Beginning to Research New Receiver...

Mike Frezon

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Hey guys!

My Denon AVR-790 is starting to show some signs of trouble.

As I continue to see if my problems with the 790 can be addressed somehow, I am starting to look at new receivers.

Budget-conscious guy I am, I am looking at receivers on accessories4less.com in the $250 range. (I got the 790 at eCost.com. But eCost seems to have gone out of business).

Right now, they have the following Denon receivers:

Denon 1912

Denon 1713

Denon X1000

Denon E400

Denon 2112CI

I guess my main question is: does anyone know which models are more recent? The X1000?

My requirements are certainly not all that stringent. I've been happy with the 790 (when it works right).

I am only using a 5.1 setup. My speakers are Polk R30 Towers for fronts, Polk cSi25 Center, and Polk R15 bookshelfs for surrounds. I am excited that I have an SVS PB-1000 subwoofer.

My main sources are a Time-Warner HD PVR (currently a Samsung 3270), and a Pioneer Elite 62FD Blu-ray/SACD player. My display is a Panny P55ST50 Plasma.

I have no need for a two-zone system. I love the idea of an HDMI jack on the front panel (for laptop hookup). A front USB might be nice, too. I love Audyssey. I don't do 3-D.

Most of my listening is Blu/TV/High-rez audio.

So...if anyone has any thoughts on the models I listed above, it would be much appreciated. I'm just starting my research.

Oh. And I'm not locked in to a Denon. My kid has an Onkyo (the 5300 system) and it does a nice job. But I wouldn't want to spend much more than the $250.

Thanks.
 

schan1269

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If your Elite can send DSD over HDMI, unlike Onkyo, Denon doesn't offer DSD on everything.The 2112 might be the only one there(of the xx13, you have to go up to the 2313).
 

Mike Frezon

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Well, I've got a number of SACDs in my collection (with DSD)...but I didn't realize that not all receivers would handle it.

I'm guessing, then, my AVR-790 probably also doesn't given it's budget pricetag. Then what have I been listening to--if not DSD?

Is there a chance my Pioneer disc player decodes the DSD and sends it through to the receiver via HDMI? I got that player because I had been using analog 5.1 connections for my high-rez music listening and wanted to simplify things with the HDMI.
 

schan1269

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I don't know what happens to "DSD over HDMI" if the AVR doesn't accept it...It is one of "the specs" I require in my AVR purchases, along with HDMI upconversion, preouts...Pretty sure the Onk NR414 accepts DSD, if it doesn't...the 515 did(via firmware update).You could buy an Oppo 970. It sends DSD as PCM...
 

Phil A

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schan1269

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I'll help with that...Bass management changes DSD to PCM, regardless where the bass management is done.Onkyo with direct mode accept DSD w/o a PCM conversion.(at least it says it does on the 707, 708, 807 and 1008. Never tried DSD/HDMI on the Denon 4810, DTR 5.8/7.8)When I had the SC79 for review, it accepted DSD in its direct mode.Engaging DSP(for height, wide...whatever) also converts to PCM.
 

Mike Frezon

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The only notation I can find in the manual of my Denon 790 is:
In the case of standard playback of multi-channel sources, the AVR-790 recognizes the format of the multi-channel audio input signal and automatically operates the appropriate decoder for surround sound.
And I just put a DSD SACD in the player and the 790 displays PCM Multi-Channel In. So, I guess Phil is right and it converts the DSD to PCM.

It sounds great to me, so if anything is lost in that conversion I can live with it.

I just perused the manual for the Denon X1000. It, too, does not mention DSD...but I suspect it would also do the conversion to PCM.
 

gene c

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It's getting harder and harder to find out information on both DVD-A and SACD on todays receivers. Just for comparison I downloaded the X4000 and it barely mentions SACD, but it does mention it.

One thing you have to look out for is even if the receiver accepts SACD over HDMI it might support only 2 channels like the Pioneer 524. I'm not sure if this pertains to DSD converted to LPCM by the player but I doubt the 524 accepts straight DSD. And many early HDMI 1.2 receivers didn't accept SACD in any form if I'm remembering this correctly. What all this means is I'd shoot Denon an email first before placing the order.

I've also read the many Audyssey equipped receivers down-convert their incoming signals to 48K when Audyssey is selected as they don't have the processing power to play 96K or 192K while running the full suite of Audyssey programs let alone DSD. I haven't heard a thing about the other room corrections regarding this.

As for the straight DSD vs DSD to LPCM, I've been switching back and forth between the two (as quickly as possible anyway) in Pure Direct on my Pioneer Elite vsxx-23* and DV-58av and while I sometimes think I can hear a difference, it's not that much. But sometimes I think I can. However, I almost prefer LPCM as it doesn't sound quite as harsh.

* I'm going to have to add the vsx-23 on the list of my better ebay/CL purchases. It's really been a pretty good receiver, even powering 4 ohm speakers, over the last 3-4 years. Ditto for the matching BD23 and DV-58. They both play whatever I throw at them.
 

Mike Frezon

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I started to look at the x2000 manual this afternoon but got interrupted.

Like Gene says, there is nothing about DSD or SACD (that I saw)...and I didn't see much of a difference over the X1000.

But, admittedly, I'll need to take a longer look.

IIRC, the X2000 is listed at about $330 vs the X1000's $250 pricetag (refurbished on ac4l.com).
 

gene c

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schan1269 said:
I'm a purist that plays DVD-A and SACD as mastered.YMMV.
I'm pretty much a purist as well but I have been known to fool around with surround modes and eq's more often then I should. But I always revert back to Pure Analog or Pure Direct or just Direct if a want the subwoofer to be active on 2 channel music.

But if finances prevent absolute purity, DSD to LPCM should satisfy quite nicely.
 

Phil A

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There's a bunch of different ways to go. I use a music server in the main system with JRiver, a 2-channel preamp with HT Bypass (in addition to the 1008 rec'r) and play DSD right into my Meitner DAC. If I want to do multi-channel, I can play a disc via my Oppo 103D and I have some multi-channel DSD extracted as well on a hard drive attached to the 103D. Several years back I had a modded BDP-83 in the main system (still have it in a secondary system) and at that time I used an HDMI audio de-embedder (which can be bought for under $50 at Monoprice and of course I did the audiophile thing and had an upgraded power supply for it that costs more than that) and converted DSD to 24/88.2 PCM in the Oppo and took it directly into the DAC I had at the time (Bryston BDA-1). While high frequencies were a drop better playing the SACDs, the soundstaging and overall presentation was a bit better via the de-embedder. Oppo will pass 24 bits via the de-embedder (there's info here - http://everythingaudionetwork.blogspot.com/2013/04/audiophile-review-hdmi-de-embedder.html and I personally dragged my Integra universal player over to John Gatski's house of Everything Audio Network since he has an ATI A/D converter that indicates bit depth in addition to sampling rate which I knew was 176kHz from my Bryston DAC and confirmed that the bit depth was truncated to 16 bits) So what I'm not sure of with other conversions is whether one is really getting 24 bit resolution when SACDs are converted to PCM. My Sony BDP-BX37 (same as the S370) can do 176kHz too but truncates the word length to 16 bits. The BDP-83 works with the de-embedder without a handshake too. The de-embedder can pass 192kHz too. I am strapped for room in the secondary system with the modded BDP-83 but I might try one of the de-embbedders again with my Teac DAC (I'm still working on available hacks to get the Squeezebox Touch to pass DSD and also considering getting a new network player in the main system and moving the music server to work with the Teac DAC). So the point of converting DSD to PCM could result in only getting 16 bit resolution vs. the sound from the SACD layer. While I rarely use my Integra universal, it sounds the best of what I've heard other than the Oppo players.
 

Mike Frezon

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Whoa!

I've just watched a couple of pretty typical YouTube reviews of the X2000. The following one, however, actually references DSD (at 15:49) by showing the set-up screen for audio off a media server. It shows DSD/FLAC/WAV/HD AUDIO/SACD ISO.

Do you suppose that's a sign that the receiver knows what it's doing with decoding DSD from other sources as well? I would think so...but what do I know (not much).

And here's where I show some further ignorance (so what's new? :biggrin: ) . At 22:40, the reviewer puts up a Pro/Con splash screen that mentions 192kHZ/24-bit playback. The reviewer gives the impression that this is a new feature to this particular line of receivers from Denon. Is that significant?

 

Mike Frezon

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The X2000 is listed at $319 at AC4L.com, by the way. I gave the wrong price a few posts back.

I'm now thinking that for the $70 more (or so), it might be the smarter way to go in terms of something newer/better/etc.
 

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