William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
Eco mode, even when engaged is only active below a certain volume level. IIRC it’s like -40. Once you get above that volume IE:-30 eco basically isn’t in use. So if you’re listen quietly, it’ll be active, but I don’t believe anyone can hear a difference. @PENG has covered this so I’m going to summon him to fill in the gaps. I use eco with my Marantz, and a Yamaha amp on my mains. Can’t tell a difference in actual use but my MV is at -30 as the default when powering up. Maybe that’s why... but due to the design, I doubt you can tell.
 
Old Onkyo

Old Onkyo

Senior Audioholic
Eco mode, even when engaged is only active below a certain volume level. IIRC it’s like -40. Once you get above that volume IE:-30 eco basically isn’t in use. So if you’re listen quietly, it’ll be active, but I don’t believe anyone can hear a difference. @PENG has covered this so I’m going to summon him to fill in the gaps. I use eco with my Marantz, and a Yamaha amp on my mains. Can’t tell a difference in actual use but my MV is at -30 as the default when powering up. Maybe that’s why... but due to the design, I doubt you can tell.
I am very open to the possibility that my mind is tricking my ears. That why I was wondering if it was some I could measure.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
I am very open to the possibility that my mind is tricking my ears. That why I was wondering if it was some I could measure.
Iirc @PENG can share the precise way it works. I don’t know what you’d use to measure however... REW wouldn’t have any capability as far as I know.
 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Full Audioholic
I am very open to the possibility that my mind is tricking my ears. That why I was wondering if it was some I could measure.
You can put a Kill-a-watt unit on the AVR and see the reduced power use in ECO mode. It reduces the power to the amp section. You will also notice the heat off the AVR is less.

There are three ECO modes: Off, Auto and On. With auto mode it switches to off mode as the volume rises. It's possible at HIGH volume with ECO mode "ON" there could be added distortion. I haven't seen it as I don't usually play above 85db. But it's technically possible as ECO mode reduces the power supply line to the power amplifier, in turn the maximum power output.

When you use the Denon 4500 primarily as a preamp with the mains on an external amp and a few pairs of surround speakers on the Denon then it's hard to notice any difference with ECO on except receiver heat. But, if you use the Denon for all speakers and like to play LOUD, I would suggest using the "AUTO" ECO mode.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Call me crazy, but I was playing around with this today. I can hear an audible difference in the sound when I play music. I was trying to think of a way to measure it to validate. I play the unit in eco mode most of thee day, but if I am really enjoying something I will turn eco off imo slight improvement in sound, a little thicker sound. You would not notice in A room with people laughing or talking.

Or expectation bias...
I am sure you are not crazy. First of all, it depends on you volume position as William alluded to. If your vol position is well above the trigger point, Eco auto and off would make no difference but if it is at or below the trigger point, you will likely hear some difference depending on the media contents, and how focus you are on trying to detect a difference, obviously. Please read the linked post below for details. That post was from 2016, but I can tell you my 2017 AVR-X4400H does behave as described by D+M in that post. However, it may be possible that the 2018 and newer models might behave a little different, though I am still getting FW update recently for my 4400, so while possible, I would say unlikely.

 
P

Paul DS

Audioholic
Peng, I notice that when I input an audio signal thru either the coax or analog input in the AVRX4400H that the sound seems louder/fuller than when input thru the hdmi connection. Is there a reason for this? Since both inputs are digital I would have thought they should be the same. I am using the hdmi and coax outputs from the same Sony UBPX800M2 blu ray player.
 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Full Audioholic
Nice article. It tests in detail what I experience. If you only have a few surrounds on the Denon and are running external amps on the mains and subs it's likely the listener will not notice a difference with ECO set to on.

But if you use the AVR as your main amplification I would set ECO mode to auto. There may be times when I turn ECO off if I'm looking for as much power as possible but that's a pretty small window for me and I prefer the cooler running AVR as my default setting. The beauty is you have a choice. Whatever setting floats your boat - use it. :)
 
R

Reckel

Senior Audioholic
On the 4500, when I get it and set it up, should I set it to lfe or lfe + main? And to clarify, the eco mode should be turned on because I’ll be using a amp to run my front 3?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
On the 4500, when I get it and set it up, should I set it to lfe or lfe + main? And to clarify, the eco mode should be turned on because I’ll be using a amp to run my front 3?
Preference more than anything...personally don't use LFE+Main, some like it, tho.
 
Old Onkyo

Old Onkyo

Senior Audioholic
I am sure you are not crazy. First of all, it depends on you volume position as William alluded to. If your vol position is well above the trigger point, Eco auto and off would make no difference but if it is at or below the trigger point, you will likely hear some difference depending on the media contents, and how focus you are on trying to detect a difference, obviously. Please read the linked post below for details. That post was from 2016, but I can tell you my 2017 AVR-X4400H does behave as described by D+M in that post. However, it may be possible that the 2018 and newer models might behave a little different, though I am still getting FW update recently for my 4400, so while possible, I would say unlikely.

Thanks PENG/William, great info as usual. I turned My receiver to 45 absolute And put eco on auto to see if I could get the relay to trip. I started turning it up incrementally and I heard the relay click at 50. I went into the setup menu and I had ECO on, so unless I turn it off it is on all the time. I didn’t know this. (WIsh I had the paper manual) set it to off. I want full power all the time. I have fans and a warranty!
 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Full Audioholic
Thanks PENG/William, great info as usual. I turned My receiver to 45 absolute And put eco on auto to see if I could get the relay to trip. I started turning it up incrementally and I heard the relay click at 50. I went into the setup menu and I had ECO on, so unless I turn it off it is on all the time. I didn’t know this. (WIsh I had the paper manual) set it to off. I want full power all the time. I have fans and a warranty!
My Denon 4500 remote has an ECO button. Each time you push it the mode cycles. What model AVR do you have?
 
R

Reckel

Senior Audioholic
So do I need to have eco on or on auto? I also ordered a fan that I’ll have Saturday. The purpose of having eco on or in auto is specifically to reduce heat correct?
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Thanks PENG/William, great info as usual. I turned My receiver to 45 absolute And put eco on auto to see if I could get the relay to trip. I started turning it up incrementally and I heard the relay click at 50. I went into the setup menu and I had ECO on, so unless I turn it off it is on all the time. I didn’t know this. (WIsh I had the paper manual) set it to off. I want full power all the time. I have fans and a warranty!
FYI, not only volume position dependent, it also has a differential and delay. So if the relay clicks at 50, it may not click/switch again when you reduce it to 49, and even if you keep turning it down, it will take some time (seconds) before it ECO would switch off. So if you are concerned with power being cut back and won't meet the demand of your big towers, you should set it to "Off". I believe that's what you have done anyway. If you sit far enough and listen loud enough, Eco could in fact starve the JBL 590 during the peaks in the music/movies. I know people say they don't hear a difference with Eco in "auto". Imo, that's again either because of the hearsay created Placebo effects, or they simply listen at low levels and/or listening near field.
 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Full Audioholic
I know people say they don't hear a difference with Eco in "auto". Imo, that's again either because of the hearsay created Placebo effects, or they simply listen at low levels and/or listening near field.
With my towers and subs using external amps and 3 pair of surround speakers on the Denon 4500 I rarely exceed 53 on the 4500 volume control while watching movies. My seat it 11 feet away. That produces 90db during active scenes with this 9.2 configuration and ECO mode "on". There is no hint to my ears that the surrounds are "starving for power". I hear wind blowing on the sides and back walls or cars zooming across the room. It's amazingly immersive.

If I am listening to music, I normally use multi-channel mode as I enjoy the wall of sound it produces with this 9.2 configuration. In that mode, 38-42 on the volume control is my preferred range. If volume is set higher than 47 it can easily reach 92 db. For me, that's not a comfortable long term listening range. But, I may try it for a few minutes until my ears are exhausted or the family complains they can't hear TV upstairs. :D

The use of ECO mode will keep the Denon cool. There is no doubt of that. The trade off is it reduces power sent to internal Denon amp channels. It's possible that may inhibit dynamic range in a configuration where external amps are not used. If you understand how ECO mode works you can use it to your advantage or perhaps choose not to use it. Personally, I think its a great tool for keeping the AVR cool when external amps are used.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
With my towers and subs using external amps and 3 pair of surround speakers on the Denon 4500 I rarely exceed 53 on the 4500 volume control while watching movies. My seat it 11 feet away. That produces 90db during active scenes with this 9.2 configuration and ECO mode "on". There is no hint to my ears that the surrounds are "starving for power". I hear wind blowing on the sides and back walls or cars zooming across the room. It's amazingly immersive.

If I am listening to music, I normally use multi-channel mode as I enjoy the wall of sound it produces with this 9.2 configuration. In that mode, 38-42 on the volume control is my preferred range. If volume is set higher than 47 it can easily reach 92 db. For me, that's not a comfortable long term listening range. But, I may try it for a few minutes until my ears are exhausted or the family complains they can't hear TV upstairs. :D

The use of ECO mode will keep the Denon cool. There is no doubt of that. The trade off is it reduces power sent to internal Denon amp channels. It's possible that may inhibit dynamic range in a configuration where external amps are not used. If you understand how ECO mode works you can use it to your advantage or perhaps choose not to use it. Personally, I think its a great tool for keeping the AVR cool when external amps are used.
That is interesting because if you had you volume fixed at 53 or anywhere above the high 40's, say 48, then Eco auto = Eco off. So I understand why your speakers won't suffer from it because Eco would be practically "off" anyway. But then why would it run cooler? If you are 100% sure it run cooler at volume 53, then it is time to email Denon or Marantz (better both in case one respond quicker) for an explanation.

You don't have to believe me, as you can easily do the experiment that @Old Onkyo and I have done and hear the click, or simply look at the onscreen eco energy use display bar and will see that once you pass a certain volume position, auto or off makes no difference. I actually really do wish you are right, because then I can cool my AVR further by setting it to auto instead of off. Mine is cool with ext fans, but never hurt to be even a little cooler.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
So do I need to have eco on or on auto? I also ordered a fan that I’ll have Saturday. The purpose of having eco on or in auto is specifically to reduce heat correct?
Any channel you use external amplification for will not be effected by ECO. I use my system primarily for stereo music. Then there is standard TV (sit-coms, etc) that is not at all demanding.
I leave ECO in the "AUTO" position because I get the benefit of it being on and if I hear the relay clicking on and off then I know that I am switching between on and off. I have not heard the relay in my normal use.
On the rare occasion that I watch a movie at my house, and it is one that I intend to fully take advantage of my HT setup, I will switch ECO off.
I do keep a pair of fans in operation because at $20, why not?
These have an "Off-Low-Medium-High" switch and I find (assuming the hot air has somewhere to go and is not being routed back into the AVR) keeping it on low prevents heat buildup and the cooler heat sinks will pull the heat out of the components very effectively! Just check to make sure the top of the case is staying cool, if it is then you know the heart sinks are.
Pointers:
1) Put the fans on the two hottest places where ventilation slots are!
2) You may be tempted if you notice that AC Infinity make more expensive units with a thermostat controller. This would be great if you have your gear off on an A/V closet or something, but I tried one and the problem is the fans (which I never notice on low) make more sound as they start up and that is an unwelcome distraction. I never notice my fans constantly running on low. I won't swear that I can't hear them, but I can swear that they are quieter than the HVAC, refrigerator, water running, etc. (and to be clear, I have a well designed home with modern quiet appliances).. In other words, they are well below the threshold noise level that I automatically filter out. Late at night if everything is off, I suspect if I listened for them I could hear them but I have never noticed them since I switched to the "always on" (when the AVR is on) strategy.
 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Full Audioholic
That is interesting because if you had you volume fixed at 53 or anywhere above the high 40's, say 48, then Eco auto = Eco off. So I understand why your speakers won't suffer from it because Eco would be practically "off" anyway. But then why would it run cooler? If you are 100% sure it run cooler at volume 53, then it is time to email Denon or Marantz (better both in case one respond quicker) for an explanation.

You don't have to believe me, as you can easily do the experiment that @Old Onkyo and I have done and hear the click, or simply look at the onscreen eco energy use display bar and will see that once you pass a certain volume position, auto or off makes no difference. I actually really do wish you are right, because then I can cool my AVR further by setting it to auto instead of off. Mine is cool with ext fans, but never hurt to be even a little cooler.
When I have ECO turned to "ON" I never hear a clicking sound from the AVR because it does not change modes in "ON". It's only when I set ECO to "AUTO" that I hear the AVR change gears between 47-50. Maybe our units are different in some way? Or maybe the load matters? I will study the eco meter and see what it shows. Thanks!
 
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KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
Fans can help. We can measure the temp of the chassis, but what's the temperature of the circuit boards and all the other interior electronic components INSIDE the chassis even with the fans blowing on the OUTSIDE of the chassis?
There is no way to measure the temperature of the components (they don't have built-in thermometers like CPUs). However, it is a very sound assumption that companies like Denon (or Marantz, Yamaha, etc) which have been designing electronics and their cooling systems for decades, know how to use a heat sink. As long as we can pull fresh cool air through the unit on a steady basis, you are optimizing conditions for cooling.
The rate of heat transfer into the heat sink is directly proportional to delta T (the difference in temperature between the hot component and the heat sink) so as long as we keep room temperature air flowing across the cooling fins, we are in good shape. Understand this is a unit designed to work many years from natural convection (just the heat rising), so increased air flow is going to make a substantial difference.
I should also comment (while on the subject) that these units come with built-in fans, but by all accounts these fan almost never come on. The belief is these fans are purely for testing so when someone (does FCC still test?) sees what the max continuous wattage the unit can put out, the fan will kick on, rather than getting a thermal shut-off. This is another example of how effective a fan is because the unit gets very hot before these kick on, but they have no problem "catching up" with the high temperatures.
From the standpoint of maintaining long term cooler temperatures for reliability, the $20 fans are the way to go. They also make some low clearance boxed-in fans that exhaust to the front or to the back if you have a (too) close shelf above your AVR.
 

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