Denon AVR 4520 - Stairway To AV Heaven (Part 2)

5/31/2013 5:54:06 PM

Explosive performance

The first Blu-ray to test with had to be The Expendables 2 for its DTS Neo: X optimized mix.11.2-channel surround sound and the Denon picked up the baton and ran with it. The opening sequence is an absolute barrage of effects coming at you from every conceivable nook, cranny and corner of the room. A truly immersive and three-dimensional experience that the AVR-4520 delivers with stupendous clarity and power.

Back down on planet sanity, running the Denon in standard 7.1 mode reveals even more about its sonic balance. While older Denon AVRs boasted something of a gung-ho sound ideal for action flicks, the last couple of years has seen a lighter, more refined and composed balance across its range, even if they didn’t have the chutzpah of their forebears. The new AVR-3313 still falls into the latter category but the AVR-4520 is quite different altogether. Not only does it manage to retain the clarity, insight and detailing of the AVR-3313, it adds a potent dynamic edge and renders bass lines with a real physical punch. Here, Denon has nailed a best-of-both-worlds scenario; it’s perfect for action and drama, kid’s animation and horror, movies and music.

Explosive performance

Explosive performance

With Underworld: Awakening the sound of Kate Beckinsale being frozen is crisply detailed all around the room, with each effect coming out of an inly black silence. Skip forward and the escape scene is the usual feast of gun battles and fights that the Denon infuses with adrenaline. Fast-forward again to the scenes in the city and the AVR-4520 shows off its ability to extract and present information from the disc in the most revealing way; the ambient sounds of the city are enveloping and realistic, doors slamming sound like real doors slamming, and each effect has a very specific position in the room. The presentation is the brand’s best yet.

Switching to a DVD shows the scaler doing an admirable job of making SD appeal like HD. Simon Pegg in Hot Fuzz appears suitably harrowed when given the news he is being transferred to the country, as the Denon sharpens up the outlines and his facial features nicely. In the village shootout scene, fast-moving camera pans scroll smoothly. Even blown up onto a 120in projector screen there are very few artifacts, or any blockiness surrounding bright objects on dark backgrounds or vice versa. Moreover, the vanilla Dolby Digital sound packs a real punch from the AVR-4520 even if it lacks the sheer transparency of TrueHD material.

Setup microphone included and Denon Remote

Setup microphone included and Denon Remote

Operationally, the new Denon Remote App is quite nice with a cool and stylish blue-black theme. The home page offers top-line source selection and a big volume control, while selecting onboard sources, such as the FM tuner or net radio, flips to a dedicated control screen. In many respects you can see why Denon’s new physical remote control, and many remotes supplied with networked AVRs for that matter, are becoming pared down devices with less buttons and certainly no fancy touchscreen panels. A remote control app is the way forward, and once you’re familiar with Denon’s Remote App you might as well put the supplied handset in a drawer (although the operation, look and feel of the Denon App isn’t the best in the business).

For music lovers the AVR-4520 is an accomplished beast, and its ability to handle 192 kHz/ 24-bit will appeal to those with high-resolution aspirations. Oddly, on the missing list is an asynchronous USB input for connecting a laptop or similar computer device directly to the AVR-4520’s DACs. You could argue that you can achieve a similar outcome over network, but I still feel you should have the option to simple hook up a computer to play music. Still, feed it a decent disc source – especially the matching DBP-3313 using DenonLink HD – and you get a very polished audiophile sound have a breathy open quality, much more akin to affluent dedicated stereo equipment than a home cinema-flavored AVR.




Ethernet ease: The AVR-4520 provides a four-port Ethernet switch, which goes some way to making up for its lack of built-in Wi-Fi

Seven ports for seven sources: There are six HDMI inputs on the Denon’s rear and one on the front panel – one less than some AVRs costing a third of the price/ but do you need eight HDMI inputs?

There’s company: Two of the AVR-4520’s HDMI outputs can be used to feed a pair of displays simultaneously. The third is a discrete output for Zone 4

Speaker selection: As a 9.2-channel AVR, the Denon provides plenty of setup options, from traditional 5.1 to 7.1 plus height/width. It can also output 11-channel Neo:X audio – just an extra stereo amp…

Triumphant return

After ignoring the premium level of cinema receivers in its last range (which topped out at the AVR-3312), Denon has returned to the $3,000 (and beyond) category with an absolute star. The AVR-4520 is a gorgeous, multi-talented machine that never stops impressing. Buy with confidence.

On the menu

The GUI is new cleanly designed and easy to follow – if lacking in a bit of visual flair. The same can be said of Denon’s Remote App, which makes for a convenient, intuitive alternative to the supplied remote control

The GUI is new cleanly designed and easy to follow – if lacking in a bit of visual flair

The GUI is new cleanly designed and easy to follow – if lacking in a bit of visual flair

AV info

Product: Networked 9.2-channel AV receiver

Position: Denon's current flagship, above the AVR-3313

Peers: Arcam AVR-400; Onkyo TX-NR5010; Pioneer SC-LX86

The verdict

Highs: Superbly balanced sound; 11-channel DTS Neo:X output; Ethernet switching; excellent features and setup wizard

Lows: No asynchronous USB input; control App lacks pizazz compared to some

·         Performance: 5/5

·         Design: 5/5

·         Features: 5/5

·         Overall: 5/5


§  Dolby trueHD: Yes, and DPL Iiz

§  DTS-HD master Audio: Yes, and DTS Neo: X

§  THX: No

§  Multichannel input: Yes, 7.1-channel Phono input

§  Multichannel output (claimed): 9 x 150W

§  Multiroom: Yes, four-zone, one with dedicated HDMI

§  AV inputs: 4 x composite; 4 x digital audio (2 x optical and 2 x coaxial)

§  HDMI: 7 x inputs, 3 x outputs

§  Video upscaling: Yes, to 4K

§  Component video: 3 x inputs; 2 x outputs

§  Dimensions: 434(w) x 421(d) x 195(h) mm

§  Weight: 16.5kg

§  Also featuring: Four-port Ethernet switch; Spotify integration; AirPlay; setup wizard; Denon Remote App; DenonLink HD; DLNA 1.5 certified; Audyssey MultEQ XT32 and Audyssey Pro ready; FLAC decoding; MHL compatible

§  Denon AVR-4520 price: $3,450


Video tutorials
- How To Install Windows 8

- How To Install Windows Server 2012

- How To Install Windows Server 2012 On VirtualBox

- How To Disable Windows 8 Metro UI

- How To Change Account Picture In Windows 8

- How To Unlock Administrator Account in Windows 8

- How To Restart, Log Off And Shutdown Windows 8

- How To Login To Skype Using A Microsoft Account

- How To Enable Aero Glass Effect In Windows 8

- How To Install Windows Store Apps From Windows 8 Classic Desktop

- How To Disable Windows Update in Windows 8

- How To Disable Windows 8 Metro UI

- How To Add Widgets To Windows 8 Lock Screen

- How to create your first Swimlane Diagram or Cross-Functional Flowchart Diagram by using Microsoft Visio 2010
programming4us programming4us
Top 10
Free Mobile And Desktop Apps For Accessing Restricted Websites
TOYOTA CAMRY 2; 2.5 : Camry now more comely
KIA SORENTO 2.2CRDi : Fuel-sipping slugger
How To Setup, Password Protect & Encrypt Wireless Internet Connection
Emulate And Run iPad Apps On Windows, Mac OS X & Linux With iPadian
Backup & Restore Game Progress From Any Game With SaveGameProgress
Generate A Facebook Timeline Cover Using A Free App
New App for Women ‘Remix’ Offers Fashion Advice & Style Tips
SG50 Ferrari F12berlinetta : Prancing Horse for Lion City's 50th
Popular Tags
Video Tutorail Microsoft Access Microsoft Excel Microsoft OneNote Microsoft PowerPoint Microsoft Project Microsoft Visio Microsoft Word Active Directory Exchange Server Sharepoint Sql Server Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2012 Windows 7 Windows 8 Adobe Flash Professional Dreamweaver Adobe Illustrator Adobe Photoshop CorelDRAW X5 CorelDraw 10 windows Phone 7 windows Phone 8 Iphone