Older Denon X4300H weak bass

torivara

Novice Member
This is yet another thread about bass management. More specifically about bass management on an older Denon X4300H.

I have searched this for quite a while, and sometimes I end up in the owners thread. Seems like I can never get the bass settings just right on my receiver, and I am starting to suspect there might be issues with the processor..

Equipment:
Receiver - Denon X4300H (7 years old)
Front - B&W 702 S2
Center - B&W HTM71 S2
Rear - B&W 686 S2 (from a previous build)
Subs - 2 x SVS PB-2000 pro (gain -15 with room gain compensation for 25Hz, 6dB slope)

I use umik and REW for measurements, and the measurements look OK with a house curve. I have also purchased the MultEQ App, and is using that to tweak the Audyssey room correction. Subs are time aligned together with MiniDSP, and time aligned with center channel on crossover currently at 80Hz. I have tried 60/80/100/110 but 80Hz feels like a safe "middle ground" at the moment. Dynamic EQ and Volume is currently off, as I find the boosting does not sound good, and I do not want boosting of rear channels.

AVR trim for front speakers set to 0.0 by Audyssey, and subwoofers measured together as one set to trim -4.5. I have bumped this up by 6-7dB together with the MultEQ house curve config. All speakers set to small. Never used LFE+Main. The Room Gain Compensation lowers a troublesome peak below 40Hz.

As far as I can tell, the LFE channel (0.1 channel) performs like it should, and effects that are specifically put there by sound engineers seem to excite the subs. When streaming content from Netflix, the master volume is often somewhere between -15 and -20. My issue is with the bass content that should have been sent to either of the other channels (e.g. gunshots in John Wick). If I play some music (Spotify Connect directly on receiver, master volume -40), the subs are barely playing anything at all. It feels like the bass management processing of my receiver is "off", as in not accurate or not added to LFE channel correctly. Note the difference in master volume level from Spotify Connect (-40) to Netflix(-15). I can't see any reason for this difference..

I did a microprocessor reset recently which didn't fix my issues, and have been playing around with settings trying to fix this for a very long time now.

Any tips, tricks, or experiences from anyone dealing with bass management on their denon appreciated.
 

kevin7sub

Active Member

What happens if you play a sweep through the system? If the processor was not handling things correctly playing a sweep should highlight it. You can have a sweep on repeat and cycle through the sound modes to see if something is amiss?
 

torivara

Novice Member
You have a point there, and it touches on a different theory I have had during my testing. Whenever I run sweeps and measurements, it all looks fine. The setup tests nice, but still I find some lack of "punch" wherever I expect it (like bass drums in some music, choppers or car engines in movies, etc.). Maybe the punch is not in subwoofer range after all, I see much discussion around this range.

This might be a problem with the kind of speaker I have (B&W vs. e.g. Klipsch), but this was a choice years ago, and I am not about to replace them just yet.

Whenever this is an issue, the processor isn't actually remixing the input signal. The input signal is often 5.1 or Dolby Atmos from Netflix, but my Blu-Ray player does not output Dolby Atmos correctly for some reason (Sony ubp-x700), and only outputs 7.1 TrueHD. It also sound "thin" when upmixing from stereo is selected, and this is mostly the setting I use with Spotify Connect.

Could I be expecting too much from Netflix and Spotify? I might have to test more with actual physical Blu-Rays. Maybe re-watch the John Wick series on physical media again..
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
Could I be expecting too much from Netflix and Spotify? I might have to test more with actual physical Blu-Rays. Maybe re-watch the John Wick series on physical media again..
To reply in a very non technical way. I find the bass reproduction on physical media is infinitely better than the same film when watched via Netflix, Sky etc. The Cornetto Trilogy is imo a good example of this...

Hot Fuzz in DTS MA (4K UHD Disc) gave my bass/subs a good workout. I found the same film on Netflix/Sky Movies, distinctly "lacking" bass (in the same scenes etc). Yet I changed no settings on the AVR etc (same listening volumes too).

Like I say I'm in no way an audiophile, but to me it was different. For a comparison, we have a similar spec'd AVR (see my signature).
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Could I be expecting too much from Netflix and Spotify? I might have to test more with actual physical Blu-Rays.
I would say yes. Netflix, et al, broadcast in a maximum of Dolby Digital Plus along with any associated Atmos metadata. This is still a lossy SD format and it's often bass that suffers as a result. There is a fair gulf between SD Dolby and HD Dolby that you find on physical media.

but my Blu-Ray player does not output Dolby Atmos correctly
You need to have the player set to bitstream to be able to decode Atmos on the Denon. I have noticed though that you do not mention speakers in the Atmos domain in your opening post. You do need to have a configuration of at least 5.1.2 to be to portray Atmos. Can you confirm that you have three front speakers, two surround speakers and at least two speakers in the Atmos domain.
 

kevin7sub

Active Member
As far as audio from streaming services yes it can be dire. Monster Hunter on sky at the minute sounds shocking bad. I had to recalibrate my system to make sure it wasn't something I had changed.

I have just upgraded to a pb 1000 and I am finding I have to get used to lack of boom. As opposed to the boominess that I had with my previous subs. But It feels like the is a hole in the presentation. Almost like something is out of phase somewhere. I believe I can hear a deficiency in my speakers. The room is not finished and I still need to get a second pb 1000. So I am not going to go mad trying to get it right just yet only to have to do all again. I will try adjusting the crossover so my sub does more of the heavy lifting and maybe just play with the phase out of curiosity .... 🤣🤣 I will not be going more into it than that just yet.
I hope you get sorted please let us know if you nailed it and I will also report back if anything relevant happens afte the changes I make
 
D

Deleted member 901590

Guest
Two suggestions. I too have had similar. I too get very irritated by Dynamic EQ boosting surrounds. I've tried with the curve editor too.

In the end, what I've done is we use (normally) DEQ with ref offset of 10dB. But on a variety of sources I've taken them to normal listening level and set the surrounds to the level we want. So far (it's only been a couple of weeks) it seems the best overall compromise. May be if one day I get MutlEQ-X, so can proper fiddle with curves without needing fingers thinner than those weird aliens in Attack of the Clones, then that may be a better solution!

2nd suggestion is to, if your subs are placed symmetrically around MLP, to not use the separate sub outs and just have one output with a Y splitter. I preferred the results afterwards set up like this. I know it sounds silly and I know it makes having Sub EQ HT system pointless - but it's worth a try if you have the time, I promise you it has been beneficial for me.

I also concur about mixed quality from streaming (e.g. Netflix). Note (1) some Netflix streams have reaaaaally boosted surround channels so that you can barely hear the fronts! Thought I was going mad but you then put a proper BR disc in say DTS-HD and go "oh the surround levels are set right". (2) Some things are very flat. Such as S.W.A.T. on Netflix, ended up boosting DEQ ref level to 5dB for that.
 

torivara

Novice Member
I apologize for not responding to this thread in a while. The watch post functionality is not sending me any notifications on responses here.

Lately I have been more satisfied, but still not quite there I expected with two SVS PB2000-pro.

Currently I have disabled DEQ, and boosted the subwoofer trim level by 6-8dB. I also used the ratbuddyssey third party app to adjust curve points on my MultEQ app files. Time alignment wise I have gotten OK measurements on crossover (80Hz), where center channel is aligned with subs.

Subs are already connected with a "Y-splitter", but they are connected by MiniDSP. The MiniDSP is used only for time aligning subs to each other at the moment. I regret not paying a few extra bucks for the MiniDSP 2x4HD, as this would have given me more room to play with both latency and EQ filters.

It has also occurred to me that I am in need of some more acoustic treatments. No shocker there! :D

Already mounted:
  • 4 x DIY triangle bass traps made with Rockwool, one in each corner.
  • 2x DIY acoustic panels with Rockwool 10cm thick. These are atm temporarily placed on sidewalls behind main listening position.
  • 6 x Rockfon sound dampening plates 4cm thick. These are placed on first/second reflections front stage.
  • 3 x Rockfon sound dampening plates 4cm thick. Placed on ceiling above main listening position.
  • 4 x absorbption/diffusion foam 8cm thick with front reflective patterns placed near first/second reflections front stage.

I suspect that the 4cm thick plates are not up to the task of absorbing enough sound to correctly treat the first/second reflections. At this point I am tempted to purchase some GIK monster panels for first reflection, and the front wall/ceiling. The room is located in the attic, and therefore has vaulted ceilings. Hard to explain the placement, but the front wall is only 120cm high, and gradually increases to 240cm which is the highest ceiling point. Back wall is the same. I had a chat with a GIK consultant, and he recommended monster bass traps on both "front sloped ceiling" and "back sloped ceiling". Maybe I will purchase some of them, and hope for the best.

Measurements are all over the place when going over 250Hz. Lots of peaks and nulls. I suspect this can give a feeling of low bass, as volume is not as high as it could have been.
 

torivara

Novice Member
Additionally I see that SVS recommends a crossover at 60Hz for my speakers, and of course a couple of PB16 ultra's. With the price of PB16 ultra being what it is, this is not going to happen anytime soon 😅

My crossover, as I have mentioned before, has been down at 40Hz and up to 120Hz. What seems to blend the best is 80Hz.

I would love to hear you guys crossover settings, how you like them, what you have tested, and which differences you hear. Seems like I am not getting much in terms of midrange from my main speakers, but this could be just how they are made (B&W 702 S2).

A boost from 50Hz to 150Hz could be necessary. My car is not really pimped out with great sound, but even there I get more punch than with two PB2000 pro in my Home theater. Must be some form of EQ or maybe just room reinforcement in the car. Either way, I have to fix this!
 

JustinT350

Active Member
How big is your room? The PB2000 is a fairly powerful sub, so two of them should be giving you noticeable bass. Which mode are you running the AVR in? Sounds mode I mean.

I am only running one PB2000, but even Netflix and Sky movies sound great on it. I do run DEQ on though, rather than increasing the Sub vol.
 

torivara

Novice Member
The sound mode is not really relevant, IMO, when source is Multi-Channel in, Atmos, DTS-HD, etc. Sound mode when receiver gets stereo-signal has lately been set to "DTS Neural: X". This mode transfers some sound from the L/R and utilizes my good center channel more.

Lately I have been experimenting with crossovers, and am currently using 100Hz as my crossover. Also another thing I am doing at the moment is re-equalizing my subs. I am not satisfied with the way SubEQ from Audyssey equalizes them, and the MultEQ app does not provide a good way to change the EQ filters, IMO. Therefore I am considering disabling the SubEQ by setting subwoofer channel frequency range to 20Hz (effectively disabling the EQ, if my assumptions are correct). After the SubEQ is disabled, I will use my MiniDSP to equalize the subs, and incorporate a good house curve with +10dB at 20Hz with a curve down to 100Hz (or thereabouts).

I am also using an external power amp, which needs to be set at a low gain setting because of some ground loop noise I can't exactly pinpoint. This is making me consider upgrading the X4300H to a 4700 or 6700 (can't really choose, but 6700 is tempting because of some more juice). If I upgrade to a 6700, I can potentially remove the external Class D amp. When doing Audyssey calibration, I can actually hear that the center channel has better bass on the chirps, though this might be associated with placement/SBIR/reflections.

All in all, this is a journey, and sometimes a frustrating one... Hopefully I can work out the subwoofer issues, and move on to other aspects of my sound. One of the things that irk me is the notion of my receiver not correctly "mixing" the sound (sending signals below 80Hz to my sub correctly leveled). Bass from all channels set to small (which all my speakers are) should be folded into the .1-channel. My perception is that this is not happening as I am expecting it to happen. I could be biased, but sweeps look good in REW, but movies/music is lacking bass content from subwoofer.
 

torivara

Novice Member
How big is your room? The PB2000 is a fairly powerful sub, so two of them should be giving you noticeable bass. Which mode are you running the AVR in? Sounds mode I mean.

I am only running one PB2000, but even Netflix and Sky movies sound great on it. I do run DEQ on though, rather than increasing the Sub vol.
DynamicEQ has previously been enabled for me, but I do not like what it does with my surrounds. Also I don't always like the sound of it, so I am experimenting with house curves to suit my listening levels.
 
D

Deleted member 901590

Guest
My car is not really pimped out with great sound, but even there I get more punch than with two PB2000 pro in my Home theater.

You may be interested in the following thread. It is very long! But it sounds like what you are looking for is likely to be explained in here.

 

torivara

Novice Member
You may be interested in the following thread. It is very long! But it sounds like what you are looking for is likely to be explained in here.

Thank you for the link! I just read through it, and though it strays very far off topic for a large amount of the posts, I got some pointers:
  • Chest slam is somewhere between 50-100 Hz. Most likely around 60Hz.
  • House curve would be beneficial, but not too much boost below 40Hz.
  • My subs should be more than capable of giving great bass in my room; they just need to be EQ'd correctly.
  • Crossover can in some cases be above 80Hz, with positive results.

I think my next course of action is redoing Audyssey (disabling SubEQ with MultEQ app) and taming some of my subwoofer peaks and nulls with MiniDSP instead. Then I will focus on the area from 50-100Hz, and see if there are nulls there (I know my mains have a null at 100Hz). Also, I think my crossover could be increased from 100Hz to 120Hz, but this will have to be tested extensively with daily use. The placement of my mains could be "fixed" somewhat with a crossover above 100Hz.

I am starting to think investing in an external power amp was not a good purchase. It is only annoying me with flakey auto-on (no trigger) and noise when gain is set too high (high gain effectively worsens the auto-on because signal in is then lower).
 

torivara

Novice Member
You may be interested in the following thread. It is very long! But it sounds like what you are looking for is likely to be explained in here.

Regarding output, would you be knowledgeable on power and all that? I am considering upgrading to a X4700H or X6700H, and the 6700 seem to have slightly more power (125W vs 140W per channel). Do you think it would be worth the extra $1000? As I mentioned earlier, my external power amp turned out to be a bad investment due to auto-on and gain issues (noise/ground hum).
 
D

Deleted member 901590

Guest
If you look at the link below, Mr Wolf kindly offers a check of your power requirements.

You may find that, power-wise for example, the external power amp is not offering much advantage.

 
D

Deleted member 901590

Guest
I am considering upgrading to a X4700H

Worth noting that regarding power delivery per channel (and in multiple channels simultaneously) there was a change from the x4200 to the x4300 but we're not aware of any difference between an x4300 and x4700. Yes, there are many differences in features but the x4700 would not offer any more power.

You may also want to consider the MultEQ-X PC/laptop application, that's makes it much easier to tweak curves and/or use different crossovers. There are quite a few users on AVSForums who use this in combination with REW to more precisely achieve their EQ needs.

Audyssey has said their intention is to offer compatibility with REW, so filters can be automatically "read" back in to the MultEQ-X application.
 

roscopervis

Active Member
After reading this thread, a couple of things have come to my mind and wonder if these have been considered:

Spotify and stereo sources that are being up mixed to surrounds won’t have a LFE channel input, the bass will just be the bass that is in the song/recording. LFE is a separate channel - the .1 in 5.1/7.1 sources. This is a specific track that is typically 10db louder than the regular speaker tracks. The DTS neuralX doesn’t create a LFE track, it sends the bass via the crossovers set, to the sub as it would any .0 recording. So your sub crossovers should be set to LFE/max and then your AVR sends the bass from 0 - 80 hz to the sub, probably with a 12 db/octave crossover so that the signal tails off at that level above 80hz and the exact opposite happens with your main speakers, playing 80hz and above, and tailing off at 12db/octave below 80hz. It’s not a solid barrier. I think you know this, but just checking.

You have a nice system, and all the kit you need. It has plenty of power to make your regular speakers go plenty loud, even without an external power amp. You should be able to get it to sound good. When you start doing the sub trims, are you aiming to get the final level on the AVR at around -8, you said yours was at -4.5 and the extra 6-7db boost you added, did this come from this trim or from the volumes on the subs?

What is the crossover set to on the subs?

I think I would start again and keep it simple to start with no ‘extras’, no extra power amp, unless you’re sure this is integrated into the system correctly, and after gain matching, just let Audessy do the room correction and see where that leaves you. Run REW to measure, then add in the minidsp to help with timings and EQ’s if necessary. Change one thing at a time.
 

torivara

Novice Member
After reading this thread, a couple of things have come to my mind and wonder if these have been considered:

Spotify and stereo sources that are being up mixed to surrounds won’t have a LFE channel input, the bass will just be the bass that is in the song/recording. LFE is a separate channel - the .1 in 5.1/7.1 sources. This is a specific track that is typically 10db louder than the regular speaker tracks. The DTS neuralX doesn’t create a LFE track, it sends the bass via the crossovers set, to the sub as it would any .0 recording. So your sub crossovers should be set to LFE/max and then your AVR sends the bass from 0 - 80 hz to the sub, probably with a 12 db/octave crossover so that the signal tails off at that level above 80hz and the exact opposite happens with your main speakers, playing 80hz and above, and tailing off at 12db/octave below 80hz. It’s not a solid barrier. I think you know this, but just checking.

You have a nice system, and all the kit you need. It has plenty of power to make your regular speakers go plenty loud, even without an external power amp. You should be able to get it to sound good. When you start doing the sub trims, are you aiming to get the final level on the AVR at around -8, you said yours was at -4.5 and the extra 6-7db boost you added, did this come from this trim or from the volumes on the subs?

What is the crossover set to on the subs?

I think I would start again and keep it simple to start with no ‘extras’, no extra power amp, unless you’re sure this is integrated into the system correctly, and after gain matching, just let Audessy do the room correction and see where that leaves you. Run REW to measure, then add in the minidsp to help with timings and EQ’s if necessary. Change one thing at a time.
This is a nice tip, and I will actually try starting over. I will also disconnect the external power amp, just because I am tired of it cutting in and out when watching regular TV (auto-on not optimal and no 12V trigger). As you mention, I have not been able to integrate it perfectly with the mains anyway.

There is no crossover on the subs. Line in is connected to RCA marked "LFE", and mode is set to "LFE" in SVS app. This means that, as far as I know, the subwoofer crossover is disabled.

I started out aiming for a trim around -8, but gradually I have increased it because of auto-on on the subwoofers. Not that I have had issues with it, but I did with my previous set. Also I have struggled with some room modes that needs taming, which causes Audyssey to set my subs way lower than needed. My next move will be to disable the SubEQ, and do subwoofer EQ with MiniDSP where I have more control over it. I have broken the golden rule of subwoofer trim levels, and tested around +2 to get more juice, but I am now back to "safer" -2.5. Not very controlled atm, to be honest..

You mention gain matching, and I am still not sure which way I want to go there. Currently I am level matching at MLP. Do you have personal experience with gain matching vs level matching? There are alot of sources out there saying both are better, but level matching at MLP seems more logical to me.
 

roscopervis

Active Member
I was wondering whether you were gain matching, but level matching at the MLP works just as well, in my mind they are the same thing anyway!

In terms of the trims, if you need to add volume to the subs, add them at the sub, not on the AVR so the level is still in the mid negative numbers. The reason being is that this gives more dynamics from the AVR signal to the sub.

Otherwise, starting again then adding one change at a time is the way to go.
 

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