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Replace old high-end receiver with a new midrange model?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I am finding that my old Arcam AVR200 is not capable of decoding most of the newer audio formats and the lack of HDMI is also limiting my options. Thus, I am thinking of replacing it with a new Denon 1613 which has a lot of new bells and whistles but I am concerned about a couple of things:

1) Will my audio quality take a dive with the new unit? The Arcam cost $1,200 ten years ago so I’m assuming it still probably sounds much better than a new $400 receiver. However, I mostly use the it for Netflix, Xbox360, DVDs, and MP3s so I don’t really think I’m taking advantage of the Arcam’s full potential anyhow.

2) Will the new Denon be more susceptible to heat-related problems? My Arcam is currently located in an enclosed (but spacious) entertainment center with an open back. The Arcam warms the space up but it never gets too hot and I’ve never had any reliability issues. The Denon’s user manual says to never put it in an enclosed space but is that one of those overly-cautious warnings all receiver manufacturers list which can realistically be ignored? Will the Denon be less robust than my Arcam or put off significantly more heat to the point of causing reliability problems?

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Edited by Option - 11/21/12 at 6:48pm
post #2 of 20
I had an Arcam AVR200 and replaced it with a Denon 2309ci receiver. Movies sounded better, more involved and detailed. Way more forward than the Arcam. In the end the I missed the musicality of the Arcam and sold the Denon for a used AVR250. The AVR250 was much better than the Denon and the AVR200 for both music and movies. I have since upgraded to an AVR 300 for more wattage and paired it with a Bluray player with Multichannel analog outputs allowing the Bluray player to decode the HD audio and send it to the AVR300 DVD-A input. It sounds awesome ! If you are wanting more bells and whistles and an improved musicality over standard receivers you could check out some of the Marantz gear but it will cost more than the $400. Arcam AVR300s sell regularly for around 400 or less. Good luck.

Nick
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the feedback and suggestion! The main reason I was considering a new AVR is because my AVR200 is sending a sharp blast of static to all the speakers when it detects and automatically switches to a Dolby Digital format. Did you ever experience anything like that? If not, perhaps I can look into getting my AVR200 repaired?
post #4 of 20
I bought the 1613 on monday from best buy. I returned it, after overheating within 20 minutes of watching a movie. I didn't want to believe some of the reviews about it heating up and shutting down. So I got it anyway. But I decided on H/K avr 1700. rather than getting another one. But that was my experience.
post #5 of 20
What reviews? First I've heard of it. confused.gif
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

What reviews? First I've heard of it. confused.gif
I just went off the best buy reviews. Some of them had stated overheating issues. I didn't bother to check for reviews anywhere else. Cause I would rather just try it out for myself. But by all means not trying to say its a bad receiver. But I just happened to get a defected one. Would I have gotten another one? Yeah, if it was for $200 like the H/K.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Option View Post

Hello,

I am finding that my old Arcam AVR200 is not capable of decoding most of the newer audio formats and the lack of HDMI is also limiting my options. Thus, I am thinking of replacing it with a new Denon 1613 which has a lot of new bells and whistles but I am concerned about a couple of things:

1) Will my audio quality take a dive with the new unit?

No. A lot of what you paid for with the Arcam was a model with high end panache from a low volume niche supplier.
Quote:
The Arcam cost $1,200 ten years ago so I’m assuming it still probably sounds much better than a new $400 receiver.

Nope.
Quote:
However, I mostly use the it for Netflix, Xbox360, DVDs, and MP3s so I don’t really think I’m taking advantage of the Arcam’s full potential anyhow.

There never was any special potential for the inflated price.
Quote:
2) Will the new Denon be more susceptible to heat-related problems? My Arcam is currently located in an enclosed (but spacious) entertainment center with an open back. The Arcam warms the space up but it never gets too hot and I’ve never had any reliability issues. The Denon’s user manual says to never put it in an enclosed space but is that one of those overly-cautious warnings all receiver manufacturers list which can realistically be ignored? Will the Denon be less robust than my Arcam or put off significantly more heat to the point of causing reliability problems?

Heat production has a lot to do with something that is entirely in your hands, namely how loudly you play it and into what efficiency speakers.

I can relate to your concerns about heat because I had heat problems with my old AVR which was in a large cabinet with a fair amount of space around it. All was well until I would play a movie with heavy EFX and then the AVR had a tendency to thermal out during the loud passages.

I did two things which were very effective. First, I found an inconspicuous spot behind the AVR near the top of the cabinet and cut a 3" hole in the back panel with a hole saw. The hot air has some place to go and it simply leaves the cabinet. I was thinking about adding a fan but convection had strong effects. Secondly, I started using bass management which vastly reduced the power load on my receiver (but still use the same speakers and sub). The latter move had strong advantages from the standpoint of both sound quality for all sources and the intelligibility of dialog.


Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated![/quote]
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe801 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

What reviews? First I've heard of it. confused.gif
I just went off the best buy reviews. Some of them had stated overheating issues. I didn't bother to check for reviews anywhere else. Cause I would rather just try it out for myself. But by all means not trying to say its a bad receiver. But I just happened to get a defected one. Would I have gotten another one? Yeah, if it was for $200 like the H/K.

If you are talking about customer reviews, I'd bet money that they came from people who were not wise about how they installed the AVR.
post #9 of 20
I did not experience that problem with my 200. I have heard of such problems with various receivers related to their digital processing board. You would be better off finding a used AVR 250, 300, 250, or 280. The 250/300 are much improved over the AVR200, especially for movies / surround sound. Good luck.

Nick
post #10 of 20
I also forgot to mention that I recently saw a factory refurbished Denon DVD-3800BDCI Blu Ray player for sale from Denon direct for $399. This player was originally $2,000 and will decode all the modern formats and output them to the AVR 200 analog multichannel / DVDA inputs bypassing the digital processing on the receiver that is causing you some problems. The Denon player also has impeccable 2 channel CD playback. The player is slower and not as featured as today's newer players but the build, sound, and video quality can not be beat for $400.

Nick

http://usa.denon.com/us/Product/Pages/productdetail.aspx?catalog=denonna_us&pcatid=refurbishedprocat(denonna)&isref=1&catid=blurayplayersref(denonna)&pid=dvd3800bdci(denonna)
post #11 of 20
Note that connecting that BDP (or any other) via HDMI to the 1613 (using Audyssey) will provide for much better audio quality than connecting it via multi analog to the 200. Also note that model was way over priced an not well received, although likely worth the $400.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

If you are talking about customer reviews, I'd bet money that they came from people who were not wise about how they installed the AVR.
yeah, im talking about the customer review. But mines was out in the open. And mines happen to ovetheat. Like I said im sure I just got a defected one.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by nrighton View Post

I also forgot to mention that I recently saw a factory refurbished Denon DVD-3800BDCI Blu Ray player for sale from Denon direct for $399. This player was originally $2,000 and will decode all the modern formats and output them to the AVR 200 analog multichannel / DVDA inputs bypassing the digital processing on the receiver that is causing you some problems. The Denon player also has impeccable 2 channel CD playback. The player is slower and not as featured as today's newer players but the build, sound, and video quality can not be beat for $400.

Nick

http://usa.denon.com/us/Product/Pages/productdetail.aspx?catalog=denonna_us&pcatid=refurbishedprocat(denonna)&isref=1&catid=blurayplayersref(denonna)&pid=dvd3800bdci(denonna)

that player is, ummm, not so good...

"price" is not a performance spec... wink.gif

if someone is going to spend 400 for a player, it would likely be better spent on one of the numerous oppo bdp-93's that are popping up used as people "upgrade" to the bdp-103... or simply add another hunny to the budget and buy a new bdp-103...
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

that player is, ummm, not so good...
"price" is not a performance spec... wink.gif
if someone is going to spend 400 for a player, it would likely be better spent on one of the numerous oppo bdp-93's that are popping up used as people "upgrade" to the bdp-103... or simply add another hunny to the budget and buy a new bdp-103...

Have you owned or used the 3800? I personally own and love the 3800BDCI. It's feature set include 4 independent DACs for decoding, an isolated power supply to keep the noise floor extremely low from the analog output stage, Realta HQV video processing, and Denon AL24 processing. These are all well worth the price and the same hardware used on the AVR5308 and other high end equipment. As for build quality, the player is built like a tank and even without an amp section is 4 pounds heavier than the aforementioned AVR1613. To get similar audio quality of the 3800 from Oppo you need to look at the 105 ($1299), or 95 ($999). While the 103 is feature rich and a good performer the analog outputs are nowhere near the same league as the 3800.
Edited by nrighton - 11/28/12 at 9:54am
post #15 of 20
^^^

good for you... it doesn't change the facts on the ground...

"dacs" are transparent... i don't expect you'll like that either..

and there is ZERO reason to connect via analog and bypass room correction... NONE... to do so indicates a basic lack of understanding of room acoustics...
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe801 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

If you are talking about customer reviews, I'd bet money that they came from people who were not wise about how they installed the AVR.
yeah, im talking about the customer review. But mines was out in the open. And mines happen to ovetheat. Like I said im sure I just got a defected one.

The only remaining questions can be about the speaker load.

If you obtained a competitive receiver and it handled the same load and program material at the same SPLs and didn't thermal out, then info about the alternative receiver would be very interesting.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

Note that connecting that BDP (or any other) via HDMI to the 1613 (using Audyssey) will provide for much better audio quality than connecting it via multi analog to the 200. Also note that model was way over priced an not well received, although likely worth the $400.

Good point. Audio is generally best kept in the digital domain as close as possible to the speakers.

Paying for and having to configure doubled-up bass management strikes me as a pain, and for what gain?
post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

No. A lot of what you paid for with the Arcam was a model with high end panache from a low volume niche supplier. There never was any special potential for the inflated price.

Thanks for the input. The Arcam was a free hand-me-down from an audiophile friend. I don't know much about audio equipment (but I'm learning fast) and I assumed there was some price inflation since it's from a boutique manufacturer. However, are you saying that the AVR200 does not contain higher-quality guts or that higher quality internals do not improve audio performance? I picked up a Denon 1613 yesterday and, after plugged it in, it sounded much more flat while playing music. Granted, I did not run Audyssey or do any tuning but I've never bothered to tune the Arcam either.
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Heat production has a lot to do with something that is entirely in your hands, namely how loudly you play it and into what efficiency speakers.
I can relate to your concerns about heat because I had heat problems with my old AVR which was in a large cabinet with a fair amount of space around it. All was well until I would play a movie with heavy EFX and then the AVR had a tendency to thermal out during the loud passages.
I did two things which were very effective. First, I found an inconspicuous spot behind the AVR near the top of the cabinet and cut a 3" hole in the back panel with a hole saw. The hot air has some place to go and it simply leaves the cabinet. I was thinking about adding a fan but convection had strong effects. Secondly, I started using bass management which vastly reduced the power load on my receiver (but still use the same speakers and sub). The latter move had strong advantages from the standpoint of both sound quality for all sources and the intelligibility of dialog.
Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Again, thank you for sharing your experience. I'm not sure how to determine the efficiency of my speakers which are more hand-me-downs:
Front: B&W DM602
Center: Yamaha NS-C310
Rear: B&W DM600 S3
Sub: B$W ASW300

Thankfully my TV stand does have large openings in the back which allow a good amount of airflow. Also, I don't listen to anything at particularly high volume levels. However, can you tell me more about bass management? I don't think I've heard of that before.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

Note that connecting that BDP (or any other) via HDMI to the 1613 (using Audyssey) will provide for much better audio quality than connecting it via multi analog to the 200. Also note that model was way over priced an not well received, although likely worth the $400.

Right now I have everything running through my TV which passes AC3 to the AVR200 via optical so I assume HDMI connections will not make any improvement?
post #19 of 20
Id get a receiver with Audessey, if you don't like Denan look at Onkyo or Marantz.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Option View Post

Right now I have everything running through my TV which passes AC3 to the AVR200 via optical so I assume HDMI connections will not make any improvement?

Not if AC3 is the best audio quality you want, no; however, you will need to run Audyssey to get the added benefit of the EQ process.
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