Denon High End Amps !

Ricky22buk

Standard Member
Hi everyone !

I'm new on here guys but am hoping to pick up alot of idea's from you all.

Does anyone out there own either an AVC-A1XV or a AVC-A11X ? Could anyone give me opinions on either or ? Is the £4000 player really alot better then the £2500 player.

All opinions appreciated !

Ricky !
 

Knightshade

Active Member
Hi Ricky,
What do you want his amp to do? Reason I ask is that depending on your needs there may be better available.
Certainly when you are thinking of spending £4500 on an AV Amp you may look at Lexicon, Linn etc.
You may find this thread usefull.
http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=232416
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
I'd have to agree with Knightshade...a receiver,even a very expensive one,is often less than the sum of it's parts,as it combines everything in one box,trying to do all of the things required of it.

If you do want a solution like that,then the top Denon is a superb example of it's kind,with plenty of facilities,lots of power,and excellent build,but for the money,separates may offer you more,and may certainly offer better sound quality,if that's the most important issue for you.

You are,I assume,also looking for speakers,or do you already have a system that you want to slot this into...?
 

Welwynnick

Well-known Member
The A1XV allows you to run two independent 5.1 surround sound systems, so it is as it looks, two AV amps in one box. Why not just buy two amps? It has Denon link, but that capability isn't unique. It has video switching and upscaling, but only to a rudimentary standard. If you get a separate audio processor, video processor and power amp, the performance won't be so compromised.

Nick
 

Thunder

Active Member
Im with these guys, for that money you could get a very capable second hand processor and power amp that Im quite confident would outperform the Denon. 10 channels of amplification :confused: I think that Denon just ran out of ideas of how to make their new range topping amp stand out from the crowd, so they thought lets see how many channels of amplification we can fit in one box! But there dosnt seem to be a really valid reason behind it :)
 

Nic Rhodes

Well-known Member
The Denon is a wonderful bit of kit with everything under the sun on it, however like the guys and girls above I think it's forte is not sound and video quality. I am one of a growng band who are going back to the basics but done REALLY well. I have a processor with all the usual variants of DTS es and DD Ex, THX Ultra 10.1 etc etc surround modes etc but rarely do I use anything other than pure modes. I am even going to down size from 7 to 5 channels as I become increasingly convinced that each new years models are just produced to sell us extras that in reality we don't need.

I feel a far more satisfying long term approach is one driven by quality. If that is the remit you follow then the Denon will probably not satisfy you. If you are after every bell and whistle to show your mates, then it probably will.
 

Ricky22buk

Standard Member
Many thanks for the prompt reply guys !

I'm basically after as good a system as I can afford to give me the clearest, best sounding movies and music I can get. So all I'm basically going to use it for is sky, music, and dvd's !

Ricky !
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
Ricky22b said:
Many thanks for the prompt reply guys !

I'm basically after as good a system as I can afford to give me the clearest, best sounding movies and music I can get. So all I'm basically going to use it for is sky, music, and dvd's !

Ricky !
It does sound from your post as if you want something that can do all things well....that being the case,you'd get best results from a system of separates as many of us have already suggested,but if you will spend most of the time with DVD/Sky as your source,then the Denon would be a more compact solution,albeit at the cost of some loss of performance on music overall.
 

ChrisNic

Active Member
Something that I think you should consider is the new sound formats that HD-DVD will bring, would you be happy about spending £4k on a reciever to then discover that it isnt compatible and possibly cant be upgraded to support them (I have no idea if the denon will be upgradable or not BTW)? The ways things are going with the disk formats I cant see it being a problem for a while but it will be eventually.

If it were me I wouldnt be throwing large amounts of money at something that could potentially old technology in a year. In a sense its another vote to keep everything seperate, a used top of the line processor at £1500 ish could be a better choice for performance and financial reasons.

I hate to think what I am going to replace my Tag with when the time comes (Sony all in one anyone????)
 

Ricky22buk

Standard Member
This may sound a stupid question but why do alot of people on here come out with things like 'a loss of performance on music overall' ? Could someone please explain this to me as with me not knowing my stuff I would have assumed that if you bought top of the range flagship players that you would achieve excellence in all fields.

Thanks !

Richard.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hello Ricky22b

When you look back through the annals of HiFi/Music reproduction nirvana you wont often find Denon sitting atop any 'best of' award piles.

Big AV Amp/Receivers are usually pretty good as big AV Amp/Receivers but not your first choice of music reproducers - a typical HiFi amp will have an on/off button, a source selector and a volume knob; which is at odds with your 'average' all singing and dancing AV Amp/Receiver.

When you consider the lengths HiFi kit manufacturer go to to remove any unwanted components and electrical noise from within a HiFi amplifier you'll begin to understand some of the possible 'issues' surrounding bolting everything including a microwave and kitchen sink un-blocker into a single chassis (even a compact 44kg model).

Depending on where your reference for what's achievable and what's enjoyable lie the Denon may far outstrip your expectations but for others who have spent a lot of time and effort in achieving a sound they enjoy these big 'catch all' models don't match expectations.

Best regards

Joe
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
Ricky22b said:
This may sound a stupid question but why do alot of people on here come out with things like 'a loss of performance on music overall' ? Could someone please explain this to me as with me not knowing my stuff I would have assumed that if you bought top of the range flagship players that you would achieve excellence in all fields.

Thanks !

Richard.
Hi Richard....I think as you'll find from several of the posts,that what we're trying to say is that it's a case of expecting one box to do all things equally well,and to as high a standard as manufacturers of dedicated separates manage,and this just is not usually the case.

You'd have to listen to,and try a decent example of each,to see first of all if you can find a difference,and secondly if that difference is worth the probable extra expense,and effort.

Most of us with separates based systems would say that it is worth the costs and possible loss of convenience,for the extra performance gained....hence my comments about a loss of performance on music,which is where most receivers fall short.
 

Peter Baker

Active Member
And this is an excellent way to test the alternatives. Try to find a good AV distributor in your area, and listen to the Denon, followed by something like an Arcam, or a Meridian system, using straight CD of music you know and love. I would be astonished if you did not immediately see a huge difference. The Denon will put all the constituent parts in front of you, but the others will be far better at making it all sound musical. If you are convinced, then you might wish to track down more esoteric brands such as Bryston and Naim for more of the same. Going 2nd hand will increase your choice enormously, but beware..... This is a hobby that turns into a compulsion pretty quickly. That said, I wouldn't have changed my path.
 

Thunder

Active Member
Ricky22b said:
I would have assumed that if you bought top of the range flagship players that you would achieve excellence in all fields.

Thanks !

Richard.
OK, so you have bought your Porsche 911 Turbo, its a great sports car, but is it a great 4x4, a great people carrier, has it got tons of leg room in the back? :smashin:
 

MPK

Active Member
Thunder said:
OK, so you have bought your Porsche 911 Turbo, its a great sports car, but is it a great 4x4, a great people carrier, has it got tons of leg room in the back? :smashin:
That's a good analogy. A Denon A1XV is basically a Porsche Cayenne Turbo. It's certainly not the fastest car out there, also not the best 4x4 and I'm sure you'll find more spacious cars. However, if you want ONE car and benefit from speed, off-road ability and family space, you'll be hard pressed to find anything better out there. An AV amp is a compromise anyway. If your priority is music, go for a music amp. If you want music and movies, an AV amp is a great solution.

I've had seperates and at some point I couldn't be bothered anymore. My girlfriend had to go through a 2 page instruction manual I wrote for her when she wanted to put on a DVD. Tons of cables, interconnects, five different remotes (no, a learning remote is not that easy for completely different devices). Fine, you'll get about 5-10% more performance out of it, but you have to ask yourself: Is it worth it...?

Read any AV magazine and you'll see that a top level Denon amp is a very safe bet. Also, they are always at the cutting edge of technology and mostly lead the market, so you won't have to worry about future compatibility, etc.
 

Moviebuff

Well-known Member
I have just bought a Denon A1XV, as an upgrade from a Pioneer AX5i, and the difference in sound quality is staggering. Coupled with the fact that it has superb connectivity (3 HDMI inputs, aswell as DVI), and for me, it is the ideal solution. I've been down the dedicated system for music, and another one for AV, and for me, this is a neater solution by far.

As Joe said earlier, it depends on your expectations/interpretation of what constitutes as a quality result, be it sound or picture.

Now, either my expectations are fairly low, or the Denon is a bloody good piece of kit. I for one, am more than happy with the solution that I've currently arrived at.

Audition, and decide, one mans poison .... etc etc
 

russraff

Active Member
Anyone listening to the big Denon will be impressed by it's performance. It is, by any definition, a fantastic piece of kit that offers much to just about anyone. However, Moviebuff's comments are quite interesting.

The AX5 is itself a very good performer and offers a considerable amount of funtionality for about £1k new. Saying that, the poweramp stage, though powerful, was hindered by a reasonably cheap "frame" transformer and not a whole lot of reserve current (small capacitors). The Denon has a big toroidal transformer and equally big capacitors. But even this amp is restricted as that massive high quality transformer is augmented by smaller ones culled from the decidedly down market 2805.

Now, a seperates power amp will either have a power supply the size of a cart wheel, or will have 5 or 7 seperate individual power supplies of equal quality - all in order to maintain even quality. This is without taking into consideration better cooling (often with no fans unlike the Denon) and taking the delicate electronics of the processor away from the power amps.

For me the solution is a no brainer. Even at £2-2.5k there are reasons to go for seperates over an integrated design if you can handle a slight lack of extras.
 

Moviebuff

Well-known Member
One of the differences I have noticed between the AX5i (a amp I still rate very highly), and the Denon, is that when driven hard, the Denon maintains a composed, easy going sound, where the Pioneer sounded a lot brighter and more "brittle", for want of a better description. The sound field, has much more perceived depth to it, as well as a less "transisterised", more believable final result. At higher volumes, it just sounds less fatiguing and effortless.

It was as if, when given the ask, the Pioneer was sprinting fast, while the Denon, in achieving a better result, still had it's feet up, and was just chilling out! :)
 

pragmatic

Well-known Member
I have to ask the question and no disrespect intended, do you really need to buy a flagship reciever?

As with most things in life you only get what you pay for up to a certain point, after that your paying for the priviledge. You may find a low mid range amp at £500 or a high mid range at £1000, does everything you want, and you have difficulty telling the difference between those and a 4k amp. Have you demo'ed many amps? or speakers, as once you have an amp you need to get spakers that compliment which can mean for the best sound your selection is cut down.

A flagship amp is nice and comvient, but its performance will not be anything of a 2 box pre/pro or more seperate system for the same money, you'll have alot better selection and if you get to know a dealer you'll be alowed extensive demo'ing and maybe even a home demo of your final selections. The amount of money you'll be spending they will (they had better) spend quite a bit of time going through things with you.
 

Moviebuff

Well-known Member
Just for the record - i paid £2995 for the big Denon - still a not inconsiderable amount of money, but the performance over my previous Pioneer AX5i has to be heard to be believed. :D

Plus, my missus, who is a technophobe, can drive it with two button pushes, which, for her, is a bonus.

Some may say that the separates route, is a better way to go, and I wouldn't doubt them. But for an all in one box solution, the Denon could take on all but the very best of separates, and for me, that's a winner.

You need to weigh up whether, you want the absolute sound, in numerous boxes, or something very close, in one box, which, if you search around, can be had, for a very good price, over the retail tag.

As I said earlier, let your ears have their say, and after that, take into account, what you feel are the pro's and con's to each choice.

HTH's

Jerry. :)
 

yorkyred

Active Member
Ricky22b said:
Many thanks for the prompt reply guys !

I'm basically after as good a system as I can afford to give me the clearest, best sounding movies and music I can get. So all I'm basically going to use it for is sky, music, and dvd's !

Ricky !
Have to say you seem to be going down the same road that many hi fi nuts of the past have with the spend more get a better sound line.

In my experience it often ends in huge disappointment and a broken bank account.

I have heard many huge priced systems that looked good on paper but sounded awful in real life, it's about how well different parts of the system gel together not what gets the highest marks in a mag.

Listen to a few amps running with your system and tastes in music and film and judge what sound you prefer, not how powerful and impressive it looks.
 

KAZER

Active Member
Moviebuff said:
Just for the record - i paid £2995 for the big Denon - still a not inconsiderable amount of money, but the performance over my previous Pioneer AX5i has to be heard to be believed. :D

Moviebuff where did you pick up the big Denon for that much?? :eek: , I have been looking at buying this or its smaller brother for some time now but every retailer I have talked to seems to be very rigid in their pricing.

Kazer
 

Thunder

Active Member
Scott3 said:
The big Denon should hold its own against ANY pre/power combo.
Ah..... no :lesson:
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
I suppose it would only be fair to ask the same question of you Scott,but whilst it's very good overall value,and does everything you could ask of a receiver,it isnt comparable with ANY pre/power combination,and does well to hold its own with those in or around it's price range.
 

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