Denon 1600h + MA RX6 sounds underwhelming

Hi all. My first proper 5.1 speaker system here. Please be gentle.

Denon AVR 1600h

With

Monitor Audio silver RX6 Based 5.1 speaker package. With Silver Centre and dipole Silver Surround Rears Active MA subwoofer Silver RXW-12

installed in a 4.33m by 3.15m room. Largely empty now. Carpeted

I have tried to biamp the speakers to no effect as I learned from this forum. I also connected both sub outputs to the subwoofer, seems better.

The sound clarity is amazing. It is mind-blowing how clear mellow music and jazz is.

But any heavy effect scenes in movies or EDM music are not that mind-blowing. How can I make this better please?

I also have an Arcam AVR400. Would that be a better option? Or a new AVR or amp.

Would a Rega Planar 3 sound much better than the Planar 1 to a newbie?
 

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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
AVR400 is better, but also very old missing features/connections which you may or may not need. You would also need SPL meter (c-weighted slow response) to setup the system correct as i assume it won`t come with mic setup. Let`s go some settings with the Denon first.

Connect just one sub cable from subwoofer to receiver, you don`t need two it won`t make it any better!

  • Set the frequency knob to 120hz
  • Set the Low Pass Filter to Out/LFE
  • Set the phase switch to 0
  • Power Mode "On" - later to "Auto"
  • Connect the phono cable to Input R and other head to Denons Sub Pre Out 1
  • Set EQ1 for now, after Audussey run i would try the EQ2 as it gives you +4db boost for deep bass at 21hz.

The center channel is shooting your knees inside cabinet. You should really wall mount tv or buy floor tv stand so you get the speaker on top of your av-unit. It can`t sound best like that and center channel pushes 60-70% of movies soundtrack..

Can you go to Denon menu probably under speaker levels you will find "subwoofer level" example -3db. Tell me what that figure is!? It`s not same as "Subwoofer Trim". If we need to run Audussey again we then know was the volume control in RX-12 correct position or not.

Did you run the Audussey setup 8mic positions which were quite close each other about 30cm? First position is middle opposite to center channel/tv. Also did you use the cardboard mic stand with mic pointing ceiling while room was totally silent?

The surround speakers are bit too low, but you don´t have couch/seat in the picture. MA recommends to mount them 2feet from seated ear height.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The Arcam is always going to sound better with the Denon being an entry level model, the Arcam, from a pure audio perspective is going to outperform Denons above entry level as well.

You're not helping with your speaker positioning, especially with the centre being placed too low and inside the cabinet. The front pair also need being brought more into the room. As has been pointed out above when you get your seating sorted run a full Audyssey calibration from the seated area's MLP.

I'm somewhat surprised that you find music good with the Denon. As a Denon owner I find stereo music to be it's weak point even with higher end units.
 
Thank you so much for your replies.

The centre channel can sit above the media unit? There will be a new TV and projector which will be wall mounted.

I have been told my old AVR1600 is not a match for these speakers, would upgrading to a AVR 4700h improve the experience? I really like the Denon integration and video, moved from the old Arcam before it for 4k video.

I have now setup the sub as you mentioned, and I have removed the second sub input.
The sub level in Denon menu is set to -3db and the sub volume was set at the third point on EQ1 setting.

I have done the Audessey setup at ear level using an empty box and mic pointing to the ceiling, the seating positions were about 50cm apart, which is where the sofas go. I can use a camera tripod to do the setup again if required at 30cm. The surrounds will be 1 ft above ear when the sofas get delivered by DFS in about 6 weeks. i would love to get some Atmos speakers in the ceiling

I am using the QED Silver anniversary xt speaker cable, apparently that is quite good. Is there any advantages to using banana plugs please?

Would a Rega Planar 3 sound much better than the Planar 1? That will be the next purchase.

Any recommendations for a 4k projector + screen in £2K ish range?
 

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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Camera tripod would be ideal if you get the mic about seated ear height with it. You have to run the setup again, your subwoofer distance is out of whack! Probably due to you connecting it wrong.

After you have run it again (3mic positions will be fine too):

Change speaker size for all "Small" always when you have sub in system. Change subwoofer mode to "LFE" also! Set crossovers 80hz for all. You have everything wrong there now.

Check that you have Audussey Dynamic EQ "On", Dynamic Volume Off.

Did you lower that -3db figure already as the photo shows -1db for subwoofer level? If not then run Audussey again with the volume knob on sub 1-2hour higher. So from 11clock to 12-13 clock example.

Banana plugs usually handy back of receiver where it´s so tight, but they aren´t really requirement.

You can ask about the turntables more specifically here:



I would consider this model from RS to get 6year warranty also: Epson EH-TW7100 (White)

You can haggle the price lower showing this:
Amazon product

Not sure how large and what type of screen you thinking. Likely something that drops in front of tv from ceiling?


The higher range Denon would be good, but i wouldn´t buy anything yet as the prices are dirty high! End of year if possible when there is more availability, competition etc.
 
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Thank you again Gasp! The tripod worked wonders. All the distances seem more reasonable now.

After the audyssey setup and applying the settings, movies and music are definitely punchier.

I increased sub volume by 1 notch. The sub was throttled down to -12db though after Audyssey setup. The negatives look odd in the test tone screen. Could you please take a look?

Re projector screen I was hoping for a 1.6m height by 3m width maximum possible screen, ideally electric. Can the projector manage this from 2m away ceiling mounted?

Thank you!
 

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gibbsy

Moderator
All your settings look fine and no doubt you have a better performance in the room. You will also have to re-run Audyssey as you add furniture, curtains will make a difference as the window is right opposite the speakers giving a high reflection point.

As for you question about the X4700 the answer is a definite yes. Not only is it more powerful but it has far better components and amplification. There is also a higher tier of Audyssey with XT32, the 1600 has the basic XT. Another big benefit is the X4700 has Denon's Alpha Processing 32, the first model in the range to have it onboard.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Thank you again Gasp! The tripod worked wonders. All the distances seem more reasonable now.

After the audyssey setup and applying the settings, movies and music are definitely punchier.

I increased sub volume by 1 notch. The sub was throttled down to -12db though after Audyssey setup. The negatives look odd in the test tone screen. Could you please take a look?

Re projector screen I was hoping for a 1.6m height by 3m width maximum possible screen, ideally electric. Can the projector manage this from 2m away ceiling mounted?

Thank you!

Sadly you need to do it again. Amazing how sensitive the volume bump by 1notch was. Lower it down little to 10.30 (it´s now 11clock) and do the 3mic positions again cause the -12db is out of range. Little bit lower in the negative trim side and you are good to go! Change those things again (speaker size, crossovers, sub mode etc) you have done when you have run it. Also check if you can find in the menus the Audussey Dynamic EQ which you highly likely prefer with movies when not playing loud, it`s loudness feature that most Denon owners love. You can find it here:

Here is shooting calculator for that projector.

The review says; For a 120-inch screen, the throw distance ranges from 11.5 to 18.75 feet. This one has also vertical and horizontal lens shift which will be helpfull when setting up. It also seems fairly silent in eco mode which is important! 3800 =TW7100


PS. Do not buy too large projector screen that you have to put the speakers too close to side walls / corner!
 
That is a very good point, I never considered the screen size would be limited by my speaker's height. The throw on the Epson appears too long to be able to fit my room I am afraid, the ceiling mount will be at 2m.

Epson 3800 (Sorry about inches, this is smaller than my 65" TV)
1626772402831.png

Search seems to throw up the BenQ TK700STi Projector which can do 200cm at 2m, a 100" screen but is not as bright. Would this be a good option?

1626773657499.png
 
On the speakers side, I have run the setup multiple times, and Audyssey is now giving me some weird results.

But the sound is so much better than what we started with when I set the speakers manually to small.

1. Subwoofer works great at 2.5 notches, Audyssey setting-1db
2. The speakers have been pushed quite far negative (-8.0) though and the front speakers are being detected as large. I changed them to small manually.
 

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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
On the speakers side, I have run the setup multiple times, and Audyssey is now giving me some weird results.

But the sound is so much better than what we started with when I set the speakers manually to small.

1. Subwoofer works great at 2.5 notches, Audyssey setting-1db
2. The speakers have been pushed quite far negative (-8.0) though and the front speakers are being detected as large. I changed them to small manually.

Oh man that volume knob is so darn sensitive, i would have wanted figure in the -6db / -8db region but you will go with that -1db then. Try the EQ2 position now as you have run the Audussey. You should get bit more oomph for deep stuff with it. If you want more bass overall i think you have to tweak the volume knob on the sub little bit higher as you shouldn`t change the SW level to positive (+) side on the receiver side menu.

I assume you changed the crossovers to 80hz also. Sub mode LFE and LPF for LFE 120hz. And check that the Audussey Dynamic EQ is "On" so it won`t sound totally underwhelming at low to moderate volume.
 
Let me try to move the sub knob by .25 increments next to hit -6. I am driving the wife crazy with the test tones, but the baby loves it.

I have changed the crossovers to 80hz for all and LPE only and LPF is 120 as you mentioned. Thee dynamic eq is on, and dynamic volume is off. This sounds great thanks!
 

Dobbyisfree

Active Member
Someone has probably already said this, sorry, but the Audyssey will get better results if use the phone/tablet app. And they are more tweakable.

If for some reason you can only use the AVR to run Audyssey, yes, they are quite strange results. Please can you share photos of the correction graphs on the AVR? In Setup-Speakers-Audyssey there is something that shows bar graphs of correction required for each channel.
 
I didn't know Audyssey had a mobile app. let me give that a whirl as well. There are no graphs on my AVR, probably because it is a very basic model.

update:
Increasing the sub volume by 0.25 I get -7.5 on the sub. All the other readings look similar to before. Attaching the results.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I didn't know Audyssey had a mobile app. let me give that a whirl as well. There are no graphs on my AVR, probably because it is a very basic model.

update:
Increasing the sub volume by 0.25 I get -7.5 on the sub. All the other readings look similar to before. Attaching the results.

I doubt there is much help from the app as you have the lower version of Audussey which doesn´t do as much correction in the critical range vs. the higher one which you get with X4700H example.

Now that you have it -7,5db lower it to lets say -4,5db. And try the EQ2 position on your sub. I think all should be good then if you change those things talked earlier also.
 
Thanks Gasp. I have done the settings changes from previous posts, bumping up the sub and changing to EQ2. There is definitely more punchy bass now.

I tried playing a few FLAC files using Shield over HDMI, and the clarity is just amazing!! Wow! I can hear all the different instruments simultaneously just have to focus with my ears (if this is a thing), a totally different experience to my old speakers. Thank you so much for all the guidance.

I have ordered the BenQ 6050 with the free screen offer. No more hdmi to run through walls to worry about. BenQ V6050 & ALR V2
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Haha, nice! You went all in.

Put some bluray movie with DTS HD MA or Dolby TrueHD soundtrack..
 

Dobbyisfree

Active Member
I doubt there is much help from the app as you have the lower version of Audussey which doesn´t do as much correction in the critical range vs. the higher one which you get with X4700H example.

Now that you have it -7,5db lower it to lets say -4,5db. And try the EQ2 position on your sub. I think all should be good then if you change those things talked earlier also.
Oh yeah it's not xt32. But I think you can still switch off midrange compensation. That made a big difference for me but that maybe different with different speakers (e.g. dependent on internal speaker crossovers).
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Oh yeah it's not xt32. But I think you can still switch off midrange compensation. That made a big difference for me but that maybe different with different speakers (e.g. dependent on internal speaker crossovers).
Yes. This app should be free by now. They milking every dollar out of customers. I think the most important feature is still though that you can limit the correction to room transit frequency ( ~300hz). Sad part is the XT doesn´t do much correction up to that point, it does most of it at higher frequencies = where it´s not needed and can change the speakers "natural tone" too much. There is however Flat curve to try which doesn´t cause high frequency roll off.

@plasmafire can try the Flat curve at some point when you have got used to this sound first and then change from the "Reference" to "Flat", see which you prefer. In my post #8 is link where you can find it.
 

Dobbyisfree

Active Member
Agree it should be free by now. In my case, I bought it in 2017 and have changed Denon since but used the same app so it's like I've forgotten that it cost any money.

Some of it is relative. Years ago now, I had an Onkyo then a Sony, both with room correction. It did the worst job ever in both cases. I resorted to manual settings.

The Denon I got in 2017 was the first time I ran an EQ and was happier with it (although still then tweaked it). Then, using the app, was much happier. And have made use in some cases of the fact that I can upload different EQs. Also, as I've said before, I would spend £100 or more to remove midrange compensation.

So, to me, I've been very pleased with it. But I haven't tried anything better!

I have a personal weird issue where I use a computer (laptop) all day for work and only use our home laptop where I have to. This goes as far as I would not bother with a room correction unless it runs on tablet or phone. Yes, you no doubt think I'm a b3llend. And you're right.

So, quite excited that the new Onkyos have a Dirac phone app. Now I'm going all external amps, I'm hoping that a good value processor (fingers crossed on the AVPX17) will go app control room correction. If that doesn't happen, an upgrade in the next year or two (as my x4400 was only £200 so I'm expecting it to fail reasonably soon!) will probably be an xX700 series onwards as they have pre-pro mode.

And, finally in my essay, in my experience I use FLAT for music but stick with REFERENCE for other. It was too harsh for films - but that could be due to having KEFs which some people think sound a bit harsh HF anyway.
 
@Gasp3621 @Dobbyisfree Yeah I thought 16 quid was a bit much for the app. but hey it may be useful later. I tried setting the speakers to reference, bypass LR and flat, for some reason flat seems to turn off all sound, so I am keeping set at reference.

Works for me :) Can't wait for the projector.
 

DavidT

Well-known Member
Oh man that volume knob is so darn sensitive, i would have wanted figure in the -6db / -8db region but you will go with that -1db then. Try the EQ2 position now as you have run the Audussey. You should get bit more oomph for deep stuff with it. If you want more bass overall i think you have to tweak the volume knob on the sub little bit higher as you shouldn`t change the SW level to positive (+) side on the receiver side menu.

I assume you changed the crossovers to 80hz also. Sub mode LFE and LPF for LFE 120hz. And check that the Audussey Dynamic EQ is "On" so it won`t sound totally underwhelming at low to moderate volume.
Forum recommendation is to set Audussey Dynamic EQ "off" as it makes the sound unnatural and creates too much bass, is this recommendation incorrect? After some basic testing I have my Denon Audussey Dynamic EQ off and Dynamic Volume on "light".
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Forum recommendation is to set Audussey Dynamic EQ "off" as it makes the sound unnatural and creates too much bass, is this recommendation incorrect? After some basic testing I have my Denon Audussey Dynamic EQ off and Dynamic Volume on "light".

If you listen at lower volume it can be beneficial "loudness" feature which most people love at the other boards (US). Make sure you play with the 2nd setting for it too and at the end of day choose what you prefer not what someone else says. Dynamic Volume should be off at day time listening unless you feel it really does make difference. People have different listening habits too so what works for some might not for other etc.


Ref.Lev.Offset​


Audyssey Dynamic EQ® is referenced to the standard film mix level. It makes adjustments to maintain the reference response and surround envelopment when the volume is turned down from 0 dB. However, film reference level is not always used in music or other non-film content. Dynamic EQ Reference Level Offset provides three offsets from the film level reference (5 dB, 10 dB, and 15 dB) that can be selected when the mix level of the content is not within the standard. Recommended setting levels for content are shown below.
0 dB (Film Reference)
(Default):
Optimized for content such as movies.
5 dB :Select this setting for content that has a very wide dynamic range, such as classical music.
10 dB :Select this setting for jazz or other music that has a wider dynamic range. This setting should also be selected for TV content as that is usually mixed at 10 dB below film reference.
15 dB :Select this setting for pop/rock music or other program material that is mixed at very high listening levels and has a compressed dynamic range.
 

DavidT

Well-known Member
There are a couple of long threads on this forum about the pros and cons of using dynamic EQ and the consensus was there are more cons than pros. I did my own testing and decided to have EQ off but volume on light as I generally have the AVR volume on - 50db.
 

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