Denon 5308CI(A) Updates / Upgrades - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 6 Old 12-10-10, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Denon 5308CI(A) Updates / Upgrades

Denon 5308CI(A) Updates / Upgrades

I noted this post (by WiWavelength) in the 4311CI / A100 thread in the AVS 4311CI thread and posted on it in the AVS 5308CI thread (link), but thought some Denon owners here might be interested. Also the AVS threads can "bury" relevant information with a high "noise" level in the threads sometimes.

*A1HDCI(A) & 5308CI(A): Though he did not mention any specifics, Jeff made it sound as if the A1HDCI(A) flagship pre/pro & 5308CI(A) flagship AVR will be offered a hardware upgrade, potentially because there will be no flagship follow up models.
Full Post:
info from Jeff Talmadge:
Last night, I attended an event in recognition of the Denon 100th anniversary at one of the 40 dealers selected to carry anniversary series. The presenter was Jeff Talmadge (aka DenonJeff here at AVS), Denon's director of product development in the US. During the group presentation and one on one after the presentation, I asked Jeff several questions, the answers to which should interest many other AVS members. Since this is currently the most active Denon thread, I thought it best to post the info here. If there is sufficient interest in discussion, though, we can move it to its own thread.

*A100: The AVR is seemingly Jeff's favorite of the anniversary series. Interestingly, he feels that it provides the greatest sound quality improvement over the stock model (4311CI) on which it is based. The primary difference between the anniversary series & stock models -- besides the obvious piano gloss finish & cast iron feet -- is that the components & boards contained w/in the series models were individually tested for compliance. Those that did not meet Denon's more tightly spec'd tolerances were diverted elsewhere, perhaps to the stock component lines. Last but not least, Jeff said that the AVR is limited to 400 units in the US and implied that nearly all have already been sold.

*AirPlay: Jeff will be testing AirPlay on his home system this weekend. The official firmware update will be available December 1 for $49.

*preamp mode: Expect the preamp mode in the 4311CI/A100 to trickle down to at least the 3312CI next year. And expect preamp mode to become more flexible w/ many possible full/partial combinations (e.g. preamp mode for just L, C, R; amp mode for LS, RS, LH, RH, etc.). Preamp mode will serve as a more inclusive alternative to an actual pre/pro -- see below.

*pre/pro: Though Denon is still looking for ways to reenter the pre/pro market, another pre/pro in the near term is unlikely. The rumored CIX pre/pro became a source of internal disagreement at Denon. Some wanted it based upon the 33xxCI, others the 43xxCI. Some wanted to shave features to bring it in at $1799, others wanted a higher end product. So, any new pre/pro is shelved for now. Additionally, Jeff insinuated that Integra w/ its 9.8/9.9/80.1/80.2 series of $2000 pre/pros -- while very popular here w/in AVS -- has not been as successful as appearances might indicate. He suggested that Integra is moving roughly 200 per month.

*Blu-ray transport: A few model years ago, Denon intro'd the 2500BTCI, a Blu-ray "transport" -- no DACs or analog audio out, no component video out, just HDMI out. Jeff agreed w/ me that the idea was ahead of its time and said that Denon will produce a universal (i.e. SACD & DVD-A) Blu-ray transport again in the near future.

*53xxCI & 48xxCI AVRs: Do not expect new model 53xxCI & 48xxCI AVRs in the future. Just as Pioneer Elite & Yamaha have not replaced their flagships, Denon has decided that the market & technology change too quickly for a high dollar flagship AVR that is released only every few years to remain viable. So, the 43xxCI -- and there will be a 4312CI next year -- is apt to be the top of the line going forward.

*A1HDCI(A) & 5308CI(A): Though he did not mention any specifics, Jeff made it sound as if the A1HDCI(A) flagship pre/pro & 5308CI(A) flagship AVR will be offered a hardware upgrade, potentially because there will be no flagship follow up models.

*Marantz: Jeff agreed that many Denon & Marantz products are now built on a common platform. However, he stated that the common platform primarily applies to the DSP & GUI. Denon & Marantz engineers, respectively, still utilize their own proprietary technologies (e.g. AL24 Processing, HDAM, etc.) to differentiate the two D&M Holdings companies.

That is the rundown from the event last night. Let me know if you have questions...


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post #2 of 6 Old 12-10-10, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Audyssey SubEQ upgrade = 2 subwoofers in the future?

From my AVS HT thread notes...

It would be difficult to retro-fit for front height and front width if there was an Audyssey DSX upgrade.

However, an Audyssey SubEQ upgrade might tempt me to do 2 subwoofers.

At what price is it worth sending in your 5308CI(A) for updates vs. selling on e-bay (or other) and buying a 4311CI (or newer) and external amp(s) for less cost (than a new 5308CI) with all the bells and whistles and external amps?

I'm not sure, but I wouldn't pay $1000 to pay for upgrades.



Per Denon, MSRPs:

5308CI - $5500
4311CI - $1999
~$3.5K for amps

A recent Audiogon 5308CI (8/10 rating - not sold, but at least to get a range) - is on sale for $3250 (*now expired link*).
Let's assume you can sell a 5308CI for $3K.

5308CI - $3000 (sell)
4311CI - $2000 (buy)
$1000 profit

That still gives you a 4311CI at MSRP (and obviously you can get for less) and $1K to spend on external amps and/or subs/surrounds/H/W speakers, etc.
{What am I talking myself into...}

...and I can't recollect on the pre/pro end what you are missing in the 4311CI that you get in the 5308CI
(and recall, I am a 5308CI owner !)

External amps:
7 ch - Emotiva UPA-7 - 125W/ch x7 - $599
5 ch - Emotiva XPA-5 - 200W/ch x5 - $709+

For some people rack space will be against external amps, but let's face it, the 5308CI is not tiny by itself.

I would likely just use XPA-3 for L/C/R and 4311CI for all remaining channels.

*EDIT* 12-9-10
A quote from the AVS Denon 5308CI thread:
I inquired from Denon CS as to XT32 upgrade and this is the response:

"Here is the answer I received on your question for the AVR-5308CI. Most likely, public announcement to be made at CES or shortly thereafter."

Question: are Denon upgrades offered to any and all owners, or need one have purchased from an authorized dealer and be the original owner?
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post #3 of 6 Old 12-10-10, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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Upgrades - speculation - CES announcement

AVS Link - Mike_WI - 11-20-10
So, what upgrades do you think (possibly) will be available?

What I can think of:
- Audyssey DSX & XT32 (I think hardware might be necessary not just FW)
- Audyssey SubEQ
- 3D capability (HDMI 1.4)
- Other

I don't need 3D, but for people that like their AVR, but just want that -- a good add on.
AVS - danielo - 11-21-10
Well to me it doesn't make sense for denon to release a small update, the price of say $500 will be expensive in work/shipping/workperunit. For what ? new hdmi chips ?. My guess is it all depends on the avp.

They clearly created a hit with the avp within its range and they don't want to leave the pre/pro market again. But the current economy also doesn't make sense to make a whole new one. So extending the current one for 2-3 years seems a good middle road.

The luck they have is that the 5308/avp share many parts that need to be replaced so that means more units to share the cost. As far as i know the dsp, video and network parts are the same. These are also the parts that need a upgrade the most.

Things they can't easy change have todo with the number of channels, dacs (24bits vs 32bits paths), number of amps.

The audyssey stuff is doable infact i think most of the XT32 and even DSX can be done today. If they are limited on the current chipset (3 dsp's) they could be replaced during the hardware fix denon has done this before.

The current design allows for 9.3 and all channels are the same (at least on the avp) so you have 12 channels to play with. 12 channels allow you most of the DSX layouts including 7.1 + 4 DSX channels with the 'loss' of multisubs. Most will not do that, i think if you ask audessey you would get something like :

importants :

start with 5.1

add width channels (2)

add height channels (2)

add back channels (2) or extra subs.

Or many will do the width (way more important then the height channels) in a say 7.2 setup.

It won't be perfect since a full 11.3 is not possible but its not bad either and there is no need for a full redesign which would cost way more.

My guess the upgrade would not be cheap, $1500-$2000 if they indeed replace all 3 things (scaler/hdmi, dsp's and networkcard) and use a good shipping/upgrade program.

Again i have no info whatsoever i just think next year many avp and maybe 5308 would spend 1500 to 2000 to not only bring it some of the minor updates other have but also make a step forward. We would bitch about it but we have to look in the market and a sell/rebuy vs spending the money for the upgrade to get the same features again.

AVS - AdamWL - 12-9-10
Anyone have thoughts on which new capabilities we'll be getting with the upcoming upgrade? In my conversation with a Denon CI product specialist last Spring, he said to expect Audyssey DSX in a firmware update planned for late summer. Well that never occurred. Hopefully this didn't happen because Denon has a lot more in store for us than just DSX...

1. Audyssey DSX (height and/or width)
2. Dolby Volume
3. Napster
4. Pandora
5. Flickr
6. Apple AirPlay
7. DNLA video playback (in addition to the current audio and photo playback)
8. Sleep timer
9. New Fluorescent front panel display (with discreet symbols for DSX, 3D, HD audio, etc.)
10. HDMI 1.4 (3D passthrough and audio return channel)
11. Front panel HDMI input
12. Additional 2 amps (channels 8 and 9)
13. Additional pre-amp outs (channels 10 and 11)
14. New video upscaling processor (Anchor Bay?)
15. AL32 digital audio processing
16. 3D source conversion to checkerboard format (3D format for TI DLP) - I wish!

I wouldn't mind them all, but I would think these would make it look a lot more like a virtual 5311 than a 5308B
AVS - johnla - 12-9-10
Dream on!

Asking for adding new hardware stuff like two more amp channels, and additional pre-outs. Different scaling chips, new florescent display. I'd also bet would be a very pricey upgrade, in the range of at least around $2k, and maybe more.
This doesn't sound good for Audyssey DSX...
AVS - krichter1 post 12-16-10
Sorry if I wasn't clear(er) about my conversation with Jeff T.
Although no specifics/details were discussed my question specifically related to 3D and that a lot of us were considering "jumping ship" if Denon didn't address this for their flagship customers.
This is where he replied to me that plans were being made to address that and to tell you all to stay patient.
Later on I found out the intent was to make an official announcement at CES.

As it relates to Audyssey, there are no plans to upgrade current versions in either the AVP nor 5308ci to DSX.

If I had to make an educated guess this upgrade would soley be around the support of 3D and to possibly correct open firmware issues that could not be completed purely through a software update; but nothing more.


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post #4 of 6 Old 12-10-10, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Question Denon 5308CI(A) Audiogon bluebook?


What is the Denon 5308CI(A) on Audiogon bluebook?



From AVS:
(bold added)
Hey if I did not already have one I would buy yours. You are selling it too low.
On EBay right now you can find one for about $2000 used.
But when you read the details you find out that they purchased it from Dakmark which most likely sold them a refurbished unit.
The refurbished units usually go for about $1000 to $1500 below the average new unit price.
New units from authorized dealers go for about $3500 to about $3900, and that is a discounted price.
So if I were you I would reconsider the price you are going to sell.
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post #5 of 6 Old 12-26-10, 06:33 AM Thread Starter
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XT32 upgrade theoreticals...MIPS/DSP processing

I stumbled upon these comments on the Audyssey thread and thought they might be interesting here:

Jarno - 7-13-10 AVS Post
Do I see a trend here?

- 3808 got DEQ/DVol with a $100 "feature upgrade"
- 3310 got DSX with a $100 "feature upgrade"
- 3311 will get XT32 with a $100 "feature upgrade" -- I hope!

Chris has already confirmed that XT32 uses the same MIPS (DSP processing cycles) than XT does, so this is upto Denon to decide... I guess they want to use the "feature upgrade" function for something, why put it there if not? What else they could offer?
I don't recall seeing that info that the MIPS/DSP was the same.

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post #6 of 6 Old 01-14-11, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up 3D upgrade - Feb/Mar announcement (rumor)

Rumor that a 3D upgrade for the 5308CI(A) will be announced in Feb/Mar:

The 5308 is included in this upgrade (for sure).

I was just told the official announcement would happen when Denon announces their 2011 line of receivers in Feb/Mar.
and from pre-amp thread (1-13-11):
Browsed the last couple of pages to see if this was covered but I didn't see anything, so here goes.

The new edition of Home Cinema Choice in the UK, in the letters page is a letter from a guy who purchased an AVP, POA and the A1UD last year. He now wants to go 3D and was asking if upgrades will be available?

A Mr Batchelor, a Denon Rep, replied and said the AVP will be getting a 3D upgrade and that they are working on this as fast as they can, but no details yet, just keep checking their website for further news.
The A1UD will not be getting a 3D upgrade.
So good news for us AVP owners, but not for AIUD owners.

Nice to see something being confirmed by a Denon rep, let's hope the information is correct.
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