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Upgrade/Sidegrade Recommendations from Denon AVR-X4200W (1 Viewer)

dpippel

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Folks, I'm tired of the HDMI input switcheroo thing so am looking to move on from my Denon AVR-X4200W to a comparable or slightly better AVR that supports 4K Dolby Vision (and possibly HDR10+) passthrough. My budget is $1500. Airplay 2 is a must, and I'd *love* an AVR that allows me to connect my Bluetooth headphones and listen to ANY source. Due to room limitations, I've only got a 5.1 setup, so big config ATMOS support isn't a must.

What would you do?
 

Robert Crawford

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Doug,

Have you looked into the Denon 4400 as Amazon is now selling that model for $900.00?
 

dpippel

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That also looks like a great unit, however it seems that neither the 4400 or the 2080 support Airplay 2. Not really sure that's a dealbreaker for me though.
 

Robert Crawford

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That also looks like a great unit, however it seems that neither the 4400 or the 2080 support Airplay 2. Not really sure that's a dealbreaker for me though.
Just remember the 4400 is a 2017 model while the 2080 came out for 2018.
 

dpippel

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Yep, and Crutchfield is also selling the 4400 for $899, which means no tax for me. I've been using Denon receivers for years and years, and kind of like the idea of trying something new. The Yamaha is pretty appealing.
 

Robert Crawford

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Yep, and Crutchfield is also selling the 4400 for $899, which means no tax for me. I've been using Denon receivers for years and years, and kind of like the idea of trying something new. The Yamaha is pretty appealing.
It looks like they're trying to get rid of the Denon for new models. I have the Yamaha 3060, but I'm resisting upgrading until this time next year.
 

CraigF

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What do you mean by the "HDMI input switcheroo thing" with the X4200?

I switched to using an X4400 as a pre-pro (mostly, and from a Marantz 7702) several months ago. One thing I noticed is the X4400 switches HDMI much faster, and without all the clicking noises, compared to an older X4000 (pre-Atmos). Does your X4200 do that? I didn't fully realize how slow the X4000 was until it was gone (to a secondary system)...

One thing to note is the 2017 Denon models generally (and X4400 for sure) will not display some things like Volume overlaid on 4K/60 or Dolby Vision. Fairly minor if you can see your AVR front panel, but bugs many. Also no Network interface for AVR control, not sure if it was there for X4200 either, but it is missed by many. 2018 models are supposed to rectify both these things, not sure if specs for X4500 have been released yet, but those things fixed in the lower models already released.

Also, if you are sticking to 5.1, the X3400 has all the important stuff the X4400 does, just with less internal amplifiers, and less internal amplifier config flexibility, which it sounds like you don't need anyway (if not doing Atmos). I mention the X3400 because it's available at practically "throw away" prices now, a great deal IMO. People say great things about it...I have no experience with it.
 
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dpippel

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I'm talking about having to use one HDMI input per source device on my LG OLED rather than switching through the receiver, due the X4200W's lack of DV passthrough. I want to simplify my cabling and with an Apple TV 4K, an Oppo UDP-203, and a Panasonic DP-UB820 all supporting DV, I've got HDMI cables going everywhere.

Volume overlay isn't a big deal for me, as my ears usually tell me when I've got audio levels set correctly. My 4200 doesn't click when switching, but it DOES have a HTTP interface for control via web browser. I'd definitely miss that if the 4400 doesn't support it.

The 3400 would probably fill the bill for me, but I've got this thing about buying above my needs just to have the flexibility available if I need it, which is why I'm leaning towards the Yamaha at this point. Even though I've been a Denon user for a long time, I've always felt that their firmware and user interfaces are clunky and one step behind the times.
 

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^ Agreed about Denon's UI, but they have improved many aspects of it. Still not some aspects that IMO are quite amateurish, but they've been like that for years (Marantz too). I would say that, overall, better than a few years ago. Many installers consider D&M's UI the best of any brand!! So opinions vary...

Yes, no http interface for the 2017 models; they are doing another D&M thing where they remove something one year and then put it back a year or two later as a new "feature". They expect you to use the apps for control instead; the apps work much better than they used to. There's also the MultEQ app for Audyssey (e.g. X3400/4400), not sure if the X4200 can use it, my 7702 and X4000 can't.

I like Yamaha too, but I don't like their room correction system. Audyssey XT32 might be 3rd on my correction preference list (after Dirac and ARC), but it's still way ahead of Yamaha's when it comes to bass/LFE. I really need some room correction scheme, mostly just for sub control.

One thing IMO D&M are always clunky at is anything network-related. It works, but not always rationally. :) I do think you'll find it improved over even a couple years ago though, I wouldn't say behind the times, more like just not as "polished" as it could be now.
 

Scott Merryfield

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For that big of a price difference, I would go for Denon over Yamaha for the two models you are looking at. I can't believe the Yamaha will sound any better for almost twice the price.
 

dpippel

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^ Agreed about Denon's UI, but they have improved many aspects of it. Still not some aspects that IMO are quite amateurish, but they've been like that for years (Marantz too). I would say that, overall, better than a few years ago. Many installers consider D&M's UI the best of any brand!! So opinions vary...

Yes, no http interface for the 2017 models; they are doing another D&M thing where they remove something one year and then put it back a year or two later as a new "feature". They expect you to use the apps for control instead; the apps work much better than they used to. There's also the MultEQ app for Audyssey (e.g. X3400/4400), not sure if the X4200 can use it, my 7702 and X4000 can't.

I like Yamaha too, but I don't like their room correction system. Audyssey XT32 might be 3rd on my correction preference list (after Dirac and ARC), but it's still way ahead of Yamaha's when it comes to bass/LFE. I really need some room correction scheme, mostly just for sub control.

One thing IMO D&M are always clunky at is anything network-related. It works, but not always rationally. :) I do think you'll find it improved over even a couple years ago though, I wouldn't say behind the times, more like just not as "polished" as it could be now.

I definitely agree with your comments about network-related functionality Craig. It's not their strong suit to be sure, and why they would REMOVE the http interface just to possibly add it later is the kind of decision-making that has me wanting to try a different brand.
 

dpippel

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For that big of a price difference, I would go for Denon over Yamaha for the two models you are looking at. I can't believe the Yamaha will sound any better for almost twice the price.

Practically speaking you're 100% on the money Scott. The Denon is a far better value than the Yamaha in this case, but for me it's not just about the cash. I can afford it. Does the Yamaha sound demonstrably better than the X4400W? Maybe. Will it be less quirky than the Denon? Probably. Would I like it better than the Denon? Possibly. Is it worth $800 more than than the Denon? I doubt it.

The more I think about it, the harder it is to resist that $900 pricepoint.
 

CraigF

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^ Don't pooh-pooh the ~$500 X3400 ("clearance"). Massive amount of technology for the $$. I know, it's so cheap that it's hard to get your head around it. Least for me it is, "stepping down" in your mind, but actually getting more useful functionality. But certainly, if you're leaning the D&M way after all and the X4400 cuts it, I'm not going to dissuade you, it does have a certain additional flexibility (that I needed, and you might find useful once you have it).

And you never know, some day you might want to throw a couple of smallish speakers up high and take advantage of Atmos height effects. Two speakers up there (not necessarily on ceiling, but near it) is enough to allow use of the DSU to give height effects with non-Atmos audio too. The X3400 does this fine as well, in a 5.1 base system, using just internal amps (i.e. 5.1.2). The X4400 allows greater expandibility/flexibility re that.

Re the missing web interface on 2017 D&M models: Mostly I used it for the Load and Save config facilities. IDK what the X4200 has re that, but the X3/4400 use USB storage as the medium, rather than the PC. It's more than 10X faster than the web interface was. For other uses of the web interface, you will miss it mostly if you don't have a phone/etc. to use the app.
 
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dpippel

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Also, I just discovered that Denon has released an Airplay 2 firmware update for the X4400H. Looks like the Yammy doesn't support it yet.
 

JohnRice

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Airplay2 is still being rolled out with a lot of stuff. With your budget and wants, is there a reason you aren’t considering Marantz?
 

CraigF

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^ Agree, the e.g. 6/7012 are fine pieces of gear and appear to be on clearance "up North" so I assume in the U.S. too. A little more expensive than their Denon "sister models". If you could snag an 8012 for under the $1500 budget, that would be really sweet (that's "impossible" up here).

Re Airplay2: I know you (Doug) don't expect Apple-level integration from D&M. More like functionality with a bit of arm-twisting, I'd imagine. :)
 

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