CEDIA 2018: Denon’s New Power Receiver Duo: AVR-X6500 and AVR-X4500

CEDIA 2018: Denon’s New Power Receiver Duo: AVR-X6500 and AVR-X4500

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(September 19, 2018) As we wind down our CEDIA 2018 coverage, we’re highlighting Sound United’s noticeably robust presence on the show floor. And not to be out done was Denon and its launch of two new potent AV receivers: the AVR-X6500H and AVR-X4500H. Much like Marantz’s slick new Pre/Pro highlighted earlier today (here), these receivers are launching with IMAX Enhanced certification which will be unlocked with a firmware updated issued during early 2019.

The X6500H and X4500H are designed to deliver two different kinds of immersive sound experiences. For those with larger system aspirations, the X6500H carries 11.2-channels performance with up to 140 watts per channel (8 Ohms, 20Hz-20kHz) which allows it to natively manage up to 7.2.4 Atmos arrangements. The X4500H steps-down system support to 9.2-channels for 5.2.4 or 7.2.2 speaker configurations (125 watts per channel). And similar to last year, both receivers can decode Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and Auro-3D content, with upmixing alternatives offered by all three solutions.

The receivers’ audio support also includes a host of convenient technologies, including Bluetooth, Apple Airplay 2 (requiring future firmware upgrade), HEOS whole-home and multi-room performance, and access to a range of streaming music services like Amazon Music, TIDAL, Spotify, and Pandora. In addition, Hi-Res audio can be sourced through Wi-Fi network and USB connections (including FLAC, ALAC, WAV, and DSD 2.8/5.6).

Much like other cutting-edge top shelf receivers, the X6500H and X4500H offer full compatibility with modern 4K video demands, including 4:4:4 Pure Color sub-sampling, High Dynamic Range (Dolby Vision and HLG included), and BT.2020 wide color. And all of this is offered across an impressive slate of eight HDMI inputs.

Additionally, Denon says the receivers will support futuristic HDMI 2.1 functionality in the form of ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode for gaming) and eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel for sourcing immersive sound via a TV app). Both of these features will be unlocked with a forthcoming firmware update.

The receivers offer owners a handful of performance enhancers, including video calibration controls, ISF (Imaging Science Foundation) Day and Night video modes, and room correction via Audyssey’s best MultiEQ XT32 room calibration suite.

Pricing ranges from $2,199 for the AVR-X6500H to $1,599 for the AVR-X4500H. Both are available for purchase now.
 

Matthew J Poes

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As is typical from Denon, these look like a good value for the feature set and quality. Can’t wait to see what this IMAX certification is all about. I’m curious if there are performance requirements (like THX) or just special processing.

As the channel count has gone up, the power supplies haven’t kept pace and so a lot of these receivers just can’t maintian high power into all channels. I’m really hoping some of the higher end Denon, onkyo, Yamaha, etc start taking steps to address that.
 

Sonnie

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I think if you plan to use the power in these... you need high sensitivity speakers, such as the likes of Klipsch. We've already tested the receivers with lower impedance speakers like my Martin Logan ESL's and at the louder volumes the receiver runs out of gas and you can clearly hear it. So for reference levels a more sensitive speaker is recommended.

Curious about that IMAX as well. I've never been in an IMAX theater, so not sure of the benefits.
 

Matthew J Poes

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I think if you plan to use the power in these... you need high sensitivity speakers, such as the likes of Klipsch. We've already tested the receivers with lower impedance speakers like my Martin Logan ESL's and at the louder volumes the receiver runs out of gas and you can clearly hear it. So for reference levels a more sensitive speaker is recommended.

Curious about that IMAX as well. I've never been in an IMAX theater, so not sure of the benefits.
Eh, I’m pretty negative on most systems even being able to hit reference levels. The speaker has to hit 105 dB from 80Hz to 15KHz or so to roughly meet the standard, at the listening position. At a distance of 10 feet and considering the typical limit of 200 watts per channel for even systems using separate amps, you are talking about a speaker with at least 92 dB sensitivity. This could be dropped to 90 dB if the speaker could handle 300 watts, but most can’t. Move to a more typical 100 watts for a receiver and you need 95 dB.

I’m rambling a bit but I hope my point is clear. Most speakers on the market can’t actually meet the necessary requirements to achieve reference levels. I even began a little project to start measuring the peak output of speakers using a 3000 watt pro amplifier and a bunch of precisely configured test equipment. After wasting the tweeters on the first two victims I set the project aside. Needless to say, they did not achieve reference levels before being destroyed, and in fact power compression caused them to be a good 3dB short of the theoretical limits I had anticipated.

I hope to revisit his project but using a distortion threshold safety net next time and actually making it a part of my reviews. I think the people deserve to know the truth :gah:
 

Sonnie

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Oh we've hit reference levels easily with several speakers with well under 200 wpc... on more than one occasion... with extremely clean results. I'm not particularly fond of listening at those levels.
 

Todd Anderson

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The IMAX stamp is definitely intriguing, especially because it brings movies houses and DTS more into the fold together.

What’s interesting is that many folks working for manufacturers involved literally were saying they had just learned of the certification weeks before CEDIA... so it’s been worked on, yes, but a lot of people are still learning what this all means
 

Peter Loeser

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I've been distracted from most things A/V lately... also intrigued by the idea of IMAX certification. How's everyone doing? We're headed toward winter here, so I expect I'll be shifting back toward my indoor hobbies soon :)
 
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