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Denon AVR-X4800H AVR Review

Rate this AVR

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 10 3.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 72 21.9%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 178 54.1%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 69 21.0%

  • Total voters
    329

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Denon AVR-X4800H 9.4 home theater receiver. It was kindly drop shipped by a member and costs US $2499.
Denon AVR-X4800H 8K Home Theater AVR AV Receiver Review.jpg

While the look is the same as previous generations, the feel of the control knobs is much improved which I appreciate. Menu system is also modified. Importantly there is now a per-pair selection to disable amplification on any two adjacent channels. We finally have a very good solution for selectively adding external amplification. Here is the back panel:
Denon AVR-X4800H 8K Home Theater AVR AV Receiver back panel Review.jpg


AVRs usually take a long time to measure due to multiple subsystem and myriad of settings that can impact measured performance. On top of doing that, I ran the measurements by Denon which provided some feedback on a couple of problem areas. Upon retesting the whole unit again, I landed on similar measurements as Denon. All in all, a ton of time was involved in testing the unit so please, please don't ask for other measurements. :) I hope to ship the unit to its owner who has been waiting a long time for his AVR.

I performed an over the air firmware update of the unit. I ran into a minor issue which Denon cannot replicate. In Pure Direct, the HDMI output remains active whereas it shuts off with Toslink. I don't think this impacts the performance but thought I mention it.

Denon AVR-X4800H DAC Measurements
I set all the channels to pre-out only and measured the DAC performance through the preamp output on the back (left and right channels only). Here is our dashboard for that using HDMI:

Denon AVR-X4800H 8K Home Theater AVR AV Receiver HDMI Toslink Measurement.png


And Toslink:
Denon AVR-X4800H 8K Home Theater AVR AV Receiver DAC Toslink Measurement.png

SINAD varied a bit while running and hence the small discrepancy. This puts the 4800 just a small step behind last generation AVR-X4700H:
best AVR home theater review 2023.png


I wish Denon would strive to land in the green area with their future offerings in this tier. Above is at volume level which generates the nominal 2 volt output which required a volume level of 82.5. Many of you may run the unit at lower volume levels so here is how SINAD varies based on volume control:

Denon AVR-X4800H 8K Home Theater AVR AV Receiver HDMI THD vs Volume Measurement.png


Ignore the time axis as this is the way I capture the results. The dashed red line tells you the output voltage from the pre-amp and blue the SINAD.

Here is our dynamic range:
Denon AVR-X4800H 8K Home Theater AVR AV Receiver HDMI Toslink DNR Measurement.png


Linearity was good as AVRs go:
Denon AVR-X4800H 8K Home Theater AVR AV Receiver DAC Toslink linearity Measurement.png


Multitone test shows frequency independence which is good:
Denon AVR-X4800H 8K Home Theater AVR AV Receiver DAC HDMI Multitone Measurement.png


Here is our IMD distortion test:
Denon AVR-X4800H 8K Home Theater AVR AV Receiver DAC IMD Measurement.png

Wish there was not an uptick in distortion around -22 dB or so.

A bigger wish is for better attenuation of out of band energy:
Denon AVR-X4800H 8K Home Theater AVR AV Receiver Toslink Filter Measurement.png

Here is the corresponding frequency response:
Denon AVR-X4800H 8K Home Theater AVR AV Receiver DAC Toslink Frequency Response Measurement.png


The insufficient attenuation causes our wideband SINAD measurements to look worse than it should:
Denon AVR-X4800H 8K Home Theater AVR AV Receiver DAC THD vs Frequency Measurement.png


The 192 kHz shows how good it could be with a perfect filter. Still not great by desktop standards but much better than what we see at 48 kHz.

Finally we have jitter on HDMI and Toslink which were essentially the same:
Denon AVR-X4800H 8K Home Theater AVR AV Receiver DAC Jitter Measurement.png


Denon AVR-X4800H Amplifier Measurements
Let's start with our usual test of analog input into left and right channels:

Denon AVR-X4800H 8K Home Theater AVR AV Receiver Aanalog Amplifier Analog In Measurement.png

As you see and noted, I had a heck of a time trying to minimize the effects of ground loop. My first test showed much worse results. When I looked at Denon data, I went back and tried many combinations until I got results that were actually a bit better than theirs. I think the double insulated aspect of these AVRs is partially responsible for difficulty of measuring them in this respect. This is quite good results for an AVR:
Best AVR Amplifier Review 2023.png


Most of you will be using HDMI as input and here is the best results for that:
Denon AVR-X4800H 8K Home Theater AVR AV Receiver Aanalog Amplifier HDMI In Measurement.png


This changed the grounding yet again so some variability to be expected. Do note the new test protocol: instead of lowering the digital input level, I chose to lower the volume control to get the near 5 watt output. So that is another variable but I think better matches usage of the unit.

We can see the impact of using the DSP with analog input:
Denon AVR-X4800H 8K Home Theater AVR AV Receiver Aanalog Amplifier Analog In Frequency Respons...png

Nice to see 48 kHz of bandwidth indicating 96 kHz sampling of the digital input (and processing internally?).

I stayed with analog input for the rest of the tests.

Here is our SNR:
Denon AVR-X4800H 8K Home Theater AVR AV Receiver Aanalog Amplifier Analog In SNR Measurement.png


I just realized that I may not have re-run this test post my grounding optimization. :( Ditto for crosstalk although it should not matter there:
Denon AVR-X4800H 8K Home Theater AVR AV Receiver Aanalog Amplifier Analog In Crosstalk Measure...png


I did repeat these tests though starting with power into 4 ohm:
Denon AVR-X4800H 8K Home Theater AVR AV Receiver Aanalog Amplifier Analog In Power 4 ohm Measu...png


Here is our max and peak power:
Denon AVR-X4800H 8K Home Theater AVR AV Receiver Aanalog Amplifier Analog In Max Peak and Burs...png

So healthy headroom courtesy of shared power supply for all the channels.

Here is our 8 ohm performance:
Denon AVR-X4800H 8K Home Theater AVR AV Receiver Aanalog Amplifier Analog In Power 8 ohm Measu...png


Multitone performance could be better:
Denon AVR-X4800H 8K Home Theater AVR AV Receiver Aanalog Amplifier Analog In Multitone Measure...png


Here is our sweeps with different frequencies:
Denon AVR-X4800H 8K Home Theater AVR AV Receiver Aanalog Amplifier Analog In Power 4 ohm vs fr...png


Finally warm up behavior:
Denon AVR-X4800H 8K Home Theater AVR AV Receiver Aanalog Amplifier Warm up Measurement.png


You can see the variability I mentioned earlier.

Conclusions
Supply chain issues caused a regression in DAC performance of Denon AVRs, one of our favorite brands as far as performance. Happy to see that degradation being much smaller in the case of X4800H. Usability is much improved with selective channel pair amplifier disconnect. And ability to output 2 volts without clipping.

I am going to put the Denon AVR-X4800H on my recommended list.
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As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

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Your generally positive view and Dirac potential puts this as a panther on the course for me. Give me Dirac ART with this and it could be a hole in one.
 

Joffy1780

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Brilliant review, as always.
Regards the 'per pair' disabling of amps, how does the centre channel fit into this?
 

Dmitri

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Thanks Amir…I’m looking for a solid replacement for my AVR…though none of them measure up to state of the art equipment…for me…this would be fine…especially with the ability to shut down internal amps.
Not sure about the status of Dirac on this receiver. Is it included or an added expense option?
 

HarmonicTHD

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Nice to see it just a few dB behind the previous generations.

@amirm Did you do, as previously, also the pre-out SINAD over output voltage sweep. Would be interesting as previously models exhibited somewhat of a SINAD drop past 1.4V. Also would be interesting if with all amps off the pre amp can go to 4V and the associated SINAD.

Thx.
 

enricoclaudio

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WOW, just finished setting up my X4800H and what a pleasant surprise. Now I have ZERO regrets for selling my X6700H :) Thanks @amirm for another great review.

BTW, I was getting high noise floor showing up in my miniDSP 2x4 HD INPUT (-84dBFS) and after changing the RCA cable (Emotiva RCA Cable) to a Mogami Gold RCA cable, went from -84dBFS to -98dBFS which literally match @amirm measurements :)

IMG_7935.jpeg


Screenshot 2023-03-10 at 5.57.50 PM.png
 

CrustyToad

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Thank you amir for the review and good to see AVRs measured again
I would be very curious to see how some vintage models score on the bench
Have a Denon a11 Sr but I am at the wrong side of the pond
 
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dlaloum

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I have previously " guessed " that the x4800 would not have sufficiently robust current capability to drive 4 ohm nominal speakers with difficult impedance troughs... ( like mine @ 1.6ohm )

The power at 4ohm compared to power at 8ohm seems to me, to indicate lack of current... output at 2 ohm would most likely be substantially below the 8ohm rated... if It handled it at all without self protection kicking in.

I expect the av1h will be the only one in the range capable of properly driving such speakers.

( yes, it's an edge case, but it happens to be " my " edge case )

Still, good performance, great jitter control, more than adequate SINAD...

Not totally convinced about its value for money equation.... but what street price ends up being, may tell its own story.
 
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amirm

amirm

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@amirm Did you do, as previously, also the pre-out SINAD over output voltage sweep.
I did but using the new scheme where I change the volume control rather than digital level.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Brilliant review, as always.
Regards the 'per pair' disabling of amps, how does the centre channel fit into this?
Sorry, forgot to pay attention to the rest of the settings. Should be some place in the manual....
 
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I have previously " guessed " that the x4800 would not have sufficiently robust current capability to drive 4 ohm nominal speakers with difficult impedance troughs... ( like mine @ 1.6ohm )

The power at 4ohm compared to power at 8ohm seems to me, to indicate lack of current... output at 2 ohm would most likely be substantially below the 8ohm rated... if It handled it at all without self protection kicking in.

I expect the av1h will be the only one in the range capable of properly driving such speakers.

( yes, it's an edge case, but it happens to be " my " edge case )

Still, good performance, great jitter control, more than adequate SINAD...

Not totally convinced about its value for money equation.... but what street price ends up being, may tell its own story.
Pre-amp mode and amplifier or bite the bullet and get a processor and amp combo?
 

RF Air

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Pre-amp mode and amplifier or bite the bullet and get a processor and amp combo?
I am setting up with 4800 and External amps for 5 to 7 Channels for a 5.3.4 or a 7.4.4 HT

I am upgrading my Denon AVR-5600 configured 5.2 HT that uses External Amps on the 5 Kef Reference Speakers and Main L&R Paired REL S-Series Subs are the 500W S510's
 
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