Denon AVR-5308C1 7.1 A/V Receiver


In Use

So after all is said and done, does the Denon AVR-5308CI do all it sets out to do? At all degrees a resounding yes with minor caveats.

Firstly, the 5308 offers a standby mode, although a hard on/off switch is an inch away to the lit standby which turns from red to green. Setup is a learning curve but intuitively simple.  Input switching is easy of course and each maintained their settings.

Power was more than adequate and at no time lacking as the 5308 never strained to give me dynamics. Audio playback was superb and I’d honestly say audiophile good. I can’t say Direct, or Pure Direct modes make a significant difference as the overall performance was outstanding.

In my room, Audyssey room correction made an improvement. My room isn’t large and that contributes to reflections and bass control. I found the overall presentation with the Audyssey active more pleasant, that is highs weren’t as shrill and bass mellow without losing impact.

The video reward from the 5308 just left me stunned. Although unofficial and for my own edification I popped in the HQV test disc and ran a few quick visuals from a Marantz VP-15S1 projector fed native 480p images from an Oppo DV-983H. I found improvements especially in up-conversions for video noise reduction and the Optix Realta HQV processor performance unsurpassed.

The images on Blu-ray from a Sony Playstation 3 were spectacular, without hiccups or glitches. Although an animation, Ratatouille is virtually three-dimensional through the 5308.  Playing Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds Live from Radio City in Dolby True HD was visually and sonically sublime. I’m not even a huge Dave Matthews fan!

Most anything audio I played including SACD, or DVD-Audio from my Oppo was faultless.

Internet Radio also worked very nicely but I did find it slow and one minor issue as changing stations meant returning to a previous menu, mostly because I hadn’t set any favorites. It streamed across the display with information and leaving your monitor on will give you artwork for that station.

HD Radio was hit or miss as the 5308 defaults back to FM when it can’t find the high resolution signal.

I was easily able to play all my music stored on my home server without much issue thankfully from the wifi connection. Navigation was simple if not a bit slow.

What I didn’t get an opportunity to try Rhapsody or XM as I just didn’t find enough time, there was just too much on the 5308 to play with! Likewise I didn’t ask for the Denon iPod dock.