Dynamic Range Compression in Denon 1905? And comments to this unit


Well-known Member

I have swapped my yamaha 530 for a a Denon 1905, since I was in need of pre-outs. We share our lives already for a week. I almost regret it... Not really, but...
Before I ask you the question I have ready, let me make a few comments on the denon, and how it compares to the yamaha in the different aspects.
The sound is great, specially because now I can run the main speakers using my stereo amp as power amplifier for the front channels. But this unit is a pain to use. I guess I need to get used to it, but it is anyway highly non-user-friendly.
The manual instructions are very unclear... It could be related to the bad organization of functions, that makes it difficult to explain.
Of course, the on-screen display is really nice, but when I listen to a cd, I don't want to turn my projector/tv on, so I have to make a big effort to read the display. It was sooo easy with the yamaha. Even the volume level, to get a feeling how loud it is, was better with the yamaha, that had both the dB units and a scale with the usual scale. And readable! This is important if you go from a dvd to a cd, for example, in order to avoid sudden loud music. I guess you all know what I am talking about.
I found very nice in the yamaha that it was showing the kind of received signal in the display by means of little squares depicting the different speakers. It is a pity that I can only see that in the denon by calling a menu, and it is not even as nice.
And the dsp options are literally unusable. I did not use the ones in the yamaha that much (almost never), but they are definately superior. They do recreate some room enviroment, while the denon adds very weird echoes.
Soundwise is better than the yamaha. Period. I was really impressed about the change, I didn't expect that much. Also because they were similarly priced...
I chose it over a new yamaha with pre-outs based on its supposed higher musicality (and I feel it is right, after first listenings), and looks (please, keep on reading anyway...). Yes, it matches better the rest of my system.

To summarize, it is a great sounding unit, but very unfriendly to use. I will keep it because I need the pre-outs, but I will also miss my yamaha... Why can't they build some units with blue displays and leds? I know, it is a yamaha signature, but anyway... Don't get me wrong, I like the looks also, but they do not fit. My second choice was Marantz, but it does not have crossover at 60 (that is where my Castle Richmonds give up, but they give such a good bass down to that point...). The yamaha is much more intuitive and easy to use, and BTW, faster changing sound modes. It takes more than 2 sec in the Denon! (about that, I did not measure it).

And now comes my question... I wonder if something is wrong with the Dynamic Range Compression, because I checked with several movies and I could not feel the difference. With the yamaha, I remember it was really nice to use this for late night movie sessions. Clear speech and "soft" explosions. The Denon does not show me that. Am I missing something?
At this point I have to add that now I am not using a center speaker, but I do not think that should make a difference, once I have set it properly. I had it before, but I went for better ones, and the budget does not go that high... Actually, I do not even think I need it (unless it is the thing causing this problem). Nevertheless, I didn't sell the center speaker yet, so I will try today what happens if using it.

Another question I have is regarding the use of my Cambridge Audio Azur 640A as power amp for the Home Cinema (and integrated for stereo, with my CA Azur 640C). Should I set the volume level to the maximum, to twelve or what? I am afraid about setting it to maximum... I am using it now at 12, but I wonder if this is not optimum...
I guess I would not need to set the front speakers 8 dB louder than the rear ones if I set the Azur to the maximum... but would that produce distorsion, or damage the speakers or amp?
I am not a newbie anymore (or I want to believe that), but I have never done anything like this. Suggestions and comments are very welcome.
Thank you for reading up to here. I will post further comments on the unit as I use it more and more.

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