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Calling all Yamaha, Denon, Marantz & Pioneer av receivers

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Rickyj @ Kalibrate, Oct 12, 2004.

  1. Rickyj @ Kalibrate

    Rickyj @ Kalibrate
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    Well my funds are slowly increasing, and by payday comes around in just over a week I should have £400 - £450 to spend on a new AV Receiver/AMP. I think have narrowed my search down to;

    Yamaha 750
    Pioneer 1014
    Denon 2805 (but will have to wait an extra month for the extra cash).
    Marantz 5500

    Obviously I know that the Marantz 5500 and Pioneer 1014 are not released until the end of the month, but any feeback i could get on the prior models would be a great help. The prior models being the Marantz 5400, and the Pioneer 1011, 912.

    I am after an amp/rec that has the latest formats, so is futureproof. (my last receiver has lasted me years!), would be used for Music/Movies on a 40/60 split with the Kef 2005.2 package at present, but will slowly upgrade the centre, and front speakers to bigger Kefs.

    I would like to have auto set up, as I am not that good at setting the receiver to get the most out of it, but is it really that good??

    And, lip sync function, as I currently use progressive scan on the proj. and while I have no need for the lip sync, I would like it if it is required in the future, if I change to dvi, hdmi, or converting via the amp/rec. But will I need it with a LCD proj anyway??

    But, ultimately I am looking for an amp/rec that will be good with headphones, as some of the listening will be done late. Obviously the Marantz may have a headstart on this side, as it incorporates dolby headphone, but I would appreciate any feedback on the headphone capabilities of the others.

    Thankyou

    Ricky :clap:
     
  2. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    Firstly look at a list of features and identify what you really need (hint Dolby headphone is a waste of time). I have a Pioneer AX3 which compared to many other amps at the same price is low on certain features but offered the best actual performance I could afford.
    Then listen to 'em. It takes time and will require a visit to a dealer, with correspondingly (slightly) higher prices but you'll end up with an amp you know you'll like. The Denon and Pioneer for example, sound very different so however similar they are on paper, you may end up hating one of them.

    My 2 pence over. If you need it to do everything, the Denon should be the one to try and listen to. Just films would bring forward the Yamaha (which isn't bad for music) and the Pioneer (which will be).
     
  3. Geezer

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    The Marantz 5500 is available now.
     
  4. reservoir51

    reservoir51
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    Ricky,

    I've got a Yamaha RX-V650 receiver bought from Richer Sounds for £350. Previously had Cambridge Audio's Azur 540R which was 6.1. I think the Yamaha 650 would be relevant to your needs for the following reasons :

    1) Future-proofing : it's a 7.1 (7x95w) full-channel receiver, which as you say will prove to be useful in the future when DVD films with real 7.1-channel encoding is released (not the matrixed wannabes out there at present!).

    2) Auto-setup available by default, although I would strongly recommend personalizing the features to optimize its capabilities to your liking. There's also something called YPAO - Yamaha's parametric room acoustic optimizer which can be used to automatically optimize the acoustic characteristics of the system relevant to your ambient listening conditions (eg. wiring, sound level, phase, distances, speaker sizes, crossover frequency, etc.). The microphone for this is included. However, the YPAO doesn't automatically adjust the centre channel graphic equalizer - you'll need to adjust this manually.

    3) Lip-sync function available, complete with adjustable audio delay

    4) Headphones : Yamaha uses a specialized DSP algorithm for headphones, called Silent Cinema which enables a natural and accurate representation of all sound field programs on headphones (including the proprietary Dolby Digital and DTS modes).

    5) Perhaps the most impressive characteristic of all (particularly if you're a music listener as well like me) is its 2-channel performance (ie. stereo). It sounds simply marvellous and natural and easily outperforms my dedicated stereo amp. (Cambridge Audio Azur 640A), so much so that I've sold the amp.

    I've not listed other features which are just as impressive (eg. discrete and matrixed 6.1 channel performance, other DSPs, etc.). Suffice to say this is the first time I've been completely satisfied with a multi-channel receiver. I've had mid-range Pioneer, Sony and Cambridge Audio receivers before but the Yamaha beats them hands-down.

    I can't recommend it highly enough.

    Regards,
    reservoir51
     
  5. CosmicOne

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    I also have the RXV-650 & i also like "reservoir51" recommend it or his brother the 750 if u want the video up converstion which is found on the 750 but not the 650 also as the dude mentioned the Stereo performance on the Pure Direct Mode is awesome.

    "reservoir51"

    what's the best cinema DSP u found represents real performance to the cinemas??(spectacle,general,Adventure,Sci-Fi) am only using Enhanced.

    also do u listen to ordinary 5.1 Dolby or DTS movies in 5.1 or in 7.1????

    the only problem i noticed with this amp is that when u turn the volume up very loud without playing anything there is very high sounding (Air or Hiss) did u also have this with ur amp???
     
  6. CosmicOne

    CosmicOne
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    yumyum33

    Yamahas need worm/Flat sounding speakers so don't get any bright sounding speakers,& i think i read that Kef's & yamaha are good together.
     
  7. digisocialist

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    Cosmic,

    Thats interesting. I'm considering the DSP-AX750SE or 1500RDS coupled with B&W 600s3s/602s3s/LCR60. Do you consider the AV to be not up to the requirments of those speakers? I had heard the Pure Diect Mode made for good stereo. I do have to strike a balance however and get good video.
     
  8. reservoir51

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    Actually, the Yamaha RXV-650 and 750 are virtually identical, except for these three things (of which are not present in the 650) : phono input, LCD on remote control and aluminium front panel (http://www.audioholics.com/news/pressreleases/YamahaRX-V750RX-V650.php). Unless you like the phono stage, these differences are trivial and gimmicky and hence don't represent value for money in my opinion. However, I think you may find it rather difficult to locate the 750 in the UK, as even Yamaha's UK dealer does not list this model in its website : http://www.yamaha-audio.co.uk/homecinema/receivers/. There's also a paltry 5 watt RMS per channel difference between the 650 and 750.

    As for the 'video up conversion' feature, both the 650 and 750 offer video up conversion from composite to S-video, but not to component video. What this means is if you've got composite video signals from your VCR, satellite, etc. to the receiver, these signals are upgraded to S-video quality if your TV and receiver is connected by S-video - very useful if your video sources lack any S-video jacks or if you simply want to save on S-video cables! Component video inputs are available for both of them though, as is HDTV compatibility.

    The component video up conversion facility (from composite or S-video to component video) is only available in Yamaha's latest additions to the RX-V series of receivers : the RX-V1400 and 2400. See here for further details : http://www.audioholics.com/productreviews/avhardware/Yamaha-New-Releases2003.html. Note that the UK RRPs for the 640, 1400 and 2400 are £459.95, £799.95 and £999.95 respectively. The 1400 and 2400 have further gimmicks such as fully optimized YPAO (with fully parametric equalizer), more power (120x7 and 140x7), yet more DSP combinations and finally, THX Select (not Ultra). The THX seal of approval probably incurs most of the extra expense of both models over their predecessors. Unless you've got THX-certified speakers, DVD player, cables etc. to go along with your acoustically-engineered-to-THX specifications AV room, I think it won't make much sense to go for them. What will matter to most people is the future-proof aspect of a system - of which the 650 should more than suffice.

    CosmicOne, I'm glad you agree that the 650's stereo performance via Pure Direct mode is fantastic, especially for a multi-channel receiver. As for the DSPs, I think all of them sound better than the previous multi-channel amps I've owned. For AV stereo sources such as TV and VCR, I use Dolby Prologic IIx cinema or DTS Neo 6.1 (can't tell the difference between them yet!), and
    for 5.1 or DTS 6.1 matrixed and discrete soundtracks I utilize the Surround Enhanced format. There are so many other possible combinations (eg. DTS Neo 6.1 layered on top of Dolby Digital 5.1, etc.) available. I haven't noticed the hiss that you've experienced though.

    Regards,
    reservoir51
     
  9. sapkan

    sapkan
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    Tons, shall I understand that Pioneer receivers are generally bad for music?
     
  10. tonton

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    reservoir51 & CosmicOne,
    I just bought RX-V550 felt slight regret as I didn't buy the RX-V650 like yours after seeing your notes. :(

    The reason I didn't buy 650/750 is because
    1) there is seldom/no 7.1 / THX DVD in the market. Even 6.1 DTS ES DVD is difficult to find in the market. Most of them are DTS 5.1, isn't it?
    2) 1st time buying HTS, choose something simplier.

    I have a problem, while I watch the DTS ES 6.1 DVD, all 6.1 speakers and subwoofer have sounded together with DTS ES matrix shown. However, the digital panel from the Amp only show Subwoofer, FR, FL, Central, SL, SR speaker. The SB speaker is not shown. Is it due to my set up prb? Faulty unit? or DVD problem? As I only bought this last week, if it is faulty, I might want to return back to the shop.

    Please advise.
     
  11. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    It is fair to say that they haven't made the strides forward that some of the competition have. In my experience cheaper THX select amps often suffer from being a bit gung ho in stereo. What some other users do point out is that through an ilink connection, things do improve. I would imagine that the 2014 will still be the weakest of the listed amps in stereo.
     
  12. reservoir51

    reservoir51
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    Tonton,

    Please don't feel bad about your choice of RX-V550. I think the real difference between the 550 and 650/750 lies in the 6.1 and 7.1 setup. They should sound the same otherwise, especially in stereo.

    I may have an answer to your query about the lack of the surround back icon when you play 6.1 soundtracks. The reason for this is because most 6.1 soundtracks are matrixed - ie. sound from the surround back channel is not originally encoded independently but rather 'matrixed' from the other channels (hence it is not discrete and full channel). The icons shown on your unit refers to the source soundtrack - not including the matrixed channel, hence only 5.1. Note that all Dolby Digital EX soundtracks at present are matrixed 6.1. Only DTS ES Discrete 6.1 soundtracks are true 6.1 - look out for the 'discrete' logo. Currently there are only a handful of DTS Discrete films on DVD in the UK (Region 2) - Blade 2, Fellowship of the Rings (Extended Cut), Two Towers (Extended Cut), Evil Dead, Rush Hour 2 and Se7en. See here for more information on other DTS Matrix 6.1 titles - http://www.dtsonline.com/consumer/hometheatre/dvd-titles.php.
    The real value of having a 7.1 system is that when (not if!) discrete 7.1 channel soundtracks are released in the near future, those with 7.1 systems will be ready.

    Hence your unit is not faulty. I'm positive that if you play DTS Discrete titles, your unit will display 7 icons, including the surround back channel.

    Tons of Fun, it's interesting you should say that Pioneer THX Select models aren't good for music, for that's exactly how I felt. I had a Pioneer VSX receiver with THX Select and although its multi-channel performance was adequate, the stereo setting (particularly in Direct mode) left much to be desired.

    Regards,
    reservoir51
     
  13. CosmicOne

    CosmicOne
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    digisocialist

    if u can go up in price to the 1500 range then i think it will be better than the 750 while i think it's better but not by much,only better power supply & it have THX if u want it.
     
  14. CosmicOne

    CosmicOne
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    reservoir51

    i think Tonton will not get the same stereo performance as us coz the RXV550 doesn't have Pure Direct Mode,Also while there's a 5 watt differnce between the 550 & 650 but if u noticed the Power supply on the 650/750 is bigger & the Recivers are heavier than the 450/550.

    BTW:"reservoir51" What pioneer THX reciver do u had??coz before buying my 650 i was considering the VSX1011 & it was cheaper than teh 650,but i got the 650 coz i had more features but am afraid i was making a mistake & that the pio would have sound better (I never listen to the pioneer),so what do u think???!!!
     
  15. Dfour

    Dfour
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    The big advantage the 1400/2400 has over the 650/750 is the power supply:D. The bigger amps will be able to sustain more power over more speakers then the 650/750. If i remember reading a review if you use the 750 with 7 speakers in use it only delivers 50 watts/channel while the 1400 delivers aprox 70 under the same load. The same would be true for the 750 over the 650 and so on.:lesson:

    There will be no true 7.1 sound tracks unless you own a THX ultra 2 amp or unless someone designs a surround mode to the rears independantly. The 2 rear channels carry the same signel. 7 speaker mode is best for bigger rooms and to get a complete sound field in any size room. 6.1 is usually adequate for most rooms.

    I would recommend waiting a little and getting the rxv1400:smashin:
    http://www.kingdom88.com/bos/listings/1299.html
     
  16. Rickyj @ Kalibrate

    Rickyj @ Kalibrate
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    Thankyou. This is all food for thought. I rung up my local rs to see if I could get a demo of the Yamaha 750 last night, but they have just turned their demo room into a stock room, permanently :eek: .

    Just a couple of questions.

    Tons of fun; have you managed to listen to the new marantz receivers with dolby headphone then? Or I presume you have listened to it elsewhere? With what may I ask.

    Reservoir51; have you used the earphones with the Yamaha, and how does it sound.

    Thankyou for all your help, and I know that I should get a demo, but the only local hifi shops are Sevenoaks Hifi, and Audio T, and they never seem to have all the receivers on demo, plus the fact I would have to pay a premium of £100 + on most of the models, as Sevenoaks (who have a greater range) are not really that competitive, and only really sell at the RRP.

    Thanks for your help.

    Ricky
     
  17. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    Marantz are our distributor so I have in the past played about with DH on their products and others and the results it generally gives are confusing, headache inducing and not as good as slapping a nice pair of Grado's on and listening in stereo. I haven't heard the 5500 but as the DH algorhythm hasn't changed I can't see it being any better.
    Ed
     
  18. Stimpy

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    reservoir51
    The 750 does do component upconversion. That is how I am running my setup at home. VCR--> composite in
    SKY+-> S-ViD in
    PS2--> S-VID in
    DVD--> Component in

    AMP-->Plasma via component
    It works very well.
    The sound of the amp is fantastic. I upgraded from an older Marantz SR5000SE and the difference is staggering
     
  19. reservoir51

    reservoir51
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    Thanks, Stimpy. I stand corrected in my earlier posts regarding the 750! I've had difficulty in getting hold of the 750 for demo-ing purposes, and as such most of what I know about it has been acquired via review or distributor websites. Like I said, for some reason Yamaha UK doesn't even list the 750 on its website.

    Dfour, I agree with your comments regarding the power issue of the 650/750 and 1400/2400. But at least for my requirements taking into account the size of my AV room, other components, operating volumes, etc., the 1400 or 2400 would have been surplus to requirements. In regard to your comments on 7.1 being actually 6.1 (ie. the discrete back surround is mirrored in both left and right back surround channels), I wonder if all that's needed for full-channel, discreet and independent 7.1 channel playback on 7.1-ready systems is the soundtrack encoding on the source material. I've always thought (perhaps erroneously) that the decoding technology is already built-in in the decoders present in 7.1 amps - much like the front and rear channels can be discreet depending on the original soundtrack.

    Yumyum : I'm not an earphone man myself, but what I've heard through earphones on the Yamaha is great - compared with my previous receivers (or even dedicated stereo amps). The soundstage is still quite big and imaging is wonderful.

    Cosmic : My previous Pioneer was a VSX-935, complete with THX select. It sounded simply awful in direct mode.

    Regards,
    reservoir51
     
  20. ktng

    ktng
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    Yes it does, but here in the UK it is only available as the DSP-AX750SE and so is listed under the amplifier section. The rest of the world get the RX-V750.
    The link for the DSP-AX750SE is here.
     
  21. tonton

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    Thanks reservoir51,
    Your sharing really helps me a lot, at least 'relief' that I'm not getting a faulty unit. As for the 7.1, when / how soon will it be release from the market?

    I'll try to get some DTS discrete 6.1 DVD to test my amp.

    Thank you very much. Your help is much appreciated.

    Just some qs in my mind hope to rec answer...:
    1) Is SACD=DVD Audio=DSD? Any recommended SACD title?
    2) I'm currently using this Samsung DVD player which does play DTS ES 6.1, not too sure on Discrete, how do i know whether it can play SACD?
    3) Do u have separate player for DVD DTS 6.1 Discrete and SACD?
    4) I'm currently having my Yamaha NS-P436 6.1 speaker, planning to get Jamo E670 for my music stereo playing. Is the Jamo good speaker? Would it be compatible to my 550?

    Thanks.
     
  22. reservoir51

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    Hi Tonton,

    Like you, I'm a relative novice to Home Cinema compared to the regulars here in this forum, so I can only relate my limited experience to you especially in regard to my Yamaha or previous amps I've owned. Perhaps the experts here would like to comment on your questions in regard to Jamo speakers. I use the Mission M5 series of speakers (5.1 only) and after upgrading to 6.1/7.1 I'm using my old Mission M73i's for the surround back set. They seem to complement the Yamaha 650 quite perfectly, both in multi-channel and stereo. As for SACD and DVD-Audio, I'm afraid I haven't made that leap as yet, although I will at some stage in the future. I've got a Pioneer DVD player which plays SACD and DVD-Audio, and a Marantz CD player. As for the ability to decode DTS 6.1 Discrete, I know for a fact that as long as your DVD player has DTS-digital out, it should be able to convey all DTS encodings, whether it's 5.1, 6.1 matrixed or 6.1 discrete, to your DTS-ES capable multi-channel amp. Most players these days will have an in-built Dolby Digital decoder which allows Dolby Digital playback in stereo (ie. useful for those without digital multichannel receivers).

    Regards,
    reservoir51
     
  23. Rickyj @ Kalibrate

    Rickyj @ Kalibrate
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    Just a quick message to the thankyou for your help. I have now sold my Sony receiver, and went and picked up a Yamaha RX-V1400 over the weekend. I have only managed to use the receiver for about an hour since then to play with the receiver. First impressions;

    1. Isn't the mic small, I was expecting it to be bigger, not sure why, but there you go.

    2. Tuned into the radio, and I could hear things, that I have never heard before, (and it wasn't interference) even on the cd.

    3. Setup is so simple, over quickly, and set up very well. Just what a novice like me needs.

    4. The sub just blends in. I always felt that the sub was overpowering with my last receiver, but now it just blends in, and I had to check it was on, but turn it off, and you soon realise that it is on and the difference it makes.

    5. The volume is so accurate, it is brilliant, no more moving the dial up and down to get a perfect medium.

    6. As for surround sound. :eek: My rear speakers have come alive, and the sound just wraps around you.

    Just to buy a set of bigger front speakers, so that I can move the eggs to be the back, for 7.1, hopefully around xmas time.

    Thanks for your help again.

    Ricky
     
  24. CosmicOne

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    Thats nice "yumyum33" am really happy for u,enjoy ur new Yammy.
     
  25. clarky78

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    sorry to drag up an old post but...

    Everyone seemed to totally disregard the denon in this question.

    I was lead to believe that denon are one of the top dogs of AV amps??

    I am myself upgrading from an Yamaha RXV-595RDS and am considering either the Yam 750se or the denon 2105. I know the yamaha has no tuner but this isn't the end of the world. though the video up conversion is a good investment. Also i think yamaha's a pretty ugly things!!

    any replies would be appreciated
     
  26. ramzez

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    probably there are no problems with denon that's why less people talk about them :)

    personally i think the best 3 bands in AV receivers are Denon, Yamaha and Sony.

    i have denon 1905 and it is great. (from what i read in the manual it have conversion as well)
     
  27. clarky78

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    thanks.
    Yes, you have up conversion but i believe it is up conversion to s-video not to composite.
    The 750se has composite. This isnt my main concern though, as in the end it's all about sound.
     
  28. PeterJay

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  29. univox

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    Yes, there is a buzz over +5 dB volume, and some crosstalk between live and n.c. analogue inputs too , but I find them less than in Sony STR-DB790.The real problem for me is,that there is a delay of the signal in STRAIGHT mode using analogue inputs.I found it using the receiver as a monitor amp during guitar recording at home.When I hit the string, it sounds from the speakers noticeablyy later,maybe 5-10 mS,which is not normal at all for any receiver in STRAIGHT mode.I vave tested with 2 more recivers and the result was the same.Obviously there's some design problem,probably software and I don't know what to do now.
     
  30. The Gooner

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    The denons are good amps, I just upgraded from a cheap sony to a denon 2805 amp and its awsome.

    But it is best to listen prior to buying if you can, I bought blind, but dont regret my choice, I did buy a Pionneer 814 first but was dissapointed and exchanged it for the 2805.
     

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