The best AV Amplifier we’ve heard this year”

“Unashamedly pugilistic in nature, the AVR-X4500H devours those scenes in which it is able to flex its muscles. But it boxes clever, with sharp jabs working its way to a knockout blow, rather than slugging away and tiring itself out.
It is undoubtedly the first thing you notice about the amp’s sound, but it's unfair to say that is its defining characteristic. It's more that every other sonic aspect is so natural that it is easy to be impressed by how much power you’re getting for the money.

There is a substantial helping of bottom end, designed to put you in your seat and hold you there, but it never dominates what is a clean and even balance with little to provoke any fragilities elsewhere in your system. 
With audio, though, most imperative is always that combination of timing and dynamics that draws out the expression in a film or a piece of music – and in this regard, Denon has long excelled with its home cinema amps. It is responsible for the emotion in actors’ voices, the snap of an action scene and the apt scoring of a soundtrack.

It is also why, while it doesn’t reach the peaks of a class-leading stereo amplifier at even a third of the price, we could back anyone using the AVR-X4500H’s second zone option to power their hi-fi, or simply using it to play music through a surround package.

Slack timing in particular is more readily highlighted when a component grapples with rhythms over scenes in a film, and is why many otherwise decent receivers aren’t so suitable for that dual purpose, but Denon has nailed it.”

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