Help needed: Upgrading from Pioneer Elite

Doglover02

Novice Member
Hello!

Last year we decided to upgrade our home theatre since we would be home most of the time due to the pandemic. I kind of went overboard and bought all Klipsch speakers which include rp8000f (speaker b), rp600m (speaker a) rp504c (center), rp500sa (height), rp502s (rear), two bic acoustics PL 200 ii subs and upgraded our tv to a Sony a9g 65” as well. This is all driven by a Pioneer sc-lx701 which needs to go in for repair and I’m ready to replace that as well.

Here is my dilemma. I was looking at a used Onkyo rz-840 because it’s THX certified. I don’t know if that really accounts for much anymore and the last THX AVR I had was from 2010 (and it sounded great back then. If THX is not a huge thing anymore, then I’m looking at a Denon x6500h and x6700h. I like the 6700h since it’s the first one I’ve seen that has front wide channel support in a while. I was also eyeing the x8500h but the newer features on the 6700 seem more in tune with my tv.

I’m looking for recommendations, and advise since I’ve focused most of my energy the past few years on cars and just now getting back into home theatre. One caveat is we don’t have a dedicated home theatre room and the equipment is in a large area with a cathedral ceiling which makes atmos much less effective.

Thanks I’m advance. Here is a picture for reference.
 

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Doglover02

Novice Member
Hello!

Last year we decided to upgrade our home theatre since we would be home most of the time due to the pandemic. I kind of went overboard and bought all Klipsch speakers which include rp8000f (speaker b), rp600m (speaker a) rp504c (center), rp500sa (height), rp502s (rear), two bic acoustics PL 200 ii subs and upgraded our tv to a Sony a9g 65” as well. This is all driven by a Pioneer sc-lx701 which needs to go in for repair and I’m ready to replace that as well.

Here is my dilemma. I was looking at a used Onkyo rz-840 because it’s THX certified. I don’t know if that really accounts for much anymore and the last THX AVR I had was from 2010 (and it sounded great back then. If THX is not a huge thing anymore, then I’m looking at a Denon x6700h. I like the 6700h since it’s the first one I’ve seen that has front wide channel support in a while. I was also eyeing the x8500h but the newer features on the 6700 seem more in tune with my tv.

I’m looking for recommendations, and advise since I’ve focused most of my energy the past few years on cars and just now getting back into home theatre. One caveat is we don’t have a dedicated home theatre room and the equipment is in a large area with a cathedral ceiling which makes atmos much less effective.

Thanks I’m advance.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Welcome to the Forum.

The Denons will have a better room EQ system over the one on your current Pioneer and THX really doesn't matter these days. I have a Denon X6500 and it's very good for film and TV. It's quick with great sound steering. My concern looking at your photograph is the amps position in the cabinet. The Denons run very hot indeed and need good space above them for adequate ventilation.
 

Doglover02

Novice Member
Welcome to the Forum.

The Denons will have a better room EQ system over the one on your current Pioneer and THX really doesn't matter these days. I have a Denon X6500 and it's very good for film and TV. It's quick with great sound steering. My concern looking at your photograph is the amps position in the cabinet. The Denons run very hot indeed and need good space above them for adequate ventilation.
Thanks for the quick reply. I was going to add a fan on top of the receiver to move air since I’d be going from a class d to a class ab amp. The back is wide open so I can move air from front to back and exhaust out of the rear using a Aircom T10 Cooling Fan or Something like that. Maybe some ultra quiet side fans as well. Think that’s enough airflow?

Does Denon sound bright? I always felt my pioneer did not adequately drive all my speakers. I was also looking at Yamaha but they don’t have IMAX support and Sony sells avr systems with IMAX, but rarely see reviews for them.
 
Thanks for the quick reply. I was going to add a fan on top of the receiver to move air since I’d be going from a class d to a class ab amp. The back is wide open so I can move air from front to back and exhaust out of the rear using a Aircom T10 Cooling Fan or Something like that. Maybe some ultra quiet side fans as well. Think that’s enough airflow?

Does Denon sound bright? I always felt my pioneer did not adequately drive all my speakers. I was also looking at Yamaha but they don’t have IMAX support and Sony sells avr systems with IMAX, but rarely see reviews for them.
Denon doesn't do bright, it's a very different sound from the Pioneer. I would think the X6700H would be more than capable of driving your speakers, As per Gibbsy's post above, THX is meaningless these days.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Does Denon sound bright? I always felt my pioneer did not adequately drive all my speakers. I was also looking at Yamaha but they don’t have IMAX support and Sony sells avr systems with IMAX, but rarely see reviews for them.
Not really that's why they can partner a great many speaker set ups and Audyssey will go some way to addressing any brightness in the room.
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
Are you planning on using your system to listen to 2 channel, stereo music, or just movies and TV?

With your awkward room I wonder if a more sophisticated room correction system than Audyssey, which is what you get with the Denon, might help. Such as Dirac.

As you are in the US, we are mainly UK here, you have access to some other manufacturers that are expensive for us here, here are some which come with Dirac:

ARCAM, AudioControl, Bryston, Focal, Emotiva, JBL, JBL Synthesis, Lexicon, miniDSP, NAD, StormAudio and Monoprice
 

Doglover02

Novice Member
Denon doesn't do bright, it's a very different sound from the Pioneer. I would think the X6700H would be more than capable of driving your speakers, As per Gibbsy's post above, THX is meaningless these days.
Are you planning on using your system to listen to 2 channel, stereo music, or just movies and TV?

With your awkward room I wonder if a more sophisticated room correction system than Audyssey, which is what you get with the Denon, might help. Such as Dirac.

As you are in the US, we are mainly UK here, you have access to some other manufacturers that are expensive for us here, here are some which come with Dirac:

ARCAM, AudioControl, Bryston, Focal, Emotiva, JBL, JBL Synthesis, Lexicon, miniDSP, NAD, StormAudio and Monoprice
Thanks so much! Looks like the only thing that has IMAX is ARCAM and the AVR10 is the only one in my price range. We ::rarely:: if ever listen to music so we are mainly looking for the home theatre movie experience.
 
Thanks so much! Looks like the only thing that has IMAX is ARCAM and the AVR10 is the only one in my price range. We ::rarely:: if ever listen to music so we are mainly looking for the home theatre movie experience.
Avoid Arcam AVRs like the plague - just see the Arcam threads on here to see the number of bugs and general flakiness . The only possible reason for consideration is if you listen to a lot of music as that is their forte, but if it's mainly movies then forget it. They can't even run on their latest firmware properly so owners have to roll back to an earlier stable version!

Denon have IMAX enhanced if that is a feature you are looking for, although there isn't much content around to be honest,
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
There is absolutely no need to avoid Arcam AVR's like the plague.

Like many AVR manufacturers, when new ranges are first released firmware is not always up to scratch, I see that the newer range of Anthem's are suffering from this. The Arcam firmware is now stable on the newest range, according to the owners thread on here, and has been stable for some time on the older FMJ range.

What Arcam are good at is sounding superb!

If you were considering an Arcam AVR then the outgoing FMJ range are heavily discounted, I am not sure if there is any stock left where you are?

The newer HDA range should be more easily available, and will certainly sound better than a Denon AVR and they come with a much more effective room correction system, Dirac,

However, at a similar price range you may be able to get something from Emotiva, Nad or Monoprice, which would also be a step up from Denon, and on a similar level to Arcam.
 

Doglover02

Novice Member
Denon doesn't do bright, it's a very different sound from the Pioneer. I would think the X6700H would be more than capable of driving your speakers, As per Gibbsy's post above, THX is meaningless these days.
I really appreciate all the comments, thank you I thought I’d be missing something without TXH but it seems reasonable that current technology and requirements surpass THX, especially with IMAX certification.

Please correct me if I’m wrong. When I was at Best Buy (I know) the folks in the high end audio department explained that bright is better for an avr and fills a room better I.e. glass breaking more dialog, voices have more clarity, etc. Warm was a better reproduction for music only and Yamaha was best combined with klipsch because of the brightness, if only Yamaha was IMAX certified. Is that correct?
 
I really appreciate all the comments, thank you I thought I’d be missing something without TXH but it seems reasonable that current technology and requirements surpass THX, especially with IMAX certification.

Please correct me if I’m wrong. When I was at Best Buy (I know) the folks in the high end audio department explained that bright is better for an avr and fills a room better I.e. glass breaking more dialog, voices have more clarity, etc. Warm was a better reproduction for music only and Yamaha was best combined with klipsch because of the brightness, if only Yamaha was IMAX certified. Is that correct?

Can't comment on Best Buy, I'm in the UK and we don't have them here. Not heard that rationale about AVR audio before though - many AVRs deliberately roll off the top end to reduce brightness on movies which tend be EQ'd for cinemas and can sound a bit shrill in a home environment. The AVR EQ such as Audyssey will also help to optimise the sound for your room.

I'm also a bit wary of "certifications" as the criteria is often a bit opaque - THX for instance became more about how much a manufacturer was willing to pay to stamp those 3 letters on their kit - which is why it has largely died out now.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
the folks in the high end audio department explained that bright is better for an avr and fills a room better I.e. glass breaking more dialog, voices have more clarity, etc.
That's too simplistic and perhaps a rather lazy answer. Your room, your furnishing, how many highly reflective surfaces are in there, these will all play a part in how 'bright' your listening becomes. That's even without taking the speakers themselves into consideration. Put a 'bright' amp coupled to the wrong speakers in an already bright room and you're asking for trouble.

Most AV amps today are somewhat benign in nature, if nothing else the room correction systems will see to that. Yes there will be subtle differences and room correction systems will work better than others.
 

Doglover02

Novice Member
That's too simplistic and perhaps a rather lazy answer. Your room, your furnishing, how many highly reflective surfaces are in there, these will all play a part in how 'bright' your listening becomes. That's even without taking the speakers themselves into consideration. Put a 'bright' amp coupled to the wrong speakers in an already bright room and you're asking for trouble.

Most AV amps today are somewhat benign in nature, if nothing else the room correction systems will see to that. Yes there will be subtle differences and room correction systems will work better than others.
Thank you! It’s really hard to describe how a system “sounds”. I know it’s stupid, but I paid 30% on the dollar for all my klipsch speakers. The manager had all the speakers in a corner and gave me a bulk price if I bought all of them on the spot, so I did. Now, I’m trying to find the best receiver for my room and my speakers.

I had no idea the furniture would impact the brightness, thought that was just a way of describing the sound from the amp.
 

Doglover02

Novice Member
Can't comment on Best Buy, I'm in the UK and we don't have them here. Not heard that rationale about AVR audio before though - many AVRs deliberately roll off the top end to reduce brightness on movies which tend be EQ'd for cinemas and can sound a bit shrill in a home environment. The AVR EQ such as Audyssey will also help to optimise the sound for your room.

I'm also a bit wary of "certifications" as the criteria is often a bit opaque - THX for instance became more about how much a manufacturer was willing to pay to stamp those 3 letters on their kit - which is why it has largely died out now.
Thank you. Since I have a Sony A9G with IMAX, I really want to take advantage of the IMAX capabilities, even though there is not a lot of content right now. I can also goto a higher end Pioneer Elite as well. I’m just now looking at the Arcam avr’s and the amps seem considerably smaller than that of Denon or Pioneer
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Thank you! It’s really hard to describe how a system “sounds”. I know it’s stupid, but I paid 30% on the dollar for all my klipsch speakers. The manager had all the speakers in a corner and gave me a bulk price if I bought all of them on the spot, so I did. Now, I’m trying to find the best receiver for my room and my speakers.

I had no idea the furniture would impact the brightness, thought that was just a way of describing the sound from the amp.
Klipsch speakers, they are really a recent addition to manufacturers that sell in the UK, are considered 'bright' because of the horn design of the tweeter. The phrase that a lot of people mention in 'forward'.

Most metal domed speakers tend to be bright, some handle it better than others and perhaps KEF are right at the top of their game with the UniQ design. If you want to find out how bright and how well those speakers can handle very high notes then search out Joni Mitchell's brilliant Blue album and listen as to how the combination handles her very high notes as the recordings on all media are wonderful.
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
Thank you. Since I have a Sony A9G with IMAX, I really want to take advantage of the IMAX capabilities, even though there is not a lot of content right now. I can also goto a higher end Pioneer Elite as well. I’m just now looking at the Arcam avr’s and the amps seem considerably smaller than that of Denon or Pioneer
Arcam are more transparent with their power ratings than other manufacturers. The AVR10 is 60 watts per channel into 8 ohms, all 7 channels driven, that AVR20 is 90 watts per channels into 8 ohms, all 7 channels driven.

You might have to hunt around for bench tests of the Denon and Pioneer AVR's to get a similar honest figure.

For comparison, the Denon 4x00 range is generally measured at 76 watts per channel into 8 ohms when driving 7 channels, the Pioneer SC-89 measured at 114 watts per channel into 8 ohms, 7 channels driven.

Your klipsch speakers are very easy to drive, with high sensitivity, so you should be okay with any of those.
 

Doglover02

Novice Member
Arcam are more transparent with their power ratings than other manufacturers. The AVR10 is 60 watts per channel into 8 ohms, all 7 channels driven, that AVR20 is 90 watts per channels into 8 ohms, all 7 channels driven.

You might have to hunt around for bench tests of the Denon and Pioneer AVR's to get a similar honest figure.

For comparison, the Denon 4x00 range is generally measured at 76 watts per channel into 8 ohms when driving 7 channels, the Pioneer SC-89 measured at 114 watts per channel into 8 ohms, 7 channels driven.

Your klipsch speakers are very easy to drive, with high sensitivity, so you should be okay with any of those.
I have the bookshelf under my tv and floors next to the tv since they offer more midrange and the floor speakers are nice all around. The two compliment each other well so whatever I buy would want to still drive speaker a/b. It looks like arcam does not support this so I may end up with the denon 6700.
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
I have the bookshelf under my tv and floors next to the tv since they offer more midrange and the floor speakers are nice all around. The two compliment each other well so whatever I buy would want to still drive speaker a/b. It looks like arcam does not support this so I may end up with the denon 6700.
Do you mean that you use different speakers for 2 channel music than for movies?

How many speakers do you have in total?
 

Doglover02

Novice Member
Do you mean that you use different speakers for 2 channel music than for movies?

How many speakers do you have in total?
Center
2 Front (speaker a)
2 Front (speaker b)
2 subwoofers
2 height speakers
2 surround
2 surround rear (line level, wireless)

The a and b speakers are active at the same time. Each has different sounds and the compliment each other well.
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
Center
2 Front (speaker a)
2 Front (speaker b)
2 subwoofers
2 height speakers
2 surround
2 surround rear (line level, wireless)

The a and b speakers are active at the same time. Each has different sounds and the compliment each other well.
Interesting!

I have not heard of the speaker A and speaker B thing before, it is probably possible if the AVR supports bi-amping for the front mains, as you could keep the speaker links in those speakers and feed two speaker pairs the same signal.

Beware of comb filtering though.

I make that a total of 9 passive speakers, you are correct that the Arcam AVRs only have 7 onboard power amps, so you would need an additional 2 channel amp for your set-up.
 

Doglover02

Novice Member
Thanks everyone for all your help and comments. I’ve taken seriously about how hot the denon runs and going to try the 6700h. My local Best Buy also has a pioneer sc lx904 (open box) that the manager said I could buy and return if I did not like it.

The pioneer’s power consumption is half that of the Denon and only 5w less
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
Thanks everyone for all your help and comments. I’ve taken seriously about how hot the denon runs and going to try the 6700h. My local Best Buy also has a pioneer sc lx904 (open box) that the manager said I could buy and return if I did not like it.

The pioneer’s power consumption is half that of the Denon and only 5w less
Good luck. Pioneer uses Class D power amps which have a much higher efficiency than the Class A/B power amps in the Denon.
 
Thanks everyone for all your help and comments. I’ve taken seriously about how hot the denon runs and going to try the 6700h. My local Best Buy also has a pioneer sc lx904 (open box) that the manager said I could buy and return if I did not like it.

The pioneer’s power consumption is half that of the Denon and only 5w less
Should be a good fit with your speakers. Arcam by the way are still working to try and implement a new stable firmware version!
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
Klipsch speakers are very easy to drive, so any AVR will be a good fit. It is the features and sound signature that would be the difference between various options.

The new range of Arcam AVR's seem to be stable for most owners, Arcam recently announced that:

Please be assured that we are working diligently on releasing a new firmware.

Our intention is to provide a substantial update that will minimize the need for future updates. With this in mind, there were some requirements to meet before we could make such a release. The timeline has also been dependent on squashing bugs without any regression, so it’s important we go through the evaluation period for each new release candidate. We are encouraged, however, by the numerous advances with the latest Beta testing and we can reassure you that you can expect an update very soon. "
 

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