Outlaw 7000x question

P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
@PENG - Have you found these SINAD testing results translate into audible sound differences? If you take the Benchmark AHB2 and compare it against the Outlaw 5000 will you be able to easily recognize the difference? That would be a 113 measurement against 79 or a 34 point difference.
I have not "found" that as such, but of all the amps I currently have, none of them have what I would consider audible distortions. So I can only assume if I can AB comparison an amp that has 80 dB SINAD vs one that has only 50-55 dB I may be able to hear a difference because I think I am very sensitive to distortions.

Even the NAD T758V3, the worse AVR Amir measured in terms of THD+N has SINAD of about 52-55 dB in the 0.2 to 0.5 W output range. At such level (0.2 W) I would be listening to about 77 dB average from my seat, so even 50 dB SINAD, that is -50 DB THD+N would be mixed in with my HT room's noise floor already. That's does not mean it cannot be heard, but I don't believe it would be "easily" recognizable. I know a lot of people will disagree with me for sure, but you know I am the type that go by scientific facts only. I just don't see how one (or just me anyway) can tell the difference between the harmonics (the distortions components) and noise if they are all going at the same time with the distortion harmonics well below the average noise level, not easily for sure.

Benchmark will also disagree with me, but may be not because they clearly use different assumptions that don't reflect to real world use such as mine and I bet your as well.

Their points:


"The following graph shows THD+N vs Power where THD+N is dB relative to 1 watt. This scale-factor makes it easy to calculate the sound pressure level of the distortion signal when it drives speakers. For example, if the speaker sensitivity is 87 dB, 1 watt, 1 meter, the distortion sound pressure level produced by the conventional amplifier at 1 W is (87-70) = 17 dB SPL. At this same 1 W power level, the distortion sound pressure level produced by the AHB2 is (87-108) = -21 dB SPL. The negative number indicates that this distortion signal should be 21 dB below the threshold of hearing when played in a quiet room. The conventional class-AB amplifier produces audible distortion, the AHB2 does not."

So you can see that their point is, you need the distortions spl to be negative, that assumes your room is dead silent. Unfortunately my room has a noise floor of at least 25 dB wide band, right up to 20,000 Hz.

They also talked about how easy it was for them to score perfect in their AB listening tests, but note that they use a 1 kHz pure tone, and obviously in a deal silent room again. You can easily understand why it is easily to hear a distorted pure tone, vs real music tone that is many times more complex.

No "easy" answer to your question, unfortunately.. The safe thing to do is, all else being equal (such as cost), go with the lowest possible THD+N, if you are concerned you may be good and sensitive hearing.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Also one other point that is interesting for me in this chart is that I have a Marantz 6013 which scores well and my main AVR is a Sony STRZA-3100ES and I note the version just below that, the 2100ES measures even ahead of the Marantz and ahead of many of the AMPs on the list.
I had a couple of ES before including a 4ES and I found their analog direct mode impressive vs non direct, i.e. audible to me. The reason is, their analog direct mode actually has a very clean audio signal path, plus their non direct+digital isn't very good.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
@PENG - Have you found these SINAD testing results translate into audible sound differences? If you take the Benchmark AHB2 and compare it against the Outlaw 5000 will you be able to easily recognize the difference? That would be a 113 measurement against 79 or a 34 point difference.
I gave you my long answer, that really is a non answer, sorry. There is something easy you can try:

- listen to something in 2 channel stereo mode, set your volume to you favorite position, -15, -10, whatever it is.

- turn it down gradually until you can't really tell if you are hearing what is being play by the speakers, or just the ambient noise of your room, without the HVAC running obviously.

- Note the volume setting again, and that should give you some idea as to the threshold of audibility of THD+N in your room with your setup.

Repeat the same, but this time use your best headphone instead of the speakers.
 
K

keepr88

Audioholic Intern
So then any recommendations on speaker upgrade in the $3000 range? Maybe the paradigms are just too laid back for me?
 
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VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Senior Audioholic
listen to something in 2 channel stereo mode, set your volume to you favorite position, -15, -10, whatever it is.

- turn it down gradually until you can't really tell if you are hearing what is being play by the speakers, or just the ambient noise of your room, without the HVAC running obviously.
@PENG - I tried this. I can hear the stereo is on all the way down to 1 on the Denon 4700 volume control. It's not very clear and just a small sound. If 80 = 0, would this be considered --79?

My sound meter shows 36db at this level. How is this data used to determine the importance of the SINAD measurements? Thanks!
 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Senior Audioholic
So then any recommendations on speaker upgrade in the $3000 range? Maybe the paradigms are just too laid back for me?
Which model paradigms do you have? Will you use subwoofers with them?

The speakers I have that I really like are:
1. Canton Vento Reference 9.2 DC with dual HSU VTF-3 MK5 HP Subs.

2. Ascend Sierra Towers with HSU VTF-3 MK5 HP Sub.

The Canton has silky highs. Very clean and smooth, while my Sierra Towers have more detailed highs. Not as smooth but obviously more details. The Sierra also has a midrange that shocks me how powerful it is for the small 5.25" size. The Sierra Towers are my most efficient speakers. They can be driven easily and Audyssey turns them down in the levels setting when matched up in my 9.2 configuration.

I'm sure others have favorites as well.
 
K

keepr88

Audioholic Intern
I have the monitor 11 v7s and center 3. Subs are 2 hsu vtf3 mk5hps.......love those subs. 50/50 music and HT


I live in small town illinois, there arent any places to demo speakers around here and there arent many local HT enthusiasts id imagine. I work with and know 100s of people and most dont do/know much beyond soundbars. I feel like a fish out of water out here thank god for audioholics.
 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Senior Audioholic
I replaced my old Paradigm Studio Monitors with a pair of Ascend Sierra Towers with RAAL 70-20 tweeters. I was looking for the extended treble definition of the RAAL. When it got here I noticed they also offer a strong midrange. I bought these based on a member's recommendation and really like them, but it could have been the opposite so make sure whatever you order has a great return policy.

Make a list of what exactly you are looking for. How loud you would like to play them, size of your room, what kind of music is your favorite. All of these things will help decide what speaker design to consider.

ShadyJ consistantly lists the JBL HDI-3800 in his speaker recommendations. One day I might call Crutchfield and see what it would cost me to try a pair. :)

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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Another reason to have an external amp might be simply to reduce the heat of the Marantz 6013? I don't know if your unit runs warm, but moving my fronts, center and surrounds to an Adcom 5 channel ext. amp allowed me to use ECO mode on the Denon 4700 which drastically reduced heat.

I bought the Aircom T10. That was a bust. At every fan level I could hear it running. If I'm going to put a fan on the receiver it can't add noise to the room. Why pay thousands on audio gear only to add fan noise? Off loading speakers from the receiver and using ECO mode gives me much better cooling without fan noise.

Have you guys found any fans that are dead silent and do a good job?
Even an avr with pre-outs with external amps in use can still keep voltage running through the avr's amp section and create heat (and some extra noise/distortion in the measurements of the pre-outs at certain output voltages). Some of the latest avrs from Denon/Marantz have the ability to turn off the avrs amps when using external amps, at least in certain channels, and reduce noise accordingly; whether its an audible issue....not all that likely.
 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Senior Audioholic
Even an avr with pre-outs with external amps in use can still keep voltage running through the avr's amp section and create heat (and some extra noise/distortion in the measurements of the pre-outs at certain output voltages). Some of the latest avrs from Denon/Marantz have the ability to turn off the avrs amps when using external amps, at least in certain channels, and reduce noise accordingly; whether its an audible issue....not all that likely.
If you leave the Denon in ECO ON mode, it reduces the watts available by 50% or more. In ECO mode the top chassis of the Denon 4700 is mildly warm to the touch. It's a huge difference from the very hot chassis when ECO AUTO or OFF modes are enabled.

By off loading the fronts, center and surrounds to external amp and simply leaving the highs on the receiver, I can keep the receiver much cooler and not be impacted by lower power. I would love for the Denon receiver to be built like a quality amp that can handle heat with advanced quiet cooling built in... but that's not the case.

You can use pre-out mode in amp assign on Denon 2020 recievers. When you do that ECO modes are turned off as well as all the internal amps. You lose control over Zone 2/3 and some other amp assign functions with this mode. But in theory distortion will be less as the amps are turned off and heat is obviously under control.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
It's still a quality amp, just not one with the on board cooling you would like :) How do you lose control over zone 2/3 particularly when using external amps? BTW Audyssey and amp assign (from a different post you made earlier) are not particularly related, except as how Denon implemented Audyssey as to what amp channels are affected (main zone only afaik in existing units). Heat can be resolved through external cooling easily enough....for a reasonable cost....I agree with you it would make a some folk happier to just incorporate it on-board the avr via larger boxes/internal heat sink/cooling solutions....the extra cost that would come along with that for those that who don't particularly need it, tho, maybe not.
 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Senior Audioholic
How do you lose control over zone 2/3 particularly when using external amps?
Denon sent me an email that states when pre-outs are used, "amp assign" configurations are nonfunctional. What does that mean? It means if you use pre-outs with Height 2, the receiver will only configure the pre-outs as Height 2.
You might think that makes sense, if you don't understand that Height 2 terminals are also used for "Front B" and "Zone 2 or 3" configurations in amp assign.

While you can use pre-outs either by themselves or with the pre-out amp assign config., you will lose some of the special options in amp assign.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Denon sent me an email that states when pre-outs are used, "amp assign" configurations are nonfunctional. What does that mean? It means if you use pre-outs with Height 2, the receiver will only configure the pre-outs as Height 2.
You might think that makes sense, if you don't understand that Height 2 terminals are also used for "Front B" and "Zone 2 or 3" configurations in amp assign.

While you can use pre-outs either by themselves or with the pre-out amp assign config., you will lose some of the special options in amp assign.
Gotcha. 'I'd taken a brief look at the rear panel for shared zone 2/3 preouts and didn't see that so I'd say amp assign configurations simply determine what your processing/output options are, not that the pre-outs particularly make amp assign configurations non functional, just limited. Then again you could hook up zone 2 and 3 with pre-outs and simply change amp assign if you want to use zone 2/3 and limit processing in main zone if using them simultaneously....
 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Senior Audioholic
Then again you could hook up zone 2 and 3 with pre-outs and simply change amp assign if you want to use zone 2/3 and limit processing in main zone if using them simultaneously....
Actually, this is incorrect. When using pre-outs NONE of the channels are assignable for Zone 2/3. The only full-band channels are fronts. The only way to get around this would be:
1. Use Multi-channel sound mode
or
2. Use RCA "Y" adapters off the front pre-outs to the Zones2 or 3 ext amp.

Amp assign only supports Zone 2/3 when speakers are connected directly to the appropriate Denon speaker terminal. If you look at the back of the 4700 you will see none of the speaker terminals are labeled for Zone 2/3. When you use pre-outs you only get the function labeled on the terminal. None of the channels are assignable with pre-out use.

This wasn't obvious to me when I read the manual. But when I tested it and reported the issue to Denon, their level II tech support response was:

"This is normal behavior. You cannot reassign preouts to serve a different purpose other than what they're labeled. Height 2 preout will always = Height 2, regardless of Amp Assign's settings."
4700-back.jpg
 
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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Actually, this is incorrect. When using pre-outs NONE of the channels are assignable for Zone 2/3. The only full-band channels are fronts. The only way to get around this would be:
1. Use Multi-channel sound mode
or
2. Use RCA "Y" adapters off the front pre-outs to the Zones2 or 3 ext amp.

Amp assign only supports Zone 2/3 when speakers are connected directly to the appropriate Denon speaker terminal. If you look at the back of the 4700 you will see none of the speaker terminals are labeled for Zone 2/3. When you use pre-outs you only get the function labeled on the terminal. None of the channels are assignable with pre-out use.

This wasn't obvious to me when I read the manual. But when I tested it and reported the issue to Denon level II tech support their response was: "

This is normal behavior. You cannot reassign preouts to serve a different purpose other than what they're labeled. Height 2 preout will always = Height 2, regardless of Amp Assign's settings."

View attachment 40047
That makes little sense, that if you change amp assign to one that enables zone 2 or 3 that you couldn't use those pre-outs. You have zone use going now? I see that they're not shared with speaker terminals, that' fairly common. On my 4520 I believe zone 4 takes up one of the surround pre-outs but never needed to go there as I don't use zones with that avr. You just would get 5.1 or 7.1 depending....
 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Senior Audioholic
That makes little sense, that if you change amp assign to one that enables zone 2 or 3 that you couldn't use those pre-outs. You have zone use going now? I see that they're not shared with speaker terminals, that' fairly common. On my 4520 I believe zone 4 takes up one of the surround pre-outs but never needed to go there as I don't use zones with that avr. You just would get 5.1 or 7.1 depending....
I agree it's not logical. I thought it was a bug when I reported it. Apparently, the pre-outs are on a different circuit that excludes the ability to assign the Height channels to other functions.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
The height channels wouldn't be available in the main zone so it wouldn't matter. Or is there a condition of use I'm missing about using internal amp for zone?

PS Okay now I think I'm up too late....I'm indeed missing something and will need a reread and research so g'nite folks...
 
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P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
@PENG - I tried this. I can hear the stereo is on all the way down to 1 on the Denon 4700 volume control. It's not very clear and just a small sound. If 80 = 0, would this be considered --79?

My sound meter shows 36db at this level.
How far do you sit? If you can hear what's actually playing in Stereo at volume 1, you likely have the following conditions:

- Your room is near dead silent, what kind of sound meter you have that can measure down to 36 dB? The RS cannot do that, for me I would use my Umik-1 mic with REW.

- You may be listening to a source recorded at high level.

I highly doubt your room is so quiet, please try again but to keep things simple, try using the AVR's test tone, and you will be testing one speaker at a time.

How is this data used to determine the importance of the SINAD measurements?
My rationale is, if you cannot hear what is playing when you reduce volume by X dB, then in theory you cannot tell there is distortions.

Example:

You can hear a 1 kHz test tone clearly at volume -10, say that is your normal volume when listening to music. Assume you are getting 80 dB at you mmp when playing this test tone. Now if you listen to the same signal but it has 0.1% distortion that is made up of a single 3 rd harmonic.

Now consider the following facts:

  • 0.1% distortion in log scale is -60 dB, that is 60 dB SINAD.
So if the 3rd harmonic is at a level of -60 dB, that means it is -60 dB below the fundamental that is 1 kHz in this example. So you should be able to hear the 3rd harmonics clearly if your room's noise floor is quieter than 20 dB, because 80-60 = 20 dB.

If you noise floor is -30 dB, then the 3rd harmonic signal would be 10 dB below your noise floor. Turning the volume down to -70 from -10 has the same effect of trying to hear that 3rd harmonic using this example. So if you cannot hear the same 1 kHz signal by reducing it by -60 dB, you can assume you cannot hear the 3rd harmonic when you have the volume at -10. Makes sense? If you, I can try something else.

*There's one person on the ASR forum who is not convince by this at all because he is firmly planted in the misconception, thinking that distortions is build in the ugly waveform so no matter how many dB the harmonic it is below the fundamental you will still hear the effect.

@3db , another EE, joined with me along with at least another member, and we could not change his mind. Now let's see if this could make sense to you..;)
 

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