Denon AVR-3700H Digital Coax inputs are not working

Dave Daverson

Dave Daverson

Enthusiast
I just received the new Denon AVR-3700H and everything has been decent except for that I cannot get either of the digital coax inputs to work.

TL;DR: I'm wondering if someone with an AVR-3700H could check to see if the digital coax inputs work for them.

I have the receiver connected to a computer and normally I use HD audio via the HDMI cable which works just fine, but I also want the option to use my pro audio soundcard's digital coax output for low latency purposes (noodling on soft synths and guitar amp sims).

I know for a fact that the computer's digital coax output works and that I have the receiver's input routing configured appropriately (digital coax 1 source, digital). As a sanity check, I used a cheap little digital to analog adapter, and connected the converted analog outputs from the computer to the receiver, and it worked after configuring input routing accordingly. I also tried using the computer's onboard digital coax to no avail. However, the PC's onboard soundcard's optical digital output worked. So that's good to know and all, but I need to use the digital coax from the pro audio card.


I updated the receiver to the current firmware. One thing that struck me as odd was that when I went into the setup menu to configure the TV audio output setting, the UI would freeze for a good 2 minutes and only the optical digital option was listed. Eventually, the UI would start responding but there was still only a digital optical option. The TV audio menu seems like just a dumbed down helper option that is also covered by configuring the input routing settings, but I figured I'd make a note of these findings.

I just got off the phone with Crutchfield support, and as a last resort we did a full reset. Interestingly, after that, when I went into the TV audio settings, digital coax and analog were listed, but unfortunately I could still not get audio to play over the digital coax input. I've also noted that the receiver does display PCM DIG on the LCD when playing digital coax audio and the indicator goes of when unplugging the cable, so it's like it does see the signal, but I get no audio. Crutchfield is sending out a replacement unless they discover something new in the meantime, but the receiver is back-ordered for a couple of weeks.

It seems like something's buggy to me, but I haven't found anyone else reporting the issue after scouring various threads, but this is pretty new equipment and I have a somewhat unique use case.
 
L

Leemix

Audioholic Chief
Did you try to configure another input like CD or so instead of the TV audio one which is there for ARC basically.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
Dave Daverson

Dave Daverson

Enthusiast
Thanks for the reply, @Leemix. I did try other inputs including CD to no avail. I really just tried the TV audio thing as a workaround. I'm pretty sure that digital coax should work over any input as long as it's configured properly in input routing (Digital optical, HDMI, and and analog all work this way).
 
M

Methodical

Audioholic
When I've had these issues, it has always been a settings issues, even when I thought it was set correctly. I slow down and methodically go through the settings again and figure out what I did wrong.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Thanks for the reply, @Leemix. I did try other inputs including CD to no avail. I really just tried the TV audio thing as a workaround. I'm pretty sure that digital coax should work over any input as long as it's configured properly in input routing (Digital optical, HDMI, and and analog all work this way).
Can you take a picture and post it here, of your input assignment screen? I have to feel this is an input assignment issue. This would be a strange but not a totally improbable fault. If the inputs are assigned correctly, then that receiver is faulty and should be returned.
 
Dave Daverson

Dave Daverson

Enthusiast
@Methodical I hear ya, but I feel like I've already been there. I'm still open to any suggestions, but at this point I feel like I have a pretty decent understanding of how the input routing works, and I can consistently get HDMI audio, digital optical, and analog to all work when using a particular HDMI source for video. Also, I know the digital coax output works on the computer because it works on my old receiver and it works on the new Denon if I convert it to analog first via the adapter I mentioned in the original post.

Since my last post, I have contacted Denon support, and they had me do a firmware restore as a last resort, and unfortunately the same results -- digital coax inputs are not working on the default firmware or the updated version. They were really cool about everything, and told me that there were no reports of this issue but did acknowledge the volume issue that I've seen reported in other threads, which I thought was pretty honest of them. They said that if the firmware restore did not work, then the next step is to RMA the receiver. I will of course update this thread once I get my hands on the replacement.

@TLS Guy Thanks, here's a screenshot from the web UI. I also included windows showing that the digital output is selected as default playback device and that it is playing audio. I've also tried other HDMI inputs instead of the 8k input with Digital set to Coax1 (and Coax 2 just in case maybe the one port was bad) and Input Mode set to Digital.

avr-x3700h-input-routing.png
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
@Methodical I hear ya, but I feel like I've already been there. I'm still open to any suggestions, but at this point I feel like I have a pretty decent understanding of how the input routing works, and I can consistently get HDMI audio, digital optical, and analog to all work when using a particular HDMI source for video. Also, I know the digital coax output works on the computer because it works on my old receiver and it works on the new Denon if I convert it to analog first via the adapter I mentioned in the original post.

Since my last post, I have contacted Denon support, and they had me do a firmware restore as a last resort, and unfortunately the same results -- digital coax inputs are not working on the default firmware or the updated version. They were really cool about everything, and told me that there were no reports of this issue but did acknowledge the volume issue that I've seen reported in other threads, which I thought was pretty honest of them. They said that if the firmware restore did not work, then the next step is to RMA the receiver. I will of course update this thread once I get my hands on the replacement.

@TLS Guy Thanks, here's a screenshot from the web UI. I also included windows showing that the digital output is selected as default playback device and that it is playing audio. I've also tried other HDMI inputs instead of the 8k input with Digital set to Coax1 (and Coax 2 just in case maybe the one port was bad) and Input Mode set to Digital.

View attachment 38765
That is correct. So this is either a firmware issue in which case none of them will work, or you have a faulty receiver.

I'm not at all sure that Sound United are good owners of Denon/Marantz. I bought a Marantz 7705 pre/pro a year ago and put it into service last October. It certainly was buggy. It has had numerous firmware updates. They are still coming thick and fast. It is working well now and the issues seem to be resolving with these updates.
It seems to me it was released before debugging properly. I have not had issues like this with previous pre/pros. This is serious as Pioneer and Onkyo are not worth buying. Sony do not make a pre/pro and so that leaves only Yamaha.

With all the problems in the world I don't see this improving, probably getting worse. We really do need to stop all this Far Eastern manufacture, and encourage manufacture in US shores.
 
M

Methodical

Audioholic
I'm curious to see what they find when you send it in and hopefully the will explain what was fixed. Definitely post an update.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
@Methodical I hear ya, but I feel like I've already been there. I'm still open to any suggestions, but at this point I feel like I have a pretty decent understanding of how the input routing works, and I can consistently get HDMI audio, digital optical, and analog to all work when using a particular HDMI source for video. Also, I know the digital coax output works on the computer because it works on my old receiver and it works on the new Denon if I convert it to analog first via the adapter I mentioned in the original post.

Since my last post, I have contacted Denon support, and they had me do a firmware restore as a last resort, and unfortunately the same results -- digital coax inputs are not working on the default firmware or the updated version. They were really cool about everything, and told me that there were no reports of this issue but did acknowledge the volume issue that I've seen reported in other threads, which I thought was pretty honest of them. They said that if the firmware restore did not work, then the next step is to RMA the receiver. I will of course update this thread once I get my hands on the replacement.

@TLS Guy Thanks, here's a screenshot from the web UI. I also included windows showing that the digital output is selected as default playback device and that it is playing audio. I've also tried other HDMI inputs instead of the 8k input with Digital set to Coax1 (and Coax 2 just in case maybe the one port was bad) and Input Mode set to Digital.

View attachment 38765
From the screenshot you have had multiple input sources assigned to COAX1, try assign just one at a time and see if it works on one or all of the inputs if only one is assigned to COAX1 at any one time.
 
Dave Daverson

Dave Daverson

Enthusiast
Thanks @PENG and sorry for the late reply, but I had already tried just using COAX1 a single time to no avail. Assigning inputs multiple times is supported too, but tried just the single one for testing purposes anyway.

I do have an update! I received the replacement unit today and it has the same issue -- no digital audio via the coax input. I started digging in a little deeper, and finally found a solution: I have to have the sampling rate on the sound card/Windows PC SPDIF settings set to 48 kHz. No other sampling frequencies would work (I only tried 41.1 and 96). I could use either 16 or 24 bit depth settings, but I still had to use 48 kHz. Each time I tested the settings, I confirmed that the sound card's sampling rate was the same as what was being used by the SPDIF output settings for the Windows audio playback device.

Oddly enough, the receiver would show the other sampling rates when I went into the AVR's settings: General > Audio > Information, but no audio could be heard. It's so strange -- it's like the receiver is "kind of" seeing the signal, which has always been the case, as I mentioned with it displaying the little "digital" and "PCM" icons on the LCD. Anyhoo, I still think there is something wonky going on here, but this is good enough for now since I can get audio over the digital coax input.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Maybe the issue isn't the avr but your source....
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
What digital to analog converter? How does that figure in? Personally never had an issue with any of my avrs using coax input, altho I don't use one very often.
 
Dave Daverson

Dave Daverson

Enthusiast
I explained in my admittedly wordy original post that I used the digital to analog converter to verify that the digital source is working.

I connect the digital output from the PC to the converter, then the analog output of the converter to the AVR's analog input. I was consistently able to get the AVR to play the digital to analog converted signal this way. However, it's not ideal for one, because I have other analog outs I could use and for two, that converter has a terrible flaw where it produces a very loud pop whenever the source is turned off and then on again. Anyway, this test shows that the digital output is functioning.

I really only wanted to use the digital signal to eliminate the interference that is present over the analog RCA cables. I have balanced outputs available, but no balanced inputs on the AVR, so that's a no go. The signal coming from the sound card (very low latency) is just used for when I want to noodle around on synths and use a DAW for output through my speakers, definitely not a standard use case, but it's cool to have the option.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
I explained in my admittedly wordy original post that I used the digital to analog converter to verify that the digital source is working.

I connect the digital output from the PC to the converter, then the analog output of the converter to the AVR's analog input. I was consistently able to get the AVR to play the digital to analog converted signal this way. However, it's not ideal for one, because I have other analog outs I could use and for two, that converter has a terrible flaw where it produces a very loud pop whenever the source is turned off and then on again. Anyway, this test shows that the digital output is functioning.

I really only wanted to use the digital signal to eliminate the interference that is present over the analog RCA cables. I have balanced outputs available, but no balanced inputs on the AVR, so that's a no go. The signal coming from the sound card (very low latency) is just used for when I want to noodle around on synths and use a DAW for output through my speakers, definitely not a standard use case, but it's cool to have the option.
Thanks, saw that after I posted....but still think there may be something about the output of your source that isn't in line with the general output of such ports....you have no optical or hdmi to use?
 
Dave Daverson

Dave Daverson

Enthusiast
Thanks, saw that after I posted....but still think there may be something about the output of your source that isn't in line with the general output of such ports....you have no optical or hdmi to use?
The computer has another sound card (oboard, higher latency) with an optical and digital output. The optical works with the AVR, but the digital coax output did not. This digital output was working fine with my old receiver. The fact that I had 2 separate digital sources that did not work with the 3700h, that did work with my old receiver and the digital to analog converter I mentioned made me suspect of the 3700h.

The PC also has HDMI out, which is my primary audio source and that works fine, but that's not a viable option for low latency usage which is what I'm going for here.

I'm not ruling out that there's something "off" with the coax S/PDIF sources, but it's hard to ignore that the digital coax inputs on the 3700 are the only place where things are not working (aside from when I use the solution I posted). However, I've not seen anyone else mention this issue anywhere and now I've been able to test 2 separate AVR-X3700Hs, so it's still a mystery.

I do have another computer with a completely different setup (with 2 separate digital coax outputs) that I could test with. I will update this thread when gather the gumption to move it and set it up.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
The computer has another sound card (oboard, higher latency) with an optical and digital output. The optical works with the AVR, but the digital coax output did not. This digital output was working fine with my old receiver. The fact that I had 2 separate digital sources that did not work with the 3700h, that did work with my old receiver and the digital to analog converter I mentioned made me suspect of the 3700h.

The PC also has HDMI out, which is my primary audio source and that works fine, but that's not a viable option for low latency usage which is what I'm going for here.

I'm not ruling out that there's something "off" with the coax S/PDIF sources, but it's hard to ignore that the digital coax inputs on the 3700 are the only place where things are not working (aside from when I use the solution I posted). However, I've not seen anyone else mention this issue anywhere and now I've been able to test 2 separate AVR-X3700Hs, so it's still a mystery.

I do have another computer with a completely different setup (with 2 separate digital coax outputs) that I could test with. I will update this thread when gather the gumption to move it and set it up.
Just what was the old avr?
 
Dave Daverson

Dave Daverson

Enthusiast
Just what was the old avr?
It was a Logitech Z680, so technically maybe not a receiver (I've been trying to keep things brief) but it had analog 5.1 inputs, a digital coax input, and a digital optical input. I was a little overdue for an upgrade :)
 
Dave Daverson

Dave Daverson

Enthusiast
Ok so I finally tested my other setup, and the digital coax is working on the AVR-x3700h using various sample rates using the Presonus Studio 1810c audio interface under Windows 10. The culprit seems to be something related to the other setup's digital output (M Audio Delta 66 soundcard under Windows 7).

Thank you to everyone that contributed in this thread!
 

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