Denon AVR 4308CI owners... A sound quality question.

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skishop69

Enthusiast
I recently did some trading and picked up a very nice Denon AVR 4308CI to replace my very old, dead/dying Pioneer Elite. Really nice unit that I'm very happy with except for a sound quality issue. I know it's rated at 140w pc@8ohms, but I don't think it's a continuous rating. I bought new speakers to replace the old crappy ones and I tested the speakers on my music system which runs a Crown 1000w amp with the gain turned down to 25% so as not to blow them. They sound very good for what they are, but when I run them on the Denon, the low to mid range lacks power even at 3/4 volume and above that, they start to distort. I have spent hours playing with the channel EQ's and level settings making no significant gains. The front speakers are rated at 175w, center at 300w and rears at 120w so if the Denon specs are true, these speakers should be punching but they're not on the Denon. I know that you never get the rated wattage of an AVR especially when you're pushing all the channels so my questions are:

Did anyone else notice this with their 4308?
Did you ad an amp?
Was it a noticeable change?
If so, what kind & size?
Other thoughts?

I've picked out an amp to add to the system, but don't want to pull the trigger on it until I'm sure this is a wattage supply issue with the Denon since the amp I'm looking at has a continuous 130w rating and has been tested as such. I've searched but not really found any specifics to this issue with this AVR. Thanks! Ski
 
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Leemix

Audioholic Chief
Could you try the denon with your crown amp and new speakers to test?

Its possible the denon isnt as good (or not as much in tour taste) as a preamplifier as what you use in the music system.


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S

skishop69

Enthusiast
No without cobbling some cables together. The Crown is part of my DJ/karaoke rack unit.
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
Wattage rating for speakers mean very little. If you picked up a used unit then it's either damaged or not setup correctly. What are your speakers? No one listens at 130w continuous. Most of the time it's a couple of watts.
 
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skishop69

Enthusiast
It's not a matter of setup and I'm fairly certain it's not damaged. I know the PO and don't think he would try and pull one on me. The sound quality is 'fine', but not what I'd expect from this unit. It's not much better sounding than my 15yo Elite AVR and it had a 120w max rating. The low to mid range is there with the 4308, it's just not
as 'punchy' as it should be if it indeed can put out 140w. My center is a CV SL45c, fronts are BIC DV62I and the rears are Fluance XLBP's. They all sounded just fine on my Crown amp but loose their oomf on the Denon. I should clarify by distortion, I mean the sound starts to get tinny and lose clarity, not going totally crap, clipping or crackling.
 
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Leemix

Audioholic Chief
How were the old speakers if you tried them in the music system?

Do you use audyssey?


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skishop69

Enthusiast
The old speakers were Pioneers that were also 15 years old and sounded about the same on the prev AVR as the new ones do on the new AVR. I know the lower and mid range will open up after break in but they just sound weak on the Denon right now. I wouldn't hook the old Pioneers to my Crown. They're only 60w rated. I didn't see anything about Audyssey for the 4308CI in the manual or being available for it and I haven't used the auto setup yet because I have placed everything in it's permanent location yet.
 
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Leemix

Audioholic Chief
The music system and the surround systems are in different rooms or placed very differently in the same room(?)
Its very possible its the room and placment also thats a reason for the sound but as i wrote earlier your music system might have a better sounding pre then the recievers are.

Its not a bad idea to do a factory reset and run the auto setup even if temporary placment.


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everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
Do a complete factory reset. Did you use audyssey?
 
S

skishop69

Enthusiast
Did the factory reset already. lol Also updated the firmware. Are you guys referring to auto setup when you say Audyssey or the actual Audyssey app, because the 4308CI doesn't have Audyssey from what I can find. It may just be I'm being too picky about it. I just think the power output is not what they're claiming and I don't want to shell out big bucks for an amp that may not change things. The music and surround systems are in the same room, I just re-positioned the speakers to test them with the Crown so I don't think it's a room thing.
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
The auto setup is part denon part audyssey. And yes you do have it fyi.
 
S

skishop69

Enthusiast
Ok. I wasn't sure. The manual doesn't call it Audyssey and when I was researching it, only certain model #'s showed as having Audyssey so thanks for clearing that up for me. So running auto setup runs Audyssey then?
 
L

Leemix

Audioholic Chief
Audyssey is usually a part if the auto setup but unsure about that model, looks quite old.
As for the power its a receiver and they are usually not that powerful. Many amps arent really either so its hard to say how that will play out. Its difficult when you dont know where in the chain the problem is, if its the preamp part of the receiver an external amp wont change anything.
(Even a small change in speaker position within a room might change the sound quite a lot)


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S

skishop69

Enthusiast
Yeah, it came out in 2007 and from what I read, Audyssey wasn't available until some time after that so that's why I'm confused about mine having it. The current room configuration is horrible and I'm working on changing it not that I have a little bit of disposable income. Over the next week I will get the tv hung on the tall wall and the front and rear speakers mounted and all the AV equipment moved into the new cabinet I built. Staining and sealing it this weekend. Once I get everything in it's permanent location, I'll run the auto setup.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
Yeah, it came out in 2007 and from what I read, Audyssey wasn't available until some time after that so that's why I'm confused about mine having it. The current room configuration is horrible and I'm working on changing it not that I have a little bit of disposable income. Over the next week I will get the tv hung on the tall wall and the front and rear speakers mounted and all the AV equipment moved into the new cabinet I built. Staining and sealing it this weekend. Once I get everything in it's permanent location, I'll run the auto setup.
According to Denon, it has Audyssey MultEQ XT.
https://usa.denon.com/us/product/hometheater/receivers/avr4308ci

Also, this AR is from before manufactures were cutting back on the amp capability in order to fit/budget more features! It has one of the most capable amp sections in a mainstream AVR!
You shouldn't have power problems unless it is damaged or you listen at insane levels!
After a factory reset, you should not have the types of problems that you are.
Have you tried a different source into the Denon?
 
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skishop69

Enthusiast
Thanks Kurt. I went back and re-read the auto setup section in the manual and don't know how I missed the Audyssey part. smh I do tend to listen at higher levels and I prefer a bit more low and mid range. I am going to play with it more today and I will try a different source. I also found one of my old karaoke starter amps from WAY back in the day (the 90's) that I'm going to hook up and test the channels individually. Hold on to your hats... It's a Radio Shack amp. LMAO I'm going to catch flak for this I'm sure, but it's a solid 100w per channel that I used for years to drive my monitors which were a pair of 4 speaker cabs and it never lacked power. I shoved it in the closet and forgot about it when I quit hosting and set the system up in the house for music. It's really more out of morbid curiosity at this point. lol

When my setup mic shows up and all the speakers are where they should have been all along, I'll do the setup and try not to be overly concerned until then. It's been over 15 years since I had a disposable income and a good home theater system so i may just be over reacting.It could be that or the fact that the new speakers aren't broken in yet.
 
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PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Thanks Kurt. I went back and re-read the auto setup section in the manual and don't know how I missed the Audyssey part. smh I do tend to listen at higher levels and I prefer a bit more low and mid range. I am going to play with it more today and I will try a different source. I also found one of my old karaoke starter amps from WAY back in the day (the 90's) that I'm going to hook up and test the channels individually. Hold on to your hats... It's a Radio Shack amp. LMAO I'm going to catch flak for this I'm sure, but it's a solid 100w per channel that I used for years to drive my monitors which were a pair of 4 speaker cabs and it never lacked power. I shoved it in the closet and forgot about it when I quit hosting and set the system up in the house for music. It's really more out of morbid curiosity at this point. lol

When my setup mic shows up and all the speakers are where they should have been all along, I'll do the setup and try not to be overly concerned until then. It's been over 15 years since I had a disposable income and a good home theater system so i may just be over reacting.It could be that or the fact that the new speakers aren't broken in yet.
To answer your earlier question, according to S&V bench test results, the 4308 ci is one of the most powerful AVR ever measured especially into 4 ohms (298 W 2 ch driven cont. 0.1% the), probably among the top 5 iirc. You need a 200 wpc power amp to compete with it.
 
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PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Yeah, it came out in 2007 and from what I read, Audyssey wasn't available until some time after that so that's why I'm confused about mine having it. The current room configuration is horrible and I'm working on changing it not that I have a little bit of disposable income. Over the next week I will get the tv hung on the tall wall and the front and rear speakers mounted and all the AV equipment moved into the new cabinet I built. Staining and sealing it this weekend. Once I get everything in it's permanent location, I'll run the auto setup.
Thanks Kurt. I went back and re-read the auto setup section in the manual and don't know how I missed the Audyssey part. smh I do tend to listen at higher levels and I prefer a bit more low and mid range. I am going to play with it more today and I will try a different source. I also found one of my old karaoke starter amps from WAY back in the day (the 90's) that I'm going to hook up and test the channels individually. Hold on to your hats... It's a Radio Shack amp. LMAO I'm going to catch flak for this I'm sure, but it's a solid 100w per channel that I used for years to drive my monitors which were a pair of 4 speaker cabs and it never lacked power. I shoved it in the closet and forgot about it when I quit hosting and set the system up in the house for music. It's really more out of morbid curiosity at this point. lol

When my setup mic shows up and all the speakers are where they should have been all along, I'll do the setup and try not to be overly concerned until then. It's been over 15 years since I had a disposable income and a good home theater system so i may just be over reacting.It could be that or the fact that the new speakers aren't broken in yet.
Make sure you set all speakers to small if you are using subwoofers. If you have run Audyssey, turn DEQ on, and dyn vol off. I added power amps to the 4308, made no differences whatsoever as the 4308 is quite capable on its own. It is definitely comparable to 150-200 wpc separate amps.
 
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skishop69

Enthusiast
Thanks for the tip. I just hung the flatscreen and positioned the front speaker mounts. Off to the hardware store for a new piece of hardwood to expand the mantel to accommodate the front channel.
 
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Poofables

Enthusiast
Seems like everyone has hit the right points with reset and making sure room correction Is off.

Those Denons have a great sound. Really good amplifier section. They actually sound a lot better for stereo listening than any AVR Denon currently produces.
 

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