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Denon has gone steadily down hill from the old days...

A Review On: Denon AVR-4520CI Receiver

Denon AVR-4520CI Receiver

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Price paid: $1,600.00
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Pros: Good Price Point. Audyssey XT32, Ample HDMI inputs. 4k support. 4ohm compatability. Network hub / apps / upgradeability. Audyssey setup. Mic included.

Cons: No THX certification. 4ohm compatability. Average sound quality. Sound bleed. Quirky. Too simple Audyssey setup.

I am a long time Denon fan since the AVP-8000 days (early 90s), but feel this may be my last. Since the 8000 series, I have owned a 3000 series and a previous 4000 series. I now own the AVR-4520CI, and I am terribly disappointed where Denon has ended up. I actually did a thread here on AVS Forums asking for input / alternate suggestions prior to purchase, but you know how those threads go. ;]

I am using the AVR-4520CI in a 7.1 configuration with Miller & Kreisel (M&K) 4ohm S-150THX / SS-150THX Ultra setup in an about 6000 cu ft dedicated home theater. This setup has worked flawlessly with previous Denon configurations. (even ones not rated for 4ohm)

First I immedialy performed a software upgrade. Then I went through Audyssey setup and started watching movies. Something was missing. Movies did not have that "explosive" impact and music seemed to be underpowered compared to my previous 4308CI even though this had more power. After digging, I noticed that channel volumes were limited by default. I had to unlimit for each input, but still didnt seem to have the volume the old less powered model had. Music, radio & HD radio also seemed to not have the volume my old amp had. Removing the limiter helped, but did not resolve all.

Secondly when turning on the reciever, I would intermitently hear "radio" playing with no source materials playing. It would be on a Game input, and my game console on, but I was hearing music at VERY low levels. (so low I had to walk up to a speaker saying whet the heck is that.) I could never tell if this was a Radio, HD radio, or intenet radio source playing. It eventually goes away on that source, but wierd bleed right?

I have done several microprocessor resets thinking the unit is not performing correctly and was being quirky only to come back where I was originally following automated setup procedures.

1 Comment:

If you had these types of problems it MUST have been a defective unit. Turn it on and hear radio bleed-through? No modern receiver will have that problem. After owning this unit for a year with zero problems and being nothing but impressed with it's price/performance ratio, I can only wholeheartedly disagree with your review.
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