Denon 4520 vs SC -79 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 40 Old 07-31-2013, 01:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Regarding sound quality which would be better. Denon 4520 or the SC-79. Looking to replace my current denon 4308 which is driving 7.1 reference definitive tech in walls and supercube reference sub.


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post #2 of 40 Old 07-31-2013, 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by guju69 View Post

Regarding sound quality which would be better. Denon 4520 or the SC-79. Looking to replace my current denon 4308 which is driving 7.1 reference definitive tech in walls and supercube reference sub.


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The Denon has Audyssey MultiEQ XT32 with SubEQ room equalization, meaning you can calibrate 2 subs along with the rest of your def techs. Pioneer still only offers their Advanced MCACC which can't calibrate a sub.

Denon IMHO has a more natural or neutral sound quality compared to say a Pioneer SC-68. Listen to both and you'll see.

You can get a 4520 for a lot less then MSRP, because its been on the market for some time. The SC-79 is just shipping, so deals are not comparable, plus its now $500 more then the previous SC-68.

Both of the AVR's offer 32 bit DAC's. (burr-brown vs ESS). The Denon 4520 still offers analog 7.1 inputs vs Pioneer that dropped this feature.

I just got a AVR-4520 a week ago, it drives my Paradigm studio reference system great.

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post #3 of 40 Old 07-31-2013, 09:18 AM
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Almost all large brand commercial receivers will sound about the same. The main difference nowadays is the room correction software, which, as was mentioned above, audyssey xt32 has an edge over mcacc. Or at least most people think so.

I think Pioneer tends to run cooler than Denon so if you can't provide good ventilation, the Pioneer may last longer.
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post #4 of 40 Old 07-31-2013, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by KidHorn View Post

I think Pioneer tends to run cooler than Denon so if you can't provide good ventilation, the Pioneer may last longer.
I have the 4520 with 5" clearance above top cover and its only warm. In a comparison of both in a couple of show rooms they ran about the same feeling the top covers. If you had a 4 ohm speaker system either would run a bit warmer. I have felt Pioneers before that have gotten quite hot. With either receiver you should provide good ventilation. smile.gif

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post #5 of 40 Old 08-01-2013, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Is there anything special on the class D amps?


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post #6 of 40 Old 08-01-2013, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by guju69 View Post

Is there anything special on the class D amps?


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They consume a lot less power while being able to deliver plenty of watts just look at the test bench that Home Theater Magazine did on the 68. (D3 amps)
I think both units are very nice and as stated you need to go listen to them both which still will not be the same as in your home.
The Pioneer is offers some things others do not such as HDBaseT , ESS Sabre 32 bit DAC's for all channels negating the need for multi-ch inputs.
Air Studios certified may want to Google them it is a prestigous sound studio with some big names behind them.
As for room correction thats user preference I think they all need further advancement but thats just my opinion.
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post #7 of 40 Old 08-02-2013, 01:05 PM
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They both are excellent receivers,i like Denon and Pioneer receivers,i have both anyway,not these two tho.
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post #8 of 40 Old 08-04-2013, 06:08 AM
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+1 for the denon and I've have two denon's and pioneers in the last few years!
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post #9 of 40 Old 08-04-2013, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by simp1yamazn View Post

+1 for the denon and I've have two denon's and pioneers in the last few years!
So what Denon and Poineer receivers you have,myself I have SC-37 and denon 3311
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post #10 of 40 Old 08-04-2013, 07:02 AM
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I have personally owned (i've gotten rid of them all at this point) the Pioneer VSX-1022 and SC-35 and Denon AVR-2310 and AVR-2311. I've also had a Marantz SR5007, Yamaha RX-A700, and Yamaha RX-A2010

right now I'm waiting on a new ARV-X4000 biggrin.gif
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post #11 of 40 Old 08-04-2013, 07:15 AM
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The OP really needs to go and hear them if possible connected to the speakers he has with some listening material he is very familiar with.
Comparing past models of the 2 brands will not have any basis on the current 2 since they are both flagships which in most cases gives you all that company has to offer.
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post #12 of 40 Old 08-04-2013, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by simp1yamazn View Post

I have personally owned (i've gotten rid of them all at this point) the Pioneer VSX-1022 and SC-35 and Denon AVR-2310 and AVR-2311. I've also had a Marantz SR5007, Yamaha RX-A700, and Yamaha RX-A2010

right now I'm waiting on a new ARV-X4000 biggrin.gif
I thought I got rid a lot receivers,SC-35 Denon 2310 and 2311 and Yamaha RX-1065 and im thinking about getting X-4000 myself before the year is out tho.
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post #13 of 40 Old 08-04-2013, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by oztech View Post

The OP really needs to go and hear them if possible connected to the speakers he has with some listening material he is very familiar with.
Comparing past models of the 2 brands will not have any basis on the current 2 since they are both flagships which in most cases gives you all that company has to offer.

I am very much in the camp of "power is power"... that is until you run out and need more in which case power is still power, you just need more. In my experience, once volume matched and having room correction turned off, any AVR will sound identical as long as you are within the power limits. To me, the only differentiating feature that will effect sound quality between these two receivers will be audyssey multEQ XT32 + subEQ vs. MCACC and in my experience Audyssey was far superior, and my models had lower end audyssey.

Edit: the one exception I would hold for power is power is that class D amps can have issues with high frequency distortion which would be another reason to go for the Denon.
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post #14 of 40 Old 08-04-2013, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Chise View Post

I thought I got rid a lot receivers,SC-35 Denon 2310 and 2311 and Yamaha RX-1065 and im thinking about getting X-4000 myself before the year is out tho.

Lol, I went a little receiver crazy for about 2 years. I found it to be fun, my wife hated having to learn a new remote every 3 months tongue.gif

OP, just out of curiosity, what features are you looking for and are most important for you? or, what is causing you to want to upgrade? the reason I ask is the Denon X4000 has almost all the same features of the 4520, including most crucially Audyssey MultEQ XT32 and SubEQ, and has some newer convenience features that you may enjoy for about half the price of the 4520.
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One thing I can say about both of these receivers you can bi-amp all five channels and any speakers that 300 watt they can handle it,plus a lot of us cant afford amps and processors or don't have room for them
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post #16 of 40 Old 08-04-2013, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by simp1yamazn View Post

Lol, I went a little receiver crazy for about 2 years. I found it to be fun, my wife hated having to learn a new remote every 3 months tongue.gif

OP, just out of curiosity, what features are you looking for and are most important for you? or, what is causing you to want to upgrade? the reason I ask is the Denon X4000 has almost all the same features of the 4520, including most crucially Audyssey MultEQ XT32 and SubEQ, and has some newer convenience features that you may enjoy for about half the price of the 4520.
You already know the audyssey plus Ive been comparing it to the SC-75 at work since we change to HDMI In the Magnolia room.
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post #17 of 40 Old 08-04-2013, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by simp1yamazn View Post

I am very much in the camp of "power is power"... that is until you run out and need more in which case power is still power, you just need more. In my experience, once volume matched and having room correction turned off, any AVR will sound identical as long as you are within the power limits. To me, the only differentiating feature that will effect sound quality between these two receivers will be audyssey multEQ XT32 + subEQ vs. MCACC and in my experience Audyssey was far superior, and my models had lower end audyssey.

Edit: the one exception I would hold for power is power is that class D amps can have issues with high frequency distortion which would be another reason to go for the Denon.
Your reference to the distortion does not hold true with the D3 you may be thinking of the old Ice Amps in which case it was argued the distortion was outside the normal hearing range.
As for room correction some love the results others have complaints they all could use improvements but what Yamaha and Pioneer are using works pretty good and although XT-32 is good its not the be all RC and it has one flaw I don't like although it's not the flaw of the RC but the chips the mfg's decided to use with it in that it down samples the 192/96 KHz 24bit files and disc to 48KHz 24bit where as Pioneer and Yamaha do not.
This may be important to you if you have or plan on having SACD/DVD-A and high resolution music Blue-Rays.
Also the Yamaha and Pioneer to some seem to deal with the frequencies that are very sensitive to some of us better than XT-32 maybe it will be a great day when DIRAC can be affordable enough that AVR's will see it until then let your ears decide not mine or another posters and do all the research you can before pulling the trigger .
I doubt you would be disappointed in either choice after all this is the top of their game.
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post #18 of 40 Old 08-04-2013, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Chise View Post

One thing I can say about both of these receivers you can bi-amp all five channels and any speakers that 300 watt they can handle it,plus a lot of us cant afford amps and processors or don't have room for them
You can try bi-amp but honestly I have never heard a difference and it gives people a false sense of more power which it does not.
Done many installs over the years and at customers request I have bi-amped and bi-wired and in both cases neither I or the client could truthfully hear a difference.
In 95% of the installs if you have an AVR capable of producing an honest 100wpc and crossover the low bass at 80Hz you will probably run the client out of the room before you run out of headroom.
One of the most overlooked specs out there is what the unit will do when introduced to a 4ohm load since most speakers will say 8ohm they do not stay there through the entire frequency range
some dip to 6ohm some will dip down to 2ohm do some home work before selecting your equipment or ask plenty of questions.
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post #19 of 40 Old 08-04-2013, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by oztech View Post

You can try bi-amp but honestly I have never heard a difference and it gives people a false sense of more power which it does not.
Done many installs over the years and at customers request I have bi-amped and bi-wired and in both cases neither I or the client could truthfully hear a difference.
In 95% of the installs if you have an AVR capable of producing an honest 100wpc and crossover the low bass at 80Hz you will probably run the client out of the room before you run out of headroom.
One of the most overlooked specs out there is what the unit will do when introduced to a 4ohm load since most speakers will say 8ohm they do not stay there through the entire frequency range
some dip to 6ohm some will dip down to 2ohm do some home work before selecting your equipment or ask plenty of questions.
I bi-amp my towers on my 683bw's and by-wired my center and bookshelves with my ears sound clearer to me and on 8ohms plus I have SC-37 pioneer receiver,plus I listen to 4520ci everyweek at work so when I hear new receivers it really don't phase me anymore,im happy with I have in the basement.
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post #20 of 40 Old 08-04-2013, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by oztech View Post

Your reference to the distortion does not hold true with the D3 you may be thinking of the old Ice Amps in which case it was argued the distortion was outside the normal hearing range.
As for room correction some love the results others have complaints they all could use improvements but what Yamaha and Pioneer are using works pretty good and although XT-32 is good its not the be all RC and it has one flaw I don't like although it's not the flaw of the RC but the chips the mfg's decided to use with it in that it down samples the 192/96 KHz 24bit files and disc to 48KHz 24bit where as Pioneer and Yamaha do not.
This may be important to you if you have or plan on having SACD/DVD-A and high resolution music Blue-Rays.
Also the Yamaha and Pioneer to some seem to deal with the frequencies that are very sensitive to some of us better than XT-32 maybe it will be a great day when DIRAC can be affordable enough that AVR's will see it until then let your ears decide not mine or another posters and do all the research you can before pulling the trigger .
I doubt you would be disappointed in either choice after all this is the top of their game.

Makes sense about the class D amps. I'm far from an expert on class D and I had no idea about the down-sampling. Just in my experience I've had better results with Audyssey but as always, YMMV. Is that true for all the Audyssey MultEQ XT32 receivers or just specific models? speaking of Dirac, if the Emotiva XMC-1 ever actually makes it to the light of day, it may actually become affordable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by oztech View Post

You can try bi-amp but honestly I have never heard a difference and it gives people a false sense of more power which it does not.
Done many installs over the years and at customers request I have bi-amped and bi-wired and in both cases neither I or the client could truthfully hear a difference.
In 95% of the installs if you have an AVR capable of producing an honest 100wpc and crossover the low bass at 80Hz you will probably run the client out of the room before you run out of headroom.
One of the most overlooked specs out there is what the unit will do when introduced to a 4ohm load since most speakers will say 8ohm they do not stay there through the entire frequency range
some dip to 6ohm some will dip down to 2ohm do some home work before selecting your equipment or ask plenty of questions.

In large part I suspect it's because with an AVR you would be passively bi-amping so you aren't getting any crossover benefit and when you bi-amp with a receiver, each channel ends up with less power so you arent' gaining any overall power or headroom.
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post #21 of 40 Old 08-04-2013, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Chise View Post

I bi-amp my towers on my 683bw's and by-wired my center and bookshelves with my ears sound clearer to me and on 8ohms plus I have SC-37 pioneer receiver,plus I listen to 4520ci everyweek at work so when I hear new receivers it really don't phase me anymore,im happy with I have in the basement.
The problem with bi-wire is all your doing is eliminating the connector or strap at the speaker and running another set of wires if you hear a difference then the AWG was probably too small for the length you ran.
Bi-amping sends the full range of say 100 watts to both upper and lower range the lower needing the most power if you were to use and electronic crossover and did away with the speakers internal crossover while also eliminating the high range being fed to the mid bass or woofer and at the same time eliminating the low range being fed to your tweeter and upper midrange then I would agree you should hear a difference I also left out bridging which I don't like for the simple reason you introduce more distortion whether you can hear it or not depends on the listener.
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post #22 of 40 Old 08-04-2013, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by simp1yamazn View Post

Makes sense about the class D amps. I'm far from an expert on class D and I had no idea about the down-sampling. Just in my experience I've had better results with Audyssey but as always, YMMV. Is that true for all the Audyssey MultEQ XT32 receivers or just specific models? speaking of Dirac, if the Emotiva XMC-1 ever actually makes it to the light of day, it may actually become affordable.
In large part I suspect it's because with an AVR you would be passively bi-amping so you aren't getting any crossover benefit and when you bi-amp with a receiver, each channel ends up with less power so you arent' gaining any overall power or headroom.
My friend I have plenty of soundfield or headroom in my basement I set my crossover on my subwoofer 100hz but I will get back with you later im going to work at bestbuy now.
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post #23 of 40 Old 08-04-2013, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by oztech View Post

Your reference to the distortion does not hold true with the D3 you may be thinking of the old Ice Amps in which case it was argued the distortion was outside the normal hearing range.
As for room correction some love the results others have complaints they all could use improvements but what Yamaha and Pioneer are using works pretty good and although XT-32 is good its not the be all RC and it has one flaw I don't like although it's not the flaw of the RC but the chips the mfg's decided to use with it in that it down samples the 192/96 KHz 24bit files and disc to 48KHz 24bit where as Pioneer and Yamaha do not.
This may be important to you if you have or plan on having SACD/DVD-A and high resolution music Blue-Rays.
Also the Yamaha and Pioneer to some seem to deal with the frequencies that are very sensitive to some of us better than XT-32 maybe it will be a great day when DIRAC can be affordable enough that AVR's will see it until then let your ears decide not mine or another posters and do all the research you can before pulling the trigger .
I doubt you would be disappointed in either choice after all this is the top of their game.

Is this down sampling only with XT-32? What about XT?

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post #24 of 40 Old 08-04-2013, 03:36 PM
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Is this down sampling only with XT-32? What about XT?
My understanding with the current crop of chips yes but the platform itself is not just the cost of the chips has implemented this downsampling where as MCACC, YPAO and DIRAC allow 192KHz/24 bit with no downsampling.
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post #25 of 40 Old 08-05-2013, 05:50 AM
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Pioneer MCACC has three filters for the subwoofer that adjust the frequency, Q or bandwidth and attenuation: this is the same as a PEQ. MCACC does not do anything under 63 Hz for the sub. I have a PEQ with my Pioneer SC 35 and there is not much EQ'ing that needs to be done under 63 Hz. The two things that can be done under 63 Hz is a bass boost around 20-25 Hz which most sub have built in and to cut a peak in the 30-50 Hz range. Cutting the peak can be detrimental to SQ and MCACC will control the 2nd and 3rd harmonic of the peak which we can hear more easily. Check the Pioneer forums and see how many people are complaining about how there subwoofer sound. I have ran 3 sub off my avr and calibrating them as one subwoofer works very well.

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post #26 of 40 Old 08-05-2013, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oztech View Post

Your reference to the distortion does not hold true with the D3 you may be thinking of the old Ice Amps in which case it was argued the distortion was outside the normal hearing range.
As for room correction some love the results others have complaints they all could use improvements but what Yamaha and Pioneer are using works pretty good and although XT-32 is good its not the be all RC and it has one flaw I don't like although it's not the flaw of the RC but the chips the mfg's decided to use with it in that it down samples the 192/96 KHz 24bit files and disc to 48KHz 24bit where as Pioneer and Yamaha do not.
This may be important to you if you have or plan on having SACD/DVD-A and high resolution music Blue-Rays.
You make one laugh oztech. On your first sentence you mention that the distortion was outside the normal hearing range, yet on the next line you bring up this non-problem of 96khz/24bit or 192khz/24 bit content where a frequency roll off of the room correction processing involving down sampling with XT32 falls about at 24 kHz. The actual results from that Secrets April article was start to roll off at 23 Khz, signal is gone at 26 kHz.

Can you even hear anything at 23 or 24 kHz? wink.gif

The reason they choose not to process it at 96 kHz is that it needs twice the processing power compared to 48 kHz sampling rate.

IMHO I think the inadequacies with the sub bass room equalization with Pioneer MCACC is a bigger problem, because its where you need the most correction. smile.gif

BTW did you notice any frequency roll off in direct mode?

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post #27 of 40 Old 08-05-2013, 10:54 AM
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You make one laugh oztech. On your first sentence you mention that the distortion was outside the normal hearing range, yet on the next line you bring up this non-problem of 96khz/24bit or 192khz/24 bit content where a frequency roll off of the room correction processing involving down sampling with XT32 falls about at 24 kHz. The actual results from that Secrets April article was start to roll off at 23 Khz, signal is gone at 26 kHz.

Can you even hear anything at 23 or 24 kHz? wink.gif

The reason they choose not to process it at 96 kHz is that it needs twice the processing power compared to 48 kHz sampling rate.

IMHO I think the inadequacies with the sub bass room equalization with Pioneer MCACC is a bigger problem, because its where you need the most correction. smile.gif
You do realize 48,96,192Khz/24bit has nothing to do with the limits of human hearing but rather how much musical info is in the file or disc its what audiophiles want and pay for whether you or I can hear a difference or not.
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post #28 of 40 Old 08-05-2013, 10:57 AM
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You do realize 48,96,192Khz/24bit has nothing to do with the limits of human hearing but rather how much musical info is in the file or disc its what audiophiles want and pay for whether you or I can hear a difference or not.
The reference I made to outside of hearing range was how Ice Amps handle frequencies above 20KHz re-read please.
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post #29 of 40 Old 08-05-2013, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by oztech View Post

You do realize 48,96,192Khz/24bit has nothing to do with the limits of human hearing but rather how much musical info is in the file or disc its what audiophiles want and pay for whether you or I can hear a difference or not.
When you are discussing 44kz or above sampling frequency, its no difference as you say because you can't hear that.

What is a lot more important to audiophiles then sampling frequency is the bit rate because it represents how many slices a recreated waveform cycle consists of which in 16 bits is 65,536 possible levels vs with 24 bits its 16,777,216 levels for example.

Both receivers use methods to upsample the waveform to 32 bits to clean it up. In either case something that is a lot poorer source (internet radio/pandora) will usually sound quite impressive.

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post #30 of 40 Old 08-05-2013, 12:08 PM
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This should help clear up some things and while I might agree we may not need 192Khz it seems 96Khz would be beneficial. http://tweakheadz.com/16-bit-vs-24-bit-audio/
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