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Denon as processor

stromb0li

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Hey ASR,

Sorry for newbie question and what looks like potentially another similar thread, but thinking of pulling the trigger on one of Denon's new units and using it solely as a processor. What's holding me back is it look like Anthem's AVM 70 8k looks really compelling now (finally HDMI 2.1 support is actually here), but wish it had the option to choose/try Dirac and ARC Genisis (I haven't tried either, but it's hard to find a negative review on Dirac (other than learning curve), so thinking Dirac might be the better path).

My question is, given Denon's receivers don't have balanced/XLR pre-outs (except for sub channel), how well will the RCA pre-outs handle? Would the unbalanced output be worse than just using ARC Gensis on the AVM 70 8k? Would it be just as competitive to pair the AVM 70 8k with Mini-DSP Flex for the low-end and let ARC handle the higher frequencies (have seen some great reviews for ARC with exception of bass management).

Similarly, when using RCA out, do they make RCA -> XLR for the sake of connecting to amplifiers that don't have RCA? I see Anthem has both XLR and RCA input on their amps, are there any recommendations for well measured amplifiers with RCA in?

Cheers!
 

Vincentponcet

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AFAIK, this is properly wired RCA/XLR cable
47754.jpg
 

Vincentponcet

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For performance comparison, it's 99 vers 97db SINAD.

The advantage of an AVR like the Denon is to use an external amp only for the most solicited channels, like LCR, and use internal amps for the others, ie surround+atmos.
You have Audissey instead of the ARC system of Anthem, which is better, I don't know.
Plus, it is half the price of the anthem.
The real plus of the anthem is higher level preamp output, to use an amp with lower sensitivity.
 

Golfx

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Welcome new person! I used a Denon AVR as just a prepro and used Nord Amplifiers for external amps which have both RCA and XLR inputs. This makes it easy to switch later on if you do go to XLR only. The latter provides some extra prevention of grounding/noise issues on really LONG cables. You will not notice any degradation of audio quality using either one. As the above post suggest you could start with a 3 channel LCR external amp and use the denon internal amps for your surround/atmos. Thus saving you money initially which you can then augment later on with more external amps. The Nords also adjust input gain (preamp out accommodation) when using RCA vs XLR. Specs on the class D hypex nords are quite superior to almost all class AB amps like the anthems.

Regarding the Anthem AVPs—have you read through their owner’s forum? There are quite a few bugs encountered with their use and they have really skimpy user manuals when compared to the much less buggy Denons who offer much more detailed user manuals which describe tips and how to use advanced features. The newer Denons will also offer you the option of an upgrade to Dirac later on.

 

devopsprodude

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I wouldn't use Denon or Marantz anything for home theater right now. All their stuff is showing out to be of mediocre design in Amir's testing. And I say this as a disappointed AVR-7705 owner.
 

Golfx

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I wouldn't use Denon or Marantz anything for home theater right now. All their stuff is showing out to be of mediocre design in Amir's testing. And I say this as a disappointed AVR-7705 owner.
That is a shame. Sigh
 

Roland68

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Hey ASR,

Sorry for newbie question and what looks like potentially another similar thread, but thinking of pulling the trigger on one of Denon's new units and using it solely as a processor. What's holding me back is it look like Anthem's AVM 70 8k looks really compelling now (finally HDMI 2.1 support is actually here), but wish it had the option to choose/try Dirac and ARC Genisis (I haven't tried either, but it's hard to find a negative review on Dirac (other than learning curve), so thinking Dirac might be the better path).

My question is, given Denon's receivers don't have balanced/XLR pre-outs (except for sub channel), how well will the RCA pre-outs handle? Would the unbalanced output be worse than just using ARC Gensis on the AVM 70 8k? Would it be just as competitive to pair the AVM 70 8k with Mini-DSP Flex for the low-end and let ARC handle the higher frequencies (have seen some great reviews for ARC with exception of bass management).

Similarly, when using RCA out, do they make RCA -> XLR for the sake of connecting to amplifiers that don't have RCA? I see Anthem has both XLR and RCA input on their amps, are there any recommendations for well measured amplifiers with RCA in?

Cheers!
On many high-end AVRs and AV-PREs, even $5000 (or more), the balanced signal is created from the SE signal only at the output. This is easy to see in the service booklet.
I bought a used Yamaha RX-V779 which has both power amps and all preamp outputs.
I created the balanced signal with DRV134 chips directly at the preamp output and saved myself over 4000 $/€ for an XLR-based device.

You might also find this thread interesting: Lamenting the lack of good quality budget A/V Preamplifier/Processors
 

FrantzM

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On many high-end AVRs and AV-PREs, even $5000 (or more), the balanced signal is created from the SE signal only at the output. This is easy to see in the service booklet.
I bought a used Yamaha RX-V779 which has both power amps and all preamp outputs.
I created the balanced signal with DRV134 chips directly at the preamp output and saved myself over 4000 $/€ for an XLR-based device.

You might also find this thread interesting: Lamenting the lack of good quality budget A/V Preamplifier/Processors
Very interesting!
Did you built an external box with the chips or did you mount these inside the AVR complete with the balanced connectors?
I have simply made SE to SLR cable to drive my active speakers and I haven't had any ground issues. Keeping my fingers crossed :).. I may build such a box: DRV134 at about $7.00/piece, Neutrik Chassis XLR $7.oo/piece, Neutrik RCA $6.oo each, Low noise Power Supply+ Chassis = Less than $200.oo in parts.

Thanks for the idea.


Peace.
 

Roland68

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Very interesting!
Did you built an external box with the chips or did you mount these inside the AVR complete with the balanced connectors?
I have simply made SE to SLR cable to drive my active speakers and I haven't had any ground issues. Keeping my fingers crossed :).. I may build such a box: DRV134 at about $7.00/piece, Neutrik Chassis XLR $7.oo/piece, Neutrik RCA $6.oo each, Low noise Power Supply+ Chassis = Less than $200.oo in parts.

Thanks for the idea.


Peace.
At Aliexpress and in the bay there are empty circuit boards for 2 x DRV134, plus small aluminum boxes approx. 80x50x20mm. Per box / 2 channels you need 2 x RCA plugs for the AVR and 2 x XLR plugs for the power amplifiers. It cost me about 15-18 $/€ per box / 2 channels (without cable and without DRV134). Please only buy the DRV134 from official distributors.
From the box I put out 2 x approx. 5cm long cables with RCA for the AVR, on the other side 2 x cables with XLR in the appropriate length and on the side the 3-pin power cable for +/- 12V. For the power supply I built a power supply with CRC filtering that supplies 3 modules with 2 x DRV134 each. So 6 channels.
 
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