Denon AVR-X4700H & Vandersteen 2Ce Signature III.

I am currently running two separate Audio/Video systems.  I have a dedicated music system that is based with an Ayre integrated amplifier to Vandersteen 2Ce Signature III's..  I also have a dedicated home theater system anchored with a Denon AVR X4700H with a variation of Bose speakers.  It sounds just ok and I am always looking to get better sound.  As most audiophiles, I am always wondering what can I improve!  I also wonder if I can eliminate the Ayre Integrated amp and drive the Vandy's with the Denon for Home Theater and stereo music?  My sources for music include an Ayre CD transport, Oppo Blue Ray/SACD player, Sony 4K/SACD player, Pro-Ject Turntable for Vinyl as well as a Fiio Digital Audio Player. Will the Denon drive all of this with satisfactory results for audio and Home Theater?  .   


i'm not one of those all-avrs-sound-terrible guys, and i've owned or heard various arcam, anthem and denon avrs which have been surprisingly good for music. however, i'd be really surprised if your denon sounded better than your ayre integrated, which has a much robust, less compromised amp section. if for whatever reason you needed to consolidate into one movie/music system, i'd consider  adding an external amp (parasound, ps audio, etc.) to your avr's preouts to power your vandersteens. also, everyone here will recommend that you lose your bose.

Thanks for your thoughts, they are spot on.  Your right about the Bose, but it is wife approved, while the Vandy's not so much.  I agree the Ayre is a really big step up from the Denon, just seeking ideas about trying to consolidate the two systems, if it is even possible.  

If you have an Ayre with an HT bypass, you're all set for 2-channel integration.

One of these?

  • Ayre AC-5 Twenty
  • Ayre AX-5
  • Ayre AX-7e
  • Ayre EX-8




If you improve your room you will improve both systems. Have you acoustically measured and treated your room?

Next if you improve power you would improve both systems. Are you using an upgraded wall outlet and/or a power conditioner?

After taking care of these two I think getting the upgraded version of Audyssey ($199 at the Microsft store) and the calibrated mike for your denon would be astounding.

Finally, after doing all of the above you could look at either getting separates or new speakers.

See my virtual system for examples and before and after measurements.

Have you considered finding better sounding small speakers that pass the WAF to replace the Bose? If they must stay, and assuming they have internal crossovers and wiring, you might consider upgrading any junk crossover parts and wire with better grade components.

On your main system, have you ever considered adding a tube amp for the Vandersteens? 


I have a situation very similar to yours.  I'm using a $2000 A/V receiver for multichannel sources and wanted to upgrade my front speakers with higher-quality electronics; primarily for handling stereo sources like LP, SACD, Tidal.

I've spent two months reserarching in depth the best way to do this, and have spoken to many first-hand users on various forums, as well as dealers, and even product designers.

MY final conclusion is that the Ayre integrateds may be the most flexible way to implement such a configuration.  Multichannel input -- Netflix, DVD, Blu-ray, 5.1 SACD goes directly to the receiver and the receiver's FL/FR output then goes to the integrated.  The stereo sources route directly to the integrated, never passing through the receiver.

Unlike a lot of integrateds, the Ayre EX-8 has all the functionality needed to make this work.  And its headphone amp & optional DAC seem to be garnering very high praise, even compared to popular (and costlier) alternatives like the HiFI Rose DAC/streamers.

How Ayre produces a 24lb 100+wpc integrated with so much connectivity, outstanding sonics, and Class A/AB operation (what, what, not Class D??) operation is beyond me.  If you already have one of these integrateds inhouse, you may be able to accomplish everything you want without buying any new gear.

If it were me, having owned lots of gear similar to your own over the years, I would never replace Ayre components with Denon -- and I'm a big fan of Denon at its price point.  Ayre is in a whole different class, sonically.  The Ayre integrateds are modulare & the company will even upgrade many older units to, e.g., the newer EX-8 2.0..

Not sure if you've already settled on a new configuration, but I wanted to at least mention my own recent experience.