• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Denon DRA-800H Review (Stereo Receiver)

Vaskis

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
23
Likes
6
When I started my research in beginning of C19 for main system, this was one of the first units I found based on criteria: HDMI-arc, 70w/ch, stereo, streamer, but it still was just a little too expensive of what is was. AVR seemed to be stupid purchase with all those channels, big box and settings. I even tried to convince myself that I need 3.0 or 3.1 system for TV use just to justify AVR purchase. Strangely Marantz slim line seemed to be the one, but again to expensive and too short on power. Was very close to AVR-S650, but Then I landed on this site and all the audio world turned upside down after "youtube and forums" univers wisdom.

By the way this Denon still is MOST WANTED because of above mentioned functions! Local shops claims that some people are on waiting lists for months.
 

eddantes

Active Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
292
Likes
450
1632224914891.png

1632225050987.png


Yup - it is better... But... Sony is more expensive, and the improvement isn't that great...

OK - I'm done with this. I look forward to more AVR tests, because I'd love to find an AVR thats <$750 with a 3 digit SINAD (or close).
 
Last edited:

thefsb

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
739
Likes
562
Build an audiophile class 2-channel integrated amplifier with DSP and HDMI input and you will have a very unique and desirable product.
Yes, you do. And I would buy it!
 

respice finem

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Feb 1, 2021
Messages
931
Likes
1,238
This amp... exists, but not from Denon (and "slightly" more expensive, though better value for money).
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
14
Likes
15
I don't think that the Loxjie A30 has enough power for anything but really nearfield desktop/computer setup. Unless your TV room is extremely tiny and your speakers Ultra efficient. Different tools for different use case.
I had the Denon and I currently have the Loxjie but for the love of god Loxjie could not drive Kef Q150s properly. At least that was my impression when comparing the two.
 

PeteL

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 1, 2020
Messages
1,327
Likes
1,268
I had the Denon and I currently have the Loxjie but for the love of god Loxjie could not drive Kef Q150s properly. At least that was my impression when comparing the two.
I would have been surprised if it did. Q150s are not an easy load.
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
14
Likes
15
I would have been surprised if it did. Q150s are not an easy load.
That being said, before I went for my current setup (Kef R3, purifi based amp and SMSL-SU9) and I knew little about quality music reproduction those Q150s sounded just fine when driven by the Denon (despite the fact how poorly it measures in Amir's test).
 

PeteL

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 1, 2020
Messages
1,327
Likes
1,268
That being said, before I went for my current setup (Kef R3, purifi based amp and SMSL-SU9) and knew little about quality music reproduction those Q150s sounded just fine when driven by the Denon (despite the fact how poorly it measures in Amir's test).
I am someone that believe that the most important spec of an amp is the power it can produce, many here believe Sinad at 1K is more important. That's OK but only on very specific conditions equipment and transducers. If I don't hear noise, noise is not an issue, to me. Same for distortion, if I don't hear it... And no, I'm not saying it's inaudible, it may very well be but it's subtle. I can hear if an amp struggle and dynamics are affected or some soft clipping occurs....It's NOT subtle... But maybe it's just me.
 

PeteL

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 1, 2020
Messages
1,327
Likes
1,268
I had the Denon and I currently have the Loxjie but for the love of god Loxjie could not drive Kef Q150s properly. At least that was my impression when comparing the two.
I agree but it's not an AV receiver tough, it doesn't have all the HDMI IO it has HDMI IN only, but yes Amir was only asking for an Integrated with HDMI in and DSP, those exist indeed.
 

testp

Active Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2020
Messages
192
Likes
77
This unit is CDN $800.00 That's a whole lot of moola for this level of poor performance. Denon dropped the ball on this play for sure.
Considering electrical bills rising soon, this unit could pull double duty then: play & heat
 

Bur05XP

New Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2019
Messages
2
Likes
0
Well, that is disappointing. I use this model for a pair of bookshelf speakers and subwoofer currently. I do note without calibration I did my best to integrate dsp on the SVS sub. Changing setup soon and it will power 4 ceiling speakers for HEOS only, albeit an expensive receiver for this purpose, but oh well. I hope the X1xxxH or X2xxxH series I replace it with soon have faired better in testing. Not that I can really tell/hear the poor testing performance differences anyway. It will be nice to have some correction available again.
 

don'ttrustauthority

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
332
Likes
182
the Stereo Tax is real. the HT segment seems more value-driven that the stereo segment, and I guess manufacturers have cottoned onto the fact that stereo consumers are willing to pay more for less
No. Competition in the segment. Lose your ideology.
 

ralph

Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2021
Messages
32
Likes
34
Location
Ländle, Germany
Thanks for the review Amir! Would be great to see the more classical Denon budget amplifiers tested - I`ve got the Denon PMA-600NE in my little collection but cannot send it over living in Germany. I love the attention to detail put in the PMA-600, like what happens to the LED when you mute it. As a source I'm using an Echo Show right now - very convenient, again wondering how it measures :)
 

peng

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
2,064
Likes
1,636
Thanks for the review Amir! Would be great to see the more classical Denon budget amplifiers tested - I`ve got the Denon PMA-600NE in my little collection but cannot send it over living in Germany. I love the attention to detail put in the PMA-600, like what happens to the LED when you mute it. As a source I'm using an Echo Show right now - very convenient, again wondering how it measures :)

Your amp will likely measure better than the DRA-800H in SINAD. Integated 2 ch amp obviously make sense for 2 ch use but will cost more for the same or even less in terms of audio specs and measurements as they are not mass produced like AVRs or receivers.
 
Last edited:

respice finem

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Feb 1, 2021
Messages
931
Likes
1,238

AnalogSteph

Major Contributor
Joined
Nov 6, 2018
Messages
1,721
Likes
1,587
Location
.de
Let's put the unit in "Stereo" mode whereby DSP capabilities are available:

Denon DRA-800 Measurements Amplifier RCA Stereo Amplifier.png


So you lose about 5 dB of performance.
In terms of noise alone, it's far worse actually - something like 15+ dB. +N is about -74.4 dB down, that's 96.6 dB of dynamic range ref. 2 Vrms. Assuming the input can take 3 Vrms or so, that's somewhere around 100 dB total for the ADC + DAC roundtrip, adequate but decidedly entry-level. Better than HDMI > DAC interestingly enough, so HDMI clock recovery may have "a bit" of a jitter problem?

It may be interesting to see the same test with ~2 Vrms of input and receiver volume adjusted accordingly.
 

danielsmi

New Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2021
Messages
1
Likes
0
I owned the DRA-800h (not this one)... I sold it and bought the Marantz NR1200 because I wanted preamp out jacks. Here's some additional tidbits from personal experience:

  • There is NO room correction* and NO bass management. The speakers always play full-range no matter what. You can set a low pass filter for the sub output in the menu, but it doesn't implement high pass on the mains. That doesn't affect me, since I just use 2.0, but it's a consideration.
I had the Denon and now have the Marantz NR1200 because of the preamp out. I can confirm there is no bass management in them, I set the low pass filter to 100hz on my sub, and when I play 5HZ Bass test tones my front speaker's woofers are moving. I falsely assumed that the bass wasn't being sent to the full-range speakers, only the sub. Thanks to this new insight I've set the low pass filter to 40Hz so it helps out my speakers at the low end when they start to roll off.

There really aren't many options for stereo amp/preamps that have HDMI switching. NADs with the HDMI module seem like the best but there have been complaints of a bass issue and clipping in those models on other forums and supposedly the solution will require hardware to resolve so you might have to wait until the next model.

NAD has announced a couple of new models in the past few months but nothing to replace the M12 or C658. There's a lot of great stereo amps and pre-amps but hardly any include or have the option to add HDMI switching.
 

bloodshoteyed

Active Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2020
Messages
224
Likes
408
Location
n/a
This amp... exists, but not from Denon (and "slightly" more expensive, though better value for money).

and if 80wpc are enough for you, you could get away with the older C368, adding the full hdmi module - for some 40% less

regarding the waiting lists for the Denon, i had a talk with a few dealers a few months back, they all only got single digit stock after more than half a year of nothing, so sure it flew off shelves in an instant
 

Jakke

New Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2021
Messages
1
Likes
0
Hello from Finland!

Interesting results... Are you sure that this particular unit was not somehow faulty? You mentioned that the unit gets very hot. This sounds a bit strange to me, because I've used this receiver for about a year now and it really does not get hot at normal living room use. Warm, yes, but never hot. I have disabled all eco functions, of course, so they do not explain my receivers "coolness".

Good job with measurements anyway. Very interesting to read!

(Sorry for my poor English.)
 
Top Bottom