Stuck in a Denon X6400H / X4400H Dilemma => Your advice please

-Jim-

-Jim-

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#1
Hi Gents,

I'm stuck in a X6400H/X4400H dilemma. I recently renovated our Games room, and while the ceiling was down, I installed 4 Polk in ceiling speakers (and went from a 6.1 to a 7.1 set-up as well) even though I've never heard an Atmos or DTS-X setup. (I was "future proofing".)

Anyway I finally heard a poorly setup Atmos setup at my local Best Buy store (in Canada) this week. It did sound interesting, but didn't blow my socks off. (It didn't help the Salesman said the Marantz SR7012 9.2 Ch. Receiver that was driving the system was an 11.2, because it had "all the speaker outputs on the back".) There was also a lot of "cross talk" from other sources as this store had the demo in corner of the store, and not in a dedicated room. They also only had 9 speakers connected to it. :( )

I am contemplating upgrading my existing 7.2 Denon AVR-S900W, so I could connect the Atmos speakers into the system, but the price of the X6400H is scary for the amount of Movies we watch, especially when I can get the X4400H for about half the cost.

I'm wondering if I connected all the speakers to the X4400H, can you easily switch between 5.2.4, 7.2.2, etc without re-running Audyssey each time. I am thinking if we really get into Atmos type movies, I can always add a stereo amplifier later for the last 2 channels. Can you give me any guidance here?

Thanks for the assist.
 
P

PENG

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#2
If you are in Canada, you will be better off buying the AVR-X7200WA from Amazon.com. With shipping, import duties/taxes and everything, it will total around USD 2100 or C$2700, vs the AVR-X6400H's C$2999+tax = C$3388.

The 7200 has two channel amp channels less, but has a stronger power supply, top end (at the time) AK4490 DAC that is the same one stilled used in the Marantz AV8802A, AV8500 and Denon AVR-X8500H.
 
-Jim-

-Jim-

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#3
Thanks for the post Peng. One can buy the X6400H for about $2500 when on sale, and $2,000 for "B" Stock from Gibby's in Ontario with free shipping, and no Provincial Sales Tax. Any Warranty issue are fine as I wouldn't have to ship it out of country; as I know Denon is a bit weird about cross border shopping and warranty coverage. A "B" Stock X4400H is only :rolleyes: a grand. All funds are in Canadian Dollars.

Hence the dilemma. I'm really leaning towards the X4400H as then I'll have enough cash to replace the three fronts speakers with the 3.0 CCB-8 Satin Black system package from HSU. HSU said they'd cover any warranty regardless of where I live.

I'd love to hear from those who own a the X4400H and run it in Atmos mode, and those who have a 7.1.4 or 7.2.4 system with the X6400H . :D
 
P

PENG

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#4
Thanks for the post Peng. One can buy the X6400H for about $2500 when on sale, and $2,000 for "B" Stock from Gibby's in Ontario with free shipping, and no Provincial Sales Tax. Any Warranty issue are fine as I wouldn't have to ship it out of country; as I know Denon is a bit weird about cross border shopping and warranty coverage. A "B" Stock X4400H is only :rolleyes: a grand. All funds are in Canadian Dollars.

Hence the dilemma. I'm really leaning towards the X4400H as then I'll have enough cash to replace the three fronts speakers with the 3.0 CCB-8 Satin Black system package from HSU. HSU said they'd cover any warranty regardless of where I live.

I'd love to hear from those who own a the X4400H and run it in Atmos mode, and those who have a 7.1.4 or 7.2.4 system with the X6400H . :D
I understand you want to hear from owners of the 4400, but are you interesting in their user experience ore something else? As for reliability it is too early to know other those that failed within a short time, that you can probably tell by reading the Amazon.com and other online stores reviews.

In my opinion if you are going for Gibby's B stock, the 4400 would make much more sense because of the lower investment. If I were to go with something that would cost $1,500 or higher, I would go with brand new ones. If the "B" is a working demo, not a returned unit that I would feel okay. I simply don't trust refurbished stuff in general even with warranty, a simple preamp, power amp is fine but not a featured rich high end AVR.

Gibby has the X7200W "B" stock for C$2,100 so I supposed sooner or later they will have the X7200WA a the similar price point, that's if you trust the "B" stuff.
 
-Jim-

-Jim-

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#5
Thanks for the post Peng.

First of all. in regard to my question: "if I connected all the speakers to the X4400H, can you easily switch between 5.2.4, 7.2.2, etc without re-running Audyssey each time."

Another Cyber-friend advised one can "do it fairly easily using the MultEQ Editor app (iOS/Android, $20) with both Audyssey EQs saved and then loaded to the AVR as needed generally only taking about a minute or two."

The App is $27 Canadian dollars (I think the $20 was USD),but if it works as described, it makes the X4400H even more attractive. I'd love to hear about any experience others have using this App.

The rationale to wanting to hear from X6400H/X4400H owners was to see how Atmos performed for them (as well as their receivers),and if any with a X4400H connected a separate Amp successfully to go to 7.1.4 or 7.2.4.

In regard to B Stock, initially most folks would have concerns, but I'm a licensed Electrician with one year of Electronics Technician level training, and know almost all failures in new equipment of this type occurs in the first weeks of ownership if the equipment is not abused. (I have seen data on typical warranty claims versus time, and life-cycle failure rates as well.)

That's one reason I never buy extended warranties from retail outlets when buying electrical / electronic equipment; as they are just a cash cow for them. However, I do have a Credit Card that extends the warranty of new equipment by a year which I use religiously. Of course in the 15 or so years I've had it, I've never had to make a claim. Maybe I've just been lucky.

Gibby's seems to be similar to Accessories4less in the USA. Gibbys Electronic Supermarket is the only Authorized dealer of Denon and Marantz B Stock products in Canada. Although I've never bought anything from them, I expect no issues in the unlikely even problems arise. By the way, most failures occur when units are first powered up; and with B stock units, they are returned and re-certified by the manufacturer once they have been returned to the retailer for any reason. Gibby's has a over the counter exchange for the first 30 days as well. So I'm thinking regardless of receiver, the risks seem to be mitigated enough that I can't justify not going to B stock.

Besides, as I said earlier, with the savings I can purchase the 3.0 CCB-8 Satin Black system package from Hsu. Hsu said they'd cover any warranty regardless of where I live. I'm not big a fan of the yellow speaker cones and they said they don't offer them in black. But they said they would honor their 5 year warranty if I spray painted them carefully. Again, even though the ratings are great on these speakers, I've never heard them. The only place you can demo them is at Hsu in California.

I'm still wondering if Atmos and DTS: X are like 3D TV was. (I bought a 55 inch 3D Samsung TV and Blu Ray Player). Only the early adopters jumped on it, and now it's all but abandoned. I need to look for posts from those living with immersive sound systems and gain their feedback before I take the final plunge.

Thanks for all the input. More comments would be appreciated.
 
P

PENG

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#6
Thanks for the post Peng.

First of all. in regard to my question: "if I connected all the speakers to the X4400H, can you easily switch between 5.2.4, 7.2.2, etc without re-running Audyssey each time."

Another Cyber-friend advised one can "do it fairly easily using the MultEQ Editor app (iOS/Android, $20) with both Audyssey EQs saved and then loaded to the AVR as needed generally only taking about a minute or two."
I don't have the app but it sounds like your cyber friend know what he's talking about and that's good news that you can save both EQ versions and presumably can select either one later.

In regard to B Stock, initially most folks would have concerns, but I'm a licensed Electrician with one year of Electronics Technician level training, and know almost all failures in new equipment of this type occurs in the first weeks of ownership if the equipment is not abused. (I have seen data on typical warranty claims versus time, and life-cycle failure rates as well.)

That's one reason I never buy extended warranties from retail outlets when buying electrical / electronic equipment; as they are just a cash cow for them. However, I do have a Credit Card that extends the warranty of new equipment by a year which I use religiously. Of course in the 15 or so years I've had it, I've never had to make a claim. Maybe I've just been lucky.
I feel the same way about electronics failure pattern and never bought extended warranty either. My concern with "B" stocks, and I refer to only those returned due to defects and repaired, is that you never know if they get fixed properly. I don't mind demos. There are so many features in a modern AVR and sometimes you don't know if something is still wrong until you use a particular feature. It could also have been abused and that may have resulted in certain parts weakened, overheated etc., but still work but reliability and life expectancy could have been affected, and depending on the nature of the hidden issues, they wouldn't necessarily fail within a week or even months. I understand you have your experience as an electrician. I have been in the manufacturing industry for many years including running maintenance departments, electronics/instrumentation shops etc., so I can relate to what you are saying. As I mentioned before, it is fine for simple preamps and amps. AVR is a different and much more complicated animal. Anyway, I am just offering my opinion, you could well be totally right about what you are saying.

I'm still wondering if Atmos and DTS: X are like 3D TV was. (I bought a 55 inch 3D Samsung TV and Blu Ray Player). Only the early adopters jumped on it, and now it's all but abandoned. I need to look for posts from those living with immersive sound systems and gain their feedback before I take the final plunge.
Based on online reviews I think they are good to have, my room is just too small so I am going to stick with my 7.1 for years to come. I hope sooner than later someone on this forum will chime in and share their experience, if not, there are no shortages of online reviews. If you have the room for it, I would say try it out for yourself, if you have a 7.1 setup then you can just reconfigure them for the trial and add more only if you like those new surround modes.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

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#7
Hey Jim,
Just two seconds and .02.
Atmos is so much more worth it(IMO),and NOT lame like 3d.
Buy the 4400 for 799 in a couple months when it goes on clearance, and use the leftovers to buy a 2ch amp to run your mains.
Gotta run!
 
M

mtrot

Junior Audioholic
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#8
What about the Denon X6300? I was under the impression that it was the same as the 6400 in terms of Atmos implementation and number of channels. I've been considering the 6300 as a way to get into the 4K capability that my 5200 lacks.
 
-Jim-

-Jim-

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#9
Hey Jim,
Just two seconds and .02.
Atmos is so much more worth it(IMO),and NOT lame like 3d.
Buy the 4400 for 799 in a couple months when it goes on clearance, and use the leftovers to buy a 2ch amp to run your mains.
Gotta run!
Yes, I do realise that most OEMs are almost ready to roll out their next year's model (usually June is clearance month if I remember correctly),and there should be good deals to be had.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

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#10
Yeah, if the “B-stock” is simply an open-box Store-demo, that’s fine.

Otherwise, I have no faith in taking any chances on refurbish AVR or AVP because of their complexity.

Zero faith in the Denon NJ repair center or any repair center unless the repair is simple like replacing a HDMI board and nothing else. :D

These days, I recommend getting just the X4000 or X3000 and if anything happens after 3 YR, just buy a new one. :D
 
P

PENG

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#11
Yeah, if the “B-stock” is simply an open-box Store-demo, that’s fine.

Otherwise, I have no faith in taking any chances on refurbish AVR or AVP because of their complexity.

Zero faith in the Denon NJ repair center or any repair center unless the repair is simple like replacing a HDMI board and nothing else. :D

These days, I recommend getting just the X4000 or X3000 and if anything happens after 3 YR, just buy a new one. :D
If they actually refurbished them in a Denon/Marantz or their authorized facilities and include a detailed report of what's fixed and then put them through their standard battery of final tests at the end of their production line, I would feel better and may even be willing to pay an $10 for the report.:D
 
AcuDefTechGuy

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#12
If they actually refurbished them in a Denon/Marantz or their authorized facilities and include a detailed report of what's fixed and then put them through their standard battery of final tests at the end of their production line, I would feel better and may even be willing to pay an $10 for the report.:D
Did I tell you that one time I sent a Denon (lower end model) to the main Denon NJ factory site for warranty repair? They said they fixed it, and then when I plugged the AVR into the outlet, smoke came out of the AVR? I'm serious! Not joking! :eek:

A friend of mine had a similar experience - no smoke, but his Denon was never fixed, even though the MAIN DENON factory in NJ claimed that they had fixed it! :eek:

So I have exactly 0% faith when it comes to fixing these complex machines.

Analog amps and preamps seem to be easy enough to fix, but these AVRs and AVPs are just too difficult for these techs to fix unless it's something really simple like replacing HDMI boards or replacing an amp module. Maybe if they hired engineers to fix the AVR/AVP, that's a different story. :D

If anything happens to my $7500 AVP-A1HDCI or $5500 AVR-5308, they would be paperweight. Good thing I've owned them for about 10 YR now. So I guess anything beyond 10YR is a bonus. :D I can't believe it's been that long! o_Oo_Oo_O
 
P

PENG

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#13
Did I tell you that one time I sent a Denon (lower end model) to the main Denon NJ factory site for warranty repair? They said they fixed it, and then when I plugged the AVR into the outlet, smoke came out of the AVR? I'm serious! Not joking! :eek:

A friend of mine had a similar experience - no smoke, but his Denon was never fixed, even though the MAIN DENON factory in NJ claimed that they had fixed it! :eek:

So I have exactly 0% faith when it comes to fixing these complex machines.

Analog amps and preamps seem to be easy enough to fix, but these AVRs and AVPs are just too difficult for these techs to fix unless it's something really simple like replacing HDMI boards or replacing an amp module. Maybe if they hired engineers to fix the AVR/AVP, that's a different story. :D

If anything happens to my $7500 AVP-A1HDCI or $5500 AVR-5308, they would be paperweight. Good thing I've owned them for about 10 YR now. So I guess anything beyond 10YR is a bonus. :D I can't believe it's been that long! o_Oo_Oo_O
That's why our OP made the point about if something's wrong it would happen within the first x number of days. The additional point I tried to made is that for feature riched AVR/AVR, this pattern/theory don't necessarily apply because even if there's not smoke and sparks during power on or even after days of use, problems/issues could still be hidden, waiting for something to trigger them, whether that be the use of certain features or demands (e.g. an unused channel, zone 2, cranking up the volume,.....etc..).

I know many people reported good experience with AC4L, but I assume those were mainly with the generations before 4K, BT, USB that could play DSD up to 128, >7 channels with Dolby Atmos and the latest surround modes, Alexa, and many more gadgets so there were much less that could go wrong. It will take probably another year before we can see/hear a reliable pattern of user experience on AC4L AVR/AVP purchases.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

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#14
That's why our OP made the point about if something's wrong it would happen within the first x number of days. The additional point I tried to made is that for feature riched AVR/AVR, this pattern/theory don't necessarily apply because even if there's not smoke and sparks during power on or even after days of use, problems/issues could still be hidden, waiting for something to trigger them, whether that be the use of certain features or demands (e.g. an unused channel, zone 2, cranking up the volume,.....etc..).

I know many people reported good experience with AC4L, but I assume those were mainly with the generations before 4K, BT, USB that could play DSD up to 128, >7 channels with Dolby Atmos and the latest surround modes, Alexa, and many more gadgets so there were much less that could go wrong. It will take probably another year before we can see/hear a reliable pattern of user experience on AC4L AVR/AVP purchases.
I was thinking that maybe these "Refurbished" AVRs from A4L aren't really refurbished - maybe they are just store-return items like open-box and they just call them "refurbished"?

Because if they actually sent the AVRs to the Denon NJ factory and they had to actually repair a real problem, then I have no faith.

But if these AVRs are actually just store-returns or demos or open-box, then that's okay.
 
P

PENG

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#15
I was thinking that maybe these "Refurbished" AVRs from A4L aren't really refurbished - maybe they are just store-return items like open-box and they just call them "refurbished"?

Because if they actually sent the AVRs to the Denon NJ factory and they had to actually repair a real problem, then I have no faith.

But if these AVRs are actually just store-returns or demos or open-box, then that's okay.
I was thinking about that too, at least those offered by AC4L and Gibbys, but then they should make it clearer. If they do include repaired items (unlikely),it should be on full disclosure basis.

To me, the key is a full report on what's done even if only cosmetic and parts completeness checks are done, and the complete battery of tests, again, their standard production line tests before final packaging would suffice.

The thing is, I have returned items to BB before, they may or may not ask you what's wrong. It seems possible that sometimes people return an item because they found something wrong, or caused internal damages that are not visible but neglected to tell, and the unit could end up being returned and became B stock.. How else would you explain your horrible experience? Before the OP gets frustrated, it may be time to start a thread on this topic.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

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#16
I was thinking about that too, at least those offered by AC4L and Gibbys, but then they should make it clearer. If they do include repaired items (unlikely),it should be on full disclosure basis.

To me, the key is a full report on what's done even if only cosmetic and parts completeness checks are done, and the complete battery of tests, again, their standard production line tests before final packaging would suffice.

The thing is, I have returned items to BB before, they may or may not ask you what's wrong. It seems possible that sometimes people return an item because they found something wrong, or caused internal damages that are not visible but neglected to tell, and the unit could end up being returned and became B stock.. How else would you explain your horrible experience? Before the OP gets frustrated, it may be time to start a thread on this topic.
Yeah, I agree. It could just be simple return because someone found a better price elsewhere or wanted to upgrade or downgrade.

Or it could be a defect.

Luck of the draw when you don't buy brand new!

It's like a Dirty Harry movie - "Do you feel lucky......" :D
 
TechHDS

TechHDS

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#17
I was just browsing on accessories4less last night. After doing now my own research and a lot of comparing AVR’s Denon, Marantz and Yamaha,s. I can’t put Yamaha in the top three anymore. Only their flagship and that depends on the year model. A4L has a Denon that’s made in Japan its also a recommended unit. Going for 1,399.00 New price was 2.999.00. Also some nice Marantz units higher end flagships. I thought you guys where just pushing Denon, I was wrong knew that Denon made good AVR’s just never really researched them diligently. I will say this when my coin comes in Denon will be in my audio rack.

PS. It’s the 7200
 
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P

PENG

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#18
I was just browsing on accessories4less last night. After doing now my own research and a lot of comparing AVR’s Denon, Marantz and Yamaha,s. I can’t put Yamaha in the top three anymore. Only their flagship and that depends on the year model. A4L has a Denon that’s made in Japan its also a recommended unit. Going for 1,399.00 New price was 2.999.00. Also some nice Marantz units higher end flagships. I thought you guys where just pushing Denon, I was wrong knew that Denon made good AVR’s just never really researched them diligently. I will say this when my coin comes in Denon will be in my audio rack.

PS. It’s the 7200
I pushed both, as I owned and like both brands products. By now I have probably spent more on Marantz in total. I would definitely be pushing Yamaha (RX-A20X0 and above only) if they had Audyssey XT32 or better Room EQ or if I know for sure their latest YPAO version is as good or better.

Talking about higher end stuff, both Denon and Marantz do make some expensive (relatively speaking) amps in the past and still do. Denon's 50 W PMA-SX integrated amp can be found on e-bay for around $7,500, used, is crazily expensive. Not that it matters, but it just show Denon/Marantz's mass market products could potentially benefit from their crazy stuff department's resource. Their typically excellent distortion and noise related specs may not just happen by chance.:D
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

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#19
I was just browsing on accessories4less last night. After doing now my own research and a lot of comparing AVR’s Denon, Marantz and Yamaha,s. I can’t put Yamaha in the top three anymore. Only their flagship and that depends on the year model. A4L has a Denon that’s made in Japan its also a recommended unit. Going for 1,399.00 New price was 2.999.00. Also some nice Marantz units higher end flagships. I thought you guys where just pushing Denon, I was wrong knew that Denon made good AVR’s just never really researched them diligently. I will say this when my coin comes in Denon will be in my audio rack.

PS. It’s the 7200
Amazon has the Denon X7200 for $1800 brand new now, but I've seen it new for $1500. No way I'm paying $1400 for "REFURBISHED"!!!

1. Denon (sometimes Marantz) AVR (sometimes Pre-Pro) often go on BIG SALE for BRAND NEW. There is no reason to buy refurbished IMO. If a local store like Best Buy offered a 5YR REPLACEMENT warranty, I might go for that. But not an online REPAIR warranty. Otherwise, your component may be in the repair factory every other month. :eek:

2. Made-in-Japan electronics can be more reliable, but not always. I've seen AVRs made in Japan that malfunction too.

3. According to @M Code, Yamaha has better reliability overall as a whole (when looking at all units high-end and low-end sales combined).

4. Two reasons I recommend Denon are a) Dynamic EQ and b) big sale on brand new components.
 
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S

snakeeyes

Full Audioholic
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#20
Get the receiver you can afford. Most of the Denon owners here seem to prefer buying the 4400 on sale plus an external amp over buying the more expensive Denon. These are people who likely will upgrade every few years anyhow. I think if you are going atmos with 4 ceiling speakers that you will need to get an external amp anyhow for at least the 2 main channels so getting the cheaper Denon might be smart. But I’m a Yamaha owner so I can’t give you any comparison between the Denons.
Either way don’t forget to get a decent sub to pair with your speakers, if you don’t have one already.
 

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