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Denon AVR-X4800H AVR Review

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SCG

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It's said that the X4800H has a shared power source for all the output channels, but I found a teardown of the unit on a japanese website, and it translates to "The AVR-X4800H is the same independent amplifier board for each channel as the AVC-X6700H and AVC-X8500HA", picture below. If the power source is shared, what are the separate amplifier boards?

Not an expert, have only built a few old amps. I think it means that they share the same electrical power source which is generally of the topology: incoming power cord, fuse, huge transformer, rectifier, filter capacitors, DC power bus. This is the source of clean DC power. Each individual board is powered by that shared bus, but amplifies a separate audio channel.

That's correct and it's why when people test multi-channels amps the power is higher testing 2 channels vs 5 channels all-channels driven. Because although all channels might have separate power amps/board, they all share the same power supply (transformer, filter caps, etc). Of course some stereo amps run full dual everything (including dual PS) and you see this more in Class D amps where the overall PS is generally smaller.

Alcoholics tested the $7,000 class D Marantz amp and it had full power all-channels driven which might be useful for Dirac ART where all channels could be driven at the same time, between the main channels and the support channels.
 

EWL5

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That's correct and it's why when people test multi-channels amps the power is higher testing 2 channels vs 5 channels all-channels driven. Because although all channels might have separate power amps/board, they all share the same power supply (transformer, filter caps, etc). Of course some stereo amps run full dual everything (including dual PS) and you see this more in Class D amps where the overall PS is generally smaller.

Alcoholics tested the $7,000 class D Marantz amp and it had full power all-channels driven which might be useful for Dirac ART where all channels could be driven at the same time, between the main channels and the support channels.
Audioholics?
 

SCG

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For the Subwoofer, it's a bit confusing because there's a LFE + Main which has the following description:

I understand the LFE and redirected bass (essentially frequencies under crossovers).

What does a copy of the low frequency signals from all large speakers mean? I set the crossover to 40hz, does that mean the fronts play frequencies to 40hz and the sub plays frequencies under 40hz? I guess that's the only explanation but it's a bit superfluous.

Also the crossovers drop by increments of 20hz which is not ideal for towers as 40 and 60 are a bit different speakers... I would have preferred 50hz.

Yea it's kind of confusing, Denon lets the subs receive LFE info and lets you set crossovers for a small speakers to send to the subs (like normal LFE). LFE + Main does all that but also sends all the low frequencies that your larger speakers receive above their crossover point.

Meaning the sub gets LFE + low frequency from small speakers + the low frequency the main speakers receive and it's up to the sub to lowpass that signal. So sub gets normal bass + all full range (large) speakers' bass.

Try it, but it's almost always Not recommended, especially for stereo.

Yea Denon only allows 20hz increments on the amp for crossovers but I can't remember if the App gives more flexibility or not, as it's been over a year since i used it, and I haven't setup the X4800 yet.
 
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jtatknox

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That's correct and it's why when people test multi-channels amps the power is higher testing 2 channels vs 5 channels all-channels driven. Because although all channels might have separate power amps/board, they all share the same power supply (transformer, filter caps, etc). Of course some stereo amps run full dual everything (including dual PS) and you see this more in Class D amps where the overall PS is generally smaller.

Alcoholics tested the $7,000 class D Marantz amp and it had full power all-channels driven which might be useful for Dirac ART where all channels could be driven at the same time, between the main channels and the support channels.
Also please correct me but I believe that the most taxing frequencies on the power supply come from the low end, so if you are running a steep crossover at 80 Hz the filter capacitance shared by all channels stretches a lot further than if you are running full-range towers with a wide open crossover or trying to run passive subs.

I speculate that with ART, which doesn't use traditional crossovers and might use more bass energy than a traditional crossover setup might have slightly different power requirements. Interested in being educated on this point, because if so it would argue for separate amps for the mains if you plan on very high volume listening. For reference, my Phase Linear 300 Series II amplifiers are stereo and share 20,000 µF vs 30,000 µF for the X4800H.
 

SCG

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Yes low frequencies are more taxing on a PS in general so that why most of us crossover at 80hz to an active subwoofer with it's own dedicated power supply. So it's not just the caps that are taxed (or relieved from work) it's the entire power supply.

And it does appear that in general ART will use more amp power as each speaker in the system can be playing it's dedicated signal while also playing it's 'supporting signal' for other speakers and all those supporting signals are 150hz and below, down to the capability of the supporting speakers/subs F3 point (unless you raise it).

Also a speaker might not 'normally' have any dedicated signal (quite surround speaker scene) but with ART it could now be playing a support signal for one of the main speakers, again at 150hz and below. So if you're listening to movies at reference or near reference levels with ART this could increase the power requirements from all your amps.
 
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SCG

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Audioholics?
It's my understanding, Audioholics is the reason Denon allows you to disconnect the amps if your using the pre-amp mode. Denon has had pre-outs for years and years but when you connected to the pre-amp via RCA they still sent signals to the internal amps.

Gene at Audioholics discovered thru testing that when sending a higher level signal via the pre-amps (great than .7v or 1v) feedback from the onboard amps was causing some distortion on the pre-amp output signal.

He presented his test results to Denon and they agreed and then Denon worked on offering a pre-amp outpt mode with user-selectable disconnected amps, and that mode has worked it way down the product line.

That's why I wished Amir would of been able to test the rca pre-amps outputs, with and without the internal amps connected to see if there was any difference in SINAD. But AVRs taking a lot of his time testing, and we All have one more test we wish he had done.
 
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techsamurai

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Yea it's kind of confusing, Denon lets the subs receive LFE info and lets you set crossovers for a small speakers to send to the subs (like normal LFE). LFE + Main does all that but also sends all the low frequencies that your larger speakers receive above their crossover point.

Meaning the sub gets LFE + low frequency from small speakers + the low frequency the main speakers receive and it's up to the sub to lowpass that signal.

Try it, but it's almost always Not recommended.

Yea Denon only allows 20hz increments on the amp for crossovers but I can't remember if the App gives more flexibility or not.

Well, on the 2 channel playback, if I set my speakers to Large but don't want to let them handle the full range, then I have to use LFE+Mains and select a crossover, in my case 40hz.

That way sound from 20hz to 40hz is directed to the sub and everything upwards of 40hz is handled by the speaker, right? That relieves the load on the speaker from handling the lowest octave where it would definitely struggle and the amp from powering it (twice in my case for bi-amping). I'm sure that last octave in an electronic song might account for a huge portion of the power. And that 20 to 40hz has little positional, timing, and texture compared to say 60hz to 80hz where allowing the sub to play that is clearly noticeable on a tower.
 

SCG

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LFE+MAIN = applies when front main speakers set to LARGE. In addition to what the LFE setting does, the sub also plays the frequencies below the front main crossover setting (while front mains play full range signal). This setting is known as the "double bass" setting as the front main low bass frequencies are being played by both the front main speakers and the sub as well.

It been a while since I measured all this, here's what Denon states:

The other option you can choose is LFE+MAIN., this option includes the LFE from the Dolby, DTS or Auro 3D track and adds any low frequency that’s sent to the other channels under that channel’s set crossover point. It is recommended that you set your AVR to LFE+MAIN when playing back from any analog based source or when decoding a PCM based source for your subwoofer to output any of the low frequency from those sources. This ensures that your AVR will provide a full and balanced tone no matter what is being decoded or output.
 
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phn

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-snip-
Yea Denon only allows 20hz increments on the amp for crossovers but I can't remember if the App gives more flexibility or not, as it's been over a year since i used it, and I haven't setup the X4800 yet.
Audyssey app settings for crossover are 40 - 60 - 80 - 90 - 100 - 110 - 120 - 150 - 180 - 200 - 250 Hz, ie. the same settings the AVR's got in its setup.
 

EWL5

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That's correct and it's why when people test multi-channels amps the power is higher testing 2 channels vs 5 channels all-channels driven. Because although all channels might have separate power amps/board, they all share the same power supply (transformer, filter caps, etc). Of course some stereo amps run full dual everything (including dual PS) and you see this more in Class D amps where the overall PS is generally smaller.

Alcoholics tested the $7,000 class D Marantz amp and it had full power all-channels driven which might be useful for Dirac ART where all channels could be driven at the same time, between the main channels and the support channels.
Audioholics is a far more reliable group than the "Alcoholics" from your original post. LOL!

I should have been more clear in my response to you that I was correcting your typo...
 

techsamurai

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Audyssey app settings for crossover are 40 - 60 - 80 - 90 - 100 - 110 - 120 - 150 - 180 - 200 - 250 Hz, ie. the same settings the AVR's got in its setup.

Those 4 choices are crazy under 100hz. 2 choices under 80hz?

80hz to 20hz should be increments of 10hz. SVS recommends 10hz over the speaker's low frequency which is exactly what I was about to recommend to them after getting their sub. The funniest part was my understanding of bass was completely toppled at that time as I called SVS and they recommended 120hz. I was listening to music and it was unlistenable and we're talking female voices and Clint Eastwood's voice from Gran Torino's song.

An hour later, I'd set all my crossovers as close to 10hz over the lowest frequencies. The issue with these choices is with 60hz speakers because 60hz is too little and 80hz is too much. It's also difficult with my 38hz speaker where 48-50hz would be the ideal crossover.

Who uses a crossover of 150, 180, 200, and 250? How can a voice sound the same with that high a crossover?
 
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techsamurai

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LFE+MAIN = applies when front main speakers set to LARGE. In addition to what the LFE setting does, the sub also plays the frequencies below the front main crossover setting (while front mains play full range signal). This setting is known as the "double bass" setting as the front main low bass frequencies are being played by both the front main speakers and the sub as well.

It been a while since I measured all this, here's what Denon states:

The other option you can choose is LFE+MAIN., this option includes the LFE from the Dolby, DTS or Auro 3D track and adds any low frequency that’s sent to the other channels under that channel’s set crossover point. It is recommended that you set your AVR to LFE+MAIN when playing back from any analog based source or when decoding a PCM based source for your subwoofer to output any of the low frequency from those sources. This ensures that your AVR will provide a full and balanced tone no matter what is being decoded or output.

In 2 channel playback, if you leave it at LFE then the Fronts are defaulted to full range handling the entire range which makes sense. In LFE+Mains you have to choose a crossover so the sub and fronts share bass duties based on the crossover but the choices are too limited especially in 2023 when we all understand how positional bass is superior to recreated bass and that applies 10x for music.

I had to set it to 40hz which puts a lot more strain on the amp and speaker than 50hz - I'm now running 4 channels simultaneously (bi-amp) with 10 hz on the low end which may need to be sustained for a long time in some demo songs or worse dynamically switch from little bass to extended bass every split second as I do in a demo song.
 

EWL5

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Those 4 choices are crazy under 100hz. 2 choices under 80hz?

80hz to 20hz should be increments of 10hz. SVS recommends 10hz over the speaker's low frequency which is exactly what I was about to recommend to them after getting their sub. The funniest part was my understanding of bass was completely toppled at that time as I called SVS and they recommended 120hz. I was listening to music and it was unlistenable and we're talking female voices and Clint Eastwood's voice from Gran Torino's song.

An hour later, I'd set all my crossovers as close to 10hz over the lowest frequencies. The issue with these choices is with 60hz speakers because 60hz is too little and 80hz is too much. It's also difficult with my 38hz speaker where 48-50hz would be the ideal crossover.

Who uses a crossover of 150, 180, 200, and 250? How can a voice sound the same with that high a crossover?
You must have "God's gift to speakers" to want a 10 hz crossover. What are you running for mains?
 

techsamurai

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Just keep an open mind, try to forget all marketing info, play your favorite tracks and use direct mode first. And, keep your expectation low.

Initial impressions - no Audyssey yet, just Pure Direct. The Denon is better than the RZ50 with music. 2 people said the RZ50 had a wider soundstage - I'd agree with them but the Denon is more musical than the RZ50.

The Denon is definitely closer to Marantz today than the Denon from 15 years ago exhibiting Marantz qualities on occasion. There's more detail than the Marantz SR8002, I'm picking up stuff that the Marantz does not but it also shows how detail is not the most important thing.
  • In Albano and Romina's Felicita and other songs, it did a decent job while we were having dinner, although at one point we heard waves and all of us looked around thinking it was some sort of weird sound then realized it's the same song we've heard many times.
  • In Kitaro's Live In America Cosmic Love and The Light of the Spirit, some instruments sounded more full than the Marantz but these are such dynamic songs - I was powering the Denon with the Marantz in this audition so the Denon was getting the same juice - that way I could isolate the Marantz's processing vs the Denon's processing + the unbalanced output distortion.
  • In Dire Straits' Private Investigations, I'm now conflicted about the sound of the guitar in that song. The Denon played this surprisingly well - it's a tough song because of the highs and lows. Is the guitar sound closer to the Denon or the Marantz? Maybe I go listen to a reference setup somewhere.
  • In Zamfir's Lonely Shepherd (Kill Bill's song), it did well with the drums kicking in at the right moment and Zamfir's pan flute wasn't magical but it was musical.
  • In Chiara Cavalli's supreme rendition of Il Mondo, it did well. This is an emotional song and it didn't give the emotion but it was a dignified playback by the Denon
  • It does really well with Lany and pop music because of its counter-Marantz bass dynamics - I expected that. I'll play some rock and pop to confirm that.
  • Getz/Gilberto - need to listen a bit more but it was surprisingly good.

Here's where it fell flat:
Scott Hamilton's Besame Mucho (Live in Barcelona) - the amazing piano solo. It had trouble resolving that as the notes are just so uneven and quick and you can hear the playfulness of every key on the Marantz. I played it twice and my family asked me to stop playing it which means their brains also picked up the musical issues like I did. This was a biggie because I cannot unhear it. I didn't try it with the Marantz powering the Denon - maybe that resolves the issue.
 

techsamurai

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You must have "God's gift to speakers" to want a 10 hz crossover. What are you running for mains?

I think you misunderstood :) Increments of 10hz like 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100. Thank god they don't go down to 10hz! :)

Over 100 the crossover choices can be the same as they are but under 100hz, the omission of 50hz and 70hz crossovers is a big issue for many speakers which have 40hz and 60hz low end frequencies. In fact, the vast majority of speakers bottom out at 40 and 60 and those would have recommended crossovers of 50 and 70, which Denon doesn't offer.
 

EWL5

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I think you misunderstood :) Increments of 10hz like 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100. Thank god they don't go down to 10hz! :)

Over 100 the crossover choices can be the same as they are but under 100hz, the omission of 50hz and 70hz crossovers is a big issue for many speakers which have 40hz and 60hz low end frequencies. In fact, the vast majority of speakers bottom out at 40 and 60 and those would have recommended crossovers of 50 and 70, which Denon doesn't offer.
Understood!
For AVRs like the 4800, it's probably best to set the THX recommendation of an 80hz crossover and call it a day. Let the sub do what it does best, which is LFE.
 

peng

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In 2 channel playback, if you leave it at LFE then the Fronts are defaulted to full range handling the entire range which makes sense. In LFE+Mains you have to choose a crossover so the sub and fronts share bass duties based on the crossover but the choices are too limited especially in 2023 when we all understand how positional bass is superior to recreated bass and that applies 10x for music.
No, if you set it to LEF, the front doesn't default to anything. When you run Audyssey it will try to determine the roll off point of the speakers and set crossover accordingly. So, if may set any of your speakers it to large, or small and also set their crossover frequencies accordingly.

For example, it may set your mains to small, and crossover frequency of 60 Hz, that would mean the main will play from 60 Hz and up and attenuate its response from below 60 Hz. The subwoofer will pick up the frequencies below 60 Hz that would otherwise be sent to the mains. If you change the setting from LFE+Main, then in addition to the signal in the LFE channel of the content (such as Atmos, Dolby Digital etc.,..) the subwoofer will also play the bass signals send to the other speakers. It is not very useful for movies as you should just use LFE for better bass, but it can be useful for 2.0 stereo contents, because you can then take advantage of the better bass response of the subwoofers.
I had to set it to 40hz which puts a lot more strain on the amp and speaker than 50hz - I'm now running 4 channels simultaneously (bi-amp) with 10 hz on the low end which may need to be sustained for a long time in some demo songs or worse dynamically switch from little bass to extended bass every split second as I do in a demo song.

Lots of people suggested 80 Hz is a good crossover setting for the speakers regardless of how big the speakers are, I found that to work well for me over the years. 60 Hz isn't too bad, 40 Hz never works well, even if your speakers -3 dB point is down to 20 Hz.
 

techsamurai

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Understood!
For AVRs like the 4800, it's probably best to set the THX recommendation of an 80hz crossover and call it a day. Let the sub do what it does best, which is LFE.

I don't agree with that. SVS told me to set it to 120hz and I freaked out when I heard music. I switched to 100hz still off, 80hz still off.

There's a misconception about bass being just thumping sound which I also shared - the usual sound that subs playback. It's actually part of voices instruments, and sounds and when you relegate it to the sub even assuming it's most musical sub ever made, it cannot reproduce it the same way. I had no clue until I heard it. There are a few dimensions to bass like timing, texture, and position and those seem to be more important as the frequency increases. At 25hz they are less important but at 60hz they come into play.

I didn't understand timing because once you use the sub, the timing can become an issue and we're talking milliseconds here. Then there's bass texture - obviously at 80hz, your paper cones on your speakers might have a different texture than a sub and that texture difference will be palpable. Finally, as a REL guy explained in an interview, the bass at 100hz or 80hz or 60hz coming from your speaker is not the same as your sub as you can position those frequencies when they are part of the overall sound.

But I didn't use a sub for 15 years so.
 

EWL5

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I don't agree with that. SVS told me to set it to 120hz and I freaked out when I heard music. I switched to 100hz still off, 80hz still off.

There's a misconception about bass being just thumping sound which I also shared - the usual sound that subs playback. It's actually part of voices instruments, and sounds and when you relegate it to the sub even assuming it's most musical sub ever made, it cannot reproduce it the same way. I had no clue until I heard it. There are a few dimensions to bass like timing, texture, and position and those seem to be more important as the frequency increases. At 25hz they are less important but at 60hz they come into play.

I didn't understand timing because once you use the sub, the timing can become an issue and we're talking milliseconds here. Then there's bass texture - obviously at 80hz, your paper cones on your speakers might have a different texture than a sub and that texture difference will be palpable. Finally, as a REL guy explained in an interview, the bass at 100hz or 80hz or 60hz coming from your speaker is not the same as your sub as you can position those frequencies when they are part of the overall sound.

But I didn't use a sub for 15 years so.
What SVS said makes sense....if you don't have the Denon setting at "LFE+Mains" (I believe this is widely called "Double Bass"). The potential to muddy the system is very high with this setting. Ever head of the saying, "too many cooks in the kitchen"? I have personally never subscribed to a double bass setting as I've never owned a set of full range mains (closest thing were my DefTech BP7002s).

Did you listen to the 120hz crossover w/o "LFE+Mains"?
 
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