Denon AVR-X8500H 13.2CH IMAX Enhanced AV Receiver $3,999 Review

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The X8500H is 51.6-pounds of brute force. Denon needed the larger chassis for the extra amp channels and upgrades. Some sites incorrectly list the X8500H weighs 39-pounds, reproducing an online typo when the unit first launched. Denon has since corrected this typo. This baby absolutely weighs 51.6 pounds! If you think that AVRs have wimpy amplification sections and design compromises, the X8500H will disabuse you of any such misconceptions.

Once again, I spoke with Mr. Yamada about the choice of an E-I core as opposed to a toroidal transformer and technical aspects. He told me for the best price/performance, Denon chose a new 8.2kg, 18-pound customized power transformer that the company felt would provide enough quality and performance to meet their requirements for a flagship 13-channel receiver. He also said that Denon’s engineers have the “know-how and experience to suppress negative effects such as leakage flux, beat, and vibrations to optimize the performance.”

The receiver incorporates custom-made DHCT (Denon High Current Transistors)—discrete monolithic amplifiers rated at 150 watts per channel (@8 ohms, 20Hz – 20 kHz, THD 0.05%, 2 channels driven) and 190 watts per channel (@6 ohms, 20Hz – 20 kHz, THD 0.7% 2 channels driven). The X8500H will also drive 4 ohm speaker loads with no problems. Let me reiterate: This AVR will drive most speakers on the market natively—including those rated at 4 ohms. And don’t gloss over this important note: Be sure to connect this AVR to a 20A circuit for maximum performance. If you connect this AVR to a 15A circuit you may get as much as a 10% reduction in power output! I tested the X8500H on a dedicated 20A circuit dedicated solely for my audio equipment.




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