Denon AVR-4000 series


New member
Username: Cchawk

Post Number: 1
Registered: Nov-16
I am looking in upgrading my home theater system and would like some opinions:
My speakers are BOSE Acustimass 10 and would like to purchase a Denon AVR-W4300H or the 4200 older model.

Could somebody comment on this choice? }

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18296
Registered: May-04

Is this the receiver you are considering?


New member
Username: Cchawk

Post Number: 2
Registered: Nov-16
Yes that is the one that I am considering.

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18299
Registered: May-04

OK, but I'm still flying blind.

I don't know anything about your present system, why you feel the need for a new receiver, why you might want to spend the cost of the 4300, the make and model of your speakers, the type of use you envision for the system (mostly movies or what?), how loudly you listen, the size of your room, your subwoofer and existing equipment matches to a new receiver and so forth.

The 4300 seems to be almost double the cost of the 4200. Why are you consider each of these two?


New member
Username: Cchawk

Post Number: 3
Registered: Nov-16

Sorry for the lack of information.
I am looking to upgrade my sound system (currently using BOSE Acustimass 10 and Energy ESAT-2 speakers) by replacing my old Pioneer Elite receiver (with no HDMI connections). I want to get the Denon-AVRX4300H receiver as it has all the latest in audio decoding and a lot of features. I also upgraded my TV with a Samsung series 8 TV and would like to get full surround sound and 4K resolution.

Hope this helps.

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18304
Registered: May-04

The problem you'll run into buying "the latest" is there will always be another latest that displaces your no longer latest.

This is basically how the AVR market continues to exist. The average lifespan of even an upper price range AVR is still well less than a decade. Planned obsolescence. In that time, features and connectors have changed to the point there is typically no logic in repairing an old AVR. Your once latest and greatest now becomes a fairly costly paper weight.

Your current speakers do not warrant the cost of the receiver. Either set is far, far from top notch. They are best suited to background music and filling a small backyard with low level sounds.

In other words, unless you intend to upgrade your speakers to higher quality, buying anything more than a baseline AVR is, IMO, a complete waste of money.

You can't possibly think your current speakers are adequate for the use the Denon AVR's are intended, do you?

Other than that, it's your money. AVR's are largely interchangeable IMO. Denon probably didn't build either receiver. AVR's are typically sub-contracted and, when you look more closely, you will find two or three similar models from competing brands. What sets each receiver apart is the back panel connector set and the remote. Internally, they are quite similar. Your Elite receiver is really just another mass market Pioneer with gold plated connectors in the back. Maybe a feature or two sets them apart but those are achieved through integrated circuits which plug into allocated spots on the mass market Pioneer circuit boards. It's all marketing with the Elites and with most AVR's. Paying more does little to get you more.

Even within a line such as Denon, the various AVR's are built on standard chassis which are shared between several models in the line. That means the lowest cost two or three are basically identical once you pull the cover plate. The difference is in how many parts are used and how full the circuit boards are. The next group is built in the same manner. Same chassis and only features and wattage separate their real world build. So on and so on.

That said, Denons are good quality products and, if you want to blow your money on a receiver totally unsuited to your speakers, go for it.


Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18305
Registered: May-04

Also keep in mind the availability of 4k programming. Sources for this format are few and far between. That makes using your system to its full extent (according to the marketing that sold it) will be only occasionally real.

You will be watching more non-4k programming than you were likely told by the TV's salesperson. That situation isn't likely to change in the near future.


Gold Member
Username: Magfan


Post Number: 3397
Registered: Oct-07
Besides 4k which is of questionable benefit to MOST, the next tech in line would be HDR, of which 2 flavors are currently available.
I would Personally trade the HDR capability for the non-starter 3D stuff any day of the week.

For me, if I were a HT guy, I'd make sure any compatibility issues were in favor of HDR10 and the Dolby version.

And yes, source material is really questionable. I'm not sure small-dish from satellites can take the extra bandwidth. As it is, the HD from them looks like good DVD while 'standard' def TV looks as bad as a VCR from '86. I suspect much future 4k material will come from online sources where 'pay for bandwidth' will rule.

New member
Username: Cchawk

Post Number: 4
Registered: Nov-16
Hi all,

Thank you very much for your help.

Jan, what would you suggest for a Surround sound receiver, with all the latest decodings and speakers. The budget would be around $2K.

Thank you

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18308
Registered: May-04

I have made a policy of not recommending specific products on this forum. There are more than a few considerations when spending your money on an AVR and I simply can't go through a proper qualification process on a forum.

I would certainly begin any questions with, why do you want to spend that much money?

As I posted, your speakers are not sufficient for a high end/high wattage receiver/amplifier. Until and unless you change speakers, then most of what you will be buying in a AVR will be wasted IMO.

Just one thing to consider with your current speakers is driver size. Assuming you want a more "immersive" experience from your AV system, you cannot achieve that experience with drivers which cannot move air. The small drivers in your current speakers cannot achieve the "throw" - meaning they cannot move forward and backward - required to produce believable impressions of events. If dynamic range is compromised by the drivers, then, IMO, why buy electronics which promise higher fidelity to the source?

Your choice in speakers isn't limited to large boxes, but what you presently own will not be in keeping with the promises of a $2k AVR.

Complexity in an AVR is a double edged sword. While no one is prohibited from buying whatever they wish, higher priced AVR's are typically marketed to a buyer who is more likely to put the complexity of such a product in a system which has higher aspirations than just complexity. Many of the features found on a $2k AVR will be contra-indicated in a very simple system to the point of not truly providing much in the way of useful results.

If you are somewhat unfamiliar with the latest features found in a $2k AVR, they may even prove more frustrating than helpful. Many inputs/outputs are simply duplicates of each other to provide some backward engineering to source components and to offer multiple paths to setting up the system. In other words, if you know how the system should operate, you wouldn't need 70% of what's on the AVR.

There's an old adage in sales and marketing, sell the sizzle and not the steak. That is what drives the modern AVR market IMO. Too much BS and not enough real world performance.

I'd be willing to guess most of what the salesperson will discuss when showing a new AVR will be how many items are on the back panel and how many controls are on the remote. The actual performance of the product will not be covered in detail.

Sizzle, not steak.

What you appear to need is not someone to recommend a product. You need an updated education in what is important in an AV system. Simply throwing money at the cause is one of the worst ways to buy this stuff.

Therefore, read magazines and articles which deal with the subject. Head to your local bookstore and take a look at the magazines that say they can guide your selection. Recognize they cannot answer all of your questions and that what is important to a reviewer writing about all the new geegaws and gadgets isn't really out to assist you, they are there to - like it or not - sell a product.

There are very few bad product reviews and so everything they write up becomes "worth and audition". The problem being you can't audition everything, it's unlikely you can even give any AVR a fair trial in a shop.

Reading will, however, give you a bit more insight into where the market is and where it might be heading. As leo and I have suggested, 4k video is a great selling device but not always will it be a realistic option in your home. Think of all the folks who went for 3-D TV a few years ago and what they have now.

Sometimes the high end dribbles down to the mass market but many times not. People don't like being forced into buying all new copies of their favorite movies and music albums. That doesn't stop the AVR/TV manufacturers from churning out more BS that will be forgotten in a few years time. As leo says, 4k may be just another passing fad on the way to another latest and greatest feature that will antiquate much of what you buy in an AVR today.

Teach yourself, and understand no one can really do that for you on a forum. Asking for recommendations on most forums simply gets you the names of stuff the other posters already own or would like to own, particularly when you have a decent budget they get to spend. They aren't you and they don't select equipment the way you might.

When you are reading magazine reviews, also know there is a wide disparity in how the review has been written. Some reviews are for the real enthusiast and some are for the person who wants things to look pretty. There are a few writers who aim between those two points.

At $2k you are going to find yourself in a middle position in many ways. Normally, I would suggest anyone with a larger budget to forgo AVR's and begin to look at separate processors and amplifiers. The multi-channel power amplifiers which drive the speakers in an AV system have largely remained unchanged for the last two decades and there really is no reason you couldn't use multiple fifty year old power amps if they were a quality product to begin with. Amps are the most stable, unchanging products in an AV system.

If your current AVR has power amp inputs and has been satisfactorily driving your system, it's possible you might only need to by a new processor to plug into your current amplifier. That would free up money to go to the processor. That's the flexibility factor of separate components.

Processors change regularly and they will be where you buy features and connectors. Buying a processor which is separated from the power amp means you can update more consistently to real world needs while not being required to buy a totally new amplifier. You will also not be buying a radio tuner in most cases with separate processors where tuners have become a largely forgotten source in today's media market.

Here's a company with a very good reputation for their separate AV components;

Don't be talked into buying high wattage. Wattage is oversold in most systems. If the speakers are "this", you might not need more than a handful of watts. If the speakers are "that", you may need an amp with higher amperage deliver vs simply lots of on paper watts.

If you intend to blow down the walls, then wattage becomes less important than your speakers ability to turn electrical watts into acoustic watts. If you don't listen at top volume levels, don't pay for an amp designed to deliver those levels. Most apartment dwellers aren't going to be able to use the full power of a $2k AVR.

Another advantage to separate components is you buy what you need, not what a marketing department has decided should go together to sell at "X" price. A good shop can guide you, a poor shop simply sells what is on their shelf.

Running your video signals through the sound processing component may not be the best way to set up a system. Many times, running your video signals directly into your TV/monitor will provide the best resolution of video content. That depends on how you want the system - and the remote - to operate. A good shop will sit down and discuss this with you and not just set up a system with a one size fits all attitude.

At $2k you may find your budget is a bit low if you really want ALL the latest and greatest "stuff" no matter what you buy.

Keep in mind, the designers of these separate products make an attempt to look at the future proofing of their equipment and they typically minimize the "sizzle" that makes up the needless, and soon to be outdated, features found on many mass market AVR's.

Contact Outlaw and just have them discuss this with you.

Find a good retailer who isn't in a hurry to sell you something. Do not buy just to have something. With your budget, take your time and be patient. Buy wisely and not quickly. If a salesperson begins selling off another product by running it down, I would say get up and walk out or, at the least, make them aware you are there to buy their product on its merits and you don't need to be sold off anything else.

You will require some assistance after the sale. You really can't get this help off an on line retailer or the typical big box store. Discuss after the sale assistance and services before you buy. There are very few shops which do actual service repairs on what they sell. Know what happens if your new gear goes ka-flooey.

Allow some room in your budget for accessories such as cables and stands. Buying high priced gear can be defeated by the supporting accessories which are consistent with improving the performance of the system. A lower priced system well set up will out perform a higher priced system just thrown together. A good shop will guide you towards what you need and not what they need to sell.

Establish you real world needs and discuss these with the retailer. You may be misjudging what is important in an AV system.

What are your sources? What material will you be using with your new system? Old DVD's and BluRay's aren't going to be true 4k resolution. Upscaling can be helpful or it can be total BS.

I would suggest you ask about the transfer rates of various connectors and what cables will be required to achieve those rates. New cables might add some unexpected expense to your purchase.

The faster the transfer rate, the more future proof the connector. If, that is, you intend to buy new gear on a regular schedule. If you will allow another decade between purchases, then whatever you buy today will be outdated soon. Don't spend for what you won't use.

Take your own demonstration material into the shop and make fair comparisons using the same material on each system. Hardly any shop has the room to set up full AV systems beyond their most expensive. You are largely buying blind.

The room and the set up of the system are 90% of what you will hear and see when you get the system in your own home. What sounds/looks OK in the shop may not be great at home.

You will need to discuss this with the retailer also. If you only plan to plunk the gear down where it fits or looks good, then your $2k budget is waaaaaaay off base IMO.

That's about it for now. Do some homework and legwork.

If you have more questions, come back. But many times we can't tell you specifics since we won't have been there and heard that. You need to trust the person and the shop you are dealing with.

Good luck.


Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18309
Registered: May-04

After reading your last post again, I feel I didn't adequately answer your question.

IF you are intending to buy new speakers, you need to make a few decisions.

Typically, people buy the Bose satellites, or small staellite type speakers in general, to be unobtrusive in the room. If that is your goal for new speakers, you still won't have a system that isn't compromised by your speakers.

If you cannot set up a multi-speaker system in your room as outlined by most system guidelines, then you are still not quite where a high end AVR exists. System guidelines for speakers are typically dictated by your source material and the surround format you will use most often. the main speaker array should be placed with the high frequency drivers roughly at ear level for a seated listening position. If the center speaker must be placed higher or lower than the two front speakers, performance may be compromised. Ideally, your listening seat should be the apex of an equilateral triangle defined by the positions of the two front speakers. Surround speakers should be slightly behind you and above your head.

If you must deviate from this set up by more than a bit, then consider just how much performance you might be losing with your AVR purchase. New AVR's have lots of flexibility built in but they can only do so much. Possibly, you might do better with a higher quality soundbar rather than individual speakers in the room.

Obviously, for listening to music, all you really need will be (the equivalent to) two speakers and possibly a subwoofer. For concert/performance videos, you might use the same arrangement you would use for your video sources.

ALL the bells and whistles in a surround format can mean as many as ten speakers in the room plus at least two subwoofers. In such systems, speaker placement is critical to performance.

If you tend to place speakers where they fit and not where they need to go, then you're defeating your purpose of new and all encompassing feature sets.

While your TV is somewhat forgiving of placement, speakers are far more critical to the room and their relationship to the listener. Determine just how you can place the speakers relative to your room layout and how flexible your furniture locations can be. Make a basic sketch of your room and possible equipment/speaker locations and take that in when you audition equipment. Speakers that block doors and hallways can be bothersome with a full blown surround system.

Determine what sources you can, or might, play. Check for the availability of video source material to exploit your new system and set up. While Atmos is the new surround format, most movies and films are not available at this time with Atmos encoding.

Certainly, your concept of "good sound" is your own and I can't begin to suggest speakers you might find suitable. There are though numerous good speakers available today at reasonable prices. You don't need to invest heavily and you don't need large boxes in your room.

A diet heavy in action movies will be different speakers than speakers chosen by someone who enjoys small scale, intimate plot driven films. A system used for music listening will be somewhat different from a system heavy on video content.

Settle on your speakers first in this system. That's counter intuitive to a pure audio system where often the amplification and source are chosen prior to the speakers. The demands of the speakers in an AV system may place certain restrictions on your choice of AVR or separates.

Once again, do some homework regarding what is available in your area. I can't suggest buying speakers without an audition first.

Your room will heavily influence the final sound quality so ask about possible return privileges.

Again, that's about it for now. Hope you find equipment to your liking.

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