Low Price Receiver w/External Amps or High End Receiver Alone - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 6 Old Yesterday, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Low Price Receiver w/External Amps or High End Receiver Alone

Hi Guys,

I currently am running a Denon AVR-X4100 and absolutely love it. I have been running a 5.2.2 setup but am going to be upgrading to 7.2.4 and also looking for a processor that will decode DTS:x as this one only does Dolby Atmos and Denon says an update for this model is not forthcoming. So with that being said I am looking into an equipment change.

If I keep my current receiver, I need to buy an external amp as this receiver will not support as many speakers as I have. I also cannot decode DTS:x.

So my question is, there are plenty of lower cost receivers that decode both DTS:x and Dolby Atmos but do not have the power or channel support that I would need.

Does it make more sense to spend $1,500+ on a receiver that can do everything I need and forego an external amp, or should I go with a lower cost receiver and invest the money in external amps for power?

Thanks all!
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post #2 of 6 Old Yesterday, 01:40 PM
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Others may feel differently but, to me, any receiver that can decode DTS:X and has the preamp to control 9-11 channels is going to be expensive anyway so unless you have a particularly difficult speaker to drive I'd just invest in a top line receiver.

I don't know what kind of budget you have but the Anthem MRX-1120 as an excellent receiver with an 11 channel preamp and 11 channel amplifier coupled with their awesome ARC-1 room correction.

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post #3 of 6 Old Yesterday, 02:10 PM
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If you want 7.2.4 you're going to spend money no matter what. Maybe if you catch the x4300 on sale and then connect your 4311 for the other two channels needed for 7.2.4 you can save on buying an external amp.

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post #4 of 6 Old Yesterday, 05:39 PM
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Yes, the Anthem MRX-1120 receiver is an excellent choice especially if your main usage would be home theater (movies). The ARC (Anthem Room Correction) is really effective and works really good.
I haven't heard this particular receiver but I did demo the Anthem AVM60 preamp processor, which is basically the MRX-1120 without an amp, and the AVM60 with the ARC engaged performed extraordinarily for surround sound (movies). The AVM60 multi-channel performance for movies, with the ARC engaged, rivals much more expensive preamp processors such as the Classe SSP 800 and Krell Foundation series processors.
I can tell you that for surround sound movies the Anthem AVM60, with ARC engaged, sounded better than the Classe Sigma SSP and the Marantz AV8802 processors.

The Anthem MRX-1120 receiver has exact same preamp processor & DAC section as the Anthem AVM60 preamp processor. And they both are using exact same ARC.
I think the power amp section of the MRX-1120 receiver is probably quite good. And this receiver decodes dolby atmos, dts-x, supports hdcp 2.2, etc.
This Anthem MRX-1120 receiver retails for $3500.

Another great choice would be the new Rotel RAP-1580 av receiver which decodes dolby atmos, dts-x and supports hdcp 2.2 4k video pass through hdmi 2.0 etc. Although Rotel does not call it a receiver due to lack of built-in tuner (am/fm radio) but it is an av receiver without built-in tuner.
But the Rotel lacks features or bells & whistles. It does not have built-in Pandora, Spotify, Tidal or hd radio or Sirius radio alike, no airplay. Pretty barebone. And it lacks auto room EQ calibration software but instead Rotel provides manual PEQ, which requires proper tools and equipments and thorough knowledge and experiences on how to implement it.
I would suggest that you have your Rotel certified and experienced dealer to perform manual calibration for you using its manual PEQ. Or you can hire a professional or accoustician to do it for you.
This receiver retails for $3800 and has great amplifier section that rivals some separate amps.
Has great sounding preamp and DAC as well.

You can never go wrong with either the Anthem MRX-1120 or the new Rotel RAP-1580 receivers.
For multi-channel (home theater) and with the ARC engaged I'm sure the Anthem will perform better than the Rotel. But for stereo performance for music with DSP and other digital processings disabled and room EQ disabled they are probably comparable sonically or perhaps the Rotel might have an edge over the Anthem.

Another great choice would be the NAD T787 receiver ($4k). I've only demoed this receiver in stereo for listening to music and it sounded really good and very musical especially coming from an av receiver.
It is equipped with Audyssey XT32 but this receiver currently does not decode dolby atmos, dts-x, does not support hdcp 2.2 nor 4k video pass through. However, all NAD av receivers and processors are modular designs and can easily be upgradeable to accomodate supports for latest current formats and codecs.
Not sure if NAD has already rolled out its new boards to accomodate supports for dolby atmos, dts-x, hdcp 2.2 hdmi 2.0 4k video yet. Got the feeling they will be available this year.

All these 3 receivers sounded really good for 2ch music and surround sound movies.
For surround movies I'm very sure that the Anthem MRX-1120, with the ARC engaged, will perform better than the Rotel or the NAD. The Rotel RAP-1580 and the NAD T787 have really good amp sections.

Give these 3 receivers a listen and let us know what you think and what you finally decide on.
What are your speakers anyway?

Last edited by vivace; Yesterday at 06:03 PM.
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post #5 of 6 Old Today, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow. The sticker shock of these units is off the charts. I guess I need to look at it from an all in perspective (ie Receiver + External Amp) instead of just a Receiver. I've never had the need for an external amp and therefor never purchased one. I just have to remember the money will be spent one way or the other. Thanks for the feedback guys.
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post #6 of 6 Old Today, 06:56 AM
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Keep in mind the X4100W is a 7CH model that can only expand to 9CH (ie. 5.2.4 or 7.2.2) so you would not be able to use it as the primary AVR for your intended 7.2.4 setup. Your least costly option for 7.2.4 is likely to be the newer Denon X4300H (9CH expandable to 11CH) which uses the same Audyssey MultEQ XT32 as your X4100W; however, also has the added capability of using the new Audyssey MultEQ Editor app (iOS/Android), which will allow you to customize the Audyssey curve. Although you could use the X4100W to power the 2 expansion speakers, again, the least costly method would be to sell the X4100W using the proceeds to purchase an AudioSource Amp100VS to power the 2nd set of height speakers.

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