Archive for category AV Receivers
The DRX-4.3 is rated for 100wpc (2CH driven) across all 9 amplified channels with the ability to expand to 11 channels of processing via an external 2CH amplifier. The amplification section is traditional Class AB with a linear power supply and 2 very large fans flanking the rather smallish heatsinks. That’s a lot of transistors to cram into a single heatsink like this, which is common these days for Dolby Atmos / DTS:X AV receivers. Realize just a few years ago, these same-sized products had only 7 internal amplifiers. Now receiver companies are cramming 9, 11 and up to 13 channels into similar-sized products. If you were planning on running a 7.1.4 speaker configuration using this AVR, you’d have to add an external 2CH amplifier to power the surround back channels. Unfortunately, you can’t reassign the front channels to the surround backs so if you want more power to the fronts, I’d recommend getting a 5CH amplifier to power the front LCR’s and surround back channels. This is an especially good recommendation IF you’re running 4 ohm speakers for the front soundstage to take some of the pressure off this workhorse.”
Rounding out its comprehensive range of connections is an ethernet port, wi-fi antennas and eleven high-quality gold plated speaker binding posts – six of which are assignable.
The box also included an Audyssey microphone, cardboard microphone stand, cable labels, power cord and of course remote control. The included remote control lacks the LCD of its bigger brother and as with other Denon remotes, looks somewhat pedestrian in terms of appearance.
Some of the remote control’s buttons are a little small. However, the upshot of this is that you’re going to find everything you need to control and navigate the AVC-X6500H’s extensive menus directly from the remote.
The overall build quality of the AVC-X6500H was excellent and while there were some similarities between it and the AVC-X8500H, notably the pull-down flap, it doesn’t quite meet the lofty standards of the AVC-X8500H.”
“The A1080 includes the YPAO-R.S.C. (Yamaha Parametric Room Acoustic Optimiser – Reflected Sound Control) automated room correction system. It analyses the room acoustics and measures various speaker characteristics using a provided microphone, and then calibrates audio parameters to achieve optimum sound. It applies 64-bit precision EQ calculations to reduce the negative aspects of the room itself, and while not as sophisticated as Dirac, or as user-friendly as Audyssey, it can prove effective.
Unfortunately, despite the updated menus, YPAO retains its dated and confusing UI. So make sure you choose the correct speaker layout (including the overhead or presence channels) and then assign the amps accordingly. YPAO isn’t particularly intuitive compared to Audyssey on a Denon, but the automated EQ routine starts up when you plug in the mic, measuring all the speakers in the system up to eight times. You can take fewer measurements, but the more you do, the more data the system has to analyse.”
The good news is, whether I relied on the onscreen menus or the MultEQ editor app for speaker calibration, Audyssey nailed the delays and crossover settings for my speakers with dead-on balls accuracy. This would have blown my mind right out the back of my skull just a few years ago, but I’m honestly starting to take for granted as the norm rather than the exception.
Throughout my testing, I employed the SR8012 in several different configurations, including a 5.2.4 setup with RSL’s new CG5 speaker system and pair of RSL Speedwoofer 10S subs as the bed, with a quartet of GoldenEar SuperSat 3 satellite speakers hook-mounted to the ceiling temporarily. I did the bulk of my listening relying simply on the aforementioned RSL 5.2-channel system, and also set up the SR8012 right next to Denon’s AVR-X4500H in the same room, both connected to a pair of RSL CG5 bookshelves positioned side-by-side, for the purposes of direct comparison (levels matched, of course). I ended my evaluation with the Marantz powering a simple stereo pair of Paradigm Studio 100 v5 towers.”
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.
In this system, the main source is Spectrum cable TV, and while I am no fan of cable as compared to DirecTV or Dish Network, having the Denon AVR-X2500H in the loop seemed to smooth out the video enough to make it watchable. While watching 24-hour coverage of a U.S. Presidential race that won’t go to election for another 18 months, the talking heads on CNN looked a little smoother and more natural with the Denon’s video processing engaged. The audio was notably better, as you might expect when upgrading from a mid-level Sony soundbar to a pair of Polk floorstanding speakers, a 10-inch powered sub, and a nice little Denon receiver. Unfair comparison? Probably. But it was a pretty significant upgrade in performance for not a lot of upgrade in cost. I checked in with some pre-March madness basketball on ESPN and even a stop by The Food Network, and things seemed better with the Denon in the loop on our key source, even if it was a massive pain to switch back and forth between the old rig and the new.”