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Denon X4500H. Most like which reviewed Denon?

Leviathan

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So Amir has reviewed the following Denon items:
X3500H
X3600H
X3700H
X4700H

The X3500H didn't do well (especially for internal DAC, which I would use), the others did much better.

I am thinking about picking up an X4500H. In terms of performance, would it more likely be like the X3500H or the X4700H? Is there any way to tell based on components?

The back of the X4500H back looks nearly identical to the X4700H, but I don't know if externals reflect internals?

Your thoughts?

Thank you!
 
I owned the Denon 4500 before the 4700. The Denon 4700 offers quite a few additional features:
1. Full pre-out functionality which can offer up to 20% better SINAD performance.
2. The ability to reduce energy use to 46W with full Pre-out amp assign mode vs 160-200W energy use with Denon 4500.
3. Denon 4500 is a much older design. Parts can be difficult to obtain if repair needed.
4. Denon 4700 has 8K upscaling, pass-though. Free 8K converter if desired.
5. Denon AVR-X4700H offers higher bluetooth 4.2 standard. Denon AVR-X4700H supports HDCP 2.3 copy protection.
6. Denon 4700 offers Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization, Variable Refresh Rate, Enhanced Auro-3D controls and HDR10+.

I would not recommend the Denon 4500. It's an old design that can easily break if shipped from a previous owner. The boxes don't hold up well after that first shipment. When I sent my 4500 in for repair to Denon it came back in significantly worse shape than I originally sent it. I wouldn't want to own a Denon 4500 after experiencing full pre-out mode features on the Denon 4700. I also would be very hesitant to buy a used 4500 unit as the remaining life on these units is limited.
 
It's got audyssey XT32 and it can't be that bad for an AVR from 2018. If you can find it in good shape on the cheap, go for it.

I've got a HTR-5890 that still works flawlessly, just a few issues with the LCD on the remote and lacking modern features, and that beast is from 2005.
 
amper42,

I appreciate that detailed write up!

By "full pre-out functionality," you are referring to the feature when it can turn off its amplifier, correct?

I admit that it would be nice to have the 4700, but it would probably cost me about 3x as much. I would be picking the 4500 up locally.

One of the reasons I was looking at this as opposed to my current (X3200W) is for the MutliEQ app support.
 
amper42,

I appreciate that detailed write up!

By "full pre-out functionality," you are referring to the feature when it can turn off its amplifier, correct?

I admit that it would be nice to have the 4700, but it would probably cost me about 3x as much. I would be picking the 4500 up locally.

One of the reasons I was looking at this as opposed to my current (X3200W) is for the MutliEQ app support.

If you buy a used 4500 locally make sure it's from someone you trust. My refurbished 4500 lasted 6 months until I added height channels and then only worked for two weeks before they started making a crackling sound in the speakers. It's really hard to know if each 4500 configuration works when you buy it used. You need to setup a full 7.2.4 speaker configurations and play it for a day in multi-channel stereo mode while checking the quality of sound periodically. Only then, would I be assured no underlying issues exist. The problem is most people are not setup to test this way. They play the 4500 in stereo or 5 channel and think that tells the whole story. I learned the hard way that's not the case.

Yes, full pre-out mode with the Denon 3700/4700/6700 allows the receiver to be used as a preamp and improves SINAD dramatically. It's a totally different animal with this feature. Still not as good to my ear as the ADI-2 DAC FS in stereo but remarkably cleaner and more powerful with the right amps for home theatre.
 
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My refurbished 4500 lasted 6 months until I added height channels and then only worked for two weeks before they started making a crackling sound in the speakers.
Ah, no wonder you're so hesitant to recommend a used avr. I'd still think that there would be a lot more chatter if Denon's weren't reliable. I heard a ton about the last gen Onkyo's being really unreliable on amazon reviews and a few other forums.
 
The X3500H didn't do well (especially for internal DAC, which I would use), the others did much better.
Didn’t Amir test the Xx700h and find it was about the same as the X3500h? And then Denon helped him discover errors in his testing, which resulted in the Xx700h measurements being redone? Where the X3500h measurements ever redone? I would assume that they likely had the same problems as the Xx700h measurements.

Also, isn’t the weak link in all of these systems the volume control circuit, and not the DAC? And probably your speakers would be the weak link when combined with any of these choices.

All that is to say that I love my X3500h.

OTOH, if I had to do it over again, I’d by a 5.2.4-capable AVR.
 
Didn’t Amir test the Xx700h and find it was about the same as the X3500h? And then Denon helped him discover errors in his testing, which resulted in the Xx700h measurements being redone? Where the X3500h measurements ever redone? I would assume that they likely had the same problems as the Xx700h measurements.

Also, isn’t the weak link in all of these systems the volume control circuit, and not the DAC? And probably your speakers would be the weak link when combined with any of these choices.

All that is to say that I love my X3500h.

OTOH, if I had to do it over again, I’d by a 5.2.4-capable AVR.


As I had the X3400H briefly, and read the fine prints of Amir's review, I have a different opinion on the X3500H. I am just going to repeat what I might have posted before, regarding the so called poor pre out performance of some AVRs measured. First of all, once again, Amir's comments on the 1.4 V, clipping....etc., confused many to think the preamp would clip at that level, when in fact if you read carefully, he meant the power amp would clip at that level and the distortions of the power amp, caused the increased distortions (I think that's because of the feedback) loop measured at the pre out when the power amp started to clip.

If you look at his follow up SINAD measurements, he alluded that distortion would only get crazy, and again, that "crazy" seems like a confusing term when taken out of context. As crazy as he described, at about 2 V, SINAD was at 73.6 dB dB, that's just about 1 dB lower than that of the AV7705s (2 measured) "separate" AVP, so try telling Marantz AVP/AVR owners that theirs would go "crazy" at 2 V !!

The fact is, if you don't need your AVRs pre out to be higher than 1.5 - 2 V, the SINAD AVR-X3500H is still better than (overall) any Marantz AVRs except the SR8015, and if you only need more than 1.2-1.5 V, it may even be almost as good as any of the Denon AVR including the AVR-X8500H, except for those who think they can hear the difference between 100 dB SINAD and 95 dB SINAD.

As to audible difference, I have compared the AVR-X3400H to my separates preamp/power amp (Cambridge Audio and Halo A21), the AVR sounded just as good to me (again, just me) at moderately loud volume.

Keep in mind for a lot of people, their amps likely output a few watts/4 ohms for their required apl, with peaks to may be 50 W to 100 W, so it really depends individual cases. Also, as we all know the difference between 100 and 200 W is only 3 dB SPL.

At one point the AVR-X3500H's price dropped to under $700 brand new, I should have grab one just for emergency back up or use it as preamp with one of my 2 channel systems.:D At that price point, you get virtually the same preamp/dac parts and circuitry as the AVR-X8500H, there's a good reason why it measured only 2 to 3 dB lower SINAD than the likes of the AVR-X4700H/6700H. And of course I mean at 1.2 V (or a little higher) output.

Regardless, at higher price point, I wouldn't have bought the AVR-X3500H, but depending on the individual's need/budget, it could still make a lot of sense, and may not suffer in sound quality for their use.



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