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Onkyo TX-8050 vs Denon AVR-2112CI A/V Receiver vs Integra DTM-40.4

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Briefly, I am interested in stereo audio only - No video, No games, Just audio.

Setup:
A) 2 Floor-standing Polk audio speakers - rear
B) 2 Wall-mounted Sony bookshelf speakers - front
C) Klipsch subwoofer (300 watt internal amp)

I purchased the Denon AV 2112-CI http://usa.denon.com/us/Product/Pages/ProductDetail.aspx?PCatId=AVSolutions%28DenonNA%29&CatId=AVReceivers%28DenonNA%29&Pid=AVR2112CI%28DenonNA%29

Recently an AV specialist told me that I had made a wrong purchase with the Denon 2112CI and that I should look for a dedicated stereo unit instead (Onkyo TX-8050 or the Integra DTM-40.4). All three of these units are networkable, have optical inputs, and subwoofer pre-outs. I need all three. Obviously I also need to control volume, tone and balance (side to side, front to back).

I have been playing with this Denon all day (several actually) and now have Pandora coming out of all 4 speakers and the subwoofer. Unfortunately the sound is extremely disjointed, with a "where the heck did that come from" thumpy bass. Turning off the Klipsch subwoofer makes no difference. Tried adjusting the "small/large", etc. Still awful.

Also, this Audessey microphone is nothing more than a gimmick. And manually setting or altering the balance, tone, etc. of the speakers is painstakingly difficult. Although the Denon is "supposed" to deliver superior sound quality to the Onkyo or its "Lexus brother" Integra, I'm wondering if that is indeed true.

1) Onkyo TX-850 (half price of my Denon 2112CI) http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-8050-Network-Stereo-Receiver/dp/B004UR486G

2) Integra DTM-40.4 - the so-called "boutique line" of Onkyo http://www.integrahometheater.com/model.cfm?class=Receiver&m=DTM-40.4&p=i

Will either of these two units give me better quality sound and fewer setup headaches than the Denon 2112CI?

In conclusion, I feel that even if I do manage to get a "listenable" sound from this Denon, just navigating the remote to make even the simplest of adjustments gives me a migraine. I have been playing with this Denon for several days now, and I continue to feel that I purchased the wrong item for my needs - FLAC tunes from computer (via optical) and Pandora (via the net).

Question: I have so much money already invested in speakers, computers, cables, etc. that I am willing to bite the bullet on amp/receiver pricing. Should I put the new/never used Denon up for sale and replace it with the equally expensive Integra or the much cheaper Onkyo. Will either of these two units give me better quality sound and fewer setup headaches than the Denon?

Any advice would be very much appreciated.

Edited by incurablegeek - 3/10/13 at 2:29pm
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post #2 of 11
http://batpigworld.com/wp/

He is pretty good about setting up Denon's
    
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post #3 of 11
Quote:
and now have Pandora coming out of all 4 speakers and the subwoofer

Pandora is highly compressed, lossy sound. You cannot compare audio quality of a receiver using it. What you can compare using Pandora is each receiver's 'restoration' technology that they use to try to re-create the sound that was lost from being compressed.

http://www.denon.com/Pages/GlossaryDetail.aspx?GId=10

This is from the 2112's manual:
Quote:
To play back compressed audio with extended bass or treble
reproduction, we recommend playback in RESTORER mode
(vpage 83). The default setting is “Mode3”.

RESTORER
Compressed audio formats such as MP3, WMA (Windows Media Audio) and MPEG-4 AAC reduce the
amount of data by eliminating signal components that are hard for the human ear to hear. The RESTORER
function generates the signals eliminated upon compression, restoring the sound to conditions near those
of the original sound before compression. It also corrects the sense of volume of the bass to obtain richer
sound with compressed audio signals.
Setting details
OFF : Do not use RESTORER.
Mode1 (RESTORER 64) : Optimized mode for compressed sources with very weak highs.
Mode2 (RESTORER 96) : Apply suitable bass and treble boost for all compressed sources.
Mode3 (RESTORER HQ) : Optimized mode for compressed sources with normal highs.
• This item can be set with analog signals or PCM signal (fs = 44.1/48 kHz) is input.
• “RESTORER” settings are stored for each input source.
• This item default setting for “iPod” and “NET/USB” is “Mode3”. All others are set to “OFF”.
• When set to something other than “OFF”, is displayed.
• This cannot be set when the surround mode is set to “DIRECT” or “PURE DIRECT”.


Onkyo should have something similar as well.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
@hertz9753, yes Batpig is the guy for Denons. I have exchanged many emails and PM's with him. He has been very helpful.

My conclusion about AV units is that they try to do too much. It's kind of like designing a vehicle that does 0 to 60 in under 3 seconds, tows multiple skiers on the lake and flys you to the grocery store on occasion.

I learned quite a lot in this venture. I learned that my knowledge of computers, electronics and traditional stereo has no transfer value whatsoever to the AV world. I also learned that for audiophiles, it's stereo and stereo only.

I also learned that the Polks are "Watt Hogs" (feeble attempt at humor) and that the Onkyo probably cannot drive both the Polks and the Sony bookshelfs, so I will probably use the Onkyo for the two Polks and the subwoofer (has its own 300 watt amp) - and purchase another amp for the the Sony's to give me balance, volume and tone control.

Any suggestions on a secondary amp??


@Electrocutor, every now and then somebody lights me up with something so darned obvious that I should have thought of. A long time ago, we had the same problem with music being compressed for vinyl records, such that serious audiophiles used what was called a "Dynamic Range Expander".

Now I knew of course that FLAC could be compressed to MP3 (awful in my opinion), but I didn't know that I could expand the MP3 signal from Pandora to CD or FLAC quality. That I will look into. And that was one of the more helpful responses I have ever received on any topic.

I hate gold stars, merit badges and the like - but that's how the game is played on forums. So Rep+ for sure! thumb.gif
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post #5 of 11
Which Polk speakers do you have?
    
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Which Polk speakers do you have?

TSi500 floorstanding speakers http://www.polkaudio.com/products/tsi500

Btw, I went with the Onkyo TX-850 (half price of my Denon 2112CI) http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-8050-Network-Stereo-Receiver/dp/B004UR486G It should arrive tomorrow. thumb.gif

Now I want to add a second amp so I can have better control of volume and balance control of the other two Sony wall mounted bookshelf speakers.

Been reading reviews all day, and every power amp under $200.00 seems to suk big time. mad.gif

1) AudioSource Amp 100 stereo integrated amp http://www.amazon.com/AudioSource-AMP-100-Stereo-Power-Amplifier/dp/B00026BQJ6/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

2) Pyle seems to live up to its name (pun intended)

3) OSD I don't know enough about http://www.osdaudio.com/amp.html

4) Technical Pro I don't know either http://www.technicalhifi.com/

I'm still trying to sort out what is for real and what are cheaply made Chinese knock-offs - the equivalent of "white van speakers".

Any suggestions?
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post #7 of 11
Those Polks are not power hogs, they just take a lot of power to sound their best. tongue.gif I have pair of Polk Monitor 70's and a Polk C2 center in my bed room with a Denon 791. The monitor series is pretty much the same speaker you have. The 70's didn't have a problem with my under rated Adcom GFA 555, 200 watts per channel @ 8omhs. The Polk LSi series are power hogs @ 4omh.
    
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post #8 of 11
1) AudioSource Amp 100 stereo integrated amp http://www.amazon.com/AudioSource-AMP-100-Stereo-Power-Amplifier/dp/B00026BQJ6/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

This one. You asked a question. redface.gif
    
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post #9 of 11
Great choice on the Onkyo amp man. Do you really need a second to control sony speakers though?
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by incurablegeek View Post

@hertz9753, yes Batpig is the guy for Denons. I have exchanged many emails and PM's with him. He has been very helpful.

My conclusion about AV units is that they try to do too much. It's kind of like designing a vehicle that does 0 to 60 in under 3 seconds, tows multiple skiers on the lake and flys you to the grocery store on occasion.

I learned quite a lot in this venture. I learned that my knowledge of computers, electronics and traditional stereo has no transfer value whatsoever to the AV world. I also learned that for audiophiles, it's stereo and stereo only.

QFT

One of the reasons that the higher end units like McIntosh, Krell, etc. don't really go into the latest and greatest features of the AVR...they focus first on sound, second on picture, the rest...I dont think they really care about at all....which is how it should be....

Now, I know that many say a McIntosh is just a Denon but Mac has stated that they use only one board in from Denon in one of their SSPs for Audyssey....hometheaterhifi.com has some measurements for Denon and McIntosh and the McIntosh has astonishing low distortion measurements in comparison.

All the AVR that you are looking at are of good quality. You may have a harder time getting ahold of the Integra though and both the Integra and Onkyo tend to run a little warm so make sure to keep them in a ventilated area.
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