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Denon X8500HA or Arcam AVR 31

gtiboy

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Hi, I am currently thinking about upgrading my old Pioneer LX83 AV receiver which is 12 years old now, looking to improve on it's 2 channel stereo performance from and from a surround sounds perspective.

My question is, will the Denon X8500HA surpass the sound of the LX83? which was reviewed as a great AVR back in the day.

Secondly I hear the Arcam sounds better than the Denon, but with all the bugs it has is it a worth while upgrading to that? and does the Arcam still suffer from a lot of bugs?
 

Dj7675

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Hi, I am currently thinking about upgrading my old Pioneer LX83 AV receiver which is 12 years old now, looking to improve on it's 2 channel stereo performance from and from a surround sounds perspective.

My question is, will the Denon X8500HA surpass the sound of the LX83? which was reviewed as a great AVR back in the day.

Secondly I hear the Arcam sounds better than the Denon, but with all the bugs it has is it a worth while upgrading to that? and does the Arcam still suffer from a lot of bugs?
My .02 FWIW
I had an X8500 it is a great receiver. Measures very well but just as important, operation was flawless and bug free. Lots of helpful features, compatible with $20 Audyssey app or PC app. I have not used an Arcam, but I would call BS on Arcam "sounding better". These kinds of comments I believe are more internet folklore that get repeated without any kind of verification. I would bet they both would sound equally good in a level matched, blind test.
I would let features, reliability, and support be the deciding factor. For example...
Would you prefer to use Dirac or Audyssey?
If you use more than 1 sub I would lean towards Arcam because of Dirac DLBC.
In the end I, I would actually consider one of the Integra, Onkyo, Pioneeer models or the newer Denon AH1 which will be compatible with DLBC in the near future and will also get Dirac ART. Arcam may get ART too but it isn't certain at all. A device getting Dirac ART would be the deciding factor for me.
 
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gtiboy

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Never used Dirac, the AV receiver wil be used mainly for 2 channel audio , with the occasional movie viewing in 5.1 surround sound. So I guess Audyssey will do seeing as the X8500HA doesnt seem to support Dirac.

Does the X8500HA support Chromecast?
 

Dj7675

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Never used Dirac, the AV receiver wil be used mainly for 2 channel audio , with the occasional movie viewing in 5.1 surround sound. So I guess Audyssey will do seeing as the X8500HA doesnt seem to support Dirac.

Does the X8500HA support Chromecast?
Correct, only the new models of Denon/Marantz support Dirac.
 

Golfx

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Never used Dirac, the AV receiver wil be used mainly for 2 channel audio , with the occasional movie viewing in 5.1 surround sound. So I guess Audyssey will do seeing as the X8500HA doesnt seem to support Dirac.

Does the X8500HA support Chromecast?
Hi and welcome. I do not believe an Arcam has a unique sound—nor Denon. So one is not more musical than the other. They do have measurements which can be compared and as you mentioned BUGS which can be compared. You will find the 8500 bug free—not the Arcam. It only takes ONE bug to destroy your enjoyment of a new AVR. Crutchfield also offers free returns and lifetime tech support which comes in very handy with difficult setup questions and issues.

Denon does not have organic “chromecast” but instead has organic HEOS included “inside” the 8500 which supports many streaming services including Hi-Res streams from Amazon Music and Tidal. The internal HEOS in the Denon communicates via your Wi-Fi/LAN to an external source server instead of a Bluetooth stream from your phone. So your music signal will not be downgraded from Hi-Res streamers like it will be from your phone.
 

ban25

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Never used Dirac, the AV receiver wil be used mainly for 2 channel audio , with the occasional movie viewing in 5.1 surround sound. So I guess Audyssey will do seeing as the X8500HA doesnt seem to support Dirac.

Does the X8500HA support Chromecast?
It does not. If you want Chromecast built-in, take a look at something like the Onkyo RZ70.
 

Bigmike39

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Well I am searching for a new Receiver or Pre Pro and went to the Magnolia store today to audition what was available. I listened to Marantz,Denon and Arcam. All demos used B&W 804s. The Arcam 31 was first and it sounded clean crisp and clear, I thought to myself that it could pass and was a serious contender. Next up was the Marantz and forgive me for forgetting the model number but in any case it was a solid 2nd place. Now came the Denon 6700 and I can say to my ears it was the biggest disappointment ever. Even the Mrs. Looked at me as if to say where did the musicality go. It’s sad to Denon selling junk like this to consumers. Even sadder that people actually buy this stuff. I apologize for the rant in advance. Mike
 

Chrispy

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Well I am searching for a new Receiver or Pre Pro and went to the Magnolia store today to audition what was available. I listened to Marantz,Denon and Arcam. All demos used B&W 804s. The Arcam 31 was first and it sounded clean crisp and clear, I thought to myself that it could pass and was a serious contender. Next up was the Marantz and forgive me for forgetting the model number but in any case it was a solid 2nd place. Now came the Denon 6700 and I can say to my ears it was the biggest disappointment ever. Even the Mrs. Looked at me as if to say where did the musicality go. It’s sad to Denon selling junk like this to consumers. Even sadder that people actually buy this stuff. I apologize for the rant in advance. Mike
What modes were these avrs in for your "audition"? They had some sort of level matched switching system for comparisons?
 

Bigmike39

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It’s BestBuy so no perfect level matching but we did try to match them by ear. Actually the Marantz and Anthem were pretty close. The Denon on the other hand was way off to begin with but we got it close by ear. I know this is not the way to do it but I had no choice so we carried on testing back and forth.
 

Chrispy

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It’s BestBuy so no perfect level matching but we did try to match them by ear. Actually the Marantz and Anthem were pretty close. The Denon on the other hand was way off to begin with but we got it close by ear. I know this is not the way to do it but I had no choice so we carried on testing back and forth.
All in direct mode using same source or what was "off"?
 

Svend P

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Well I am searching for a new Receiver or Pre Pro and went to the Magnolia store today to audition what was available. I listened to Marantz,Denon and Arcam. All demos used B&W 804s. The Arcam 31 was first and it sounded clean crisp and clear, I thought to myself that it could pass and was a serious contender. Next up was the Marantz and forgive me for forgetting the model number but in any case it was a solid 2nd place. Now came the Denon 6700 and I can say to my ears it was the biggest disappointment ever. Even the Mrs. Looked at me as if to say where did the musicality go. It’s sad to Denon selling junk like this to consumers. Even sadder that people actually buy this stuff. I apologize for the rant in advance. Mike
Let's cut to the chase. On this forum we don't believe amplifiers sound differently unless driven to distortion. Whatever you experienced was due to other factors as Chrispy is hinting at. Denon typically makes the best measuring AVRs, so if any difference was to be detected, Denon would be the best.

 

HarmonicTHD

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Well I am searching for a new Receiver or Pre Pro and went to the Magnolia store today to audition what was available. I listened to Marantz,Denon and Arcam. All demos used B&W 804s. The Arcam 31 was first and it sounded clean crisp and clear, I thought to myself that it could pass and was a serious contender. Next up was the Marantz and forgive me for forgetting the model number but in any case it was a solid 2nd place. Now came the Denon 6700 and I can say to my ears it was the biggest disappointment ever. Even the Mrs. Looked at me as if to say where did the musicality go. It’s sad to Denon selling junk like this to consumers. Even sadder that people actually buy this stuff. I apologize for the rant in advance. Mike
Auditions like that are futile. There is so much wrong with them, that you can’t really draw any conclusions. For starters, were all the amps in their neutral setting with DSP off? (You can’t really ensure that in a store). Level matched was already mentioned and lastly sighted.

I preselect audio stuff based on independent measurements and then order them for home auditioning. If vendors want to sell me stuff they take it back in case I don’t like it (sure don’t abuse any return policy). Do I make my decision at home based on blind tests - no - but that is my choice, but I don’t post on the internet how good or bad something sounded either.
 

Golfx

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You should read through the owner’s forum on the Arcam. They are fraught with too many bugs and glitches to enjoy long term. Denon usually has the fewest problems. You should buy from Crutchfield. They have lifetime tech support and a 60 day return option.
 

Chrispy

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It’s BestBuy so no perfect level matching but we did try to match them by ear. Actually the Marantz and Anthem were pretty close. The Denon on the other hand was way off to begin with but we got it close by ear. I know this is not the way to do it but I had no choice so we carried on testing back and forth.
As said, not much in that method to make a decision on. I'd advise to simply pick one based on price and feature set desired. I do read about buggy Arcams a lot, and they're more expensive for no real differences other than what might be in their feature set (like perhaps flavor of room correction you want to utilize).
 

dlaloum

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Well I am searching for a new Receiver or Pre Pro and went to the Magnolia store today to audition what was available. I listened to Marantz,Denon and Arcam. All demos used B&W 804s. The Arcam 31 was first and it sounded clean crisp and clear, I thought to myself that it could pass and was a serious contender. Next up was the Marantz and forgive me for forgetting the model number but in any case it was a solid 2nd place. Now came the Denon 6700 and I can say to my ears it was the biggest disappointment ever. Even the Mrs. Looked at me as if to say where did the musicality go. It’s sad to Denon selling junk like this to consumers. Even sadder that people actually buy this stuff. I apologize for the rant in advance. Mike
You would need to look closely at their setup...

A fair comparison can only be made comparing the un-EQ'd pass through performance - as once you activate room/speaker EQ/correction - the target curves differ, and things become very very sensitive to minor variables (like Mic location varying by a couple of cm).

If one or all of them had their Dirac or Audyssey (or other) RoomEQ turned on, then the entire comparison becomes meaningless!!!

Having said that.... the amps being compared are quite different, and the speakers involved (B&W 804) are quite a difficult speaker to drive, with impedance dropping to 3 ohm and steep phase curves - so the amps in use need to have high current capabilities.
The Arcam/JBL Class-G amps will do OK with these speakers where the D&M AVR's with the exception of the AV1/AV10 flagships, may well get themselves into trouble... In the Onkyo/Pioneer/Integra family, I would probably not try anything below the RZ70/LX805/DRX8.4 flagships with a set of 804's - for the same reason... (yep there is a reason that the flagship models weigh it at circa 50lb's / 22.5kg - most of which is in the power supply for high current)

For my own purposes - having worked out that the preamp sections of all of these were pretty much on a par, I took a step down the ladder and saved some $$ by going for the Integra DRX 3.4 (enough channels for my 5.1.4 layout, Dirac processing, and amps for the height and surround speakers....) - and combining it with external amps to drive my known to be difficult front speakers.

At some point, once Dirac ART is available, I will trade up to something ART capable - whether I then retire the external amps, will depend on what it is, what it's amps and power supply are like, etc... (it would be nice to simplify!)
 

Bigmike39

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Thanks for all the advice guys. My search continues. Going to audition an Anthem mrx740 today. Thanks again.
Sure wish I could swing a Trinov.$$$$
 
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