Yamaha or Denon ?


What do audiphile think about the difference in sound quality between the 2 comopanies, in their upscale surround receivers?

gonglee3
I've owned both Denon and Yamaha several models and always preferred the Denons. I think build quality is equal, but the Denons always worked out better. Just my findings.
I own a Yamaha and have been pleased with it. I think Denon is excellent (maybe better) and would have no hesitation in buying if I wanted a replacement.
I had Denon, bought a yamaha for 3 days and went back to Denon!
"Gonglee3":

Myself??? Ever since I was doing the home theater thing back since 2000, the only receivers that I have ever owned was Harman/Kardon and Yamaha. But I have heard some great things about Denon too.

I have owned a Harman/Kardon AVR-210 from 2000-04, and have upgraded to a Yamaha RX-V1600 in 2004. The Yamaha to me was great during it's time, and has had every conceivable feature that I can think of with exception of the current codecs that are out now (namely, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD as well as HDMI v1.3). During the time window I had the Yamaha, it did present a big and bold sound going through a KEF 2005.2 Speaker System/Subwoofer package.

I don't have anything bad to say about Yamaha, but I am in the process of re-doing my home theater in which I am downsizing it (but would like to retain the big and bold sound that I have grown accustomed to using a Yamaha RX-V1600/KEF 2005.2 setup..... and therefore, I am going with a Sound Bar Speaker System with a Subwoofer). I am going to go with a Polk Audio SurroundBar with a matching DSW PRO-400 Powered Subwoofer, and to drive this combo, I am going to go back to Harman/Kardon (I was going to get an AVR-247, but now, I am going to wait for the newer AVR-254 to come out next month). But like I said, I don't have anything bad to say about Yamaha. So if Yamaha is more your cup of tea, I say go for it.

As for Denon??? Like I said, I've heard nothing but great things about Denon. So, if you prefer a Denon over a Yamaha, then I am not going to pass judgement on you either way. I've never owned a Denon, so I cannot render a sound judgement or opinion to you about them.

Good Luck and Happy Shopping......

--Charles--
Thank you for all the posts !
I have to try to hear Denon now somewhere, since I heard a Yammy already...
Just to provide a counter opinion....I've had a yamaha reciever since the middle of 2002. I'm actually listening to it right now while watching a dvd. This has been rock solid for me. The sound is good and the product has been extremely reliable--not a single problem.

I can't comment on Denon--I've never owned one of their recievers.

-Sam
YAMAHA. I have had several Yamaha and Denon receivers. Yamaha has NEVER given me any problems. The Denon AVR3300 I have started losing sound on all 5 channels intermittently. It has had a history of similar problems listed on the web. My recommendation would be for Yamaha.
Many years ago I sold electronics & the receivers we carried were Yamaha & Denon (& some lesser brands). I chose Denon for it's SQ & I also prefered their ergonimcs, still do today. My present Denon has been 100% trouble free & it's a Denon AVR-3000, purchased new back in 1992 :)

Both great companies.... the new Denon's have some really cool features to!!
I'd say, consistently, over the years both these lines have had their own "sound", relative to one another - strengths and weaknesses between them both. The Denon has traditionally had a more warm/full-bodied sound, with a bit more bass "umph" and weight, while slightly more relaxed top end. The Yamaha's are more neutral in coloration throughout the line, sometimes a bit cool, if hollow wounding through out the midrange, and a tad less weighter and meatier through the bass reigion. Also, the Yamaha was perhaps a bit more trebble prominent, but I would not say "bright".
I've sold both these excellent product lines in several high end stores, and custom operations, as well as owned products from both companies.
I would usually prefer the Denon's in the lower budget price ranges, for both music and HT (although the Yamaha's did do a great job with their DSP modes for movie enhancement - but, Denon's better 5 channel stereo mode for music was supperior for non-stereo music sound), as I believe, on their own, that they are stronger, more well balanced receivers, that mate better across the board with a larger variety of speaker choices. Also, more specifically within the last couple of years, Denon has also offered the absolutely hands down superior DSP EQ circuit from Audyssey labs in their entry products, which has made those pieces unequaled in value for a budget receiver line!
For the flagship and just bellow receiver pieces through both lines though, I would say the yamaha's and Denon's start to close together more in terms of performance. And certainly, Yamaha has made some great sounding receivers in the $2k-$3k price range sonically, if not equalled or slightly bested by the Denon's. Basically, the sound quality gets a bit closer in refinement on up the price scale...
HOWEVER, in all fairness, in the right application, it has been my experience that the entry level Yamaha's make simply excellent preamp/processors, as stand-alone units, while you drive the pre-out's with outboard amplifiers! The sound here has most favorably been very clear, extended, detailed, sound, matched with much stronger dynamics and bass impact and balance, etc, when configured as such! (on their own, however, most budget receivers are confined to driving small monitors as "small", with limited dynamic power output, otherwise.
I have set up several systems using Yamaha's $500-$1000 AV receivers, using them as strictly processor/preamps in HT/music systems, mated with 5 channel amplifiers, to GREAT EFFECT, over the years! Very nice sound, I would say for what it is.
Still, for what Denon receivers offers on their own, I would lean towards them for anything south of $2k these days, for new! That's just my bias. I would either be looking to run smaller speakers as "small" (100hz to 80hz cuttoff), and likely looking for a deal on a better power amp to drive my system, yes! Anything above those prices, and I'd say you'd not lose with either company. Denon's perhaps a little stronger, with the superior Audyssey EQ.
Both would do stellar with outboard multi-channel amps to suplement, so strongly consider for more realistic high end sound.
Good luck
"I have to try to hear Denon now somewhere, since I heard a Yammy already..." (Gonglee3)

Remember, that when you are listening to a receiver, you are not just simply listening to THE RECEIVER ALONE! You are hearing a SYSTEM - which is comprised of many other parts, especially the associated speakers. So, a notice to all audio novies out there. You cannot simply judge the sonic merits of a piece on it's own, outside of the rest of the system it's attached to! For the record...
My Yahama RXV-1 just died last year. One by one, the channels went out within the last 6 months. First one of the surround channel, then the two front channels, then the subwoofer, and then the center channel. I bought it new and only had it for less than 8 years. I only used it to watch movies. The one I had before that, the DSP E-1000 lasted 10 years without incident. I took mine to a trusted repair center. The answer I got after paying $200 was that Yamaha doesn't have any parts for this model anymore.

I had my eye set on the Denon AVR 4308CI until I saw what Integra (glorified Onkyo) has to offere. I was in the process of pulling the trigger to buy the Denon online when the mailman came. I went to grab the mail and saw the Integra on the cover of the Hometheater magazine. I ended up reading about it and decided to go take a look at it in the store. It's a beast! The only thing is that you can't buy it online, and it's a hot commodity, so expect to pay retail at $2400. But if I have to choose between Denon and Yamaha. I go with Denon.

FrankC
Thanks to all who took the time - words of experience no doubt. Especially to Flrnlamb for the detail reponse! They will certainly help me decide on the future choices !
HOWEVER, in all fairness, in the right application, it has been my experience that the entry level Yamaha's make simply excellent preamp/processors, as stand-alone units, while you drive the pre-out's with outboard amplifiers! The sound here has most favorably been very clear, extended, detailed, sound, matched with much stronger dynamics and bass impact and balance, etc, when configured as such! (on their own, however, most budget receivers are confined to driving small monitors as "small", with limited dynamic power output, otherwise.
I have set up several systems using Yamaha's $500-$1000 AV receivers, using them as strictly processor/preamps in HT/music systems, mated with 5 channel amplifiers, to GREAT EFFECT, over the years! Very nice sound, I would say for what it is.

This is exactly how I have my HT setup and it sounds absolutely fantastic.

Yamaha has been, and still is, a leader in surround HT soundfield. They have been able to create a realistic/consistent L-R/Front-Back effect as the object moves across the screen. My preferred setting is the enhanced Dolby Surround with the 2 front effect speakers completing the picture.

Even used as a preamp connected to a 2ch poweramp using the "Straight/Direct" out(no processor), it sounds pretty decent as a preamp.
I am no expert but I have had both and like the first reply, the Denon has worked out better for me. Oddly enough, I am currently, in my personal circle, surrounded by Denon as two close friends have the 5308 and the 3808, my sister has has a 2808 for a 18+ months now and I am running a Denon 4308 to my main amp. Three out of the four of us have had Yamaha before. If you can find a shop with both, take some of your fav CD's and give em a go!

Good luck,

Blu :-)
I currently own both. No question in my mind the Denon has better audio reproduction. I've always found the Yamaha sound to be veiled and overly warm. In my experience, Denon has a more open sound, better clarity and precise bass reproduction.