Question Denon X3700h vs Marantz sr6015 vs Yamaha RX-V6A

SaintButters

Novice Member
Hi everyone,

I am looking for my first AVR. I currently own a stereo setup (Marantz PM6005 + Focal Aria 906 Speakers) and I am extending it to 5.1: +Focal Aria 900CC + 2 Focal Dome + Dome Sub. I would sell my PM6005.

For my AVR, I first headed to the Denon X3700H after reading the Audioscience review but since, I have read a lot of opinions stating that the Marantz sr6015 was better with music and this factor is important to me.
Then there is the cheaper Yamaha RX-V6A which has good reviews. It seems to have almost the same components as the RX-A2A but 250€ cheaper so I would remove the RX-A2A from my list.

Would you say that the RX-V6A stereo sound quality is comparable to the Marantz ?
Buying the Yamaha would allow me to save some money to buy a dedicated Hi-Fi amp later if needed... but I like the simplicity of using only one receiver.

Here are the prices in France:
Marantz SR6015 : 1120€
Denon X3700H : 1030€
Yamaha RX-A2A : 1000 €
Yamaha RX-V6A :750 €

Thanks in advance : )
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
Welcome to the Forum.

None of the AV amps that you have listed, certainly not the Denon, will be as good as your current Marantz pm6005. Of those listed then the Marantz sr6015 would be the better choice as it has a superior room correction system over the Yamaha amps.

I would keep your pm6005 to compare to the Marantz AVR. You could always buy a speaker switcher to be able to connect both to the front speakers.
 

SaintButters

Novice Member
Thanks for the quick response !
I though it would have been a small step up thanks to the room calibration but you may be right, I will first keep my pm6005 to compare.
The good thing about the AVRs is the streaming features, totally non-existent in the PM6005, I have to use an external DAC (DENON da-300-usb) and a PC.
Talking about external DAC, how do you think these AVR DACs compare to my external DAC ?
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
THe Yamaha RXV6A is more comparable to the DEnon AVRX2700 or the Marantz SR5015. Yamaha do not currently have a comparable model in their current line that would equate to the AVRX3700 or the SR6015. Their nearest comparable model would have been the RXA2080, but this is discontinued and will not be replaced until the latter half of this year, maybe even not until early next year?

As it stands now, the Marantz and Denon models are basically the same model. The only real thing differentiating them is the Marantz tuning that many suggest makes the Marantz models poortray musical sources better than the more clinical approach adopted by Denon. Both Denon and Marantz are effectively the same outfit.

The DACs onboard the AV receivers are unlikelty to surpass dedicated 2 channel DACs intended for stereo setups. You are not going to be able to use an external DAC for multichannel digital sources though. There's also the fact that all AV receivers digitise the audio you input into them even if an analogue source. You'd be adding another layer of processing if using an external DAC and you'd still be using the internal DAC anyway.
 
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goingoingong

Distinguished Member
The DACs onboard the AV receivers are unlikelty to surpass dedicated 2 channel DACs intended for stereo setups. You are not going to be able to use an external DAC for multichannel digital sources though. There's also the fact that all AV receivers digitise the audio you input into them even if an analogue source. You'd be adding another layer of processing if using an external DAC and you'd still be using the internal DAC anyway.
Not necessarily.
Denon using CD analogue input, Pure Direct mode and Audyssey Off from this is an undigitised signal path.
I have been testing Denon AVR amplifiers using CD input which I have found to not be digitized allowing us to see the true performance the amplifier rather than any processing blocks. Question has been raised as to what happens when you turn on signal processing such as bass management. Here is the answer:

The answer is naturally, the AVR will digitize such analog signals the moment you do that. As it should. Fortunately the Pure Direct button overrides that as show in red graph. Digitization is at high sample rate of 96 kHz which is nice. Note that level changes a bit so be careful if you are doing AB tests.
Denon AVR-X3700H AVR Review


Same source also tested Arcam AVR's with Direct mode selected on analogue input as having undigitised signal path. Graph showing
Arcam AVR390 Analogue input (Direct)
Bypasses ADC/DSP

and Turning off Direct mode activates digitization of input
Arcam AVR390 AVR Review
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Not necessarily.
Denon using CD analogue input, Pure Direct mode and Audyssey Off from this is an undigitised signal path.
Doesn't take away the fact that Denon AV amps are quite poor with stereo music sources. I've not listened to the X8500 but certainly the X6500 just doesn't perform well at all. I've not tried my current SACD player, Denon DCD 2500 but have done so in the past with a Pioneer LX500 from it's analogue outputs. I also had a Marantz cd6006 and sa8005 connected by analogue to my previous X6200.

Spend a £1000 on an X3700 and a £1000 on a stereo amp and the difference is going to be very noticeable. It is however only a relevant as to how high one's expectations are for music reproduction is and for occasional use a Denon AV amp may be good enough.

The X6500 is brilliant at what it does with surround sound for film and TV and it does do a very good job of multi channel SACD, DVD-A and blu ray music. You really do need a standalone stereo amp either with HT by-pass or a speaker switcher to keep music well away from them.
 

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
Doesn't take away the fact that Denon AV amps are quite poor with stereo music sources. I've not listened to the X8500 but certainly the X6500 just doesn't perform well at all. I've not tried my current SACD player, Denon DCD 2500 but have done so in the past with a Pioneer LX500 from it's analogue outputs. I also had a Marantz cd6006 and sa8005 connected by analogue to my previous X6200.

Spend a £1000 on an X3700 and a £1000 on a stereo amp and the difference is going to be very noticeable. It is however only a relevant as to how high one's expectations are for music reproduction is and for occasional use a Denon AV amp may be good enough.

The X6500 is brilliant at what it does with surround sound for film and TV and it does do a very good job of multi channel SACD, DVD-A and blu ray music. You really do need a standalone stereo amp either with HT by-pass or a speaker switcher to keep music well away from them.
Coincidentally (or not) most all Denon AVRs apart from the X8500 and A110 use 8 channel AKM AK4458VN DACs. Only the X8500 and A110 use 2 channel stereo DACs (AKM AK4490EQ) and they are the only ones which are said to sound decent for stereo music sources.

As for your X6500, perhaps you got a lemon as Steve Withers notes in his AVForums review the X6500 has "a lovely performance with two-channel music, and the amplifier had more than enough power to comfortably drive these two sizeable speakers. There was a lovely front soundstage that had width and depth, plus some excellent stereo imaging. As a result, instruments were placed effectively across the front of the room, and the detail retrieval was equally as impressive".
Maybe the X6500 and your KEF speakers just don't get on....
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
Maybe the X6500 and your KEF speakers just don't get on....
The Denon just simply cannot compete with my Rega Elicit-R, neither could the older X6200 and the X6500 with the newer AL32 processing is certainly an improvement over the previous AL24. With film and TV and multi channel music the Denon and the KEFs do make good partners. It's the flat performance of the X6500, no excitement, bass response is slow.

My love of music was being left behind simply because I had gone from stereo separates to a one box solution just before the turn of the century. It was not until I brought the Rega into the system that it was re-kindled.

Yes Steve liked the X6500 for stereo music. But would he listen to stereo music on that amp or a standalone stereo one of the same cost. Think I might just know what the answer would be.
 

SaintButters

Novice Member
I think I might get a second-hand Yamaha RX3070 for the price of a new Marantz SR6015.
The Yamaha seems to have a high-end DAC and a pretty good stereo audio performance for an AVR. The only disadvantage I see is YPAO and not Audyssey XT32.
In the end, I might not need HDMI 2.1 on my AVR since I can connect my PS5 directly to my TV and then connect my TV to my AVR through eARC.
 

UpgradingAgain

Active Member
Hi,

sorry to interrupt the amp question but you may be the best person to answer my search. I’m looking at a new 5.1 system and read about focal being a very good audiophile option. I’m coming from Naim and dynaudio and that was stereo of course. How would you describe the focal sound? Is it warm? Is it more weighted to neutrality? What about the balance of sound between treble, mid and bass?

I hope you don’t mind me asking but I feel a user perspective can give more than professional reviews alone.
Thanks
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
Hi,

sorry to interrupt the amp question but you may be the best person to answer my search. I’m looking at a new system and read about focal being a very good audiophile option. I’m coming from Naim and dynaudio and that was stereo of course. How would you describe the focal sound? Is it warm? Is it more weighted to neutrality? What about the balance of sound between treble, mid and bass?

I hope you don’t mind me asking but I feel a user perspective can give more than professional reviews alone.
Thanks
Focal owns Naim. It would be highly likely that there is a good synergy between the two makes. I find Naim to be warm and musical but not suited to all makes of speakers. I would not pair Naim with KEF for example.
 

UpgradingAgain

Active Member
Focal owns Naim. It would be highly likely that there is a good synergy between the two makes. I find Naim to be warm and musical but not suited to all makes of speakers. I would not pair Naim with KEF for example.
Yes. My Naim was paired with dynaudios. Then for a time, I used my audience 52/50s as part of a home cinema set up with a REL sub. I’m not terribly experienced and I’m sure mistakes have been made in my home cinema buying over the years. I’m now on a search for balance between a very good home cinema set up and use that for music or separate the two and buy cheaper home cinema speakers and receiver. I’m not sure I’m able to tell the difference but I did love my Naim which is 30 years old now.
 

SaintButters

Novice Member
Hi,

sorry to interrupt the amp question but you may be the best person to answer my search. I’m looking at a new 5.1 system and read about focal being a very good audiophile option. I’m coming from Naim and dynaudio and that was stereo of course. How would you describe the focal sound? Is it warm? Is it more weighted to neutrality? What about the balance of sound between treble, mid and bass?

I hope you don’t mind me asking but I feel a user perspective can give more than professional reviews alone.
Thanks
I do not have the most experienced ears as my Focal Arias are my first speakers but I will try to describe them the best I can.
I went to an audio showroom with plenty of bookshelf speakers below 1000€ (Klipschs, KEFs, Monitor Audios, B&W...) . I listened to all of them and the Focal Arias were my favourites, the width of the soundstage stroke me the most, it was really noticable switching from another pair to these, everything sounded more "open". The sound is warm and the base deep, but not too much.
I also liked the B&W685 but the build quality of the Arias was way better.
Hope it helps ^^
 
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alanfinal

Novice Member
I have Marantz PM6006 and CD6006 UK editions and have connected the Yamaha RXV-6A via the pre out of the Yamaha to the Network of the PM6006UK ,with the front speakers wired to the PM6006UK ,this allows me to play the Marantz combo as standalone units and when needing to use the Yamaha for movie duties ,it's a case of turning the volume knob on the Marantz amp to 12 o'clock ,this works well as long as you remember when switching to using CD that the amps volume is set that high ,the only thing I miss a bit on mine is not having the sub enabled for a bit more bass when using the Marantz combo ,as I have to use shelf speakers ,my living room is also my self employed workshop and has units around the front and side wall and they are aging Monitor Audio Bronze speakers ,I will be replacing with something like Q Acoustics 3030i ,bit of a faff but works and from playing CD music straight from the Yamaha it is to say rather bloated and non Hi Fi.

 

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