High-End AV Receiver Group Test

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Steve Withers, May 24, 2016.

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    1. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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    2. crabby09

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      I ruddy LOVE group tests! :D

      Thanks so much for this.
       
    3. djcla

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      Yeah not enough group tests that's for sure, good stuff
       
    4. pressure

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      Excellent group test, much needed and much appreciated.

      A couple of observations / questions. I know it's cheaper but I'm not sure I could give the winners medal to denon with audyssey when you can get the arcam 550 with Dirac for roughly the same money. And leaving aside EQ, is the "raw" performance of the denon really as good as the cheaper arcam and anthem models?

      And a higher level question. Is it really worth investing at this level when you can get a 7010 or 6010? Especially if you take the amplification out of the question by getting a power amp (or, more rarely, active speakers)? Is the core audio circuitry and processing really that much better than good mid range amps? I suspect it is - but it would be good to have this spelt out and explored :)

      Thanks again for a great group test!
       
    5. Smurfin

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      Take power amplification and EQ out of the equation, and assuming an equal playing field in terms of codecs, and is there such a thing as high end any more? Are there really any processing differences these days?
       
    6. bandyka

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      Well I've just switched from a flagship Onkyo to a Marantz and I want my Onkyo back or the new Anthem 1120. There are definitely differences in processing.
       
    7. pressure

      pressure
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      Yes @Smurfin that's exactly what I'm getting at. I think there probably is - I think amp designs do sound different even when you take away the eq and the processing. I think it's more apparent with music though. But it would be very helpful to tease this out.
       
    8. bandyka

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      Agree.
       
    9. Smurfin

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      Are you using the same power amps? Same EQ?
       
    10. Smurfin

      Smurfin
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      I think there's very little difference personally, although I've not done any recent comparisons. EQ though....can make a big difference.
       
    11. bandyka

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      No just the AVRs but even with all processing and EQ off they sound very different.
       
    12. dante01

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      You usually still get better quality/spec'd DACs the higher up you go and there's usually still better components such as capacitors used within the higher tier products. However, it is increasingly more and more difficult to ascertain exactly what these components are and most of the mainstream consumer manufacturers are less likely to list these elements than they are to list non material features instead. I guess features sell products more readily than quality components these days? Yamaha still take some pride in listing some of the components, but D&M make it a chore to find out such details. Does Denon even mention the DACs they use within the AVRX7200 on their site or within their associated product literature?

      I'd guess the ultimate test would be a blind test executed on the same day within the same room, using the same speakers and using the same test content. I'm also guessing that this is not that easy to arrange? You'd also have to give results both with and without room EQ correction. Who gives a damn as to what the room EQ correction is if the room it will be used in doesn't need it or has relatively good EQ to start with?
       
      Last edited: May 24, 2016
    13. AngelEyes

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      I use the Denon as a processor only and use Dirac on a miniDSP, it is simply fantastic compared to the Marantz AV8801 I was using in the same way. It is the best Cinema experience I have had in my room, ever and I have used a lot more expensive kit than this. I never thought I would be so delighted with a humble Receiver. :)
       
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    14. the_dude2

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      Good group test, thanks guys.
      My humble receiver, Arcam 550, and AB Power amp is a lovely combination. Epic in every way.
       
    15. Smurfin

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      Really? You're usually as cynical as me....stop encouraging me to spend money :D

      In what way is it better?
       
    16. AngelEyes

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      Show-off :laugh:
       
    17. AngelEyes

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      Its just way more soundy and audioy :D
       
    18. AngelEyes

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      I was running NEO:X wides and front heights with the Marantz and whilst it did improve the sound field, with the Denon and just the front heights and using DTS:X it just has a whole lot more wow to it. Much more enveloping and even the side and rear effects are more coherent and impressive.

      I will be adding 4 in-ceiling speakers at some point as I am sold on DTS:X, even when upmixing. Not sure if DTS:X is the sole improvement of the Denon over the Marantz but as a package the Denon is way more flexible than most receivers out there. I haven't tried the amps out myself but given your cloth-ears you would probably be fine with a one box solution anyway :smashin:
       
    19. Steve Stifler

      Steve Stifler
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      I like my 7200WA a lot but the Dude is right, the Arcam 550 worked a treat at Ricky's even with being underpinned by the AB amp
       
    20. Steve Stifler

      Steve Stifler
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      I like my 7200WA a lot but the Dude is right, the Arcam 550 worked a treat at Ricky's even with being underpinned by the AB amp
       
    21. bandyka

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      So if I went with the 1120 would you fine people still recommend a power amp??
       
    22. Lord Essex

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      As most of these receivers need extra amps for full 7.1.4 l think it would be helpful to state how flexible each is when it comes to assigning channels to these amps, ie can you assign them to any channel or only rears/ heights etc. I use a high end 2 channel amp for my front L/R for music and if you could only assign your extra amps to the rear or celling This would count that receiver out for me. It would be nice to have this info in the review
       
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    23. hifix

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      Having gone from an Audiolab 8200AP to a Classe Sigma SSP800 (so obviously using the same amplification, and EQ), I can safely say there is quite a quality difference. Whether you put this down to processing, general pre-amplifier quality, or both, is up to you :)
       
    24. mark800

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      Great review, although it's a shame that the Marantz SR7010 (its top-of-the-range receiver) wasn't included in the review (or at least mentioned). I think features and sound quality are very similar to the Denon receiver and, given that it is now widely available online for £1069, I think it deserves some attention.
       
    25. the_dude2

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      Yeah little bit [emoji3]
       
    26. SonOfSJ

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      Maybe there was a limit to how many receivers could be tested at once? I don't know how the Marantz compares with the other receivers.
       
    27. SonOfSJ

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      Mine is at least three generations older, but my (June 2010) Denon AVR4810 receiver has nine channels of amplification but can process 11 channels. However, the extra two channels provided by a stereo amplifier for 11-channel Audyssey processing can be assigned to only the front width channels. The extra two channels cannot be assigned to the rear or height channels, only to the front width channels. Perhaps more modern 9-channel amplifiers are more flexible.
       
    28. Lesmor

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      Does the the DDRC88A EQ your Dual subs Ok?
      I only have a 5 channel power amp and wonder if it is still worth getting one for L/C/R L&R Surrounds using a Denon 7200WA
       
    29. johnjay

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      A lot depends on space too, but IMO if you are using anything from say 2008-2012 with a bit of muscle, there are 1000's of titles to enjoy.
      Also some recent releases have brought older TVs, players and AV amps back from the dead.
      I mean the Atmos demo at the beginning of 2014 blu-ray, Expendables 3 had me thinking; Well this is a major improvement... can only imagine how it would sound properly decoded.:eek:
       
    30. AngelEyes

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      Yes, definitely the best bass response I have managed from any EQ solution and I have used or owned most of them over the years. Creating custom curves is very useful. Don't be put off by the single sub output, whilst phase may not be perfect if your subs are not equidistant, Dirac just seems to make it sound great anyway.

      Adam
       

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