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Denon X3800H vs Pioneer VSX-LX505

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Hi all, 


My local hifi store is offering me a pretty good package deal, but I'm having trouble making a decision between receivers. Wondering what everyone's thoughts were? 


For reference, the 5.1 speaker setup I'm looking at is:

Towers: Kef Q950 Centre: Kef Q250C

Surrounds: Kef Q150

Sub: Kef KUBE 10 


Biggest disadvantage I'm seeing is that the 505 cannot adjust crossover frequencies for individual speakers, but I'm honestly wondering if that is such a big deal (as I've never had a proper 5.1 setup before so will be learning when it comes to calibrating the speakers). There seems to be some strong opinions against Pioneer AVR in general, whilst the Denon is a crowd favourite. But what has me stumped is how much the store person raved about the Pioneer and strongly suggested it, especially with the extra power. Plus Dirac Live seems to be a solid plus for the Pioneer. 


So yeah, anyone out there with a similar speaker setup as me? What AVR did you go with? 



Edited by choccymilk92
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i guess it depends on what you are looking for in an avr. it seems you will only need 5 channels, maybe 7 one day? and you are only just finding 5.1 but both avrs are 9 channel so both are far above what you need anyway.


the pio has 15w per channel extra ( 2 channels driven) all other power output stats dont mean diddly squat. the more speakers run the less watts per speaker available but both will run your speaker choice. the main thing the retailer would be gushing over is Dirac Live. thats the bonus of the pio, the universal xover setting is not a bother for probably 95% of users.

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Hey mate, yeah i'd like the option of going 5.1.2 or (even 5.1.4) down the line. For my poor wallet, just starting with 5.1 for now.


Bit more info is I'm also planning on getting the LG G3 77". The use will be alot of gaming (PC & PS5) and then of course streaming & blurays. This is also my first proper dedicated theatre/gaming setup, so I'm learning as I go about surround sound systems. 


The store guy's pitch of the extra power was that its nice to have a little bit more than needed so the speaker's can drive comfortably and not ever be lackluster. 


I was actually initially looking at the Denon x1800h or x2800h. But old mate suggested the Pio. So I went home and started looking up the x3800h as it seemed like the better comparison. 


Do you rekon they're both still overkill?

If there is a leap in quality, i'd still be interested in going for it. I may be a novice, but I do appreciate good sound quality and will learn & tinker as I go. 


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:welcome: to the forum...


Have you heard the 2 setups?  The AVRs will sound slightly different and if you prefer one over another, then the decision has been made!  It is important that you educate your ears because they are the final judge.


I am a fan of Dirac Live.  It comes standard with the LX505 but cost an additional USD349 for the X3800H.  The X3800H has adjustable cross overs in anticipation that it can take an upgraded Dirac option costing a lot more, but this is getting too complicated for someone just starting out.


If both are the same price, then LX505 is better value. But X3800H is more flexible; it comes with Audyssey which is good enough for someone like yourself. It gives you the option of upgrading to Dirac at additional cost. And Denon as a brand has a better reputation.


Sorry, all of this may be too much to absorb...

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Cheers Snoop. Nah you're all good, I've been eye balls deep all month reading about this stuff, so am familiar with what you've mentioned.


I agree, I think Audyssey will suffice for my experience level if I were to go with X3800H. Dirac will most definitely be out of my depth and I probably won't purchase it with the X3800H in the near future. But with the LX505, I would learn eventually how to tailor it to my likings. Same with adjusting crossover frequencies. And I hear that maybe a useful option as I continue building my setup.


I guess for now I'm just trying to sus out, leaving all that aside, is there anything else I'm missing on why one might be better than the other.  


Thanks for your opinion. They're pretty much knocking $1K off the LX505 which makes it an attractive offer. 


And to answer your question, I have not demoed the AVRs. It was hooked up to a Yamaha at the time. But I will ask them. That is a fair point. 

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1 hour ago, choccymilk92 said:

And to answer your question, I have not demoed the AVRs. It was hooked up to a Yamaha at the time. But I will ask them. That is a fair point. 

It is good that you have been doing research and asking here. But a side by side demo is the best way to select the AVR.  


For the audition, make sure it is the same volume by using a free phone app. And I use familiar music, and movies for a HT demo. Music will more readily show up the differences between AVRs.


Note that hardly any retailers will run Dirac Live.  Forget Yamaha APAO.  Audyssey is good but Dirac Live Bass Control (DLBC) is better and will use individual speaker crossovers.  But DLBC is overkill now.


While the power difference between the LX 505 and Denon X3800H is small, the general advice is to get a higher end AVR. A lower end AVR tends to have lower power.

Edited by Snoopy8
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