiver and speakers. My intention is to use the receiver, either Denon 3803 or Pioneer Elite 45tx primarily for video(DVD) watching. I currently have Soundworks Ensemble speakers for this purpose, but am certainly open to other suggestions. I have heard the Klipsch with the 3803 and it sounded great, a bit more bright than I would like. I appreciate your comments Hawk, as you sound very knowledgeable. I am not a huge aficiando of sound, but do appreciate good sound when I hear it. This receiver will be used as well to listen to music, but primarly for video. Any further info would be appreciated!

Well Ron, I think both receivers are very good. I have the Denon and Elitefan has the Pioneer Elite. In one sense, this decision is like the old saw "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" You currently have the (Cambridge?) Soundworks Ensemble speaker system (which one?) but you may consider changing your speakers which could change what we might recommend, so I think it would be best to find a good receiver for you and then worry about changing the speakers later. You have narrowed it down to these two and neither one can be considered anything but excellent, but we have to find the one better for you.

My opinion is that the Denon has a cleaner sound than the Pioneer, but it also a bit on the dry side. The Pioneer is smoother. but not as clear. Maybe the best way to find the one right for you is for you to get one and try it at your home with your speakers for a weekend. Then try the other one at home for a weekend. I have done this many times with quality dealers and it is no problem to come back to them and say that you didn't like it as well as someone else's product. This also gives you some leverage because I have known dealers who will stonewall on price but when told their product was just a bit less impressive than someone else's unit, they will try to make you a deal on the price so that it is more attractive to you. About 10-15% is all they are likely to cut, but it may sway you.

I would also agree that I the Klipsch with the Denon is going to be too bright. If you are thinking about getting the Klipsch, either now or down the road, get the Pioneer Elite. It is a much better compliment to the Klipsch than the Denon. If you like the Denon better, get it and look for different speakers than the Klipsch. After all, Elitefan and I (as well as Derek, G-Man, and several others) are here to help with that decision as well.


Yes, I think you have put your finger on it. I have only been listening to the Def Techs within the past year and one dealer told me that they are brighter now than they used to be.


This thread is very interesting to me as I am on the verge of buying the Elite 45TX and have been trying to pick thru the competition solely by reading everything I can find on-line.
Road testing at home is out for me.
Firstly I live in an area with no convenient HI-FI dealer.Secondly I'm determined to take advantage of the "Crazy Eddie" level of price savings by buying on-line.
So I'm relying on you guys.
I am a proud owner of a pair of great 20 year old JBL Century 100's which I read elsewhere are highly regarded (and I've always liked them) and will buy center and bookshelves to match.?
I'd like all the help I can get on all or any of the aspects of building my system.
Should I buy a different receiver to match my speakers? Maybe a Sony ES. But doesn't their remote stink?

For your speakers, I would recommend the Pioneer Elite. Those Century 100s are very fine speakers, but can be a bit rough around the edges, so the Pioneer will have the ability to smooth them out a bit.

However, I would strongly suggest you get your receiver with the intention of getting all new speakers later on. You may have a difficult time getting a center speaker that would be a good match for your Century 100s.

John K.
Ron, you were correct to mention MCACC in your first post, since that's probably what the deciding factor should be. The sound of your speakers will be identical with either the 45TX or the 3803; your decision should be based on features. One feature advantage of the 3803 is upconverting composite and S-video signals to component video so that a single connection to the TV can be used. This may not be significant to you and MCACC may be more important, as it would be to me.

You should be aware that the 45TX is being closed out and only a few may still be available. Its slightly improved successor, the 53TX is about to become available and will probably run about $50 more in street price.

Does anyone know when the Elite 5xtxi series will be available? Will they be making a new 5x series that is Ultra 2 certified?


Bleeding Edge,
According to Pioneer's press release about the new Elite lineup it will be the 49txi,55txi,53tx,and 41tx. No mention of the 47tx so i guess it,s gone. The only ultra2 is the 49txi while the 55txi and 53tx will be thx select. List prices are $1700 for the 55txi and $1500 for the 53tx. The press release said the new models would be out in late July. It will be interesting to see what changes they made besides adding a firewire connection on the 55txi. I would think there should be some good deals on the 45tx and43tx.

Thank you Hawk. I'm pretty much set on the Pioneer Elite 45tx as I said, especially as the DW surprisingly said this evening she would buy it for me!! Amazing, and in all reality this frees up some money for speaker investment. I should put my old faithful JBL speakers in the other room and match WHAT with the Pioneer? Paradigm, Polk, Klipsch or B+W?
I listen to a wide variety of music: classical, jazz,and pop and desire the most from movies of course.
If you were to pick one set of Center and side speakers to go with my old JBL 100's as an interim arrangement with a view to expanding, what would it be?
Again, thanks.

Hmm. Seems to me that the strategy should be to get the center speaker (this is the most important purchase) that would go with the new main speakers you want to get and not worry too much about matching your JBLs. Better yet, why don't you get a pair for the front together with a matching center speaker and use your JBLs as surrounds (which, as special effects speakers, don't need to match the others).

You have not given me a budget, nor described your room, but I do understand you music preferences. I happen to believe that if we get the music right, the HT will be right. So, since I don't know your budget, I am going to talk generally about the sounds from different brands and which brands may be a good fit for your receiver.

I really like Paradigm speakers, but I would never match them with a 45tx--both are soft and mellow, you might find the resulting sound to be boring. I would also avoid PSBs and Energy for the same reason (Canadian speakers as a whole have tried to be very neutral, which makes them a bit on the reserved side, so they don't mate well with the 45tx).

I personally have never been a fan of Polk speakers. They are good, but I always seem to like something else at the same price point.

Klipsch are good and if you find some you like, they would be a good combo with the 45tx. As for B+Ws, I really like B+Ws (have a pair in the basement), but the lower end B+Ws are probably also too mellow (DM303s and the 600 series). You would need to go to the CM2s to get a good match and they are a tad expensive.

I will pre-empt Elitefan here and suggest that you look at Monitor Audio speakers. Other good brands for the 45tx would be Mission or KEF Q Series.

Another good choice is JMlabs, a french company know for their Focal brand of raw drivers. Don't know your room, but for about $1100 you can get the JMlabs Sib/Cub system which would be a great combo with the 45tx. If you wanted to continue to use your JBLs for the time being, check out the JMlabs Cobalt line of speakers.

Finally, check out Dynaudio (Danish company), also known for their raw speakers. Their Audience line of speakers would be a good combo.

In sum, I recommend these brands of speakers (in no particular order) for your 45tx, with specific recommendations to be made later once I understand your budget:

1. Klipsch
2. Monitor Audio
3. KEF
4. Mission
5. JMlabs
6. Dynaudio

I hope this helps.

Thank you Hawk and John K. for your responses. I am leaning hard to the advice from John K as the MCACC feature is something I find very attractive. We are moving into an new house and the two places I am considering setting up my video surround system are odd shaped rooms. The Great room is two story tall with only two truly solid walls with the other two walls partially open. In my existing home, which has a similar shaped room, I have had a great bit of difficulty achieving "good surround". The other room which is more than likely the location I will set up for video is a loft room upstairs with three solid walls and only one open wall. The MCACC feature is something that I think will help me optimize my speakers.

By the way Hawk, the Cambridge speakers I have are about 4 years + old and are Ensemble III. You are right about trying these out with the different receivers, but I do not know if I will be able to do that. I do not see much on this site about Cambridge Sound speakers and I may need to update them as they may not be ideal. Does anyone have any comments on these speakers. The Base is huge and very powerful and the Center speaker was their top of the line. I really like it. I am not impressed with the left and right nor the two rear, but not sure all of that is really due to the room configuration I had.

As I said, I am leaning to the 45tx because of the MCACC feature and if I go that way, and wanted to change speakers for surround, what would you suggest. I also want to emphasize, I do listen to a variety of music. Love rock, classical and big band stuff, so I want the right receiver to maximize muscic actually more than video. So listening to music for my speaker selection is really most important. My budget for speakers would be $600 to $1,000.

And finally, you are right that the 45tx is being replaced with the 53tx and the major add on is firewall. I got a price of about $875 for this new unit. Availabilty is first of August(next week). Anyone have any other info about the 53tx?


I know the Ensemble III--I looked into getting them myself since I had a Cambridge Soundworks store at the mall near my home.

If I remember their sound correctly, I would expect you should have no problem using them with the 45tx or the 53tx. I wouldn't go speaker shopping until you have had your new receiver for awhile and you have an understanding of what you are looking for that would improve your sound over what you already have.

After you have determined what may be missing from your sound and you aren't satisfied with the Ensemble III, start by looking to change your main speakers. Spend some time auditioning the speaker lines I suggested above and find what you like. Then buy new main speakers and then add a matching center channel to give you a consistant front image. Later, you can update the surrounds and the sub.

I would certainly save more money on the receiver before skimping on the speakers. To spend the same on the receiver as the speakers is crazy. Nothing effects sound more than the speakers and your room acoustics. If you like the MCACC feature--get it in the least expensive Pioneer. I have the Pioneer 49TXi and the feature works well. Of course, if you are willing to take the time, buying a Radio Shack db balancing device for $25 or so will accomplish the same.

Two online speaker companies that allow you to return them after 30 days both make excellent speakers---Axiom and Aperion. The Aperions in 5.1 with the 10" powered subwoofer may well be the best speaker system at $1400 I have ever heard. The Axioms at about the same price are very good too---but the Aperions look so damn good. Beautiful cherry wood that are made like speakers that cost considerably over 2K.

Just an idea for you to consider.


I'm interested in hearing about the the Pioneer Elite VSX-45TX (called VSX-D2011-S in Europe, I believe) compared to the Denon AVR-3803 when it comes to stereo performance.

I have a pair of B&W Nautilus 805's, so I could even use the biamping option (apparently available), if that appears to improve the sound. BTW, has anybody tried the biamping option?

A suitable amp for the 805's should (I believe) have good low/mid punch, but would not be bright/metallic.

In the end I'll have to get both the units for testing, but meanwhile... any comments are very much appreciated, thanx!



Just an FYI. The 53tx does not add Firewire, the 55txi does but adds $300 to the price for only that and learning capability on the remote.

John K.
Ron, Don is correct as to the 53TX and 55TXi except that the added price is $200,which still might not be worthwhile unless you really plan to use that feature. The slight improvement in the 53TX I was referring to is a 9 band rather than 5 band MCACC, which theoretically might allow a finer adjustment.

need help have 4k to spend on new reciever and speakers .. tv will be offset in room. need book shelve front speakers , center speaker on t.v and rear speakers in ceiling per wife and round.. also need sub.. want the best bang for the buck.. also need 3 additional speakers sets in 3 different rooms.. denon 3803 ,pioneer, sony ? paradigm, rbh speakers?? help!!!

I am also trying to decide if the Pioneer Elite VSX-49TXi is worth $1,500 more then going w/ the brand new Pioneer Elite VSX-55TXi? I will also be buying the DV47Ai DVD player. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

I am putting the system in my family room until I can afford a theater in my basement. This probably won't happen for 3-5 years though. My room is 3-sided (open to the kitchen on the 4th. It's about 22'x18'. My Speakers are 5 year old Klipsch KLF-30 reference series. I like what I read about the Elite warming-up bright speakers, as the Klipsch can be bright.

Thanks for the help

It's hard to answer your question about the Elite 49&55 until the 55 comes out and we can see what it really is. My inclination would be to say get the 55 as it will have enough power to fill your space with no problem. As you probably know the 49 is a awesome receiver but is very large and weight 63 lbs. I don't care for it's touchscreen remote, but that's just personnal preference. You can't go wronf with either one.

Thanks EliteFan for the reply. Appreciate the feedback.

I have a Pronto remote, so 49's no issue. How important are the 49's Sharc chips, since the 55 doesn't appear to have 'em?

Sorry I can't really answer your question about the Sharc processor. All I can tell you is my 45tx sounds great with it's Motorola chips and Asahi-Kasei dacs.[also used by Rotel]If you have the cash why not try out the 49 as long as you can return it for a full refund. Tough choice.

Thanks for the guidance on speakers Hawk. I will certainly keep this thread posted as my plan develops. I ordered the Pioneer 45tx and now wait for 10-12 day delivery from an online store.
We'll see.
The idea of a nice set of B+W CM center and pair of CM2s really appeals to me but I'll be darned if I can even find a place to buy them or the Monitor Audios for that matter and am tempted to resort to whatever seems decent for the 3 speakers at around 800 to 1000 at my local big chain store.(Which kinda looks like Klipsch at Circuit City)
Would this be a big mistake? I can always take them back, and probably would. Hmmm...
What do you think Elitefan ?

I am not impressed at all with the newer Klipsch speakers at all. To me they are extremely bright but I would like to hear them with a mellow receiver like the 45tx. My suspicion is that for me I still would not like them but since you can return them you are not out anything. What speaker lines are available in your area?



E-mail me at and I will give you directions.

I listened and compared these receivers for 4 months in several dealer showrooms. I read all the reviews I could find. Looking at the specs,
it seemed the 3803 had the best chips, but my ears told me the Elite 45 sounded better. I bought the Elite 7 months ago and all I can say is it is superb with my NHT M5 system. I have
compared it to systems costing far more and I
wouldn't trade. The MCAAC feature on the Elite
is amazing. The Pioneer is also much more "user friendly". My advice...Trust Your Own Ears.
J.C. Austin Texas

Yeah, I agree with John Cone. I love my Elite too, although I didnt get the mcacc feature I dont care though. Its alot better than my old Elite which my buddy has and thinks is "fantastic"but then again hes upgrading from an sansui model 661 from 1971. Anyways Elitefan..what cons did you come up with when using the 43? Was it dumb to buy the 43 should I have waited and gotten the 53?

The Elite 43 sounded great to me and the only con was it didn't have a phono input and the remote on the 45 is better. If you are happy with your 43 then the answer is no; you bought the right receiver for you. I don't know exactly what the 53 will have that the 43 doesn't but from what I can tell so far they will be practically the same.

Thanks, but I have yet another question for you...if I use the 5.1 input on my 43 for sacd/dvd-a will I still need to use an optical cable for Dolby Digital/dts?

The default setting for the dvd input on the 43 is coax so that is what you probably should get. I prefer coax to optical since it's less fragile and makes a firmer connection. Also then you don't have to adjust the output in the set up menu.

Here is a general question for anyone who has had experience with purchasing a receiver via internet and had problems with service after purchasing? My intensions are to buy the Pioneer Elite, either 45tx or the replacement 53tx. Certainly,either of these units can be purchased cheaper than through a local dealer with mfg. warranty. However, is it worth the savings if you cannot get local assistance? Any thoughts or watch outs?

First of all the 53 is not the replacement for the 45. The 55txi is the replacement. The last non dealer I bought from had a 25 percent restock charge and only 1 year warranty on a 2 year factory warranty item. Any time you see a component that has had it's serial number tampered with you are dealing with an unauthorized dealer [almost the same as black market]. There are very good authorized on-line or wholesale if you will dealers out there[like J&R] but I am very leery about most of these people. With the internet there has been a explosion of these dealers and most of them are not authorized to sell what they sell. Ask them if they honor the factory warranty and if they are authorized to do so. If you are planning to keep this component for several years it's better to buy from a local dealer. A price difference of $200 on a $1500 list item over 8 or 10 years is not that much for the peice of mind you get. Overall be very careful or you can get burned.

Ron, I just saved a bundle buying an Elite 45TX
online for $723 inc shipping. But I honestly don't know if Pioneer's 2 year warranty will be valid should I have a problem. The (unauthorised) dealer tells me it will. Meanwhile I've got my fingers crossed.
Any other comments would be useful, (apart from the obvious ones)

Hawk, what are your thoughts on this issue of purchasing via intenet v. local dealer?


I always try to buy from an authorized dealer. I don't want any warranty hassles in the unlikely event that the product has a problem. Having said that, I have purchased both ways and I have had nothing but good experiences. However, if I can get a good price locally, I will do that since it is easier to get service and I like to support my local dealer--provided he is reasonable. If I get a price that is 20% less on the internet from an authorized dealer, for example, I am buying on-line in a NY minute.

Thanks, Hawk for your response. I value your opinon. YOu have been a great resource!

Eric Claussen
I just placed an order for the VSX-55TXi. I was a couple days to late for the 45, as it is disappearing quickly from the places that have the best deals.

Time will tell if it is better than the 45 which I auditioned in my house. Pioneer doesn't have a manual on their site for the 55 yet. Anyone hear what the weight is? I'll cancel my order if it weighs significantly less

I just found this thread. It is of interest to me because I am getting ready to spend some money for a new a/v system for my new house. I am looking to purchase the following:

Main Speakers: Paradigm Studio 60
Center Speakers: Paradigm Studio CC
Rear Speakers: Paradigm Studio ADP
Subwoofer: Paradigm Servo-15
A/V Receiver: Denon 3803

I plan to spend between 4K - 5K on this system. Does this look like a good match of equipment and I am getting my money's worth. BTW, I am not an expert on a/v equipment. Thanks for the advice.

Dear Looking---

The above speaker system is excellent. There are other good ones at that price, but you can't go wrong with Paradigm's--great bang and quality for the buck--particularly for a retail speaker.

As far as the receiver--it is a matter of taste and how comfortable you are with the remote and the features. It will have no problem driving the above set-up.

i too have been debating/weighing the 3803 vs. vsx-tx45 vs. HK avr525 and have not been able to reach any conclusion as to what would be best for my setup. i'd like to hear all 3 side by side, but can't find any place that sells all 3. myer-emco has the elite, but it's hooked up to b&w nautilus which, of course, sound great. tweeter has the denon and crutchfield has the denon and hk - but not in comparable systems/environments.

my specifics:
-i appreciate neutral, natural sound with an emphesis placed on a deep soundstage.
-i listen to about 40% music 40% tv and 20% ht.
-recently purchased an hdtv with plenty of inputs, so no video switching/upconversion needed. while it may be more convenient, i'd rather go direct with video to maintain the signal purity and will probably get a harmony or htm remote that will macro all the switching anyway.
-i have an extensive vinyl collection, but i also have a rotel phono pre, so the missing inputs on the avr525 aren't a big deal.
-i have all cambridge soundworks speakers: tower IIs fronts, MC500 center, and S300 surrounds. i find them deep and full, but certainly not bright at all.
-i have a fairly small room, but drive a 2nd set of small speakers outside.
- i currently have a jvc-rx6000vbk as the receiver, but i now need the 5.1 analog inputs and want something that will actually power the center and surrounds. the jvc puts out a real low signal for those, even with the gain cranked on each.

i have been leaning toward the denon (i also heard it at tweeter, but not against the elite or HK) for the burr-brown a/d converts and the 'pure direct' mode.
however, the HK and vsx-45 seem to provide just about all the features i'd need (+ attractive bass management on the HK) at a better price point than the denon.

too much too choose from - oh what shall i do?

G-Man has great pricing on the HK 525 now. Under $600. I'd go with that unless you can find the Pioneer Elite at anywhere near that price.

keep in mind that the onecall price for the 525 is for a refurb unit (notice the 525Z) and a new unit is $699. j and r also provides the $699 price and they have a better return policy

I appreciated your insights on upgrading speakers especially a center channel and suggesting the guy move his JBL's to surrounds. My wife LOVES her old musicals. She's agreed to a HTIB (Home Theater In a Box) for the den(12' X 12') hard wood floors, fairly lively room, while we build the budget for the real deal. More on that later. For now, any suggests on the best, cheapest (under $500) HTIB? Walla Walla

W. in Walla Walla:

I have to admit that I have not looked at HTIB in your price range, but I may have a couple of better suggestions for your den. Now recognize that you have a small room there, so you don't need large speakers. I should also explain that I have an aversion to HTIB systems because they have to cut a lot of corners to make the price point. For example, the speakers in HTIB systems have very simple cross-overs and the cabinet walls are rather thin and this leads to "box coloration." The receivers have fewer features and even worse, have very poor power supplies. So, I look for some main-line HT components where they haven't cut so many corners, but it may be on a closeout or factory refurbished so that the price is no more than a HTIB system. So my suggestions reflect this bias.

Check out ( for an Onkyo TX-SR500 (factory refurbished) for $140. Then check out the JBL Northridge NSP-1 Home Theater Surround system for $273. This gets you everything but the subwoofer. You can find a decent KLH sub at Costco or Sam's Club for just under $100, and that will give you a very good system for your den.

Alternatively, if you can stretch your budget just a bit, you can get a special HT speaker package from One Call that consists of five NHT SuperZero speakers (perfect for your den) with a very good Phase Tech Power 8 sub all for $588. Add this to the Onkyo and you are just above $600, but it would be an excellent system, especially for the money.

Update to W. in Walla Walla:

eCost has a special on the Onkyo TX-SR500 and it is currently $129 or ten bucks less than the price I quoted you before.

Also, found another speaker package that may be the best choice. has the AR HC6 package for $399.99 and it includes a sub, so that would be a step up from HTIB and within $30 of your budget.

Good luck.

C. Sun
It sounds that many people agree that Klipsch with the Denon is going to be too bright.
I wonder if Yamaha V2300 will be good with Klipsch, say RF-35.

C. Sun:

I cannot think of a worse combo than a Yamaha with the Klipsch speakers. Yamahas are brighter sounding than even Denon (and even rougher sounding) and the Klipsch horn tweeter is also an "in your face" sound. If you want the Klipsch, I recommend a Marantz or Pioneer Elite.

Wow! thanks for BETTER THAN HTIB tips!

C. Sun
Thanks for the info. I don't have to stay with Klipsch. Acutually My budget for speakers is 1.5k-2k$, I've found following package:
Polk Audio RM7600
Infinity Alpha 40
Infinity Alpha 50

Which one would you recommend if I want to get Yamaha V2300 ?
and Which one if I want to get Denon 3802 ?

btw, which speaker packages would you recommend for my 22x20 large room ? (not necessarily on my list) Thanks a lot !

C. Sun:

For the Yamaha, I highly recommend Paradigm speakers. They are very smooth, laid back and very accurate. Look into the Monitor 7s or 9s, together with the Mini-Monitors for the rears and a CC-370 for the center. I would also suggest PSB's Image line for the same reason. Look at the Image 4Ts or the 5Ts for the fronts, Image 1Bs for the rear (unless you like dipoles, in which case you can get the Image 10S for the rear) and a PSB 9C for the Center. PSB has very fine subs, try the Subsonic 5-i.

I can understand your desire for the Yamaha, but it can be a bit bright, especially on music playback. Getting the right speakers--some that are both accurate and laid back, will allow the strengths of the Yamaha to come forward (primarily its clarity).

Denon is very close to Yamaha in sound, although not quite as bright. Either the Paradigm or the PSBs would work well with the Denon, but I think an even better choice is B + W. With that size room, I recommend the 603 S3s or the 602.5 S3s for your fronts, 600 S3s for the rears and a LCR600 for your center channel.

For your size room, I suggest a Hsu VTF-2 subwoofer. It is a killer sub.

I have to admit I have not heard the three packages you list, so I cannot comment on either the Polks or the Infinity packages.

I hope this is of some help.

C. Sun
Hawk, Yes, it's a lot of help.
I'm not very familiar with the speakers you mentioned either because I am a newbie in HiFi and there are overwhelmingly different brands. That's why I always look into the package instead of DIY so that I won't make stupid combination.

I did a bit research online, and Paradigm monitor series got very good reviews. Surprisingly, I even found a local Paradigm store so I'll go check it out tomorrow. But I'm really confused with the Monitor package you mentioned:

I've no problem with Monitor 7 & CC-370 in front.
but you said mini-monitor as rear, Shouldn't surround be ADP-370 instead of Mini-Monitor ? Mini-Monitor is categorized as "main speaker"...

Is there any particular reason you didn't mention Sub for monitor package ? The paradigm system 7 package use PW-2200 as sub. What's your opinion about it ?

As I said, I know very little about speakers, and I heard B&W is one of the top brands, so personally felt that B&W is too luxury for the fake music fan like me (my wife said so). :-P

C. Sun:

I suggested the Mini-Monitors for the rear because a lot of people don't like dipole or bipole rear speakers. They like something more directional. However, if you don't mind or you really like bi-directional rear speakers, then by all means look into the ADP-370s for the rears. I should have mentioned them.

Paradigm makes a good sub and I don't think you will go wrong with it. Sorry about the omission, but it is simply not that difficult to match a sub with almost any system. Put another way, you don't need to be concerned with "timbre matching" with the sub as it occupies a wholly different section of the sudio spectrum. There are a lot of good subs out there, so I focus on getting the other speakers right and then worry about the sub last.

Don't be put off by the B+W name. Yes, they make the very expensive Nautilus speakers that they sell to people like George Lucas, but their entry speaker, a bookshelf called the DM303 which goes for $300/pair, is a very good speaker and quite a bargain. The 602.5 S3s I suggested for your fronts are $700/pair and well within your budget. As always, the key is to find the speakers you like the best, sound-wise. And you can't be a fake music fan if you take the time to educate yourself as you have.

Anybody know the Quadral Taurin MKIII? Quadral is
a German speaker firm. But perhaps their speakers
are known in other countries as well (I'm not
sure). But I'm currently deciding between the
Kenwood 3803 and the Pioneer t45 (2011 in
Europe). Which of the two would fit better with


Johan Berghmans

Since my last post on Aug 1st I found out that the 45tx's were SOLD OUT according to my online
store. Not wanting to settle for the 53tx offered by them as a same price substitute I found a great source thru Ebay and thankfully received by UPS the brand new boxed genuine article(for a landed $704.00)today.
So far so good - as soon as I'm sure the darn thing is in A1 working order I'll update this thread on the source.
I steered clear of the Klipsches Elitefan and decided on NHT ST4's and their center with my JBL's in the back until I can justify spending any more.(give me a month) Hawk, you have spoken well of NHT's I believe in the past plus everything else I read seems like they would be a good match for the Elite. We'll see. They will be hear in 2 weeks and I'll report back. Wish me luck.

I wonder how anonymous from 8/23 liked his 45tx?

Any update?

hawk, im sold on the 55txi mcacc must have for my 20x20 room open on one end.. was gonna get the paradigm monitor 3 (per wife need book shelve speakers an surronds in ceiling) center is cc370 rear is either polk rc60 or nht 6.3 .. need smaller size sub (in cabinet) paradigm pdr12.. both the rear are directional that why im looking at them.. your thoughts !! or anyone elses?? im all ears!!!

You have made a great receiver choice and Paradigm's are terrific but you should listen to other more "lively" brands to pair with the Elite. Listen to Polk, NHT, Infinity, Energy and any others in your market area. Surrounds in the ceiling is not a good idea. Try and talk your wife into small bookshelfs for the rear like the Paradigm Mini-Monitor or Titan. [This is your chance to show her who's boss!]. Good luck.

on a related note to this site is there a site to get input on theatre components outside the limits of the these receivers and speakers. You are all way mor knowledgable than me and I could use the help


Again, I have to agree with elitefan that if it were me, I would not match the Paradigms with a Pioneer Elite. I think both the Elite and the Pradigms have a very laid back sound which may be too laid back when combined. Each is a superb unit by itself, but it is only the combination that I question. But you are the one who has to like it, not me. If you have heard them together and like the system, then by all means get it. I believe every one should trust their ears (provided they spend a little time with it to be sure--10 minutes at the dealer doesn't do it).

Since you really like the Elite's MCACC feature, I am going to assume that the receiver choice is made. Instead I will recommend some good speaker systems to go with it. Knowing that you need bookshelf speakers for the fronts and really small speakers for the rear, my top recommendation to go with the PE receiver would be for Mission speakers: check out some 780s for the fronts, a 78C center and something like the 71s for the rear.

I would also recommend something like Monitor Audio Silver 2s for the fronts (bookshelf), Silver Center for the center, and an appropriate pair of surrounds, either another pair of S2s or another speaker of a different brand.

Alternatively, I would also strongly recommend the NHT SB3s for your fronts, SB Center and SB1s for the rears. NHT also had a very nice sub that is not too large.

Finally, check out the KEF Q1s for your fronts, Q9 for the center, and a pair of Q8s for the rear.

Subwoofers do not need to match as the operate in a different frequency range and there is only one of them. Check out the Velodyne CH10, a Phase Tech Power 10, or the NHT SW10-II subwoofer to go with the speakers. The Paradigm is also a good choice.

Just my thoughts.

thx hawk..i have not heard the paradigm together so i will take yours and elitefan word for it.. much appreciated!!!


I have monitor gr20's for fronts and center. I have a denon 2801 receiver and would like to upgrade. What do you suggest.

I have to say the 45 tx arrived in perfect, sealed condition in exactly 7 days. Stereo operation is so far faultless and sounds marvelous,and as soon as my NHT ST4's with SC1 eventually get here I'll give you my full report. But I would say that the Ebay vendor I dealt with to buy the 45tx was absolutely excellent. Stay tuned...


Big up the good guys!

I just found this site and I want to thank everyone who has posted both questions and answers over the last month. The exchange of strongly felt and informed opinions is like a textbook for the AV hardware purchaser (neophyte).

The advice on matching receivers and speakers has been wonderful.

Thanks again to ALL.

Hawk, I was going to buy the Elite 53TX. But after what you've said about Elite pairing up with Paradigms, I'm disappointed. Is it really a bad combo? I own:

Front - Studio 60
CC - Studio CC
Rear - Studio 20
Current AVR - Marantz SR-7200

The reason I'm looking for a new AVR is because the Marantz is not working out too great with my Studios. I've heard better sound coming from these reference speakers. Appreciate any insight you can give. I'm new to HT.

I wanted to second DVDV's post. In particular, a big thanks goes out to Hawk, as I am sure most readers of this forum would agree.
I was dead set on my speaker system after listening to several big name brands and now was in the hunt for a receiver. I never had heard that one should pair the receiver with your speakers (obviously a newbie) and was thankful for seeing Hawk's mantra on the topic. So, off I went to find a close match with my exact speakers (1 a/v store had my fronts and just a step down for the rears and center). I listened to a Denon 3803, Yamaha #(who knows- it wasn't in the same class as the other receivers), Rotel 1055, Pioneer Elite thx55txi and NAD T762. THe P.E. and NAD were very close in performance. The denon definitely did not match my speakers- way too bright and tough to listen to after 15-20 minutes. Well, it was a coin toss between the NAD and P.E. I recalled the many posters of this forum and sound and visions as having high praise for the NAD. My salsman told me he thought the manager had the NAD. We were able to track him down and he indeed did have the NAD T762. He went on to state that it was the best receiver he had ever listened to and owned. Case closed, here's my credit card. It should arrive this week, whereupon I'll share my thoughts.
Now for the speaker cable questions. :-)


Nice speakers--Paradigms are very accurate, but I have long believed that they need a lot of juice. I am in the process of redoing my entire system because I, too, did not take the time to match the different components to get good sound and I learned my lesson. My Denon receiver sounds lifeless to me with my current speaker set up, so this week I will also be shopping to seek not only new amplification, but probably new speakers, too. Came home from a weekend out of town to find my beloved CD player had died, so it goes on the list, too. I am a bit envious of your setup as I do like the Paradigms, a lot. I am sorry the P.E. is not the appropriate unit.

Looking at your system, I see the problem. Unfortunately, it is the Marantz. There are two problems with your Marantz, IMO. First, the Marantz is a bit laid back, not as much as the Pioneer Elite, but enough that it is not a good match with your speakers. The second problem is the somewhat unique nature of the Marantz 7200. When it was designed and built, marantz put in a stinker of a power supply. Sound & Vision magazine tested the 7200 and found when driving all 6 channels, the 7200 was only capable of putting out 27 wpc, a far cry from its rated 100 wpc. So, it sounds like your speakers are starved for current. Without adequate power, they are going to be unable to create good imaging. I am sure you have figured this out which is why you were looking at getting a P.E. Now, the only thing wrong with the Marantz appears to be the amp section--everything else seems pretty good.

I would recommend either an NAD 752 or 762 if you want to go the receiver route. Or, you may just want to use your Marantz as your pre/pro and add an amplifier. In particular, I really love the Outlaw Audio 7100 amp (100wpc x 7) and which costs $899 directly from the manufacturer. And these are not wimpy japanese receiver watts, either, but real, powerful, gut busting watts that will make your Paradigms sing. Check it out at You can test one in your home for 30 days, risk free. Adcom also makes a very fine amp in this price range, the GFA 7605 (125 wpc x 5), but I confess I have not heard it long enough to recommend it. You may wish to check it out, however.

Good luck!

Thanks Hawk I will give one of the options a try. So you're saying there's two problems, one being the receiver too laid back and second not enought power. So if I add an external amp, but I still have the problem with the receiver being too laid back right? Adding an amp, seems like a good idea, that way my old Marantz doesn't have to go to waste. NADs, aren't they pretty pricey??
Anyway, thanks again, appreciate your insight.


MSRP for the NAD 752 is $899, same as the Outlaw amp. The MSRP for the NAD 762 is $1299, I think. Both can be had at a small discount.

The "laid back" sound of your Marantz is a function of the amp section, not the pre/pro. I think that the pre/pro section would work just fine and an outboard amp of good power (Outlaw, Adcom, etc.) would be just what you need. Now, if you are dissatisfied with the way your receiver works, that is a different story. Then you should just get a new receiver. The key is to get sufficient power for your speakers with the right sonic charecter so that you can really enjoy your speakers. And frankly, speakers as nice as your Paradigms should be enjoyed!

Oh I understand now. So an outboard amp would pretty much solve my case. Right now the speakers sound dull and flat to me. What do you think about the outlaw m200s. They run for $299. They only power two speakers right? So I would have to get three of those. Or can I just buy two to run the mains and rears and then set the dB higher for the center channel. Does it work like that? Will the power distribution match? Reason is because I've just read some good reviews on them at and I'm trying to save a buck. Or is the 7100 more practical? I'm sorry to bug you like this. But right now you're the only help I can get and everything you say I will take into consideration.
Again thanks for your time and insights. Greatly appreciated.


First off, in no way do I feel you are "bugging me", so don't worry about it. I am just happy if I can help.

As for the outboard amp, the Outlaw 200s probably won't be the right solution. The Outlaw 200s are "monoblocks"; that means they only power one speaker, not two. You would have to buy five (5) Outlaw 200s to power a HT system, at a minimum, which would run $1399. And given that they are 200 watt amps, I don't think you could get the inboard Marantz amp to match them well enough to be satisfied by using fewer than five monoblocks.

I also think the 7100 is more practical. Besides the 7100, you will also need to buy interconnects to connect the amp to your amp to the pre-outs on your Marantz receiver. You can get some nice ones from Outlaw for $105 (PCA-7 cables).

I hope this helps. . . .

Interconnect cables? I thought I can just use regular AV RCA wires. Will that be a drop in performance?

Some people will hear a drop in performance and others won't. Start with your AV RCA wires and then try some interconnects from Monster Cable to see what you think.

DJ Mehta
I have been reading this thread and it's very interesting. I am leaning towards purchasing the Elite receiver, but have 2 questions if you could help me with it.

1) I have the B&W DM601 s3 bookshelves as my front and rears. Do these speakers go better with the Leite, or another brand?

2) If you recommend the Elite, should I opt for the 45TX (highly recommended, but hard to find - I can get a used one on ebay), or opt for the 53TX (same price range, but new!!!)

Thanks in advance for your help... you guys are all so helpful.

If you but a new ELITE buy the 55txi. It is the replacement for the 45tx and has a firewire output and the remote is better than the 43 or 53. My local dealer is selling the 55txi for $1250 so you should be able to match that I would think.I have the 45tx and it is great but you are right that it is hard to find.

DJ Mehta
Thank you for your advice elitefan,

but is it worth the extra $400-450? I can get 43tx for about $800 online. And if you don't mind...what will the firewire output allow me to do?


I have the earlier series of 601s and I don't believe they are the best match for the Pioneer Elite. Both the B+Ws and the PE receiver are pretty laid back and since you already have the speakers, I think you need a receiver with a little more forward sound. For $800, I would strongly recommend an NAD 752 or Marantz 7300 as a much better choice to drive your B+Ws.

I agree with Hawk that the NAD is probably a better match with your B&W,s but disagree that Marantz would be better than an Elite. To my ears listening to my Monitor Audio,s the Marantz was even more laid back than the Elite. The Elite had a crisper high end than the Marantz[Sr7300 vs. vsx45] . NAD or Rotel would be first choice for sound but I don't think an elite would sound bad with your B&W's at all. I have a friend with an Elite 55txi and Paradigm 7's and they sound very good together. Firewire is a one wire multichannel connection that hopefully will become standard connection in a short time.

As I mentioned earlier, I plan to buy Paradigm studio speakers. I am leaning towards the Denon 3803 but want to know if people think the NAD 762 would be a better match.

Also, I know this is a home audio BBS, but does anyone know how the Denon and NAD compare in their video capabilities?

I am using this receiver as an a/v receiver and want to make sure that I get the best I can in both audio and video.

Thanks for your advice

I would not buy the Denon under any conditon. My experience with the 3803 was awful. Nad is a much better choice.

This is a terrific thread, so full of great information and always inticing new folks to post.
We owe alot to the few who know the subject and yet it would be nice if we could hear a little feedback from people who have gone ahead and invested.
Are you too busy listening or reading manuals to send in your review?
I for one am really happy with my 45tx and am grateful for the help received right here ! Even with a pair of older JBL Century 100 speakers the sound is marvelous. I'm still waiting for the whole picture as my NHT ST4's have still not arrived. I'm also curious as to why NHT's get so little attention compared to all the talk of B+Ws which ARE great and Paradigms which I think are simply the WRONG speaker to install with this Elite receiver.

This is a terrific thread, so full of great information and always inticing new folks to post.
We owe alot to the few who know the subject and yet it would be nice if we could hear a little feedback from people who have gone ahead and invested.
Are you too busy listening or reading manuals to send in your review?
I for one am really happy with my 45tx and am grateful for the help received right here ! Even with a pair of older JBL Century 100 speakers the sound is marvelous. I'm still waiting for the whole picture as my NHT ST4's have still not arrived. I'm also curious as to why NHT's get so little attention compared to all the talk of B+Ws which ARE great and Paradigms which I think are simply the WRONG speaker to install with this Elite receiver.

John K.
DJ Mehta, I assume that you meant the 53TX(available around $750-$800). It's practically identical to the 45TX except that two ports(USB and RS-232C)which are used by almost nobody aren't present. The iLink(firewire)on the 55TXi for $300-$400 more would be significant if you played SACDs and DVD-As on a player which also had an iLink connection. You could then use a single digital connector between the two for playing SACDs and DVD-As instead of 3 dual analog connectors and the digital signal could use the receiver's bass management to send all low bass to a sub. If you wouldn't make use of this the otherwise nearly identical 53TX would be the better buy.

any body know of a small 4x6 inch speakers that will not your socks off.. freaking wife is killing me. i dont care about the money, 1k a pair im willing to spend.. but need small..also need a center speaker.. yes that needs to be small.. all of these will fit into book shelves.. probably gonna go with the 53tx because of the mcacc thing.. i really need help on this one..

check out these, i recently purchased....Here is a link...

I also had to deal with a wife who insisted on small speakers...And Bose were NOT the answer....

>>>any body know of a small 4x6 inch speakers that will not your socks off.. freaking wife is killing me. i dont care about the money, 1k a pair im willing to spend.. but need small..also need a center speaker.. yes that needs to be small.. all of these will fit into book shelves.. probably gonna go with the 53tx because of the mcacc thing.. i really need help on this one.. <<<

You mine as well sell your 53tx cause it will be wasted with such size restriction on your speakers. You will not find a suitable speaker that size for your Elite. What a waste. Wives.


A very good choice would be Mission M70s which are about 9 inches tall, or go to One Call for the closeout on the NHT SuperZero speakers, also about the same size.

You might try to cheat a bit with the wife (no, not that kind of "cheat") and get something a bit larger for the fronts, i.e., Mission M71s or NHT SB1s, either of which are about 11" tall (still small enough to fit nicely in a bookcase) for your fronts and get the smaller speakers for the rear. Just explain to her that the fronts do more work, so they have to be larger. You can then easily get a matching center speaker from either Mission or NHT and they are small enough not to offend the wife.

Good luck, my friend.

thx for the help.

John A.

Also consider KEF 2005. I have one, for the center channel, sitting on the TV. Sounds terrific. My wife agrees, and thinks it's cute, too.

But don't put bookshelf speakers on bookshelves. Get stands for the front Left and Right. For surrounds, they are OK mounted on the rear or side wall.

Even then, small speakers are OK for front Left and Right provided you have a powered subwoofer. If not, you really need big speakers there.

Has anyone tried the s-video to component video upconversion feature on Denon 3803? Does it work well? Also, is 100Mhz bandwidth for component video switching good enough?

I read that Rotel 1055 has a computer I/O and they just released upgrade for their component video to 200Mhz. Would it make any difference?

I like what I have read about Rotel 1055 and NAD 752/762, but wish they also had this s-video to component upconversion feature.

What do people think about using bipole rear speakers versus direct radiating rear speakers? Looking at KEF Q7 package, Mission M5, Monitor Audio Silver, and Wharfedale EVO. Anybody has any experience with them?

I'm new to this whole audio thing and i was planning on buying cambridge soundworks t500 speakers with a elite 45. I went to a dealer and they told me that the new 55 and 53 are actually a lot less reciever than the old 45.
They explained this by saying that the coils and everything is lighter and smaller. When I lifted the 45 it is more heavy than the 53.
Is this true?

I had a 45tx, which had those cheap flimsy sheet metal heatsinks like the ones you find in =~60lb = cast metal), but Pioneer hasn't published the specs yet on their website.

When I buy a new receiver, I'd like to have one that's constructed well... I'd expect better construction from a ~$700-1400 receiver like the 45tx - hopefully the 55txi will have it.

Sorry, previous post got cut off. Here's the full one.

I had a 45tx, which had those cheap flimsy sheet metal heatsinks like the ones you find in <$300 Sony receivers. I know 47tx and 49txi do have high quality cast metal heatsinks (I think Pioneer calls them "chimney heatsinks").

Does anyone know what kind of heatsinks 53tx and 55txi have?

I guess you can roughly tell by the weight (~40lb = sheet metal, =~60lb = cast metal), but Pioneer hasn't published the specs yet on their website.

When I buy a new receiver, I'd like to have one that's constructed well... I'd expect better construction from a ~$700-1400 receiver like the 45tx - hopefully the 55txi will have it.

I have the vsx45 and it is inside a cabinet with not much ventilation and does not get overly warm at all so it obviously has heat sinks that do the job. It weights 41.5 pounds and is heavier than either the 43 or 53 which weight 38.5 pounds as it is a step up from both. The 53 is the replacement for the 45 not the 53. I dont know why people confuse this but have seen this several times on this site. As far a general construction the 45 is built at least as good as the 2 Denons I have owned[2802,3803] which always get high marks for build quality and the 45 blows away the 3803 on sound.

Guys , sorry I don't know mush about sound or equipment and I'am trying to put a Home Cinema togeder and the only thing that I have is the Projector , I have a BenQ DX650 , and a friend is recomending me a Denon 3803 , can you guys recomend me a reciver , set of speakers and the and the screen.


Manuel Medina

So for a vsx-43tx I should look into B+W. Not Energy or Paradigm. Kinda sucks cuz I love the look of the Studio 60.

What are you talking about!!!?
I have owned several AV receivers(Sony str-da50es, Newcastle r-956, Elite vsx-45tx) and I auditioned the following (Yamaha 2300, HK 525, Marants 7200, Denon 3802, Onkyo ???) in home for a full month! I just slapped the credit card down, took them all home and kept the one I liked (the Elite 45tx). This receiver is a great match to my Paradigm system (Monitor9 v.3, LCR-350, adp-350, pw-2200). I don't see how you can say the Elite doesn't match with the Paradigms well. YMMV, but I am nothing but impressed

Coach--I am sure it is a great match. It is about the right amount of power for these 8 ohm speakers. You'd have to spend about $1700 to get anything significantly more powerful (like the Pioneer Elite 47-which has the same "honking 145 watts plus per channel with all 7 channels driven as the 49txi--or the Outlaw Audio amp and pre-amp combo).

I have the Elite 49txi, but its main advantage over the 47 is just the feature set with the i-link and a fancier remote.

the 45tx is a thoroughly satisfying receiver IMO.
and would probably sound great with all of the speaker brands mentioned. They will all give you that great "quality" sound.
I am very pleased with my NHT fronts and was especially blown away by the elite's automatic set up. User friendly or -a no-brainer to set up for HT etc..
The NHT speakers look and sound pristine. And I have to thank Hookedontronics for totally re-establishing my faith in buying online.

I would have to agree with Coach in that the P.E. line sounds great with Paradigm speakers. It may sound better with NHT's (I have never used NHT's), but the Elite/Paradigm combo still sounds better than any other receiver I tried with Paradigms (i.e Denon, Onkyo, Sony ES).

And to clear up which Pioneer goes where in the line, it's simple Pioneer did that for you...
43tx, 53tx, 45tx, 55txi, 47tx, 49tx, 49txi.
That's based on features and internal components as well if anyone cares to deep dive them all. The second digit in Pio's model indicates the model 'level' while the first digit is for the year released.

My question would be: How much does the 55txi weigh? Since the 45tx weighs more than those below it, I would figure the 55txi to weigh the same if not more than the 45tx.

Dear Knowledgeable guys,

Is the new 2012 model the same as 55txi or as 45tx? If not, any suggestions which one should go with


I haven't seen the VSX-2012 so I am just going off of Spec comparisons, but it appears to be Pioneer's flagship for it's regular consumer line, and a match to the 45tx. The only differences I can see in fact are the loss of 1) the better Elite manufacturer's warranty (regular consumer line warranty is the standard 1 yr. variety) and 2) the loss of the trademark gloss black Elite faceplate that the 45tx has. Just my opinion, but I would be inclined to purchase this over the VSX-53tx, for sure if you could get it for the same price.

I called the Pioneer, and the rep said that 2012 and 1012 are special "derivatives" made for BestBuy, and they were derived from vsx-45tx. I don't quite believe her since there are two new model numbers involved.

I just found this thread today and thinks it is great. Very informative. I am currently looking for a powered subwoofer for my system.
I have a PE VSX-45 driving def tech speakers for my fronts, sides, backs, & center. I have been looking at HSU research VTF-2/3, Paradigm PW2200, & Velodyne SPL-1200. I use my system 50% HT and 50% music. Any opinions on these subs would greatly be appreciated. I am especially curious about the VTF-2/3 since I can only get them through HSU directly. BTW, the
dimension of the room is 12x21.

The HSU VTF-2 is excellent and costs $499, as is the VTF-3 at $849. The Paradigm PW2200 is also excellent and costs $800. The Velodyne is similarly excellent, but costs $1400. Now you might get a 10% discount on the Paradigms and maybe a 10-20% on the Velodynes.

I would think the VTF-2 is fine for your room and system. It cranks out plenty. Plus if you are one of those people that is sensitive to bass directionality after you buy the VTF-2 and listen to it awhile and you want even more and better balanced bass, you could eventually buy a second VTF-2.

That would probably be overkill, but many people like having 2 subs.

This seems like the best place to get a recommendation.

I've been considering the same group of receivers discussed here - Denon 3803 (refurb with full manufacturer warranty for around $700), Elite 73tx (new for around $700, but need to ensure full warranty), a NAD 762 (used, but almost new for around $700), and a Marantz 7300 OSE (also used, but almost new for around $700). They are all good and all around the same price. So no need to say one is definitely better than another. What I'm looking for is a good match with my Infinity Prelude speakers (very efficient, neutral, with great detail). I think the Prelude fronts are as good as any pair of front speakers I've heard. The center channel is good, but not great. The rears are the old "quadrapole" speakers and are the real weak line with Dolby Digital formats. Anyway, anyone out there familiar enough with the Preludes to redcommend a good match?

One technical question ... can all (any?) of the recievers I'm considering do video switching for HD TV at full 720p or1080i?


First off, yes all can do video switching. And it's my belief that all the receivers you listed have the necessary bandwidth for HD. I think you'll find that is a standard on recent receivers now a days.

Second, in order to give you a sound match for your speakers I would have to know your preferences such as warm-neutral-bright, or any other descriptives you care to use and why you beleive that describes your taste.

Finally, my best recommendation is to visit one to a couple B&Ms near you to see if they allow you to demo their receivers for a trial period with your speakers before you are 'locked' in with the purchase. That way you can rely on your own ears!


I second what Don said. Your personal preferences are very important. As a brand, Infinity speakers are very bright. I have never heard your specific model, but I have heard other Infinity's and the sound is not bad by any means, just kind of bright. Therefore, if you prefer a warmer sound, you would need a warm sounding receiver to balance out the brightness of your speakers. Of the one's you listed, the warmer receivers are the Marantz, Elite, and NAD. In my opinion, Denon has a very bright sound by itself and thus would not make a good combination with your speakers...but maybe you like that sound...only you can tell.

I have an NAD T762 and love it. The clarity and soundstage are awesome.

thanks to don and john for their input. A little more info- for audio I listen to jazz a lot and some classical. I do listen to rock and blues, but don't care so much about the sound quality for that kind of music. For jazz I want it to sound like the group is sitting right in front of me. For classical I want the full, big sound you would get if in a hall. Having said that, I do watch a lot of movies and nothing makes it more engrossing than a good sound track played through a good system. Oomph, power, dynamic range, and good voice reproduction!

As you mentioned, I would agree that the Preludes tend toward the "bright" side. I think Infinity would say "accurate" and "neutral", but a neutral to slightly warm receiver would be appropriate. Do others agree? And, do others agree that the NAD, Marantz and Elite would be more appropriate than the Denon?

Finally, I read somewhere in this forum that the NAD cannot do video switching of HD without losing some detail along with a suggestion that if you have a NAD you should connect your video sources directly to your monitor and not switch them through the NAD. Is that correct?


I don't have HDTV, so I may not be the best person to answer your video questions. I do know that the fewer the connections possible is the best. Each time the video is run through a different device, it loses some of its quality, no matter what brand you choose. For quality purposes, it is always better to connect directly to the monitor...cuts out the middle man so to speak...less interferance from other devices. However, if you are like me, and your TV only has one component input, I was forced to use the receiver for the switching.

You state that you are into jazz and classical music. I believe the NAD will fit your needs well. NAD advertises a "music first" philosophy fairly heavily. Their rationale is that overall, music calls for much greater detail than does HT. Therefore, if a receiver sounds really good in music, it will carry over into the HT side of it as well. I am not a big jazz or classical fan, but when I was "playing around" with the receiver when I first got it, I did pop in a Count Basie CD. I don't remember the exact track, but the results were marvelous. It sounded just as you described, as if the band was right in front of you. The separation between instruments was awesome. I was especially impressed by the sound of the piano and vibraphone...extremely clear and defined. If I closed my eyes I felt as if they were in my living room. I have also told the story of my HT experience many times as well. When watching Star Wars Episode II, the voices in the bar scene were so detailed and well defined that I seriously thought there was an intruder in my house.

As you know, I obviously am a big fan of NAD. I have also listened to Elite on many occasions, but unfortunately have never heard a Marantz except in a showroom for a few minutes. I liked the sound of the NAD the best, but I think that you couldn't go wrong with any of the other two brands either. It is all about what your ears tell you, and of course which has the features you require.


I have a Pioneer Elite 45tx. That said I would vote for either the NAD or the Marantz. As Johnny said the NAD is well known for accurate music reproduction and it's my belief that the Marantz line excels there too. I don't hesitate recommending either based on your preference to Jazz and Classical. I have listened to both, but have not done a direct comparison between them. I do know that Marantz has a greater feature set, while (again as Johnny stated) NAD is known for simply great music reproduction and as such may be light on some features you might like for HT use.

Also I too think the Infinity line of speakers is bright. For jazz that may wear on you after long listening sessions. Both the receivers above are definitely "warm" sounding and would balance off your speakers nicely. I think the Elite line lends itself more to neutral however so if you only want to slightly tame your speakers towards warm them that would be your choice. As for the Denon, I hesitate to classify it as "bright" (I beleive it's also fairly neutral) athough I can never get the level of detail out of them that I can through other brands (including those above). In short the Denon 3803 sounds dull to me (in my opinion).

Hope that helps you out.

Hi guys...stumbled across this site while reading up on a 7.1 setup. I presently have a great 2 channel setup-Soundcraftsmen Ma 5002 25o watts rms, Carver pre, and Dahlquist DQ 10s totally tricked out with Dynaudio/Peerless drivers and custom crossovers-unbelievable!! I have a new bonus room (25 x 16 ) wood t&g barn style ceiling (7 to 13 ft)with a carpeted floor.
My dilema is keeping the DQ 10s to pull double duty for HT.I can get the drivers for a nice Dynaudio center with scan-speak tweeters, but my concern is driving these guys cleanly with a receiver. I know Pioneer had a bad rap audioly for years-but perhaps the 49txi is above that rep. Was considering a B&K ref 50 prepro with a Marantz 200 w.p.c. amp-but saw their AVR 507.Save lots on cables with a receiver, but oh!the heat!! Seperates...Denon 5803, B & K 507, or Pioneer Elite 49txi or even the 59 txi (better DACs). Help!! Audio is TOP PRIORITY!!!

Hi there. I'm considering the Denon 3803, the Pioneer Elite 53tx, and the Pioneer Elite 55txi. Any suggestions? I plan on using them with the new Definitive Tech Mythos Line. I watch tv about 50%, movies 30%, and music 20%. My listening interests vary greatly, but I tend to like to listen to acoustics, pop, top 50 kind of stuff. Just wanted to know what others thought. It would be nice if someone can tell me the diff betw the 45tx, 53tx, and the 55txi. Any imput would be greatly appreciated


Of the Pios you listed the 55txi is best and has Firewire. The 45tx is next and gives up the Firewire. The 53tx comes afterwards and further loses the backlit LCD remote (very nice), the RS232, the USB connect. But the 53tx gains the ability to view the on-screen display (for system setup) over component video.

If you don't have or plan on Firewire don't waste the money on the 55txi, if you do plan on Firewire it's the obvious choice.

Both Denon and Pioneer Elite sound great with the Def Tech Bipolar line, I don't know much about the Mythos line except that they were designed to go well with Plasma screens as both are slim in design.

Between the Denon and Elites that depends on the sound you prefer and the options you want out of the receiver, as well as the looks. (The mythos line is Silver in color, correct? Maybe you might want a silver receiver. I think the Denon can be ordered in Silver this year.)

thanks don
can you tell me the diff betw the 45tx and the 55txi? I'm curious to know. Is the 45tx last year's model? N-E differences in the build. Let me know. Any other insight would be gladly welcome =-)

Hi guys

I have been reading this board for a while, and there is excellent advice from a lot of people. Keep up the good work, we really appreciate it.

I am planning to put together a home theater system, and for receiver I am leaning towards the pioneer elite 53tx ( than the 55 ) because I don't think I could use the firewire.

As far as speakers, I have a little bit of a dillema. I have sampled music and movies mostly from the denon 5803 - I can't find pioneer elite locally - using Canton, infinity, definitive tech, mk, and a few more speakers. The crispier and fullest sound I have heard so far are from the Canton ( front: 2 Cd100 | rear: 2 plusX | center: av700 | sub: as22sc | all canton )
I can't possible afford the 5803, so I think I would like to go with the elite since I hear so many good things about this receiver.

I would greatly appreciate any advice if this speaker package would do nicely on the elite 53tx.

Again thanks so much in advance.

I thinking of getting the new sr7400 online, (USD$699) (USD$739) (USD$759) (USD$765)

anyone know where can I get better deal than the above link?
for speaker, where can I buy the Monitor B4, B2, BC and asw100 package online? 'sara internation. inc' do best for USD$1200+-


The 53tx will perform great with any of the above speakers. If the Cantons are the ones you prefer then go with them. You may notice a difference, different brand of receiver and $3000 dollars less, but it's not as if any of the speakers you listed are too laid back in presentation for Elites compliment.


Thank you very much for the valuable information. I appreciate it.

sony es
I'm currently shopping around for a pair of front speakers, possibly floor standing ones, for my sony DA5ES receiver. Based on the readings, I've noticed sony es receivers are not favored here; however, if there is anyone who is experienced with sony es series and knows which speakers complement the receiver, I would greatly appreciate your input. Thank you in advance!!!

Unregistered guest
Actually, Sony es, I loved the DA5ES. It was discontinued around the time I was looking and I waited for too much of a price drop and lost out because no place had them in stock anymore. To your question: Sony ES receivers are bright, so you may want to look at a 'warm' presentation speaker.


Any specific recommentdation for "warm presentation speakers" for sony DA5ES?

Unregistered guest
Nope. That's your choice.

New member
Username: Xiety

Post Number: 1
Registered: 12-2003
I've been debating over the pioneer elite vsx 53tx or the vsx 45tx. I can't seem to find any decisive information between the two anywhere. If someone could help with possibly a major difference or even just opion it would be greatly appreciated...
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