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Newbie question. I bought an AVR but I'm not impressed by the sound. If I get a preamp then could I use my AVR solely as a power amp?


Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Aug 27, 2018
Also, does the quality of the power amp make a difference?
DEFINITELY! Or, maybe NOT ha ha. I don't believe all amps sound the same, but then we had this result https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/denon-vs-parts-express-round-1.984507/ and barring problems like you are having, the differences are nowhere near like changing speakers. By the way due to the logarithmic nature of hearing, if you want significantly more power than AVRs have, you need like 300W per channel into FOUR ohms (even if the speakers are 8, because speakers are not resistors)

As for AVRs, lots of folks happily power their systems with AVRs. Yours definitely has a problem, and to me it seems like the DAC.
- Ah maybe this was done but what happens if you plug in a phone (NOT charging, to avoid ground loops) to the RCA inputs, noise?
- How about connected via Bluetooth-noise?
- Play a USB stick from the front panel-noise?
- Is there some kind of "pure direct" mode that bypasses all the DSP??
- Are you CERTAIN any and all processing is off? Auro 3D or Audyssey or crossovers or whatever. Set the system configuration to 2.0.
Then it can't hurt to reset it and update the firmware I suppose.


Aug 1, 2021
It turns out that I have a S640H not an S540H (I guess S540H doesn't exit). Whoops!

I got my Topping D10s DAC and my Raspberry Pi 4. Playing music from my Pi to the DAC to the Denon in pure mode, and there's no static noise at all. If I put it in processing mode (take it out of pure mode) the static noise comes back.

It's a shame because I really did like the room correction / eq that the Denon had, but I'm going to try to get room correction with the Pi with REW / CamillaDSP. I think there are some other things I need to do as well to help improve the quality, but I'm still playing around with the Pi.

I'm considering using Moode with Roon because it looks like it has CamillaDSP implemented by default. But, I was thinking of also using my Pi for other things such as installing Kodi with Sonarr / Radarr / Jackett for movie / show watching. I don't know how well that would work with Moode since it's an OS in itself.

Anyways, I have a Aiyima A07 power amplifier coming in the mail and I'll probably replace my Denon with that since I'm only using it as a power amplifier anyways. I am curious to see if there will be any sound quality difference there.


Senior Member
Forum Donor
Oct 28, 2019
Grand Haven, MI
Almost all Denon and Marantz equipment use AKM chips, although they may have switched due to availability problems. The RCA output from your external DAC is analog, so it would not be processed by the AVR's internal DAC.

If the objectionable noise is present on all sources, it's likely in the amplifier section of the AVR. Using a different amplifier will resolve that.


Addicted to Fun and Learning
Mar 8, 2019
The RCA output from your external DAC is analog, so it would not be processed by the AVR's internal DAC.
It would be processed through the AVR DAC if the OP takes advantage of Audyssey and/or bass management.

Only in pure direct mode there is a chance the DAC is bypassed.
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