Denon AVR2113 vs Marantz NR1603 vs Pioneer VSX922

Gracol

Standard Member
Hi,

This is my first post. Apologies if this has already been covered (but I havent found a thread that covers these 3 receivers in a comparison as yet).

I am in the process of buying my first receiver and speakers and am wondering if anyone could shine some light on these receivers.
To date, I have heard the Pioneer VSX922 and a Yamaha RXV673, using B&W M1 satellites with a REL T-7 sub. I actually preferred the sound of the Pioneer as it seemed to have a more open and punchy sound. The Yamaha seemed to sound a bit more compressed and restricted.
My problem is I am having trouble demoing the Denon and Marantz, due to low 'end of line' stocks, and am wondering what your thoughts are. The reason I am curious about these 2 is firstly having the 4K through and upscale but, more importantly, secondly over the years I have always liked the sound from Denon and Marantz amps and am curious whether this carries through on their AV receivers or not?
Also, I have read that the Denon's have had similar HDMI problems along the lines of the Onkyo's?

As it stands, because of finances, I am starting with the receiver and front speakers looking to expand the surrounds/centre in the future. For the front speakers I am hoping to demo early in the week Monitor Audio RX1's, B&W 685's and KEF Q300's though again with the Pioneer. Depending on what speakers I choose from those will naturally depend on what accompanying speakers I get in the future (but I'll worry about that when the time comes)
Use of the receiver and speakers will be around 50/50 music/movies.

Any advice or input would be much appreciated.

Cheers, :smashin:
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
AVland did a product comparison between the Denon, Pioneer and an Onkyo. The Pioneer did not fair to well.

YouTube

I own a 2113 and its in my bedroom, wouldn't fault it and excellent for the price. I'm currently using the 2113, the 3313 as my main and a 1513 with my PCs. I've previously owned a 3312 and a 1912. Not one had a dodgy HDMI board ala onkyo. They are considered warm sounding sort of amps.

At this point in time, with prices as they are, the 4k is a bit meaningless as a feature. I don't know about you but it will be a good few years until I buy a TV like that and ill probably have owned umpteen amps in that time.
 

Gracol

Standard Member
Hi mtenga and thanks for your reply and the link to the review.

After watching that, it does put a slight grey cloud over the Pioneer in comparison to the Denon. I agree with you regarding the 4K aspect. I suppose I was just thinking along the lines of making it as future proof as possible (but is certainly not a deal breaker), although I realsied this morning that I got mixed up on the Marantz receivers and it is actually the newer NR1604 that has the 4K capabilities, and not the NR1603.

So, I guess it's between the Denon and the Marantz. I know the shop that I am demoing the speakers at this week have the higher end SR Marantz models in stock so maybe I will have a listen to one of those. I assume the NR series would have similar characteristics, but maybe not as higher quality?
One of things that is really appealing about the Marantz is it being slimline, but I am concerned that this may cause potential problems in the longrun due to overheating?

Out of interest mtenga, what speakers are you running with your Denon(s)?

I'd be interested to hear if anyone has had any direct comparisons between the Denon and Marantz units?

Thanks again!

EDIT: Oops, just noticed you have already listed what speakers you're running. How do you find the Monitor Audios?
 
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mtenga

Distinguished Member
Hi mtenga and thanks for your reply and the link to the review.

After watching that, it does put a slight grey cloud over the Pioneer in comparison to the Denon. I agree with you regarding the 4K aspect. I suppose I was just thinking along the lines of making it as future proof as possible (but is certainly not a deal breaker), although I realsied this morning that I got mixed up on the Marantz receivers and it is actually the newer NR1604 that has the 4K capabilities, and not the NR1603.

So, I guess it's between the Denon and the Marantz. I know the shop that I am demoing the speakers at this week have the higher end SR Marantz models in stock so maybe I will have a listen to one of those. I assume the NR series would have similar characteristics, but maybe not as higher quality?
One of things that is really appealing about the Marantz is it being slimline, but I am concerned that this may cause potential problems in the longrun due to overheating?

Out of interest mtenga, what speakers are you running with your Denon(s)?

I'd be interested to hear if anyone has had any direct comparisons between the Denon and Marantz units?

Thanks again!

EDIT: Oops, just noticed you have already listed what speakers you're running. How do you find the Monitor Audios?

As you saw with the 3313 I'm running I'm Apex and they are fine if you like smaller style speakers. I'd recommend them.
 

Gracol

Standard Member
Thanks mtenga, I will bare the Apex in mind.

Hopefully someone will let me know how the Marantz fairs in the mix. Haven't really found any 'user' direct comparisons between these 2 devices/brands so will be interesting to see what the general opinion is.

Cheers, :smashin:
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
The NR1602 is expensive for what it is and should be avoided unless you really need a slimline receiver. Full size receiver's will always beat the slimline models and the Denon AVR2113 is a better and cheaper option than the Marantz NR1602.

Denon and Marantz are effectively the same brand.

I'd suggest the Monitor Audio Apex speakers suggested overkill in relation to any of the receivers being discussed. The amps wouldn't justify the Apex speaker or make the best of their abilities. You can take the peg down and look at cheaper speakers without detriment to the audio or the capabilities of the amps you are looking at.

If considering the Apex then also consider powering them with a higher grade receiver.
 
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Gracol

Standard Member
Hi dante and thanks for your input.

I must admit, although the slimline Marantz is appealing aesthetically, after reading through various threads on here I am leaning more towards the Denon.
I am still curious, however, what the sound comparison is as this is probably more important to me. As mentioned in my initial post, I am having trouble getting a head-to-head demo of these particular units. I was quite surprised how different the Pioneer sounded to the Yamaha and was wondering how these compared?

Regarding the speakers, after just reading up on the Apex they do seem to be overkill both spec-wise and financially. At the moment I am only concentrating on the front speakers and am looking at MA RX1's and B&W 685's. Any experience/opinions on these?

Thanks!!
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
Hi dante and thanks for your input.

I must admit, although the slimline Marantz is appealing aesthetically, after reading through various threads on here I am leaning more towards the Denon.
I am still curious, however, what the sound comparison is as this is probably more important to me. As mentioned in my initial post, I am having trouble getting a head-to-head demo of these particular units. I was quite surprised how different the Pioneer sounded to the Yamaha and was wondering how these compared?

Both Denon and Matantz receivers are lacking when it comes to power. The Marantz NR1602 is even less capable because of its size and because its size has restricted the amps it can encase. Power has benefits in relation to dynamic handling at lower volumes as well as in terms of overall peak loudnes so the slimline models will always be struggling in comparison to the full size AV receivers.

There's no comparable DEnon model to the NR1602, but the AVR2113 has better dynamic power and more powerful onboard amplification.

You pay more for the convenience associated with slimline AV receivers than you pay for quality associated with paying more for full sized receivers.

If you want to make comparisons between Denon and Marantz then you'd need to compare models such as the SR6007 and the AVR2313 or the SR7007 and the AVR3313.
 
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Gracol

Standard Member
Dante,

Just wanted to point out that I have been asking about the Marantz 1603, not the 1602, and I think the specs between the 2 (NR1603 and AVR2113), apart from the 4K compatibility, are pretty close? I totally understand what you're saying though with regard the dis-advantages of the slimline unit and appreciate your insight into the power aspect. This is one of the factors that is leaning me more towards the 2113 at the moment.

Regarding the speakers, I am only concentrating on the front speakers right now and am looking at MA RX1's and B&W 685's. Any experience/opinions on these as to how well they would pair with the Denon sound-wise?

Thanks!!
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Dante,

Just wanted to point out that I have been asking about the Marantz 1603, not the 1602, and I think the specs between the 2 (NR1603 and AVR2113), apart from the 4K compatibility, are pretty close? I totally understand what you're saying though with regard the dis-advantages of the slimline unit and appreciate your insight into the power aspect. This is one of the factors that is leaning me more towards the 2113 at the moment.

Regarding the speakers, I am only concentrating on the front speakers right now and am looking at MA RX1's and B&W 685's. Any experience/opinions on these as to how well they would pair with the Denon sound-wise?

Thanks!!
Pretty close? There's some 45 watts per channel of power difference between the two and the NR1603 sells for some £80 more than the AVR2113.

Even if looking at the RX rather than the Apex speakers, I still think you'd be wasting your money. Maybe look at the BX or something like Dali's Zensor speakers. Remember, if you just buy the stereo pair now then you've still to buy the more expensive centre speaker at a later date and maybe also the matching rears too. The AVR2113's retail price suggests you spend in the region of £1,500 on speakers including the sub. Try to balance the speakers and receiver accordingly. Maybe go for BX speakers rather than RX and consider the AVR2313 rather than the AVR2113? Maybe even look at the SR6007 or the SR5007 rather than the NR1603 if still wanting a Marantz receiver?
 
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mtenga

Distinguished Member
I'd suggest the Monitor Audio Apex speakers suggested overkill in relation to any of the receivers being discussed.
Yes, to clarify, I was recommending the Apex package in general rather than as a match for the 2113 or similar. The relative prices of the kit suggest they are at different levels.
 

Gracol

Standard Member
Fair point dante/mtenga. I will definitely add the BX and Dali's into the mix for speakers.
I think I am pretty sold on the 2113. Im not sure, for my use and the extra cost, I would go to the 2313 unless I find a good deal on it. I will jump on the phone tomorrow and try and find somewhere I can have a quick listen to the 2113 as I really dont like the thought of buying it blind. It seems stocks are really low at the moment though so may have my work cut out.

Thanks again for all your input
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
Fair point dante/mtenga. I will definitely add the BX and Dali's into the mix for speakers.
I think I am pretty sold on the 2113. Im not sure, for my use and the extra cost, I would go to the 2313 unless I find a good deal on it. I will jump on the phone tomorrow and try and find somewhere I can have a quick listen to the 2113 as I really dont like the thought of buying it blind. It seems stocks are really low at the moment though so may have my work cut out.

Thanks again for all your input
Well it's discontinued and some new Denons are here so it is not surprising stocks are dwindling. I was lucky enough to pick mine up for 250 over XMAS but even at 275 its good value as far as I'm concerned. I've heard the 2113 described as the sweet spot for value amongst the Denon '13 series but whatever I've not read of too many people being disappointed.

It's a good idea getting a demo but try and do it at home, if at all possible.
 

Gracol

Standard Member
I agree, the general feeling I get from reading through all the various threads and reviews is that it is a very sound unit.

The general price I am seeing it for is £329 - £349. Richer Sounds are listing it as £279 but when I spoke to my local one on Friday they said it's out of stock and may struggle to get anymore in. Although I have noticed that Sevenoaks are bundling it with the Q7000 package for £799 which seems a very good deal considering if bought seperate it would equal £1150? Are these any good? I know on What Hifi they were top for quite a while until knocked off by the MA Mass speakers but I listened to the Mass last week and, to be honest, wasn't overly impressed with the sound quality from the satellites.
 

tobydog10

Standard Member
Hi,

This is my first post. Apologies if this has already been covered (but I havent found a thread that covers these 3 receivers in a comparison as yet).

I am in the process of buying my first receiver and speakers and am wondering if anyone could shine some light on these receivers.
To date, I have heard the Pioneer VSX922 and a Yamaha RXV673, using B&W M1 satellites with a REL T-7 sub. I actually preferred the sound of the Pioneer as it seemed to have a more open and punchy sound. The Yamaha seemed to sound a bit more compressed and restricted.
My problem is I am having trouble demoing the Denon and Marantz, due to low 'end of line' stocks, and am wondering what your thoughts are. The reason I am curious about these 2 is firstly having the 4K through and upscale but, more importantly, secondly over the years I have always liked the sound from Denon and Marantz amps and am curious whether this carries through on their AV receivers or not?
Also, I have read that the Denon's have had similar HDMI problems along the lines of the Onkyo's?

As it stands, because of finances, I am starting with the receiver and front speakers looking to expand the surrounds/centre in the future. For the front speakers I am hoping to demo early in the week Monitor Audio RX1's, B&W 685's and KEF Q300's though again with the Pioneer. Depending on what speakers I choose from those will naturally depend on what accompanying speakers I get in the future (but I'll worry about that when the time comes)
Use of the receiver and speakers will be around 50/50 music/movies.

Any advice or input would be much appreciated.

Cheers, :smashin:
Not having a go or anything But...
you actually prefer the sound of the pioneer but have decided to go with the Denon after a someone posts a review by av-land
Its upto you mate theyre your ears and you will have to live with it and listen to it
I compared the denon and pioneer also and i too thought the pioneer sounded much better.. so i went pioneer
 

Gracol

Standard Member
Hi Toby,

I understand what you're saying but, if you read my intial post, I did explain that over the years I've always liked the sound of Denon's. Assuming they still carry the same sound characteristics and going by the general feedback and the Avland review regarding build quality, etc.., at the moment I am leaning towards the Denon. That being said to buy without hearing it is very risky, verging on stupid. The likelihood is if I cant get to hear the Denon (or the Marantz for the matter) I will more than likely go for the Pioneer and will still be very happy with it.

Appreiciate your honesty though. I must admit reading over my past replys they do make me sound naive. First time on a forum so am still getting used to it... :rolleyes:

Out of interest, what speakers are you running with yours?
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
It's not just the sound and build but the interface should be considered. I used to have a Pioneer 527 and the GUI was very poor. For the two months i owned it i had to use the Ipad app. The denon is just easier to use. I can't imagine the 922 GUI is any better. Even the top of the range Pioneers are lacking in this respect by comparison. But definitely home demos are the way to go if poss.
 

Gracol

Standard Member
I totally agree mtenga.
I thought the interface on the Pioneer wasn't too bad to be fair. I only had the Yamaha to compare it to in the demo I had last week but must admit the Pioneer seemed pretty straight forward and user friendly...?
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
I totally agree mtenga.
I thought the interface on the Pioneer wasn't too bad to be fair. I only had the Yamaha to compare it to in the demo I had last week but must admit the Pioneer seemed pretty straight forward and user friendly...?
The 527 was a shocker of a GUI, even worse the Sonys I've used. Type Pioneer GUI into Google and read what others have to say :D

But if it works for you it works. The other guy was correct in as much as that its you going to be using it.
 

tobydog10

Standard Member
Hi Toby,

I understand what you're saying but, if you read my intial post, I did explain that over the years I've always liked the sound of Denon's. Assuming they still carry the same sound characteristics and going by the general feedback and the Avland review regarding build quality, etc.., at the moment I am leaning towards the Denon. That being said to buy without hearing it is very risky, verging on stupid. The likelihood is if I cant get to hear the Denon (or the Marantz for the matter) I will more than likely go for the Pioneer and will still be very happy with it.

Appreiciate your honesty though. I must admit reading over my past replys they do make me sound naive. First time on a forum so am still getting used to it... :rolleyes:

Out of interest, what speakers are you running with yours?
Hi...Im running mine with Dali zensor 5
I must admit i only compared the zensor with monitor audio bx5?
But again the Dali along with pioneer just sounded so much clearer instead of muffled and compressed ,Im sure anyone with a pair of ears would agree!!!
As for build quality i keep my eye on ebay there seems to be quiet a lot more non working Denon and Onkyo than pioneer
Pioneer GIU is very good in my opinion , I prefered it to the denon in demo!
Took me a while to get used to ,But i was used to a yamaha before that
The pioneer has so much more settings and things to play with compared to the yamaha amps and i would imagine the Denon too
So setting up may be slightly harder than the Denon? ,But the Pioneer iphone app is absolutely brilliant !
BTW i bought the Pioneer vsx1122 not the 922 ... The 1122 can be had for a good price from tysons
Your ears your choice!!
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
Read the Pioneer threads here on this board and you get a very different opinion than that expressed above. Many of the features found on the Pioneer models simply don't work or are less well implimented than they are on other brands. Pioneer are notoriously clinical and Monitor Audio or Dali speakers would not make for a balanced sound. Detail is fine, but sit listening to a bright setup for any length of time and you become fatigued by the experience. This is generally why the more clinical options tend to be the less popular amongst audiophiles. What features does the Pioneer have that are lacking from the alternatives? Maybe I should name the features the alternatives have that are absent from the Pioneer? By all means audition the Pioneer option, but please listen to the output for more than just a few minutes and simply don't reel off their features from a list without actually attempting to utilise them in a manner they would ordinarily be utilised.
 
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Gracol

Standard Member
Thanks for all the feedback...

Toby,

I currently have some old Mission 770 floorstanders paired with a NAD 3020A amp (so quite an 'easy to listen to' sound) but my wife cant stand the size/look of them so, after 15+ years, I guess its about time I gave in and down sized :( so am looking for smaller size speakers.

I must admit I hadn't put Dali into the equation. Tomorrow I will be demoing the Pioneer again but with Monitor Audio, B&W and KEF book shelf size speakers so Im curious to see what my ears tell me with those as opposed to the surround setup I initially heard the Pioneer with. I will add the Zensor 1's in the mix (if they have them) and see how they sound too.

I too thought the Pioneer had a much cleaner sound, and quite refreshing compared to my existing set-up, and with the right balancing with a sub would sound great which the demo I had last week seemed to prove.
To me the Pioneer's GUI seemd pretty straight forward and allowed me to do as much as I would probably want to do with it, but to be honest I haven't heard or seen the Denon yet (which hopefully I can organise for later this week) so I cant give any kind of direct comparison.
Although, after doing the search recommended by mtenga regarding GUI, google seemed to throw up a lot more issues with the Denon compared to the Pioneer?

Dante,

I will take a more thorough look on this board at both Denon and Pioneer.

In your opinion, what speakers would make for a balanced sound with Pioneer?

I see what you're saying about the feature set comparison, although Im not sure at the moment there are many of the additional features that the Denon has that I would use. But, as the whole AV setup is totally new to me, in time I may well feel different. What features on the Denon do you think I would need, or would like, that aren't on the Pioneer?


Oh well, time to get on the phone to see if I can find anyone with a Denon that I can listen too.....
 

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