Archive for category AV Receivers
Denon’s X4400H created a sound field that had both an excellent sense of height and width. This was helped in no small part by the X4400 upconverting the soundtrack to Neural: X which engaged the height channels.
The soundstage the X4400H created was big enough to place smack bang in the middle of the action. Combined with excellent channel steering and strong surround presence, the X4400H delivered both an immersive and engaging home theatre experience.”
The X4400H’s ability to decode pretty much anything you can throw at it, plus the benefit of the clean, taut bass it produces, outweighs its competitors arguably more polished overall high-end sound. It still delivers a heck of a good movie watching experience, and that is where it shines.”
The receiver’s Audyssey setup does offer the familiar Reference and Flat equalization options. There’s also Audyssey Dynamic EQ, which interactively modifies the shaping and balancing for the lower-than-reference levels that nearly all of us employ nearly all of the time. (Many audiophiles probably defeat this in their setup options. My advice: Don’t until you’ve tried it.) Then there’s Dynamic Volume, one of the best “smart-loudness-contour” implementations out there.”
Imagine Dragon’s “Believer” from the album Evolve (CD, Interscope) has been in heavy rotation in our household. I found that the Sony’s presentation provided plenty of detail and punch, especially in the mid-bass region. No, the Sony receiver driving wall- and ceiling-mounted speakers cannot provide the same level of performance as high-end separates and floorstanding speakers, but Sony’s attention to audio performance pays off–the receiver provided a lower noise floor and better detail than you would expect to find at this price point.”
But the real draw here is Dirac Live, have I said that already? I could live without Dolby Atmos, though now that I’ve heard it in my home, I want it. But I’ll have a harder time going back to Audyssey now that I’ve experienced Dirac. There aren’t a ton of options when it comes to room correction, but when compared to my past experiences, it is a clear winner. I haven’t changed out my surround electronics in many years but this might be the motivation to do so, it’s that good. Finally, the T 758 V3 offers terrific value. I can’t imagine a better-built receiver for $1300. Even without Dirac and Atmos, this would be a good buy. Adding those two things makes it hard to consider anything else. The NAD T 758 V3 AV Surround Sound Receiver earns my highest recommendation.”
The X8500’s assured performance with both 5.1 and 7.1 soundtracks wasn’t a huge surprise, Denon have been making excellent AV receivers for years but what particularly impressed us was the quality of the amplification. The X8500 had the headroom necessary to give the action scenes in Dunkirk the visceral impact that Christopher Nolan intended, without losing the more subtle elements. As an aside the Dolby Surround upmixing also proved quite effective at opening up the sound field and creating a greater sense of height presence. The soundtrack might not have been mixed with overhead channels but you’d swear it was at times, so effective was the upmixing. We should point out that the Dolby Surround up mixer doesn’t use the extra side speakers in a 13 channel setup, they are only for Dolby Atmos soundtracks. Anyway, that’s enough of the appetisers, let’s get down to the main course and plug in all those other speakers for a full-on immersive audio experience.”