Looking for feedback/advice on a preamp/processor/receiver choice.

Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
I think you're putting way, WAY too much importance, energy and time into this, lol. There are much cooler things to geek out over that can make a real difference. Either the 3600 or the 3700 are great units. Period.

Do you have any measurement gear?
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Okay so there is a ton of info swirrling around about this on the interwebs. Some say that they have reasonably reliable info from sources within Denon that the TI DACs are used. Then we have PENG who says that couldn't be because he feels the redesign effort to use them is too much trouble for Denon. I respect your perspective PENG, but given the modular nature of the products composition I can't imagine it being all that difficult for the likes of Denon to re-engineer a new DAC board. Also, haven't you yourself actually stated that Denon/Sound United not revealing exactly what they have switched to, is a sign that it's not going to be good news? I swear I saw that on another forum.

Everyone seems to have a rumor or opinion on this topic. Unfortunately we don't have any new independent measurements nor physical verification of chips used. It is officially an unknown. Further more, there is always the unknown unknowns when it comes to changes like this.

I've been getting so much input from various sources on this topic, that I feel like Stretch Armstrong. To those of you too young get the reference, I refer you to Google. Anyway I'm getting a little worn down. I don't mind the efforts at all if it makes clear progress, but I think due to the lack of testing, true progress beyond a certain point just cannot be made. Therefore, I have decided to cancel my X3600H order (it had not been shipped), and stick with the X3700H I have sitting in its box waiting to be installed. PENG, your re-assurance about the pre-out drive levels not being affected by the DAC change has helped me to just pick the damn X3700H and put it to bed.
The reason I bet the PCM5102A for the main zone is just a rumor because to cover 13 channels (including the two subouts), you would need 7 pieces of the two channel DAC IC. Why would Denon do such a thing when for years they have been using 8 channel DAC ICs? You can imagine there will be much more work to use 7 X stereo DAC vs 2 X 8 channel DAC.

That being said, may be this is well planned, that they anticipated the shortage so they started mass produce the new DAC boards well ahead. Again, no one knows for sure, I am just guessing and betting that they would use something like a low cost ES9006, same as those used in Yamaha's models below their top 2.

The volume control IC is the one that determines the maximum rated output voltage.
You can download the data sheet of that IC:

8-Channel Electronic Volume: Audio Signal Processing (njr.com)

This same IC is used in all Denon and Marantz AVR and AVPs, all the way up to the flagship models AV8805A and AVR-X8500H.

Denon.jp, the Japan website, only mentioned replacing the AK4458 in the AVR-X4700H, X6700H, and X2700H and for some reason they don't even list the AVR-X3700H. Based on the pin configuration of the DAC shown in the new board, I am more positive about the X4700H, X6700H not having the lower grade TI chip, i.e . the PCM5102A. You can see links to the photos of the old vs new DAC boards detailed in my post on ASR:

Denon Replaces AKM AK4458 DAC IC in X4700H and X6700H | Page 5 | Audio Science Review (ASR) Forum

Based on that comparison, I am much more confident the X4700H and X6700H will not have the lower spec PCM5102A. Again I don't believe the X3700H would have7 two channel PCM5102A for the main zones either, but as you found in you search, more than one rumor source claimed it does have the PCM5102A sure I can guess and bet all I want based on logic, we cannot rule out the possibility.

It is up to you to send the X3700H back if you want to wait until things get cleared up. Or instead of waiting, you can order a X4700H instead. At lease on one has rumored the PCM5102A for the X4700H so far.

I guess there is nothing wrong for you to use the X3700H for a few days, before you send it back. At least that will give you an idea of what a new Denon AVR is like, compared to the old one you have been using.
 
Z

Zero Snake Oil

Junior Audioholic
I think you're putting way, WAY too much importance, energy and time into this, lol. There are much cooler things to geek out over that can make a real difference. Either the 3600 or the 3700 are great units. Period.

Do you have any measurement gear?
I do not have any measurement gear. And damn the AKM factory fire and damn Covid19. Okay, for now, I am just going to accept the AVR-X3700H that I have ready to install. That will be what I keep and use for a long time until the next upgrade. I tend to go about 10 years on a set of gear. That's one of the reasons I wanted so desperately to find the the best option for me; I plan to be stuck with it a while. I think the only thing that could make me un-choose the X3700H at this point, is if it were to wind up being a disappointment after I install it. I'm guessing it will perform well enough to not let me down too much. Hopefully, I end loving the hell out of it.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
I do not have any measurement gear. And damn the AKM factory fire and damn Covid19. Okay, for now, I am just going to accept the AVR-X3700H that I have ready to install. That will be what I keep and use for a long time until the next upgrade. I tend to go about 10 years on a set of gear. That's one of the reasons I wanted so desperately to find the the best option for me; I plan to be stuck with it a while. I think the only thing that could make me un-choose the X3700H at this point, is if it were to wind up being a disappointment after I install it. I'm guessing it will perform well enough to not let me down too much. Hopefully, I end loving the hell out of it.
Well I think you made a great choice.

If you start getting itchy again, maybe consider a calibrated mic for about 90 bucks and learn how to use REW. You can do a lot with the MultEQ app editor. Accurate measurements are super useful in showing you where to apply it. There is a bit of a learning curve, but getting your system dialed in with good linear bass is pretty satisfying. With a little work I was able to make some real, audible, tangible improvements in my room. It felt like a true upgrade. Both PENG and I have some experience with the app editor and another user generated app called ratbuddyssey that gives you even more control.

That'll keep you busy for a while! :p
 
Z

Zero Snake Oil

Junior Audioholic
I guess there is nothing wrong for you to use the X3700H for a few days, before you send it back. At least that will give you an idea of what a new Denon AVR is like, compared to the old one you have been using.
The last AVR purchase I made was Yamaha because my previous choice was Yamaha and it held up so reliably. That was the HTR-5280 that I got somewhere around 2000-ish. Would you believe that thing is still 100% working and sits in our living room with a couple of cheap Polk bookshelf speakers attached? That's 20 years and shows no signs of age (other than newer technology standards of course).

Maybe I'll find Denon to be as or even more kick-ass. We shall see.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
I think the only thing that could make me un-choose the X3700H at this point, is if it were to wind up being a disappointment after I install it. I'm guessing it will perform well enough to not let me down too much. Hopefully, I end loving the hell out of it.
Just to add, don't be too hasty if it doesn't knock your socks off out of the box. Make sure to go through the setup routine and follow the onscreen instructions and mic positions carefully. There are some settings after that too, you can go through and change. I often have to go behind Audyssey and change the crossover setting or change my speakers to "small" for instance. There are DEQ settings you can experiment with too. Just hit us up here with any questions.
 
Z

Zero Snake Oil

Junior Audioholic
Just to add, don't be too hasty if it doesn't knock your socks off out of the box. Make sure to go through the setup routine and follow the onscreen instructions and mic positions carefully. There are some settings after that too, you can go through and change. I often have to go behind Audyssey and change the crossover setting or change my speakers to "small" for instance. There are DEQ settings you can experiment with too. Just hit us up here with any questions.
If I end up having any questions, and I bet I will, I certainly will be asking them!
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
I do not have any measurement gear. And damn the AKM factory fire and damn Covid19. Okay, for now, I am just going to accept the AVR-X3700H that I have ready to install. That will be what I keep and use for a long time until the next upgrade. I tend to go about 10 years on a set of gear. That's one of the reasons I wanted so desperately to find the the best option for me; I plan to be stuck with it a while. I think the only thing that could make me un-choose the X3700H at this point, is if it were to wind up being a disappointment after I install it. I'm guessing it will perform well enough to not let me down too much. Hopefully, I end loving the hell out of it.
You could always send it to Amir over at ASR and have him measure it. I'm sure he'd be thrilled to get his hands on the updated design. You could even be nice enough to let him tear it down. Warranty be damned... :oops:
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
You could always send it to Amir over at ASR and have him measure it. I'm sure he'd be thrilled to get his hands on the updated design. You could even be nice enough to let him tear it down. Warranty be damned... :oops:
Oh god... now you dunnit! He's gonna be right back on the ledge again! :p :p
 
Z

Zero Snake Oil

Junior Audioholic
Ya know.... I think redesigns should be tested if for no other reason than to keep manufacturers honest. I feel strongly enough about it that I am seriously tempted to do that. Naturally however, there are a number of reasons why I would choose not to do that. I suggest that some long timer here who is more familiarized with the personalities involved, and who no longer has a warranty to void might consider doing it instead.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Ya know.... I think redesigns should be tested if for no other reason than to keep manufacturers honest. I feel strongly enough about it that I am seriously tempted to do that. Naturally however, there are a number of reasons why I would choose not to do that. I suggest that some long timer here who is more familiarized with the personalities involved, and who no longer has a warranty to void might consider doing it instead.
Well sending him the avr wouldn't violate your warranty....altho opening the case I think does but would think there are already pictures of the innards in any case.
 
Z

Zero Snake Oil

Junior Audioholic
Well sending him the avr wouldn't violate your warranty....altho opening the case I think does but would think there are already pictures of the innards in any case.
I'm too new to know the personalities involved. Meaning I don't know him, nor anyone who claims to vouch for him. The level of trust I need to send my 1.5K item out to some private person through the mail is going to take much more time for me to foster. Besides, a picture of the DAC chips would be almost as good to know as the measurements themselves. There are already people here who own this newer version of this and have for a while. I suggest they be nominated at this point in time.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I'm too new to know the personalities involved. Meaning I don't know him, nor anyone who claims to vouch for him. The level of trust I need to send my 1.5K item out to some private person through the mail is going to take much more time for me to foster. Besides, a picture of the DAC chips would be almost as good to know as the measurements themselves. There are already people here who own this newer version of this and have for a while. I suggest they be nominated at this point in time.
Oh he's a fixture in the audio community, retired VP of something at microsoft who plays with audio test equipment at home now (and has very good gear), also owns a hi-end AV store/installation outfit. He's knowledgeable and trustworthy but if sending him gear for testing there could be a delay, he's always got some sort of backlog despite his relatively prolific output. Have you visited the site at all? audiosciencreview.com

Has Sound United simply declined to help identify stuff? Not following all the drama in latest gear as not in the market myself....
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Oh he's a fixture in the audio community, retired VP of something at microsoft who plays with audio test equipment at home now (and has very good gear), also owns a hi-end AV store/installation outfit. He's knowledgeable and trustworthy but if sending him gear for testing there could be a delay, he's always got some sort of backlog despite his relatively prolific output. Have you visited the site at all? audiosciencreview.com

Has Sound United simply declined to help identify stuff? Not following all the drama in latest gear as not in the market myself....
The problem is not that they don't response but you and I both know unless you can get pass their level1 or even 2 customer support, they can't seem to be able to give accurate answers for anything not mentioned in their info sheet, owner's manual and other marketing info.

So far, several ASR members have got responses from Denon and Marantz and were one claimed he was told by Marantz that the new policy was to keep the AK4458 for the Marantz and the PCM5102A. To be that isn't believable, or he omitted any caveats at the minimum, at least one response from each were in writing such as below:

Denon Replaces AKM AK4458 DAC IC in X4700H and X6700H | Page 8 | Audio Science Review (ASR) Forum

Post#159,163,164

Denon:
Thank you for contacting Denon Support, we value you as a customer and appreciate the opportunity to be of assistance!

The DAC of AVR-X8500HA is AK4490 , while the AVR-X6700h is AK4458

If you have any further questions please feel free to contact us again.
Thank you for contacting Denon Customer Support. Have a great day!
Still waiting for the reply from Marantz...

Well. The wait is over:
Unfortunately our engineers no longer provide this information. (c) Customer Support Denon | Marantz
I guess it is some poor DAC. Otherwise they would not keep it a secret.
It's a pity. I was really going to buy Denon or Marantz.


Subject X4700h DAC
[TD]Response By Email (Customer Care Team) (11/15/2021 06:21 PM)
Hello [….]
As per checking, the DAC in these receiver is AK4458.


So who/which one do you believe?
May be @gene has a direct line to Denon and Marantz Japan engineering, or through Phil Jones?

I would say they were all wrong except Marantz's because they could not get an answer from engineering.

Until then, it will continue to drive many people over at ASR crazy.:D I am glad I don't have a horse in the race because aside from having on each D AVR and M AVP on hand I still have more than 6 external DACs to play with and that cover the flagship (or ex) TI, ESS and AKM's.:D
 
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Z

Zero Snake Oil

Junior Audioholic
Oh he's a fixture in the audio community, retired VP of something at microsoft who plays with audio test equipment at home now (and has very good gear), also owns a hi-end AV store/installation outfit. He's knowledgeable and trustworthy but if sending him gear for testing there could be a delay, he's always got some sort of backlog despite his relatively prolific output. Have you visited the site at all? audiosciencreview.com
Hi. Yeah, I have visited the site a number of times now. Some of the references posted in here lead me there as well. I've also seen a couple videos of him measuring stuff. To be clear I haven't noticed anything sketchy, it just takes time to get to know the scene better.

Okay, so I have the AVR-X3700H installed now. The 1st thing I did was use the built in HDMI tester to see what's what with cables. I recently saw a YT video by Linus Tech Tips where they used a dedicated cable tester device and got some surprising results. Many cables fail that should pass; even so called certified cables and/or high dollar cables. He even discovered some that were miswired. Also, the longer the cable the higher the failure rate; no surprise there I guess but kind of. The darn things should work as advertised if they are being sold. Anyway, I found some cables I had that should be 40Gb or whatever that failed to meet 4K standards. I also had one really old Dayton Audio cable which passed all tests, but it is a good quality cable and is short. The 2nd thing I did was update the firmware. The next thing I'm going to do is run the sound calibration. After I do that what should I do if anything to manually tweak it? I do own a laser distance meter, a decibel meter, a smart phone with decibel meter and also frequency waterfall.

Someone advised previously that getting a better calibration mic might be a good idea. For now I'll just use the included one, but if I did have a better one, might it give Audessy skewed results because Audessy expects its own mic and its inherent characteristics?
 
Z

Zero Snake Oil

Junior Audioholic
PS: I see there is a $20 app by Denon for extra sound tweaking in the Play Store. The reviews are pretty bad though, with the consensus being that its functionality is pretty useful, but it is horribly unreliable at getting and maintaining a connection to the AVR.

Any of you experienced with it? What are your thoughts?
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
PS: I see there is a $20 app by Denon for extra sound tweaking in the Play Store. The reviews are pretty bad though, with the consensus being that its functionality is pretty useful, but it is horribly unreliable at getting and maintaining a connection to the AVR.

Any of you experienced with it? What are your thoughts?
There isn't much issue with the App if the Android device you run it on is listed as compatible:
Audyssey MultEQ Editor app - Apps on Google Play

If you use IOS devices, a recent model iPad should be good.

If your device is not listed, it may work too but may not, or may not work as good.
It also needs to have a good wifi connection for it to run reliably.

Other than that it works great, I started a user thread on it way back. Take a read if you have time.
The Audyssey MultEQ Editor app users thread (with facts and tips) | Audioholics Home Theater Forums

$20 is a great value as long as you are sticking with D or M AVR/AVP. If you are going to return it and get a different make such as Yamaha then why bother?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Hi. Yeah, I have visited the site a number of times now. Some of the references posted in here lead me there as well. I've also seen a couple videos of him measuring stuff. To be clear I haven't noticed anything sketchy, it just takes time to get to know the scene better.

Okay, so I have the AVR-X3700H installed now. The 1st thing I did was use the built in HDMI tester to see what's what with cables. I recently saw a YT video by Linus Tech Tips where they used a dedicated cable tester device and got some surprising results. Many cables fail that should pass; even so called certified cables and/or high dollar cables. He even discovered some that were miswired. Also, the longer the cable the higher the failure rate; no surprise there I guess but kind of. The darn things should work as advertised if they are being sold. Anyway, I found some cables I had that should be 40Gb or whatever that failed to meet 4K standards. I also had one really old Dayton Audio cable which passed all tests, but it is a good quality cable and is short. The 2nd thing I did was update the firmware. The next thing I'm going to do is run the sound calibration. After I do that what should I do if anything to manually tweak it? I do own a laser distance meter, a decibel meter, a smart phone with decibel meter and also frequency waterfall.

Someone advised previously that getting a better calibration mic might be a good idea. For now I'll just use the included one, but if I did have a better one, might it give Audessy skewed results because Audessy expects its own mic and its inherent characteristics?
Audyssey setup/general suggestions.....If your avr sets speakers to large/full band(its not Audyssey particularly) change those manually to small and start with crossovers of 80hz.....turn off Dynamic Volume.....try Dynamic EQ with appropriate Reference Level Offsets (try this for some explanation https://audyssey.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/212347383?page=2#comment_203989263 ).....I'd just use the Audyssey mic but do consider an actual measurement mic and appropriate software to get an actual measurement of things (Audyssey doesn't provide you with such).....I'd suggest your initial mic placement for Audyssey to be your seat, and the balance of measurements in about a 1.5-2 ft radius from that.....definitely get the Editor App.
 
Z

Zero Snake Oil

Junior Audioholic
@PENG I didn't see a device list. I just got the general page for tat app, and I did not see a compatibility list?
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Someone advised previously that getting a better calibration mic might be a good idea. For now I'll just use the included one, but if I did have a better one, might it give Audessy skewed results because Audessy expects its own mic and its inherent characteristics?
You can try the following links for answers:

SPL meter vs Audyssey mic – Ask Audyssey (zendesk.com)
Calibration Mic – Ask Audyssey (zendesk.com)

Basically the takeaway is that:

a) Trust Audyssey on the subwoofer distance, instead of your measuring tape. There could be exceptions due to some special situations but I have never experienced any reason to go with the measuring tape method.

b) Yes the Audyssey mic looks cheap but it is a measuring mic so the accuracy won't be too bad to begin with, the Umik-1 mic that most use to run REW has +/- 1 dB accuracy/tolerance, so even if the Audyssey mic's is +/- 2 dB it should be good enough for the purpose.

As Audyssey explained:
"You will not get the right results from a different mic. There is a calibration curve specifically made for the ACM-1H that is stored in the AVR." Note that they refer to the ACM-1H because the one who asked the question owned the SR5005. The one for your 3700 should have a different part number for sure.

Someone advised previously that getting a better calibration mic might be a good idea. For now I'll just use the included one, but if I did have a better one, might it give Audessy skewed results because Audessy expects its own mic and its inherent characteristics?
When Googling, you must know very well that there are numerous posts of inaccurate (to be polite) information going around all the time, many due to hearsay developed after the inaccurate info get quoted multiple times. So it is better to go with the horse's mouth whenever possible.
 
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