Originally Posted by Landmonster
This is a theoretical question.
Let's say we only care about using an AVR for the home theater processing power, and rely on powerful dedicated amps to power most of the speakers in our theater. Let's say we use something like Emotiva dedicated amps to power at least the front 2 or 3 main speakers in a theater. The receiver is only powering surrounds, if anything at all.
In this scenario, which brand of AVR brand would reign supreme? I'm asking here, to basically disregard the AVR stated wattage and amp quality, and focus on it's surround processing and pre-amp characteristics. Of course, this would necessitate buying a new AVR, since formats change all the time.
Any experts with experience in this care to chime in? Rank the brands, as best you can, as pre-amps
- Denon X series?
- Yamaha Aventage?
- Something else I'm not considering?
The Denon X4500h(or x4400h, I believe is still available on clearance for about 45% off) has been the sweet spot imo since the x4300h came out as you get a full 7.1.4 processor for a sub $1000 price on sale/clearance depending on model.
I have the x4300h as does Madmax with the front 3 powered by an Emotiva amp. I've been too lazy to set up my Atmos speakers, as I mostly listen to music, not movies, but it's gonna be great once I get to it.
My experience with Denon recently(and Onkyo before that) is that if you are going to stress the receiver by having a full speaker setup or playing loudly as I do, you will need the external amp or the Denon/Onkyo will light itself on fire. Admittedly, my usage would be hard on pretty much any receiver, I think people using it for movies would have less of an issue since I don't think the receiver would be working with such extended peaks as with music.
I normally just use the Denon for 5.1 music, just the surrounds, no problem, but a week or so ago, I was using Dolby surround with very dense music loudly, so all 4 surrounds, instead of just two, and my x4300h shut down several times!
Never had that happen before.
Anyway, the point of this rambling is to support your idea of using an Emo amp for LCR, as that is what I am doing, and it works great most of the time.
BTW, in the few times I have played action flicks loudly, I have never had the x4300h have any problems, it was just that one time playing dense music loudly.
Denon AVR-X4300H (2nd try), Emotiva XPA-3 Gen3
Klipsch RP-280f LR & SR, RP-450c, RP-260f SB, pending Velodyne Deco Atmos
Rythmik F18 x 2
OPPO UDP-203, HTPC, TiVo Roamio, Adequate Samsung 4k
Turn Down For What!?