Went to two different Ultimate Electronics stores this weekend looking for a receiver under $500. I wanted to go to two different stores to see if the salesman would have any differing opinions, or if they would all feed me the same lines of BS. I went in specifically to compare the Pioneer Elite 41x and the Denon AVR-1804. Both salesman said they would stay away from the elite, being that it was basically a regular, "low-end", non-"elite" Pioneer receiver with a few different features and a different body. They said that to get a good sounding elite receiver, you would have to go for one of their more expensive models. My research on the internet confirmed this, so I quickly dismissed the elite. That left the Denon.
As the salesman and I were talking, they suggested I check out the Yamaha RS-X640 as well. I listened to both, and I was more pleased with the sound of the Denon, but the comparison test only lasted a few minutes and was on different speakers that what I have at home (the test was on Infiniti, I have Polk at home), so I still have not made a definate decision. I was just wondering if anyone on here had any further info that might help me in my decision. Like I said, I have Polk speakers now, but am looking at upgrading those in the near future also. I am not stuck on any one speaker brand, so I will probably buy speakers to fit whichever receiver I choose, not vice versa. So, recommendations should not be made on what speakers I have now, as they will likely change in the near future. Also, I am about 90% DVD, 10% music. Thanks in advance for any advice.
I have a friend who has the Elite41 with Polk rt55's and they sound very good together. The 41 is a very nice receiver for the money and I would take it over the Denon or Yamaha in a heartbeat.Whoever told you it is the same as a regular pioneer is not telling you the truth. I don't know what research you did or where you looked but I know from hearing these receivers that the 41 is a very nice unit, especially with the Polks.
The information I received on the Elite was from two different electronics salesman at two different Ultimate Electronics stores (a high end dealer primarily in the midwest). That is why I went to two different stores, to compare the viewpoints. They both said that the 41 has most of the same components as the regular Pioneer receivers, just with a different power supply and a new cover. Maybe they didn't know what they are talking about, but they both said they would not recommend buying it. If one person had said that, I might ride it off as personal opinion. But, when two people repeat the exact same thing, it gets me thinking. As far as the internet research goes, I didn't have to look any further than the owners manual to the 41, which can be obtained from the Pioneer website. It is rated at 110 watts, which is deceiving, since it is only rated at 1khz, wheras the Denon is rated at 90 watts at 20hz-20khz. If both are rated at the same level (20hz-20khz), the Pioneer's ratings drop to only 80 watts per channel. There are many companies (i.e. Sony) who rate their products at only the one level to make them seem more powerful when in all actuality, they are not. Why then does Pioneer have to use deceptive ratings if their receiver is superior? I am not saying that the Pioneer is a bad receiver at all, I just want to make sure I am getting the most for my money.
First of all there is no audible difference between 80 and 90 watt receivers. It takes twice as much power just to increase the sound by 3db. As you have found out the 41 has a better power supply than regular Pioneer so sounds like the salesmen have a motive for their comments or are lying. Listen to them all and buy what sounds best to you. My friends system is in a 20x20 room so I know the 41 has plenty of power. Good luck and have fun!