Denon AVR-S540BT vs AVR-S660H vs other

I recently purchased a Denon AVR S540BT (to replace a broken Sony STR DN1060) and upon initial review am not overly impressed with the sound. When turned up loud (i.e. 3/4) it sounds okay, but when the volume is lower (i.e. 1/2 or less) it doesn't sound very good. Almost empty, like a cheap sound bar, if that makes sense? Definitely doesn't have as full or deep of a sound as my DN1060 had. I do realize that this is an entry level receiver, but I thought it would have been better than this...

While I'm still eligible to return this, I'm wondering if a AVR-S660H would potentially have better sound? The specs are mostly the same, so I'm not sure if the price increase is mainly because of the connectivity / port improvements? This review (not sure how credible it is) states that the S660H would have slightly better sound... Would there be any truth to that?

Essentially I just need a good sounding, low profile (< 7" height) 5.1 receiver. I don't need 7.1, I don't need atmos. I just need good sounding 5.1 / music.

I don't trust Sony anymore because of the issue I had with the DN1060, so options within my height restrictions are limited. I also just blew my load on a new TV, so upping my budget too much is out of the question, but I am willing to flex a little if it means I'll be happy for years to come.

Any recommendations / advice would be highly appreciated.
 

DavidT

Well-known Member
If you want a Denon then I wouldnt consider anything less than an X1700. If you're happy to go with a used buy then maybe an X1600 or even better an X2xxx.
 
I'm not tied to Denon, but they are the right size and do look good. The X1700 appears to be unavailable anywhere in Canada... Is it really much of an improvement over the S660H?
 

DavidT

Well-known Member
I'm not tied to Denon, but they are the right size and do look good. The X1700 appears to be unavailable anywhere in Canada... Is it really much of an improvement over the S660H?
 
The only notable differences seem to be features I don't need (e.g. atmos, 7.1) and some wattage differences:
Higher Power Output (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven, FTC)75 W (0.08% THD) vs 80 W (0.08% THD)
Higher Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven, FTC)100 W (0.7% THD) vs 120 W (0.7% THD)
Higher Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1 channel driven, JEITA)150 W (10% THD) vs 175 W (10% THD)
Higher Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1 channel driven, IEC)135 W (1% THD) vs 145 W (1% THD)

Are those wattage diffs enough to make a notable difference in the sound quality? Something else I'm missing here?
 

DavidT

Well-known Member
There is also the better quality components in the X series and the room correction is upgraded to XT on the X1700.
 

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