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Denon AVR-5308CI AV Receiver Review

by August 11, 2008
Contributors:
Denons AVR-5308CI Flagship Receiver

Denon's AVR-5308CI Flagship Receiver

  • Product Name: AVR-5308CI AV Receiver
  • Manufacturer: Denon Electronics USA
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStarhalf-star
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStarStar
  • Review Date: August 11, 2008 04:00
  • MSRP: $ 5500
  • Buy Now
POWER & PROCESSING
  • 150 Watts Per Channel (0.05 THD)
  • THX Ultra2-Certified
  • Low Impedance Drive Capability
  • High-Current/Discrete Amplifiers
  • Independent Power Supplies: 8
  • Toroidal Power Transformer + 4 EI Type Sub Transformers
  • Dolby Digital, dts and DSP Modes – Analog Devices, HammerHead SHARC
  • 24-bit/192-kHz DACs – Burr-Brown PCM-1791 PCM-1796 - 2 x 8 Channels
  • Analog-to-Digital Conversion - Bit Depth/Sampling Rate 24-bit/192kHz - Burr-Brown PCM-1804 (includes EXT inputs)
  • Advanced AL24 Processing Multi Channel
DSP
  • Processors: 21366 x 1 and 21367 x 2 32-bit Floating Point
  • Modes: Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital+, dts-HD Master Audio, Dolby Pro Logic IIx – with Cinema, Music, Game Modes, THX Post-Processing – DPL (4.0), DPL2 Cinema, DD/DTS (5.1), ES Discrete (6.1), ES Matrix, Neo:6 Cinema, THX Ultra2 7.1 Cinema, Music and Game Modes, THX Surround EX, Dolby Digital Surround EX, dts ES Discrete/Matrix 6.1, dts Neo:6 Stereo-to-Surround Cinema and Music Modes, dts 96/24, Dolby Headphone, HDCD Decoder, 9 DSP Modes
  • Audio Signal Delay (Sync. Audio with Video signal) – By source
  • Pure Direct/Direct/Stereo Modes on Digital/Analog inputs
  • Stereo/Direct Modes w/Pure Analog Path
  • Multi-Channel Stereo Mode (5/6/7; 8/9 with additional amplifiers)
  • Auto Surround Mode (Analog or Digital Input Type)
  • Active Center Channel In All Surround Modes
  • Dynamic Discrete Surround Circuit - Digital HD Dynamic Discrete Surround Circuit - Digital HD
  • MP3/WMA Decoding
  • Neural Surround Mode XMHD
  • Cinema EQ
CONNECTIVITY
  • Assignable Digital Inputs: 11
  • Digital Inputs: DENON Link 3rd (SACD Ready), Coaxial (4), Optical (5)
  • Digital Outputs: Optical (4)
  • Digital to Analog REC Out (Main and Multi-Zone)
  • Analog Audio Inputs: 15 Incl. tuner, USB/Net, XM, HD & iPod
  • Phono Input: MM type
  • Source Function Renaming
  • Analog Record Outputs: 3
  • Composite to S-Video to Component conversion: Main & Zone 2
  • Component to S-Video to Composite conversion
  • Analog to HDMI conversion with scaling
  • HDMI Video Outputs (1080p)
  • Composite Video Inputs: 8
  • Composite Video Outputs: 6 (includes Monitor/Z2/Z3)
  • S-Video Inputs: 8
  • S-Video Outputs: 5 (includes Monitor/Z2)
  • Component Video Inputs: 6 x 100MHz (1 BNC, all assignable)
  • Component Video Outputs 3 (RCA + BNC Main Zone), RCA Second Zone
  • 8-Ch. External Analog Input
  • High Grade 5-way binding posts
RADIO & TUNER
  • 56 Station Auto-Preset Memory Tuning
  • Radio Data System (RDS)
  • XM Satellite Radio 'Connect and Play' Ready (with optional antenna)
  • HD Radio Tuner Built-in
GENERAL
  • RS-232C: 2 ports
  • RJ-45 Ethernet Port: New Network Streaming - also DNLA Certified and Remote Maintenance
  • PC Setup and Control Capability via Ethernet/Web Browser
  • IR Serial Remote In/Out terminals
  • +12v Trigger Output: 4 (250mA, assignable)
  • Multi-Source/Multi-Zone (*Uses REC OUT) 4 Source/4 Zone Audio (Z4 Digital); 3 Source/3 Zone Video
  • Pre-amp Outputs for Multi-Zone
  • High Pass Filter for Multi-Zone Outputs
  • Multi-Zone Pre-Amp Outputs – Selectable Output Levels
  • Discrete Multi-Zone Composite Video Output: Main/Z2 (S-video also)
  • Discrete Remote Power On/Off, Source Selection and Volume for Main and Second/Third Zones
  • Discrete Remote Source Selection for Zone 3
  • Assignable Amplifier Configuration of Surround Back Channels: 9 Modes
  • Speaker Time-Delay and Level Controls: L/R, Sub, C, Surr. L/R, Surround Back
  • Pre-Amp Outputs: 12 RCA/Configurable
  • Internet Radio: MP3 & WMA Compatible
  • iPod Dock Control Port (Using optional ASD-1R/3W/3N Denon iDock)
  • BNC Digital Audio Inputs: 2
  • Input Delete Function
  • Variable High/Low Pass Crossover Points (12/24dB) 40/60/80/100/120/150/200/250 F/C/S/SB individual
VIDEO & NETWORKING
  • Front Panel AV Inputs Inside Panel Composite & S-video * with Optical in
  • S-video Down Conversion 2nd Zone
  • Video Conversion Analog to HDMI Scaling 480p 720p 1080i 1080p
  • Silicon Optix Realta HQV Processing and Scaling
  • Built In Time Based Correction (TBC)
  • HDMI 1.3a Inputs: 6
  • HDMI 1.3a Outputs: 2 (Dual or selectable)
  • HDMI Audio/Video Repeater Function
  • HDMI Deep Color Support (36Bit)
  • HDMI xvYCC Color Space Support
  • Built-in WiFi Connectivity: 802.11 b/g
  • Network Enabled
  • USB Port with HDD Support (Front & Back)
  • Automatic Lip Sync (HDMI)
CONVENIENCE FEATURES
  • Auto Setup Calibration
  • Auto/Manual Room Equalization
  • Auto Setup Microphone Included (Alum DM-A505)
  • Dual Surround Mode Spkr. Selector
  • Icon-Based On-Screen Display (Main/Zone 2)
  • Personal Memory Plus
  • Relay-Controlled Protection Circuits
  • Microprocessor User Re-set
  • Subwoofer Peak-Level Limiter (THX)
  • Pre-programmed/Learning EL Remote with Backlighting and Punch Through Commands Y/RC-1067 + Multi zone remote RC-1070; 2-Way remote control ready (with optional RC-7000CI/RC-7001RCI)
  • Audyssey Mult EQ Pro CalibrationCompatible/Installer Ready (with Dynamic EQ built-in)
  • GUI Menu Support (Main Zone)
  • Volume Control Un-muting
  • Selectable Muting Levels (Full/-40/-20)
  • Weight: 62.7 lbs
  • Width (inches) 17.1" W x 8.5" H x 19.25" D

Pros

  • Dual HDMI outputs
  • Independent control of HQV Realta video processing on each input
  • THX Ultra2 Certified
  • Assignable amplification
  • Digital to analogue conversion for multi-zone outputs
  • Component video for Zone 2

Cons

  • No anamorphic output scaler for video inputs
  • Doesn't make espresso

 

Denon AVR-5308CI Introduction

5308CI-angled.jpgMost people love the idea of getting a new toy to play with. An AV receiver sounds like the perfect way to start off the week, however as a reviewer bent on dissecting any important feature and function contained in Denon's new flagship AVR-5803CI receiver I had my work cut out for me. In fact, reviewing this product entailed a complete reorganization of my entire AV equipment rack. Yeah, I know, poor me. I get it. Bottom line is that it didn't take long to realize that the best way to conduct this review would be to follow the same steps anyone would take when deciding how best to integrate this product into their listening room.

The AVR-5308CI shares nearly all of the same features found on Denon's $7500 AVP-A1HDCI flagship processor. While it lacks the balanced circuitry design, class A audio drivers and several other upgrades which did actually show some measureable results, the AVR-5308CI sells for about $2,000 less than this preamp and has seven respectable built in power amplifiers, I’d say it makes it quite a bargain.

 

About the author:
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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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Recent Forum Posts:

AcuDefTechGuy posts on September 09, 2009 14:07
scott911, post: 620933
Just wanted to mention that this was an awesome recieve. I'm not in the market for this type of unit, but enjoyed the read - and learned alot int he process.

BTW - wasn't surprised, but am stunned to read that this HDCP *crap* effects how you set up cabling choice even when you are at this level.

Probably a useless rant - but why can't the CP check be done concurrent to the video display, and not a precurser to it? In other word's - the reciever should IMMEDIATELY show the new signal -and do its check in the back- ground. If it detects a problem and suspects a copyright violation, then cut out the picture.

I can't imagine a studio, of whoever's involved, minding if a half second of unprotected video get shown before the signal if fully validated. After all, the real theves are probabaly completely unaffected, and it's only those of us who fund the studios who have to endure the pause with most channel changes - or “downgrade from HDMI cables.”

I hear your pain.

This stuff gets on my nerve too.

Those copy-protection studio bastards!
scott911 posts on September 09, 2009 13:28
HDCP is CRAP!

Just wanted to mention that this was an awesome recieve. I'm not in the market for this type of unit, but enjoyed the read - and learned alot int he process.

BTW - wasn't surprised, but am stunned to read that this HDCP *crap* effects how you set up cabling choice even when you are at this level.

Probably a useless rant - but why can't the CP check be done concurrent to the video display, and not a precurser to it? In other word's - the reciever should IMMEDIATELY show the new signal -and do its check in the back- ground. If it detects a problem and suspects a copyright violation, then cut out the picture.

I can't imagine a studio, of whoever's involved, minding if a half second of unprotected video get shown before the signal if fully validated. After all, the real theves are probabaly completely unaffected, and it's only those of us who fund the studios who have to endure the pause with most channel changes - or “downgrade from HDMI cables.”
AcuDefTechGuy posts on October 15, 2008 09:10
saladywcc, post: 468437
…purchase Denon's DVP-602CI for the video side and use the ext inputs for new audio codecs and buy the 2500BTCI Blu-Ray.


If you want TrueHD & DTS-HD MA on your current AVR-5805, you will need the DVD-3800BDCI, not the 2500BTCI because it does NOT have Internal Decoders for TrueHD or DTS-HD MA.

And if you are mainly watching Blu-ray, you don't need the DVP-602CI either because blu-ray is already 1080p. Besides, the video processor in the 5805 is already pretty good.
saladywcc posts on October 13, 2008 20:49
Wanted to get your opinion about the Denon receivers you've owned. Reading your thread, I know you had both the 5805 and 5308. I currently have the 5805, but not the upgraded one. Is the 5308 that much better that I should sell my 5805? I always thought that I could take advantage of the better audio dynamics of the 5805 and just purchase Denon's DVP-602CI for the video side and use the ext inputs for new audio codecs and buy the 2500BTCI Blu-Ray. Is your 5308 sounding just as good? I'm looking for your experienced advice. Could you tell me what you sold your 5805 for? Thanks.
AcuDefTechGuy posts on September 02, 2008 10:25
So did Gene buy the AVP-A1HDCI + POA-A1HDCI?
Post Reply