Updated Denon AVC-A1XVA including upgrade board & then some?!

FazZ

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Aug 17, 2007
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My first (real) blood on What Hi-Fi (magazine or web). I've been into HiFi since aged 14 and now 31 with a kit to be proud of, I'm ready to move on! My question is simple. Is Denon doing anything in there Amplifier range? For nearly two years, I've been thinking of moving to the AVC-A1XVA and now with the upgrade board, maybe a good idea?! I see Onkyo are back with some serious contenders and Lexion (whom I've never tried) are offering a nice £500 for my old kit, to buy there new! I DOUBT Denon would even care to match or better this offer, if I was to upgrade to the new kit (Denon fan), so I'm in a position of jumping ship (maybe Ex.Denon fan) and moving completely to a new breed or (returning Denon fan) AVC-A1XVA or wait for a little longer and see if Denon supersede this product? (waiting Denon fan) I'm VERY much into Denon's ease of use, as the AVC I currently use really makes me smile, even after 6 years of using it (FLAT-OUT I might add). It's magic I find is remembering each setting for each input. It makes life with audio, so easy and that much more pleasing. I would go as far as saying, I love my Amp and gives me good enough reason to continue with it and go with the flow of upgrading to the flagships. However... if there was no such thing as options and alternatives (completion) it would certainly be a boring world! Before you give me a simple response... like Denon etc, or Onkyo etc, please don't moan about my current speakers. They have done me amazingly well, for OVER 10 years and I love them too, but I know, I will upgrade them soon and after the STUFF & What Hi-Fi show (rather dull though it was) I got to hear the newer instalment from Mission and was pleased, but not bowled over yet, so that will be another story over the next 6 months to find something to match my Amp (that I will be purchasing within the next month). Sorry for length (sleepy typos too) it's my first (but NOT my last as it's complete system upgrade) =) PS. Thank you What Hi-Fi for the MANY years of friendship & words of wisdom ... ... ...and you didn’t even know it! =)
 
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Anonymous

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Hi there Fazz, I have the same amp as you and my opinion is that you don't need to worry about the amp. It's a great one. Instead, upgrade your speakers. I'd go for either the new B&W 600 series, or the Dali Ikons that I have. The sound is fantastic and it's the upgrade you need.

Whatever you end up doing, you'll need to upgrade your speakers. Seriously, if you don't you'll be wasting every penny you spend on a new amp, so do the speakers first and you might find you can stop there. The Jamos that won this years award are probably better than the Dali or B&W and would be very good. Probably the top spec set up for your amp I'd imagine, but having bought and lived with the Dalis I find them fabulous. You can keep some of your mission speakers for the rear pair, but buy the Dali Ikon 6 5.1 set-up for the remaining 5 speakers and sub. I paid £1950 for them, and collected them from the dealer.

Please do let me know your thoughts!

Will
 

FazZ

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Afternoon Will
Thanks for your words of wisdom, definitely has given me some food for thought!

The reason I'm at this 'changing' stage is my Denon has decided to not do what I bought it for and work.
I wasn't actually going to replace it until after the New Year, as a lot of my viewing content is not only HD (which doesn't really concern the amp) but more and more, HD audio. If there was a way to upgrade the amp to have HD audio, LAN connection and to have a few (crappy) HDMi sockets.

My little brain (and mouth drool) is pondering over the Denon AVR-4308, Onkyo TX-905 or random others.
It really depends on the overall quality, Stereo playback (on the Matrix mode that I loved in my Denon), OSD and preset memory (Denon remembers every aspect for every mode/input).

As for the speakers, I was waiting to demo a few good ones, ranging from Tannoy, PMC, Mission, B&W's and Epos, but wasn't really able to hear much at the What Hi-Fi show this year (which was rather dull) and haven't had the time to speak to my regular dealer until now.

Should be demo'ing some kit this weekend and the next and whilst my Denon is in for servicing, I'm using my little brother's Yamaha DSPE492 which has made me realize just how different a cheaper surround amp can be... and how much I miss my surround amp!

Anywho (wiping the memory tears away) I'm not a big fan of Jamo's or Dalis but will have a look in! :)
Budget wise, I'm looking at £1000-ish for the replacement amp but no more power amps (like my Denon POA-T10), just an all in one if possible and whatever it takes to match my amp in speakers but no more than £3000.

Will probably keep the Mission dipole's and the Mission Center rears as they are, as they seem so under used and not worth wasting more money on.

Not sure if complete HDMi is the best option too or HDMi with an additional optical too? Fitting cables in the wall and under flooring soon, so planning as much as I can, although you never can be that far a head of manufactures money making crack-pot cable ideas! ;)
 
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Anonymous

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If you're wanting a direct replacment for the AVC-A1XVA, then the upcoming AVC-A1HD or AVP-A1HD/POA-A1HD may interest you. Should be released in the UK in the early half of 2008.
 
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Anonymous

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Well, put it this way. You need to upgrade the speakers anyway. So get this out of the way with a set you like and see how things are then. As for the Jamos I'm just going by the What Hi-Fi awards last month. The big Jamo set won the award in the price category above the Dalis. The Dalis won in their category. I really rate the Dali set-up I bought and I went for the 5.1 system. I use 2 KEF 2005.1 eggs for the rear pair. You're right they don't get a huge amount of use but its helps with movie steering. That said, I wouldn't keep your Mission dipoles, I'd swap out at least the main 5.1 speakers because when you do listen to matrixed stereo it makes the tonality work much better than having all your rears Mission and your fronts something new. The Dali On-Walls that are my rear side surrounds are outstanding. Miles better than my KEF eggs and at £500 a pair they jolly well should be. So I'd still say, get your Denon back from it's service and sort out your speakers before you think about upgrading your amp.
 

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