Denon AVRs 'Test Tone' not generating any significant sound for Subwoofer Output? Is this normal?

pedwar

Active Member
Hi Guys,

Something I've just noticed playing with the Denon AVC-X4700H.. it seems that the 'Test Tone' located in the Levels section of the Speaker setup does NOT produce any significant audible sound from the Subwoofer outputs after calibration.

Has anyone else noticed this on that model or similar models?

Strangely the subwoofer performs normally in use and the Audyssey level calibration tone during setup with the Mic DOES play a test tone as expected.


I've come from an Onkyo receiver (one that still had Audyssey) and generally the way the test tones worked is you would scroll down through the channels and each would play a 75db pink noise tone (including the subwoofer rumble).

On this new Denon there's barely anything coming out of the channel (even if you put the gain to +12db on that channel and turn up the subwoofer gain itself a bit).

I noticed the Denon also doesn't just jump straight to 75db for the other channels (you have to adjust the relative master volume, which of course I'm also doing).

Anyone else get the same result? I'm wondering if there's a firmware issue on these new amps as I've never seen one behave like this.

I mean there is a slightly low frequency signal there (as you can feel the cone just about vibrating with the gains pushed up, but it's not exactly the usual test tone we're used to :)
 

pedwar

Active Member
Correct.. I mean there's a smidge of a signal coming out of the Subwoofer outputs but it's not hitting the same SPL as the main channels.

Like I say it's just the test tone generator

Audyssey 'Balance your sub' tone = ✅
Subwoofer playing LFE material or general material = ✅
5.1 Test tone from old DVD I have = ✅
Play Test tone from the Denon 4700 menu = ❌
 

pedwar

Active Member
Settings on the AVR are as you would expect:
  1. All speakers to Small
  2. Group crossover to 80Hz
  3. LFE on LFE only
  4. LFE Crossover 120Hz
  5. No weird EQ Settings or Tone settings
  6. No Dynamic EQ or Dynamic Volume or Range Compression or LFC
I mean it's not a show stopper just annoying to not be able to use the AVR's tones to set levels easily like I have on other models and having to resort to a 3rd party calibration disc.
 

494930

Distinguished Member
The internal test tones bypass all audio processing (Audyssey etc). I'd hazard a guess that Audyssey has boosted your lfe after correcting a massive peak which is why it sounds soo low with it disabled (that's a complete guess on my part).

Tbh the internal test tones are pretty much useless as they're completely innacurate if you use any of the onboard EQ.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
You'd ordinarilly not perceive what is being output via the sub relative to the test tome in the same way as you'd hear what is being portrayed by your passive speakers because the sub's frequency rnage is substantially narrower than that associated with you full range speakers. It is normal to perceive the volume level as being lower despite it being the exact same SPL level.
 

pedwar

Active Member
The AVR does sit at -9db on Subwoofer 1 after calibration, but me pushing that back up to 0 and manually pushing the sub gain up (for the purpose of this test tone test) still gives me a clean ~75db signal through all the other channels at the MLP until I get to the Subwoofer test tone, then barely anything on the SPL Meter.

If I left the gains like that and put some recorded material on it would blow the roof off the place.. so the sub is working fine. :) and the tone that plays when tweaking the level to where the receiver wants it to sit at 75db before calibration is fine.

It's like after calibration it garbles the test tone to something weird.

Appreciate what you're saying with the perceived levels though dante01, but I can play a 20Hz test tone and get decent measurable levels without forcing the gains up.

If I swap everything back to the old receiver with Audyssey Mutli-EQ XT I get measurable pink noise out of the same sub without touching the gain, move back to the new Denon with Audyssey XT32 and it's like it drops the test tone rumble to barely measurable levels (even with force cranked gains). Very weird.

I've got a UMIK-1 coming in a day or two as I want to EQ things properly. I only noticed it as I was about to setup the gains for a 2nd sub. Putting an old DVD in with a 5.1 test tone from each channel is a quick fix for the moment for a quick and dirty measurement.


Do you guys get the same with your late model Denons then? Scroll down through the levels menu and when it gets to subwoofer barely anything audible?
 

pedwar

Active Member
The internal test tones bypass all audio processing (Audyssey etc). I'd hazard a guess that Audyssey has boosted your lfe after correcting a massive peak which is why it sounds soo low with it disabled (that's a complete guess on my part).

Tbh the internal test tones are pretty much useless as they're completely innacurate if you use any of the onboard EQ.
I wondered that as well as I have got a bit of a room boom at 50Hz.. I went in and disabled Audyssey but still the neutered Subwoofer test tone from the AVRs internal circuitry 🤷‍♂️

Maybe I should cough up the £19.99 and get the app to see what it's actually correcting in my room :)
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
If you've altered the levels for the sub by 8db plus post calibration then I can gurantee that the sub is now no longer equalised and will be set too high. The AV receiver is quite cabable of setting the subs level correctly and most definately more accurate at doing this that you are using your hearing to attempt to do it.
 

pedwar

Active Member
If you've altered the levels for the sub by 8db plus post calibration then I can gurantee that the sub is now no longer equalised and will be set too high. The AV receiver is quite cabable of setting the subs level correctly and most definately more accurate at doing this that you are using your hearing to attempt to do it.
Agreed.. Sub gain is adjusted so the AVR sits at -9db on purpose. At this level there is lovely integration on movies and music (maybe a 1-2db boost needed for some sources that don't have a dedicated LFE channel).

The db boost on the Subwoofer channel was for the purpose of proving the test tone isn't doing anything significant.

I.e. at the self calibrated -9db on the receiver I should hear the test tone played at 75db the same as all the other channels from the measured MLP. I do not.

Even if I push the subwoofer gain up to a crazy amount on the AVR and/or sub itself the test tone does little. Which is what makes me think the Denon itself doesn't generate the tone correctly.

If you reset the AVR... start the Audyssey process again the tone to 'level your subwoofer' DOES play correctly... finish the process then go into the 'Levels' menu option.... barely any subwoofer output (even with the Master volume at 0.0db and the gain forcefully cranked to an unrealistic point)
 

494930

Distinguished Member
I went in and disabled Audyssey but still the neutered Subwoofer test tone from the AVRs internal circuitry 🤷‍♂️
Audyssey is always disabled when using the internal test tones.
 

pedwar

Active Member
Audyssey is always disabled when using the internal test tones.
That would be logical and how I would have thought it would work.

Do you get a decent measurable sub test tone from the levels menu on the Marantz you mention in your sig? (i.e. similar to your other channel levels as I would presume you have them balanced).

I only ask as I know Marantz and Denon are from similar manufacturing lines these days.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
You'd need an exceptionally good SPL meter to accurately measure the sub's output. Don't rely upon what you get if using a cheap SPL meter to level the sub!
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I only ask as I know Marantz and Denon are from similar manufacturing lines these days.


They are and have been the same company using the same components for quite some time now. Regardless, the Audyssey Mics and the implimentation of Audyssey is the same for both regardless of this.
 

pedwar

Active Member
You'd need an exceptionally good SPL meter to accurately measure the sub's output. Don't rely upon what you get if using a cheap SPL meter to level the sub!
I'll give the proper calibrated mic a go when it arrives. I must admit the SPL meter I have right now is 'ok' but not the highest quality.
 

pedwar

Active Member
Almost sounds the like the issue this guys had back in 2007:

 

dante01

Distinguished Member
The Audyssey mics are supposed to be excellent and surprisingly out perdorm many mics costing a lot more money. An AVS member ran tests on them and the results attained were very favourable.

It should be stressed that you should never use a third party mic in place of the supplied mic or the same model of mic. That AV receivers target curves correspond to the capabilitirs of the supplied mic.
 

494930

Distinguished Member
Do you get a decent measurable sub test tone from the levels menu on the Marantz you mention in your sig? (i.e. similar to your other channel levels as I would presume you have them balanced).
I noticed the same issue as yourself some time ago when I was using a different sub, not sure if it does it with the current one. I adjust my channel levels etc using a laptop now, so don't get the tone.

Since you've got a Umik coming anyway you can use REW as a signal generator and measure your levels that way.
 

pedwar

Active Member
The Audyssey mics are supposed to be excellent and surprisingly out perdorm many mics costing a lot more money. An AVS member ran tests on them and the results attained were very favourable.
:) I actually tried the same but I get a sharp drop in response below about 30Hz so I wasn't trusting the results in REW too much.

Oddly I saw the same with my Onkyo and Denon Audyssey mic.

I started thinking it was some funky noise cancellation software or something weird in the Sound Drivers on the PC I was using but I wasn't able to find anything significant in there or the Mic settings (disabled everything I could see).

I know for a fact I'm getting frequencies that setup wasn't showing on REW... roll on the MiniDSP Mic that's turning up soon. Looks like resale value holds well for them if/when I'm done with it.
 

pedwar

Active Member
I noticed the same issue as yourself some time ago when I was using a different sub, not sure if it does it with the current one. I adjust my channel levels etc using a laptop now, so don't get the tone.

Since you've got a Umik coming anyway you can use REW as a signal generator and measure your levels that way.
I'm glad I'm not going mad then... 😆

I might submit it to Denon, has to be some sort of software bug.

I've actually got a new Sub recently as well that's massively more capable than the old one, same issue on both with this Denon... swap back to the old Onkyo and test tones all work fine.

Bit annoying for a newer 'more advanced' receiver. There's progress for you 😎
 

Dolus

Active Member
I've come from an Onkyo receiver (one that still had Audyssey) and generally the way the test tones worked is you would scroll down through the channels and each would play a 75db pink noise tone (including the subwoofer rumble).

On this new Denon there's barely anything coming out of the channel (even if you put the gain to +12db on that channel and turn up the subwoofer gain itself a bit).
Been there done that. I came from an Onkyo to a Denon two years ago and noticed the same thing, gave up wondering why as it all sounds OK in normal use.

Just add that something else that I find with the Denon slightly odd.
When setting the sub level on the Onkyo to 75dB and after running Audyssey the trim level was '0', which is what one would expect. The sub was set to 75dB so there was no need for any adjustment.

On the Denon setting the sub to 75dB is like hitting a moving target over a 3 or 4dB range. I try and set the level so it flickers between 73dB - 75dB but not exceeding 76dB. After running Audyssey I would expect the trim to be between -1 and +2 but is always negative -3 to -5. o_O
 
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pedwar

Active Member
Been there done that. I came from an Onkyo to a Denon two years ago and noticed the same thing, gave up wondering why as it all sounds OK in normal use.

Just add that something else that I find with the Denon slightly odd.
When setting the sub level on the Onkyo to 75dB and after running Audyssey the trim level was '0', which is what one would expect. The sub was set to 75dB so there was no need for any adjustment.

On the Denon setting the sub to 75dB is like hitting a moving target over a 3 or 4dB range. I try and set the level so it flickers between 73dB - 75dB but not exceeding 76dB. After running Audyssey I would expect the trim to be between -1 and +2 but is always negative -3 to -5. o_O
Yes, that's the one! I see exactly the same with the built in SPL levelling!

So that's confirmed on my friends X2600H, my X4700H, your X6400H.. I've got another friend about to check his 3500.

Maybe most just think this is normal behaviour if they've only seen a Denon/Marantz of recent years and not seen how that part should work, or rather how it can work better like on other receivers (and from what I've seen the older Denon receivers), i.e.:

  • 'consistent pink noise test tone generation for mains AND subwoofer outputs for manual level setting with an SPL meter'.) and
  • 'smoothed/better averaged sub SPL level metering' (before Audyssey setup)

Like I said, not show stoppers as you can work around these items but you'd expect receivers of this level to be doing this with their eyes shut :)
 

gibbsy

Moderator
My last two Denons with XT32 have produced a lower pink noise from the sub on calibration. For me at least the sub has been integrated into the overall sound perfectly. X6200 and current X6500.
 

pedwar

Active Member
My last two Denons with XT32 have produced a lower pink noise from the sub on calibration. For me at least the sub has been integrated into the overall sound perfectly. X6200 and current X6500.
Thank you, sounds like it's the same behaviour.

I've just raised a support case with Denon US to see what they say.
 

tonic

Standard Member
My Pioneer also issues a muted sub sound on set up. After Mac was done it was -9db. I first manually bumped that up to 0db in line with the speakers but then playing a movie it was too bassy. After adjustment I end3d up at -6db....
in the end I thought well that must be how the pioneer Mac system works it because at the end of the day it was about right....it’s just I like a bit of bass enhancement.
 

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