Denon AVC-X4700H Review • The perfect AV-receiver

Tech Week Score
- Jonas Müller

Denon’s X4xxx line of receivers has a special role to play. This series belongs to the premium segment, as it is made on a more advanced element base, is produced in a laconic design, in two finishes and is full of various functionality … it can be used as a base for a large home theater for all modern cinema formats, and a music system of quite audiophile level.

Denon has maintained the series’ affordable elite status for generations. On the surface, this is not very noticeable – the basic design of the components has not undergone global changes since the AVR-X4100W model (the first receiver with Auro 3D at an affordable price). But the inner stuffing was redrawn many times.

In the X4300H (2016), we got an 11.2-channel processor and an additional pair of amplifiers. The X4400 (2017) – DTS Master HD and DTS: X, ALAC 192 support and Bass Sync setting, advanced AL32 Processing Multichannel instead of AL24 Processing Plus.

The AVR-X4500H was generally successful from all points of view – both in user reviews and in the opinion of experts. The engineers have made a number of modifications important for the sound quality to the power supplies, power amplifiers and the circuit itself. At the same time, we introduced remote configuration via web-control.

The latter, I think, is a very important innovation, because the quality of work of any complex system depends not so much on the class of components, but on how competently the installation and configuration is performed.

You won’t have to complain about outdated hardware in the future when there are tons of 8K / 60Hz / HDR10 + movie and game content.

It was on the basis of the X4500H that a year later its kind of light-version was made – the initial nine-channel X3600H . And the X4600H never appeared. In theory, nothing prevented the manufacturer from releasing this receiver by simply re-labeling the model. But since such “updates” do not raise the brand’s reputation, it was decided to keep the 2018 hit in production until there were really worthwhile innovations. And it finally happened.

The latest AVC-X4700H can be briefly presented: this is the X4500H, which finally got rid of such an anachronism as an FM tuner, but added a Bluteooth return channel for audio output to wireless headphones and completely replaced the HDMI card with the most modern one. Accordingly, you will not have to complain about outdated hardware in the future, when the mass of film and game content in 8K / 60 Hz / HDR10 + appears.

Something new was found in the system shell. The receiver now allows several bass manager settings. For example, in a multichannel configuration, we set the LFE as it is customary in home theaters – as an effects channel, and with stereo playback for the sub, a separate “musical” setting Main + LFE is turned on with different matching values.

You can also use an additional preset for the entire complex of audio settings. One, suppose, is performed for acoustics when the windows are curtained in the room, and the second – for an open “daytime” listening mode. Likewise, the unit adapts to older digital surround sound systems, which tend to sound too harsh on technology tuned to modern Master-, HD- and object-oriented cinema sound formats. By the way, it is possible that such flexible tools will appear with a software update in previously released models – as far as I understand, these are purely software modifications.

But something new was found in the system shell. The receiver now allows several bass manager settings.

The new product has a built-in phono stage, all the functions of network and streaming playback, as well as the multi-zone advantages of wireless HEOS, are implemented in the same volume. Audyssey MultEQ XT32 with additional features for LFE is responsible for the calibration of the multichannel field. And for the sound quality in purely musical mode – an advanced digital platform DDSC HD Digital (includes AL32 Processing Multichannel audio processing, contains a jitter suppression circuit, Asahi Kasei AK4458VN DACs) and a power system seriously modified in the previous model, which has a powerful shielded transformer and more. a capacious capacitor “buffer”. The latter is made, by the way, on custom-made expensive electrolytes with a polyolefin dielectric.

Here we could put an end to the review, because we have in front of us a device with the same sound path as its predecessor, and we tested it in every way – both in stereo mode and in 11-channel Auro 3D. Nevertheless, they decided to arrange a test run for the novelty, and so that listening would not turn into a formality, they took the configuration that, perhaps, will become the most popular among users – with the Focal Chora set , in which the front speakers have integrated Atmos channels.

From all the channels, we got a completely flat and well-filled field without any tricks, and on the music tracks it was felt that we were dealing with really high-class equipment.

So, the first observation: the receiver matched the 5.1.2 acoustics without any complications already in the “default” mode. We only set the general configuration, without delving into other settings, and a clean, balanced, not overloaded and not in the least weakened sound from the front pair came out immediately after switching on. Stereo has great depth. In the bass band – cool specifics and a minimum of hum (otherwise it would indicate poor load control by the receiver). The middle was reproduced vividly and not jammed. The top is open and not dry. From all the channels, we got a completely flat and well-filled field without any tricks, and on the music tracks it was felt that we were dealing with really high-class equipment.

The second observation: purely “by ear” any configuration with a subwoofer is surprisingly easy to set up and gives a very good result. This suggests that in the low-frequency region, the receiver’s path is not muddy and not capricious – it allows you to find a good acoustics match with the bass machine even with a wide overlap of bands and in a room with intense standing bands.

The third observation: the device is open and delicate to details – it does not hide the quality of the content being played, therefore, there is always a clear difference between the lossy, standard uncompressed and “high-cut” versions of the same tracks. And this applies to film content. You include something with a well-prepared “three-dimensional” soundtrack in Dolby Atmos or even the original source in the original language in “flat” DTS TrueHD / Master and instantly dissolve into the atmosphere of the film – there are no questions about the naturalness of the voices, or the realistic effects, or a sense of scale.

You instantly dissolve in the atmosphere of the film – there are no questions about the naturalness of the voices, or the realistic effects, or the sense of scale.

Of course, for this, the multichannel path from start to finish is correctly set and carefully optimized. Moreover, it makes sense to tinker with the search for manual settings, without using “corrective” means of regular auto-calibration – the digital filling and AVC-X4700H amplifiers in combination with Focal speakers give such a clean and transparent sound that one wants to avoid even the slightest “processor” shades in it.

And even those to whom such works are a dark forest can achieve such a sound. Run your path with the standard “Odyssey” extension microphone, and then simply disable all corrections in the menu, leaving only the basic settings: channel levels and timings. If this does not give the expected result, then you can try an intermediate option, in which the processor correction works only for the rear, and the front pair remains in pure mode. I have always considered this a compromise option, but in this system it worked very well. I recommend giving it a try.

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