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Torn between Yamaha-863 & Marantz-3053 AVRs

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sand64

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Friends,

Sometimes It becomes really difficult to make decisions.

My quest to enjoy better music bought me here in this forum. Your advises, views & ideas helped me a lot and I finally decided to add an AVR first and then add a pair of floorstanders later on. (I have a old n faithful stereo set up with FSs)

So I did a quick audition in Delhi (due to shortage of time) but before going into it, I will let u know my needs & situations. Here are these:

- Working in central govt., transferable job so no fixed room size, decor & orientation.
- Budget constraint as usual, though recent pay arrears helped me to some extent.
- Listening tastes includes western (mostly rock) & hindi (filmy, pop & ghazals)
- Would like to have the AVR as musical as possible in its class/range (I now know it is difficult)
- Should have enough punch for movies too.

And not the least - its sound signature should be enjoyable to me.

So I planned to extract some time out of my official assignment in delhi, packed 2-3 my own CDs (but no movie clip) along with official papers & visited four dealers:

Dealer I - auditioned Denon 1910 with wharfe, not very impressive. Also auditioned marantz as integrated stereo amp paired with Wharfedale 9.5 for music (liked marantz & wharfe).

Dealer II - auditioned CA 340R with polk. Sounded good but lacked punch despite auditioning being done in a dedicated demo room....may be due to lack of availability of good software there (only Ghazni sound tracks).

Dealer III - auditioned Yamaha 863 with set of Q-acoustic 1050i and Paradigm 5.1 cinema. I was looking forward to listen 863 as it was recomended by dear venket & many other members of this forum. It is good no doubt. The amp has good punch for movies & suficient body in music too. (Dealer was playing a blu-ray demo disk....was this the reason??? not sure)

Dealer IV - auditioned marantz SR3053 & pm7001 in stereo mode, paired with some 'Rave' brand of Bookshelves. Didnt had time to see movie clip and just managed to catch train back home. Liked the sound signature of marantz, and also felt that SR3053 is not far behind in SQ than integated amp pm7001 (I may be wrong as I was in a bit of hurry)

Now here the delimma starts.....as I am torn between Yamaha-863 & marantz SR3053.

I liked the punch & looks of 863 but it cost almost double the SR3053. It is not that I can't afford it, and I know that once you buy... then you live with it. But yes I will look for the value for money. Rx-663 could have been suffice but it is not available.

SR3053 on the other hand a basic 5.1 avr. No future proofing... I am not much concerned with video capabilities...but non-availability of pre-outs, absence of formats like Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio is a dragger. Music is good..video capabilities not seen.

As both the sets were not available with same dealer, I was not able to compare them for clarity and dynamic range.....and i am not sure of my audition too as it was hurried one and i am a novice.

What do you say.......Pl. do come up with your views as it will be a great help.

thanks.
 

venkatcr

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The comparison is not correct.

The SR3053 is a very basic model and cannot be compared with the 663/863. The models you can look at are Denon 1910 and Denon 2310 available at roughly 45K, and 62K. In the Marantz you have to go higher up the ladder to 5003 and 6003 or the new 5004.

Between the 663 and the 863, the 863 has more power, but also has upscaling features. The sound signatures are the same.

If you can buy an upscaling DVD Player and forgo on upscaling STB and other sources, the 663 is a good option.

Cheers
 
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sand64

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Thanks Venket,

Yeah I know that there is no comparison between 3053 & 863 as far as features are concerned.

But I am still comparing them as my requirements are very basic ones, main emphasis on music/audio. As my audition of both the sets was not detailed/thorough, first thing I want to know which one out of both is more musical. I also think 80 watt rms of 3053 is adequate and too many facilities/features in a equipment may spoil its basic function (read musicality). Economy is another criteria.......video capabilities can be acquired through source in future.

However if fellow boarders vote in favor of 863 for its musicality & movie punch, then I will decide in favor of 863 and its upscaling features, additional power etc will be added advantage...

So I again request fellow boarders for their inputs....

Thanks & regard..
 
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madbullram

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I understand your needs, but in my 10 year quest and more so recently, I have really come to an conclusion Music needs will never be satisfied with an HT/AVR setup until and unless I have a very good budget.

A 20k Music Setup will any-day blow a 90k HT setup irrespective of the brands etc.

Sorry for throwing a different direction, you seem to be more inclined to music, do you really need a HT? or can you look at Music Setup now and have a basic HTiB setup for movies?
 
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Sumit

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Sand64,

Considering your requirements, I would suggest Marantz 5003 and Wharfedale. You will get future proofing with Marantz and it is definitely a musical AVR and is alright for movies too.

And, may I suggest bookshelves as you move from cities now-and-then. They are just easier to move.

Forum member, Anooj is selling his yam 663. You may wanna speak to him. Although, I cannot vouch for the music quality of 663> Maybe others can fill in here.

Cheers!!

Friends,


- Working in central govt., transferable job so no fixed room size, decor & orientation.
- Budget constraint as usual, though recent pay arrears helped me to some extent.
- Listening tastes includes western (mostly rock) & hindi (filmy, pop & ghazals)
- Would like to have the AVR as musical as possible in its class/range (I now know it is difficult)
- Should have enough punch for movies too.

And not the least - its sound signature should be enjoyable to me.


thanks.
 
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madbullram

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Forum member, Anooj is selling his yam 663. You may wanna speak to him. Although, I cannot vouch for the music quality of 663> Maybe others can fill in here.

Cheers!!

663 and 863 are very similar in sound stage and quality. Still not enough for someone who loves music :)
 
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sand64

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Thanks brother

for madbullram

A 20k Music Setup will any-day blow a 90k HT setup irrespective of the brands etc.

True! But for the time being for music I will continue with my old faithful stereo system. See everyone is not so purist as far as music is concerned. With AVR, it will be fun for entire family. Later on I may also upgrade my music system..... thats why I decided for AVR as it will be new fun...

for Sumit

Considering your requirements, I would suggest Marantz 5003 and Wharfedale. You will get future proofing with Marantz and it is definitely a musical AVR and is alright for movies too.

Yes I will consider that. However in this forum, Venket has voted in favour of 663/863 and I value his opinion. My audition of 863 has been satisfactory and so of marantz. However due to different dealers I was not able to compare them so keenly and therefore the confusion. Another thing many boarders have said in this forum that marantz is musical but have less punch for movies???? Now the question is..... to what extent???? Will the essence of movie be lost.....or reduced to some extent in comparison to 863? That is why I am seeking more insight from fellow boarders.......

And if I consider 5003, then how will be NR1501, which has less power but similar features. Is 50 watt rms quoted by marantz is less?


thanks & regards..
 
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madbullram

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Sand, there is no way you can decide things based on what we say. Simple example, I think my Philips HtiB bass is okay (enough for a HTiB) but my friend who has a Yammy AVR setup said the bass is super tight and much better than his Yamaha for the same movie and file.

So to each, the term could be different. You might not really feel Marantz lacks punch when you audition them, bcos u r needs and tastes and the way you define something will be different.

Pleease audition them and decide :)

When it comes to family, AVR is the best choice :) Thankfully my wifey is smitten by Stereo now :)
 
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venkatcr

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Another thing many boarders have said in this forum that marantz is musical but have less punch for movies???? Now the question is..... to what extent???? Will the essence of movie be lost.....or reduced to some extent in comparison to 863? That is why I am seeking more insight from fellow boarders.......

The requirements for the delivery of sound for movies and for music are completely different. For music, unless you are listen to some really hard rock, the power needed is usually in the mid frequencies between 1000Hz and about 10KHz. In addition, the power requirements are generally stable across the whole song. So what we look for in a musical system is amplification that is generally neutral that does not push any frequencies.

Movies are completely different. The need for a surge in power is sudden and at various frequencies that the amplifier cannot estimate. When a sword falls down, there may a sudden need to push the higher frequencies to deliver the metallic sound. When a bomb explodes, there is sudden need to to push low frequencies.

An AVR is designed to deliver these sudden surges in power need, and will generally favour low frequencies as that is what impresses people most.

As MadbullRam said, it is difficult for a manufacturer to marry the two requirements. Though NAD and CA tried for a few years, they have not been able to break the iron grip that companies like Yamaha, Denon and Onkyo have in the area of AVR for movies. A NAD/CA AVR will sound excellent for music, but most people will find it 'weak' for movies.

When one says the Yamaha AVR is good, it is good generally for movies, and it 'also' delivers music quite well. These are the factors you have to keep in mind as part of your decision making. If you find two products delivering music as acceptable levels, set aside the music part, and focus on the delivery of movies.

Cheers
 
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Raghav

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Could not resist to put up a 90k HT vs 20k stereo setup.

Norge + Wharfedale 9.1 = 20k
Marantz 5003 (or Denon 1910) + WH 9.1 + 9CS + 9DFS + SW150 = 90k

Would the stereo setup beat the HT in stereo (2.0 or 2.1) mode for music?

Just looking for views. I was under impression that Marantz 5003 would be better than the Norge for pure music also.

Raghav

A 20k Music Setup will any-day blow a 90k HT setup irrespective of the brands etc.
 
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thevortex

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I will try and sum it up - because I have gone down this route myself. Marantz is a perfect compromise solution for somebody who is interested in music but who cannot invest in a stereo setup.

You will get good music out of it while for movies you wont complain too much if you are not too particular. That said, I am not too sure about the SR3053. I have the 4001 and think it still is a very good value for money receiver.

However, I have since moved onto a dedicated stereo setup. I would think of it this way. Getting an AVR can be a compromise decision which can also favour your family for sometime. The temptation of possibilities, over time, will then get you to improve your system by adding a stereo setup. Instead of incurring incremental costs, I would much rather invest in the stereo setup beforehand.

That is what I would do now if I had the chance again.

On another note, you definitely need AVRs with pre-outs to connect a subwoofer or two:). Analog inputs, if any, would be a bonus.
 
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thevortex

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Could not resist to put up a 90k HT vs 20k stereo setup.

Norge + Wharfedale 9.1 = 20k
Marantz 5003 (or Denon 1910) + WH 9.1 + 9CS + 9DFS + SW150 = 90k

Would the stereo setup beat the HT in stereo (2.0 or 2.1) mode for music?

Just looking for views. I was under impression that Marantz 5003 would be better than the Norge for pure music also.

Raghav

I guess Ram might not have meant the numbers literally:). But the best judge would have to be the man himself though.
 
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jayad08

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a little out of context, but can you provide the details of the dealer in delhi where u auditioned yamaha 863 and Q-Acoustics?
 
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sand64

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So to each, the term could be different. You might not really feel Marantz lacks punch when you audition them, bcos u r needs and tastes and the way you define something will be different.

Pleease audition them and decide

Yes! that is true. But auditioning is difficult for me as I live at place where much choices are not available. I can't come delhi too often and detailed audition takes time. That is why I require yr views.

thanks
 
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sand64

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Thanks venkat,

That explains very well and will help me to make up my mind.

If you find two products delivering music as acceptable levels, set aside the music part, and focus on the delivery of movies.

But I have one more issue to clarify. Should I buy an AVR or go for a small (one with small speakers so that less space is occupied) but powerfull HTiB AND if I go for AVR then will the addition of a Sub is must for the movie punch (I have a pair of floorstanders with 8" bass drivers).

cheers
 
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venkatcr

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But I have one more issue to clarify. Should I buy an AVR or go for a small (one with small speakers so that less space is occupied) but powerfull HTiB AND if I go for AVR then will the addition of a Sub is must for the movie punch (I have a pair of floorstanders with 8" bass drivers).

A Home Theatre In a Box (HTIB) is nothing but a scaled down version of an AVR (mostly entry level) sold with a 5.1 or 7.1 speaker set. What the manufacturers do is to take one of their own AVRs, and strip it of features that they think are not needed. This might be some advanced decoding, some connections, and so on.

I have heard HTIBs from Philips, Yamaha that sound quite decent for a small room. You can buy satellite speakers and attach it even to an AVR. Ultimately it is a balance between the features you need and the money you are ready to spend. A good HTIB, in many cases, could be better than an entry level AVR married to bad speakers. And vice versa. I would say be ready to spend close to 2 lakhs if you want a really good AVR based 7.1 HT system with upscaling, FullHD capabilities, and HD Audio processing capabilities.

Regarding a sub, with a HT system you do need a sub. All AVRs have a sub or LFE out. Essentially, low frequencies are recorded separately (the Point 1) and sent to this channel. Even if you have really large front speakers, a good sub with a 10 inch or larger driver with it's own amplifier (called an active sub) will give you more 'punch' as you call it. Many of us believe that a 8 inch driver is the minimum needed to deliver low frequencies well. This, unfortunately, is very rare in today's speakers. Thus an active sub does make a appreciable difference.

Cheers
 
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madbullram

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Could not resist to put up a 90k HT vs 20k stereo setup.

Norge + Wharfedale 9.1 = 20k
Marantz 5003 (or Denon 1910) + WH 9.1 + 9CS + 9DFS + SW150 = 90k

Would the stereo setup beat the HT in stereo (2.0 or 2.1) mode for music?

Just looking for views. I was under impression that Marantz 5003 would be better than the Norge for pure music also.

Raghav

Raghs: You have a point but somehow I was never satisfied with a AVR setup for music though I have auditioned many places. In fact, I was advising him to look at a second hand system. A good 20k system will definitely play better than a AVR setup.

Also, see the number 20 and 90 is huge. The point i was trying to make is, if music is primary, look for a setup in music, as in 20k pure music setup will beat a 90k setup with sheer value :) May be i went little overboard with 90k :eek:hyeah:
 
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Sumit

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Thanks brother



for Sumit



Yes I will consider that. However in this forum, Venket has voted in favour of 663/863 and I value his opinion. My audition of 863 has been satisfactory and so of marantz. However due to different dealers I was not able to compare them so keenly and therefore the confusion. Another thing many boarders have said in this forum that marantz is musical but have less punch for movies???? Now the question is..... to what extent???? Will the essence of movie be lost.....or reduced to some extent in comparison to 863? That is why I am seeking more insight from fellow boarders.......

And if I consider 5003, then how will be NR1501, which has less power but similar features. Is 50 watt rms quoted by marantz is less?


thanks & regards..

Sand:I am using a 5001. I believe the power is identical to 5003. Yes, Marantz is inclined to Music but it is still an AVR. It does music and movies. It just does music better. Now, you asked to what extent it does that.

My friend, this can only be best judged by the user itself. I remember long time back I had a discussion with Vortex on this. He was quite surprised by my findings. NOw, I had made my peace with my 5001. I had earlier dropped the idea to sell it. But, it does not have HD audio decoding and hence, I will sell it to some suitable buyer. So, now I was feeling satisfied everytime I used the 5001. Spend a little less on the AVR and buy better speakers. They last you much longer than AVR IMHO.


What I am trying to say is that you would probably be satisfied with the Marantz 5003. The 863 is fabulous but it is much costlier. And, you if you not going to spend a lot on the speakers then why spend too much on the AVR!! Your set-up should compliment each other.

To conclude, you cannot decide anything without proper auditioning. I understand that you live in lucknow and you did not get enough time for auditioning.

:indifferent14:Listen man, I shall tell you bluntly: We can help you here with what we feel sounds 'right'. But, Home theater is personal. Every individual is different. YOU need to audition yourself.

Secondly, take a shatabdi and get to delhi. Stay here for a day. Book audition appointments before and then get on with it. YOu are gonna spend your hard earned money. You need to understand what you are buying before you pay.:cool:

Cheers!
 
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