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Denon AVR-X4800H AVR Review

Rate this AVR

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 10 3.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 72 22.0%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 177 54.1%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 68 20.8%

  • Total voters
    327

Dobbyisfree

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2. Audyssey measured at all the 3 seats to set crossovers / delays, plus target curve with a few dBs of bass boost, no MRC, Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume ON, saved as Preset 1 (for movies and low-volume music)

If I can ask in the nicest way, why would you spend 1000s on the canine crackers speakers then for watching films have dynamic volume engaged that reduces the dynamics of the sound?

In my opinion, to get the best system performance all loudness management and dynamic range altering systems need to be switched off.

I had to put DV on (medium) Saturday night for half an hour waiting for a delivery at the door. It was the dullest that FBI Series 1 has ever been. "Oh was that an explosion? Thought it was just Maggie letting out a cheeky fart".
 

soerenssen

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If I can ask in the nicest way, why would you spend 1000s on the canine crackers speakers then for watching films have dynamic volume engaged that reduces the dynamics of the sound?

In my opinion, to get the best system performance all loudness management and dynamic range altering systems need to be switched off.

I had to put DV on (medium) Saturday night for half an hour waiting for a delivery at the door. It was the dullest that FBI Series 1 has ever been. "Oh was that an explosion? Thought it was just Maggie letting out a cheeky fart".
I haven't tried it yet.
I was reading the Denon's manual (https://manuals.denon.com/AVCX4800H/EU/EN/SEHFSYbwguvttv.php) and I had the feeling that they both (DEQ and volume) should be on at the same time. It would be good to have some kind of enhancement for low-volume listening of music.

I tried the Dialogue Enhancer yesterday at highest setting, but not sure if it made a difference..
 

Dobbyisfree

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I haven't tried it yet.
I was reading the Denon's manual (https://manuals.denon.com/AVCX4800H/EU/EN/SEHFSYbwguvttv.php) and I had the feeling that they both (DEQ and volume) should be on at the same time. It would be good to have some kind of enhancement for low-volume listening of music.

I tried the Dialogue Enhancer yesterday at highest setting, but not sure if it made a difference..

DEQ and DV do different things.

DEQ adjusts the frequency response of the system to compensate for how our hearing works at different volume levels. Hence why (at reference level) it does nothing at all.

And you can adjust the reference level offset so you can tune what level of DEQ works best for your content. For example, for me, FBI we watch with no DEQ. But S.W.A.T. with DEQ at RLO of 10dB.

DV reduces the dynamics of the sound. Great if you need to hear the doorbell. But effectively, in my opinion, the whole point in having HC equipment in my lounge instead of just TV sound is for DYNAMICS and IMPACT.

Sadly, someone who I won't call my friend somewhere decided that DEQ would also boost surround channels. This ruins the feature and means having to be more clever about its usage profile.
 

soerenssen

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DEQ and DV do different things.

DEQ adjusts the frequency response of the system to compensate for how our hearing works at different volume levels. Hence why (at reference level) it does nothing at all.

And you can adjust the reference level offset so you can tune what level of DEQ works best for your content. For example, for me, FBI we watch with no DEQ. But S.W.A.T. with DEQ at RLO of 10dB.

DV reduces the dynamics of the sound. Great if you need to hear the doorbell. But effectively, in my opinion, the whole point in having HC equipment in my lounge instead of just TV sound is for DYNAMICS and IMPACT.

Sadly, someone who I won't call my friend somewhere decided that DEQ would also boost surround channels. This ruins the feature and means having to be more clever about its usage profile.
I noticed this too, surrounds are too loud and distracting. What if you reduce the surround levels manually after you activate DEQ?
 

Dobbyisfree

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I noticed this too, surrounds are too loud and distracting. What if you reduce the surround levels manually after you activate DEQ?

Works OK if you listen at mostly the same level and at the same RLO (since it's called DYNAMIC eq for a reason haha).

Older Denons (like my spare 3310) have a dedicated and simple remote button for level changes. And a front/rear fade too.
 

peng

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I thought the only way LFE is sent to LCR is if you run setup without a subwoofer. Otherwise even when set to large, the LFE is still sent to the sub and the fronts will just be full range. Also I feel like 80hz is a good guideline, but I say experiment. I currently have my LCR set to 60 and prefer they way it sounds. Why purchase high end equipment if I'm not going to take advantage of it? But that's me, not everyone will agree.
That's what I thought too as that is the case with the previous year models, but apparently the AVR-X4800H has a new feature call LFE distribution setting (or something like that), and probably allows you to route LFE to the tower speakers set to large too.
 

EWL5

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That's what I thought too as that is the case with the previous year models, but apparently the AVR-X4800H has a new feature call LFE distribution setting (or something like that), and probably allows you to route LFE to the tower speakers set to large too.
That makes no sense and puts an additional strain on the amp to drive the L speakers (lower the Hz, the harder to drive?).
 

Dobbyisfree

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That's what I thought too as that is the case with the previous year models, but apparently the AVR-X4800H has a new feature call LFE distribution setting (or something like that), and probably allows you to route LFE to the tower speakers set to large too.

Yes that's true, LFE channel between 0 and -20dB can be sent to any floor speakers set to large. But the default is this function switched off.

"I thought the only way LFE is sent to LCR is if you run setup without a subwoofer." @stupidvillager the x4800 default and most recent D&M products will force the LR to large and send LFE to that only. The LR being historically the common "strongest" speakers in most systems.
 

Dobbyisfree

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That makes no sense and puts an additional strain on the amp to drive the L speakers (lower the Hz, the harder to drive?).

In most systems, yes, I would agree. I would predict a rare use case.

Even some very good large modern speakers could be very upset by LFE peaks. Even with it set at -20dB. That could be peaking 95dB at 20Hz, for example, would be quite obvious audible distortion from a lot of speaker models.

Personally, I think they should've considered warnings in the manual about this. But maybe D&M struck a deal with some speaker repair companies :p
 

peng

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For HT the Denon seems to be quite capable, I'm just not sure how much more clarity the external amp could bring. I'll do another measurement/correction today or tomorrow to see how much it improves things, since I didn't re-measured after I sent back the power amp. I know that poor source quality can be a factor too so for now I'm focusing on movies with good sound engineering during my tests.

For mixed usage with focus on music, which setup would you recommend and besides the Denon are there any relatively bug-free AVP/AVR options that you can recommend?
- AVR for surrounds + 3ch LCR amp for both HT and stereo
- AVR for HT, dedicated DAC/pre-amp for stereo, XLR switchbox
- AVP + 5ch amp for both HT and stereo

I'll get an external amp in any case for proper amplification of the LCR channels and to protect the AVR. I'm looking forward to this step because the R6 Meta never had its dedicated amp so far, so there might more potential.

I know your LCR are ref 3 meta, but not sure about your SL and SR. If they are also from the ref 3 meta series, then I would suggest you go with the AVP+5 ch amp option.
If the SL, and SR are speakers that have better sensitivity, and 8 ohms nominal type, or/and the distance is shorter, say 2 meters or less, than AVR+2 channel LCR can work well too.

AVP+5 ch amp would have been the better way regardless, but at the moment, I just don't see any AVP that I really like in the <$7000 range. The entry level one appears to be the Marantz AV10, list price $7,000 - say $1,000 for all the Dirac Live licenses including the ART that is likely available early next year. If that's within you budget, then I think it is the best (my opinion only obviously) choice at the moment. The AVM70 would have been nice too, in terms of the hardware, it is as good as the much more expensive AV10, even slightly better in some way, but then you won't get Dirac, or even Audyssey.
 
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soerenssen

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I know your LCR are ref 3 meta, but not sure about your SL and SR. If they are also from the ref 3 meta series, then I would suggest you go with the AVP+5 ch amp option.
If the SL, and SR are speakers that have better sensitivity, and 8 ohms nominal type, or/and the distance is shorter, say 2 meters or less, than AVR+2 channel LCR can work well too.
Surrounds are 2x Kef Q350, distance is 1.5-2m. 87dB, 15 - 120 W, 8 ohms (min. 3.7 ohms).
I'm not sure how much the Denon is limiting the R6 center, so I'd probably go with 3ch external amplification, and leave the Q350s for the Denon.
 

peng

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Surrounds are 2x Kef Q350, distance is 1.5-2m. 87dB, 15 - 120 W, 8 ohms (min. 3.7 ohms).
I'm not sure how much the Denon is limiting the R6 center, so I'd probably go with 3ch external amplification, and leave the Q350s for the Denon.

In that case, try it and if you are not happy (for valid reasons, not psychological reasons..;)), then trade it in for the AV10, if you are outside the return window.
 

peng

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That makes no sense and puts an additional strain on the amp to drive the L speakers (lower the Hz, the harder to drive?).

I agree, I guess they included the option just because they could lol, mind you there are always some people who want to do it, no sense or not..
 

soerenssen

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In that case, try it and if you are not happy (for valid reasons, not psychological reasons..;)), then trade it in for the AV10, if you are outside the return window.
That AV10 looks nice, but I would spend that amount of money on an AVP/AVR only if it's a truly all-in-one device and I won't need external high-current amplification for LCR.

I can still return the Denon this week. I could go up maybe until 3-3.5K, hence I was looking at the Onkyo/Pioneer but they are too new and at least the x4800h is a bug-free experience so far. Or maybe next week the x6800h will be introduced on the Cedia (and I'll be on vacation in Denmark anyway next week), but it's questionable when they start delivering the first units.
Any other alternatives? I'm also considering better modularity and go for a separate processor without internal amps.
You mentioned the Anthem, right?

But then, the big question is whether there will be any audible difference. The Denon x4800h has all the features that I need, except XLR and maybe DLBC.
Actually it has too many features (and unused channels). I am running an 5.1 setup and I will have maybe one more sub, so 5.2 this year. I have 3 HDMI sources (PS5, Zidoo Z9x and Apple TV 4K). With Dirac the Denon costs around 2K, so it's closer to a second-hand Onkyo RZ70, that costs 2700-2800 in the Netherlands.

My fundamental problem with these low and mid tier AVRs is the lack of upgrade path. I can add external amps and that's it. I cannot plug in a better DAC via USB. If you want a decent AVR with decent (not necessarily high-end) internal components, it costs 3x as much and you still need a multi-channel power amp.
If one doesn't want to pay up for that, for HT an x3800h or x4800h sounds reasonable already (I am not complaining for sure) and for music it makes more sense to build a dedicated, modular system with higher quality components where you have full control. But once you've built this second system, you are getting close to or maybe reached already the price of an AV10.
 
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peng

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That AV10 looks nice, but I would spend that amount of money on an AVP/AVR only if it's a truly all-in-one device and I won't need external high-current amplification for LCR.
The Denon AVC-A1H would be the "all-in-one" alternative, it costs a little less than the A10 but I don't know how much it is in Europe.
I cannot plug in a better DAC via USB. If you want a decent AVR with decent (not necessarily high-end) internal components, it costs 3x as much and you still need a multi-channel power amp.
Of course you can, but to get the best quality (on paper), you would have to do it the way I have been doing, that is, use a laptop, and Dirac Live PC standalone version.
 

peng

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@soerenssen , the A1H has been tested and measured by Audiovison.de. For just Eur 1.99, I was going to buy it, but they wouldn't sell it to me as I don't have a European address.


Can you look into it and see if you can buy it in pdf, or by mail only?

Based on the AVC-A110, I would think the A1H must be more powerful and should be able to power your surround speakers, and even the LCRs.

Take a look, almost 200 W, 5 channel driven into 4 ohms. The A1H should be able to do a little more.


Denon-AVC-110-Fazit.jpg
 

soerenssen

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The Denon AVC-A1H would be the "all-in-one" alternative, it costs a little less than the A10 but I don't know how much it is in Europe.

Of course you can, but to get the best quality (on paper), you would have to do it the way I have been doing, that is, use a laptop, and Dirac Live PC standalone version.
The AVC-A1H costs 6000EUR here and it has no XLR pre-outs for LCR at that price point. I won't be at home for at least 3 weeks in September, and by the end of the month the x6800h release could further push prices down. The x4800h's price is falling week by week, hence I'm considering sending it back and see what the options are available in October.

Where can I find more details about that stereo setup? (components, software, etc.)
 

peng

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The AVC-A1H costs 6000EUR here and it has no XLR pre-outs for LCR at that price point. I won't be at home for at least 3 weeks in September, and by the end of the month the x6800h release could further push prices down. The x4800h's price is falling week by week, hence I'm considering sending it back and see what the options are available in October.
It has 4 XLR pre outs, if you have only two subs, you can use two of the four XLR for the FL and FR.
Where can I find more details about that stereo setup? (components, software, etc.)
Please clarify what you plan on doing with the "stereo setup".
 

Dobbyisfree

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A good value receiver with great low impedance multi-channel power is also the Emotiva BasX MR-1.
Not sure if it ticks your boxes on features.
 

soerenssen

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It has 4 XLR pre outs, if you have only two subs, you can use two of the four XLR for the FL and FR.

Please clarify what you plan on doing with the "stereo setup".
The idea is to share the 3ch power amp and the FL/FR between the AVR (HT) and the external DAC/pre-amp (music). I will also use room correction for music.
More components, but less compromise.

I was asking specifically about your setup for stereo (components, software that you are using, etc.). If you have those maybe explained in more detail in this forum, can you please link it? It would give me an idea where to start. Thank you in advance!
 
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