Is AVR-4400H good enough for KEF R11?

basssound

Novice Member
My current 7.1 config has the following
Denon AVR-4400H
Front: KEF R500
Center: KEF R200c
Back and surround: JBL 530
Sub: Monolith 15 inch

I want to upgrade my front speaker from KEF R500 to KEP R11. Is AVR-4400H good enough or do I need to upgrade my receiver as well?
 
Well, it will drive them, but rather a mismatch in class. A high end AVR would do them more justice.
 

Mr Wolf

Active Member
Personally I'd probably be running dual subs and a Pre/Pro before I dropped £4k on a pair of main speakers.

What is your motivation for the upgrade?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The R11s will be something of a mismatch for the 4400, R500s are fine. What are you hoping to gain by going for the R11s? Won't bring much in the home cinema set up as the sub will be doing all the heavy lifting and those R11s would still have to be set as small after running Audyssey.

If it's a perceived improvement in stereo music then again a jump too far for the 4400 as that is really the impasse for good music presentation.
 

basssound

Novice Member
The R11s will be something of a mismatch for the 4400, R500s are fine. What are you hoping to gain by going for the R11s? Won't bring much in the home cinema set up as the sub will be doing all the heavy lifting and those R11s would still have to be set as small after running Audyssey.

If it's a perceived improvement in stereo music then again a jump too far for the 4400 as that is really the impasse for good music presentation.
Why the R11s will be something of a mismatch for the 4400?
The reason I want to upgrade is to improve stereo quality and also in my workout room, I have
Denon AVR-x4000
Front JBL 570
Sub: VTF-3 MK5 HP

Now, I want to replace my JBL 570 in the workout room with KEF R500 from the living room and upgrade to KEP R11 in the living room.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Why the R11s will be something of a mismatch for the 4400?
The reason I want to upgrade is to improve stereo quality and also in my workout room, I have
Denon AVR-x4000
Front JBL 570
Sub: VTF-3 MK5 HP

Now, I want to replace my JBL 570 in the workout room with KEF R500 from the living room and upgrade to KEP R11 in the living room.
Simply not good enough for the R11s. I don't consider my X6500 good enough for my R300s certainly for stereo music. In stereo the R11s will dig deeper than the R500s. You would be perhaps better off in trying to exploit the the potential of the R500s by using a stereo amp with HT by-pass and that still holds true for the R11s as well.

I use a HT capable stereo amp alongside the X6500 with all my music sources going directly to that stereo amp which is a Rega Elicit-R. That, to me is the minimum quality of amp that would be need to bring out the best in the R11s, perhaps even looking at the Aethos in Rega's current range.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
What's a stereo amp with HT bypass? What is it for? How does it help to get better stereo quality?
You connect the front left and right pre-outs from the Denon to the dedicated line-in on the stereo amp (I'll use my Rega amp as an example). The front left and right speakers will then be connected to the Rega amp only. Using those dedicated inputs on the Rega the pre-amped signal from the Denon is taken directly to the power amp section of the Rega, by-passing the Rega's own pre-amp, hence HT by-pass.

Once connected the volume is controlled from the Denon and both Denon and Rega are powered up to use the surround sound. It's simply a press of the 'Direct' button on the fascia of the Rega or by it's remote. Simple to set up and use. The R11s would also be getting a full 105 watts into 8 ohms which is more than that available from the Denon, something the KEFs really need to shine.

With having all music sources into the Rega then it's just the Rega that is powered up for music using the front left and right speaker. By cutting the Denon out of the equation for music then it's poor music performance is a thing of the past. Stereo music has always been Denon's Achilles Heel.
 

basssound

Novice Member
You connect the front left and right pre-outs from the Denon to the dedicated line-in on the stereo amp (I'll use my Rega amp as an example). The front left and right speakers will then be connected to the Rega amp only. Using those dedicated inputs on the Rega the pre-amped signal from the Denon is taken directly to the power amp section of the Rega, by-passing the Rega's own pre-amp, hence HT by-pass.

Once connected the volume is controlled from the Denon and both Denon and Rega are powered up to use the surround sound. It's simply a press of the 'Direct' button on the fascia of the Rega or by it's remote. Simple to set up and use. The R11s would also be getting a full 105 watts into 8 ohms which is more than that available from the Denon, something the KEFs really need to shine.

With having all music sources into the Rega then it's just the Rega that is powered up for music using the front left and right speaker. By cutting the Denon out of the equation for music then it's poor music performance is a thing of the past. Stereo music has always been Denon's Achilles Heel.
I don't watch many movies much. I mostly listen to music and mostly in 2.1, sometimes I listen to music in 7.1 if the music is kind of cinematic and sounds well. Otherwise, I mostly use 2.1 for music. Given that I spend 90% time listening to music and if the stereo amp is better for that, now I wonder I did I buy a $1500 receiver! So, you're telling stereo amp is much better for music listening in 2.1 than using 2.1 modes from the receiver Denon 4400h? I never know that a stereo amp is much better than music than a receiver.

Also, another question, I don't even watch movies in my workout room, where I only listen to music. In the workout room, I have Denon x4000, JBL 570, and HSU 15 inch sub. Do I just need to use a stereo amp without a receiver in that case in my workout room? Does a stereo amp support a subwoofer without a receiver?

Which stereo amp with HT bypass you suggest for Denon 4400 in my living room?
Which stereo amp with HT bypass you suggest for Denon x4000 in my workout room?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
If you go with KEF R11s I don't think you'll need to bring a sub into the equation. They are a big speaker but will not go as low as your sub but given the right amplification their bass can be very quick and precise providing you can place them in their optimum position. Speakers are always thought of as the most important part of any set up. Many people forget that the second most important part is their position and the room that they are in.

If you are not really listening to music but just have it as background then do you really need anything better than the Denon. At my time of life listening to music takes preference of working out. ;)

KEF speakers do work very well with Rega amps, especially so in the bass department. I've linked a current list of amps that have HT by-pass.

 

basssound

Novice Member
If you go with KEF R11s I don't think you'll need to bring a sub into the equation. They are a big speaker but will not go as low as your sub but given the right amplification their bass can be very quick and precise providing you can place them in their optimum position. Speakers are always thought of as the most important part of any set up. Many people forget that the second most important part is their position and the room that they are in.

If you are not really listening to music but just have it as background then do you really need anything better than the Denon. At my time of life listening to music takes preference of working out. ;)

KEF speakers do work very well with Rega amps, especially so in the bass department. I've linked a current list of amps that have HT by-pass.

I'm not going to buy R11. I would better buy a stereo amp and use it with R500. I listen to music 90% of the time. Which model of the stereo amp is best for R500 and denon 4400h?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I'm not going to buy R11. I would better buy a stereo amp and use it with R500. I listen to music 90% of the time. Which model of the stereo amp is best for R500 and denon 4400h?
I agree that would be the best use of your funds. I know you are US based so it all depends on what is available and more importantly what your budget is. I'll certainly recommend the Rega Elicit-R because of the experience I've had with the amp on running R300s for several years. It's also one of the easiest to connect and use.

It all depends if you like the 'British' sound. The good thing about KEF speakers are that I find them pretty benign and will suit a great many amps including Denon. There is certainly a difference in Denon stereo amps and their AV amp cousins. The PMA 2500 would do them justice although this model does look to be in short supply.

 

basssound

Novice Member
I agree that would be the best use of your funds. I know you are US based so it all depends on what is available and more importantly what your budget is. I'll certainly recommend the Rega Elicit-R because of the experience I've had with the amp on running R300s for several years. It's also one of the easiest to connect and use.

It all depends if you like the 'British' sound. The good thing about KEF speakers are that I find them pretty benign and will suit a great many amps including Denon. There is certainly a difference in Denon stereo amps and their AV amp cousins. The PMA 2500 would do them justice although this model does look to be in short supply.

KEF R500 is an 8 Ohm speaker. Denon AVR-4400H has 125 watts output per channel at 8 Ohm. But PMA 2500 is just 70 watts output per channel at 8 ohms. Howcome 70 watts output can be better than 125 watts from the receiver? Can you please explain this to me?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
KEF R500 is an 8 Ohm speaker. Denon AVR-4400H has 125 watts output per channel at 8 Ohm. But PMA 2500 is just 70 watts output per channel at 8 ohms. Howcome 70 watts output can be better than 125 watts from the receiver? Can you please explain this to me?
If using an AV amp in stereo then the power will be 125 watts, my X6500 is capable of 140 watts into 8 ohms. It's how that power is delivered. How clean that power is and a stereo amp has far less electrical components stuffed into a box. All those components will generate some kind of interference. The PSU is also very important. The PMA 2500 doubles the power available into 4 ohms which is brilliant for the KEFs which can drop to 3.2 ohms.

It's that stereo performance that you want to improve on. Power in this case is not the be all and the end all. Even in the power amp mode with just 70 watts the amp is never going to be called upon to deliver all of that at any one time, your hearing will certainly suffer.

The difference in stereo performance between my X6500 and Rega Elicit (105 watts into 8 ohms) amp is pronounced. If it's just power you need to improve all round performance from the Denon then a pure power amp is the way forward but that will not improve stereo music performance as the pre-amp of the Denon is still the driving force and with music that is what you are trying to avoid.
 

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