Which preamp to get? Denon AVR4306 or AnthemD2, or others?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Dixit, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. Dixit

    Dixit Auditioning

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    So I have a Denon AVR3805 now and have already run out of HDTV inputs. It only comes with 3 component inputs and those are all used now and I cannot put anymore sources. It doesnt do HDMI, yet my projector does, however I send Component to the projector since the Denon cant do HDMI.

    So looking around I thought what about the new Denon 4306, it does a bunch of components, and 3 HDMIs, and it can send everything down the HDMI even if your input was Component. So with that I would get 3 HDMIs and 3 Components. That would give me 6 total, 3 more than what I got now which would be fabulous. Now currently I dont use my 3805 to do any amplification, thats done by my Parasound 5250 amp. So technically im using my 3805 as just a preprocessor/preamplifier.

    Now a friend of mine convincing me instead to go with a true preamplifer like an Anthem D2. Which after looking at the price is more than double of the Denon 4306. He claims its video scaler is superior and better and the sound will be better then the Denon hands down. Now Ive got a Parasound amp and I know the Anthem stuff is amazing, but not sure if (A) Im going to be able to truly tell the difference with my eyes and ears between the two and (B) if its truly worth spending that much more for it. Also the whole Video scaler thing these days I feel is somewhat bogus since almost all new TVs and projectors can auto scale the image anyways, its not like Im running the first iteration of an HDTV that cannot figure out how to upconvert an image to say 720p/1080i.

    Any recommendations would be helpful. If you want to suggest another preamp maybe inline with the price range of the Denon but is still great in quality and performance, Id be happy to look at them as well.

    Thanks
    Dixit
     
  2. McPaul

    McPaul Screenwriter

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    3807 and 4807 come out in July. (not sure on details)
     
  3. Alon Goldberg

    Alon Goldberg Screenwriter

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    If it were me I would keep the AVR-4306 as your pre-pro, and throw a DVDO iScan VP30 or VP50 video scaler into the mix. This will give you 4 additional HDMI inputs and additional component inputs, on top of what you already have in the 4306. Just be sure to purchase a good Universal Remote.

    That being said, the Anthem D2 is of course a far superior pre-pro than the Denon receiver. What speakers are your Parasound poweramp driving?

    Here is an excellent thread where all of the admins on this forum are discussing the benefits of an outboard video processor: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htf/....php?p=3135380
     
  4. Dixit

    Dixit Auditioning

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    Paul, thanks for the info on when the new ones are coming out, will have to see what I would be gaining on waiting.

    Alon, Right now the Parasound is driving a set of Polk RTi12s, CSi5, and FXi5. Sound fairly decent. This "DVDO iScan VP30 or VP50" you talk of, Im not a huge fan of having a preprocessor, then another unit handling my Video inputs, kinda like me getting a 4-1 HDMI switcher box (which I thought of) but then its like you kinda defeat the purpose of having the preprocessor sitting on the same "TV" "DVD" or whatever setting it is for all your devices after that. However I will still look into that bad boy see what it can do. If the cost of that and the 4306 runs say $4k, I might as well snatch a Anthem D2.

    Besides that, are they any other good preprocessors? Ive seen Outlaw 790s, but not sure if thats even in the same zip code as far as performance as the Anthem D2.

    Dixit
     
  5. Alon Goldberg

    Alon Goldberg Screenwriter

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    The Outlaw pre-pro, while providing excellent mid-fi value, is not in the same league as the Anthem. That being said, you don't need to spend $6K on an Anthem Statement D2 to get what you are looking for. My first choice for a pre-pro with a focus on video capabilities would probably be the Anthem AVM 40, which can be found for closer to $3k. I was very impressed when I auditionned this model with Paradigm Studio loudspeakers.
     
  6. MikeNg

    MikeNg Second Unit

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    HI Dixit,

    I'm not a big fan of onboard video processors. IMO a receivers main job is to handle audio and the video chain should be handled separately. In an ideal world this should be so, but there are system limitations and budgetary constraints so you do what you must. Having said that, I think the video section in Denon has been passable. I've used the 3806 for some time now, and it does the job fine. Will be picking up the 3808CI when it comes out. Have not seen the Anthem, but I've only heard good things. At $6K I would expect nothing less!

    I agree with looking into the iScan as a possible outboard solution. I think it will offer you the greatest value and processor flexibility.
     
  7. Dixit

    Dixit Auditioning

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    MikeNg, I agree with the processing capabilities of onboards are never the greatest but smoetimes I wonder how much is it better, is it something that I can even tell say on a 120" HDTV DLP projection?

    Having said that, looking at these DVDO, I still have a problem with the whole outboard in one aspect is that I now have to set my Denon for example always on the same source, which I dont like at times. And which means another remote control, so when the wife wants to watch something and cant figure out what the hell to do and she goes into her "lets press a bunch of buttons" mode it turns into a mess. Man do I hate remotes. Its like a chore then to turn on my receiver, then my projector, then turn on an outboard processor. I know Im just ranting now.

    Dixit
     
  8. Alon Goldberg

    Alon Goldberg Screenwriter

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    Best thing you could do is purchase a Logitech Harmony 880 universal remote. For instance you can hit "Watch TV" and it will turn on your receiver, set the audio/video sources on the receiver, turn on your amp, turn on your tv, set the input on your tv, and turn off any other devices, all with one button.

    Also in regards to not wanting to connect all of your video via one output on the Denon, you wouldn't have to. Connect all video sources directly to the outboard video processor. Connect all audio sources directly to the receiver. [​IMG]
     
  9. MikeNg

    MikeNg Second Unit

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    Alon's got it. They key to gaining WAF on the control front is to get a GOOD universal remote. Lots of people like the Harmony's. Personally I'm a Universal Remote fan (I use one and have installed many). The days of having to use multiple remotes are long gone.

    With respect to being able to tell the diff between onboard and outboard processing, that's going to be subjective. IS there a difference? Most certainly. I thing most people can tell when the differences are pointed out, side by side. And if you're willing to plunk down a few G's for the pre/pro portion, it's definitely a better value.

    Factor in another $600 for the remote and call it a day.
     

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