Yamaha RX Z11 vs. Denon 5803

I am trying to decide which AV receive to purchase for my first HT system, either a Yamaha RX Z11 or a Denon 5803. The slight price difference between these two receivers is of no concern to me.

One criticism of the Yamaha that I read was that it did not allow for a GUI/Volume overlay over 1080p. I'm not sure what this means or whether I should be concerned.

The rest of my system is as follows:

Front speakers B&W Matrix 802 series 3
Center channel B&W HTM
Rear surround speakers B&W 803 series 2
Classe CA 200 amp
Classe CP 35 preamp
Velodyne DD12 sub

My basement/non-dedicated listening room is 12.5 feet wide, 7 feet high and 23 feet long. Three of the walls are solid concrete-like material (actually telephone tiles which are large terra-cotta tiles) and the fourth wall is plasterboard.

I intend to power the front speakers with the Classe CA 200 amp, which are bi-wired to the front speakers, even after my AV receiver arrives.

I have visited a store that sold both AV receivers but they were not able to demo the models for me. Your help in making this decision would be greatly appreciated.


My guess is that you can't go wrong with either - both companies have been building statement HT receivers for years and appear to be quite good at it. I've always been a fan of Denon gear, but have no basis to recommend it over Yamaha.

The criticism you read I would interpret as - when you're in 1080p mode, if you change the volume, you won't see the volume flash up on the screen momentarily to make it easy to see what is happening - you'd have to look at the front panel.

It has been a while since I've shopped for HT gear, but I would think the decision would come down to feature-set capability - do they both do HDMI switching, do they both do all of the sound decoding formats you want, etc. Personally, I find the feature explosion on these things to be over the top, especially the decoding capabilities. In any case, I haven't shopped since HDMI became real, so I'd want to convince myself that the receiver I was choosing did an excellent job of handling / switching HDMI if that's the connection format of choice for you.

To veer off your two choices for a second, given that you have an extremely nice system and already have a separate amp for your fronts, etc., have you considered going for separates. If you have to have HDMI switching, or you want to buy new, it's probably a non-starter, but for what I imagine the receivers cost, you could get a very nice used pre/pro and a very nice used 5-channel amp. I'm sure you've already considered this route and rejected it, but it's a route I would look at closely if I was making the purchase.

Thanks for your reply. I think you are right that I can't go wrong with either choice. However, I would like to see a volume indicator on my television display when I am changing volume so I may go with the Denon.

Initially I considered separates. Since I have a two channel amp I was looking for a Classe 3 channel x200 watt 8 ohm amplifier and a Classe processor. The cost of this combination exceeded the cost of either of these receivers. The benefit of the Classe equipment is that it allows for balanced connectors but the Denon 5803 does not. Denon does have a higher level separate processor and multichannel amp for a combined price of about $14k. This is more than I would like to spend.

If you can recommend another multichannel amp, processor combination I would be happy to explore this option.

As a side note, I initially had purchased a Yamaha RX Z9 receiver for $1500. I thougth this was a great deal which led me to abandon the separates option. However, the Z9 arrived damaged and the place where I purchased the Z9 had no additional Z9s. Then I shifted my search to AV receivers that could handle HDMI switching which led me to the RX11 and the Denon 5803.

Thanks again for your comments they were very helpful.