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Denon AVR-X4800H AVR Review

Rate this AVR

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 10 3.2%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 71 22.5%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 170 54.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 64 20.3%

  • Total voters
    315

Steve Dallas

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Well, I did use the Audyssey App to do a 8 point calibration with the last 2 very close to the MLP to overload it slightly in the analysis. It came up with the same crossovers but slightly different levels.

Is the app better at plain vanilla calibrations? It looks like the iPad was doing the analysis, not the AVR. I got rid of midrange compensation.

I chose High Frequency Roll Off 1 for now but the room is large so High Frequency Roll Off 2 is probably better.

I'm getting lost now in comparisons :) I decided to switch to headphones to listen more closely and to eliminate Audyssey, the room, levels, and just try to hear the DAC and pre-amp (although the headphones use different amps). This was prompted by the song Questions by Jack Johnson which is a lullaby but has a lot of nuance with his voice and guitar.

Feel free to modify the recommended mic pattern when you run the calibration. For music, I use a pretty tight pattern around the MLP, where every position is within 12", some within 6". The shape is a squished hexagon of sorts, which uses 7 points.

If you have good speakers in a good room, you may want to limit the frequency range to 1000Hz or less, perhaps 500Hz.

I have found through measurement that setting the crossover to 80Hz, leaving the target curve flat, and boosting the sub volume yields the most accurate in-room frequency response. That is what you see in the measurements I posted a few pages back. IIRC, each of my two subs was boosted 1.5dB each.

Start with all the various options turned off. Add them back later one by one to see if you like any of them.
 
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rocketroberto

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My external amp has the following spec: “Input Sensitivity (for rated power; 8 Ohm load): 1.5 V”

Based on the testing of the x4800 pre-outs, is this input sensitivity ok? Anything to be concerned about?
 

techsamurai

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Okay so how do I match the voice and guitar sounds to the other AVR?

The difference is with male voices, definitely female voices, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, saxophones.

Here's a chart of frequencies. So looking at that chart and the instruments, I'm guessing we're talking about the 200hz-1,000hz range (aka upper bass/low midrange and midrange) although 1,000hz is quite high pitched when listening to tones. I guess whoever said that midrange is everything, they weren't kidding - you almost wonder why they bother with tweeters so much when you see this.

Any recommendations on the curve I can apply? I have Dolby Atmos on my computer and it's quite stunning what EQ can do to the sound so I'm hoping I can at least tonally match them and then we'll know how the DAC and pre-amp affect the sound. I could apply a "hump" where it increases gradually over 200hz and decreases at some point but if anyone knows of another curve then I can try that.


eq-chart.png
 
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Fofocho

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- If your external dac has better specs, then it is better to use it with the Denon's analog inputs, but only if you use direct or pure direct mode, otherwise the signal will be routed through the AVR's ADC and DAC anyway.

- If you use the analog inputs, in direct or pure direct mode then ys, the Denon will work as a preamp in that case, assuming you are using external power amp obviously.

- No extra conversion as long as you do the above.

- I would recommend using RCA-XLR, but if you try RCA and do not hear hiss and hum, then save your money. RCA-XLR is of course not the same as XLR to XLR but it is supposely still a little better than RCA-RCA, based on Hypex articles on this topic.

You also ask about whether the 4800 can drive the R6 Meta, and I thought that was covered but may be not, so I will say this again, almost any AVRs can drive 4 ohm speakers that often has dips to 3 ohms or even lower. It does depend on your listening habit, speaker sensitivity, and distance.

My suggestion is, use an online calculator to get the answer.


or


If you need help on the use of such calculators, just ask the specific questions.

If the calculator tells you 50 W is needed, then the 4800 can do the job, but it would better to use something like the Hypex NCx500, or at least NC502MP. If the calculator says 25 W is enough, then the 4800 should be fine. The numbers I use here are just rough guideline based on my own opinion and experience, not to be taken as exact or in absolute sense at all.

It is a pitty that new Denons and Marantz do not have anymore the "7.1 CH IN" inputs. That was the only way to guarantee 100% analog mode on the receiver. Pure Direct is not 100% analog on normal RCA Inputs (those labelled CD, DVD, etc). The multichannel 7.1 inputs were the only ones running 100% analog. You cannot apply Audyssey, EQ, tone control.... noting to these inputs
 

peng

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It's been a while since I listened to classical but I do listen to jazz. Any particular songs? I could play the Amadeus soundtrack as I remember that from the Sansui and can see how they both handle it.
Back in 2012 I tried to collect a list of digital music that people considered have good recording/mastering quality:

First list of 38 titles within 10 days:

About 128 titles almost 4 years later:
 

peng

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Okay so how do I match the voice and guitar sounds to the other AVR?

The difference is with male voices, definitely female voices, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, saxophones.

Here's a chart of frequencies. So looking at that chart and the instruments, I'm guessing we're talking about the 200hz-1,000hz range (aka upper bass/low midrange and midrange) although 1,000hz is quite high pitched when listening to tones. I guess whoever said that midrange is everything, they weren't kidding - you almost wonder why they bother with tweeters so much when you see this.

Any recommendations on the curve I can apply? I have Dolby Atmos on my computer and it's quite stunning what EQ can do to the sound so I'm hoping I can at least tonally match them and then we'll know how the DAC and pre-amp affect the sound. I could apply a "hump" where it increases gradually over 200hz and decreases at some point but if anyone knows of another curve then I can try that.


eq-chart.png

If the difference you heard is mainly due to the frequency response characteristics changed slightly by the two volume control ICs in series, then I think it is nearly impossible to try and match it with EQ, and if you want to try doing it for fun, do it by trial and error.

The best way to start this is to compare the FR of the two combinations for the range say 30 to 20,000 Hz using REW and a mic such as the Umik-1, then you will see how much they differ. The following is an example, when I compared my Denon AVR I had just acquired at the time, with my Cambridge audio preamp and Parasound A21 power amp:

In that comparison, they sounded the same, and the graphs looked almost the same, there was no need to waste time to investigate further. Prior to that, I had done the same to compare my Denon AVR-3805, Marantz AV8801, to my separate preamp and power amps (including my Bryston 4B SST), the results always looked similar to the one below.

1697623670047.png
 

EWL5

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Back in 2012 I tried to collect a list of digital music that people considered have good recording/mastering quality:

First list of 38 titles within 10 days:

About 128 titles almost 4 years later:
Since you specifically called out Yo-Yo Ma in your list, the Master and Commander soundtrack is every bit as dynamic as the movie itself (as much as a movie with ships shooting cannons at each other could have!). Yo-Yo Ma's "Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007 - I. Prélude" always takes me back to Captain Aubrey's decision to just spend a few more days on the Galapagos Islands for some additional R&R!
 

techsamurai

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If the difference you heard is mainly due to the frequency response characteristics changed slightly by the two volume control ICs in series, then I think it is nearly impossible to try and match it with EQ, and if you want to try doing it for fun, do it by trial and error.

I heard the same when the 4800h was used as an amp so I'm not sure the 2 volume ICs are the issue.

The best way to start this is to compare the FR of the two combinations for the range say 30 to 20,000 Hz using REW and a mic such as the Umik-1, then you will see how much they differ. The following is an example, when I compared my Denon AVR I had just acquired at the time, with my Cambridge audio preamp and Parasound A21 power amp:

In that comparison, they sounded the same, and the graphs looked almost the same, there was no need to waste time to investigate further. Prior to that, I had done the same to compare my Denon AVR-3805, Marantz AV8801, to my separate preamp and power amps (including my Bryston 4B SST), the results always looked similar to the one below.



View attachment 319651

Does REW measure live during a song so we can see how they reproduce actual sound?

I had trouble getting REW measurements from my laptop with a UMIK-1 and the REW software. I can try it again. Do I need another piece of equipment?
 

peng

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I heard the same when the 4800h was used as an amp so I'm not sure the 2 volume ICs are the issue.



Does REW measure live during a song so we can see how they reproduce actual sound?

I had trouble getting REW measurements from my laptop with a UMIK-1 and the REW software. I can try it again. Do I need another piece of equipment?
Please clarify, when you use the 4800's amp you can't be using 2 vol controls, there would have been no need to??

I have not tried to use REW with live music but I believe you can do something with pre recorded music (hopefully someone will chime in on that). There is no need to complicate things, just do the sweep and you have the whole audio bandwidth covered. Are you doubting the merit of such FR plots that all reviewers do, including Amir? What is your concern?

The thing is, doing it this way, you would be able to have some idea as to what to do, regarding the question you asked in your post#1526.
 
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peng

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I had trouble getting REW measurements from my laptop with a UMIK-1 and the REW software. I can try it again. Do I need another piece of equipment?

The Umik-1 should work well with REW. What kind of trouble are you getting?
 

techsamurai

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Please clarify, when you use the 4800's amp you can't be using 2 vol controls, there would have been no need to??

When I got the unit, I played only the 4800h and I could tell things were not the same.

Denon 4800h only (DAC, preamp, audyssey + bi-amp) + subwoofer

In order to compare, I power the LR with the SR 8002 and have been using the following 2 options:

Denon 4800h (DAC, preamp, audyssey) + Marantz SR8002 (bi-amp) + subwoofer
Marantz SR8002 only (DAC, preamp + audyssey + bi-amp) (no subwoofer)
 

techsamurai

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I have not tried to use REW with live music but I believe you can do something with pre recorded music (hopefully someone will chime in on that). There is no need to complicate things, just do the sweep and you have the whole audio bandwidth covered. Are you doubting the merit of such FR plots that all reviewers do, including Amir? What is your concern?

The thing is, doing it this way, you would be able to have some idea as to what to do, regarding the question you asked in your post#1526.

It should be enough - I bumped 100hz to 1khz by 3 db with a bit of smoothing. Dire Straits's Sultans of Swing 9th minute from the Alchemy (Hammersmith Odeon), the guitars are even more elevated on the Marantz but the Denon is getting closer. I feel like the sound of the solo highs are between 750hz and 1khz. Anyone know what frequencies they span?

It's actually interesting how the soundstage is dependent on the curve especially in the golden range of sound because other instruments like drums are now given less presence and the guitars and voices are given the spotlight.

It's tough to use the iPad but you get the hang of it eventually. The annoying part is that the 1st point you add changes the entire curve forcing corrections at the low and high frequencies to get the original curve. I think 1 point requires 4 more points to isolate a frequency but once you pin the other frequencies, you can mess with a range.
 

evert

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Anyone got a native auro-3d file to play in the x4800h? I downloaded a demo disc and it displays as DTS-HD + Neural:X.
Maybe that's correct? I expected it to say Auro-3d.. I can always chose that manually, but once I go to the Auto mode it always goes back to DTS-HD + Neural:x.
I run a 9.1 setup in the amp assign saying it's capable of Auro-3d. Feeding it with a Nvidia Sheld (Dolby Atmos and DTS:X works perfectaly btw).
 

Steve Dallas

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When I got the unit, I played only the 4800h and I could tell things were not the same.

Denon 4800h only (DAC, preamp, audyssey + bi-amp) + subwoofer

In order to compare, I power the LR with the SR 8002 and have been using the following 2 options:

Denon 4800h (DAC, preamp, audyssey) + Marantz SR8002 (bi-amp) + subwoofer
Marantz SR8002 only (DAC, preamp + audyssey + bi-amp) (no subwoofer)

Denon 4800h (DAC, preamp, audyssey) + Marantz SR8002 (bi-amp) + subwoofer

This pathway is likely compromised. Running the 4800 pre out into the 8002 aux in will most likely result in ADC / DAC, as most inputs will be digitized.

I am not going to read back over the thread, so I apologize if this has been asked and answered, but have you compared the two with level matching to 0.5dB in pure direct mode?

Have you measured both with REW and a measurement mic using unfiltered pink noise to compare frequency responses? If you can do that, upload the REW files here for us to look at.

Only tangentially related, and I plan to post a more comprehensive review later, but I have a 4700 and 4800, which have different countries of origin, different DACs, and different amp topologies, and I cannot hear any difference between them in pure direct mode. I can hear slight differences in setup / Audyssey results when Audyssey is enabled.
 
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peng

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Denon 4800h (DAC, preamp, audyssey) + Marantz SR8002 (bi-amp) + subwoofer

This pathway is likely compromised. Running the 4800 pre out into the 8002 aux in will most likely result in ADC / DAC, as most inputs will be digitized.

I am not going to read back over the thread, so I apologize if this has been asked and answered, but have you compared the two with level matching to 0.5dB in pure direct mode?

Have you measured both with REW and a measurement mic using unfiltered pink noise to compare frequency responses? If you can do that, upload the REW files here for us to look at.

Only tangentially related, and I plan to post a more comprehensive review later, but I have a 4700 and 4800, which have different countries of origin, different DACs, and different amp topologies, and I cannot hear any difference between them in pure direct mode. I can hear slight differences in setup / Audyssey results when Audyssey is enabled.
I don't know why he worded it that way, as I thought he was going to connect the Denon preout to the Marantz multi channel analog input, and was going to compare them in 2ch stereo mode only. That way, there shouldn't be double converting. If he did not do it the way I thought he did, then sure, the issue wouldn't be just the double vol controls, but potentially something else as well.
 

techsamurai

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I don't know why he worded it that way, as I thought he was going to connect the Denon preout to the Marantz multi channel analog input, and was going to compare them in 2ch stereo mode only. That way, there shouldn't be double converting. If he did not do it the way I thought he did, then sure, the issue wouldn't be just the double vol controls, but potentially something else as well.

I'm using the Pre-outs on the 4800h to the Marantz AUX2 Multi-channel inputs. Am I missing something?
 

techsamurai

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I'll give it another try - see what the issue was.

I was trying to use ASIO4ALL and my Realtek soundcard showed a status of Beyond Logic with a red exclamation mark.

I was trying to measure all speakers back then. What's the easiest way to do a 2 channel REW calibration? Can I use the headphones jack with a 3.5mm to RCA instead of HDMI?
 

peng

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I was trying to use ASIO4ALL and my Realtek soundcard showed a status of Beyond Logic with a red exclamation mark.

I was trying to measure all speakers back then. What's the easiest way to do a 2 channel REW calibration? Can I use the headphones jack with a 3.5mm to RCA instead of HDMI?
For 2 channel, you may find it easier to use java instead of ASIO.

Yes you can use 3.5mm to RCA.
 

techsamurai

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For 2 channel, you may find it easier to use java instead of ASIO.

Yes you can use 3.5mm to RCA.

More stuff to buy that I'll never use but it will save me time ;-) How do I calibrate the sound card? Do I need to do that for 2 channel?
 
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