Denon 1803 or Maratnz 5300



Hi there.

A colleague of mine at work is new to receivers etc... anyway i've got a denon 2802 and he likes it, but doesn't want to pay that much for his "entry" into home cinema.

I've told all i can about denons. But he is keen over Marantz (the old subject of denon vs marantz i hear you groan!).

So he has finalised on denon 1803 or marantz 5300. I know that the denon has component outputs but i don't think he wants that. Marantz has an on-screen display, whereas denon 1803 doesn't . I know i have used the denon 2802 osd just for setting up - is the marantz one easy to use - or is an osd really needed?

Oh he'll be using the receiver for 60% movies 40% music. But he wants future compatability too (i think the denon has discrete rather than the marantz's matrix). Oh, he will be using mission m73s for listening as well (if that matters!).

My own preference would be denon 1803 as i have a denon already and denon is denon is denon. But i have never heard a marantz - so i cannot really judge. I have heard that the marantz is best suited for music and cinema.

Anyway - comments???? He is really getting on my nerves now asking me everything under the sun about receivers - but my limited knowledge is little help...

Thanks if anyone can help...please??


Standard Member
Well as always, he should just listen to them both himself and decide which one he likes best... but I'm sure you've told him that already.

The 5300 seems to be essentially a 5200 (which I have) with a few new six-channel surround modes -- EX, ES discrete and Neo:6, I think. Assuming it's otherwise the same as the 5200, setup requires the OSD, but it should only take about five minutes to do.

You do find a lot of people saying that the Marantz is well-regarded for music (I guess that makes it true :D). I certainly have no complaints about mine -- I found its stereo performance to be much better than the Yamaha 630 I put it up against -- but I didn't do a head-to-head with any Denon amp, so I can't really compare. I'm using Wharfedale Diamond 8 speakers, chosen over the m73's as it happens.

Anyway, there's nothing with either receiver. It should come down to which sound he prefers, which has any required features, and perhaps price (I suspect the 5300 is a bit steeper than the 1803).

Not really the answer you wanted "buy either, they're both great!" :) but hope it helps anyway.


Distinguished Member
received my 1803 yesterday, first impressions, vey good and only £300. I may do areview sometime at the weekend, not had time to play with it much so far :(


Distinguished Member
Did you get the denon from unbeatable?
Yes... I got it from Unbeatable for £299. It took about three weeks because it was a new release and out of stock, I just checked unbeatable's site and it shows black and gold available in 2-3 days which means they are in stock, if it say's 7-14 days they are out of stock.

Not had much time to play with it but so far quite impressed, used it mainly for pro-logic II at the moment which is amazing, it really doe's sound like 5.1 sound.
I may have to watch one of my 6.1 dvd's tonight, to see how it fairs.


Well. I have just demoed a denon 1803 vs marantz 5300 with mission m73, m7c and m7ds speakers.

First off. The room was about 17 foot square with the front speakers 10 feet apart. The centre speaker was mounted on a stand as there was a plasma screen used as the video display. The rear speakers were directed at the sides of the sofa about 5 feet above the floor.

The film used for the cinema mode was LOTR. Great demo when pippin knocks the skeleton down the well. So the surround mode was good. Marantz & Denon were good at doing this. The speakers were good, but would need to be ported at the front to keep the bass controlled a bit. There was no sub-woofer used in the demo. IMO both were good at doing cinema mode.

Music mode. Denon was good at doing this and the multi channel music mode was wierd to hear the music in. I preferred the stereo mode a lot more. Marantz was good as well. I preferred i IMO. It had a bit of an edge over the denon. More of a warm sound to it, as oppossed to denon being a little bit harsh on some voices. But all in all good. I used Best of Sade (jazz), Donnel Jones (R&B), George Michael (Slow love music), Orbital (Alternative dance), Massive Attack (Dark bassy music).

Connectors & setup. Denon has no osd, while Marantz does. Denon has component whereas Marantz does not. My friend doesn't need component, nor do i, as my dvd goes straight to the tv (if i had a plasma, it would be the same case). There are more pre-outs on the marantz which is good for upgrading with a power amp later on for 7.1 if you need it (both have 6.1). Denon just has the subwoofer pre-out. Marantz has 7 pre-outs. All the other connections are basically the same. No need for DSP effects as i'm used to just DD or DTS - much better on its own.

So IMO the Marantz looks really nice in gold - sort of silver from some angles. Nicer looking than the Denon. Marantz is just a bit better in stereo music than denon. Better upgradability for marantz.

Conclusion. I'm sold with the Marantz, as is my friend. It sounds good with the missions too. This is a budget setup, so some things on the receiver may never be used so there is no need to buy a £1000 receiver. There is enough power 90W x 5 i think.

Anyway this is judged by MY EARS - it may be different to everyone else. Some may like the £300 Denon better. But for £350 the marantz sr5300 is very good. Oh by the way. It is a big fella. I didn't expect it to be quite so big and heavy. BE warned! Measure before you buy!!!!


Standard Member
The Denon may not look it but it's actually bigger than the Marantz in Height and Depth. I also prefer the Marantz sound for music.

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