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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

soerenssen

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Some days ago I was asking about 4800h zone 2 subwoofer (turns out this is not supported by virtually all AVRs, until you get to the integra 8.4), and In case anybody was curious (probably not), I went with following to create my own zone2 for music listening (this ‘zone’ uses a separate set of KEF R7 speakers in the room, but uses the same sub as what my 5.1 AVR tv/movies setup is using)

- music is played from iTunes lossless on Mac mini (controlled by the ‘remote’ app). Mac runs Dirac

- mac -> topping dm7

- topping into 2 of my external amp’s available channels for stereo channels. topping into y-splitter for subwoofer (So, both my avr and the topping go into the same subwoofer. Nah, I’m not gonna get a switch.)

The topping’s output cable for the subwoofer output is a balanced-> rca and thus loses 6db, but Dirac setup will correct for this.

I was gonna get the Mac mini anyway, so I just had to spend $500 more on the topping. I’ll have a very clean signal all the way to the kefs. “ I spit in the face of all avrs and their paltry zone2. their zone2 manuals will be the tinder on which they burn! “. Hahhh. (Stolen from Ronan the Accuser).
Did you do any measurements to compare the DM7 with the x4800h on the KEFs? Do you run stereo Dirac with or without DLBC on the Mac?
 

soerenssen

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@peng I wanted to ask you what made you choose the desktop DLBC licence over waiting for DLBC to be released for the new Denons? I'm asking because you mentioned the x3700h (used or new?) for 800USD, but for 800EUR I recently saw a brand new x3800h recently. So if you sell the Dirac stereo licence and buy the stereo+DLBC during the BF week for the x3800h, it's very close.

(Edit: I updated my post after I realized, after reading back, that you don't have the x3700h yet. I guess you cannot use the AVM70 in the HT room for music in the other room, right?)
 
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peng

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@peng I wanted to ask you what made you choose the desktop DLBC licence over waiting for DLBC to be released for the new Denons? I'm asking because you mentioned the x3700h (used or new?) for 800USD, but for 800EUR I recently saw a brand new x3800h recently. So if you sell the Dirac stereo licence and buy the stereo+DLBC during the BF week for the x3800h, it's very close.

(Edit: I updated my post after I realized, after reading back, that you don't have the x3700h yet. I guess you cannot use the AVM70 in the HT room for music in the other room, right?)
1) As you now realize I don't have the 3700, my potential candidates for doing what I want in one of my 2 ch system are:
a) X3600H, X3700H, even X3500H, but I don't thing I can find one new, and am always skeptical of used ones that are out of warranty.
b) MOTU M4, but I am not sure if I spent $400 on the M4, how would I do volume control, to pair it with a 4 channel preamp or 2X2ch preamp is not going to be tricky.
c) Give up on using 2 subs with my BMRs, but just 1, in that case DLBC would seem under utilized, though with the discounts I wouldn't complaining much about it.

Ideally, I would like to use a real 2.2 receiver or integrated amp but there is no such animal that I am aware of. If Dirac has a smart and more risk taking marketing team, they would work with the likes of D+M, NAD, Arcam etc., to market a real 2.2 device instead of settling on the silly subwoofer outputs that are simply connected to the left/right channels no different than using Y-connectors externally.

To be clear, there are no 2.2 or even 2.1 contents for HT, but in my opinion, manufacturers should take a risk and do try marketing such a product if they would bet on room correction such as DL will soon gain popularity.

May be they are smart enough to know that 2 channel audiophiles are too ignorant to know that they could have much better perceptible sound quality by using a mid range gear such as DRA-9000H, NR1200 if such unit can take advantage of DLBC, or the likes of MSO that can integrate the bass of capable tower speakers and multiple subwoofers. It is probably a fact that the 2 channel crowds typically get fixated on the so called sound signature myth, such that they believe for example, there are night and day improvements simply by "upgrading" from their NR1200 to an Anthem STR integrated amp, yet in a DBT they would not be able to perceive much difference if at all, whereas the difference between with and without the use of RC such as DLBC would be much more obvious. In other words, it is likely true that people don't know what they miss, and keep chasing the wrong thing that only work because of their tendency to get easily influenced by marketing information and the price points of the so called high end gear.
 

soerenssen

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May be they are smart enough to know that 2 channel audiophiles are too ignorant to know that they could have much better perceptible sound quality by using a mid range gear such as DRA-9000H, NR1200 if such unit can take advantage of DLBC, or the likes of MSO that can integrate the bass of capable tower speakers and multiple subwoofers. It is probably a fact that the 2 channel crowds typically get fixated on the so called sound signature myth, such that they believe for example, there are night and day improvements simply by "upgrading" from their NR1200 to an Anthem STR integrated amp, yet in a DBT they would not be able to perceive much difference if at all, whereas the difference between with and without the use of RC such as DLBC would be much more obvious. In other words, it is likely true that people don't know what they miss, and keep chasing the wrong thing that only work because of their tendency to get easily influenced by marketing information and the price points of the so called high end gear.
I don't have the experience with different amp classes and (perceived) "sound signatures", and as a mathematician I am more attracted to the numbers personally. But that can also mess up your thinking. Even without having first hand experience with the PC-DM7-NCx500 chain and while I'd really like the x4800h to be capable as one-box solution (except that it'd serve only DAC/pre-amp purposes for music), the "good enough" measurement numbers combined with subjective feedback from others has led me to start from scratch and build a clean pipeline for 2.2, with good numbers, higher dynamic range, etc. I just can't wait to set up a blind test and compare them with my own ears - both with and without DSP/RC.
Btw, for almost the same price, why Motu M4 instead of Topping?
 

pogo

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Ideally, I would like to use a real 2.2 receiver or integrated amp but there is no such animal that I am aware of.
All current NAD devices have two independent sub outs and will soon get DLBC.
The M66 even is 2.4 able.
 

peng

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All current NAD devices have two independent sub outs and will soon get DLBC.
The M66 even is 2.4 able.
You missed some of the stuff discussed, I (and @soerenssen too but he wants more channels) am talking about needing a 2.2 with Dirac Live PC standalone version. Some of us like to do it with PC for the flexibility. I only mentioned the AVR option because of their relatively low price for the midrange ones.

The M66 probably can do the job but it would be a huge overkill for what I need. For $7,500, NAD or whatever brand, of course it should be able to do just about anything, including serving dinners and drinks.

So far the best alternative seems to be a 4 channel DAC, the Motu M4. But I wish D+M, Yamaha, or yes NAD would just take one of their AVR, but removing everything except what is needed for two channel use, even better if they remove the video section as well.
 

soerenssen

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I (and @soerenssen too but he wants more channels) am talking about needing a 2.2 with Dirac Live PC standalone version. The M66 probably can do the job but it would be a huge overkill for what I need. So far the best alternative seems to be a 4 channel DAC, the Motu M4. But I wish D+M, Yamaha, or yes NAD would just take one of their AVR, but removing everything except what is needed for two channel use, even better if they remove the video section as well.
Same 2.2 in my case too (for music).
I would add the ported sub for 5.3 only for HT (if the x4800h supports that configuration), if that's what you meant - so yes, with the external DAC it's sort of redundant, but it'll be an experiment anyway. ;)
 

peng

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@peng why integrated instead of separates?

Separates are fine too, but again, to do 2.2, we would need basically a 4 channel device, that that's hard to find. Again, currently all those 2.2, except some of those Pogo mentioned, are not really 2.2, not in my book, as those are just internally connected with the main channels so you can really use them to do DLBC, and that's why I mentioned the AVR option, because they in fact can be configure for 2.2 with DL.

I will order the M4 as soon as I got the volume control figured out. @Tafelberg probably is the person to ask for help


 

RickyC34

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Separates are fine too, but again, to do 2.2, we would need basically a 4 channel device, that that's hard to find. Again, currently all those 2.2, except some of those Pogo mentioned, are not really 2.2, not in my book, as those are just internally connected with the main channels so you can really use them to do DLBC, and that's why I mentioned the AVR option, because they in fact can be configure for 2.2 with DL.

I will order the M4 as soon as I got the volume control figured out. @Tafelberg probably is the person to ask for help


This has been my volume control for 5+ years running either a pc or mac as my source to my living room tv. Batteries last forever. I think I've changed them 3-4 times over 5 years. Wireless Keyboard.
There are also usb dongle volume controls that you can program to a remote. Flirc
Would an old harmony remote work? or maybe the sofabaton? Sofabaton
 

soerenssen

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I will order the M4 as soon as I got the volume control figured out.
What do you mean? A solution for the lack of remote volume control or the manual volume control not adjusting the volume for all the 4 channels (only ch 1/2)?
 

peng

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What do you mean? A solution for the lack of remote volume control or the manual volume control not adjusting the volume for all the 4 channels (only ch 1/2)?
Manual volume control is good enough for me.
 

soerenssen

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Manual volume control is good enough for me.
Is it the lack of main volume control that the Mk5 has (for all channels)? If yes, can you set both the DLBC volume level and the M4's volume level to the max safest level and then use one of those Harmony-replacements suggested by @RickyC34 with a Macro to control the media volume in Jriver?
 

Deckard71

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They share the EXACT same hardware—the only differences are cosmetics, FW (software), and GUI. However, sonically, the Cinema 40 may appeal to audiophools who prefer a "warm" more analog sound. This is attributed to FW-based artificially added digital distortion (harmonics) aimed to create a psychoacoustic effect on the Marantz line.

No, it is not achieved via "FW-based artificially added digital distortion", it is due to HDAM preamp modules (hardware). And they sound great. You are not a microphone, you are a human being (I hope) and that "distortion" harmonics are pleasant to our brains
 

peng

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Is it the lack of main volume control that the Mk5 has (for all channels)? If yes, can you set both the DLBC volume level and the M4's volume level to the max safest level and then use one of those Harmony-replacements suggested by @RickyC34 with a Macro to control the media volume in Jriver?
Thanks, so you can confirm that M4 has volume control? I may pull the trigger soon as I paid for my DLBC license already. Initially I will use just one sub, the 2nd one has to wait after spending a lot lately.:D
 

peng

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No, it is not achieved via "FW-based artificially added digital distortion", it is due to HDAM preamp modules (hardware). And they sound great. You are not a microphone, you are a human being (I hope) and that "distortion" harmonics are pleasant to our brains

I think Marantz has admitted indirectly that it wasn't the HDAMs doing the trick but the DAC filters. That's based on the following facts:

1) The AV10 has vanishingly low distortions, as you said "You are not a microphone, you are a human being....", so I hope as human beings you can't really appreciate harmonics at such low level even if they are in fact pleasant to your brains (please don't use "our brains" because people's brains don't necessarily find the same harmonics pleasing, you can read Nelson Pass's article on that, and Nelson Pass is a believer in some harmonics can be pleasing).

2) In the AV10 manual, as well as Masimo's YT video, it clearly cited the DAC filters were affecting the "Marantz sound".

Below has been posted multiple times on the internet by various people:

1701693970618.png


And, below shows how low the AV10's distortions are:


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