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denon 3803 or pioneer ax5i

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by kevantlin, Jan 17, 2004.

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  1. kevantlin

    kevantlin
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    i am really cofused as to the best home cinema amp for under a grand PLEASE help:rolleyes: :rolleyes:
     
  2. russraff

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    Neither, if sound quality is an issue. Choose either the harman/kardon 5550, or a NAD T763. However, the Pioneer does have some features people would have in preference to a drop in sound quality. Features like THX processing or autosetup routines.

    Russell
     
  3. kevantlin

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    thanks for the advice the thing which confuses me is that these items are not raved about in the magazines
     
  4. Dimmy

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    Kevantlin - which speakers will you be using the amp with?
     
  5. Brogan

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    Actually the AX5 has been rated very highly as a stereo amp by one of the audiophile Hi-Fi mags (I forget which) in addition to its capabilities as a multi-channel receiver.

    Of course there are always going to be those who look down on it for no good reason...:rolleyes:
     
  6. kevantlin

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    i plan to use m & k k17 and k4 at the back speaker budget is about £ 2300 but they have to be small
     
  7. Dimmy

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    In which case I'd suggest the AX5i :).
     
  8. russraff

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    If this is a dig at my post then I should explain:

    I don't think the AX5i is a bad amp. I actually think it is a good amp, with some pretty advanced features. Certainly, in terms of its combination of value for money, power and processing abilities, the Pioneer is unmatched in its sector. I actually think the processing abilities of the AX5i are better than the Rotel 1066 standalone processor.
    My problem is the ultimate sound quality of the Pioneer doesn't stack up against the competition like the h/k and NAD I mentioned above. Why I don't know, they just are. Perhaps it is the current delivery of the h/k or NAD, which in both cases is considerable. Or perhaps their "hifi-esque" implementation of their, comparatively old, DAC's and processors. Either way, despite the Pioneer's undoubted technical bravado, if ultimate sound quality is a consideration, then there are others that need to be auditioned.

    Of the Pioneer AX5i and Denon 3803, though, the Pioneer is a better buy, especially when tough speaker loads (like M&K) are to be used.

    Russell
     
  9. kevantlin

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    Thanks for all the advise i am gonna take you up on your suggestion on the nad 762 and havent they just upgraded that to 763?? hk looks good too
    Cheers mate
     
  10. Pottsy

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    Well,

    I have 4 K-17's, 2 K-4's and a B&W ASW675. I tried the AX5i and it was shocking. The M&K's are bright (revealing?) and the Pio sounded really mechanical. The auto setup actually made it worse.

    I swapped it for a 3803 and it was a transformation. Very clean and smooth sound, with great imaging (from a DV88+). The 3803 has a meatier psu than the 3802, which is the one that had trouble with low impedance speakers.

    I'd go for the 3803 or HK, and avoid the pio. Though I would say that... since I'll be selling the 3803 in the next few days (replaced it with a Rotel 1098/1075 combo).

    Out of 10...

    Pio: 5
    3803: 7
    Rotels: 9

    Just my opinion, feel free to ignore!
     
  11. russraff

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    The T763 is the latest version, but I haven't heard it, so can't comment. It would be a tradgic mistake if NAD made the amp worse, though.

    Yeah, that's what I thought, though perhaps not as bad as you make it out. I thought the Pioneer AX5i kind of brittle sounding, which coupled with your M&K's might not be a good match.

    I think you bring up an important point regarding power supplies. Though an amp can have a "high watt" power supply, there is no guarantee that the amp is a high current design. I think it is this high current capability that makes the difference between a good sounding amp and a poor one. h/k for example, refused to make 7.1 amps because they couldn't get enough current out of their power supplies and still maintain sound quality. Now they use two, with the higher spec amps using expensive high power toroidal designs (like the NAD T763).

    Russell
     
  12. kevantlin

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    potsy dont understand why you have 4 k17 what setup have you got surely you mean 1066/1075 or 1066/1098

    please tell me more about the sound as what you have is exactly what i want

    How much do you want for you 3803
     
  13. Brogan

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    It was - I just felt your initial comments were a little pompous.
    No-ones arguing that there are better amps than the AX5 but the original poster was asking for the best amp between the AX5 and 3803, not a NAD or HK or some exotic valve amp.

    Your second post I felt was much more constructive and actually answered the posters original question.

    FWIW, I found the AX5 sound a little bright at first but after a few weeks it definitely warmed up a bit and now I really like it.
    I don't use the MCACC for music so it doesn't "colour" music playback at all.
    On movies however I find it (MCACC) does a good job and is very useful for tonally matching different speakers.

    My suggestion would be to demo both amps with the speakers you will be using them with and if at all possible, in the room it will be sited.
    If this means borrowing from a dealer then make sure the amp has been "run in".
     
  14. russraff

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    On reflection, you are probably right. Unsubstansiated views do tend to be taciturn in nature and thus unhelpful.

    Having a think on this thread, though, there is something of a wildcard here: The AX5i's iLink connection. Now, I haven't heard this in action, so can't comment. Most that have say it near revolutionises the sound spooling from a DVD or DVD-A/SACD (is DD and DTS output through the iLink connection?). Perhaps this function should be heard before a purchase is made?

    Russell
     
  15. Pottsy

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    Kev - see pm re price.

    Setup now is Rotel RSP 1098 and RMB 1075. I have 4 K-17s; L, C, R and CB. The K-4 tripoles are for the two surround channels. Don't yet have an amp for the CB with the Rotel setup.

    M&K sound is great - very clear and punchy, with great imaging. But these speakers are revealing, so a good source and non-brittle amp are both essential. B&W sub is also very good, and helps enormously.

    3803 sounds great with this setup. Stereo imaging and dyanamics were also excellent with the Arcam. Not so good (at all) with a Pio 646A player. Rotels are better though, a bit clearer and a bit more dynamic, but you pay the price!!

    AX5i gave me a headache - you just wanted to turn it down. Also sounded very sibilant. Luckily I bought from a good dealer (7 Oaks) and they swapped and refunded the difference!


    http://www.avforums.com/frame.html?http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=96338
     
  16. Dimmy

    Dimmy
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    Or perhaps that's just more insentive to wait for the 3805 russel ;).
     
  17. russraff

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    Quite. The 3805 does seem to be a big step in the right direction. It even has a display that you can read from more than two foot away!

    Russell
     
  18. Brogan

    Brogan
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    The i.LINK (Firewire) is certainly a very useful and convenient method of connecting player to amp as it does away with the requirement for six separate phonos for SACD.
    The iLINK can carry all stereo and multi-channel sound formats so it's actually the only connection you need for CD, DVD, SACD, etc.
    Personally I still use phono for CD but that's because I'm and old-fashioned kind of guy...
    As for the quality of iLINK, I can't find anything wrong with it but as for whether it's significantly better than optical or co-ax will take someone with better ears than me to determine.
    It sounds good enough to me for both stereo and multi-channel audio but I definitely wouldn't consider myself a critical listener/reviewer by any means.
     
  19. kevantlin

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    potsy any reason in particular why you chose a b and w sub over all the m an k subs available i was thinking of gettinng the k10

    any comments ?
     
  20. Pottsy

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    Yep. I listened to similar REL, M&K and B&W subs, and the ASW675 sounded the best to me!
     

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