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Hi

The pragmatic answer to this is that, unless someone:
1) requires balanced line outputs.
2) Is absolutely , adamant on consuming as little power as possible and even there, see my experience below ...

One can achieve the goals of using external, amplifers with several model of AVR with audio output with excellent results. I use this scheme with powered speakers in an Atmos configuration ( 5.2.2) and am very pleased.
The consumption on my Denon AVRX3400 with "eco mode" engaged is about 30 watts when in operation driving my powered speakers. I know of no way to turn the internal amplifiers (Class AB, I suppose) completely off in the X3400, I believe some later models, e,g AVRX8500 can do that... I would surmise that for AVR that use Class D amplifers, the consumption would be much less.

It could be a case of a niche (The slim minority who needs a Pre/Pro) within a niche (those who use an AVR in these days of sound bars ...).
The x3700h allows shutting down of the amps. It is the budget processor IMO. The only thing it is missing is mutli-ch in but I can't imagine many actually need that. I'm not even considering XLR connections at this price point. I'd imagine that those that are looking for a budget pre/pro would be ok without them. I am at least. I think Denon did something really interesting here.
 

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Perhaps pedantic, but in decades of answers, I've never heard a single answer that definitively and with conclusively closes the book on the topic.
People keep asking because is fun to do so I guess. A definite answer would be a kill-joy for us who enjoy this hobby.

The last under 1K PrePros were the Emo and Outlaw and they were 5.1 only.
 

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That answer can only come from the mfgr's themselves.

I'm fully satisfied that the answer (albeit not satisfying to consumers) lies in the usual suspects of limited demand and consequent absence of mass production economies of scale, and the willingness of high enders to pay more for their exclusive tastes.


I've never heard a single answer that definitively and with conclusively closes the book on the topic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
The x3700h allows shutting down of the amps. It is the budget processor IMO. The only thing it is missing is mutli-ch in but I can't imagine many actually need that. I'm not even considering XLR connections at this price point. I'd imagine that those that are looking for a budget pre/pro would be ok without them. I am at least. I think Denon did something really interesting here.
Agreed, and it's got a full 11.2 pre-amp outputs. I assume the x4700h is the same (ability to shut down amps?) but with a few more bells and whistles, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·

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Why does it seem that all pre-pros cost more than most AVRs? Isn't there a market out there for what amounts to an AVR without the amplifier section, and thus costs less than the comparable AVR?
One can select from several good AVRs in the $1200-$2000 price range, and yet the lowest price pre-pros I see are all $2500 and up.

This thought/question came about as I'd like to upgrade my AVR to be HDR and Atmos capable, but hate to just toss the perfectly good 9ch amplifier section (Yamaha RX-A2020). Thought I'd look for a "budget" 9ch pre-pro and use the Yamaha as an amp. No dice. I might as well buy a new AVR, which is frustrating.

Thoughts/suggestions?
This is a great question. It makes 0 sense that most AVRs are way cheaper than the vast majority of pre-pros.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
This is a great question. It makes 0 sense that most AVRs are way cheaper than the vast majority of pre-pros.
I could see them costing almost the same, since removing amps might be offset by adding XLR balanced inputs and other features. But 2x-5x the price? No. Zero sense.
 

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Hi

One thing that I forgot to add is that I recently added 2 non-powered Atmos speakers to my Powered L,C,R, 2 x Powered Surround + 3 Powered Subs. X-3400 consumption is still very low ... doesn't get much over 45 watts and the average moving a bit up to 35 watts.
I also agree with @PixelPusher15 , the Denon X3700 is a remarkable AVR... I need to check if the amps can be shut down in the X3400... Can they be ? :)
 

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Hi

One thing that I forgot to add is that I recently added 2 non-powered Atmos speakers to my Powered L,C,R, 2 x Powered Surround + 3 Powered Subs. X-3400 consumption is still very low ... doesn't get much over 45 watts and the average moving a bit up to 35 watts.
I also agree with @PixelPusher15 , the Denon X3700 is a remarkable AVR... I need to check if the amps can be shut down in the X3400... Can they be ? :)
I’m 98.76% positive that’s a new feature for this model year in the 3000 line
 

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Some 20 years ago I was faced with the same issue of either a receiver or a pre-amp + amp. At the time I was setting up a 5.1 system in a relatively large dedicated home theater room (15' by 21'). I wound up purchasing an Outlaw 770 amp (200 watts X7, all channels) and an Outlaw 950 preamp). About 10 years ago I wanted to go to 7.2 and could not find a reasonably priced pre-amp to do so. At the recommendation of Outlaw I purchased a receiver (Marantz SR5005) and used it as a pre-amp.

Now in 2021 I am looking to upgrade the Marantz My Outlaw amp will probably outlast me so in looking for a new up to date pre-amp I find them quite expensive (except for the Outlaw 976 which is not available) so the solution, again, is a receiver to use as a pre-amp. In some ways, when you do this I am wasting the amp part of the receiver. Of course the problem is: What receiver would make the best pre-amp? I have been looking at the Marantz SR series (5015, 6015, etc.) but maybe the Denon X3700 mentioned above is a possibility.

John
 

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Heya,

It all comes down to marketing and the economics of it.

Most people that want a pre-processor and supply their own amplifiers are not looking for "budget" options, or they wouldn't be using separate components in the first place usually. With the advent of the A-B (or any efficient, better thermally regulated class), it's more inexpensive and simple to give someone gobs of power with less distortion in a receiver for lots of channels without raising the cost or size/weight (and this is the big one, the size/weight) enough to hurt the economy of the receiver. So at the end of this, we have receivers with pre-amp output on all channels and the ability to turn off or not use the internal amplifiers. You're not wasting them. They were not great to begin with, they're not top shelf amplifier quality, they're just functional. It gives people something to work with and likely end with.

The AVR is the budget pre-pro these days.

I know lots of people, myself included, would love a solution for a pre-pro that's cheaper than an AVR and can be modular to receive updates (like firmware, board replacement, etc; kind of like how Schiit is doing their stuff) so that you can update to new protocols over the years and supply our own amplifiers. We don't even need gobs of power, a fleet of 50 watt amps would likely be more than enough for most people. It would still cost more than an AVR of course. But no where near not as much as the dedicated pre-pro's and monstrous class A amps?

AVR pre-pro is it.

Emotiva tried it, not sure how successful their's is, in the $700 range for a 7.1 pre-pro (with no atmos, etc; the next step up is $2500+ to get that; no inbetween). No one seems to be producing sub-$2k pre-pros with the same processing abilities as AVR's even.

Very best,
 

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LOL yeah, that was the option I was seriously considering. There's a open box one for $1k, too... and it was that thought path that got me asking this question (again). :)
The 3700 doesn't have Auro3d but I don't think I'd care.
The x3700h also measures as good as higher end dedicated pre-amps/processors. So does the X3600H but I dont think it has the option to disconnect the internal amp.
 

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@jefny To expand on what @badtlc was saying, after the outlaw 976, the x3700 is really the best new budget pre/pro at the moment. It can expand to 11 channels, it has most of the newest features with hdcp 2.3 and hdmi 2.1 (read about [email protected] issues) can disconnect all internal amps and considering the features, it looks like a great deal for HT. The x3600 and big brother x4500 are similarly priced but do not disconnect internal amps like the new releases and don't have hdmi 2.1, if you even care? All of them still have xt32 which is great if you have dual subs.

I have been reading a lot about the Pioneer elite sc-lx704 and it seems to have similar features as the x3700/x4700, but no hdmi 2.1 and has class d power with mcacc pro. Regardless, I can't seem to find one for less than the x3700 though so the Denon looks like a great deal right now.

If you are not in a hurry, Pionkyo and Yammy (Aventage) have new receivers coming (late summer) that might fit your needs too? Choices, choices!

Good luck!
 

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With the advent of the efficient class D amplifier, it's inexpensive and simple to give someone gobs of power in a receiver for lots of channels without raising the cost or size/weight (and this is the big one, the size/weight) enough to hurt the economy of the receiver.

This is something that makes even less sense on the surface than the pre/pro vs. receiver dilermma.

I can't name any receivers with class D amps, though there may be a few.

Not sure why, though possibly because of the care needed to design and execute to prevent noise issues.
 

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This is something that makes even less sense on the surface than the pre/pro vs. receiver dilermma.

I can't name any receivers with class D amps, though there may be a few.

Not sure why, though possibly because of the care needed to design and execute to prevent noise issues.
You're right, good catch, thanks. Had class D on my brain after going through sub stuff. The receivers typically use class A-B.

Meant to mean that receivers don't have big huge thermally regulated class A amplifiers, so it helps with size and cost and the bulk for thermal management isn't needed.

Very best,
 

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@jefny To expand on what @badtlc was saying, after the outlaw 976, the x3700 is really the best new budget pre/pro at the moment. It can expand to 11 channels, it has most of the newest features with hdcp 2.3 and hdmi 2.1 (read about [email protected] issues) can disconnect all internal amps and considering the features, it looks like a great deal for HT. The x3600 and big brother x4500 are similarly priced but do not disconnect internal amps like the new releases and don't have hdmi 2.1, if you even care? All of them still have xt32 which is great if you have dual subs.

I have been reading a lot about the Pioneer elite sc-lx704 and it seems to have similar features as the x3700/x4700, but no hdmi 2.1 and has class d power with mcacc pro. Regardless, I can't seem to find one for less than the x3700 though so the Denon looks like a great deal right now.

If you are not in a hurry, Pionkyo and Yammy (Aventage) have new receivers coming (late summer) that might fit your needs too? Choices, choices!

Good luck!
Thank you for the response. I will more closely look at the Denon X3700. In terms of video I would like something that has at least 2 hdmi out. At present I have both a plasma TV and a SONY overhead projector. I do have a bluray player that has 2 hdmi out, one directly to the projector (with a 35 foot cable) and one to the receiver for sound. My original Tivo had an hdmi out (to the plasma), component to the projector and optical to the receiver. My newer Tivo has dropped the component out. I have added a Roku device for the plasma.

I would want the Denon to have the ability of taking any hdmi input (Bluray player, Tivo, roku device) and output it to either the overhead projector or TV, usually not at the same time. Can the Denon do this?

I will look at the Denon manual to make sure it meets my needs.

John
 

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Agreed, and it's got a full 11.2 pre-amp outputs. I assume the x4700h is the same (ability to shut down amps?) but with a few more bells and whistles, too.
This is in stock at A4L
11.2 and XLR connections for $1599.00
I am going to assume this shares a lot under the skin with the Denon X4500

 
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