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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

HarmonicTHD

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2.2 with DLBC running on a Mac/PC with a multichannel DAC.
5.3 for HT using a cheaper AVR. The AVR won't be connected to the multichannel DAC / pre-amp, but both the DAC and the AVR would use the same power amp for the mains (Little Bear MC3 to switch between them). All the 3 subs (2 sealed, 1 ported) connected to the AVR via RCA. 2 sealed subs connected to the multichannel DAC via XLR. I will opt for subs with both RCA and XLR inputs, e.g. Arendal 1723, that can switch between inputs automatically, so I don't have to use Y cables or switch between them too.

I know it's a Frankenstein system, but for the 2.2 chain I wanted to go full-modular to have the most flexibility. And HT is secondary, they are in the same (untreated) room anyway. I want to start focusing on room treatment as soon as possible. Even on my current old Yamaha receiver I enjoy movies a lot, I just miss the bass integration. I won't pay for DLBC twice, for HT I trust @peng's advice and will just use Audyssey.
You sure like it complicated. I would do everything with a X4800 and forget about the whole DAC thing. Doubtful there is even an advantage aside from you owning the DBLC license already for Mac.

Isn’t DBLC being available soon for X4800 anyhow?

Besides with REW to run tests and a bit of tinkering, I am sure you get your subs aligned just with Audyssey.
 

soerenssen

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You sure like it complicated. I would do everything with a X4800 and forget about the whole DAC thing. Doubtful there is even an advantage aside from you owning the DBLC license already for Mac.
Isn’t DBLC being available soon for X4800 anyhow?
Besides with REW to run tests and a bit of tinkering, I am sure you get your subs aligned just with Audyssey.
There is a 14-day return window for the DLBC licence. The simplest way would be a better AVR + power amp combination for both HT and music, but I wanted to get rid of Dirac downsampling on the 2.2 pipeline, plus the flexibility to use better components. Looking at the signatures, in many cases I found that people have dedicated systems for music and HT. That said, I'm not sure at all that I would hear any difference between the modular system and the x4800h alone, so you are probably right. But then how else would I find out if I am missing out on anything? The Hegel with its HT bypass is also a nice idea, KEF recommended it too when I contacted them via e-mail, but I need the extra subs in my current room.
 

soerenssen

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For HT, I think if buy the MultEQ X at the Black Friday price, the end results may just be as good.
Is the Audyssey mic that comes with the x4800h sufficient for Audyssey MultEQ-X Pro, or is it recommended to buy their calibrated Pro Kit microphone?
 

RickyC34

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Please correct me if I'm wrong, but you won't be able to apply DLBC processing. This is why I asked how you would connect the PC to the Denon (as a DAC). You need USB, but the Denon cannot do that.
Good question. I don't think USB is an option. I believe you can achieve this by DLBC on PC/Mac and the Denon serving as a multichannel dac / preamp via HDMI from the PC/Mac.
Yep, that's why I haven't done that yet and will likely bite the bullet and spend $400 on the M4, but in that case I am not sure yet if the M4 has volume control for such purposes.
I control the volume via a wireless keyboard with no issues. Jriver can provide more precise volume control if you go that route.
I never like the minidsp idea either. Imo, the 2X4HD should have been retired, don't understand why so many people still talk about, or telling others to use it with AVRs, when it cannot really do any better than using plain XT32 SubEQ HT and if use as DAC, you get 75 dB SINAD at best, so why bother.
Personally, my old Minidsp 2x4HD then turned into a DDRC-24 was the best bang for the buck purchase I've ever made. I like to tinker and this opened the floodgates for me. I know very little compared to a lot of members on here but love the journey of furthering my knowledge of why things perform the way they do. It all started with the 2x4 hd.
 

peng

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Is the Audyssey mic that comes with the x4800h sufficient for Audyssey MultEQ-X Pro, or is it recommended to buy their calibrated Pro Kit microphone?
I would just use the one that comes with the unit. No need to pay for the individually calibrated one.
 

RickyC34

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You sure like it complicated. I would do everything with a X4800 and forget about the whole DAC thing. Doubtful there is even an advantage aside from you owning the DBLC license already for Mac.

Isn’t DBLC being available soon for X4800 anyhow?

Besides with REW to run tests and a bit of tinkering, I am sure you get your subs aligned just with Audyssey.
@soerenssen Agree, If you have the 4800 this is by far the easiest solution. Just wait (hopefully just a little) for DLBC to come to the 4800. No need to buy multiple licenses. If you have the 4800, have you run Audy on your system? How do you like it? What do you hope Dirac will do a better job at? There's a handful of folks that prefer Audy to Dirac.
 

soerenssen

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I would just use the one that comes with the unit. No need to pay for the individually calibrated one.
I can see that there are two different versions: MultEQ-X and MultEQ-X Pro.
But more importantly, it requires having the AVR on the network, because the licence is tied to the unit.
 

peng

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I can see that there are two different versions: MultEQ-X and MultEQ-X Pro.
But more importantly, it requires having the AVR on the network, because the licence is tied to the unit.
The X is fine, pro is for installers.
 

soerenssen

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@soerenssen Agree, If you have the 4800 this is by far the easiest solution. Just wait (hopefully just a little) for DLBC to come to the 4800. No need to buy multiple licenses. If you have the 4800, have you run Audy on your system? How do you like it? What do you hope Dirac will do a better job at? There's a handful of folks that prefer Audy to Dirac.
I don't have the Denon currently, I bought only the DLBC stereo desktop licence. When I had the Denon for two weeks, I liked Audyssey. Dirac not so much but it was not DLBC, I used it full range and I haven't tried to move the curtain lower, to 300-500Hz.
The goal is something similar to what you have in your signature: two dedicated systems, one for HT, one for 2.2, initially in the same room, and when we move next year, hopefully the Denon can move to a dedicated HT room.
From DLBC I expect better bass and bass integration and as mentioned above, I opted for the desktop version for full flexibility when choosing components, no downsampling in the DSP software, and to have a fully balanced chain. When I sum up all the components (especially when opting for the Okto DAC8 that alone costs 1500EUR), it's getting very close to the new AVRs from PAC though.
 

RickyC34

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I'm VERY guilty of chasing the dragon myself and mean no disrespect at all but saying "I liked Audyssey. Dirac not so much" then choosing a Dirac-based room correction system over the option you favored is a bit confusing. I get it though, and do believe you will have better mains/sub integration with DLBC.

"I opted for the desktop version for full flexibility when choosing components" except for a computer being your source for 98% of applications. Unless loopback is used or something that allows an audio input to be fed to the pc/mac and then output via USB. (I've never done this before and it's a bit over my head but I know the Dac8 and Motu MK 5 can do this).

I'll be updating my system very soon and I'm trying to make the same tough decision you are when it comes to multi-channel dacs. I'll make sure to post when I do so in the Dirac thread. Dirac Live standalone for PC and Mac
 

ban25

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Is the Audyssey mic that comes with the x4800h sufficient for Audyssey MultEQ-X Pro, or is it recommended to buy their calibrated Pro Kit microphone?
I had the full-clip Audyssey solution on my old Denon X3700H: MultEQ-X and calibrated mic. It's not worth buying the calibrated mic. At that point you are already paying what, maybe $220 for Audyssey? Might as well just buy the Dirac license instead.
 

ban25

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Good question. I don't think USB is an option. I believe you can achieve this by DLBC on PC/Mac and the Denon serving as a multichannel dac / preamp via HDMI from the PC/Mac.
I bought the Stereo version of the Dirac Live Sound Processor for my PC this past week on inspiration from @peng. I like the result quite a lot, and it's very nice having a calibrated volume slider on my PC. However, the software has gotten itself into a "No Signal" state 2-3 times in as many days, and so far I've only been able to solve this with a reboot. For a pure desktop PC use-case, this is borderline tolerable. However, for an HTPC, I would be chucking the thing out the window by now.
 

RickyC34

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I bought the Stereo version of the Dirac Live Sound Processor for my PC this past week on inspiration from @peng. I like the result quite a lot, and it's very nice having a calibrated volume slider on my PC. However, the software has gotten itself into a "No Signal" state 2-3 times in as many days, and so far I've only been able to solve this with a reboot. For a pure desktop PC use-case, this is borderline tolerable. However, for an HTPC, I would be chucking the thing out the window by now.
The only thing similar to this I have experienced is when I first wake up my Mac for the day there's been instances where no audio outputs when playing a source. If I close the processor and then reopen it, it fixes the problem. I use the setup every day and I would say it happens about 4 times a month.
 

ban25

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The only thing similar to this I have experienced is when I first wake up my Mac for the day there's been instances where no audio outputs when playing a source. If I close the processor and then reopen it, it fixes the problem. I use the setup every day and I would say it happens about 4 times a month.
Yeah this is exactly what I am seeing. Except a simple restart of the processor doesn't seem to fix it -- I still get a red "No Signal" notification in the processor and, of course, no audio when playing a source.
 

peng

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Yeah this is exactly what I am seeing. Except a simple restart of the processor doesn't seem to fix it -- I still get a red "No Signal" notification in the processor and, of course, no audio when playing a source.
It happened to me too, but logging off and then login again fixed it. If not, email Flavio and/or open a ticket for support and he will fix it for you. It hasn't for a long time and it has been completely stable.
 
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RickyC34

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Yeah this is exactly what I am seeing. Except a simple restart of the processor doesn't seem to fix it -- I still get a red "No Signal" notification in the processor and, of course, no audio when playing a source.
Weird workaround but next time it happens try this..open up the audio settings on the Dirac processor, deselect one of the speakers then select it again. You should (hopefully) see the "no signal" sign go away and the audio should work. Still a PITA but faster than restarting your computer each time. Hope this works for ya.

I had the "no signal" show up much more often (maybe every time the TV was off or the Mac was asleep) when for a very short time one of my dacs was an HDMI audio extractor. lol, I know..but it's what I had on hand. To my surprise, it worked! I had to confirm 3 dacs at once was possible while troubleshooting a separate issue.

If you contact Dirac, there may be a more stable software version they recommend switching to. If you get this info please share it on the Dirac Mac/PC thread, I would love to know myself, and sure others would find it helpful.
 

ban25

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Weird workaround but next time it happens try this..open up the audio settings on the Dirac processor, deselect one of the speakers then select it again. You should (hopefully) see the "no signal" sign go away and the audio should work. Still a PITA but faster than restarting your computer each time. Hope this works for ya.

I had the "no signal" show up much more often (maybe every time the TV was off or the Mac was asleep) when for a very short time one of my dacs was an HDMI audio extractor. lol, I know..but it's what I had on hand. To my surprise, it worked! I had to confirm 3 dacs at once was possible while troubleshooting a separate issue.

If you contact Dirac, there may be a more stable software version they recommend switching to. If you get this info please share it on the Dirac Mac/PC thread, I would love to know myself, and sure others would find it helpful.
Thanks! And I've subscribed to the Dirac Live Standalone thread, so I'll keep the updates over there.
 

HarmonicTHD

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There is a 14-day return window for the DLBC licence. The simplest way would be a better AVR + power amp combination for both HT and music, but I wanted to get rid of Dirac downsampling on the 2.2 pipeline, plus the flexibility to use better components. Looking at the signatures, in many cases I found that people have dedicated systems for music and HT. That said, I'm not sure at all that I would hear any difference between the modular system and the x4800h alone, so you are probably right. But then how else would I find out if I am missing out on anything? The Hegel with its HT bypass is also a nice idea, KEF recommended it too when I contacted them via e-mail, but I need the extra subs in my current room.
It is very very likely that the separate chain will not improve sound in its own as speakers, room and room corrections affect sound by orders of magnitude more than all the electronics together.

Plus “better” is very undefined and in your case (and many others) it is simply what you like most.

To get there simply use one of the recommended room correction system and spend some time with it. There is no silver bullet system chain , which ensures that you like the result. And you actually adjusting the room correction system until you like the result is by far more effective, than (randomly) changing electronic components, which are measurably different but audibly are not distinguishable.

Hegel and KEF are partners so of course they recommend it.

Power amps: Start with the X4800 and if you find that (by measuring) you want to listen very loud and have problems with your speaker impedance you can add a power amp later (I have two mono blocks hooked up to my AVR, driving my KEF Reference 3, but believe me, I am very very hard pressed to hear a difference).

Music and HT: I use two settings, in the room correction system (in my case Audyssey with MultiEQX) one for Music and one for HT. All one needs. (Yes I do have a second system in my office. But that can come later).

I think you have most of the pros and cons. And after all. Your money, your decision. And maybe you have to go down the separate chain rabbit hole to find out yourself. I have been there (Dedicated Auralic DAC) and I built it back. Have fun. :)
 
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pogo

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we were initially talking about sound quality and whether the Denon could sufficiently power low impedance speakers for the purposes of adequate sound quality
Denon has denied this, including a possible (pre)damage!

that the Aiyima had some kind of secret edge “trade secret” type of advantage that could cause it to be better? Or to cause it to have greater output at 3 ohm with a phase shift?
Your class d has no secrets. It's just closer to an 'ideal amplifier', as you've already heard in your comparison. A potent class ab would have done the same, i.e. reproduced less distortion. The range of distortion with an unsuitable amplifier goes as far as self-oscillation.
This doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the volume level, but with the load!
 

popej

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I wish there were more good articles on such analysis, but I tried over the years and came up with very little such articles.
There is approach based on probability density function of music signal for estimating power requirements of an amplifier. Some years ago I have read articles about it, but can't find them now. Internet search suggest that Douglas Self publications describe this method.
 
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