Denon 3700 vs 4700 - some answers

prosilent

Active Member
@Dorian Regarding the sound quality 3700 vs 4700. What were your sources for music? Is there a difference when streaming music? I've thought about adding a stereo ht bypass amp to improve music but then films wouldn't benefit as it will act as a power amp?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
@Dorian Regarding the sound quality 3700 vs 4700. What were your sources for music? Is there a difference when streaming music? I've thought about adding a stereo ht bypass amp to improve music but then films wouldn't benefit as it will act as a power amp?
The X4700 cannot compete with a good stereo amp for music, indeed my X6500 falls quite short of my Rega amp that has HT by-pass. If you do go down that route then the Denon will benefit from having the left and right fronts driven by the power amp of that stereo amp. There will be more power available to the remaining connected speakers. Those front speakers will still be subjected to Audyssey calibration as well, so nothing is lost.
 

Dorian

Active Member
@Dorian Regarding the sound quality 3700 vs 4700. What were your sources for music? Is there a difference when streaming music? I've thought about adding a stereo ht bypass amp to improve music but then films wouldn't benefit as it will act as a power amp?
Just Spotify when comparing the two Denons. Only got streaming sources available at the moment. Thinking of getting a cd transport but only when I get the Audiolab 6000A.

As gibbsy says, no downsides to having an HT bypass amp for movies either.

When you say won't benefit do you mean that a 3700 and HT bypass amp won't sound as good as the 4700 for movies? If so then yes I'd agree with that. In my testing it sounded like the processing in the 4700 does deliver a clearer sound

On the flip side, a 3700 plus HT bypass amp is going to sound a fair bit better than a 4700 for music, so you can either compromise in one area or get the 4700 plus HT bypass, but then that's by far the most expensive option.
 

prosilent

Active Member
When you say won't benefit do you mean that a 3700 and HT bypass amp won't sound as good as the 4700 for movies?
Yes. Your right, I'll end up buying a 4700 plus a ht bypass. Due to the cost of that option I can see why people start upgrading to a Nad, Arcam, Anthem etc.
 

Dorian

Active Member
Yes. Your right, I'll end up buying a 4700 plus a ht bypass. Due to the cost of that option I can see why people start upgrading to a Nad, Arcam, Anthem etc.
I'm on my way to doing the same. Have now got the cash set aside for an Audiolab but have been too busy the last few weekends to go and grab it!!

Agree on the high end brands. For me, it came down to having a rock solid AVR at a price that I can justify for my uses, but still having a way back into 2 channel hifi.

I doubt you'll be disappointed with the 4700, mine is a real treat to listen to for every movie
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
I'm on my way to doing the same. Have now got the cash set aside for an Audiolab but have been too busy the last few weekends to go and grab it!!

Agree on the high end brands. For me, it came down to having a rock solid AVR at a price that I can justify for my uses, but still having a way back into 2 channel hifi.

I doubt you'll be disappointed with the 4700, mine is a real treat to listen to for every movie
I can attest to this. I have a Denon x4500 (predecessor to the 4700) & Audiolab 6000A combo. For movies, the Denon is great and I get fabulous 2 channel stereo from the 'lab' - paired with some Monitor Audio Silver 100's.
 

fatsoap

Standard Member
I can attest to this. I have a Denon x4500 (predecessor to the 4700) & Audiolab 6000A combo. For movies, the Denon is great and I get fabulous 2 channel stereo from the 'lab' - paired with some Monitor Audio Silver 100's.
Hi Jester1066,

Thanks for all the help so far! Could I ask if the Audiolab is able to remember the last mode it’s in when it’s turned off/on? Do you have to manually switch to Pre Power mode each time you watch tv/movies?

Reason for asking is because I’m hoping to simplify the set up (mainly for the wife). I am hoping that when I turn on the Denon AVR, which would be connected to the Audiolab via the trigger inputs, it would be able to automatically turn on and be in the Pre-Power mode and my family can watch tv without having to faff with additional remotes. On my end, I would have to remember turning it back to pre-power mode after every listening session. My wife might just stream music using the AVR (of the situation above is accurate) as she doesn’t listen as critically.

Alternatively, is the Audiolab able to detect when a signal is passed through the “Power” in and correctly turn on and change to the correct mode? I believe that if I stream using Spotify connect to the Audiolab it would automatically turn on and be in the correct mode (Integrated).

This last issue of seamless operation is another factor for me to consider whether a one box solution (perhaps the 4700 over the 3700) suits my needs better. So your insights on how you make your system work is greatly appreciated, seeing as I’m hoping to emulate your setup! Hoping this will also help with other folks in the same sit

Cheers
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
Hi @fatsoap To answer your questions:


Thanks for all the help so far! Could I ask if the Audiolab is able to remember the last mode it’s in when it’s turned off/on? Do you have to manually switch to Pre Power mode each time you watch tv/movies?

Yep. It remembers the last mode it was in before being put into standby. Ie if it was in Pre-Pwr mode, then you pressed standby, upon turning it on again it will go straight into Pre-Pwr again. Likewise if it wasin integrated mode before being put into standby.

Reason for asking is because I’m hoping to simplify the set up (mainly for the wife). I am hoping that when I turn on the Denon AVR, which would be connected to the Audiolab via the trigger inputs, it would be able to automatically turn on and be in the Pre-Power mode and my family can watch tv without having to faff with additional remotes. On my end, I would have to remember turning it back to pre-power mode after every listening session. My wife might just stream music using the AVR (of the situation above is accurate) as she doesn’t listen as critically.

Yep. This is exactly how I have mine connected and used for my OH.

Connect the Audiolab 12v trigger "in" to the Denon's 12v trigger "out".

I set the mode of the Audiolab to "Pre-Power". My OH then only has to switch on the Denon, which in turn turns on the Audiolab via the trigger and (importantly) the Audiolab's Pre-Pwr mode is automatically selected/remembered. Meaning she/the kids can watch TV without altering anything on the Audiolab. Best bit is turning off the Denon also turns off the Audiolab too.

All I have to do is remember to switch to Integrated mode when I'm streaming music through the Audiolab (Denon is not on at all) and set the mode back to pre-power when I've finished...

Believe me. If I forget to switch it back to pre-power, she let's me know too! 😂😂

Alternatively, is the Audiolab able to detect when a signal is passed through the “Power” in and correctly turn on and change to the correct mode? I believe that if I stream using Spotify connect to the Audiolab it would automatically turn on and be in the correct mode (Integrated).
I don't think it works like that, but tbf I've never tried it so it might. I just use the method described above. You'll be surprised how quick the family will become familiar with it etc.

Yes admitted it puts the onus on you to remember to put the Audiolab in Pre-Pwr mode - when you've finished your "critical listening" session. But, it'll quickly become second nature and routine, that You'll do it naturally. Just like you don't think of turning lights off when you leave the house, but rather just do it!

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions etc.

As a side, what speakers do you currently have (if any)?
 
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fatsoap

Standard Member
Hi @fatsoap To answer your questions:




Yep. This is exactly how I have mine connected and used for my OH.

Connect the Audiolab 12v trigger "in" to the Denon's 12v trigger "out".

I set the mode of the Audiolab to "Pre-Power". My OH then only has to switch on the Denon, which in turn turns on the Audiolab via the trigger and (importantly) the Audiolab's Pre-Pwr mode is automatically selected/remembered. Meaning she/the kids can watch TV without altering anything on the Audiolab. Best bit is turning off the Denon also turns off the Audiolab too.

All I have to do is remember to switch to Integrated mode when I'm streaming music through the Audiolab (Denon is not on at all) and set the mode back to pre-power when I've finished...

Believe me. If I forget to switch it back to pre-power, she let's me know too! 😂😂


I don't think it works like that, but tbf I've never tried it so it might. I just use the method described above. You'll be surprised how quick the family will become familiar with it etc.

Yes admitted it puts the onus on you to remember to put the Audiolab in Pre-Pwr mode - when you've finished your "critical listening" session. But, it'll quickly become second nature and routine, that You'll do it naturally. Just like you don't think of turning lights off when you leave the house, but rather just do it!

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions etc.

As a side, what speakers do you currently have (if any)?

Hi there!

Thank you so much for your reply, really helpful and good to know!

My set up is a mix and match of speakers from over the years. Currently running a 5.1.4. My main L/R are a pair of JBL LS80 tower speakers, centre speaker is Klipsch RP504C, and surrounds are old NHT bookshelf speakers. Also have a pair of Klipsch RP-500SA as height speakers upfront with another pair of NHT bookshelf speakers at the rear. All these are powered by a Denon X6500 and supported by 1 SVS SB-12 and SB2000.

The long story is that I’ve only gotten back into HT recently, as my family had previously relied on a sound bar for TV duties, and HT was only for blu rays and CDs. Simplicity was the problem, as we were running separates - Marantz Pre, Rotel 5 channel amp and a DIY 2 channel amp. Even though it was a simple matter of turning the devices on (no remote), it was just one step too many over time and coupled with the hassle/cost of buying blu rays and CDs, the HT system went largely unused. Netflix was the final nail in the coffin as we just streamed directly from the TV with the sound bar.

When we had to replace our TV, I managed to convince my parents to get a new AVR to make use of the speakers that we already have. With the plethora of high quality (though not quite Blu-ray quality) content through streaming platforms for both film/tv/music, it was definitely a great time to refresh our system. We went a little overboard in the refresh though, as we ended up with a new AVR, the Klipsch centre and height speakers and a SB2000 by the end of it. But TV/Movies never sounded so good in my own home.

Now that I’m moving to a place of my own, I am also excited to do up my own HT system - I went with Dali Oberons for my bed leave speakers. Given the construction delays where I am due to COVID, I haven’t set up my system. When auditioning speakers, I was struck by how great some speakers sounded with proper 2ch amps, and I’ve been trying to chase that sound which unfortunately is a bit lacking with the X6500. Hence, the the X3700/Audiolab combo for my future set up was something I was really keen to explore, but with simplicity in mind as it’s a living room set up which my wife would have to use as well. I’ve listened to the Dali Oberon 7s in store with the X3700 and while it sounded okay to my ears - it did not move me as much as other speakers which were admittedly paired with much better electronics. I still went with the Dali’s for the balance and refinement (at least to my ears) and knowing that there is still a potential ceiling that can be achieved with decent electronics e.g. the Audiolab. Was also considering the Parasound NewClassic200 Integrated as that has a sub input/output for HT Bypass with bass management which means I can use my Sub for both HT/Music without much hassle, but the cost of adding a streamer and no trigger input and that it doesn’t turn on from my phone is some ground lost on the simplicity front.
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
Hence, the the X3700/Audiolab combo for my future set up was something I was really keen to explore, but with simplicity in mind as it’s a living room set up which my wife would have to use as well. I’ve listened to the Dali Oberon 7s in store with the X3700 and while it sounded okay to my ears - it did not move me as much as other speakers which were admittedly paired with much better electronics. I still went with the Dali’s for the balance and refinement (at least to my ears) and knowing that there is still a potential ceiling that can be achieved with decent electronics e.g. the Audiolab.
The x3700/6000A paired with the Dali Oberon 7's is a great combination imo. For movies the x3700 is a fine receiver.

Don't forget all you stereo sources will go through the Audiolab, so the Denon doesn't even need to be on. For movies the Audiolab essentially becomes a power amp for the Oberon 7's.

So in movie mode, all the audio processing is done by the Denon. In stereo its done by the Audiolab. Therefore, if it were me, I'd put the £300 difference (between the 3700 & 4700) towards a quality Streamer like the bluesound node 2i and connect it to the 6000A via coaxial, to take advantage of the great DAC on offer in the Audiolab. Since the processing side of both Denons is virtually identical. In fact that's my exact plan! 😊.... But I already had the 4500!. Of course, if you have no budget constraints, then get the 4700!

What sub(s) do you have/or plan to get?
 
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fatsoap

Standard Member
The x3700/6000A paired with the Dali Oberon 7's is a great combination imo. For movies the x3700 is a fine receiver.

Don't forget all you stereo sources will go through the Audiolab, so the Denon doesn't even need to be on. For movies the Audiolab essentially becomes a power amp for the Oberon 7's.

So in movie mode, all the audio processing is done by the Denon. In stereo its done by the Audiolab. Therefore, if it were me, I'd put the £300 difference (between the 3700 & 4700) towards a quality Streamer like the bluesound node 2i and connect it to the 6000A via coaxial, to take advantage of the great DAC on offer in the Audiolab. Since the processing side of both Denons is virtually identical. In fact that's my exact plan! 😊.... But I already had the 4500!. Of course, if you have no budget constraints, then get the 4700!

What sub(s) do you have/or plan to get?
Yes - in fact I’m planning to go with the Audiolab 6000A Play which has the streamer built in for simplicity, although I read that DTS Play Fi is not a great app. Will probably use Spotify connect most of the time so should still be ok.

I have a REL HT1205 which should work for now, but the single inputs make it difficult to integrate the sub for both 3700/Audiolab. I suspect I’ll be ok with the Oberon 7s alone for music for now, and eventually upgrade the sub to something that’s more dual input friendly in the future. Maybe a Rythmik F12 or SVS SB3000.
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
Yes - in fact I’m planning to go with the Audiolab 6000A Play which has the streamer built in for simplicity, although I read that DTS Play Fi is not a great app. Will probably use Spotify connect most of the time so should still be ok.
DTS Play Fi is, imo woeful. A streamers success is in a large part down to how good the software is. This is what let's DTS Play Fi down.

Spotify should be OK as it's the one service that's integrated fully into the app, although Play Fi still lacks gapless playback. Which may be important- depending on music genre listened too etc.
 

gurmukhp

Active Member
What a great review, thanks for writing it all down.

I'm considering updating my AVR (currently have Marantz NR1509), given the amp will be used mostly to watch TV&Movies connected to 2 x Kef Q150's, is there much point in getting a higher end AMP? Or would something like the 2700/3700 suffice?
 

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