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Denon Replaces AKM AK4458 DAC IC in X4700H and X6700H

Oski1997

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btw while it may very well be the dacs at play, there is such a distinct difference in the sound from denon to marantz, that it may be you just prefer that more music what id call warmer and rolled off highs, to a denon.
I did notice the softer/"musical" difference right away. I think for this reason Denon is better for movies (especially IMAX Enhanced movies). But, it wasn't just that. The Marantz also had more detail coming from the speakers. I could hear more (like chirping birds, or creaking sounds) and it was cleaner sounding. I actually liked the sound of the Denon better but it lacked clarity. I'm new to all of this so I'm not familiar with the vocabulary used to describe sounds. That's why I kept the Marantz. I'm sure if I had the Denon with the AKM4458, I would've liked that better. But, for now, at least with the Denon I received, there was something missing in the detail/clarity of the sound. Which I think is the new DAC not performing as well.
 

jrocks29

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In my experience no you cannot buy an old refurbished unit with a warranty to avoid getting a newly built unit. That is exactly what i did and got a new one. After contacting Accessories 4 less, they informed me there were no older refurbished ones left. They are the top dog in the refurb game, and actually carry a 3 year warranty for some of their products like the 4700h I received.
Does anyone know for sure what dacs are being used in the recently build Denon receivers (x4700, or others) since may 2021?
 

Oski1997

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In my experience no you cannot buy an old refurbished unit with a warranty to avoid getting a newly built unit. That is exactly what i did and got a new one. After contacting Accessories 4 less, they informed me there were no older refurbished ones left. They are the top dog in the refurb game, and actually carry a 3 year warranty for some of their products like the 4700h I received.
Does anyone know for sure what dacs are being used in the recently build Denon receivers (x4700, or others) since may 2021?
There are no tear downs to date so no one knows for sure.
 

peng

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Just noticed these are two different pictures not a different angle of the same board. I did not see a second photo on Denon Jaopan's website. I'm curious where did this second photo come from, and what is it being toted as?

As I mentioned, that other board was posted on Denon website for the AVR-X4500H, and before the news of the AVR-X4700H's DAC IC was replaced. I copied/pasted that photo at the time on my Excel spreadsheet that I used to collect such images for comparison to other models including Marantz. The only way you can find the source of that image would be to do an extensive search on the internet for cached images of websites, that may still be floating around the internet. I did try but could not find any, but my search skill is likely not good enough..:D

Regardless, as posted by bigguyca on the AVS forum (if I remember right), Marantz.jp also posted similar notice but at the time they only mentioned 3 models though there I would think it is not a guarantee that models not mentioned are not affected by now. A good example is, the AV8805A was not covered by the notice that was released on 2021/4/02, yet you can see in the teardown video that the DAC IC was in fact replaced with the ESS IC that has lower SINAD and DR specs.

https://www.marantz.jp/news/pressreleases/ja-jp/21001

If you are opting for Marantz, you may want to avoid the SR6015 just to be on the safe side because it may, just may have the same DAC that the AVR-X3700H has now,

NOTICE OF D/A CONVERTER CHANGE OF SOME PRODUCTS​

DUE TO THE FIRE AT ASAHI KASEI ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.'S SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING PLANT THAT OCCURRED ON OCTOBER 20, 2020, IT HAS BECOME DIFFICULT TO CONTINUOUSLY PROCURE SEMICONDUCTOR PARTS, INCLUDING D/A CONVERTERS USED IN SOME OF OUR PRODUCTS. WE HAVE CONTINUED TO PRODUCE PRODUCTS USING PARTS INVENTORY THAT WE ALREADY OWNED AND PARTS PROCURED FROM THE MARKET, BUT SINCE IT IS EXPECTED THAT IT WILL BE DIFFICULT TO RESUME SUPPLY OF SUCH PARTS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, WE HAVE DECIDED TO CHANGE TO ALTERNATIVE PARTS AND CONTINUE PRODUCTION.
SINCE D/A CONVERTERS HAVE A PARTICULARLY LARGE IMPACT ON THE SOUND QUALITY OF PRODUCTS, WHEN CHANGING THEM, WE SELECTED REPLACEMENT PARTS, REDESIGNED PERIPHERAL CIRCUITS AND SOFTWARE, AND EVALUATED SOUND QUALITY AND TUNED SOUND BY SOUND MASTERS IN THE SAME PROCESS AS WHEN DEVELOPING NEW PRODUCTS. AS A RESULT, WE ARE NOW ABLE TO CONTINUE TO DELIVER PRODUCTS OF THE SAME QUALITY AS BEFORE THE D/A CONVERTER CHANGE, WHILE MAINTAINING THE SAME SOUND QUALITY, PERFORMANCE, AND FUNCTIONALITY AS BEFORE THE D/A CONVERTER CHANGE.
we will continue to strive to deliver products that satisfy our customers in the future, so thank you very much.
PRODUCTS SUBJECT TO D/A CONVERTER CHANGE
- CD Player:CD6007-Pre-Main

Amplifier:PM7000N,PM6007-AV

Amplifier:SR8015,SR6015,NR1711
 

peng

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They don’t have enough AKM 4458 chips to go around because of the AKM fire in Japan last October. The Marantz rep I spoke to said Sound United is putting the AKM chips they have into the Marantz units and the PCM chips into the Denon units because of the low inventory (but this has yet to be confirmed by an actual tear down). In my opinion, they probably don’t have enough AKM chips to keep putting them into the Marantz units either. So the Marantz units may eventually get PCM chips too.

I understood you perfectly and I do agree with you to a large extent, but I am not sure if you understood my point that we have been seeing conflicting information (yes even on the Marantz side) floating around and so I tend to trust those based on written responses as posted by ASR members other than yourself. Personally I thought I could at least trust what was posted on the Marantz Japan and Denon Japan website a little more than the rep you spoke to on the phone. I do have quite a bit of experience dealing with those customer reps so I know a few things on that..

And, no offense, sighted and/or not tightly controlled listening comparison cannot be taken seriously. That's not me saying this, there are plenty of well documented articles based on many studies on the topic. In reality, yes DAC IC do matter a lot, but whether the results would be translated into audible difference is highly debatable as it would depend..,, the topic will be controversial and outside the scope of this thread so I would stop..

Congrats to your good experience with your Marantz, whatever model that is and I hope you got yourself a good deal too, like a Black Friday deal.:)
 

peng

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I have a borescope/endoscope thingy coming today. My hope is that I can get a look at the DAC without completely tearing down my 3700H.
Excellent idea, hope it works. Regardless, how do you like it so far?
 

beren777

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Excellent idea, hope it works. Regardless, how do you like it so far?

In a blind test I doubt I'd tell a difference in audio quality between it and the Marantz 6013 that it replaced. I upgraded mainly for 4K/120 gaming support but then I sold the PS5 and I haven't upgraded my TV yet anyway. Oops. At least it'll be more or less fully HDMI 2.1 ready if I upgrade the TV and want to do PC gaming on the TV.

The Marantz got partially eaten by a shipping company (to be fair I think the shipping company was more interested in eating the box and the Marantz simply got in the way) and I have it back now, so I'll probably use it as my borescope guinea pig before poking the Denon. DACs should be in about the same place.
 

peng

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In a blind test I doubt I'd tell a difference in audio quality between it and the Marantz 6013 that it replaced. I upgraded mainly for 4K/120 gaming support but then I sold the PS5 and I haven't upgraded my TV yet anyway. Oops. At least it'll be more or less fully HDMI 2.1 ready if I upgrade the TV and want to do PC gaming on the TV.

The Marantz got partially eaten by a shipping company (to be fair I think the shipping company was more interested in eating the box and the Marantz simply got in the way) and I have it back now, so I'll probably use it as my borescope guinea pig before poking the Denon. DACs should be in about the same place.

I don't know if you read mike7877's thread. He compared the two V1 vs V2 and he said he was keeping V2. No surprise really, either one can hear a difference, or not and is a highly subjective matter. If a difference is heard, then one will likely pick the one that sounds better to him/her, but another person may find the other one sounding better. That's one reason I always put more faith in the more objective specs and measurements.:) At least your expectation is understandably low at the moment, that the IC would likely be the PCM5102A. Hopefully your little scope camera will give you a nice surprise. The DAC board would likely be the 3rd or 4th from the top, if your camera is small enough it may just work.
 
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beren777

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I don't know if you read mike7877's thread. He compared the two V1 vs V2 and he said he was keeping V2. No surprise really, either one can hear a difference, or not and is a highly subjective matter. If a difference is heard, then one will likely pick the one that sounds better to him/her, but another person may find the other one sounding better. That's one reason I always put more faith in the more objective specs and measurements.:) At least your expectation is understandably low at the moment, that the IC would likely be the PCM5102A. Hopefully you little scope camera will give you a nice surprise. The DAC board would likely be the 3rd or 4th from the top, if your camera is small enough it may just work.

Well, I'm also middle age and the day to day variance of my tinnitus is surely more pronounced than the difference between units. We'll see how flexible this borescope is, I'd also like to explore the innards of a few speakers via their port.
 

Jkaiser3

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I have a borescope/endoscope thingy coming today. My hope is that I can get a look at the DAC without completely tearing down my 3700H.
Man that’s awesome, but I wish you had a x4700 to look into. I wonder though if you can help provide instruction on how to identify the dacs, without tearing down a unit, thus voiding it’s warranty. Although layout is significantly different from 3700 to 4700, I’ve had both.
 

Jkaiser3

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My 4700 did sound good, in fact it sounded impressive prior to my having to open up my speakers and trouble shoot an issue. This led to me having to cut my tube connectors wiring and I’ve since soldered it back on but it’s crazy how much difference that made in the clarity, a proper demo of my version 2 x4700h won’t be possible til I can install my new Electra tube connectors in my speakers. The only thing I am missing that I can tell, is a certain level of warm full room filling bass fatness, that lower warmth of old. It has that AKM crispness up high lots of detail, and even good soundstage, but the imaging isn’t pin point and doesn’t float quite as much as I’d expected, that could be room related I have a small listening area close to the size of a square. I know bad. But anyhow, I think I’ll be able to do some listening tests with my tube connectors and give my impressions on the version 2 build and how it fairs even with a replacement DAC. All I can say is that you may need more adjustments in the multi eq editor app, to pull up that neutral detailed sounding thin bass, and all may be fine.
I don’t know, I’m just feeling sad and scared because my jerry rigged speaker connections sound like crap, and although I know they will sound way better when the new ones get installed, I’m sitting here listening to how things now, and all I can think is damn, this doesn’t sound like a few grand well spent, this better get much better or I feel defrauded of an experience I’ve paid for and am getting something less because of this and that, but I don’t really care about the change it had to happen, but damnit, tell us what the change was. Tell us what we are paying for as consumers of your brand Sound United.
How would one reach Amir directly to see if he can open a channel of conversation with sound United staff to see if we can get some answers regarding these Dacs?
 

Jkaiser3

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Surely the 3700 may in fact have the PCM5102A for the main zone as Geoflex said he had seen them. My point is simply why would they deviate from standardizing on the same AK4458 that they have been since 2017? How much can they save going from 2 eight channel chips to 7 two channel chips, plus the added inventory cost having to carry a different board now for the 3700 vs the same one for the 3700 and 4700? It just puzzles me a little, that's all. Hopefully the 4700 and 6700 do get a better one than than the 3700's.
How can anybody answer a question on motive when pricing for these chips and labor regarding changes aren’t provided. For me this is a hypethrtical assertion, that doesn’t help us get an inch closer to the fact of the matter, what is being used for dacs in the various denon and maranta ranges.
 

beren777

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How would one reach Amir directly to see if he can open a channel of conversation with sound United staff to see if we can get some answers regarding these Dacs?

I have a scope with a 5mm head on the way and will try again. Like you I don't really want to endanger my warranty through a physical teardown.

I think the more viable option would be to offer to send one of your units to Amir for measurement. Some of us have offered to help with shipping costs. Then, regardless of all else, you'll know how the new build measures. In the end, that matters more than the individual components.
 

Jkaiser3

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I have a scope with a 5mm head on the way and will try again. Like you I don't really want to endanger my warranty through a physical teardown.

I think the more viable option would be to offer to send one of your units to Amir for measurement. Some of us have offered to help with shipping costs. Then, regardless of all else, you'll know how the new build measures. In the end, that matters more than the individual components.
Your probably right, the implementation of their new design could have as large an effect as the other changes. I’m starting to feel my limiting factors of my speakers, speaker cables, and ultimately the product being a upper mid tier product are probably more limiting than what they chose to put in it. I think in the end I’ll be happy with my unit, I can’t see voiding my warranty to find out. Largely I’d like the peace of mind I was treated right after the Uber research I did on my entire setup. I got lied to and was told I’d get an AKM unit and didn’t, I’d like to think these changes won’t be so bad that they will affect resale in a few years when an upgrade happens and supply shortages smooth out.
 

Jkaiser3

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I wrote to the owner of audioholics, seeing if he can do anything to communicate with sound United about the dacs. It’s an integrity thing they are marketing these for sale all over the place with guts they no longer have. Their product info is misrepresented nearly everywhere. I also have support requests in with denon USA, and denon Japan.
 

peng

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I wrote to the owner of audioholics, seeing if he can do anything to communicate with sound United about the dacs. It’s an integrity thing they are marketing these for sale all over the place with guts they no longer have. Their product info is misrepresented nearly everywhere. I also have support requests in with denon USA, and denon Japan.

Thank you for taking the time, hopefully one would come back with more reliable information and specific to the different models.
 

peng

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How can anybody answer a question on motive when pricing for these chips and labor regarding changes aren’t provided. For me this is a hypethrtical assertion, that doesn’t help us get an inch closer to the fact of the matter, what is being used for dacs in the various denon and maranta ranges.

I know, you are absolutely right. I was expressing my curiosity only, not meant to help in fact finding at all.
 

Jake Cushing

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Damn, this is more entertaining than any of the films I'm watching via my 3700h.

I bought it just a few weeks ago, and my serial number has a '6' as the fifth digit. Do we know for certain it's prior to the DAC swap? I thought the '7's were after April/May this year, whereas the fire took place in Dec. Hang over of remaining stock at Denon til April perhaps?

We need an 'A' light to shine in the sky for Amir to look into this.
 
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