What's your opinion on the best AVR for 2 channel music?

S

snafu

Audiophyte
I hope it's okay to ask this question in this sub-forum:
As I've found myself listening to more and more music on my AVR system, I've been wondering if it would be worthwhile to look into finding an AVR with a better amp section for stereo music? My music is all digital ranging from 16bit/44.1kHz to 5.6mHz DSD files.
My current system is a Denon AVR-X3400H. It seems to do okay, but you know - always wondering if there's room for improvement. Oh, and I don't have room for a second additional amp that could be dedicated to just music listening. So, I'm really looking for an AVR that could excel at both duties.

Anyone know of an AVR that you could recommend?
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
If I were buying an AVR for my living room today to replace my Denon AVR-5308CI, it would be the Yamaha RX-A3080. :D

In terms of improving SQ, I don't think there's much more room since I think all these AVRs will sound the same in EQ-Bypass modes.

In terms of improving the Remote Control App, Music Streaming App, and HDMI compatibility with some of my components, the Yamaha is a winner in my house.
 
T

Trell

Senior Audioholic
If you don't have a good subwoofer perhaps get one instead of buying a new AVR that you might not notice any difference, depending on your speakers, room size and listening distance.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
Agree with ADTG. Your AVR should do just fine. Switching electronics should not make much, if any difference in SQ. Mostly just features and usability concerns.
What’s more important is your speakers. What are you listening on? What’s the sensitivity rating? How far do you sit from them? How loud do you listen?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
What dsp/audio features do you currently use in the Denon?
 
S

snafu

Audiophyte
OK, let me add that I have KEF LS50's with a KEF 8" subwoofer. The LS50's sensitivity is 85dB, so not the most efficient speaker. But not that bad either. I listen to music at a very reasonable sound level (around 70dB at the listening position).
When I listen to music I use the Denon's very handy "Quick Select" mode to turn off Audyssey's DSP. So, I listen in straight 2.1. Music is noticeably clearer and more detailed with DSP off.

Sounds like (no pun intended) that the Denon is fine and that if I wanted better SQ for music I should look at different speakers, maybe something a little larger with more "impact". Actually this would be good news as I really like the Denon and the Heos app.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
OK, let me add that I have KEF LS50's with a KEF 8" subwoofer. The LS50's sensitivity is 85dB, so not the most efficient speaker. But not that bad either. I listen to music at a very reasonable sound level (around 70dB at the listening position).
When I listen to music I use the Denon's very handy "Quick Select" mode to turn off Audyssey's DSP. So, I listen in straight 2.1. Music is noticeably clearer and more detailed with DSP off.

Sounds like (no pun intended) that the Denon is fine and that if I wanted better SQ for music I should look at different speakers, maybe something a little larger with more "impact". Actually this would be good news as I really like the Denon and the Heos app.
Well, 2.1 isn't straight, you're still using dsp :) I'd agree either your speakers or room would be more beneficial than changing avr, tho.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
My very limited upgrade advice is if you want a strict pure-direct stereo pair of speakers, you need to spend n some good standmounts or towers with capable extension to the lower-mid 30Hz range. If you want to enjoy both movies and music more immediately, I would focus on replacing that subwoofer with something much more capable. In all the conversations I've seen about capable subs, KEF is not a name that has ever come up. ;)
 
S

snafu

Audiophyte
My very limited upgrade advice is if you want a strict pure-direct stereo pair of speakers, you need to spend n some good standmounts or towers with capable extension to the lower-mid 30Hz range. If you want to enjoy both movies and music more immediately, I would focus on replacing that subwoofer with something much more capable. In all the conversations I've seen about capable subs, KEF is not a name that has ever come up. ;)
I live in a townhouse so I have to keep the low frequencies under control. The 8" sub does a fine job. Anything more powerful would over-power the room and annoy the neighbors. I don't know why KEF subs are arbitrarily dismissed. The Kube8 is doing a great job - I would buy it again.
But, I know there's room for improvement when it comes to music listening. Taking into what you have all said, I'll direct my attention to better front speakers.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
I live in a townhouse so I have to keep the low frequencies under control. The 8" sub does a fine job. Anything more powerful would over-power the room and annoy the neighbors. I don't know why KEF subs are arbitrarily dismissed. The Kube8 is doing a great job - I would buy it again.
But, I know there's room for improvement when it comes to music listening. Taking into what you have all said, I'll direct my attention to better front speakers.
The size of the sub doesn't have a lot to do with your control, or rather proper integration, of such. 8" woofer can add some depth but is not a sub that can do 20hz with any authority (if at all). That said the LS50 is a nice speaker and needs more help down low from what I've seen (no experience). On the other hand you may have a very good system for the $ and might just have the upgrade itch.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
Not gonna bag on the speakers... and properly set up with the sub, you should have good sound. If you are in to electronica or Pipe Organ, you might want better woofage in the future. ;) Same with the LFE track for HT. Hell, I can't do 3Hz, much less 10 (wishful)... but I can still shake my house apart with infrasonics! :D

:rolleyes:

OK... not that important. :p

More seriously... look at the free things you can do. Experiment with placement for all your speakers, including the sub. Look at everything from the distance from walls, to the distance to you. Adjust the Toeing of your Speakers. LS50s are supposed to have good horizontal dispersion and are likely best positioned about 15º off-axis from the LP, maybe more. I would think at least 12" from the front wall, and at least 18" from side walls might be a good place to start, and maybe more. Some will argue that you need your speakers to be a minimum of 8' apart on center to experience good imaging. I live with 6' between them n center, and my speakers do well (but yes, I'm certain they could open up more if I had the room.) Do the Subwoofer Crawl to get the best placement for your Sub in the room. Perhaps try moving your seating a little if you find you aren't getting great sound there after all the other things... sometimes 2-3" is all it takes. Ultimately, there is a lot that the room has to do with sound quality, too, and it's up to us each, individually, to find what works in our own homes. :)
 

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