Question Is it worthwile 'upgrading' a Denon AVR-X4500h with a network player and an external stereo power amp?

Feb 23, 2023
1
0
20
Visit site
Hello,

I am the (lucky) owner of an Denon AVR-X4500H which I use to experience surround sound from TV or BluRay, drive 3 audio zones (living room, dining room and hobby room), and stream music from my NAS using HEOS.

I currently have my old QUAD 99 amplifier driving the L and R speakers (Monitor Audio Gold series). The Quad amplifier however is slowly deteriorating and I am looking to replace it.

My final goal is to have the 'best of both worlds', meaning: being able to enjoy surround sound for video content, but also listen to hifi music (mainly film scores).

2 questions:

1) is it worthwhile replacing the Quad 99 with a good quality stereo amplifier (I was e.g. thinking about the Cambridge Audio CXA81) or is the quality of the native Denon amplifiers in the AVR comparable (I doubt they are)?

2) would an external net player (like the Cambridge Audio CXN V2) with a high-end DAC bring more definition and vividness to the hifi experience for listening to music? Or is the quality of the DAC in the Denon AVR-X4500H good enough for that purpose?

Any comments or advice are welcome!
 

jjbomber

Well-known member
The Denon AVR-X4500H is as good with stereo as it is with surround sound. It does not know if it's a film or a film score. It amplifies the music in exactly the same way. There isn't any need for a power amp.

You'd have to listen to the Cambridge Audio and decide for yourself. We all have different hearing. Hopefully there is a dealer near to where you live that can help.
 

leemccann1

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2020
86
37
4,570
Visit site
Bit late to this so apologies but I’ve had a 4500 and now have a 6700. I’ve also just bought some gold 100’s. I auditioned these at richer sounds with A power amp through the 6700 and the sound is better than just using the 6700 at home but you need
To justify how better really. I tested with with an emotiva 3ch power amp which is around £1500, I can’t say it’s was £1500 better but it was better. I don’t think a streamer will give you much over the HEOS in the denon but if you do want to get better stereo sound a power amp is the way to go and does make a difference in my opinion
 

leemccann1

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2020
86
37
4,570
Visit site
Incidentally I’d never heard of emotiva before but having searched around after the test they do seem to get good reviews and they can be upgraded to add more channels should you wish to later
 

TRENDING THREADS