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Update: I forgot to mention that this is the worlds first 10.1 channel receiver… what does that mean? I really don’t know yet… since there isn’t 10.1 encoded media, but it has more channels than your friends ghetto 7.1 channel receiver.

At first, I thought the photo was distorted, but this freakin’ receiver is more square than a normal rectangle form factor most A/V receivers tend to have. This one stands at a towering 12″ tall! Yikes! There aren’t many details on the unit yet, but I have included a CNET Editor’s Preview and a link to Audioholics forum where it has more info on the unit. I’m still in, “shock and awe” stages…

CNET editor’s preview

Reviewed by David Katzmaier
Edited by John P. Falcone
Reviewed July 15, 2004

We’ve never seen anything quite like the Denon AVR-5805. The latest iteration of the company’s “reference-quality” 5800 line, this massive component’s sole job is to switch between your components and amplify the audio. For that, the company will ask you to fork over a cool $6,000 in November, when this giant sags the shelves at your local high-end electronics boutique.

Upside: The AVR-5805 is the world’s first receiver with 10 built-in amplifiers, which can provide up to 16 channels of sound. Until the advent of Dolby Digital 16.1, using all those channels means doubling up the amplification in the main room and/or sending surround sound to multiple rooms from multiple sources in the main room. Denon was deliberately vague on the rest of the receiver’s specs (watts per channel, number of inputs), but we’ll have more info after the CEDIA show in September. That picture’s no mistake though; this monster is a full 12 inches tall.

Downside: It’s huge and expensive. This thing will cost more to ship than most receivers cost to buy. Aside from those obvious issues, most home-theater aficionados in this rarefied price bracket prefer to invest in separates, that is, a dedicated preamp/processor plus a multichannel amplifier or even a separate amp for each channel.

Outlook: Downsides considered, the AVR-5805 is pointed toward a tiny segment of the market. This is a technology statement more than a consumer product, so don’t hold your breath for a full CNET review. We’ll leave that to our friends at Robb Report Home Entertainment. Those of us without such deep pockets will have to settle for Denon’s expanded lineup of less audacious–but still feature-packed–A/V receivers.

Audioholics Forum