Emotiva BasX MC1 (Pre + Pro) vs Denon 3700/4700


Active Member
Mar 10, 2013
Folks, I was looking for a 9 channel AVR for last 6 months. The erratic price hike of Denon 3700/4700 kept me away from buying. Currently these are prices in range of 1.35-1.45L in India. Initial plan was to get this AvR and add LCR power amps later. if i am not happy with output.

My brother is coming from US in May ending. I m thinking if it is a good idea to get an Emotive BasX MC1 preprocessor from US. it is $1000. Translates to 75-77k post CC charges. But this would warrant power amps. I currently use an icepower based power amp in stereo, it costed some 23k odd to import. this delivers 68wpc in stereo mode at 8ohm / 220 wpc in mono mode at 8 ohm. Assuming i use monoblocks for LCR , and use stereo for rest , i would need 6 amps in total - 1.38L roughly. The sound quality is comparable to audiophile D class amps, but the down side of these D class amps is , they cannot be repaired in India if some issue happens. Thats the scary part. I wd have to change the whole module in amp.

If i go for new Emotiva BasX ...LCR 3 channel (140 wpc @ 8ohm) , rest 6 channel (80w @ 8 ohm) - this would cost 2L , Being AB class - i am assuming this is a reliable option from servicing stand point. But no idea of sound signature.

Last option is to look in used market. I did see ads of marantz 8077, 7 channel for 85k in the past, but finding such deals is not easy. even if i try used route - it would touch roughly 80-100k i guess for 9 channel power amps .

the pre pro option wd warrant speaker upgrades right away as well. People who got their Tonewinner AT300 - pls share your views. I am assuming both these r similar in architecture and hardware.

Lastly is Marantz 7706 pre is a better option? this costs about 1.3-1.4l i think. right away 60k more than this Emotiva MC1

Can some one play devil advocate and give me a differential analysis for this. Thanks in advance
Think about it.

Working to a figure of 2l, you get a one box (Denon AVR) solution that does it all for you. It does your processing, will be a decent enough DAC, a HDMI source switcher, can run a secondary audio zone and will drive 9 speakers without the fuss of running multiple mono blocks. Your problem is solved.

If you are not pleased with the power output of the said Denon AVR, you can always buy a power amplifier later. Not having a power amplifier from the get-go isn't the end of the world.

I think mono blocks for HT are over kill. Unless you live in a large dedicated HT room with difficult to drive loudspeakers. The main channels could use some additional power. The rest are effects channels. At the most, I'd do a 5 channel power amplifier from the likes of Emotiva's XPA (not BasX) series or Outlaw Audio. Both are excellent Class AB amplifier. They do well for Stereo and HT applications. The idea being cleaner, consistent power across the transients of the audio spectrum. AV receivers struggle with transients as their power figures drop like a hat as more speakers need to wake up or as the source material demands it.

I do not understand why a pre pro option would force or warrant a loudspeakers upgrade! Where did you read this? The idea of pre pro is better processing of the source and to deliver cleaner, more consistent power to your loudspeaker.

I find an AVR more than capable of doing processing to not warrant a dedicated processor from the likes of Emotiva or other brands. Its the power section where they fall short.

There is little to differentiate between a Marantz and Denon AVR these days. You should consider a NAD T758 too. It may not have the bells and whistles of the Jap brands. Is a stellar AVR and about the only name in the AVR world that publishes power with all channel driven. Supposed to be a clean 50 watts per channel.

I'd say start with an AVR & spend time with it. Look at a power amplifier only if you are not satisfied with what you hear. There is little anyone can do about the cost. I don't know how the situation around cost is going to improve or change anytime soon. The factory of the world that is China is drowned again with the darn virus. We have the war too. While the latter should not affect AV pricing, who knows.
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