Suggestions for a Nomadic Audiophile?

VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Full Audioholic
OP said he's only looking for a 2 channel system. He's shopping for a Civic and you're trying to sell him a Tesla. ;)
Actually, I'm not trying to sell him anything. I previously had a receiver with lower power like the 3500 and I found the move to the 4500 open up my speakers and offered a ton of options.

I prefer a receiver that can handle the load without having to purchase a separate power amp later. Purchasing a quality receiver like the 4500 at the reduced price of $999 from the beginning would have saved me a lot of money in unnecessary upgrades. If I can buy a Tesla for $999 I'll buy that too. :p

If saving $300 is an important trade-off on a $3,000 system then go with the older 3500. But don't be surprised if it doesn't last as long or meet your needs as long as the 4500.
 
Kvn_Walker

Kvn_Walker

Audioholic Chief
On the electronics side, what is your source? Are you using a computer to play audio files, or physical media like CDs, vinyl? Will you everneed HDMI? (DVD's, Blu Ray, TV connection)

This will help determine if you need an AVR, a DAC, or just a better integrated amp.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
The reason I would go with the 4500 instead of the 3500 is 20% more power and a 3 year warranty instead of a one year. In addition, it's a newer revision. The 3500 might be fine but I would prefer the 4500. Here's a detailed comparison:

Thanks for the response!
The 3 year warranty is a big factor for many people uncomfortable with reconditioned gear and I over-looked that. I, personally, have had such good luck with refurbs (from A4L) that I never buy the extended warranty. However, I know people for whom warranty is very important!
The three hundred dollar difference between these units is 10% of his budget and I think it is better spent on quality speakers, but us having this discussion in front of @ariasinger1 helps him better understand the trade-offs and our suggestions.
Others have pointed out how the extra power is not as much as you might think (the "watts to perceived loudness" relationship is not linear - but our minds mostly think in linear terms). However, I generally like to know the speakers before recommending the AVR. In this case I decided to go ahead with the AVR suggestion in wanting to make sure he was not looking at the expensive separates. My belief is if he picks a speaker that needs more power than the 3500, then he needs more power than the 4500 offers. At this point he really needs to find a more efficient speaker (and this is why I am glad when people come here for this type of advice instead of coming after they have a problem), because the cost of power to drive a power-hungry speaker is not really in his budget. But if he absolutely falls in love with such a speaker, the 3500 has pre-amp outputs and is more capable than any stand alone pre-amp he could find for $700.
...but back to the 4500 vs 3500, the added features of the 4500 are are not things which he is likely to miss given his described usage (they are things I would never use in my 5.2 system).
The 3500 is fairly rich with the most commonly desired features and that is for someone planning a full HT system.
But for his needs, I would want the bass management that any typical AVR offers (if he ends up with a sub), Audyssey XT-32 (which can be combined with the app to help deal with room influences below ~250Hz), and DEQ (which keeps the music "lively" at lower listening levels). Those three items are why I stick with Denon and the 3500 is the best value to include these items!
I do most (over 95%) of my listening in stereo (only use 5 channels for the occasional movie). It is ironic that an AVR is better suited, but the above features are not commonly found on a stereo receiver and the economies of scale (mass production) make an AVR cheaper despite all of the added features you get shoveled in with the few you want.
From my standpoint the only reason to get a 4500 is if you need the extra two channels. Otherwise channels 8 & 9 are just extra sources of heat in an already crowded AVR.
I currently have a 4400 and a 3500. If you offered me $50 to swap my 4400 for a 3400 and we had an easy way to establish the 3400 had not been abused (my 4400 has not), it would be a no-brainer for me!
 
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Kvn_Walker

Kvn_Walker

Audioholic Chief
Actually, I'm not trying to sell him anything. I previously had a receiver with lower power like the 3500 and I found the move to the 4500 open up my speakers and offered a ton of options.

I prefer a receiver that can handle the load without having to purchase a separate power amp later. Purchasing a quality receiver like the 4500 at the reduced price of $999 from the beginning would have saved me a lot of money in unnecessary upgrades. If I can buy a Tesla for $999 I'll buy that too. :p

If saving $300 is an important trade-off on a $3,000 system then go with the older 3500. But don't be surprised if it doesn't last as long or meet your needs as long as the 4500.
"Denon AVR-X4500H has more channels, more power per channel, more channel processing, more analog pre-outs, more zones, bigger power supply and higher signal to noise ratio. It supports Auro3D and IMAX Enhanced."

He doesn't need those options for 2 speakers. He can get a better amplifier section for less money. That's what I meant... it's an oversell.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
Actually, I'm not trying to sell him anything. I previously had a receiver with lower power like the 3500 and I found the move to the 4500 open up my speakers and offered a ton of options.
Great, that helps me understand your position!
What specific AVR did you switch from and what to. I'll bet there is more to it than the simple watts!
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
With or Without the Ribbon Tweeter?
With the ribbon tweeter. Based on the measurements between the 2 tweeters I'd expect both to sound more alike than different, with the main factor being better decay time for the ribbons.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Actually, I'm not trying to sell him anything. I previously had a receiver with lower power like the 3500 and I found the move to the 4500 open up my speakers and offered a ton of options.

I prefer a receiver that can handle the load without having to purchase a separate power amp later. Purchasing a quality receiver like the 4500 at the reduced price of $999 from the beginning would have saved me a lot of money in unnecessary upgrades. If I can buy a Tesla for $999 I'll buy that too. :p

If saving $300 is an important trade-off on a $3,000 system then go with the older 3500. But don't be surprised if it doesn't last as long or meet your needs as long as the 4500.
20 more watts per channel "opened your speakers up"? Really? That much difference in power equates to less than 1 dB. 0.8 dB to be exact. I really don't see how that's enough power to make any audible difference in sq. A lot of people can't even detect such a small change in volume.

To me $300 is not worth the 0.8 dB gain and I agree with Kurt. If the 3500 isn't enough, then the 4500 won't be enough either and you'd need an external amp with either one. At 105 wpc another 20 watts is insignificant. Unless there are some must have features the 3500 doesn't have (and I can't think of any) then the extra you pay for with the 4500 is just wasted. $300 might not be much to you, but to some of us it makes a difference. It's $300 that could be put toward more sensitive speakers or an external amp (where the gain would actually be significant).
 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Full Audioholic
To me $300 is not worth the 0.8 dB gain and I agree with Kurt. If the 3500 isn't enough, then the 4500 won't be enough either and you'd need an external amp with either one. At 105 wpc another 20 watts is insignificant. Unless there are some must have features the 3500 doesn't have (and I can't think of any) then the extra you pay for with the 4500 is just wasted. $300 might not be much to you, but to some of us it makes a difference. It's $300 that could be put toward more sensitive speakers or an external amp (where the gain would actually be significant).
$300 is nothing compared to the $1500 you spent on that Monoprice 200 watt amp to give your speakers a ride. :p

The 4500 offers more pre-amp outs and the ability to setup the mains externally. I don't believe that configuration was introduced until the 3600. 4500 has Aura 3D, AL32, 11.2 vs 7.2, 110 watts bigger power supply, Two display lines versus 1, gold plated speaker terminals, Bass sync, Jitter reduction, - all things introduced after the 3500. If none of this matters - then look at a lower cost option. I'm not a fan of the 3500 as it's two revisions back. Everything has a use by date. There's a reason they only offer a 1 year warranty.

In fact, before I bought a refurb 3500 for $699 I would be seriously looking at the 2020 AVR-S960H $649 if amp power was not a concern. https://www.amazon.com/Denon-AVR-S960H-Receiver-Built-Control/dp/B089XVTPBV
 
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