Denon AVR-X7200W 9.1 AV Receiver Review

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Steve Withers, Mar 25, 2015.

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    1. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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    2. SonOfSJ

      SonOfSJ
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      Greetings from Edinburgh, Mr Withers! I'm still loving your calibration settings on my four plasma televisions in July 2013! I have a Denon receiver from five years ago, the Denon AVR-4810. On Monday I was in York at the home cinema of a forum member, Big Boss. He has a Marantz SR7009 receiver, which he bought when I told him about your excellent review of the Marantz, he had previously been considering Yamaha 2040 / 3040. The Marantz is very capable. What does this Denon X7000 do to justify its costing twice as much as the £950 Marantz?
       
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    3. Pecker

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      It's a bit of a head-scratcher, but...

      From what we know (or are guessing) at the moment, aren't Atmos, Auro, and DTS: X all incompatible, in that the 'extra' speakers are in slightly different places for all of them?

      Are we going to end up with our ceilings having up to 10 speakers in them, and a switching box to swap the amplification between them?

      Steve W
       
    4. SonOfSJ

      SonOfSJ
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      Maybe so, Pecker, but don't forget that Atmos can also process upfiring as opposed to ceiling speakers, so that should reduce things. If I were to go for Dolby Atmos, which seems unlikely at present as I'm not clear about any advantage over my existing 11.1 (with front wides, front heights and rear backs) system, I would have upfiring Atmos modules.
       
    5. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      Well Ken, as I mention in the conclusion it's hard to justify the extra cost when the X5200 and SR7009 offer such excellent performance at £1,299 and £999 respectively. You get more power and 32-bit processing with the X7200 and HDCP 2.2 support for a fee but until we know more about DTS: X it's a tough call.
       
    6. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      We just don't know Steve, DTS: X is a total mystery but if they had any sense they'd choose a speaker configuration that was somewhere between Atmos and Auro. It's going to get messy but at the moment I think Atmos has the edge, there are already receivers and discs in the market, the upward-firing speaker option and 200+ films with Atmos soundtracks. Not sure what DTS: X brings to the table aside from greater consumer confusion.
       
    7. LicensedTaximan

      LicensedTaximan
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      I think I will stick with my "Denon" AVC-11XV(A) for the forseeable future, especially given the quality of its two channel stereo. Nice review though..thanks.
       
    8. Ideal AV

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      I`ve just listened to the new 2015 Atmos clips and anyone thinking their 5.1 - 7.1 - 9.1 - 11.1 setup is good needs to listen to 7.1.4 done properly

      these will blow your mind and if its a sample of things to come then please roll them out asap

      I`ve got Atmos, Auro 3d and DTS-X discs now and these latest Atmos clips are a killer for me

      looking forward to hearing the DTS-X ones though as well when the format is finally released :clap:
       
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    9. dante01

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      I can see your point of view wanting to sell these units and respect it, but you forget that most people will not be investing in any of the new formats purely because they cannot accommodate the additional speakers they all require. The new formats ostracise the majority and are always going to be a niche feature irrespective of how ever good the demo content you have at your disposal on disc is :)

      Maybe not such a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket and maybe you should veer away from selling all the new receivers purely on their Atmos, Auro3D and DTS:X merits? Other than these new formats, what exactly would the new receivers bring to the table that is lacking from many of the receivers they replace?
       
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      Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
    10. Graham N

      Graham N
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      Allan where can we get these new Atmos clips. Dolby didn't even reply to two emails I sent them whereas Auro replied promptly, and I had a disc in my hands a couple of days later
       
    11. LicensedTaximan

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      A few days ago I watched (and listened) to the latest Godzilla film. My lossless 7.1 sound via my AVC-A11XV(A) amp was plumbed through the "Denons" 7.1 analogue "ins" from the 7.1 analogues "outs" of my LG 3090 BD player. The sound was phenomenal making me wonder about these latest itterations of Dolby Atmos and Auro3D plus DTS's-X as yet offering. With up to 7.1 DTS-HD Master and Dolby's Tru-HD lossless sound I wasn't sure how much better it could get. So i'm with you on this one.
       
      Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
    12. Pecker

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      There is an elephant in the room which no one is mentioning.

      Surround sound in various guises had been with us for many years before we got 5.1 soundtracks.

      There were various formats going back to the '50s, but 4-track emerged in earnest in the '70s, and Star Wars was probably the first blockbuster heavily using rear sfx, etc in '77, but it didn't really take off in the home until into the '90s, after a rather large catalogue of films had already appeared in surround on cinema release.

      When 5.1 expanded to 7.1 the centre rears were not only used for 7.1 soundtracks - many 5.1 cinemas had rear speakers running along the side, then half way across the back (to the projection booth) in an 'L' shape on one sided and an inverted 'L' shape on the other.

      But there is no large catalogue of films originally mixed in Atmos. The format only started at the cinema last year, and many of the Atmos titles on Blu-ray were not Atmos on their cinema release.

      Unlike 3-D I doubt this one is going away. Once the speakers and amplification is in place in cinemas they're there for good, and adding an extra bit of 'height' here and there isn't the most technically difficult thing in the world.

      But Atmos is only really useful for new blockbusters, and nowt else. Adding a height channel to a film which originally didn't have it could be jarringly distracting. Imagine mixing 12 Angry Men so you could hear the fan coming on over your head? Not nice.

      Steve W
       
    13. Ideal AV

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      all I`m saying chaps is for those who want the latest audio its looking good

      for those who don`t then that's up to them, but eventually we`ll all have to purchase an AVR or processor with these formats on whether we like it or not

      for me I not only like it I love it, not just because it sells more, I just love the new dimension its bringing to us
       
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    14. Ideal AV

      Ideal AV
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      :rolleyes: that would be telling
       
    15. Ideal AV

      Ideal AV
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      I agree with you in a way it will sound great to you and me and many others, but if you could have a demo of a good room setup properly with Atmos then unless you are deaf you will hear how much better and enveloping Atmos can be

      3 of the new clips actually switch between 5.1 and Atmos several times and the difference has to be heard, even the wife says its better so that means it has to be :D
       
    16. Ideal AV

      Ideal AV
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    17. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      That's not strictly true, there are already over 200 films with Atmos soundtracks and more being added each month. So there will be a fairly large catalogue of films with Atmos soundtracks and from the point of view of the studios, the idea of using a single Atmos mix as the basis for all releases both theatrical and domestic is appealing, if only from a cost perspective. If you don't have an Atmos setup you can still listen to the 5.1 or 7.1 mixes instead and no one is suggesting that older films be remixed in Atmos. Auro-3D has had some theatrical mixes created but too few to make it a real player and DTS is used purely on disc and has no theatrical format since they sold that business to Datasat. Personally I think DTS are being highly disingenuous with DTS: X by deliberately confusing consumers and trying to muddy the waters for Dolby. If their format is so great, let's hear the specifications and details, all this teasing smacks of desperation.
       
    18. Ideal AV

      Ideal AV
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      Steve

      I agree 100% with that last comment, well all of it really but the last comment is the one I`m aiming at

      why oh why are DTS dragging their feet, just bloody tell us where to put the speakers and be done with it, then we can worry about the other stuff later on

      I`ve asked all over the globe about speaker position and whether or not the existing Atmos speaker layout will be ok and no-one can answer or at least give an answer that doesn`t conflict with what others are saying so I`ve given up asking tbh

      nice review btw :smashin:
       
    19. sjackson

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      I have to disagree with this one. The Atmos upmixer, Dolby Surround, has done wonders for my setup and especially Sky TV. The kids watch Disney JR quite a lot and it sounds fantastic. All of a sudden the sound is all around. We started watching The Walking Dead this week (from the very start) and we were just watching it on the TV. Switch on the AVR and all of a sudden we're immersed in the soundtrack (but it would sound better anyway than coming from the stereo TV) hearing sounds from everywhere and the background music is beautiful.

      On the movie front Big Hero 6 sounds bigger and more immersive than the standard DTS-MA. I know it not what the sound engineers wanted (although BH6 was released in Atmos for the cinema I think) when they decided on DTS-MA but I honestly don't care. The upmixer is like Darbee for audio. Sounds better.

      I've not tried 12 Angry Men yet but could do if you wish when I've added a couple more speakers to the mix (running 5.1.2 now but going 5.1.4 next week).
       
    20. sjackson

      sjackson
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      If only.... As I mentioned above Big Hero 6 had an Atmos release for the cinema I think (it says so on the movie credits) but no Atmos track for the Blu-ray. While there are 200 or so movies released with Atmos it doesn't seem they are including the track for domestic. I think you can still count on two hands the number of Blu-rays with Atmos. It's a pity really.

      Maybe it's a disc size thing? Sacrificing Atmos for extras?
       
    21. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      I'm not sure why the studios are dragging their feet on this one, as you say there's over 200 films with Atmos soundtracks but only 7 discs so far. I don't think it's an issue with disc space, I guess they're waiting to see how the format does, although I suspect there's a bit of skull-duggery going on behind the scenes.
       
    22. dante01

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      I believe it to be the same reasoning behind their not adopting TrueHD and favouring Master Audio? It has been said in some quarters that the TrueHD encoding process is a pain and Atmos basically uses much the same, but slightly modified process as that previously used for TrueHD for Atmos. It sort of explains why those studios already committed to TrueHD have been more favourable towards Atmos for their Blu-ray releases than the studios that had decided to ditch Dolby in favour of DTS. Contrary to what some are saying, Atmos encoded theatre audio is not directly transferable to blu-ray and has to be transcoded. I also know that Dolby have started to get very precious with licensing just recently, even chasing app developers for AC3 royalties and they've upset quite a few people because of this. They appear to be trying to claim ownership of object orientated audio while DTS are all for making it an open source affair. If anyone stops the speaker arrangements from being universal then it is likely to be Dolby.

      DTS and SRS were working on MDA for the home market well before Dolby had any intention of bringing Atmos to the home theatre. Dolby are the one who rushed Atmos out for the home in order to steal DTS's thunder and DTS have not been the ones trying to steal the march from Dolby!
       
      Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
    23. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      Actually Dolby rushed because Auro-3D was already hitting the domestic market and of course DTS want open source, they don't make soundtracks for the cinema and are purely a domestic delivery system. As always it will come down to who the studios decide to support and personally I don't care who they choose but if history has taught us anything, when the consumer is faced with competing formats, they usually all end up failing.
       
    24. LicensedTaximan

      LicensedTaximan
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      Blimey it must be then. :eek: :laugh:
       
    25. mbmapit

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      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for the review. 1 question, how is the room EQ compared to the Anthem? The reason I ask is I am trying to decide between this or wait for the new Anthems later this year :confused:
       
    26. Graham N

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      Feel free to tell, or just stick a disc in the post to me :)
       
    27. Pecker

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      .[/QUOTE]That's not strictly true, there are already over 200 films with Atmos soundtracks and more being added each month.[/QUOTE]

      Steve, you've possibly misunderstood my post.

      I didn't say there were no films, but that there was no large catalogue compared to the couple of decades of surround mixes leading up to the true advent of home surround in the early '90s.

      200 films? That's a tiny amount compared to the many thousands of films released at the cinema in surround before the home version appeared. And, like 3-D, almost universally kids, action, sci-fi.

      [/QUOTE]If you don't have an Atmos setup you can still listen to the 5.1 or 7.1 mixes instead and no one is suggesting that older films be remixed in Atmos.[/QUOTE]

      I refer the right honourable gentleman to the utter stink caused by non-appearances and/or delays in the original soundtrack releases of such films as Vertigo, The Terminator and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

      Steve, are you seriously suggesting that the studios are not going to retro-mix pre-Atmos soundtracks?

      Do you fancy a wager?

      Go on, a pint of Sam Smith's Old Brewery that there'll be a remix by the end of the year.

      Steve W
       
    28. antsims

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      I would also love to get my hand on a Dolby 2015 demo disc. Emailed them twice and still nothing. I emailed Auro 3D direct and they sent it within 4 days. Why are Dolby so protective? Don't they want us to showcase the sound format to our family and friends? We could end up selling more units for them. Please let me know how I can get my hands on one.
       
    29. mbmapit

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      Anyone that wants the Dolby bluray PM me
       
      Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
    30. invisiblekid

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      AM aerial lol. They drop "useless connections" but keep an AM radio.

      OK a flippant remark but still funny to see on a £2.5K cinema AV amp.

      Love the unboxing. "Simply remove polystyrene and just reach in and lift it up" Yeah just like that!

      What we didn't hear is Steve's "hurumph" "Ow ya £$**@! that's heavy!!"



      A fine alcoholic beverage dear Sir. Much better than any of the crap his brother makes.
       
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