Question Replacement options for Denon AVC-A1SR amp (+ other bits)

simon1967

Active Member
Hi all,

I’m revisiting my aging AV set-up to be something a bit more manageable. I have spent more hours than I care to mention calibrating my CRT, designing / programming my touch screen remote, trying new settings on my scaler or messing about with x10 modules for my blackout curtains (very James Bond). It has been neglected over the past few years as I got busy with life stuff but now want to update my system to something a bit more streamlined.

This is my existing set-up - most is not connected and unused:

Monitor Audio Gold Ref - Speakers (centre, front and rears)
Paradigm Servo (?) - Subwoofer (not currently working but sure I can get it fixed)

PROCESSING / SWITCHING:
AVC-A1SR - AV Amp
DVDO iScan VP50 - Scaler

DISPLAY:
Electrohome Marquee - CRT
Panasonic TX-65EX750 - 3D TV


SOURCES:
Toshiba SD-900E - DVD player
Meridian 506 - CD player
Sony PS4 - BluRay
Wii - Game console
Sky Q multiroom - Satellite
Misc - Apple TV, Macs, Revolver TT, VCR, Laserdisc !!!!

To be honest, I don’t have the time or enthusiasm to be messing about with scaler ratios etc so looking for something much more plug and play. When it was initially set-up, the sources were RIPs or multi-region DVDs and HDMI was not commonplace. As time and technology has moved on, I now just watch content on Sky Q / Amazon Prime or my son plays on the PS4.

So looking for options on the following:
  • replace the AVC-A1 amp. Preferably on par quality wise but would also like to add the Atmos option. Would like to use the amp for scaling duties (getting rid of the DVDO) so are there any drawback with regards to this? I’d also like to be able to connect all HDMI sources through the amp and using it as a passthrough device even when it’s not turned on. I’ve been looking at the 4400 / 4500 / 6400 / 6500 Denon option as I don’t need to have the latest and greatest. Also happy to look at second hand although if I buy new, I can claim the VAT back as a business item (I work in film) so it might be better to look at clearout or B stock items (Hyperfi / Peter Tyson). I'd also like to be able to control the amp / system through an iPad rather than using my Marantz programmable remote.
  • Replace the Marquee beast with a digital projector. Preferably with the 3D capability that can use the same 3D glasses as the TV. We have a ceiling mounted 96” screen so would need to look good on this size. When I changed from plasma to my existing TV, I was (and still am disappointed with the black levels). Since tweaking, it's better but I do miss the depth of my old plasma. I don’t miss the weight though ;)
  • Atmos speakers - no clue on these at all but I'll do a bit more research but these can be added at a later stage.
I guess I'd like to keep the budget for the 2 items to under £2000 - (£1200 amp / £800 PJ) but always willing to spend more if it's an AV bargain. If there’s anything else that I should be mindful of, then any advice would be hugely appreciated.

Many thanks

Simon
 
Last edited:

Davekale86

Well-known Member
The money you have for the AVR I'd be looking at probably the denon AVRx4500 it will do everything and more you want it to do as for PJ not to clued up on these but I'm sure someone on here will know good luck
 

simon1967

Active Member
Many thanks for the reply. I've been looking into this (no demos yet) and it appears that for my money, I can pick up last years Denon AVR X6400 for similar money (Peter Tyson - £1299, Hyper Fi: B Stock - £1099). A cursory glance doesn't seem to warrant paying any more for the 6500.

However, on a separate projector thread, one viewpoint is that the build and sound quality of receivers since my AVC-A1SR was around is not as good. I don't mind making a sideways step but would be disappointed to have to make compromises on the sound. One of the main reasons for changing is for ease of use and I really want to get rid of my scaler so I can use the AV receiver as a switching/scaling device. Sooo confusing with all the options.

Has anyone heard the differences between the older AV receivers and the newer models? I've also heard good things about Marantz and that they seem to have the edge on sound quality.
 

Davekale86

Well-known Member
Many thanks for the reply. I've been looking into this (no demos yet) and it appears that for my money, I can pick up last years Denon AVR X6400 for similar money (Peter Tyson - £1299, Hyper Fi: B Stock - £1099). A cursory glance doesn't seem to warrant paying any more for the 6500.

However, on a separate projector thread, one viewpoint is that the build and sound quality of receivers since my AVC-A1SR was around is not as good. I don't mind making a sideways step but would be disappointed to have to make compromises on the sound. One of the main reasons for changing is for ease of use and I really want to get rid of my scaler so I can use the AV receiver as a switching/scaling device. Sooo confusing with all the options.

Has anyone heard the differences between the older AV receivers and the newer models? I've also heard good things about Marantz and that they seem to have the edge on sound quality.
Having a look at the 6400 it was originally a 2k AVR and won 5 stars off a certain hifi website as for marantz never had one but they do seem to get good reviews as for your current AVR it was hi spec at the time but compared to today's AVRs it lacks alot of the modern audio codecs DTS-HD master audio, dolby Atmos and true HD my advice is narrow it oden to two similar AVRS and try and demo them only your ears will be able to tell which one you like
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Many thanks for the reply. I've been looking into this (no demos yet) and it appears that for my money, I can pick up last years Denon AVR X6400 for similar money (Peter Tyson - £1299, Hyper Fi: B Stock - £1099). A cursory glance doesn't seem to warrant paying any more for the 6500.

However, on a separate projector thread, one viewpoint is that the build and sound quality of receivers since my AVC-A1SR was around is not as good. I don't mind making a sideways step but would be disappointed to have to make compromises on the sound. One of the main reasons for changing is for ease of use and I really want to get rid of my scaler so I can use the AV receiver as a switching/scaling device. Sooo confusing with all the options.

Has anyone heard the differences between the older AV receivers and the newer models? I've also heard good things about Marantz and that they seem to have the edge on sound quality.
The main difference between Marantz and Denon, all their models are basically the same under the skin, is that Marantz HDAM circuitry is more attuned for music. This is a legacy of Marantz's musical heritage. As far as film and broadcast they are the equal of each other. The 6500 is a fine filmatic receiver, I have it's elder sibling in a 6200.

I do not like the 6200 for music, in that department even on pure direct in stereo is fairly poor. I now use a standalone stereo amp with HT by-pass to drive the front left and right which has given a big improvement in musical enjoyment. As a pure home cinema unit I hope the 6200 lasts for a good while longer but would not hesitate to get a 6500 as a replacement.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Maverick UK Premiere IMAX Review + Top Gun, Tom Cruise, Tony Scott and 4K + Movie/TV News
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom