Denon AVR-X8500H 13.2CH IMAX Enhanced AV Receiver Review

TheoN

TheoN

Audioholics Contributing Writer
I got a question about differences between the front HDMI input and rear HDMI inputs on the X8500H. In general AVRs will have some difference between the front and rear HDMI inputs as the front HDMI input isn’t part of the main board. As far as the X8500H is concerned the only difference is bandwidth. The rear HDMI inputs will support 4K up to 60Hz while the front is limited to 30Hz. Front and rear inputs all support HDR including HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG.

See the attached matrix below for more details.
 

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mtrot

Audioholic
Does the Pre-amp mode disconnect ALL the channels? It would be cool if you could employ the Pre-amp mode for just the front L/R channels and still use the internal amps for surrounds and/or center channels.

Also, does the 6500 have this feature? Thanks.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
I see that @TLS Guy still hasn't rounded on this thread yet. :D

How can you resist a juicy thread about 13Ch of amps inside an AVR with the pre-amp mode to "turn off" the internal amps? :D
 
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PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Does the Pre-amp mode disconnect ALL the channels? It would be cool if you could employ the Pre-amp mode for just the front L/R channels and still use the internal amps for surrounds and/or center channels.

Also, does the 6500 have this feature? Thanks.
Not that I am aware of, the way I understood it, preamp mode would apply to all channels. It disconnect the preamp output to the power amp, but the power amps will still be energized, by a small bias current.

No other Denon or Marantz AVRs except the Denon flagship such as the X8500H and X7200WA have this preamp mode feature. The older AVR-4520CI may have it too but I doubt it, @lovinthehd may know. Obviously the X6500H is not a flag ship and it does not have that feature for sure.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
Not that I am aware of, the way I understood it, preamp mode would apply to all channels. It disconnect the preamp output to the power amp, but the power amps will still be energized, by a small bias current.

No other Denon or Marantz AVRs except the Denon flagship such as the X8500H and X7200WA have this preamp mode feature. The older AVR-4520CI may have it too but I doubt it, @lovinthehd may know. Obviously the X6500H is not a flag ship and it does not have that feature for sure.
Yes, the 4520 does have a mode in amp assign for "pre-amplifier", and says when engaged "turns off all 9 internal amps to use the avr as a pre-amp"
 
J

Jrfeimst2

Audiophyte
So I have a Denon x8500h and wondering about zone 2 for another room for music... it seems very hard to find out how zone 2 plays music.. if zone 2 plays does it play in pure direct mode like the main zone?
 
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PENG

Audioholic Overlord
So I have a Denon x8500h and wondering about zone 2 for another room for music... it seems very hard to find out how zone 2 plays music.. if zone 2 plays does it play in pure direct mode like the main zone?
I think it should just follow whatever the main zone would play, except Audyssey should be disabled automatically because there is no provision to run auto setup in zone 2/3. Why not just try it?
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
I think it should just follow whatever the main zone would play, except Audyssey should be disabled automatically because there is no provision to run auto setup in zone 2/3. Why not just try it?
So I have a Denon x8500h and wondering about zone 2 for another room for music... it seems very hard to find out how zone 2 plays music.. if zone 2 plays does it play in pure direct mode like the main zone?
Can the AVR outuput a digi input to a Zone 2/3?

Most AVRs can only output an analog signal to zone 2/3, so no digi processing is available on those zones by extension.
 
M Code

M Code

Audioholic General
Can the AVR outuput a digi input to a Zone 2/3?

Most AVRs can only output an analog signal to zone 2/3, so no digi processing is available on those zones by extension.
Today the majority of mid-range & higher AVRs can play digital audio in Zones 2 & 3.. Some even can play digital video.... Later AVRs have higher powered DSP processors that have decreased in price making this feature more affordable... Check closely the specs/features of the target AVR to confirm its specific capabilities for Zone 2 & 3..

Just my $0.02... ;)
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Today the majority of mid-range & higher AVRs can play digital audio in Zones 2 & 3.. Some even can play digital video.... Later AVRs have higher powered DSP processors that have decreased in price making this feature more affordable... Check closely the specs/features of the target AVR to confirm its specific capabilities for Zone 2 & 3..

Just my $0.02... ;)
Thanks for the feedback, I did not realize that this is (finally) becoming more common. Last time I really looked into it, the high end market was very rare to have that capability.
 
D

dcrandon

Audiophyte
Thanks for the review. Really appreciate it. Regarding your comment on being able to use Audyssey with a smart phone microphone... I can't possibly think that any smartphone microphone could be anywhere close to high enough quality to be able to be used for this purpose. Even if compensation curves could be applied to it I still can't think that it could anywhere be near good enough quality. What are your comments on that?
 
TheoN

TheoN

Audioholics Contributing Writer
Thanks for the review. Really appreciate it. Regarding your comment on being able to use Audyssey with a smart phone microphone... I can't possibly think that any smartphone microphone could be anywhere close to high enough quality to be able to be used for this purpose. Even if compensation curves could be applied to it I still can't think that it could anywhere be near good enough quality. What are your comments on that?
The comment about smart phone integration has two sides to it. The first is that using a built-in microphone is all about convenience. No one would or should argue that this approach is superior to a calibrated microphone. I‘ve used this exact approach with ARC on both Paradigm, MartinLogan, and Anthem equipment. It’s “good enough” for the casual listener but I wouldn’t recommend it for the serious enthusiast or audiophile.

The second side to smart phone integration involves an approach similar to what Anthem has proposed where you have the option to use the ARC application and can use an external calibrated microphone connected to the smart phone to perform the measurements. This is a much better approach. ARC with the AVRs and AVM Pre-pros uses a microphone with a calibration file that you load—a solution that I feel should be the standard. In summary, Audyssey is getting “long in the tooth” as they say. The company needs to embrace the mobile revolution and provide consumers with convenience and upgraded tech.
 
A

anthonyrizzo84

Audiophyte
I have a rotel 1585 power amp which is Rated 1.9V using the rca preout, the denon is rated at 1.2 V would i get the full power of my power amp?
My rotel has 200 watts of amplification per channel, just to be clear can i connect my rotel to drive the left right center and surround channel and drive the atmos channel with the internal amp of the receiver and use the rotel amp mode to shut off the internal amp for the left right center surround chanel?
If i am not able to shut the internal amplication for the 5 main speaker, would it have an impact on the sound?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
I have a rotel 1585 power amp which is Rated 1.9V using the rca preout, the denon is rated at 1.2 V would i get the full power of my power amp?
My rotel has 200 watts of amplification per channel, just to be clear can i connect my rotel to drive the left right center and surround channel and drive the atmos channel with the internal amp of the receiver and use the rotel amp mode to shut off the internal amp for the left right center surround chanel?
If i am not able to shut the internal amplication for the 5 main speaker, would it have an impact on the sound?
I'd say as usual that nominal pre-out output figure from Denon isn't really indicative of their capabilities. I don't think I've seen a Denon with pre-out level tested that's even below 2V....but you could try contacting Sound United for additional info on the spec?
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Samurai
I have a rotel 1585 power amp which is Rated 1.9V using the rca preout, the denon is rated at 1.2 V would i get the full power of my power amp?
My rotel has 200 watts of amplification per channel, just to be clear can i connect my rotel to drive the left right center and surround channel and drive the atmos channel with the internal amp of the receiver and use the rotel amp mode to shut off the internal amp for the left right center surround chanel?
If i am not able to shut the internal amplication for the 5 main speaker, would it have an impact on the sound?
1. Your Denon AVR is which model?
2. To answer your question on the internal power amps not being disconnected, there would be no impact whatsoever on the sound performance if external amps are used. Myself, I've been using a Marantz SR5010 as a pre-pro and I cannot disengage the inboard amps. Everything functions as if it was a real pre-pro without any degradation of SQ.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
I have a rotel 1585 power amp which is Rated 1.9V using the rca preout, the denon is rated at 1.2 V would i get the full power of my power amp?
The AVR-X8500H is a flag ship AVR, it should have no problem outputting the 1.9 V the Rotel RMB1585 needs.

My rotel has 200 watts of amplification per channel, just to be clear can i connect my rotel to drive the left right center and surround channel and drive the atmos channel with the internal amp of the receiver and use the rotel amp mode to shut off the internal amp for the left right center surround chanel?
If i am not able to shut the internal amplication for the 5 main speaker, would it have an impact on the sound?
This sounds complicated, as HD said your best bet is to ask Denon tech support. My understanding is that if you use the Denon's pramp mode, the pre-outs would be disconnected to all 13 build in amps, so you won't be able to use the any to drive the Atmos speakers.

There may be some ways to cheat, so that you could at least disconnect the preouts for the front 2, or even 3 channels but again, it is better to shoot Denon an email.
 
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anthonyrizzo84

Audiophyte
The AVR-X8500H is a flag ship AVR, it should have no problem outputting the 1.9 V the Rotel RMB1585 needs.



This sounds complicated, as HD said your best bet is to ask Denon tech support. My understanding is that if you use the Denon's pramp mode, the pre-outs would be disconnected to all 13 build in amps, so you won't be able to use the any to drive the Atmos speakers.

There may be some ways to cheat, so that you could at least disconnect the preouts for the front 2, or even 3 channels but again, it is better to shoot Denon an email.
Do you think i am better off with a proper av processor rather than using a denon x8500?
I like the denon as it is future proof but i understand audyssey is not great.
If yes which one do you suggest arcam, anthem, onkyo etc...
I couldn't pass on the rotel 1585 as it was real bargain( its a beast )and weight a 40 kg.

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Do you think i am better off with a proper av processor rather than using a denon x8500?
I like the denon as it is future proof but i understand audyssey is not great.
If yes which one do you suggest arcam, anthem, onkyo etc...
I couldn't pass on the rotel 1585 as it was real bargain( its a beast )and weight a 40 kg.

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
On money no object basis, I would go with Arcam. AVP/C or AVR-X8500H makes no difference for me. If you want to do 13.1 then the Denon is much more cost effective than the AV8805. There should be no problem using it with the Rotel for the front 3 and surround channels and let the build in amps do the remaining channels. I am pretty sure you can at least assign the front left and right to zone 2, 3 or something like that so that the preouts will be disconnected to the those amps. Again, for this top of the line AVR I don't think you can hear a difference either way. If you only need 11.1 and will use the Rotel amp for the 5 main channels, then why not just get an AVR-X4500H, or SR7013 and keep the savings for something that matters more.

By the way, Audyssey XT32+Editor App is, imo as good as anything if you limit the EQ freq range to below 300 Hz.
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
1. Your Denon AVR is which model?
2. To answer your question on the internal power amps not being disconnected, there would be no impact whatsoever on the sound performance if external amps are used. Myself, I've been using a Marantz SR5010 as a pre-pro and I cannot disengage the inboard amps. Everything functions as if it was a real pre-pro without any degradation of SQ.
That's only true if the volume level isn't high enough to clip the internal power amps.This is a problem I'm finding in most AV receivers including Denon and Marantz without a poweramp disconnect mode.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
That's only true if the volume level isn't high enough to clip the internal power amps.This is a problem I'm finding in most AV receivers including Denon and Marantz without a poweramp disconnect mode.
Do you think this has always been the case with avrs or a fairly new development? How far back are you finding this?
 

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