Not that the Denon is a bad unit but, you will be sacraficing sonics for technology if you go to the Denon. As far as your digital input question, sorry I do not know.
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I agree, I'm running a 507 S2 right now, and I could work around some lacking technology (i.e. HDMI) for the performance aspect. I know B&K does not churn out new versions of their products twice a year like some companies, but I'll take the stronger build quality over that. Plus its upgradable (whenever B&K gets around to offering upgrades :) ).
From what I've heard, there seems to be some developments in the works with B&K so if you could afford to hold out a little while, you may be pleasantly suprised.
Denon 4806 (including MultEQ) + better dedicated amp (or multi-amp) + better than B&K, performance wise!
And, no, a receiver as a pre-pro isn't better in many aspects than a dedicated pre-pro. But the processing and EQ capability of the Denon makes it much much more effective option for overall room sonics than most anything else.
Wow, I am surprised by the operational comments on the B&K 507 S2. I find that this is one of the most simple AV Receivers to operate and have not seen any lack of technology with mine. I do agree on having to have the factory convert the 6ht/7th channel amps to zone 2.
The only evidence of this that I could see would be the lack of HDMI upconverting - but why would anybody want to upsample to HDMI (lots of debate on its quality and there is no agreed to standard yet), or for that matter run the video signal through another processing device to stomp all over the signal? Run your video signal to your monitor/TV directly.
Any plans to put the upconverting video signal with an HDMI output into a future B&K product is just to address the popular demands of the public that is not based on quality, only popularity. If we make our decisions on popularity vs. quality we may as well all buy Bose.
Having compared the B&K directly to the 3802 (previously owned) and the 3806, there is no comparison in terms of sonic quality - have not heard the 4806 or 5806 though in MY home!
As for Ipod integration, just buy the cable and you can run your Ipod through your B&K or any pre-amp for that matter (although unless you modify you Ipod, I am not sure why you would want to do this at this time due to the aweful sound quality).
Sorry if these seems like a harsh reply, but having listened to the Denons at the shops, I just have a tough time comparing their sonic qualities to the B&K (recognizing that you can definately get better than the B&K, but not as I have heard with a Denon).