6 of the Best Flagship AV Receivers Compared for 2018!

gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Ratings
4,364 22 9
#1
Flagship AV receivers are back with a vengeance for 2018. We like what we are seeing from the major brands including: Yamaha, Denon, Marantz, Pioneer, Onkyo and NAD. We took a look at the top models for each of these companies to compare features, power and HD audio and video performance options. These AV receivers represent some of the very best options for the 2018 model year.

From the massive $4,000 13.2 Channel Denon AVR-X8500H to the $2,200 Yamaha RX-A3080 9.2 channel 3D immersive sound receiver with CINEMA DSP HD3 audio processing and Surround Sound Artificial Intelligence, you won't be disappointed in our list, so read on and decide which new AV receiver you want just in time for summer.

receivers.jpg


Read: 2018 Best AV Receivers - 6 Models Compared!

Which one is your favorite? Let us know why in the discussion thread below.
 
Bob Leonard

Bob Leonard

Junior Audioholic
Ratings
4
#2
I would love to see a full review of the new Denon flagship AVR-8500h.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Seriously, I have no life.
Ratings
6,794 16 6
#3
These days I think it's really mainly Denon/Marantz vs Yamaha. :D

But if we're also including Onkyo and Pioneer to make it more complete, I would rather include the $2200 SONY ES-5000 series AVR.
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
1,171 14 4
#4
These days I think it's really mainly Denon/Marantz vs Yamaha. :D

But if we're also including Onkyo and Pioneer to make it more complete, I would rather include the $2200 SONY ES-5000 series AVR.
I think, these days it really just comes down to how many channels you want to shoe horn into a single box.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Seriously, I have no life.
Ratings
6,794 16 6
#6
Another thing, isn't it time they get rid most of those legacy inputs/outputs? Maybe have just one RCA, one Component, one Coaxial, One Optical?

Clutter/complexity is just bad to me.
 
I

IBJamon

Audiophyte
Ratings
1
#7
I really like Pioneer's Class D amps, and I consider them the best amps in a receiver (much better than Denon/Marantz amps for sure when I compared them - Yamaha was much closer). However, since I went separates, I grabbed a Marantz and love the processor - it's a fantastic pre-pro.

The differentiation between Onkyo and Pioneer is so small at the high end, that I barely see a reason for the Onkyos to exist. I mean MCACC isn't quite as good as Audyssey and friends, but it does a decent job... and has much more R&D than that AccuEQ stuff. Either give Onkyo's MCACC and market them differently (like they do with Integra) or... well I'm not really sure honestly. Maybe license Audyssey again or Dirac?

Onkyo stuff is engineered pretty well (I owned one for a short while, and it did sound wonderful) and I've owned several Pioneer Elites and still run a SC-77 in my secondary system. Every time I fire it up I am reminded how wonderful it sounds - it just doesn't hold a candle to the Marantz + Emotiva XPR-5 in my main setup. :)
 
Last edited:
F

FarmerBob

Audiophyte
#8
I was a Pioneer man since the Gold Series in the 80's. But since the merger of Onkyo and Pioneer their gear is garbage. I have an SC-1222K that is dying from poor design and manfacturing, was under warranty and during the merger Pioneer Tech Support totally bailed on their customers. I was told by a Pioneer tech to consider it a $1200 paper weight, walk away and never buy Pioneer again or Onkyo. When I called again to get service I got Onkyo support and they wouldn't deal with it. Even though I had an extended warranty I could not get the unit fixed. Any service center in my area that use to or said they work on Pioneer gear had cut off dates on what they would work on and mine was past that cut off. They sighted that bad build and expensive parts are too much trouble for them to deal with and they couldn't guarantee that the fix would work for long. ALTHOUGH, my two VSX-9300's and a VSX-D909S that are still going strong and sound great can be repaired. So I guess it's back to Yamaha, Marantz (my first ever receiver, a 2245 that I still have and it's working just fine) and pro gear that I used before going Pioneer.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Seriously, I have no life.
Ratings
6,794 16 6
#9
...it just doesn't hold a candle to the Marantz + Emotiva XPR-5 in my main setup. :)
Which Marantz?

You're talking about sound quality with the EQ (like Audyssey XT32 and/or Dynamic EQ)?

Or just straight Direct Mode sound quality (no Room Correction, EQ, DSP of any kind) ?
 
I

IBJamon

Audiophyte
Ratings
1
#10
@FarmerBob
Yeah that UE22 error was pretty terrible. That was actually long before the Onkyo purchase though; you can't blame Onkyo on that one, unfortunately. Onkyo also had a similar issue with video boards - but at least they owned up to it and massively extended warranties well beyond what is normal, which was really great of them to do despite their own massive mistake. So in my mind at least, Onkyo has somewhat redeemed themselves on that end.

The amplifier technology is really great though and my SC-77 was not effected by it. The 1222k was from the model year before and was definitely effected - my dad bought several second hand 1522ks and one of them had the same issue.

I had an issue with my 2002 VSX-49TX - the preamp board died. Thankfully I can still use it as basically a 7 channel integrated amp. It's perhaps the best Class A/B design Pioneer ever had - they sound absolutely incredible. In my previous setup, I had a Denon 3808, and I ended up connecting the pre-outs to my 49TX because the amps were simply that much better sounding than the Denon. So on the one hand I agree with you - but their products do sound great. It's too bad they won't get into the separates game, but it is what it is. Their Class D amps are really good and perhaps worth buying on their own.
 
I

IBJamon

Audiophyte
Ratings
1
#11
Which Marantz?

You're talking about sound quality with the EQ (like Audyssey XT32 and/or Dynamic EQ)?

Or just straight Direct Mode sound quality (no Room Correction, EQ, DSP of any kind) ?
I have the AV7703. Yes, I do like Audyssey better than MCACC. That shouldn't be too much of a surprise. ;)
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Seriously, I have no life.
Ratings
6,794 16 6
#12
I have the AV7703. Yes, I do like Audyssey better than MCACC. That shouldn't be too much of a surprise. ;)
I haven't heard anyone bragging about Pioneer's room correction or dynamic EQ. :D

I'm going to compare Audyssey Dynamic EQ vs Yamaha's YPAO Volume this weekend.

The Marantz AV7703 been reliable?
 
I

IBJamon

Audiophyte
Ratings
1
#13
I haven't heard anyone bragging about Pioneer's room correction or dynamic EQ. :D

I'm going to compare Audyssey Dynamic EQ vs Yamaha's YPAO Volume this weekend.

The Marantz AV7703 been reliable?
For some reason my reply is being blocked...

I will try it in chuncks...
 
I

IBJamon

Audiophyte
Ratings
1
#14
You can get a good sound out of MCACC, but mine was the last year before they did subwoofer EQ, which of course makes a huge difference. Regardless I got a killer deal on that XPR-5 so I took the opportunity to go full separates. Not regretting it, really. (The rest of the 11 channels are crown amps)
 
S

Schrodinger23

Enthusiast
Ratings
9
#15
Flagship AV receivers are back with a vengeance for 2018. We like what we are seeing from the major brands including: Yamaha, Denon, Marantz, Pioneer, Onkyo and NAD. We took a look at the top models for each of these companies to compare features, power and HD audio and video performance options. These AV receivers represent some of the very best options for the 2018 model year.

From the massive $4,000 13.2 Channel Denon AVR-X8500H to the $2,200 Yamaha RX-A3080 9.2 channel 3D immersive sound receiver with CINEMA DSP HD3 audio processing and Surround Sound Artificial Intelligence, you won't be disappointed in our list, so read on and decide which new AV receiver you want just in time for summer.

View attachment 24648

Read: 2018 Best AV Receivers - 6 Models Compared!

Which one is your favorite? Let us know why in the discussion thread below.

There seems to be a typo in the NAD section of the article.

"The T777 V3 doesn’t have as many features as some of the other amplifiers on our list, but it does boast a robust seven-channel amplifier... "

"Of course, the T 777 V3 does have Dolby Atmos immersive sound processing which will allow you to create a 5.1.2 system right out of the box or a 7.1.4 system with two additional two-channel amplifier..."

Looking at the photo on the back I can only see 9 channels of binding posts, though it isn't high resolution and is a little blurry. So I think that with the two additional amplifier channels you might be able to do 5.1.4 or 7.1.2, but not 7.1.4. Unless I am missing something.

That's a shame, since they seem to be the only receiver that has Dirac. I want 7.1.4 for Atmos though.
 
I

IBJamon

Audiophyte
Ratings
1
#16
The AV7703 has been pretty good for the most part. The only problems I have with it are certain pieces of hardware don't get along that well. I have a JVC RS420 projector (best investment ever, that one) and my PS4 Pro does not get along too well with it. There is occasional blinking, and the chroma subchannels have to be 4:2:0 in order for it to work properly, which means no HDR. But oddly enough my Xbox One X works perfectly - full 4:4:4 and HDR works as expected.

Also, my NVIDIA GTX 1070 laptop cannot properly output 4k + 4:4:4 chroma through the Marantz. It ticks me off a bit... I can go 4:2:0, and the Xbox works... it's frustrating. The laptop connected directly to the projector works perfectly. All in all, it seems that the video chipset is kinda crappy in the Denon/Marantz line.

Also you cannot ever get proper 4:4:4 chroma working with the on screen display enabled. This is true even at 1080p. So I had to turn it off everywhere.
 
I

IBJamon

Audiophyte
Ratings
1
#17
In that sense, my Pioneer was actually more stable, but it wasn't HDMI 2.0 either, so it's not apples and oranges. I did like that Pioneer did a great job leaving the image alone with the OSD though.



Despite that, once I understood the quirks, the AV7703 has been pretty rock solid. Sounds great, no crashing or anything like that, and multizone even works okay most of the time. The Audyssey app is pretty neat, though I really need to spend some more time with it, and I sure wish they allowed more fine-grained curve tuning than just what your finger can accomplish.

(end posts. Not sure why it wouldn't allow my reply all in a big one.)
@AcuDefTechGuy
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Ratings
4,364 22 9
#18
There seems to be a typo in the NAD section of the article.

"The T777 V3 doesn’t have as many features as some of the other amplifiers on our list, but it does boast a robust seven-channel amplifier... "

"Of course, the T 777 V3 does have Dolby Atmos immersive sound processing which will allow you to create a 5.1.2 system right out of the box or a 7.1.4 system with two additional two-channel amplifier..."

Looking at the photo on the back I can only see 9 channels of binding posts, though it isn't high resolution and is a little blurry. So I think that with the two additional amplifier channels you might be able to do 5.1.4 or 7.1.2, but not 7.1.4. Unless I am missing something.

That's a shame, since they seem to be the only receiver that has Dirac. I want 7.1.4 for Atmos though.
NAD website claims 2 two-channel amplifiers will allow you to do 7.1.4. I can email to confirm.
 
S

Schrodinger23

Enthusiast
Ratings
9
#19
NAD website claims 2 two-channel amplifiers will allow you to do 7.1.4. I can email to confirm.
I understand now. You are adding 2 two-channel amplifiers or 4 channels of amplification. I read this several times and even boldfaced it and thought it was saying just 2 channels of amplification. Now this makes sense. My mistake. Thank you.
 
KenM10759

KenM10759

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
818 8 1
#20
There seems to be a typo in the NAD section of the article.

"The T777 V3 doesn’t have as many features as some of the other amplifiers on our list, but it does boast a robust seven-channel amplifier... "

"Of course, the T 777 V3 does have Dolby Atmos immersive sound processing which will allow you to create a 5.1.2 system right out of the box or a 7.1.4 system with two additional two-channel amplifier..."

Looking at the photo on the back I can only see 9 channels of binding posts, though it isn't high resolution and is a little blurry. So I think that with the two additional amplifier channels you might be able to do 5.1.4 or 7.1.2, but not 7.1.4. Unless I am missing something.

That's a shame, since they seem to be the only receiver that has Dirac. I want 7.1.4 for Atmos though.
Both the NAD T758v3 and T777v3 are 7-channels amplified. That means 5.1.2 without any additional and, 7.1.2 with a 2-channel amp, or 7.1.4 with a 4-channel amp.

I have the older T758 that has been upgraded with the VM130 4k video MDC module and the BlueOS kit. I'm just an AM230 MDC module away from having the full "v3". When I have the money, I'll get the AM230 installed and add the $99 for full Dirac Live. I am VERY happy with this AVR.
 

Latest posts


newsletter
  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis