Thoughts on new AV receiver

The Shaved Ewok

Novice Member
Afternoon all,

Need some of your thoughts / advice on a new AV receiver. I currently have a Denon X4300H attached to some Kef R700s, a Q650 (I think) as a center, Rel S510 sub and some old Kef eggs as surround.
The current X4300H has been driving the above speakers for a while but I dont think it has the power to really push these speakers. I mainly use the system for movies/tv but also a fair bit of music. This is were the the X4300H sounds a bit rubbish hence now I'm thinking of upgrading.
Can anyone give some suggestions of what they have done in the past if they have gone down this route?
I'm thinking along the lines of a Denon X6500H but is that going to be any better than what I have at the moment or a Arcam AVR20 but then again I have heard about all the issues with the firmware and would a Denon be better with movies?
Budget is about £3k

Thanks
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I have a Denon X6500 and it is a very good buy for the current price. It is also driving KEF R300 speakers but is still, in my opinion, poor for stereo music. A Rega Elicit-R now drives the KEFs for music and will simply spank the Denon.

An Arcam 20 with Dirac onboard is going to sound better, certainly with stereo music over the Denon. Whether or not it will be better than a Rega amp I won't comment. Arcam owners are a very special breed and all the problems associated with that make doesn't have me wanting to join them.

Your current Denon has pre-outs so it would be simple for you to get an amp with HT by-pass and play your music sources through that. Even when using a stereo amp in tandem with the Denon the R700s would thrive on the extra power. A Rega Elicit-R would make your R700s sing but there are plenty of other contenders out there. Link below shows all current amps with HT by-pass.

 

The Shaved Ewok

Novice Member
I have a Denon X6500 and it is a very good buy for the current price. It is also driving KEF R300 speakers but is still, in my opinion, poor for stereo music. A Rega Elicit-R now drives the KEFs for music and will simply spank the Denon.

An Arcam 20 with Dirac onboard is going to sound better, certainly with stereo music over the Denon. Whether or not it will be better than a Rega amp I won't comment. Arcam owners are a very special breed and all the problems associated with that make doesn't have me wanting to join them.

Your current Denon has pre-outs so it would be simple for you to get an amp with HT by-pass and play your music sources through that. Even when using a stereo amp in tandem with the Denon the R700s would thrive on the extra power. A Rega Elicit-R would make your R700s sing but there are plenty of other contenders out there. Link below shows all current amps with HT by-pass.

Thanks for taking the time to add these points, I remember I was thinking about adding an additional stereo amp a while back but thought it may be to complicated. Your reply has just sparked a bit more interest!
I'm guessing the speakers would be connected to the stereo amp and then the amp connected to the AVR via the pre-outs? I have the sub connected to the AVR using the Hi and Low Level inputs so i'm also guessing the Hi-Level would be moved to the Stereo amp?

Would you also think I would see much of a difference on the 6500 vs 4300 when using it for movies?

Thanks :)
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Thanks for taking the time to add these points, I remember I was thinking about adding an additional stereo amp a while back but thought it may be to complicated. Your reply has just sparked a bit more interest!
I'm guessing the speakers would be connected to the stereo amp and then the amp connected to the AVR via the pre-outs? I have the sub connected to the AVR using the Hi and Low Level inputs so i'm also guessing the Hi-Level would be moved to the Stereo amp?

Would you also think I would see much of a difference on the 6500 vs 4300 when using it for movies?

Thanks :)
It's possible. If the 4300 has AL32 processing then it has the same processing power as the 6500. I went from an AL24 X6200 to the AL32 X6500 and I was quite surprised and delighted with the difference. The 6500 certainly has better components onboard along with more headroom. I always change my receivers when the five year warranty runs out, so the 6500 will have to last another four and a half years.

As for connecting a stereo amp it can be very easy depending on the make of the stereo amp. Just a simple RCA connection from the front pre-outs to the direct input on the stereo amp. The front speakers are then just connected to the stereo amp. A simple press of a 'Direct' button on my stereo's remote enagages HT by-pass.

The stereo amp is easily EQ'd into the whole system by Audyssey. The volume of the stereo amp in by-pass is controlled by the Denon. When watching a film or TV both the Denon and the stereo amp is fired up. When you want to listen to music, which should all be connected to the stereo amp, just that amp is in use.

For the sub, you are already familiar with high and low level connection, it would be LFE from the Denon and high level from the stereo amp. I don't bother with high level from my stereo amp as my speakers go low enough for my tastes.
 

The Shaved Ewok

Novice Member
It's possible. If the 4300 has AL32 processing then it has the same processing power as the 6500. I went from an AL24 X6200 to the AL32 X6500 and I was quite surprised and delighted with the difference. The 6500 certainly has better components onboard along with more headroom. I always change my receivers when the five year warranty runs out, so the 6500 will have to last another four and a half years.

As for connecting a stereo amp it can be very easy depending on the make of the stereo amp. Just a simple RCA connection from the front pre-outs to the direct input on the stereo amp. The front speakers are then just connected to the stereo amp. A simple press of a 'Direct' button on my stereo's remote enagages HT by-pass.

The stereo amp is easily EQ'd into the whole system by Audyssey. The volume of the stereo amp in by-pass is controlled by the Denon. When watching a film or TV both the Denon and the stereo amp is fired up. When you want to listen to music, which should all be connected to the stereo amp, just that amp is in use.

For the sub, you are already familiar with high and low level connection, it would be LFE from the Denon and high level from the stereo amp. I don't bother with high level from my stereo amp as my speakers go low enough for my tastes.
Excellent, thanks for explaining, sorry but just one more question - Most of my music is over Tidal and Spotify, I take it I would need a streamer as well rather than the AVR using say Spotify over the Stereo amp?

Sorry about the questions, I'm looking this all up on Google as we speak but I just want to get my head around it

Thanks
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Excellent, thanks for explaining, sorry but just one more question - Most of my music is over Tidal and Spotify, I take it I would need a streamer as well rather than the AVR using say Spotify over the Stereo amp?

Sorry about the questions, I'm looking this all up on Google as we speak but I just want to get my head around it

Thanks
I'm not into streaming, too old for that, I just have an SACD player into my Rega amp. For the best music reproduction then the source needs to go direct into the stereo amp. Denons are pretty crap at stereo music sadly.

A stand alone streamer would be best but you can also get streaming amps and if they have HT by-pass then that's just a one box solution. I'd prefer a standalone streamer as that is likely to need upgrading more often than an amp.
 

The Shaved Ewok

Novice Member
I'm not into streaming, too old for that, I just have an SACD player into my Rega amp. For the best music reproduction then the source needs to go direct into the stereo amp. Denons are pretty crap at stereo music sadly.

A stand alone streamer would be best but you can also get streaming amps and if they have HT by-pass then that's just a one box solution. I'd prefer a standalone streamer as that is likely to need upgrading more often than an amp.
Thanks for the reply and advise. I'm literally going through all these amps on the web page you attached looking at reviews, forum entries and price. Just started going down the rabbit hole!
Wife will not be happy at the end of it.....

Thanks
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Can get expensive. I have a Rega Elicit-R, cracking amp for music and very easy to set up and use for HT by-pass.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Also noticed that the Rega has gone up a fair bit in price. Been reading articles dated in 2017 and it was £900 now a new one is £1600!
No, the Elex-R was around £900, the Elicit-R has always been between £1600-£1700 and it's not gone up since I bought mine two years ago. The Elex does not have HT by-pass.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Afternoon all,

Need some of your thoughts / advice on a new AV receiver. I currently have a Denon X4300H attached to some Kef R700s, a Q650 (I think) as a center, Rel S510 sub and some old Kef eggs as surround.
The current X4300H has been driving the above speakers for a while but I dont think it has the power to really push these speakers. I mainly use the system for movies/tv but also a fair bit of music. This is were the the X4300H sounds a bit rubbish hence now I'm thinking of upgrading.
Can anyone give some suggestions of what they have done in the past if they have gone down this route?
I'm thinking along the lines of a Denon X6500H but is that going to be any better than what I have at the moment or a Arcam AVR20 but then again I have heard about all the issues with the firmware and would a Denon be better with movies?
Budget is about £3k

Thanks

If you are listening music the Denon in stereo mode with subwoofer make sure you at least try "L/R Bypass" over the reference curve selected by default on Audussey. This will keep the correction on subwoofer and bypasses it on speakers. If you are listening in pure direct mode without subwoofer then everything from background is turned off already. See below where you find it:

X4300H does have good amount of power to run R700 assuming you aren`t sitting very far away and not after some silly volume.
 
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The Shaved Ewok

Novice Member
If you are listening music the Denon in stereo mode with subwoofer make sure you at least try "L/R Bypass" over the reference curve selected by default on Audussey. This will keep the correction on subwoofer and bypasses it on speakers. If you are listening in pure direct mode without subwoofer then everything from background is turned off already. See below where you find it:

X4300H does have good amount of power to run R700 assuming you aren`t sitting very far away and not after some silly volume.
Thanks for the tip, have tried the above but the bass when selecting "L/R Bypass" is massively overblown. When using Pure Direct its all a bit flat, boring and sounds a bit rubbish.
Think I might just have to separate movies from music.

I have been looking at Elicit-R as mentioned by Gibbsy as well as a Naim Nait XS3 or XS2. Thinking of then adding a Node 2i for the streamer and then eventually getting some Cord DAC to sit in the middle. Or go all out and add a Naim ND5 streamer instead of the Node and Cord DAC.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the tip, have tried the above but the bass when selecting "L/R Bypass" is massively overblown. When using Pure Direct its all a bit flat, boring and sounds a bit rubbish.
Think I might just have to separate movies from music.

I have been looking at Elicit-R as mentioned by Gibbsy as well as a Naim Nait XS3 or XS2. Thinking of then adding a Node 2i for the streamer and then eventually getting some Cord DAC to sit in the middle. Or go all out and add a Naim ND5 streamer instead of the Node and Cord DAC.

Sounds like good plan!

Regarding tthe bass being overblown check that you don´t have Audussey Dynamic EQ On or Dynamic Volume. And tweak the subwoofer so that it blends with the speakers. Not sure which you meant speakers or sub.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
If you look at the Naim amps then try and get a home audition with your R700s. I didn't like the bass control one little bit on the XS2 when I auditioned one with R300s. That's what sold the Elicit to me, it's bass control is fast and agile whilst the XS2 couldn't finish a note before the other began. In the mids and highs the Naim was very musical. Hopefully the XS3 has improved in that department.

I should also point out that the Rega doesn't have headphone ability if that is of importance.
 

The Shaved Ewok

Novice Member
Sounds like good plan!

Regarding tthe bass being overblown check that you don´t have Audussey Dynamic EQ On or Dynamic Volume. And tweak the subwoofer so that it blends with the speakers. Not sure which you meant speakers or sub.
I had Dynamic EQ turned on and Dynamic volume turned off and removed the sub but was very overblown. When the EQ is also turned off its all very flat even when the sub it attached. The problem will then be messing around with the subs settings to make it sound ok with music and then when it comes to the movies it all needs changing again
 

The Shaved Ewok

Novice Member
If you look at the Naim amps then try and get a home audition with your R700s. I didn't like the bass control one little bit on the XS2 when I auditioned one with R300s. That's what sold the Elicit to me, it's bass control is fast and agile whilst the XS2 couldn't finish a note before the other began. In the mids and highs the Naim was very musical. Hopefully the XS3 has improved in that department.

I should also point out that the Rega doesn't have headphone ability if that is of importance.
Thanks - will take a look, sounds like the Elicit is more of a winner when using the Kefs, I'll just have to give them both ago. Problem is I'm in Tunbridge Wells and the nearest dealer that sells Rega amps is in Croydon.
As for the headphones I don't use them.

Appreciate both of your inputs with this, without them god knows what I would of ended up with!
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I had Dynamic EQ turned on and Dynamic volume turned off and removed the sub but was very overblown. When the EQ is also turned off its all very flat even when the sub it attached. The problem will then be messing around with the subs settings to make it sound ok with music and then when it comes to the movies it all needs changing again

But as you have REL you could connect it via high level for music listening and you have gain knob for that and then for movies LFE and there is also gain knob for that so the sub could be set for each and for fine tuning you can change the subwoofer level from menu.

Clearly there is lot of options regarding amp choice, google is your friend to see which amps people have prefered with R-serie. Good to have few different options in list and then go from there.. Listening yourself is the key and good hifi shops like Audio T should offer home demos for those equipments.
 

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