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Buying Dilemma: Denon AVR-1803 or Marantz SR5300, who wins, You Decide!

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Fsheehan, Jul 21, 2003.

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  1. Fsheehan

    Fsheehan
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    Hi folks,

    I'm about to upgrade my current amp/receiver. I was looking to buy the Marantz SR5300 for £290 originally but then saw that the Denon AVR-1803 has very similar specs and is at £210.

    As far as I can see from their respective specs, they are very similar and only differ in that the 5300 does 90wp/c. I've read good reviews on the Marantz but can't find any on the Denon so I'm a bit stuck. Are there any significant spec differences in both?

    I'm looking to decide by this weekend so would appreciate any help from owners of both machines and any comments on their experiences.

    Which is the better one and which shall I get considering the prices?

    You Decide!

    BTW I'm gonna be using them with Tannoy MC Mr and M2.5 speakers.

    Thanks in advance,

    Fred :)
     
  2. Darren Blake

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    No idea in which is better, but I just bought a 1803 for nearly £100 more than that :-(

    Where are you looking to buy from?
     
  3. Fsheehan

    Fsheehan
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    Empire Direct online are doing a sale on the gold version of the 1803 for £199.99 + £8 odd shipping.

    What's the 1803 like for movies and music playing? :)

    Did you buy yours with a Barclaycard? If so, they should do a pricematch. ;)

    Cheers :)
     
  4. Darren Blake

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    The biggest difference I can see is that the Marantz has no component in/out, whereas the 1803 has 2x component in and 1x component out. Are you sure you aren't getting confused with the 1603?

    *EDIT*. Just checked Empire Direct. Bummer about that, but I did order mine a week ago so maybe the offer wasn't on then. I bought mine on a Lloyds TSB Platinium Visa card. I'll check to see if they do price match, but I doubt it against an online retailler. :-(

    Oh well.

    Having only just connected mine up, and having nothing to compare it against beforehand, I have no idea how it performs compared to like-specced rivals. I chose it because it was the cheapest AVR I could find that had component video switching.
     
  5. Fsheehan

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    Cheers for the info, sorry to hear that you got yours for £100 more only a week ago. :(

    What do you think of it so far? Is it nice and quick at processing surround material. i.e. Does the sound flick from speaker to speaker in accordance to the video on the screen?

    Also, does it give you a sense that your room is bigger than it is and does the sound envelop you?

    Pls LMK.

    Thanks :)
     
  6. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    The Marantz amps can play a tune rather better than the Denons and have pre-outs for all channels. Whether you consider those features worth the premium is up to you. There is also a 5400 out in September.
     
  7. Fsheehan

    Fsheehan
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    Hi,

    Thanks for that. Are the preouts used for upgrading the amplifier in the future?

    I'd be very grateful if you could let me know what the preouts do.

    Thanks :)
     
  8. Darren Blake

    Darren Blake
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    I'm perfectly happy with mine so far. In fact it probably has more features than I need right now, but at least it gives me some headroom for the future. Like I said, because I wanted component in/out it was the only option in (what was then) the £300 price bracket.

    Not being an audiophile, I would describe the sound as very "bright" and "clean". Music sounds great when set to "5/6 channel stereo".

    No lipsyncing issues that I can tell (I was watching a few music channels in Sky last night on my Hitachi plasma screen and badly lisynced pop videos drive me up the wall, so I would have noticed). I also watched a few DVDs and everything seemed to be in time with the on-screen action.

    As for making the room feel larger than it is, I wouldn't say it does that but maybe I don't have it set up right yet. I did feel immersed in the sound when listening to a Dobly5.1 source, though.

    Even though I watch a lot of music stations, I will be leaving it set in cinema mode (I do not have my normal CD player running through it, although I may do in the future).

    Incidentally, I have the Elac Cinema 1 sat/sub package connected to it.

    Regards,
     
  9. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    The preouts are designed to allow additional amps to be attached to the Receiver. A dedicated stereo power amp on the front channels for example will generally give better results in stereo. The marantz has exactly the same number of pre-outs as it does internal amplfication so it cannot be extended to 7.1 for example but it is a potentially useful item to have if you were to make the serious move into processors/multi channel power amps. You would be able to buy the amp first and use the 5300's processing until you could afford a processor.
    I guess it is a toss-up between what you are more likely to need first, component video switching or pre-outs. If your next telly has prog scan and component in then being able to run a DVD player AND a next generation games console into that high quality input. Alternatively the Mara offers more audio possibilities. Both are unlikely to leave you feeling short changed though :smashin:
     
  10. dude1971

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    Fsheehan

    I am in the same boat as you but I won't be buying till September due to finances :-(

    I'd be interested to know which one you went for and how you got on. I will still be demoing them at Sevenoaks Hi-Fi but all knowledge greatly appreciated.

    Cheers

    The Dude
     
  11. gringottsdirect

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    ....and buying from..... :D

    For what it's worth this week-end my Marantz SR-5300 started to suffer drop-outs on digital inputs, optical or co-axial.
    When it was working I was very pleased with it, there was an amount of hiss through all channels, the remote would cause a clicking sound through the speakers when operated but these didn't trouble me.
    Made In China build quality an issue with Marantz as well as their stablemate Denon too ?
     
  12. dude1971

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    Even Ford is manufactured in the Far East now. What is built in Britain these days? Arcam?

    Anyways, you've put me off Marantz as you seem to be implying that they are not a quality make anymore. Or have I read between the lines?
     
  13. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    My three marantz amps (I have a PM66 connected to my computer) have worked faultlessly and are built to an extremely high standard. The PM8200 in particular is extremely well screwed together. Build enough of anything and some will go wrong sooner or later. I would quite happily recomend Marantz to all and sundry.
     
  14. gringottsdirect

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    Arcam AV receivers are not Made In Britain, possibly made by same company as make some NAD receivers ?
    Marantz may be a quality make, but I would be wary of their Made In China receivers ?
    To think only last week I was defending my Chinese Denon DVD-3800 and Kef Q1s :rolleyes:
     
  15. pwiles1968

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    You need to listen to both really, but if you are after votes the Marantz Gets Mine.

    You do not just have to use the pre-outs for a separate amp you can do what I have - add Marantz Mono-Blocks and Bi-Amp the Front speakers it gives pretty spectacular results, IMO.
     
  16. Dimmy

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    Demoed them both back in January when I was deciding which to buy.

    The marantz had a very 'powerful' and 'authoritative' sound which gave it more cinematic presence with multichannel surround tracks, and the sound with music was very even & controlled.

    The Denon sounded a little bit thinner at the very top end of the volume scale (we're talking 100dBish), but it was never grating & still highly listenable. The surround panning with the Denon was far better than the Marantz & to me the Marantz had very 'lazy' surround channels - not recessed, but the effects placement just didn't seem to co-ordinate as well with what's on screen as the Denon.

    As for the Denon in stereo - it was less impressive than the marantz. But for Multichannel SACD the Denon was vastly superior to my ears - sounded totally convincing & the sound was completely 'present' and 'correct' & was more realistic than the Marantz.

    Build quality of the marantz - in black at least - was abysmal & didn't reflect its asking price. Possibly because more was spent on the inside, but it wasn't very re-assuring. Again the Denon was better in this departement.

    In the end I went for the Denon because that improved surround panning was just what I was after - still have a respectable VHS collection & watch lots of things with 2.0 soundtracks (and the Denon was better in PLII).

    Music I used a separate stereo amp & frankly - if stereo music is a priority for you - i'd have opted for the marantz if I wasn't intent on buying a separate stereo amp.

    You might want to wait for the new SR5400 - which comes out imminently & is part of the new range of products released by Marantz to celebrate their length in the industry - and I think they're really made an effort with these ones.
     
  17. dude1971

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    Dimmy

    Thank you for that post. If there was a way of recommending you to other forum members, like they do at the Motley Fool, I would do just that.

    Thanks again.

    Dude
     
  18. Fsheehan

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    Thanks everyone for all your helpful contributions.

    At this moment I'm edging towards the Denon as my primary use would be for movies and it seems like it has a more dynamic "cinematic" sound from all your comments. I'd love to demo them side-by-side to decide for myself but unfortunately the HIFI shops in Huddersfield are pretty scarce and ones that do exist doesn't stock either. :(

    Unless anybody else can convince me otherwise, I'm off to get the Denon. :)

    Cheers again and keep your comments coming! :)
     
  19. philipb

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    At that price the 1803 is a steal - buy it. I love mine and if movies are your main item then its a no brainer.
     
  20. scarty16

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    denon actually own Marantz, so I doubt there really is much difference between them under the hood.
     
  21. Dimmy

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    Scarty16 - incorrect, they just merged their shares & stocks, they don't own eachother.
     
  22. silentbob

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    Have you considered the Denon 2802, its around at some very good prices at the moment. I can personally vouch for its quality. The remote does let it down somewhat however.

    The 2802 has pretty much blown me away with both movies and music - and looks great to boot (in gold at any rate).
     
  23. dude1971

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    What's the difference between the 1803 and the 2802?
     
  24. Darren Blake

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    Dude, did you know you can download full spec sheets for all their AVRs from Denon's website? www.denon.co.uk I think you can do a product comparison online too.
     
  25. dude1971

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    Sorry, I was being lazy. I've printed the stats out, if anybody wants me to do a comparison check list I'd be more than happy to.
     
  26. Darren Blake

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    That's cool. I just wondered if you knew you could do it. I printed them all off myself when I was making the same decision, but I cannot remember much about any of them apart from the 1803 that I ended up with.
     
  27. Dimmy

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    I'd say the 2802 is getting a little dated...

    It's still around £300 & it's only advantage over the AVR1803 is that it has pre-outs for all channels (infact many on the forums have said the AVR1803 outperforms it).

    If you're after pre-outs opt for the AVR2802, but you'll pay a £100 premium at least for them - that's assuming you can even find the AVR2802.
     
  28. dude1971

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    At the current price on Empire Direct, it's a bargain. Just need to find some spare cash :-#
     
  29. jonnow99

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    Is this a good amp to power the Kef MK2 eggs? Also, what are pre outputs for?

    Cheers

    Jonno
     
  30. lynx

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    You can compare spec sheets till the cows come home, it won't be an indicator of how it sounds or more importantly if you like that sound. Best advice is to get out and listen to one.
     

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