I am hearing the first rumours of one of our Tier One manufacturers vacating a market position that they have hitherto actually had some dominance in. We have had a number of inquiries about the "4811" ... a hypothetical 2011 release thats an upgrade to the 4810 ... it's not going to happen and indications are that Denon will not have an equivalent replacement model ... ever.


This is a sign of the times perhaps ... that they see a dwindling consumer support base for large single box surround amps. This means that the nine channel 4311 will be the effective top of the range after the 4810 and AVPA1HD/POA are sold out. Personally I think this is a great shame as the sound quality imbued by that unstoppable behemoth single box Receiver series such as the 4810 has always been absolutely world class, iron hand in velvet glove type of thing.
No doubt there is a similiar trend in place from other manufacturers in the East.


One would postulate that the continuing series of minor changes in the HDMI specification have perhaps made it increasingly difficult to keep manufacturing massive amplification in a single chassis with the fashion volatile HDMI switching, forcing an undue model turnover on a market sector cant support it.


One would also suggest that a causal factor may be the proliferation of grey import amplifiers that have been tempting consumers to purchase offshore at reduced pricing. Whilst they have rarely had a satisfactory purchasing experience these consumers have often haunted specialist retailers before purchasing independantly. The result being that the aforesaid retailers choose no longer to stock and promote the product, thus the very source of product inspiration for the consumers is actually removed and ... they stop buying it at all.


In the meantime ARCAM have just released the AVR400 that fits very nicely above the Denon 4311 in price point and musical performance. Plus the new Anthem Receivers from Canada are starting to generate interest.
By the way it has already been suggested that the tragic earthquake in Japan will prevent supply for some time of the higher end tier one brand product.


Regards
Rab Turner