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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

Chrispy

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I only get this relay clicking noise when changing channels on my Xfinity X1 DVR Box and audio is set to Expert mode in the DVR Box. If audio is set to Dolby Digital, I don't get the relay clicking noise. Expert audio mode scans first the receiver to see the capabilities and for that it sends first PCM Multichannel signal and that's what cause the Denon X4800H to trigger the relays. Also happens with my Apple TV 4K when it goes from main menu (Multichannel PCM audio) to any movie with Dolby ATMOS audio. So it's definitely an issue with Multichannel PCM audio.
Not possible to just bitstream?
 

RF Air

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He commented already though, at least twice:


We don't have to agree with him, and we can ask, but he has the final say.:)

At least he did say:

"I don't think it is right to push devices with RCA out at higher than 2 volts. Seeing how the amp is off though I suspect it will keep going."

So his guess is probably similar to ours, then it would go higher, much higher...
I asked Amir for a test on the 4800 to increase the output to 4 Volts and he responded he did not want to push the voltage beyond the design limit of the DAC:
"On levels, I am reluctant to test any audio product with over 2 volts on the output of RCA connection. It will come across as me demanding more than even the most stringent spec requires."

His concern, and I agree, is justified. We are testing for designed operation. He's working on equipment that does not belong to him. Pushing limits is not the purpose of these tests beyond a design limitation which in this case is 2.1 Volts per TI DAC Spec. We use these tests for verification and determination of design and specifications.
 

enricoclaudio

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Not possible to just bitstream?

Apple TV 4K has 4 audio formats available:
  • Auto (uncompressed PCM Multichannel up to 7.1) or Dolby Atmos (in Dolby MAT format, when available)
  • Auto (uncompressed PCM Multichannel up to 7.1)
  • Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Stereo (PCM 2.0)
There is no unaltered bitstream option on Apple TV 4K. Uncompressed PCM Multichannel signal is what causes the relay clicking. If you set the Apple TV 4K to DD 5.1, then you don't get Dolby ATMOS.
 

RF Air

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Now that you provided a specific condition, I would say this could still be one of those "normal", not a bug. The height channels are assignable, so whenever you switch modes that require rearranging the speaker configurations there will be switching and they might have changed the type of relays used on the 4700 to a stronger, louder ones for better reliability. Again, hate to guess, but..
I would agree that it is normal. As I understand, it is a disconnect for the Pre-Amp Circuitry which causes a condition of reset and reinitialize to set a Logic Condition that triggers changes for the Circuit Signal Path. My Oppo Player has the same exact sounding relay for conditional changes as well.

My X4800H arrives from Amir tomorrow, just in time for the new Firmware Update. When I have the time this weekend, I will set-up my unit and report my findings for the relay. I do not expect it to be different.
 

enricoclaudio

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Again, while looks logical, it's not normal. Pay attention when I say that it only happens with Multichannel PCM, not DD. Meaning, if I send PCM 5.1 or PCM 7.1 to the the X4800H then up mix to AURO 3D or DD + DSurr or DTS-X or any other up mixer that turns ON Height Speakers, I get the relay clicking but if I send DD 5.1 to the X4800H then up mix to AURO 3D or DD + DSurr or DTS-X or any other up mixer that turns ON Height Speakers. I DON'T get the relay clicking. Only PCM 5.1 or PCM 7.1 up mixed cause relay clicking in the X4800H.
 

peng

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I asked Amir for a test on the 4800 to increase the output to 4 Volts and he responded he did not want to push the voltage beyond the design limit of the DAC:
"On levels, I am reluctant to test any audio product with over 2 volts on the output of RCA connection. It will come across as me demanding more than even the most stringent spec requires."

His concern, and I agree, is justified. We are testing for designed operation. He's working on equipment that does not belong to him. Pushing limits is not the purpose of these tests beyond a design limitation which in this case is 2.1 Volts per TI DAC Spec. We use these tests for verification and determination of design and specifications.

Agreed, I don't think it is an issue as I had measured the pre out of my Denon and Marantz to above 5 V and there was no issues at all. Those were my gear, I would not want to do it on other people's gear. If Denon sends him one and says it's okay to so it at 4V then it will be fine.
 

CyrusTheGreat_600BC

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I would agree that it is normal. As I understand, it is a disconnect for the Pre-Amp Circuitry which causes a condition of reset and reinitialize to set a Logic Condition that triggers changes for the Circuit Signal Path. My Oppo Player has the same exact sounding relay for conditional changes as well.

My X4800H arrives from Amir tomorrow, just in time for the new Firmware Update. When I have the time this weekend, I will set-up my unit and report my findings for the relay. I do not expect it to be different.
You’ve got all my respect man. That was a long wait!
 

dlaloum

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That new Pioneer VSX-LX805 is going to need to fight for its life esp since theyre no longer doing Class D. Denon's packages are still HUGE value both in performance metrics and features. Tho the new Sony ES Flagship lineup is looking very enticing and their spatial processing seems to be plug and play and far more effective than even Dirac. Looking forward to seeing if someone would be willing to send one of those in. Honestly if I were to rec to people AVRs right now it would be the Sony's just for the fact that they are dead simple to setup and no need to tinker w/ all the hours of Dirac measurements and setup.
There are going to be interesting value propositions...
If you want a more robust power amp than available in the Denon range (short of AV1H) - the Pioneer / Integra / Onkyo will be a bargain.
If you want more than 2 subs, tuned via Dirac DLBC, Denon/Marantz will be the natural choice

The LX805/DRX8.4/RZ70 are clearly designed to compete with the X6800 market segment, a notch above the X4800, and below the AV1H

The Sony spatial processing is a very different beast from Dirac (or Audyssey) - it seems to be designed more for lifestyle home systems, where the speakers are poorly positioned - so it (virtually) "moves" them, but it does not have the sophisticated impules and room EQ correction that Dirac and Audyssey have, nor does it have the sophisticated multi-sub bass management of DLBC.

To understand the Sony systems positioning in the market, look at the marketing for the HT-A9 - it's not really aimed at the sort of people frequenting sites like this one!
Having said that, I am sure that the raw performance of the Sony AVR's will be good... and possibly better than their competitors at the same price bracket - but having heard the difference that Dirac made in my system (a system that does not require virtual re-positioning of the speakers) - I feel confident that the Dirac based AVR I have, with external amps (as the amps are its weakness), is highly likely to be outperforming the Sony AVR's.
 

tjcinnamon

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To me this seems like a viable option for anyone wanting to power a small Atmos, DTS-X, Auro 3D home theater. Looks to me like it will support 7.1.4 layouts, has Dirac Live (though probably not DLBC), and has multiple sub support, with reasonable performance numbers for an AVR, all for $2500. Not cheap, but reasonable.

Given that it's impossible to do these object based home theater codecs on your pc, and there are few dacs outside the pro world that do more than 8 channels anyway, this may most people's best option for an Atmos theater. I did own a 7.1 Denon 4800 series in the early 2000's. Sounded great but decyphering the owners' manual was like translating Mandarin that had been translated from Swahili. Hope they've gotten better at that. Maybe a member who owns one could provide their input on the documentation.
Don’t sleep on the Audyssey MQX software. I came from Dirac to that and have had a much better experience.

I went from XT32 for a few years to Dirac for a few years and now to MQX. I’ve got the best results with MQX
 

ArturoKiwi

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After 2 frustrating years owning an Emotiva XMC-1 with Dirac but with so many reliability and firmware issues on the XMC-1, I said back in 2019 that I would go back to Dirac the day Denon/Marantz offered Dirac Live in their receivers. I was called by many names because everybody said that was going to be impossible. Well, now we know it was not impossible and even better, we get 2 great room correction systems in 1 box something that NOBODY have had never offered so far. You get a Denon X3800H/X4800H and you get Audyssey for free and the option to also get Dirac Live for a fee and both REQs systems can coexist inside your receiver and you can switch between them on the fly. Honestly, can't get any better than this....
Well, Dirac Live won't be for free and in 2024 DLBC won't be too
 

Chrispy

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Apple TV 4K has 4 audio formats available:
  • Auto (uncompressed PCM Multichannel up to 7.1) or Dolby Atmos (in Dolby MAT format, when available)
  • Auto (uncompressed PCM Multichannel up to 7.1)
  • Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Stereo (PCM 2.0)
There is no unaltered bitstream option on Apple TV 4K. Uncompressed PCM Multichannel signal is what causes the relay clicking. If you set the Apple TV 4K to DD 5.1, then you don't get Dolby ATMOS.
Sounds like Apple is a pain in the ass :)
 

enricoclaudio

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Well, Dirac Live won't be for free and in 2024 DLBC won't be too
Sure but you don’t need to purchase it if you are happy with Audyssey. However, you get the chance to purchase it for a fee and have both in one box. Currently, the only option to have both, Dirac and Audyssey is purchasing a MiniDSP DDRC-88 and you get only 8 Dirac Channels at the price of $1200 and it’s not even in stock.
 

Nihon

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Unfortunately that is not entirely unexpected, D+M customer support typically told us what we already know (like in this case, again..), to get the real answer we want we have to get to their second level, but that's hard to do. In the past, if I remember right, I only manage to get the 1st level to get an answer for me from their engineering (or second level, not really sure?). We all know relays click, the question is, why the 4800 clicks are louder and more often even. The 4700 also click but quieter.., etc..

If I had to guess, it would be because they are now using more electro-mechanical relays instead of IC switches, and the relays they picked happened to be louder. But guess is something we shouldn't have to do because customer support should have the answers for us.
From a viewpoint of sound quality, mechanical relays are better than IC switches because IC switches have slight nonlinearities.
Furthermore, larger relays have better sound quality (because electric current can seek easier paths from a wider choice) and larger click sound.
So, I think it is normal that a better amp has larger click sound.
 

dlaloum

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Sure but you don’t need to purchase it if you are happy with Audyssey. However, you get the chance to purchase it for a fee and have both in one box. Currently, the only option to have both, Dirac and Audyssey is purchasing a MiniDSP DDRC-88 and you get only 8 Dirac Channels at the price of $1200 and it’s not even in stock.
Well we can hope to start hearing/reading comparative reviews from next week onwards! - that will be interesting!
 

enricoclaudio

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Well we can hope to start hearing/reading comparative reviews from next week onwards! - that will be interesting!
I’m planing on getting Dirac license but I’m going to wait until the first reviews come out and also let others deal with all the initial bugs
 

Rockman2

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I would love to start hearing how 4800 owners are liking the sound quality numbers and measurements aside. Does it sound detailed, clarity in 2ch or separation and timing for moveis 7.2.4. Do you have great speakers to listen to. Does the 4800 make the speakers come alive. How does it compare to your last unit? Still a littler nervous and now the Integre DRX 8.4 looks like a lot of avr for the money. It has more weigh more power and more features for the money with XLR outputs for some channels. No 4 subs but dirac included an 300 less then the Marantz C40 and almost 20lbs heavier.Looks like a great product. Probably should have waited. I would really like feed back on the performance of the 4800. Mine is still sealed and can go back. I just bough the Martin Logan F100's and the C100 center, All suround and atmos are also Martin Logan with the ribbon tweeters. Hoping for amazing sound but still nervous with the TI Dacs. I wil be finding out soon as my home will be ready.
 

HarmonicTHD

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Agreed, I don't think it is an issue as I had measured the pre out of my Denon and Marantz to above 5 V and there was no issues at all. Those were my gear, I would not want to do it on other people's gear. If Denon sends him one and says it's okay to so it at 4V then it will be fine.
Yes same on my X3700 (4V RMS easily) in pre-amp mode and I don’t quite understand the concern. What is wrong with turning the volume knob to 0dB or higher (in pre amp mode) and measure the output voltage (and SINAD). (I have set the volume to dB). If Denon makes the volume knob to turn that high, they must assume that people will do just that and that the amp shouldn’t break if people do. Oh whatever.

Sure Amir decides, his time, his rules.
 

mbman81

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Hi all- long time reader but first time poster :)

Picked up a 4800h. Wondered if anyone has an issue with Samsung qled TV in eARC mode and an Apple TV…

When Apple TV is outputting movie with Atmos audio (not Atmos DD+) and the Samsung TV is in “eARC” mode, with the 4800h connected to the eARC port, the sound goes in and out and the “Atmos” words on receiver go on off randomly with sound outage.

I’ve been using Star Wars - Force Awakens on AppleTV to test.

Pretty standard setup for going the eARC route.

Got a replacement 4800h and both do this. Swapped to my other AppleTV and swapped cables, but didn’t help.

When I use the Samsung TVs built in AppleTV app and watch same thing (outputting the same Atmos audio I presume) there is no issue.

Normal stereo, lpcm, and Dolby/DD+ all work from the AppleTV without issue.

I did not have this issue with my prior Denon 760h receiver (that I returned when I upgraded to this one).

Smart group here so wondered if anyone has similar experience and/or recommendations?
Plot thickens!

I’ve been trying to figure out. So one more interesting tidbit. This issue only happens when in 24fps mode. If I set AppleTV to not match frame rate (so it stays at 60fps) then Atmos works great.

Very odd issue. Seems to be a bug with the Denon, eARC, and 24fps signal.

Would be great if someone else could check this and verify. I will call Denon tomorrow but would nice to have feedback that it’s impacting other 4800h owners too.

Ps: here is a video of the issue
 

peng

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Well we can hope to start hearing/reading comparative reviews from next week onwards! - that will be interesting!

Me too, but I really only want to see comparative reviews with a good complement of measurements, not subjective description of how each sounds, thanks but no thanks to that... Actually, I wouldn't mind the subjective part as well if they look more real, just don't like the kind that look so obviously exaggerated descriptive flowery worlds thrown around by many professional reviewers.
 

peng

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From a viewpoint of sound quality, mechanical relays are better than IC switches because IC switches have slight nonlinearities.
Furthermore, larger relays have better sound quality (because electric current can seek easier paths from a wider choice) and larger click sound.
So, I think it is normal that a better amp has larger click sound.

I think that is true in general, all else being equal, though there are loud relays that don't have to be that loud and still good and there are IC switches that are transparent in terms of audio degradation. The loud clicking relay used in those new D+M devices are likely bigger ones (relatively) that have to handle higher currents.
 
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