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Denon AVR-3300 vs Onkyo DS-777 vs Suggestions

Old 05-12-00, 10:28 PM
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My brother wants me to hook him up a good Home Theater audio system (he's already got a 36" XBR Wega). He's given me a budget of $3000 (US).

So far, I'm thinking of a Paradigm speaker setup: Monitor 9s, CC-350, ADP-350s. That's about $1900 MSRP.

For the receiver, I was really bent on the Onkyo DS-777, but I've heard great things about the Denon AVR-3300. And they happen to be ~$1000, so that makes it a perfect match.

Does any have any input or suggestions regarding these receivers? Or is there something better (up to $1200)?

Thanks folks,
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Old 05-13-00, 12:10 AM
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Denon Pro:
-component video switching
-A/B rear speakers for dipole/direct speaker
-2 extra pre in/out channels for multi-room use and slight upgradeability
-warm sound
-auto-memory settings for each input

Denon Con:
-frequent reports of fan problems, still lot's of backorders for repairs
-no digital out (MD recordings)
-remote w/thumb sliding bar, not backlit
-not many DSP's (if that matters)

Onkyo Pro:
-A/B main speakers
-extremely clear sound (almost cold)/THX
-digital out
-good remote, backlit
-27 DSP's (nice for HT, like a Yamaha 795a)

Onkyo Con:
- recall around 12/99 for hissing units, most units supposed to be fixed.
-no component video switching
-a bit weaker in bass response than Denon

I listened to both for about a month. I had a slight preference for the Onkyo in HT (some DSP's were useful). I had a strong preference for the Denon when it came to music. Onkyo was a bit dry/cold for my taste.

The Marantz sr-7000 ($800) and sr-8000 ($1100) are excellent machines as well, if you can find them in stock. Lot's of backorders for these guys. That's the way I eventually went.

[This message has been edited by BEC (edited May 12, 2000).]
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Old 05-13-00, 02:06 AM
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I'd toss in the Nak and Pioneer models as well. With the speaker choice, I'd look for the model that has the features that best suite your need, and then look for a good price. Any of these will sound great.
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Old 05-13-00, 02:53 AM
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BEC is on the money.
Paradigm is excellent choice.
Denon 3300 gets great reviews everywhere.
Marantz sr7000/8000 is alternative but impossible to find.
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Old 05-13-00, 03:33 AM
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$3000????spend $200 - $300 more and get denon 4800 and AT 350 THX instead!
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Old 05-13-00, 04:53 PM
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Just got the Denon AVR-3300 from Yawa a week ago. very nice. Don't forget 5 channel stereo--a Denon exclusive.
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Old 05-13-00, 11:05 PM
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5-channel stereo used to be an exclusive for Denon, but I think Harman Kardon and Onkyo also include it with some of their newer models. Me? I'm not too crazy about 5-channel stereo, I prefer the real thing.

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Old 05-14-00, 01:12 AM
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Many thanks for the input guys...

Now I'm also seriously looking at the Pioneer VSX-26TX (THX Ultra is nice )

BEC, about the Marantz, I used an older DD Marantz model (two years ago, can't remember the model, ~70w/channel), and I dreaded the interface. Button placement, changing modes...

Has the Marantz's interface gotten any better? How do you rate the SR7000/8000's interface.

I've always really liked the Pioneer interface. Clean and very easy to use.

Thanks again guys,

[This message has been edited by tricky76 (edited May 13, 2000).]
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Old 05-15-00, 12:15 AM
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Marantz's new interface is good.
Front panel:
Device selection is either a dedicated key or the scroll type. Knobs on 7000 make sense (8000 a bit trickier)

On screen menu:
Bass management is easy. Speaker set up easy.
(Denon's vol control for rear/front is nicer)
The remote is very powerful. The 7000's remote is as good a One-for-all type remote (cinema 7/8)- no backlighting and transport keys double as the cursors. The 8000 comes w/the RC2000: one bad ass remote. Complicated (intimidating too) but unbeleivably powerful. I've programed all sort of macros: start up system w/vcr recording cable cnn and DVD player opening tray is my favorite.

The onkyo had a really simple interface. Very easy to use.

I've had about 10 receivers in my living room, so they all seem pretty similar now.

As far a 5 channel stereo goes, Denon has the exclusivity for the name. Onkyo and
Marantz have their own versions. (IMHO,Denon's sounds the best). I was a skeptic, but I've grown to like it. It should be a precursor to DVD-audio and other formats. The 7 speaker stereo modes (like logic 7) on separate processors are really excellent, but that's quite a bit more money. You'll get a good taste for that w/any of these receivers.
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