Pioneer Ax5i v denon 3805



ok I'm ready to upgrade my amp and am torn between the above.

The pioneer looks and sounds great ,I'm blown away by its build quality and features.

The denon sports similar features but doesn't look as good.......but and a big but,comes with a video upscaling feature which would be fab in my efforts to get a decent sky picture to my hs10.

I'm probably leaning toward the denon because of the latter but am niggled that I might be compromising overall performance by rejecting the pioneer.

I know the denon is pretty new and hasn't been put through its paces yet,. but how do you reckon they'd fare in a sonic head2head.:rolleyes:
"Pretty new" is rather an understatement of the 3805, in that it's yet to even be released.

If you want video conversion and are on a budget, look at the AVR3803, which will also upconvert all video inputs to Component Video. Be aware, however, that it won't improve picture quality at all. If you put in an awful quality Composite signal & convert it to component, it'll still look awful.

The AX5i has the sonic edge over the 3803. But, again IMHO, the AX5i is slightly overpriced at present prices for what it does. I have, however, seen it for as little as £800 delivered online.

If you're feeling patient, wait until the 3805 is released, and the 3803 prices will fall further.

What speakers will you be using the amp with?
Hi dimmy thanks for the reply.

I did look at the 3803 but I wanted something more upto the minute.

Eventually I hoping to parter the amp with kef's Q7 speaker package,so something with a bit of meaty power is a must.
The flagship models are a bit out of my price band at the mo,so the compromise is to purchase one of the above.

Intresting what you say about the comp feed to the amp,What did you mean..... poor sky signal or poor comp lead?

Some on this forum have reported a marked improvement in the quality of sky upscaled to a projector using their amps.

I saw Both amps at the Bristol show last weekend and was told the denon will be available march/april,I was hoping that someone on here may have had one to evaluate(trade or whatever).

Trouble Is its dificult to head2head when it does come out,, cos most retailers stock only one or the other.
Hence the call for guidance.:blush:
How about listening to the Yamaha RXV2400.
It has video up sampling to component (and S-video), microphone setup and is almost twice as powerful as the Pioneer.

Track one down and give it an audition.

(you could even save money by trying the RXV1400 which has the same features with less power)
Hmmm I'm in exactly the same position - might give the Yamaha a punt just to be different - at least it's available now and not in 2 months :)
Vulkan - note that amps which convert composite video standards to component video standards DO NO 'Up-Scale' the image resolution. Basically, if the signal on Sky is awful quality then converting it to component isn't going to help.

The Kef Q series speakers you plan on buying are notoriously easy to drive, and something like an AVR3803 would have more than enough muscle to it to exceed any volume requirements you might need.

The 3803, IMHO, is entirely 'up to the minute' unless you need iLink or Cat5 connections.
Yes, just to clarify Dimmy's point. If you want a receiver that will theoretically improve the picture from sky then you will need the new Yamaha AZ9 which comes with a Faroudja deinterlacer built into it. Mind you its £3000 and you'd be just as well buying an offboard deinterlacer to try and improve your sky picture.
Ok guys ,cheers.

I never even considered the yam to be honest...and as for the z9 well dream on.:rolleyes:

I can now see what you meant by the video issue Dimmy,but won't the component signal be an inprovement over composite straight to the projector?.

How would you say then...the 3803 compares to the ax5?.

If the consensus is,that the 3803 competes with the ax5,then the 3805 and its improvements over the 3803 surley nudges the swingometer into its favour.

Maybe I'm getting somewhere.(sorry thinking aloud:D )
The 3803, whilst comparable to the AX5i in stature, loses out by a considerable margin in performance. Unless you get the AX5i for around £800 (which it is selling for these days on certain obscure retail wesites), then IMHO it remains slightly overpriced for the level of performance it delivers, unless you intend to make use of iLink.

I'm not expecting the Sound Quality of the 3805 to be much - if at all - better than that of the 3803. Simply because, as always, Denon will skimp on the quality of the poweramp channels and use a feeble power supply to drive them, and when driving seven channels it'll lose a lot of quality. The 3805 will just be a 3803 with different build and even more gimmicks & features. I don't expect the 3805 to outperform the AX5i, but it may be more on-par.

Using a component run to your projector instead of a single composite feed for Sky Digital will only be of benefit if you're using quality component video connections and comparing them with cheap & nasty composite video cables.
What about one of those John Simms things to convert the Sky+ signal to component? They get very good reviews. I plan to try one on the cable tv soon.

Thanks again for the help guys,I've been out most of the day today trying to track down an ax5i to demo.....NO JOY:mad: .

Dak,any chance of a link for the john simms converter?.

Maybe,if its cost effective I'll go for the pioneer and use this to try and improve my sky picture mmmm??

I'd been thinking over the same conundrum myself recently but decided to go for the Pioneer due to it's i-link connection being fully implemented - Denon link still not working for SACD.

I'm now the happy owner of an AX5i/757Ai combo and very pleased with it. The amp does indeed feel bombproof, sounds great and it's auto set-up and MCACC are very good.

However, if you do need video conversion then you'll need to look elsewhere, although the Pioneer does have two component inputs IIRC.
Just noticed your kit's pretty similar to mine Dak in that I run biamped active Keildihs at the front too (treble-LK140, bass-majik) but with a Trikan centre (biamped by an LK85). I was worried that MCACC might not work with offboard amps/active speakers, but it works very well.
Sounds quite similar. Are you using the av amp to do the pre-amp job on the LK140's? I have the Majik doing that at the moment may want a proper pre-amp in the system I think. Not gone active yet either.

What do you reckon on the next step; bi-aktiv or tri-amped on the fronts?

Not sure what you mean by bass majik? Do you mean a non powered sub run by a majik? Hadn't thought of that. Not got a sub yet, still deciding.......
No mate, my Keilidhs are powered by the Majik and an LK140 with the bass modules in the Majik and the treble modules in the LK140, the Majik isn't just a preamp. I take the preouts from the Pioneer and feed them into a tape loop on the Majik. Sub is a Velodyne CHT-15.

You could either triamp active your Keilidhs or biamp active your Ekwal with what you've already got, just with an extra active card and a little swapping about if you did the Ekwal (you'd need to use one of your LK140 amps and fit it with a stereo active card - you can get them for the Trikan, I'm sure they'd be available for the Ekwal too - and swap the Keilidh active card that was in the LK140 for one that fits the Majik as unfortunately they're not the same).

I suspect triamped active is overkill, the stereo active card for the Trikan is only ~£150 IIRC so that's my next step and I reckon probably the best one for you too although it has greater hassle value in your set up - unless you bought another power amp of course!:D
Just had another thought: currently the power amps in your Majik are doing nothing, right? You could use them to power your rears if you took the pre-outs for the Pioneer to the power-ins on the Majik.

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