Upgrade from Denon x2100w to x1700h

RobMcM

Active Member
I'm considering upgrading my ageing but still perfectly functional Denon AVR-x2100w to something more 'current' as the taxman has realised he has made a ballsup and given me a surprisingly healthy rebate for me to spend on new toys.

My reasons for considering replacing the amp are that I have a 4K HDR setup - 4K HDR Sony x800, an HTPC running Kodi playing 4K HDR media, and a TV capable of eARC - but the x2100w passes through or supports none of these. I'm working around it at the moment with various things - using the secondary HDMI out on the x800 for audio and sending the picture straight to the TV, using one of these for the HTPC to send HD audio through to the AVR while also sending HDR data to the TV properly etc etc, but it all feels a little overcomplicated and I'd love the simplicity of passing 4K HDR through the receiver 'normally'.

At the moment I'm considering the x1700h as a replacement for the x2100w. However, notwithstanding the 4k HDR passthrough and the eARC, it doesn't seem to be as highly specced. Lower power output, no "high-grade" audio components (whatever they are, though I do use this setup for stereo audio, SACDs and DVD-As as well as movies/TV), no component video inputs or conversion of analog video sources to HDMI (I still have an old Wii set up which we use occasionally)...

I paid £250 for the x2100w 7 or so years ago, and the x1700h is currently £549 at Peter Tyson. For over double the price I paid for the 2100 I'd want to be sure I'm getting a significant sonic upgrade as well as the functional upgrade of the HDR passthrough stuff, but it just doesn't feel like I will be. My current setup is working, so would I be better waiting for prices of something like the x2700h to come down (if indeed they ever do - £549 for less power and lower grade components just seems mad)?

TL;DR: is the x1700h a decent and/or sensible replacement for the x2100w or is it actually a step backwards towards the low end of the market for more money? Are there any better alternatives out there to tempt this Denon fanboy to a different brand?
 

DavidT

Well-known Member
I think the X1700 is an upgrade in features only, in particular HDR and eARC support. The X2700 would definitely be a better option and the X3700 better still. AVR prices are crazy at the moment, you might even be able to sell your X2100 for what you paid for it!
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The X1700 would be an upgrade to provide current specifications for HDMI. Audio wise it would be a downgrade to the tier below the X2XXX models.
 

Pulse1

Well-known Member
You only need an AVR for the sound side of things if your display has enough HDMI inputs. Although an AVR can passthrough the Video signals and it's supposed to be unaltered, the reality is that it does alter the image. The reason i know this is i have tried to see if there is a difference with the image with an AVR in the chain and out of the chain using the same cable between the divice to the display and then using the same cable between the AVR and the display with the device connected to the AVR with another cable from the same brand and same model of cable at the same length as the other cable. The image passed through the AVR loses some snap and is slightly washed out. If your current X2100 is working fine and has enough power already then it comes down to earc support only. So the question you have to ask yourself is how much you are willing to spend on an AVR just for earc support? Or do you really need earc support?
 

RobMcM

Active Member
I think both of you have accurately summarised where I had got to myself: I don’t need this upgrade unless I’m willing to go to at least the x2xxx, which I’m not sure I am. So I’ll stick with what I have for now!

Thanks - saved me £549!
 

Pulse1

Well-known Member
I think both of you have accurately summarised where I had got to myself: I don’t need this upgrade unless I’m willing to go to at least the x2xxx, which I’m not sure I am. So I’ll stick with what I have for now!

Thanks - saved me £549!
Glad you have made the correct decision and not wasted your cash.
 

RobMcM

Active Member
That’s an interesting idea. A quick search and I found this one which seems like it would do the job. It’s not quite clear to me if it will allow me to have source(s, multiple, via an HDMI switch) plugged into the “input” as well as the TV in the “eARC” output and the AVR in the “AVR” output, but it could be worth a try. I suppose I could always just return it.

All of this is just to get DD+ from my TV apps, and does seem a bit of a meagre step up if I’m honest - I already get standard DD from the TV via normal ARC, and my TV doesn’t support any DTS codecs (eg for Plex) so that won’t change. It also introduces another device in the HDMI chain from my external sources, which @Pulse1 mentioned could reduce PQ.

But I know I’m probably going to get it anyway to see what it does… 😀
 

Zarf2007

Active Member
The Denon x2700 is £680 from av.com and will give you both the feature upgrade and power you need. Not much more than the £550 you were considering parting with.
 

RobMcM

Active Member
Well it is £130 more… and since I’m not convinced that I’m getting a great deal of bonus functionality over what I already have in place (albeit using workarounds) - the only thing I can’t do now is send DD+ to the amp from the TV via eARC - I don’t think £680 is worth the outlay.

The prices of Denon AVRs at the moment are insane, right? £549 for the lowest-end x1xxx series? My x2100w cost me £250.
 

DavidT

Well-known Member
Well it is £130 more… and since I’m not convinced that I’m getting a great deal of bonus functionality over what I already have in place (albeit using workarounds) - the only thing I can’t do now is send DD+ to the amp from the TV via eARC - I don’t think £680 is worth the outlay.

The prices of Denon AVRs at the moment are insane, right? £549 for the lowest-end x1xxx series? My x2100w cost me £250.
Is it the tv that won't send DD+ to the AVR? I ask because my Sony sends DD+ to my X2100 using ARC.
 

Pulse1

Well-known Member
That’s an interesting idea. A quick search and I found this one which seems like it would do the job. It’s not quite clear to me if it will allow me to have source(s, multiple, via an HDMI switch) plugged into the “input” as well as the TV in the “eARC” output and the AVR in the “AVR” output, but it could be worth a try. I suppose I could always just return it.

All of this is just to get DD+ from my TV apps, and does seem a bit of a meagre step up if I’m honest - I already get standard DD from the TV via normal ARC, and my TV doesn’t support any DTS codecs (eg for Plex) so that won’t change. It also introduces another device in the HDMI chain from my external sources, which @Pulse1 mentioned could reduce PQ.

But I know I’m probably going to get it anyway to see what it does… 😀
As DavidT has stated your X2100 accepts DD+ via Arc so it's not that that is limiting it so it must be on your tv side of things. My X1100 also accepts DD+ via Arc and it's the model below yours. Arc can accept DD+ in general anyway.
 

RobMcM

Active Member
Oh no, my bad - it’s limited to DD because I have an odd setup. My TV is fixed on the wall and only has one HDMI cable connected. I send multiple sources (BR, HTPC, Fire TV) through an HDMI splitter which has ARC compatibility - this sends audio from any connected source, including ARC from the TV, to my receiver via an optical cable. Either this device doesn’t pass DD+ or optical cables in general don’t, but I expect that’s why I’m not getting DD+ from my TV apps. The rest of my sources send audio direct to the AVR themselves, so I can still get full fat DD+, TrueHD, DTSHD-MA etc from those. Only the ARC from the telly is affected.
 

Zarf2007

Active Member
Well it is £130 more… and since I’m not convinced that I’m getting a great deal of bonus functionality over what I already have in place (albeit using workarounds) - the only thing I can’t do now is send DD+ to the amp from the TV via eARC - I don’t think £680 is worth the outlay.

The prices of Denon AVRs at the moment are insane, right? £549 for the lowest-end x1xxx series? My x2100w cost me £250.
Yes but as you said you had a windfall……tbh gone are the days where you will get prices anywhere near what you paid for your old AVR….global chip shortages/inflation/war/covid delete as applicable. If anything prices will increase.

You will spend all of your time with half arsed workarounds and ultimately waste time which is more valuable than if you just bought the 2700.

your choice but you can’t take money with you and you get one life.
 

SeanBrothers

Active Member
You could also look at an used AVR-X3400H or later, which will have eARC, Audyssey XT32, support for all the important HDR versions (i.e. not HDR10+), and even slightly more power.

 

Zarf2007

Active Member
You could also look at an used AVR-X3400H or later, which will have eARC, Audyssey XT32, support for all the important HDR versions (i.e. not HDR10+), and even slightly more power.

Agreed, this would be a good buy and has all major HDR and sound formats:


make them an offer and you would likely get it for £500
 
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