View Full Version : Pioneer Home Theater Receiver: deal or no?

December 23rd, 2014, 01:09 PM
Amazon's deal of the day will expire tonight: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/ref=pe_897420_129533990_pe_ecg-hero/?ASIN=B00D4MQ06E

It's more than half off. Info and pro reviews seem slightly scarce. I have a Denon 2105 (http://www.crutchfield.com/S-xEtvKbDHTMy/p_033AV2105B/Denon-AVR-2105.html) now which I'm reasonably happy with. Sound quality is pretty good. So I know the new Pioneer will have a lot more modern features and tech (HDMI anyone? lol) but I'm wondering if the sound quality is comparable, better, or worse. I can't find any real info on the DAC circuitry inside.

I've always loved Pioneer's car audio products but have no experience with these. What say the experts? Should I jump on it and send my Denon to Craigslist? Wild guess maybe I could get $100-200 for it.

December 23rd, 2014, 01:25 PM
CNET Australia gave it 4 or 4.5 stars, and the deep discount seems to be because it's an old model (they had nearly the same sale last December).

I'm of the opinion that most good receivers will have sound good enough that, in day to day life, you'll appreciate features more than you will a small difference in sound quality.

December 23rd, 2014, 04:01 PM
Not sure it's that special - which isn't to say anything bad, only that at $500 I'm not sure I'd jump through hoops for the deal. You can score some sort of similar receiver more or less any time. I agree that when you're in the thick of mid-range receivers you aren't going to see sound quality variances that are worth worrying about. You have to buy something very cheap to be sad, or very expensive to be blown away. I've installed about a dozen $400-$1000 receivers this years and can't tell any obvious difference between them - most of the magic happens at the speaker anyhow.

I think big point for consideration with this particular Pioneer is the 120w/channel - very good for the price. If you need that kind of wattage it's probably worth jumping on, but if the 90w/c you have no is doing fine, I wouldn't be compelling to change anything. As long as your TV has optical out and the receiver optical in, you really don't need HDMI switching. In 2014, I'd be more concerned about 4k - both support and upconversion - which I don't think the Pioneer has. Since receivers tend to give good life, I'd consider 4k support to be absolutely paramount. You'll want that in 2-3 years for sure.

Rare White Ape
December 24th, 2014, 01:21 AM
Yeah nah, your receiver makes almost zippo difference to the sound quality. It might have done 30 years ago, but it's all about features nowadays.

Unless your old receiver is beaten, which my 2001 vintage Sony was before I replaced it with a Denon in 2012.

And as TSG hinted, all the difference happens in the speaker box, and my 2001 vintage Jamos are still holding up their end wonderfully.

But it is nice to upgrade to some new toys. It's that time of year after all. Treat yourself and go for it!

December 24th, 2014, 02:04 PM
Thanks guys. I let the deal pass by. It's a good time to upgrade to new tech since the H/T room is still very unfinished (TV, speakers, CD/DVD player and receiver are hooked up temporarily but nothing is wired properly or in cabinets yet) but I couldn't justify $500 now knowing it might not make any improvement to my sound quality. The one comparable spec I was able to find between this Pioneer and my older Denon showed the Denon amplifier to have less THD anyway. Its power is sufficient for me now, certainly.

The interesting thing to me is that I'm not sure whether my receiver is my weak point or not. A few years ago I decided it was after my audiophile friend brought over a ~$3k tube amp and hooked it up to my CD player and speakers, and I was extremely impressed at the improvement. Maybe I just like the analog sound, too, incorrect as it may be sometimes. But more recently as we were setting up the new H/T room for the best acoustic positioning of the speakers, when we finalized their location and listened to an album (Sara Bareilles: Brave Enough - her voice is insane), my friend remarked that my cheap speakers sound "far better than they have any right to." And that was with my Denon. So who knows. Other than a moody button on the remote, I've had zero problems with it.

Of course the ideal is thousands in amplifier equipment but I don't forsee that happening until I win the lottery a couple times, so consumer-grade stuff it is. :)

December 24th, 2014, 03:15 PM
Don't forget there is no magic bullet when it comes to audio. Rock music wants different equipment than techno than Sara than home theater. Anything that's good at all of them will be a compromise of all of them, too. Personal preference also figures heavily in, as some people prefer warmer sounds and some people prefer brighter or harsher sounds and that's different equipment too. Unless you are into technical masturbation or have a very narrow range of like, I wouldn't stress too much. Denon makes good equipment and always has - you won't get a major boost in sound quality without spending a fortune on amplification. And if you're still building the system and the room you still have a lot of variables to tackle before deciding what amp you need or want. My $0.02.

December 24th, 2014, 11:18 PM
Not really building the room so much as moving the setup to a different room. But yeah. I've had the fortune/misfortune of hearing one very, very expensive and amazing setup with several albums. It sounded great with all kinds of music, IMO. Of course, the audio equipment alone probably cost more than all my cars. Anyway, it used to have some high end tube amplification and then the owner switched to solid state later, and I felt the combination with his speakers/room was too harsh and clinical. It was better on tubes.