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Ukko Kari

Replacement AVR / processor

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My ~16 year old AV Receiver is starting to get tired, I had to disassemble it to do some soldering this spring. I am not inclined to pay $ 3K for features I will never use, at the moment Atmos is not on my radar, nor will it for the next 5 years or so.

http://denonpro.com/products/view/dn-700av#.WMyEHn_QBco

Any experience or thoughts on this unit? Checks off all of the boxes with balanced outputs.

Also looking to get a new BD player:

http://denonpro.com/products/view3/dn-500bdmkii

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I've been very happy with my Denon AVRs (2112CI followed by 3313CI, IIRC), apart from paying for lots of features I don't need.  ;)  Things I do care about are low noise floor (check, even with unbalanced); predictable relatively bug-free operation; no foul sounds or turn-on/turn-off thumps, even during power outages; minimal ULF roll-off; low operating temperature, etc..  The consumer AVRs can put out 4 Vrms, though that spec is not published anywhere I'm aware of.  Presumably the pro version should do at least that much.  (The published level specs appear to be for the inputs rather than pre-outs.)  I do wish they let me turn off the amps in this model (3313CI), which would help more with heat.  The ability to turn off the amps requires a more expensive model.  :P But all-in-all, I believe the Denons are some of the "least bad" among AVRs and are generally competently implemented, which is what counts the most.

I hear way too much about AVRs from other vendors that have all sorts of weird problem including unexpected thumps and other untoward emissions.  Those kind of things bother me a lot, especially using a high gain system where a bad signal output could be extremely jarring.

If you pick up that receiver, let me know how it works for you.  I may consider it in the future.  Though, I may just opt for one with the extra features.  The unbalanced outputs on my existing Denon are very clean, and the noise floor on those outputs is much lower than the noise floor of my Emotiva amps, despite using balanced connections for those.

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I haven't shopped for one in ages, but the only few that caught my attention were this and the new Emotiva XMC-1, however that is a lot more $$ at $2499 for functionality I don't need. Onkyo has one AVR with balanced outputs, the PR-RZ5100, also $ 2399 MSRP.

There should be no reason to pay that much for balanced outputs, the circuitry required is trivial, but that is what the market will bear I suppose. For the price of the Denon Pro unit, I could purchase two and have money left over compared to buying the Emotiva or Onkyo.

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I just purchased a Denon 4300 and I agree with SME on every point about Denon's AVR's. I keep raving to my brother how quiet the noise floor is and that is using unbalanced preouts as well. Before, I used the balanced outputs on a Sherbourn pre/pro and I didn't realize how horrible that pos was till I got the Denon. Also the sub outs have got to be some of the highest levels since I had to turn the gain in my sub amps more than a quarter back. 

I had thumps from my subs, feedback in my speakers, HDMI handshake issues etc. This Denon has been one of the best buys I've ever made for my HT. 

That pro I would've bought myself if it had Atmos and DTS:X. I believe @maxmercy measured the sub outs and it had one of the few that didn't clip with a higher level as well as a low noise floor. I think the Pro would serve you well for years.

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Madael,

I am so glad I got rid of that Sherbourn.  Handshake issues, noise floor issues, it was not worth what I paid, even on sale.

I love my Denon Pro equipment, both the BluRay player and the DN-500AV.  I have the older 500 version (the 700 version has some internal amplification in one version, and preamp only in another, and bluetooth internally),  but it is a terrific piece of equipment.  The only drawback is 7.1 only.  No overhead channels yet in the pro lineup.

The Pro still clips a summed LFE if you drive it hard.  It is very easy to just turn the gain down some on the LFE/Sub summed out to avoid any clipping.  I would have to check where I have mine set at, but I remember testing very carefully to ensure no clipping, even with WCS (Worst Case Scenario) tracks.

JSS

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Happy to see someone else thing about the 700 AV. I will be purchasing one for my AVR. Still have some time before that happens but it is the best deal for me and who doesnt like balanced outputs.:D

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Yah I really regret not getting rid of that pos a long time ago Max. I didn't realize how many issues I had till I got rid of it. My brother built me a gaming rig/HTPC and the Sherbourn would have handshake problems every time I turned it on smh.  I like the Denon Pro series I just wish they had Atmos and DTS:X. 

Ukko I don't know if you're aware but last years Denon's are still going for pretty cheap. Really hard to beat for the prices. If you need the XLR outs for longer runs then yeah you can't beat the Pro series but the unbalanced outs are just as good in my set-up.

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I use the Yamaha 5100 pre/pro. Has XLR jacks for all outputs (including overhead speakers and dual subs).

It's great and not too expensive. Never have issues with it, HDMI handshake or audio-related. Ever.

Yes, it has Atmos/DTS:X but you don't have to use it.

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7 hours ago, Infrasonic said:

I use the Yamaha 5100 pre/pro. Has XLR jacks for all outputs (including overhead speakers and dual subs).

It's great and not too expensive. Never have issues with it, HDMI handshake or audio-related. Ever.

Yes, it has Atmos/DTS:X but you don't have to use it.

I just checked out the Yamaha CX5100, pretty much the same price as the Emotiva and the Onkyo, MSRP of $ 2499.

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I've read a lot about the Emotiva being glitchy and prone to occasional pops and other issues.  Maybe they have made some improvements, but I would avoid them with the knowledge I have now.  I also recall that their pre-outs don't provide much voltage headroom.

I vote for the Denon Pro, or if you change your mind and want more features, go with the Yamaha or one of the Marantz pre/pros.

Edit: infrasonic, do you know how many volts the Yamaha can put out before clipping?

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I'm still rocking a Marantz AV7005 (2010).  Has XLR for everything and has lowest noise floor of any device in my signal chain.

Earlier this year we did a blind listening test comparing it to the 7702mkii, 7703, and 8802 and couldn't tell any difference.

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/90-receivers-amps-processors/2670641-marantz-av7703-vs-av7702-vs-av7005-2ch-stereo-critical-listening.html

Whenever I get 4K or Atmos it'll be a sad day when I have to replace it.  

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17 hours ago, Ukko Kari said:

I just checked out the Yamaha CX5100, pretty much the same price as the Emotiva and the Onkyo, MSRP of $ 2499.

I got mine for much less than that.

I think you live outside the US, right?

If you do live in the US, send me a PM. I might be able to help on the MSRP part.

13 hours ago, SME said:

I've read a lot about the Emotiva being glitchy and prone to occasional pops and other issues.  Maybe they have made some improvements, but I would avoid them with the knowledge I have now.  I also recall that their pre-outs don't provide much voltage headroom.

I vote for the Denon Pro, or if you change your mind and want more features, go with the Yamaha or one of the Marantz pre/pros.

Edit: infrasonic, do you know how many volts the Yamaha can put out before clipping?

I forgot the exact voltage but it's rated pretty high compared to some brands.

Desertdome did a test of the sub out on them and posted about it on AVS but I can't for the life of me remember where he posted that. Might be worth looking in the main 5100 owners thread at AVS. Or PM him directly.

It was pretty high on the MV with the sub gain at 0 before clipping set in, IIRC. I keep mine well below -5 but only because I have to with all this woofage.

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The Yamaha CX-A5100 will do a little over 24 dBu (13 VRMS) on its subwoofer output. However, its bass management will clip the signal on worse case real content unless the subwoofer trim is set to -7 dB and master volume control isn't above 0 dB. 

I've checked 3 Marantz 7702 MKII's in the past two weeks and they all clip when using bass management unless the master volume control was at -3 dB and the subwoofer trim was at -7 dB. With the master volume control at 0 dB and the trim at -10 dB, they still clipped. I tested with How to Train Your Dragon and White House Down.

I don't really like Marantz or Denon processors because they are limited to 20 ms of delay. You can't integrate a horn subwoofer properly, use them in large home theater, or add additional external subwoofer DSP (depending on latency of the DSP). Yamaha allows for 72 ms of delay.

I am a Denon and Yamaha dealer. 

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2 hours ago, mojave said:

The Yamaha CX-A5100 will do a little over 24 dBu (13 VRMS) on its subwoofer output. However, its bass management will clip the signal on worse case real content unless the subwoofer trim is set to -7 dB and master volume control isn't above 0 dB. 

I've checked 3 Marantz 7702 MKII's in the past two weeks and they all clip when using bass management unless the master volume control was at -3 dB and the subwoofer trim was at -7 dB. With the master volume control at 0 dB and the trim at -10 dB, they still clipped. I tested with How to Train Your Dragon and White House Down.

I don't really like Marantz or Denon processors because they are limited to 20 ms of delay. You can't integrate a horn subwoofer properly, use them in large home theater, or add additional external subwoofer DSP (depending on latency of the DSP). Yamaha allows for 72 ms of delay.

I am a Denon and Yamaha dealer. 

Output of 13 VRMS is very nice.

Can you set the Marantz trims to -12?  IIRC, these units barely pass WCS with bass management using -12 trim and MV "0".  However, all bets are off if you have Audyssey enabled.  It's unfortunate that they did not incorporate enough digital headroom for Audyssey processing on top of everything else, but it's not something I use, except for Dynamic EQ in "Audyssey Bypass L/R" mode.

The 20 ms delay limitation is a bit weird.  On my Denon 3313CI, I am able to set the "distances" as high as 60 feet (~52.8 ms), and I have confirmed that it does indeed delay the video output appropriately.  This is very useful to me to accommodate delay in my downstream audio DSP.  However, the difference in distance between any two speakers cannot exceed 20 feet (~17.6 ms).  So it would seem that the AVR can buffer up to a few frames of video but cannot buffer more than 20 ms of audio.  Priorities, right?  Anyway, as long as all the speakers are far away, the Denon/Marantz should still work for large rooms.  It just has problems when some speakers are very close vs. very far, or when some outputs are processed with much higher latency than others.

BTW, I've never heard of horn subs needing a lot delay to integrate properly.  Can anyone comment on that point?

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I'm still using the old Onkyo 886 myself. Probably get the Denon DN-700AV when I do change unless something better comes along.

Related to the clipping with WCS signals...

Most of us with big, capable systems, by default have HE / sensitivity. I've done a lot of gain investigation with my current components. My REF playback is at -7 on the master with my FL and FR channels at -15 channel trim. This is largely set by the high sensitivity of the CF-4 speakers and the extra hot input sensitivity of the Emotiva XPA-5 amp. The sub channel runs about 3dB hot at -7 trim with my K20 input sensitivities at minimum. The Onkyo will spit out over 12v through the SW jack without clipping but I do not know what point it would occur internally with a WCS. Back when I did all of that testing I did not have an easily accessed WCS signal. K20 clipping occurs well below 12 volts input.  I could always increase the input gain on the amps if needed but I don't run REF +15 on the subs virtually ever.

Is anybody actually running their processors at (0) for assumed REF with the channel trims near 0 or higher? You really shouldn't need to with high capability speakers but this makes me curious.

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3 hours ago, mojave said:

The Yamaha CX-A5100 will do a little over 24 dBu (13 VRMS) on its subwoofer output. However, its bass management will clip the signal on worse case real content unless the subwoofer trim is set to -7 dB and master volume control isn't above 0 dB. 

I've checked 3 Marantz 7702 MKII's in the past two weeks and they all clip when using bass management unless the master volume control was at -3 dB and the subwoofer trim was at -7 dB. With the master volume control at 0 dB and the trim at -10 dB, they still clipped. I tested with How to Train Your Dragon and White House Down.

I don't really like Marantz or Denon processors because they are limited to 20 ms of delay. You can't integrate a horn subwoofer properly, use them in large home theater, or add additional external subwoofer DSP (depending on latency of the DSP). Yamaha allows for 72 ms of delay.

I am a Denon and Yamaha dealer. 

Thanks for the tip, I assumed they were all limited to around 20ms. This can be a problem with horns, I have often reached this delay limit when experimenting with different calibrations.

I have only measured Denon/Marantz units, sub output is fine for -12dB trim and 0dB master, anything higher and it will clip.

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2 hours ago, Ricci said:

Is anybody actually running their processors at (0) for assumed REF with the channel trims near 0 or higher? You really shouldn't need to with high capability speakers but this makes me curious.

No way. My house would explode.

 

Lol, not really but... :o

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1 hour ago, SME said:

BTW, I've never heard of horn subs needing a lot delay to integrate properly.  Can anyone comment on that point?

You have to add the horn path length to the distance of the sub from the main listening position in addition to other delay caused by the LPF or DSP. 

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3 hours ago, Ricci said:

Is anybody actually running their processors at (0) for assumed REF with the channel trims near 0 or higher? You really shouldn't need to with high capability speakers but this makes me curious.

I do, but I don't count.  :)  IIRC, my channel trims are +3 for the mains, which allows me to run at up to +5 MV without clipping for those odd tracks that need higher than theatrical reference level playback.  This minimizes between it and my DSP.  I still have the sub out set to -12, even though I technically could do -7 while retaining the same headroom, and that's because my bass management is done downstream in my DSP so the "sub out" only has to pass LFE.

If I need more gain in the system, I can boost directly in my DSP, which can easily clip any of my amps.  That what I usually do for those occasions in which I want to "boost the sub".  That's pretty rare for me as well.  I demoed some dub step at ref level with a +/- 6 dB tilt for LowerFE when he was visiting.  It was funny because at first he was surprised to see my cones moving with music that was "not so loud".  Then he loaded up the SPL meter in REW on his laptop, which showed continuous output in the one-teens with occasional peaks clipping the UMIK  (> 120 dB).

21 minutes ago, mojave said:

You have to add the horn path length to the distance of the sub from the main listening position in addition to other delay caused by the LPF or DSP. 

I gotcha.  I feel like I've asked this question before.  (head smack)  So the delay is 1/4 length at tune?  So 12.5 ms for a 20 Hz horn?  I can see where that'd be a problem.

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I keep my L/C/R trims at -9 on the Marantz and the SW out at -12.  Since i keep my amp gains at max for the subs, the input on the MiniDSP for the sub channel is at -25, so anytime I want to bump the bass trim I adjust it there.  

I also don't use Audyssey.  

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17 hours ago, SME said:

I do, but I don't count.  :)  IIRC, my channel trims are +3 for the mains, which allows me to run at up to +5 MV without clipping for those odd tracks that need higher than theatrical reference level playback.  This minimizes between it and my DSP.  I still have the sub out set to -12, even though I technically could do -7 while retaining the same headroom, and that's because my bass management is done downstream in my DSP so the "sub out" only has to pass LFE.

If I need more gain in the system, I can boost directly in my DSP, which can easily clip any of my amps.  That what I usually do for those occasions in which I want to "boost the sub".  That's pretty rare for me as well.  I demoed some dub step at ref level with a +/- 6 dB tilt for LowerFE when he was visiting.  It was funny because at first he was surprised to see my cones moving with music that was "not so loud".  Then he loaded up the SPL meter in REW on his laptop, which showed continuous output in the one-teens with occasional peaks clipping the UMIK  (> 120 dB).

I gotcha.  I feel like I've asked this question before.  (head smack)  So the delay is 1/4 length at tune?  So 12.5 ms for a 20 Hz horn?  I can see where that'd be a problem.

No, it is not that simple.

The delay of the horn itself depends on the tuning and type of horn. Front loaded, back loaded, size of compression chamber, tuning. And delay is frequency dependent, though less so for a horn than a typical ported box.

Then room acoustics come to play, as for any type of subwoofer, adding delay that is also frequency dependent , and can be several 10's of milliseconds. 

So the actual delay you need on the L R depends on the crossover frequency, the horns in use, and room acoustics and placement. (And this is before entering the more advanced configurations, which can include multiple subwoofers set up to solve problems that typically occurs in small, closed spaces).

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2 hours ago, Kvalsvoll said:

No, it is not that simple.

The delay of the horn itself depends on the tuning and type of horn. Front loaded, back loaded, size of compression chamber, tuning. And delay is frequency dependent, though less so for a horn than a typical ported box.

Then room acoustics come to play, as for any type of subwoofer, adding delay that is also frequency dependent , and can be several 10's of milliseconds. 

So the actual delay you need on the L R depends on the crossover frequency, the horns in use, and room acoustics and placement. (And this is before entering the more advanced configurations, which can include multiple subwoofers set up to solve problems that typically occurs in small, closed spaces).

Yes, I did generalize for a tapped horn, and now that I think about it, I might not be correct even for that case.

Several 10s of milliseconds sounds very high for "room acoustics" effects.  A full cycle at 60 Hz is 17 ms.  If you are delaying more than that (in addition to distance and "internal" effects), then you are probably adding unnecessary group delay, which likely impacts transient response sound quality and slam.

FWIW, I've been studying this problem quite intently lately, trying to improve integration between my speakers and subs.  Unlike most people, I have practically unlimited DSP resources to throw at the problem, where the only real practical limit is latency.  I would say that the processing capabilities built into AVRs and most processors are woefully inadequate for achieving an optimal outcome.  The"THX "LR4 sub/sat crossover" is largely fantasy that rarely occurs in real world conditions.  The best that most people can do is a brute force evaluation of different XO frequencies and sub delays, where typically response is only optimized on one  channel and at one seat.  Yet even this effort requires more sophistication than most users are capable of.  (Readers of DataBass and some of those who read AVSForum are obvious exceptions.)

No wonder a lot of people prefer bass from 2 channel full-range speakers vs. subs.  While the in-room "placement" of the LF drivers in such speakers is non-optimal, the XO is (ideally) optimal for that placement.  I've noticed that good anechoic-flat full-range speakers, when pulled far enough from walls, can deliver impressive slam; whereas many sub systems including many with big horns or many large drivers struggle in this respect.  My recent experience suggests that phase (or rather group delay) effects are more important than most people realize.  And it's not what people think.  I.e., a ported sub isn't necessarily sloppier than a sealed sub, though that obviously depends on the competence of design.  Such effects are largely minimum phase.  (A good thing.)  Rather, it is the excess group delay, which arises from crossovers and distance differences that appears to be important.  Pre-ringing in particular seems to really kill tactile slam, and it should be noted that FIR filters are not the only way to introduce pre-ringing into a system.  Pre-ringing can arise merely from placements and/or delay settings.  Any situation in which sound from a sub may reach the listener before sound from a speaker potentially involves pre-ringing.  Rooms with rear subs are likely to exhibit pre-ringing for rows behind the one used for calibration.  What's not at all clear is where the perceptual thresholds lie for hearing and feeling of pre-ringing effects.

Anyway, I still have a lot of work to do here, and at some point, I may try to do some more formal testing of excess group delay effects, including pre-ringing, as this information would be very useful for optimizing sub systems for multi-listener environments.

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On 10/13/2017 at 12:09 PM, mojave said:

The Yamaha CX-A5100 will do a little over 24 dBu (13 VRMS) on its subwoofer output. However, its bass management will clip the signal on worse case real content unless the subwoofer trim is set to -7 dB and master volume control isn't above 0 dB. 

I've checked 3 Marantz 7702 MKII's in the past two weeks and they all clip when using bass management unless the master volume control was at -3 dB and the subwoofer trim was at -7 dB. With the master volume control at 0 dB and the trim at -10 dB, they still clipped. I tested with How to Train Your Dragon and White House Down.

I don't really like Marantz or Denon processors because they are limited to 20 ms of delay. You can't integrate a horn subwoofer properly, use them in large home theater, or add additional external subwoofer DSP (depending on latency of the DSP). Yamaha allows for 72 ms of delay.

I am a Denon and Yamaha dealer. 

I will never need to turn my MV up that high, I have downstream processing ( DCX 2496's ) before pro amps. I don't have horn loaded subwoofers at the moment, if I did, that may be a consideration, but it also depends on the latency of your display device when watching a movie, when you start adding tens of feet or more delay to all other channels to match up to a horn subwoofer.

Thanks for the insight.

 

 

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