Denon AVC-X3700H stereo image and low end bass roll off

Rodmylon

Novice Member
I bouht a Denon AVC-X3700H yesterday replacing a working but aging Denon 2113. The rest of the 5.1 system consists of Tannoy Mercury V4, Vc, V1 + SVS-SB1000. Audyssey executed with both.

Observations
  • 3700 Low end bass slope/roll-off was significantly earlier and level lower starting ffom ~35Hz, while continued quite flat until 25Hz.
  • 3700 Stereoimage (in Stereo audio mode) is worse. I hear music coming from the front speakers, while with the 2113 I had a nice stereoimage making it ddifficult to say if the center soeakr was on or not. Now with 3700 there is nothing "in the middle".

Still feeling constructive I went all in today and replaced the SVS-SB1000 with dual SVS-SB2000 pros (dual subs was one of the reasons to upgrade the amp).
  • The weak performance of the bass continued after rerunning Audassay twice. ~15dB drop below 35dB (according to some free mobile app, but it corresponds to what I hear).
  • Adding paramtric EQ curves (quick attemot without deeper study)in the SVS app - 2 for each sub with ~5dB each curve gives decent performance.
  • Stereo image got even worse after rerunnig Audyssey. Left front speaker is back against a small open dining area and side against wall while the right speaker is back against a wall. So not ideal. But it worked fine with the old 2113. The right speaker is dominant now and Audassy raised the left speaker, but not enough. Vocals are mainly heard from the right speaker. I raised the left even more to 3,5dB higher level (it is also ~50cm further away from the main listening position).

So my two initial questions are:
1) is it a known issue that the low end bass level pf the 3700 is rolling off early even though you use Audyssey? I was expecting a flat response in the room after corrections.
2) Is it known that the stereo image of the 3700 in stereo audio mode is bad? Or should I expect a stereo image with distinguishable and pinpointable instruments and voices between the front speakers? I did tripple check the polarity of the cables as my "high end" friend pointed out. They were correct.

Picture quality and 5.2 audio is otherwise good with the 3700, a bit surround speaker -heavy but that is adjustable.

I was expecting an improvement, or at least the same level of audio quality as before.. Any insight would be highly appreciated!
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
Hi, is it too late to change your mind on the purchase?

There is an end of line discount available at the moment on an Arcam AVR model here, which would be much better for both movies and music than the Denon:


I've had three Denon AVR's, still have one in the bedroom. They are pretty decent in what they do, lots of features, and nice GUI, etc. But for pure sound quality, the Arcam is considerably better in every aspect. The soundtsage for movies is huge and detailed, and for 2 channel music, it sounds as good as my Musical Fidelity stereo integrated amp. Also, it comes with Dirac which is considerably more sophisticated than Audyssey for room correction, and should help with some of your issues.

I've just spotted that you are in Finland, so not sure what Arcam models are available to you there? Nad is an alternative, as a very similar sound.
 
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Rodmylon

Novice Member
Hi! Thanks for the comments.
I haven't enquired about it yet but I suppose it is possible to change my mind, bought it from a local hifi store so you do get service. My first choice would still be to find a solution for the Denon. Is it really so that in 8 years the quality in terms of stereo image and audyssey bass linearity have been sacrificed for more channels and other features? Even when going from 2xxx to 3xxx series?

Could there still be something I do wrong or have overlooked? The 3700 is highly praised in reviews.

The NAD T758 V3 seems to be available for 200e more than the denon, though reviews seem to say it is difficult to set up. Seems to miss zone 2 (I use it for the kitchen). The Acram yoi mention is also available but costs 2399e, so double up from the denon.

Audiofile stereo image would of course be amazing, but I'd settle for less with low 1xxx€ figure AVR. But hearing the front speakers as 2 distinct points is a letdown. During corona I've started listening to music in 2.1/ now 2.2, perhaps 30% of the time.
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
You could try the Audyssey app which allows you much more customisation on the room EQ than that which is found on the AVR version. You may be able to tweak some better bass performance via that.

It is fairly common for people with Denon AVR's to use a separate stereo integrated amplifier (ideally with HT bypass) in conjunction with it, in order to get decent 2 channel music performance. I did this myself with a Denon 6300 and also a Denon 4400 with a Musical Fidelity M3i.

The Marantz AVR's are a bit better for music than the Denon's, I have one on my desk, but I wouldn't recommend it in the main or only system for music.

The Arcam AVRs are considerably better though, and mine produces much better sound for multi channel than the Denon and Marantz AVR's, and sounds as good as the MF stereo amp for music. People who have had both the Nad and Arcam AVR's report them sounding very similar.

I am not familiar with the T758v3, but looking at the specs, it does seem to have 7 onboard amplifier channels and a zone 2 option.

 

SeanBrothers

Active Member
I have a strong stereo image with my x3700 and have been fooled into checking to see if there actually is audio coming out of the centre speaker on several occasions. I am using an external power amp for my fronts but that shouldn't change the stereo imaging, I wouldn't think. I am also using Audyssey.

As for the bass response, I am not convinced that Audyssey is doing a great job... I am stillno longer tinkering...
 
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Hi! Thanks for the comments.
I haven't enquired about it yet but I suppose it is possible to change my mind, bought it from a local hifi store so you do get service. My first choice would still be to find a solution for the Denon. Is it really so that in 8 years the quality in terms of stereo image and audyssey bass linearity have been sacrificed for more channels and other features? Even when going from 2xxx to 3xxx series?

Could there still be something I do wrong or have overlooked? The 3700 is highly praised in reviews.

The NAD T758 V3 seems to be available for 200e more than the denon, though reviews seem to say it is difficult to set up. Seems to miss zone 2 (I use it for the kitchen). The Acram yoi mention is also available but costs 2399e, so double up from the denon.

Audiofile stereo image would of course be amazing, but I'd settle for less with low 1xxx€ figure AVR. But hearing the front speakers as 2 distinct points is a letdown. During corona I've started listening to music in 2.1/ now 2.2, perhaps 30% of the time.
Neither of the issues mentioned are typical of the X3700H. Have you tried using the MultiEQ app? Whatever you do, avoid Arcam AVRs unless you want a box of outdated bugs - this is what the fanboise won't tell you about:

Also see the Arcam threads on here.
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
The Audio Science Review measurements of the AVR390, for example, highlighted that a great analog engineer designed the amplifier in the Arcam AVR390 and did a great job both in measured performance and proper cooling. In stereo direct mode, it was ranked 18th out of 112 amps tested to date for SINAD, the next device up in the rank is a Devialet Expert 200 which is a stereo amplifier costing £5495.

So, essentially you are getting a very decent AVR, with Dirac, and an excellent audiophile quality stereo analog amp for free, in the same chassis.

If the Arcam is over budget for the OP though, then I would expect the Nad to be suitable, and a step up from the Denon 3700. Dirac would certainly be a help for the room issues.
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
I can't comment on the X3700 as I've not listened to one. As a Denon owner I do find the stereo image to be very good and the front soundstage as a whole works very cohesively with any speakers attached. What does let it down, I include mine here as well, is the poor stereo music performance. If music is important then perhaps look elsewhere. I don't use my Denon for stereo music although with multi channel music from SACD or DVD-A it is very good indeed.

Marantz would be an obvious choice as you are aware of how Audyssey performs and the addition of the App means you can tweak to get a better result. The model depends on how many channels you need to be driven.

Yamaha have new models and are perhaps better with music but the room corrections is not so good as Audyssey.

Arcam has been mentioned although the 390 is now an old model as it's unclear how stocks would hold up in Finland so you may have to look at the newer models but they will be considerably more expensive than the other manufacturers.
 

Parry

Distinguished Member
With some tweeks here and there I have my x3700
Sounding incredible, It did take some time to find the correct settings for stereo music play back but I did crack it.
Movies needed no adjustments they sounded amazing instantly after setup was performed
 

Rodmylon

Novice Member
With some tweeks here and there I have my x3700
Sounding incredible, It did take some time to find the correct settings for stereo music play back but I did crack it.
Movies needed no adjustments they sounded amazing instantly after setup was performed
What kind of tweaks did you do for stereo music? I'll try to do a new audyssey just with the front speakers connected and brought cllser together to compare. After that I'm out of ideas. I can see that the Room EQ would helo too tweak the bade, but not to create the stereo image?

Regarsing the other amps discussed above - let's get back to that topic later if there is no solution for the Denon. I have to contact the store tomorrow as well to ask gehm or test in store to compare...
 

Parry

Distinguished Member
What kind of tweaks did you do for stereo music? I'll try to do a new audyssey just with the front speakers connected and brought cllser together to compare. After that I'm out of ideas. I can see that the Room EQ would helo too tweak the bade, but not to create the stereo image?

Regarsing the other amps discussed above - let's get back to that topic later if there is no solution for the Denon. I have to contact the store tomorrow as well to ask gehm or test in store to compare...
Im not home to check at the min, turning off addussey was the main thing for music input.
but if you get the avr remote app on your phone and select pure direct in sound options.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
What kind of tweaks did you do for stereo music? I'll try to do a new audyssey just with the front speakers connected and brought cllser together to compare. After that I'm out of ideas. I can see that the Room EQ would helo too tweak the bade, but not to create the stereo image?

Regarsing the other amps discussed above - let's get back to that topic later if there is no solution for the Denon. I have to contact the store tomorrow as well to ask gehm or test in store to compare...
You could try Pure Direct, the yellow button on the remote. That would by-pass any bass management so you sub will not be used from 2.0 stereo sources. It would also give you the track as laid down on the disc.

What are your music sources? Could it be a connection problem?

A lot of people do by-pass AV amps for stereo music, including some Arcam owners on the Forum. It all depends on what your expectations are and whether or not you want a one box solution. A stereo amp with HT by-pass works very well for me and it is really simple and easy to use once installed. The caveat on that arrangement is that all your music sources need to cut out the Denon completely unless playback is by multi channel.
 

Rodmylon

Novice Member
I tried with audyssey off and wih pure already yesterday, it doesn't affect the stereo image. I still hear two very distinct sound sources. Forgot to mention that in the original post.

Why this bothers me is that I had a really decent stereo image withe the 8 year old ~700€ AVR2113. Now I spent considerable money on a new and higher tire amplifier and 2 subs and get less of what I want..

Plan C or D would be to just return the amp and one of the subs and go back to the old amp with one upgraded sub and forget it all. But what happens the day the 2113 fails? Then I'm back in this situation again..
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
I tried with audyssey off and wih pure already yesterday, it doesn't affect the stereo image. I still hear two very distinct sound sources.
Have you tried tweaking the speaker positions? Toe-ing them in more might help.

However, it is odd that they sounded fine with your old AVR and not with the new. It could well be that the Denon AVR's sound quality has become compromised in the newer models, as there are a lot of new features, more amplifier channels etc, all in one chassis and on a budget.

Perhaps keep your 2113 going for now, if it still works okay, and if / when it needs changing move away from Denon AVR's, unless you want to run it alongside a stereo amp with HT bypass for music.
 
I tried with audyssey off and wih pure already yesterday, it doesn't affect the stereo image. I still hear two very distinct sound sources. Forgot to mention that in the original post.

Why this bothers me is that I had a really decent stereo image withe the 8 year old ~700€ AVR2113. Now I spent considerable money on a new and higher tire amplifier and 2 subs and get less of what I want..

Plan C or D would be to just return the amp and one of the subs and go back to the old amp with one upgraded sub and forget it all. But what happens the day the 2113 fails? Then I'm back in this situation again..
Have you tried running the Audyssey as Flat rather than Reference?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I tried with audyssey off and wih pure already yesterday, it doesn't affect the stereo image. I still hear two very distinct sound sources. Forgot to mention that in the original post.

Why this bothers me is that I had a really decent stereo image withe the 8 year old ~700€ AVR2113. Now I spent considerable money on a new and higher tire amplifier and 2 subs and get less of what I want..

Plan C or D would be to just return the amp and one of the subs and go back to the old amp with one upgraded sub and forget it all. But what happens the day the 2113 fails? Then I'm back in this situation again..
Some of the early Denons were pretty good units, I had a 2310 which I suppose is the same tier level as the X3700. Much simpler boxes in those days. Still got it in fact stored away in a cupboard.

Would you consider going up a tier to the X4700? Certainly better components and a different layout amp and power wise to the X3700 and it also boasts Denon's AL32 processor. I found that to be quite a noticeable improvement in my X6500 over my previous X6200 which had AL24. It was the X6200 that I upgraded to from the 2310 and that certainly a good step forward.

Your alternative could also be the Marantz SR6015 which has the HDAM circuitry that is better tuned for music over the Denons. You will pay a premium for that Marantz music heritage.
 

Parry

Distinguished Member
I tried with audyssey off and wih pure already yesterday, it doesn't affect the stereo image. I still hear two very distinct sound sources. Forgot to mention that in the original post.

Why this bothers me is that I had a really decent stereo image withe the 8 year old ~700€ AVR2113. Now I spent considerable money on a new and higher tire amplifier and 2 subs and get less of what I want..

Plan C or D would be to just return the amp and one of the subs and go back to the old amp with one upgraded sub and forget it all. But what happens the day the 2113 fails? Then I'm back in this situation again..
Pure direct is what changed my x3700 when playing music.
Im playing flac files from USB into the avr.
No problem with stereo image at all.
Have I heard better yes, my 30 year old sansui b2102, c2101 was the best amp ive ever heard but shes long gone bless her.
A separate amp for music my be your best option
 
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Rodmylon

Novice Member
I think I'lk first visit the shop (if the corona situation allows it) to compare if I hear the same behavior there. If so I could just "audition" the amplifiers there, e.g. the 4700, Marantz, etc.

I've read about having a dedicated amplifier for music, could someone open it up a bit regarding connections as I don't fully underrstand it/the options? I'd use the same speakers right? And I'd prefer not having to change cabling manually between listening to music and movies? Can I still get the front speaker base to the subs as now having them as "small" with crossover points (not very audiophile, sorry about that ;p )? And in yet another non-audiophile way I caat my spotufy to the chromecast to lisyen to music (better thn over bluetooth at least), what would be the sources of music in this new case - would the denon be involved at all?

I hope I don't cause seasures for the audiophiles on this forum. I'd just be ready to settle for a decent stereo image with spotify premium quality music.

The rason for upgrading the setup in first place was to get dual sub support for a more balanced bass, and 4k/HDR support for Netflix. And I thought I'd get a little bump in stereo quality as well with 8 year newer technology and higher tire receiver.
Btw. Moving the speakera close together didn't help much. Also I have a decdnt toe in.
 

Rodmylon

Novice Member
Two pictures of the room as well btw.
 

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Have I heard better yes, my 30 year old sansui b2102, c2101 was the best amp ive ever heard but shes long gone bless her.
My 41 year old Sansui AU217 MK2 is still going strong elsewhere in the family - fantastic amp.
 
Two pictures of the room as well btw.
Nice looking room. The only observation I would make is that the front L/R are perhaps a bit distanced, which will not help at all with the stereo imaging. Appreciate that your room layout dictates to a certain extent, but if it was me, I would move the TV unit and right front a couple of foot to the right, and bring the left front over to the left of the TV unit. Having the speakers closer would I am sure improve the imaging no end.

(I am also I have to say a bit OCD about having things laid out in a symmetrical fashion, so personally couldn't live with your current layout anyway!)

I will leave it to @gibbsy to explain the HT Bypass options as he is the expert, but it is very straightforward and doesn't require switching over cables or anything like that to operate.
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
Using a HT bypass amp is very easy, once connected up there is no cable switching required. But entry level stereo amps with HT bypass start at the Musical Fidelity M2si or the Cyrus One, so you would need to take that cost into account as well as the cost of the AVR.

In addition, if your subs don't allow high level and low level connections at the same time, getting the subs working for music can be a bit tricky.

Lovely looking room :smashin:

The open plan nature of it, together with the distance between the two front speakers, does make it a bit challenging for audio, and I think Dirac would do a better job of making a cohesive soundstage than Audyssey.

I wonder if your dealer would let you try an Arcam or Nad as a home demo? It could be a better solution for you all round.
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
HT by-pass is pretty simple although some stereo amps do complicate it's instigation with having to access the set up menus initially. The Rega Elicit-R is really simple, basically plug and play. Just connect the front left and right pre-outs to the dedicated 'Direct' input and access the by-pass from the remote. The front speakers are then just connected to the stereo amp.

After the initial connection run the AV amps room correction to EQ the stereo amp into the system. Once it all done sit back and enjoy with the volume being controlled from the AV amp. For film and TV both AV amp and stereo amp are fired up.

If you go for any stereo amp that has it's own EQ onboard, Lyngdorf or Arcam as an example then it's easy to EQ using front left and right by-pass and then use the stereo amp's own EQ system for the stereo pair.

I'll always recommend the Rega because of it's simplicity as well as the fact that it's a damn good stereo amp. Only drawback that some have found is that there is no way to switch on the AV amp and the Rega together, it has to be done manually. Other than that it's easy, as is most stereo amps with HT by-pass.
 

prosilent

Standard Member
When listening to the HT by-pass amp, I'm guessing that there is no way to also have your subwoofers playing as they will be connected to your AVR?
 

Rodmylon

Novice Member
Thansk for all the suggestions.

Finally I made som progress.
I put the distance values from the old Denon and tweaked them and the levels a bit and finally got the stereo image I wanted! Now I can say it is every bit as good as the old and a bit better as I was originally expecting. And the dual subbs adds to it, though I need to sort out their response curve some other day.

Regarding the new auddyssey it tells you to never put the mic closer than 50cm to the wall. But my head is likely less than 30cm from the wall. So I followed the advice. I might even have had it 60cm from the wall. With the old Denon with less detailed advice for the procedure I placed the mic where my head would be. And also at other listening positions where a person would actually sit. Now the new told no keep all measyrements within 60cm of the main position..

If you didn't notice from the pictures I put I'm sitting a bit assymetrically from the speakers and the left one is also slightly further back due to the patio door. But with the correct level and distance settings it does work suprisingly good.
 

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