"Can you say "Advanced Alpha 24 Processing Plus"?"5.0 starson by nathometheatre
Pros: Top of the line DAC's, 4 HDMI in's & 2 HDMI out's, Outstanding Audio Performance via Denon's exclusive "Advanced Alpha 24 Processing Plus" feature, New User Interface on screen display for easy navigation.
Cons: Really none that I can find so far.
Summary: I've been a Home Theatre enthusiast for many years now. At least since the introduction of Dolby Pro Logic (4.1 surround sound). Since 1999, I've owned the following Denon Receivers, the 487, 2802, 3802, 3805 (which I still use today in our second home theatre), and now the Denon 4308CI. One thing that's always impressed me with Denon's receivers, is that "warm" in the guts sound that I can't seem to find with the direct competition dollar for dollar. My first demo with Denon's mid priced receivers, the 3802 & 3805 is where I really noticed a significant difference versus the competition. So, I asked the somewhat educated sales person at the audio botique i use to frequent the most (because of their expertise), why there was such a noticeable difference from brand to brand, and then the Denon? His response was, "Denon offers a technology called Alpha 24 Processing Plus" which provides better overall audio dynamics". Since then, I've done my homework here on many Denon receivers, and must say I fully agree with him. Every brand seems to have their own fancy name for sound processing, but I'm most impressed with Denon's by far! The AVR-4308CI now offers "ADVANCED Alpha 24 Processing Plus" which includes all channels driven. This is where I've noticed the biggest difference in sound quality. As before, the surround channels where less important than that of the Front Left, Center, and Front Right Channels (Sound Stage). I've always wondered why no one (without spending two house payments) wouldn't give attention to the surround channels as much as the front 3 channels, until now. I like to listen to 7.1 audio (although I do use my current set up for 80% home theatre) with all channels sounding the same. The 4308ci does not dissapoint! Not one bit! And furthermore, as technology seems to be growing faster than ever, outdating last years models with advanced technology, the 4308ci is simply updatable via it has its own IP address! This is fantastic, and it's easy to download any new updates from denon via the graphic user interface on screen display. I am currently using Klipsch Reference 7 speakers on all 7 channels, and while watching a Blu Ray dvd that offers DTS-HD Master Audio, or Dolby TrueHD (currently the lastest codecs available), it's simply audio and video at its finest hands down. Now that HDMI is in play, I have 3 HDMI cables and thats it! No more mess of cables everywhere which are almost impossible to hide! Although the retail is $2600 on the 4308ci, you can find it almost anywhere for under $2K. That being said, I still think its worth every penny of its full retail price! I bought the Denon dvd-3800bdci when I bought my 4308ci which was in Sept 2008, and they mate very well! Not one problem thus far. With the Denon 4308ci comes the Audyssey Multeqxt mic for easy set up and calibration for up to 8 seating positions for optimum true theatre sound. Although I own several calibration tools, I must say that the included Audyssey calibration mic did quite well, hence almost matching a professional calibration i did myself. One thing to keep in mind here, is if you do own full range tower speakers like I do, the Audyssey mic will most likely set them to "large", and also set your LFE cross over to 40Hz. If so, I would overide this setting and set them back to small, bypass the cross over on your subwoofer, and set the Denon's internal cross over to 80hz. This will allow your full range speakers to fully optimize their performance while letting your Sub handle the low frequencies. As for the rest of the calibration, I really like what the Audyssey does with the surrounds and proper distance to each seating position. It's day and night difference versus the stock setting. You can store up to 6 (if not more) different settings, ie; one for dvd, one for blu ray, one for digital cable etc.... and switch back and forth if you wish. Im very happy with just the one calibration with the above mentioned LFE cross over. Well.... running out of room here, but I could go on about the 4308's performance, as it's the best Denon receiver I've owned so far, and don't plan on upgrading again for a long time! Best of luck in your search for that ultimate sound and picture! The Denon 4308CI is it for me.