I'd go with the Denon. I think thier recievers sound a little more commanding and authoritive than the yamahas.
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I'm sure you're really confused now!..
I've been selling Yamaha and Denon Side by side for almost 10 years now. My experience, as with many other audiophile/salespeeople I've worked side by side with, is that(as stand alone unit's), that the Denon's tend to be a bit more warm bodied sounding in the price range, with a bit more bass. The Yamaha's in similar pricing tend to be a bet less weighty, a tad more extended(sometimes a hair bright), and somewhat hollower in the midrange...this has been the trend. some years, it changes, and it trades off a hair. Infact, the RXV800 and 1000 generation were pretty darn good for their line comparatively for the Yamaha's.
The yamaha's preamp section is pretty clean for what it is, and sounds MUCH BETTER used from it's amp-out's to an outboard amp!..which is not the case here..but that goes with the Denon as well.
Enough of my schpiel...I think the Denon 3803 is a superior more musically right sounding unit on it's own than the yamaha RXV1400!...and I say that from hearing both with a number of different speaker offerings! If I had to listen every day to both, I'd hardly ever turn on the Yamaha(which I generally like and respect yammie's over the years, especially set up right with the right gear).
Still, it's all good, and that's considering them both connected via the digital input, running 2 channel and multi...as well as analalog in.
To each his own.
I just think the Denon sounds more like what higher end aspirations are asking for as a "balance of sound"! Still, the yamaha's are clear, pretty darn uncolored, with good detail(note all these processors digital sections are getting really good for what they are!..really good!...espedcially for DD/DTS and such!)
I have also sold the NHT line in as many years, and used to own the 1.5's myself! The sound is clear, and can be a little lean in the bass if not set up right. The Denon goes very well with the rather "neutral palate" of the the NHT's! The Yamaha will make it sound more "plain" and "body-less" I think..but that's being critical. Still, some will say Yamaha here. I dissagree.
But then, all you have to do is buy both and sell one used...no problem.