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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

peng

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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 can tell you what I have been using:

DAC: Oppo HA-1, Oppo Sonica, Topping E50
Preamp: Used the Cambridge audio preamp before but no longer bother, now using the E50's own volume control, and the Oppos (discontinued) also have their own preamp/vol control

Source player: Window 10 PC
RC: Dirac Live PC standalone version, https://www.dirac.com/online-store/dirac-live-room-correction-suite/#RCS

If you don't like the idea of using a PC, you can get one of those minidsp devices that can run Dirac, such as the minidsp SHD, or the flex ht

 
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rvsixer

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Yes. While the Multifan S2 dimensioned drawing doesn't show the fan height without the feet, the fan definitely appears to be the same as the Airplate S2 fan, which is dimensioned as just under 1" high (without the faceplate).
Good info, thanks.

Yes while not on the dimensional drawing, the Multifan S2 product description and technical specs pages list the height as 1" in several locations:
  • "Dimensions: 4.7 x 4.7 x 1 in. | Airflow: 35 CFM | Noise: 17 dBA | Bearings: Dual Ball"
But I am sure that is rounded up (and is actually the same height as the Airplate S2 fan). It's also my assumption this ~1" height is achieved via removal of the dampeners.
 

soerenssen

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I can tell you what I have been using:

DAC: Oppo HA-1, Oppo Sonica, Topping E50
Preamp: Used the Cambridge audio preamp before but no longer bother, now using the E50's own volume control, and the Oppos (discontinued) also have their own preamp/vol control

Source player: Window 10 PC
RC: Dirac Live PC standalone version, https://www.dirac.com/online-store/dirac-live-room-correction-suite/#RCS

If you don't like the idea of using a PC, you can get one of those minidsp devices that can run Dirac, such as the minidsp SHD, or the flex ht

Did you notice any differences between your Oppos and the Topping?
Would you expect any audible improvement with the MiniDSP Flex or SHD, compared to the x4800h?
 

ban25

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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.
Sorry you're right, the LFE is always sent to a subwoofer if present. However, the crossovers will be ignored if the speakers are set to Large.
 

ban25

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I am planning to do the following sequence, please let me know if it's too much or if there's a better way:
1. REW
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)
3. REW
4. Dirac, saved as Preset 2 (for higher-volume music)
5. REW

- How many measurement points do you recommend in Dirac?
- Should it correct the full frequency range or should I limit it to below 300-500Hz? Or is it something to experiment with in any given room?
- Should I apply the target curve of the front speakers to the center/surrounds? I've read in another thread that after applying RoomEQ, the response of the main speakers should be used as a template to define a target curve for surrounds (and center too, if tonally not matching).
- Which graphs are important in REW to find issues in the room? Anything else besides FR?
- Is there a quicker (one button) way to switch between preset 1 and 2, and between the different Dirac slots, for a quicker comparison?
That's a solid plan. I don't recommend Dynamic Volume, but DEQ will be very important for you, especially when listening below reference level.

I recommend the full range of Dirac measurement points (14ish? IIRC).
Use full range correction. When you measure afterwards with REW, you can see exactly what it is doing from 20-20k.
Apply the curve to all speakers in your Home Theater.
Aside from Frequency Response, take a look at RT60 to see how much reverb you have in the room.
There should be a button on the remote, but my memory is from the X3700H, so I haven't used Dirac on a Denon.
 

peng

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Did you notice any differences between your Oppos and the Topping?
Would you expect any audible improvement with the MiniDSP Flex or SHD, compared to the x4800h?

No, but I alernate the 2 regardless. The Oppo has more distortions and runs hot because it is class A, so I turn the fan on when using it. I actually use the Topping's dac with the Oppo's preamp more often than using the Oppo on its own.

The difference is of course much more obvious comparing Dirac on vs off.
 

CapMan

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Have the opportunity to buy a new 4800 for £1399 or new 3800 for £1099 - for that difference the 4800 seems like a no brainer

I intend to use the internal amps .

This is to upgrade my Cinema 70, replace my Devialet amps and use the AVR for both music and movies . Going to a one box solution.

Most important to me is Dirac to deal with my room.

Thoughts?
 

soerenssen

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That's a solid plan. I don't recommend Dynamic Volume, but DEQ will be very important for you, especially when listening below reference level.
Thanks!
I recommend the full range of Dirac measurement points (14ish? IIRC).
Use full range correction. When you measure afterwards with REW, you can see exactly what it is doing from 20-20k.
And based on REW measurements, decide about limiting it to 300-500Hz or not?
Apply the curve to all speakers in your Home Theater.
Do you mean applying the front L/R's target curves to the rest of the speakers or applying each target curve Dirac came up with to the respective speaker (default)?
Aside from Frequency Response, take a look at RT60 to see how much reverb you have in the room.
I'll check it out, thanks!
 

soerenssen

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AVC-A1H prices are going down and I just found a customer return for 5300EUR with full warranty. But that would be pretty much the upper limit I would spend on amplification though and it doesn't even include the Dirac license (6000EUR with DLBC in Q1 2024), plus I might still need an external amp for FL/FR anyway.
I think I'll send back the x4800h and wait until October for new announcements and prices to further drop and in the meantime I'll just keep using my old Yamaha RXV-440RDS at low volumes. Maybe by then we'll have some measurements of the Onkyo/Pio/Integra. Even with an external 3ch amp added, I could stay within budget with those (or the Denon x6800h if it's a good value proposition).

The problem with my Yamaha receiver is that while it can drive 4 ohm front speakers, according to its manual the center and surrounds must be at least 6 ohms, so - even at low volumes - I'm not sure if it's safe to connect the KEF R6 Meta and the Q350s to the receiver.
 
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soerenssen

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If you don't like the idea of using a PC, you can get one of those minidsp devices that can run Dirac, such as the minidsp SHD, or the flex ht
I think getting a MiniDSP makes no sense anymore with a Denon x4800h or higher-tier AVR. Unless one needs MSO until DLBC is released.
 

phn

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Have the opportunity to buy a new 4800 for £1399 or new 3800 for £1099 - for that difference the 4800 seems like a no brainer

I intend to use the internal amps .

This is to upgrade my Cinema 70, replace my Devialet amps and use the AVR for both music and movies . Going to a one box solution.

Most important to me is Dirac to deal with my room.

Thoughts?
As a happy X3800H user I'd go for 4800 as well, for the better build, and for that solid amp build in particular. For me, this was a 900 euro difference, something I was not willing to pay.
 

Dobbyisfree

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I think getting a MiniDSP makes no sense anymore with a Denon x4800h or higher-tier AVR. Unless one needs MSO until DLBC is released.

But if you set any of the Denon/Marantz latest .4 subwoofer AVRs (such as x3800 or x4800) to "directional" then they have adjustable EQ, trim and time align for up to four subwoofers.
Therefore you can use MSO or whatever and just import the EQ from that into MultEQ-X. (Switch off Audyssey correction on them if you choose).
So, as far as I can see, you can remove a MiniDSP from the chain and use MSO. And not have to convert your analogue subwoofer outputs to digital and back again anymore.

Going off topic here sorry. But I wonder if you can export EQ correction from DIRAC to REW? I don't think you can. I'm 90% that you can import REW measurements into DIRAC. Which means (since you export measurements from Multeq-x to REW) you can run DIRAC on what Multeq-x has measured. I think you can all see where I'm going here.
 

soerenssen

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I think you can all see where I'm going here.
I'm not sure that I follow you. What would be the benefit, having Dirac run on the Multeq-x measurements instead of just letting it mesure and correct from scratch?
 

Dobbyisfree

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I'm not sure that I follow you. What would be the benefit, having Dirac run on the Multeq-x measurements instead of just letting it mesure and correct from scratch?

1. If the alternative, yet legitimate, method of running it involves paying less money.
2. Multiple ways to compare different EQ systems/methods.
3. Flexibility. E.g. different EQ system for speakers or subwoofers etc.
 

soerenssen

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1. If the alternative, yet legitimate, method of running it involves paying less money.
I agree with points 2 and 3. But if you pay for Dirac Live anyway, I don't see where it would save money. Unless you are comparing it with DLBC.
 

peng

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I think getting a MiniDSP makes no sense anymore with a Denon x4800h or higher-tier AVR. Unless one needs MSO until DLBC is released.
Sure, I don't disagree, but by the same logic it also makes no sense to bypass the x4800h for music. So if you do want to bypass the AVR, and also want to use Dirac, then the minidsp would make sense, I mean logically.
 

peng

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The problem with my Yamaha receiver is that while it can drive 4 ohm front speakers, according to its manual the center and surrounds must be at least 6 ohms, so - even at low volumes - I'm not sure if it's safe to connect the KEF R6 Meta and the Q350s to the receiver.
People can say anything, and you can believe them, but it is a fact that at "low volumes", as long as "low" means the amp will not exceed its voltage and current limit, then it is safe to connect the speakers. For argument sake, if the volume is low enough, say to output less than 5 V maximum, then you can connect it to a speaker that dips to 1 ohm and nothing will get damaged, as long as the protection scheme does not shut the unit down.

Most recent model AVRs allows you to set maximum limit for the volume, can you do that with the 440RDS? If you do that, you may be the only person ever, use such a receiver for the KEF reference speakers.:D
 
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popej

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People can say anything, and you can believe them, but it is a fact that at "low volumes", as long as "low" means the amp will not exceed its voltage and current limit, then it is safe to connect the speakers.
True. I would add that amplifiers for all channels are mostly identical and can handle the same load. It is rather about power supply and cooling. I would expect that it is all ok for music, but amp could have problems to pass sinus test for all channels simultaneously.
 

peng

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True. I would add that amplifiers for all channels are mostly identical and can handle the same load. It is rather about power supply and cooling. I would expect that it is all ok for music, but amp could have problems to pass sinus test for all channels simultaneously.

Yep, ACD issues are much more related to the power supply, and the thermal design overall. All those talks about 6 ohms, 4 ohms vs 8 ohms used are not helpful but given the long tradition, and standards, there isn't much else manufacturers can do. The only trouble is, it gets the public/consumers confused all the time.

Consider this, all else being equal, compare the following amp A vs amp B:

AVR-X4800H power output specs: 125 W 8 ohms, 0.05% THD+N, 165 W 6 ohms, 0.7% THD+N, Power consumption: 730 710 W
Integrated amp Yamaha A-S801: 100 W 8 ohms, 0.019% THD+N, 120 W 6 ohms, 0.038% THD+N, Power consumption: 270 W

Both have impedance selector and the user is supposed to set it to 4 ohms if 4 ohm nominal speakers are used.

Now for the average users, someone will follow the Audioholics article and many forum talks and ignore the impedance setting, while many others will follow the owner's manual and set it to 4 ohms when using speakers such as the 4 ohm rated reference 3A.

And worse, supposing those (again, on all else being equal basis), say group A who follow the owner's manual instructions never listen to spl louder than 90 dB peak from 8 feet, while those, say group B who left the selector on the 8 ohm setting frequently listen to 80 dB average and 100 dB peak! That would be sad, as Group B would risk damages, and Group A would likely lose performance when listening to music that has great dynamic range. What's the alternative, should there be better standards for manufacturers to follow, when writing their owner's manuals on power output specs with reference to speaker specs instead of just 100 W 8 ohms, 120 W 6 ohms, and set impedance to match the impedance of speakers. And by the way, don't we all know speaker's impedance specs are also cans of worms. :D
 
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soerenssen

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People can say anything, and you can believe them, but it is a fact that at "low volumes", as long as "low" means the amp will not exceed its voltage and current limit, then it is safe to connect the speakers. For argument sake, if the volume is low enough, say to output less than 5 V maximum, then you can connect it to a speaker that dips to 1 ohm and nothing will get damaged, as long as the protection scheme does not shut the unit down.

Most recent model AVRs allows you to set maximum limit for the volume, can you do that with the 440RDS? If you do that, you may be the only person ever, use such a receiver for the KEF reference speakers.:D
I have to say today I had a real eye-opener moment after I connected the KEFs to the Yamaha for the first time and started listening my test tracks.
I couldn't do a proper AB test with the Denon, but the sound is great, considering that the Yamaha receiver is worth maybe 70-80 EUR. It really wants to stay! :)

- I cannot set a max volume, but I am careful with it and check the top of the Yamaha often.
- Currently the KEFs are set to Large, but I will change it to Small. In that case low frequencies under 90Hz (fixed, cannot be changed) will be routed to the sub.
- Even if it's temporary (I'm still on the lookout for a new receiver, obviously the Yamaha is old and basic features like HDMI are missing), it feels great to be the only person with this awesome setup! :D Plus it buys me some time so I can wait for better offerings in Q4.
 
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