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Lost in the jungle of suitable AVRs

digitech1

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Hi everbody,

this is my first post so let me say Hi to everbody reading this thread. Appreciate your input very much as I am kinda desperate looking for a viable solution for me.

I bought myself some proper Hifi Speakers (german, https://www.quadral.com/en/product-category/loudspeaker/platinum-plus-en/) to use in my living room (setup is as attached) connected to a Pioneer VSX-924 Hifi Speaker in a 5.1 setup with sub. My main use case is actually watching Movies and my plan is to upgrade to Dolby Atmos setup with indirect speakers (so no real atmos but just virtually) as I dont wanna but speakers on my ceiling due to the fact its a wooden ceiling and rented house.

10-20 percent is music streaming, mostly Tidal or Spotify, I plan on using a Playstation 5 soon but figured anyway that there is no suitable AVR for me where I could hook up the PS5 due to the HDMI 2.1 bug affecting Denon and Marantz receivers and probably others as well. I wouldnt mind just putting the PS5 into my TV (LG CX) and use eARC for my Audio.

Anyway my VSX-924 has way tooo less power to fire my speakers and also the measuring system (MCACC) is far from what Dirac or Audyssey XT32 are capable of, so I am not happy at all with my home system at this point in time. The room itself is very well balanced, so not alot reflections although not perfect, but hey...what is even perfect...

Due to my above described requirements I was looking at the following AVRs and then was reading up on the Reviews of the mentioned ones here and I just dont know what to go for or if I just need to wait 6month to a year until something proper comes out.

My budget for would allow up to 5k$ and so far I was planning to go for a full amplifier. My considerations are Denon AVR-X4700H, Denon AVR-X6700H, NAD T-778 and thats actually it - as I have found nothing that comes close to the above. First I was considering Arcam AVR20 as well but found too many complaints about the SW and the device itself. NAD T-778 got a - well - not so good review on that site here.

Is there any recommendation from you guys here? Anything that is worth considering? Shall I split my full amplifier into pre-amp and amp? I really appreciate any input that makes me think...;)

Thank you
Phil
 

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flyzipper

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Based on your room size and listening distance, I doubt you'd benefit from moving from an integrated AVR to separates... unless your speakers are really inefficient and/or you listen at extreme levels.

The new Anthem AVRs are worth considering. They don't have HDMI 2.1, and Anthem hasn't (to my knowledge) articulated their upgrade process to HDMI 2.1, so that's a risk. You've got an effective workaround with your LG CX + eARC setup, so it may not be a huge issue if Anthem is slow to bring an HDMI 2.1 upgrade to market.

(they mentioned they're waiting for a proven HDMI 2.1 solution in a webcast I watched around launch time)
 

Golfx

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I too am lost in a decision loop. Waiting six months sounds very prudent but way too boring for the little boy inside me. You mentioned you need more power. Both Denons you listed measure well regarding SINAD with the 6700 costing more for added channels and modest boost in power. Of course you can always bi-amp your fronts with either or add an Anthem MCA 225 or 325 for best power clarity if you shut off your front amps which I believe the 6700 allows you to do in their amp assign mode. The Denons come with hi res streaming convenience of HEOS at 24/192. NAD Bluos does as well with their Bluos app but the HEOS app lets you choose listening modes of Denon AVRs. All three promise an upgrade path for HDMI 2.1 fix. BTW great living room pic. Looks like a magazine ad. Yours is a nice dilemma to have and you chose excellent solutions.
 

Urgo

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Hi everbody,

this is my first post so let me say Hi to everbody reading this thread. Appreciate your input very much as I am kinda desperate looking for a viable solution for me.

I bought myself some proper Hifi Speakers (german, https://www.quadral.com/en/product-category/loudspeaker/platinum-plus-en/) to use in my living room (setup is as attached) connected to a Pioneer VSX-924 Hifi Speaker in a 5.1 setup with sub. My main use case is actually watching Movies and my plan is to upgrade to Dolby Atmos setup with indirect speakers (so no real atmos but just virtually) as I dont wanna but speakers on my ceiling due to the fact its a wooden ceiling and rented house.

10-20 percent is music streaming, mostly Tidal or Spotify, I plan on using a Playstation 5 soon but figured anyway that there is no suitable AVR for me where I could hook up the PS5 due to the HDMI 2.1 bug affecting Denon and Marantz receivers and probably others as well. I wouldnt mind just putting the PS5 into my TV (LG CX) and use eARC for my Audio.

Anyway my VSX-924 has way tooo less power to fire my speakers and also the measuring system (MCACC) is far from what Dirac or Audyssey XT32 are capable of, so I am not happy at all with my home system at this point in time. The room itself is very well balanced, so not alot reflections although not perfect, but hey...what is even perfect...

Due to my above described requirements I was looking at the following AVRs and then was reading up on the Reviews of the mentioned ones here and I just dont know what to go for or if I just need to wait 6month to a year until something proper comes out.

My budget for would allow up to 5k$ and so far I was planning to go for a full amplifier. My considerations are Denon AVR-X4700H, Denon AVR-X6700H, NAD T-778 and thats actually it - as I have found nothing that comes close to the above. First I was considering Arcam AVR20 as well but found too many complaints about the SW and the device itself. NAD T-778 got a - well - not so good review on that site here.

Is there any recommendation from you guys here? Anything that is worth considering? Shall I split my full amplifier into pre-amp and amp? I really appreciate any input that makes me think...;)

Thank you
Phil

Waiting so long is a punishment, plus we will never know what will happen tomorrow.
I'm going to talk about the Denons because they are the ones I know the best, and the ones that have passed the ASR tests the best.

I think that because of the size of its living room and the characteristics of the speakers (4 Oh but sensitive), for a 5.1 system and predominantly cinema use, the Denon 4700 is an excellent choice. You can move up to 9 speakers with its internal amplifiers, enough therefore to add 4 in height (5.1.4, or 5.2.4).

If you are concerned about power with so many channels, you have several options.
First, you could add an external Hypex-Purifi type amplifier for the front L / R, as with the 4700 they can also be disconnected, thus relieving the AVR.
You could also use it to support your stereo if you feel like it, or if you wanted to add two more channels, as the 4700 can process up to 11 channels.
As for the height speakers, if you can't in the ceiling, also consider placing them on the wall close to the ceiling, it will achieve a greater effect than with simulation speakers.

The other option is to buy the x6700h directly, and you would have 11 channels of amplification and another two of processing, more than you need. With your budget, you would also have the option of adding an external amplifier to the 6700, and a second subwoofer if necessary.

With either of these two models and their expansion possibilities, you would have excellent equipment for both film and music.
The differences between the 4700 and the 6700, would basically be the better construction of the latter and the new DTSxPro audio format. It would also have an extra power, but not very significant as already mentioned, if you consider the distribution between all the channels.

But speaking of Denon, don't forget another good option, more expensive but within your budget, the Denon x8500h. Especially since with a surcharge I could upgrade to HDMI 2.1 in the future, when the problem has already been fixed.
It would also allow you to disconnect any channel individually, for example the two front and center (the only one that can do it), in addition to its better construction, better DAC, or greater source and amplifier, for something it is the top of the brand.

By the way, although it remains to be confirmed, according to the last I read about the PS5, it could be compatible with this year's Denon models, but not the xBox, nor the latest generation of PC video cards.

Forgive me for the google translation.
 

Vasr

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By the way, although it remains to be confirmed, according to the last I read about the PS5, it could be compatible with this year's Denon models, but not the xBox, nor the latest generation of PC video cards.

From what I understand and the above linked video confirms it, the current D&M is compatible with any device that can be forced into 32GB max bandwidth mode. In this mode, the AVRs can handle it but the limitations are no 4:4:4 and no HDR capability in 4k120.

Devices (e.g., Xbox) that by default do 40GB bandwidth may use uncompressed streams that the D&M AVRs cannot handle with the HDMI chip they used.

There is no firmware upgrade to fix that. The board will need to be replaced. I don't really see D&M doing this as a service upgrade and the new chip may not be available well into 2021 when the next generation of AVRs will be coming out.

On the other hand, this limitation may not affect most people.

If the limitations don't bother me, I would wait for the release of the next version when the price of this generation would likely plummet. :)
 
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digitech1

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Wow, thats great Input everybody. Well, if no 4:4:4 and HDR is supported I am gonna plug the PS into the TV for sure ;-)

It would also allow you to disconnect any channel individually, for example the two front and center (the only one that can do it), in addition to its better construction, better DAC, or greater source and amplifier, for something it is the top of the brand.

By that, could you elaborate what you mean exactly - "I can disconnect any channel individually"? Disconnect from what and connect to which device? Another Power Amp? What effect does it have and why cannot I do this with the 4700 series as it has pre-out as well? I am sure I am mixing things up here, so please feel free to correct me.

My current thinking is the following:

Go with the Denon 6700 with or without the NAD C298 (https://nadelectronics.com/product/c298-stereo-power-amplifier/) for my front speakers. Do you think they would benefit from that external power amp?

Dont most voices and predominent sound in a movie come out the center speaker? So for a movie setup I cant assess if that makes really sense, what is your opinion on that one?

Or what about Denon 6700 with an Emotiva 5 channel power Amp for all my channels and let Denon power off the internal amps ? https://emotiva.com/collections/amps/products/a-500

Appreciated

Phil
 
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peng

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Wow, thats great Input everybody. Well, if no 4:4:4 and HDR is supported I am gonna plug the PS into the TV for sure ;-)



By that, could you elaborate what you mean exactly - "I can disconnect any channel individually"? Disconnect from what and connect to which device? Another Power Amp? What effect does it have and why cannot I do this with the 4700 series as it has pre-out as well? I am sure I am mixing things up here, so please feel free to correct me.

My current thinking is the following:

Go with the Denon 6700 with or without the NAD C298 (https://nadelectronics.com/product/c298-stereo-power-amplifier/) for my front speakers. Do you think they would benefit from that external power amp?

Dont most voices and predominent sound in a movie come out the center speaker? So for a movie setup I cant assess if that makes really sense, what is your opinion on that one?

Or what about Denon 6700 with an Emotiva 5 channel power Amp for all my channels and let Denon power off the internal amps ? https://emotiva.com/collections/amps/products/a-500

Appreciated

Phil

Not sure about your room dimensions but from the attached photo it looks like you are seating 8 to 10 ft from the front speakers. If that is the case then you really don't need an external power amp but it never hurts to have one. The C298 is an integrated amp so you would be paying for the preamp section that you don't need. Also, "power" not drawn by the speakers will not make any difference. I bet in a blind test you wouldn't hear a difference but in a sighted test it will sound better to you with the C298 connected.

Depending on the model, your center speaker probably could benefit from an external power amp rated >200 W into 4 Ohms but only if you listen to very loud level.
 
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digitech1

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Well, thanks everbody, I am actually considering the denon X8500h now after ours of reading and considerations whether to split preamp and amp or not.......

It would also allow you to disconnect any channel individually, for example the two front and center (the only one that can do it),

One thing with regards to the X8500h: Are you saying that with any other receiver you cannot disconnect any channel individually? If I user another amp for my center for instance I can only pre out center to a monoblock for instance or what do you mean?

cheers
 

Urgo

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Wow, thats great Input everybody. Well, if no 4:4:4 and HDR is supported I am gonna plug the PS into the TV for sure ;-)



By that, could you elaborate what you mean exactly - "I can disconnect any channel individually"? Disconnect from what and connect to which device? Another Power Amp? What effect does it have and why cannot I do this with the 4700 series as it has pre-out as well? I am sure I am mixing things up here, so please feel free to correct me.

My current thinking is the following:

Go with the Denon 6700 with or without the NAD C298 (https://nadelectronics.com/product/c298-stereo-power-amplifier/) for my front speakers. Do you think they would benefit from that external power amp?

Dont most voices and predominent sound in a movie come out the center speaker? So for a movie setup I cant assess if that makes really sense, what is your opinion on that one?

Or what about Denon 6700 with an Emotiva 5 channel power Amp for all my channels and let Denon power off the internal amps ? https://emotiva.com/collections/amps/products/a-500

Appreciated

Phil

You can see on these ASR pages Amir's tests of the Denon models (x4700h, upgraded x6700h and the x8500h), and take a look at Sinad's graphs for two channels.

In the x8500h test, for example, you can see how after reaching the maximum SINAD, it decays from 1.4v with internal amplification, but in preamp mode it remains high beyond 2v.
This difference might not be audible in the normal listening range, but by turning off the internal amplification and connecting an external amplifier, the avr keeps the signal cleaner at higher voltage and volume.

In the 4700 and 6700, there is a mode that allows you to disconnect the front L / R, and as a novelty this year you could also disconnect all the internal amplification using the "full preamp mode" (or all or only the front ones), but not It is possible to disconnect the internal amplification of the front L / R and the central at the same time, which would be ideal for example for cinema.

With the 8500 it is possible, you can do it with any channel individually and with all at once.

This whole comment is because you were wondering if you could connect an external amplifier, and it might interest you in specific situations that I have already pointed out: keep a cleaner signal from your stereo at higher volume, have extra power for large rooms or demanding speakers, or expand channels, ...
Regarding the amplifier you could use, I think Pen has already answered you. My previous advice on D-type amps or stages, like Hypex or Purifi, went that way.

The two-channel Nad you mention, I don't know if it has been tested here, but it is of that type, older than other already improved models like the Nad M22, it is also cheaper, of course. In the market there are other possibilities and kit assemblers based on Hypex, from one to several channels, that accept orders over the internet, such as Apollon, Nord, Audiophonics, ... depending on the area where you reside.
Some have been tested here, I myself am waiting for one of them. But the situation due to Covid is not favorable at all, not even for shipments.

By the way, after writing my comment about the incompatibility of the hdmi 2.1 of this year's receivers for 8k / 60Hz and 4k / 120Hz, the news of compatibility with the PS5 and Nvidia 30 video cards for PC has been published, modifying configuration or output bandwidth.
 

Urgo

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Well, thanks everbody, I am actually considering the denon X8500h now after ours of reading and considerations whether to split preamp and amp or not.......



One thing with regards to the X8500h: Are you saying that with any other receiver you cannot disconnect any channel individually? If I user another amp for my center for instance I can only pre out center to a monoblock for instance or what do you mean?

cheers

How bad I express myself, or what a bad Google translation.

Regardless of everything discussed you can connect external amplifiers to any channel you like.
But you can only turn off the internal amplification of the fronts or all the channels together if it is the Denon x4700h or x6700h.

Amir's commented tests are for two channels, obviously disconnecting all the internal amplification, it would be the most advanced way to avoid noise and distortion due to the amplification of the avr itself. In your case, for a 5.1 with self-powered subwoofer you would need a 5 channel amplifier. Or for a 5.1.4, you would need 9.
For the 4700 and 6700, you would only have one other possibility of disconnection, that of the front, regardless of the channels that you amplify externally.
With the 8500, you can, for example, disconnect the two front, the center and the two surround individually.

The combination of external amplifiers, mono, stereo, or multichannel, that you use is not important, you just have to be careful for example if you want to use trigger mechanisms so that they are activated automatically.
 

Urgo

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Again the translation seems to be playing tricks on me. I don't write "close" or "shutdown", I mean always "disconnect or bypass internal amplification".
 
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tvrgeek

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I am puzzled that 100 W is not enough. I ran my 60W MOSFET in my main system for years, just swapping for a Parasound 2125 because I did not feel like re-capping again. Not sure it was really an upgrade. ( Partial to Parasound, though the new March amps have my eye) My old Anthem 310 I am very happy with and can bust my ears if I turned it up. This forum suggested the in-between generation was not that great. No idea about the newest. Anthem ARC works well, but only corrects bass and mids. I would be looking for newer technology. Remember, 100W to 200W is only 3 dB. Minimally significant.

Now I think most of those Quadral speakers are 4 Ohms. Most AVRs do not have sufficient current into 4 Ohms. I see your pioneer is rated for 4 Ohms. Many are not so watch for that.

What is your crossover to the sub? If too low, that might limit your mains dynamics.

You do not have to drill holes in the ceiling to put in rears. Be creative, like a spring pole and a small box speaker. If necessary, you can run powered rears with BT if you can't get wires to them.

5K is a big budget.

I wish someone made a really good $1500 AV preamp and let us use our own amps. But it seems they take their preamp out of their $1500 AVR and sell it for $3000 or their $3000 AVR and sell them for $6500. Marketing 102.

I guess if you really really want power, get the AV preamp and some Emotiva monsters.
 

M00ndancer

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Get the best you can afford (tested here) (highest ranked)
If you , down the line need more power, get the cheapest one (per the definition above) so that you easily add amps for the new speakers you will over time. The only thing you're going to HAVE upgrade in the future is speakers and DSP functionality.

My next AVR will be the Denon X3700h (or similar depeding on how long it will take to get a TV with working HDMI 2.1 with the PS5) when I need the functions for HDR and PS5.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/denon-avr-x3700h-avr-review.15031/
 
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digitech1

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Guys, thank you so much for all of your tips and recommendations. Was very interesting to go through the evaluation process of all what is available on the market to find out that really it’s challenging in the year 2020 to find a solution without compromise, even for my low demands/requirements.

during my research I learned a lot and I am very appreciative of your comments. If there was no COVID-19 I would be happy to invite you all to a beer, although I suppose you have to visit Germany then ;-)

I went with you demon x8500h without an external amplifier for now and will perhaps upgrade my center speaker after I did some comparison tests.

as it’s my living room and issues struggling with the WAF (women’s acceptance factor) and feasibility putting speakers either on the side or on the ceiling I guess I will have to live with indirect Atmos sound for now and eventually upgrade after our house is ready to move in.

I am happy to report back on the results and feeling with the Denon.
 

witchdoctor

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I use JBL CRV speakers for height channels in the man cave, they are shaped to fit right between the wall and ceiling:

 

Urgo

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Guys, thank you so much for all of your tips and recommendations. Was very interesting to go through the evaluation process of all what is available on the market to find out that really it’s challenging in the year 2020 to find a solution without compromise, even for my low demands/requirements.

during my research I learned a lot and I am very appreciative of your comments. If there was no COVID-19 I would be happy to invite you all to a beer, although I suppose you have to visit Germany then ;-)

I went with you demon x8500h without an external amplifier for now and will perhaps upgrade my center speaker after I did some comparison tests.

as it’s my living room and issues struggling with the WAF (women’s acceptance factor) and feasibility putting speakers either on the side or on the ceiling I guess I will have to live with indirect Atmos sound for now and eventually upgrade after our house is ready to move in.

I am happy to report back on the results and feeling with the Denon.

I would like to clarify a few points:

- Regarding external amplification, it is not strictly necessary for these models, at no time has it been said, especially for medium-sized rooms and not very demanding speakers.

- The use of the external amplifier with the implicit or exclusive purpose of having more power is not considered either, but increasing it can be beneficial in some cases and a relief for the avr.

- Its speakers are 4 Ohm, but external amplification is not always needed exclusively for this reason, it is necessary to assess the number of speakers in use and their sensitivity, the size of the room, ... all together

- The amplifiers that have been talked about, have been tested in ASR. It is clear that Emotiva is another possibility, but they have been surpassed here by several of class D, particularly it would not acquire the lower series and possibly the price factor would cease to be a determining factor in its favor.

I say all this for some comments, not for yours.

Having clarified this, an inferior model would suffice but it is indisputable that the x8500h is the best in terms of construction, power, accessories and possibilities, without forgetting that it will be able to be updated in the future to Hdmi 2.1 when all this is solved.

As for external amplification, surely you will not need it for your configuration, and you can always rethink it in the future.

In the same way, I inform you that you will not have some news of the new 2020 models, such as Bluetooth transmission, or being able to save two Ausyssey configurations in the memory of the avr.

I am sure that any decision you make with these models will not disappoint you and you will enjoy it very, very much.
 
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peng

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I wish someone made a really good $1500 AV preamp and let us use our own amps. But it seems they take their preamp out of their $1500 AVR and sell it for $3000 or their $3000 AVR and sell them for $6500. Marketing 102.

Agreed, and I wish the same, but I would hope they always include the multi channel pre outs on AVRs, at least for the mid range models like it is now. That's because many people do want to use some, but not necessarily all of the build in power amps. However, since power amps will clip just amplifying the voltage under no load, and would somehow degrade the pre out signal so manufacturers should all come with the option to "disconnect" the individual amp channels like the AVR-X8500H. The additional cost for adding that feature should be minimal, from what I could see in the schematics of a few models. If someone runs a 7.1.4 or 7.1.6, AVRs could make more sense as it can be used to power the less demanding channels. In those cases, the build in amps could be looked at (yes I am exaggerating to make my point) as an additional feature just in case, along with those legacy component video, multi channel analog inputs etc., that are more often than not just sit there and never got used by their users.

I think one of the difficulty manufacturers faced with prepros is that they are probably not confident that if they do make a real good one, they could not sell enough to make "enough" money due to the significantly higher cost on per unit sold basis. So they all play tricks on people minds (knowing they would believe their commercials:D) by doing the minimum, that is, just remove the power amps, heat sinks, replace with a smaller power supply but use toroidal (for 99%) marketing reason), add the lowest cost possible so called "balanced" output, hire someone to do the commercials build on the marketing hypes and myths that already exist, mark it up to ensure profitability based on a low sales volume and call it a day. It seems to be working for them, because face it, for mostly movies, how many of the AVP users could actually tell an AVR plus amps for the front row speakers only would have sounded just as good? So I doubt things would change any time soon.:)
 

Golfx

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Good morning all. I too wish to thank all of you knowledgeable regulars for your kind advice. Surprisingly Crutchfield received an early shipment of Denon AVR a110s (and promptly sold out). Following advice received on this forum (PENG’s in particular) I purchased their last one. From reading Denon’s release notes it is an uptuned AVR 8500 with extra oversight in its assembly. I also ordered the power amp NAD CI 980 to drive my surrounds. I will be using the a110 as a prepro using none of its internal amps. I will be using Anthem’s MCA 325 to drive my fronts and center. Those are 4 ohm Polk Legends L800 and L400. Surrounds are 8 ohm deftech pro 1000s and dolby heights are 8 ohm SVS Prime Elevations. Subs are deftech Supercube 8000 and SVS PB 16 ultra. I am looking forward to hearing the results. I am currently using the Marantz SR 8012 for all but the Polks. I doubt I will “really” hear a difference. But at least I will have the smug bias that I chased the best possible purity for a multichannel AVR/AVP.
 
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