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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello gang,
I presently have a Denon 4520 and I am in the process of building a new theater room. I told my wife the other night that I will be pulling all my equipment from our living room theater into the new room and she said, what about my system? She wants a system in her living room! The woman has been great with my home theater sickness. She has also become hooked herself and loves it as much as me.

So my thoughts are to leave the 4520 for the living room and set up some stuff I have sitting around for her and maybe go a new route and get some new separates for the new theater. What can I actually gain over the 4520 by going with a new separate processor? I have looked at numerous processors and the new XMC-1 from Emotiva looks to be a good unit. I know people have bad things to say about Emotive, but I have also heard good and I have an XPA-3 myself and seems to be fine to me. The only problem is that I tried to pre order the XMC 1 and I was placed on a list and was unable to order it. Does anyone know how long it is going to be until it is released or able to pre order? Any updated news on it?

I know there are many other processors and would love to hear if anyone has any suggestions or what they are using. I would like to keep it under $3K and I don't want Audyssey. I don't even use it anymore on my 4520.

Thanks for any suggestions.
 

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It's probably not what you want to hear, but I've gone from a receiver to separates and back to a receiver, and the only effect the separates had was to complicate my setup. I've been doing home theater for 30 years now, and in my personal opinion, separates are over rated. The Emotiva sounds like a good kit, but there were significant issues with their last processor, and this one has been plagued by delays. There also implementing HDMI 2.0, which could also bring issues. I love Emotiva amps, but I would wait for some reviews (pro and user) before jumping in...
 

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Before figuratively trashing the 4520, check out Sonnie and Sound and Vision's review.

Note this final comment by Sonnie:

Summing It Up

In conclusion, I am thoroughly impressed with this unit. It has about all the features you could ask for in a receiver/processor and ample power to accommodate most any speaker system. I initially intended on reviewing it and then selling it, but instead I have already sold my Onkyo 5508, XPA-3 amp and XPA-1 monoblocks. I keep thinking to myself that the 4520 seems to be a little on the pricey side, but if you consider what any other processor with the same features would cost you and then add the expense of amplification, the 4520 price actually sounds like a bargain. I think the most surprising part of my experience with the 4520 has been its ability to drive my MartinLogan speakers effortlessly. I had almost given up on ever trying receiver power because I have always read and heard that the Prodigy’s pretty much needed at least 300 watts of good clean power to perform their best. I will have to disagree with the naysayers, as I find it hard to get any better than what it is right now with the 4520 the only power amp source in my system. Excellent job Denon!
And check out Sound and Vision's five and seven channels driven bench tests on the 4520. In my opinion, very nice.

Yes, the XMC1 plus the XPA-5 is a head turner and the XMC-1 is suppose to have a copy of one of the finest room correction software installed but for our purposes, the 4520 is all we need and I love what XT32/SubEQ HT does with the acoustics in our room.

We're running a pair of Rythmik FV15HPs which easily hit full reference. Four Triax subwoofers would be a bit much for our needs

Why are you hating on Audyssey XT32?
 

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With a budget of 3k I would hate to see you go to a high end AVR that has a lot of features that youll never use... That is my main complaint with high end AVR's... Many of them are not the right application for dedicated High end Home Theater imo . Obviously some prefer them . With separates your usually going to aviod alot of bells and whitles that you dont need ... and separate amps give you a much wider range of power to choose from...

If I had my choice it would probably be the EMOTIVA separates simply because I know that they stand behind there products 100%... I have the XPA 3 driving my #1 clients custom built HT speaker system and its been absolutely the right choice for that application... very impressed with them as a co. so far ....

That being said , what kind of speaker system will you be driving ??
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the replies guys. I will be running a full JTR 212HT's with 4 JTR single slanted 8's. I also have 2 PSA Triax subs. I actually thought about keeping the 4520 and just using my XPA-3 to power the front stage and call it a system. But as of late it seems that everyone is going to balanced separates. I also don't get the prices? I mean what is the deal with the 8801 costing almost twice of the 4520? I have heard from a guy that has owned both and told me there is no sound advantage to the 8801. I mean with a good amp your looking at like 6K for the same thing as the 4520. My JTR's are efficient enough that the 4520 can run the whole set but I was looking to add something new to my rack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
With a budget of 3k I would hate to see you go to a high end AVR that has a lot of features that youll never use... That is my main complaint with high end AVR's... Many of them are not the right application for dedicated High end Home Theater imo . Obviously some prefer them . With separates your usually going to aviod alot of bells and whitles that you dont need ... and separate amps give you a much wider range of power to choose from...

If I had my choice it would probably be the EMOTIVA separates simply because I know that they stand behind there products 100%... I have the XPA 3 driving my #1 clients custom built HT speaker system and its been absolutely the right choice for that application... very impressed with them as a co. so far ....

That being said , what kind of speaker system will you be driving ??
I was actually looking at the Outlaw 975 with a good Outlaw 7000 series amp. Looking at around $2500 for something like that. I am looking for the best possible sound and easiest set up for HT, I don't care about music. I really love the XMC1. I am willing to give it a gamble. Being delayed says they are making it right!

Sorry guys, for some reason my multi quote is set to off and I have to answer each post individually. Not ignoring anybody's post.
 

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But as of late it seems that everyone is going to balanced separates
I can assure you that is not the case, in the last 8 years the quality of the mid to upper end receivers that have pre outs can deliver the same quality of sound as a pre/pro. In many cases even better due to auto room correction like Audyessey. You won't gain anything by replacing you Denon with a pre pro and will actually loose features.
 

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Denon AVR-X4000 + Emotiva XPA-5

Well-equipped (incl. Audyssey MultEQ XT32 w/ Sub EQ HT), lots of power. :cool:
He already has the 4520 so the x4000 would be a step backwards
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I can assure you that is not the case, in the last 8 years the quality of the mid to upper end receivers that have pre outs can deliver the same quality of sound as a pre/pro. In many cases even better due to auto room correction like Audyessey. You won't gain anything by replacing you Denon with a pre pro and will actually loose features.
I agree. I actually love my 4520. The new XMC 1 is tempting, just alone with Dirac
 

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Curious as to why not Audyssey?
 

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Without any reviews of an actual XMC1 I would be very hesitant. The previous emotiva's had lots of issues.
 

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The problem I see with the Emotiva separates is no Audyssey MultEQ XT32 and Sub EQ HT. That's a pretty big hit, really no upside.

You might consider keeping the 4520 in the "main" system and putting an X4000 in the wife's room. It has all the same core technology as the 4520 with just under 1dB less power on a per-channel basis.

Oh, and the difference between the XPA-5 and the 4520 is 1.2dB power on a per-channel basis. You'd need the XPR-5 to do a 3dB difference.

There's nothing to be gained from balanced interconnects if all your gear is located in the same rack.
 

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With a budget of 3k I would hate to see you go to a high end AVR that has a lot of features that youll never use...
The good news, you can ignore all these features and you won't be harmed. The 4520 is approximately $2k. With that in mind, we purchased the 4520 for it's amplifier section, XT32/SubEQ HT and it's switching capabilities and nothing else. I was quite happy purchasing the 4520 with all it's extra features that we won't use, just to have the Pre-Pro and amplifier in a single box; simplicity.

The Pre-Pro in the 4520 is suppose to be a scaled down version of the AV8801 and the amplifier section is as good as the McIntosh amplifiers. Just saying, based on research, in short, the 4520 is a flagship AVR, well worth owning......even if just for it's combined Pre-Pro, amplifier and room correction software.
 

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.....but I was looking to add something new to my rack.
There's the problem, you're collecting.

...:p

In my infinite ignorance, for Home Theater purposes, assuming enough speaker channels, based on Sound and Vision bench test data, the 4520 is about as good as it gets and upgrading from the 4520, it just gets more expensive. We have a 3,300^3 listening venue and +/-0dB MVC, reference level sound is not a challenge. The top of the amplifier doesn't get more than warm to the hand as it never gets hot to the touch.

(and if I ever cash a big winning lottery ticket.......just for giggles, I might upgrade the speakers but in truth, I'm tickled with our speaker subwoofer system)

Again, in my infinite ignorance, our current matching universal Blu-ray player, coupled with our speaker/subwoofer system and the 4520, we have the perfect Home Theater system and to buy more gear, I'd be doing so, just to spend money.

(yes, in it's own way, it's a bit depressing to realize, no new gear. the thrill of the hunt is gone. life's purpose has been achieved. now? it's the electric reclining easy chair/love seat combo, the wife, time to relax with lots of sports and Blu-ray movies to entertain us)
 

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I was actually looking at the Outlaw 975 with a good Outlaw 7000 series amp. Looking at around $2500 for something like that. I am looking for the best possible sound and easiest set up for HT, I don't care about music. I really love the XMC1. I am willing to give it a gamble. Being delayed says they are making it right!

Sorry guys, for some reason my multi quote is set to off and I have to answer each post individually. Not ignoring anybody's post.
I agree, give the XMC 1 a go... it wont take long to decide if it's everything they say it is... and they should pay for return shipping if your disatisfied

Yes the 8801 is a great example of an AVR that's goes more towards a system design for multiple zones than dedicated HT ....
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Some guys I talk to have quit using Audyssey so I have experimented myself and found that with music I like it off and with HT I am using Bypass L&R
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
There's the problem, you're collecting.

...:p
No I would not say I am collecting. I am building a new room and I want to build it and be done with it and I also want some new equipment to go along with the new room. Once I get everything set up, I want to be done and I am not joking. I just want to be able to sit back relax and enjoy the room and movies. I am just getting tired of the constant researching and upgrading. I know there are people that never sit down and enjoy their theater, they are constantly in the rack fooling around and changing stuff month after month. I have been guilty of this in the past, but I have pretty much been set for the last year now with nothing new other than my 2 new Triaxes that finally were delivered last fall.

I really like the Emotiva XMC 1. It says that it is future proofed and will be completely upgraded and not to mention it comes with Dirac. Also I like the fact that I could get a 7 channel amp and put 200+ watts to each speaker. I would like more headroom and I also think that the extra power will bring my speakers to life. The 4520 does indeed have a good amp(s), but I would prefer to have some extra power.

I have thought about many things. I have thought that maybe I would buy a new 7 channel amp and run the 4520 as a pre amp. I have read a few critics reviews that the 4520 does lack in HT sound compared to other units in its class, so I would like to find another unit and give it a shot and see if there is something with more zing. I have also thought that maybe I would do the same and go with the Anthem 510 and run that as a pre amp. I believe the 510 has the same guts as the 710, but if I ran it as a pre amp, the 710 would not be nessesary. Now I am looking hard at the new XMC 1 or the Outlaw 975. As mentioned I don't need the bells and whistles, I want the best sounding unit as I can get. Sound is the key, they rest is useless to me. I want to be as plug and play as I can. I want to set it and forget it.
 
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