Archive for category AV Receivers
Switching to Lucy, the RX-A3080 again turned in a dynamic performance, with excellent placement of effects within my listening environment. The combination of YPAO and the A3080’s processing prowess also managed to create a convincing sense of space at the 15.45 mark.
An excellent example of this being Professor Norman’s (Morgan Freeman) lecture at the 15.45 mark. The dialogue was clearly rendered throughout the movie, even during its more frenetic moments.
The sense of space and depth the Yamaha provided was carried over into a long-time favourite, The Wolverine. While the RX-A3080 lacked some of the refinement of my Denon, it still turned in a detailed performance.
Likewise, while the bass performance was excellent, YPAO wasn’t able to exert the same type of control over the bottom end as Audyssey.
Fed with the bombastic chaos that is Mad Max Fury Road, the RX-A3080 presented a spectacular performance, easily one of the best I have heard in my home theatre.
“All discs were played back on a Panasonic UB-9000 which upsampled Chroma to 4:4:4. The Video was routed via the RX-A3080 and sent to a Sony VPL-VW270ES with a FIBBR HDMI cable. During the review period, I didn’t encounter any problems receiving 24fps, 4:4:4 HDR.
With Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, the RX-A3080 put in a powerful audio performance, the crackle of magic and destruction wrought by the Obscurous having plenty of sonic impact. Although it couldn’t quite match my Denon AVC-X8500H in terms of power, it wasn’t as far off as I expected, its performance belies its mid-range price-tag.”
It is undoubtedly the first thing you notice about the amp’s sound, but it’s unfair to say that is its defining characteristic. It’s more that every other sonic aspect is so natural that it is easy to be impressed by how much power you’re getting for the money.
There is a substantial helping of bottom end, designed to put you in your seat and hold you there, but it never dominates what is a clean and even balance with little to provoke any fragilities elsewhere in your system. ”
All told, I had the receiver out of the box and fully operation in less than half an hour, and that includes adding it to my Control4 system. As with all network capable AVRs from Denon these days, the X4500H supports Control4 SDDP (Simple Device Discovery Protocol), which means that its IP driver auto-identified itself from within the Control4 Composer Pro programming software, and I didn’t have to worry about setting a static IP.
One other nice touch is that the receiver came out of the box with IP control engaged (something you used to have to hunt and peck for). I also just as quickly set up the HEOS module and drivers for Control4, and had a fully functional AV system and multiroom streaming music system connected and configured in less time than it takes to prepare a proper bowl of stone-ground grits.”
It remains to be seen whether IMAX Enhanced–one of the big differentiating features of this year’s Denon AVR-X Series offerings–will be one of those essential features or not. It’s just too new, and my experiences with it, while less-than-promising, aren’t conclusive. I guess what I’m saying is that IMAX Enhanced alone isn’t a good reason to upgrade to the AVR-X4500H if you’re already rocking something like last season’s AVR-X4400H.
But if you’re upgrading from something older, the inclusion of IMAX Enhanced–even if you hate the very idea of it–is certainly no reason to overlook this great AVR. It sits right in that enviable Goldilocks Zone of AVRs, striking the right balance between price, performance, and features for most people and most mid-sized rooms. It features plenty of HDMI ins, plenty enough speaker outputs for a full-fledged Atmos/DTS:X system without dipping into channel-overload territory, its HEOS multiroom and streaming audio platform is rock solid in my experience, and its support for advanced control systems is pretty freaking fantastic.”
I started out by streaming two-channel music using built-in apps and from my iPhone using both AirPlay and Chromecast through the Synchrony One towers with no subwoofer. The Onkyo was not happy when I attempted to stream high-res audio from Qobuz via Chromecast, stuttering and locking up at time. (I’ll put this down to the fact that the service hasn’t officially launched yet in North America, and I was using an overseas-based press preview account.) Other music streaming services worked fine via Chromecast. Listened to on Tidal, Joe Cocker’s superb cover of Bob Dylan’s “Seven Days” recorded with Sly and Robbie on drums and bass revealed a nicely fleshed out, punchy sound, with plenty of bottom-end kick. Any lingering concerns I had about the amp’s ability to drive the Synchrony towers were quickly put to bed, and I was able to crank the music up nice and loud without having the sound turn raw and thin.”