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sound quality of Denon AVR 5700 vs. newer receivers

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
Hi,
I just got a good deal on a used Denon AVR 5700 which was Denon's flagship receiver 6-7 years ago. I am very curious as to how this receiver measures against today's high-end receivers (say $1500+) in terms of sound quality. HDMI and other video features are not important to me, just sound quality for both surround sound movie and music (70/30 split). I really appreciate comments from former/present Denon owners who had a chance to compare the sound of 5700 vs. other Denon, Yamaha, Marantz high-end models.

Also, does anyone know if Denon 5700 can be connected just as an amp to another pre-amp or a receiver?

Thank you in advance.
post #2 of 36
Sorry I have no answer to your question but a question myself... What did you pay for your 5700??? I have one I would like to git rid of and do not know what it is worth these days...
post #3 of 36
I had a Denon 5800 and upgraded. Granted, my upgrade is much more costly, but I would guess the newer high end receivers are probably a lot better. I went to an Anthem D2 and the difference is night and day, I was literally blown away by the difference.

I also upgraded to a P5 amplifier. While I was waiting for it to arrive, I used the Denon Ext in with the D2. It sounded great. The amplifier didn't make a huge difference but the processing did. Anyway, I think the Denon has a great amplifier section but the processing is dated.
post #4 of 36
Bottom line: If you don't have HDMI audio input, you can't enjoy the superb sound available from Blu Ray and HD DVD improved audio codecs. There is no way that standard DD and DTS can come close via optical/coaxial digital. The best processing and amp can't make the difference.
post #5 of 36
Thread Starter 
I paid $500 for it and thought was a good deal but you guys make me second guess my deicision -- I probably can sell it off eBay but will have to go through hassles. If I keep it can I at least use it as an amp and connect it to another receiver or pre-amp? It has 140W per channel so I'd like to use the power, if I can. I see it has 6 channel input but it's really meant for DVD audio SACD player, not a preamp....

any help is really appreciated.
post #6 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by stdhkim View Post

I paid $500 for it and thought was a good deal but you guys make me second guess my deicision -- I probably can sell it off eBay but will have to go through hassles. If I keep it can I at least use it as an amp and connect it to another receiver or pre-amp? It has 140W per channel so I'd like to use the power, if I can. I see it has 6 channel input but it's really meant for DVD audio SACD player, not a preamp....

any help is really appreciated.

You can use the 5800 as an amp, not sure about the 5700. Does it have Ext inputs for using a pre/pro? If so, then it should work.
post #7 of 36
Who cares what people here think? Who are these people? Is anyone on this forum offering to pay to upgrade to something better? Are you enjoying it? That's all that really matters. WOW $500 for something of the quaility of a Denon 5700. Outstanding for the money!!!
post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by rlb View Post

Bottom line: If you don't have HDMI audio input, you can't enjoy the superb sound available from Blu Ray and HD DVD improved audio codecs. There is no way that standard DD and DTS can come close via optical/coaxial digital. The best processing and amp can't make the difference.

Absolutely wrong. How about the multi channel analog inputs? He mentioned in his first post that HDMI did not matter.
post #9 of 36
Thread Starter 
Thanks for rbrb and other members opinions. I posted here so I can get diverse perspectives from other audio enthusiasts. I do have another question which is - since this receiver is 5.1 amp, can it still process 6.1 soundtracks such as DTS-ES. My guess is yes without the rear center signal but just want to be sure. I actually do not have the receiver yet as it is being shipped by the seller so I can't test it myself. Thanks again for your thoughts.
post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by stdhkim View Post

I do have another question which is - since this receiver is 5.1 amp, can it still process 6.1 soundtracks such as DTS-ES.

Yes - no problem. That format and DD-EX are fully compatible with 5.1 decoding.

I think the biggest shortcomming will be the lack of Dobly PL-II (I think that it doesn't have that but I might be wrong). It does a wonderful job to turn 2.0 into 5.1. It works much much better that Pro Logic.


Ed
post #11 of 36
Instead of guessing what a AVR-5700 can, or can not do.
Why don't you just look here in the online manual for it?

http://usa.denon.com/avr5700_ownersmanual.pdf
post #12 of 36
For $500.00, your not going to get anywhere close to the sound quality which the 5700 provides, among many other things. The 5700 was one of the top receivers, worldwide, in its day. If memory serves me, the Denon 5700 and Pioneer Elite 49TX were two of the finest receivers available back then, even closing the gap between lower cost separates.

If HDMI (video portion) becomes an issue at some point, buy an external remote controlled HDMI switcher. The bottom line is that you will have to spend a lot of money in the future to better the 5700.

Mark
post #13 of 36
The 5700 is a great receiver, especially for $500. Nothing out there new under $1500 would come close when it comes to pure sound and construction quality.
post #14 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by rlb View Post

Bottom line: If you don't have HDMI audio input, you can't enjoy the superb sound available from Blu Ray and HD DVD improved audio codecs. There is no way that standard DD and DTS can come close via optical/coaxial digital. The best processing and amp can't make the difference.

I've got a 5700 which I bought new in 1997 and it still sounds great. DD and DTS processing of SD DVDs is absolutetly amazing and my A1 and BD10 are hooked up through the Analog inputs and blow away anything else I've heard. Sure, there is no HDMI, but as someone said, buy a inexpensive switcher if you really need that capability.

About a year ago I brought home a couple new receivers to demo (Onkyo, Arcam, Pioneer) and while they sounded good, and maybe a little better than the 5700, they didn't sound good enough for me to drop $1500-2000 for them.

For $500 you got a GREAT deal. I've seen a couple go for around $750 on the "bay."
post #15 of 36
I too have the Denon 5700. Have had it for about 4 years now. Matched it up to Acend Acoustics CMT-340s (L/C/R) and CBM-170s (SR/SL) and HSU VTF-3 Subwoofer. I'm still amazed at the audio quality it produces. Although one day I will upgrade to take advantage of newer technologies, I have absolutely no buyers remorse what so ever. Enjoy your Denon 5700, it should provide you with much happiness. Also, be careful lifting this thing, it weighs alot, which surprised me at first.

Bill
post #16 of 36
I too have a 5700 and am trying to figure out how to leverage it in a new home theater. I'm sure a lot of people will say "are you crazy" and maybe I am, but I am focusing on those analog inputs.

Is there a good pre-pro that I could get into for less than buying a new 4306 (or 7 whatever is out there next) that would give me good performance and a few of the bells and whistles like the mic setup??? (tuning the ol' 5700 to the room is a chore!).

I'm thinking that if I go with a pre-pro, then that will set me down a certain path toward separates, where I would eventually upgrade the amp, speakers, sub, etc, at a moderate pace, and enjoy each upgrade along the way.

btw, besides the 5700, I currently have a Toshiba HD-D2, Dish HD-DVR, an older set of Klipsh towers, center, and surrounds, 200w 12" sub, with two rear ceiling speakers to bring it all to 7.1.

I'm hoping I can get it all to a certain point, soundwise, and would like some opinions to find out how far I can realistically take the current setup with the addition of a more modern, reasonably priced pre-pro.

thanks for any advice or opinions! (If I need to post this over on the HT forums, let me know)....
post #17 of 36
Sorry to be late to the party, but I too, have a 5700. (I have some AC-3 encoded Laserdiscs, and I can assure you it extracts the multichannel sound out of them properly.) I also paid a lot more than $500 for it, and that was on ebay.

I just got a Blu-ray player, and have that HDMI audio nut to crack. I will hook my player up through the 5.1 analog any let you know how that works. (It's currently hooked up through S/PDIF for expediency).

I'll post back later.
post #18 of 36
You can use the analog 7.1, power 5.1 and external the additional two channels. To get the latest in surround, you could get the new Oppo Blu Ray player and run the analog into the 5700. That way, you could have all surround formats. Just patch HDMI to the display. Yes, you won't have HDMI audio that way, but you've saved a bundle.

I am currently using the 5700 (just for now) as a pre/pro using the analog 5.1 to run SACD/DVDA. I use the 5700 to power only the center channel right now, I pre out to a couple Bryston amps to power my Infinity RS 9s and RS 3as. The 5700 can power the 3as, but the Kappa 9s needed more juice and I was able to get a Bryston 4B for the fronts and 3b for the rears at a killer price. 5700 is a quite pre, but will move to something else (possibly a used Lexicon MC??) or somehting newer with HDMI switching. Could really use upcoding of my laserdiscs via S-VHS -->HDMI 1080p to make them look better like the standard DVDs do.
post #19 of 36
Back from the dead. 07!
post #20 of 36
I'm tagging on this thread because I have a couple of questions. I can get one of these for next to nothing, and apart from no HDMI video switching, is there anything that should preclude me from buying this receiver when I only run 2-channel audio at home? My plan would be to run digital audio inputs from a blu-ray player, music server and satellite tuner and use the receiver to switch those, and have my Logitech Harmony 890 do the video switching on the TV whenever I need to change inputs.

So in short, I guess the question is, as long as you only run 2-channel audio, does HDMI have anything to say for the audio?
post #21 of 36
Quote:
I'm tagging on this thread because I have a couple of questions. I can get one of these for next to nothing, and apart from no HDMI video switching, is there anything that should preclude me from buying this receiver when I only run 2-channel audio at home? My plan would be to run digital audio inputs from a blu-ray player, music server and satellite tuner and use the receiver to switch those, and have my Logitech Harmony 890 do the video switching on the TV whenever I need to change inputs.

So in short, I guess the question is, as long as you only run 2-channel audio, does HDMI have anything to say for the audio?

Grab it. I have had my 5700 for 10 years and have not found anything less than $1500 these days that matches its sound quality. I use a Monoprice external HDMI switcher to handle all my HDMI components ($50) and it works great up to 1080p.

Was also considering buying a newer amp (looking at around the 1k price range) to take advantage of the latest sound technologies and HDMI switching. However after running a detailed test with the latest Dolby Digital PLUS, DTS Master audio as well as uncompressed PCM audio formats, I concluded no reason to upgade the Denon to a newer amp that handles these formats.

TEST 1 - Actually ran a test with a blu ray player using its internal decoding for Dolby Digital PLUS, DTS Master audio as well as uncompressed PCM. Ran the BR player's 7.1 preamp outputs into my Denon's 7.1 preamp inputs (Yes the denon has 7.1 preamp inputs...they were on top of their game 10 years ago!). A/B'd between using my Denon as the decoder (taking a bit stream feed from the blu ray player) and the blu ray player as the decoder and honestly noticed no difference in sound quality...aside from the volume being reduced quite a bit when using the blu ray players decoder.

TEST 2 - Listened to Pioneer's Elite 7.1 receivers with the latest sound formats and HDMI switching (in a decent listening environment) and still enjoyed the sound of the Denon more.

Personally I see the receiver as playing a 50% role in quality soundtrack reproduction. The other 50% is your listening environment....quality of speakers, how the speakers are setup and how your room sounds. Perhaps use the money saved with your Denon 5700 purchase to try out some new speakers? Just my 2 cents..
post #22 of 36
Glad to see this thread resurrected a bit. I've finally moved from SD to HD in the last few months. I bought my 5700 new and have loved it ever since. Sound Dyanmics speakers, PSB sub, Linn Axis turntable - great stuff. It's sounded fantastic for years. Still does.

My upgrades have included the Samsung PN-50B650 Plasma and a Panasonic DMP-BD60. Panasonic is running into the 5700 via TosLink. HDMI out directly to Samsung. Panasonic doesn't have analog outs so I can't run multi-channel analog into the 5700's multi-channel analog inputs.

I haven't been all that concerned what I'm "missing" with regards to the newest audio formats. I haven't really gone and listened to all the new audio formats because - quite honestly - I had no intention to upgrade my receiver (for now). I realize "you don't now what you don't know" so I don't really know what I'm missing I suppose. My main objective for now is to be sure I'm get the maximum out of what I do have.

So...

PCM 5.1 - haven't really been as informed as I probably should be about PCM in general. BUT - I just bought the Elton 60 on BluRay. It's PCM 5.1 and PCM 2.0. So what should I be setting the 5700 to from a "surround" perspective. Obviously with THX or Dolby Digital selected I'm not going to see any indication that there is "surround" working. But I'm getting audio from each channel if I DO set it to THX (for example). Needless to say the 5700 user manual can't really address this (or doesn't anyway).

What else might I want to consider to "enhance" what I can get with my 5700? Is there some "box" I should look into adding that will broaden my audio capabilities? Don't really know why I need an HDMI switcher. My Samsung has 4 HDMI inputs - so why would I need (or how would I benefit) from having a switcher?
post #23 of 36
Scott,

Sounds like there is no need for an external HDMI switcher in your case.

Regarding listening to PCM soundtracks, you are correct that the Denon display will not show you whcih speakers are working, it will just tell you that you are locked to a PCM stream (over the optical/coax connection).

The AVR-5700 can only properly decode 2 channel PCM soundtracks via optical/coaxial cables, along with standard Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 (Not DD or DTS HD) soundtracks. Luckily all blu ray discs offer both HD and Standard DD and DTS streams for compatibility with older receivers like the 5700 so you can still take advantage of Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 soundtracks.

If you want to listen to PCM 5.1 or any of the current HD audio formats you would need a blu ray player with 7.1 preamp outs hooked to the Denon's 7.1 preamp ins. Only problem with this is that the Denon's preamp inputs bypass all the Denon's internal processing (like speaker gain control and on-board DSP processing) making any tweaking impossible. As I noted above I tried this technique (using an external decoder and the Denon's preamp inputs) and noticed NO difference between listening to the current sound formats (PCM 5.1, DD HD, and DTS HD) and older DD and DTS formats.

The only drawback I see with the 5700 is that it offers no built in room EQ capabilities. I am looking at the Sherwood Newcastle 972 as it would seem to offer similar sonic performance as the 5700 as well as Trinnov room EQ, something I think my theater would benefit very much from....not sure if I am ready to leave the sonic qualities of the 5700 behind though .....
post #24 of 36
Great info and much appreciated. So far I'm happy with my "old" set up. Sound is still great. I'm still a vinyl LP guy too and the Denon's phono stage is really rather good for a "receiver".

Maybe after my last kid gets out of college I'll upgrade with my new "raise"


Quote:
Originally Posted by koberlin1 View Post

Scott,

Sounds like there is no need for an external HDMI switcher in your case.

Regarding listening to PCM soundtracks, you are correct that the Denon display will not show you whcih speakers are working, it will just tell you that you are locked to a PCM stream (over the optical/coax connection).

The AVR-5700 can only properly decode 2 channel PCM soundtracks via optical/coaxial cables, along with standard Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 (Not DD or DTS HD) soundtracks. Luckily all blu ray discs offer both HD and Standard DD and DTS streams for compatibility with older receivers like the 5700 so you can still take advantage of Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 soundtracks.

If you want to listen to PCM 5.1 or any of the current HD audio formats you would need a blu ray player with 7.1 preamp outs hooked to the Denon's 7.1 preamp ins. Only problem with this is that the Denon's preamp inputs bypass all the Denon's internal processing (like speaker gain control and on-board DSP processing) making any tweaking impossible. As I noted above I tried this technique (using an external decoder and the Denon's preamp inputs) and noticed NO difference between listening to the current sound formats (PCM 5.1, DD HD, and DTS HD) and older DD and DTS formats.

The only drawback I see with the 5700 is that it offers no built in room EQ capabilities. I am looking at the Sherwood Newcastle 972 as it would seem to offer similar sonic performance as the 5700 as well as Trinnov room EQ, something I think my theater would benefit very much from....not sure if I am ready to leave the sonic qualities of the 5700 behind though .....
post #25 of 36
No need to wait for the "raise", trade in some old stuff, throw in a birthday gift request early and endulge
post #26 of 36
Does the Denon 5700 decode DTS 24/96 properly through bitstream?
post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlake6659 View Post

Does the Denon 5700 decode DTS 24/96 properly through bitstream?

Anybody know?
post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlake6659 View Post

Does the Denon 5700 decode DTS 24/96 properly through bitstream?

?
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlake6659 View Post

Does the Denon 5700 decode DTS 24/96 properly through bitstream?

It looks like it does not since the manual does not mention it at all, but the manual for the newer 5803 does.

Ed
post #30 of 36
I am doing something kind of similar to what was mentioned here. I have a Pioneer 49TX that was previously mentioned in this thread; 65lb receiver.. a Very conservative 130w ACD. I am using that as my amp via ext-in for L/C/R and letting a Denon 3808 run the rears. I am pleased with the sound. I would still be using the Pioneer exclusively if the pre amp section hadn't died.. buying the Denon used was less $$ than repairing it!

IBJamon
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