OK, time for a mini-review on Denon receiver HP capabilities.
I fired up the Denon AVR-4311CI with the HD800's. I used my Denon DVD-5900 DVD/SACD as source via the Denon Link digital connection. Test disc's were the DTS version of Alan Parsons "On Air", The SACD of Nick Drake's "A Treasury" and a regular Redbook CD of the Eagles "Their Greatest Hits".
The Denon receiver uses 2 AKM 4358 DAC's to cover it's 11.2 processing:
* The Denon AVR-4311CI receiver uses TWO AKM DACs, the exact same DAC as in the 3311 receiver.
Because the AVR-4311 receiver is an 11.2-channel receiver, it has 13 preouts for 13 channels. So it needs 13 DACs. And TWO AK4358 DACs equals 16 DACs all together; the three extra DACs are NOT used.
The Denon DVD-5900 uses a pair of Burr-Brown 24 bit/192 PCM/DSD 1790 Audio DAC's
A review of the DVD-5900 by Kris Deering can be found here:
After a couple of hours A/B'ing between the Denon AVR-4311CI and my Decware CSP2+/Taboo MK III using the same DVD-5900 source it was no contest between them. The Decware was easily superior to the Denon for HP use.
The Denon is clean, but sterile in its presentation. Even with the vaunted HD800 it felt flat and much less dimensionality. You hear everything, but it is artificial in its presentation.
Switching to the Decware things really open up. Alan Parson "On Air" casts a wide soundstage and the Decware revealed it fully. Suddenly you had depth alongside height and width
That wasnt a comparison between the Denon and Decware. It was a comparison between solid state and tubes.