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Denon AVR-X3700H AVR Review

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This is just personal experience. YMMV.

I own a Marantz SR6014. Like it. For music, I take pre-out into a Parasound A21. Speakers: (1) Martin Logan Motion 60XT and twin subs (Martin Logan Dynamo 1000W). Have extra speakers for 5.2 but that is irrelevant.

After reading this whole measurements thing, I got a 3700H and tried it out extensively using same set-up (crossovers, etc) as both are quite similar receivers other than that 'questionable' HDAM module.

I listen mostly to soft jazz / classical (input: Tidal Hifi / Qobuz Premier into HEOS) at not too high levels (around 65-70db) in a 20x23x9 room.

In my room, to my ears, with my set-up, at these listening levels, the SR6014 sounds better. The Denon sounds harsher, though there bit more detail in the highs. The Marantz sounds more musical and non-fatiguing. The difference is significant enough.

Sad: I already had committed to returning the SR6014 before purchasing the 3700H.

But a big thanks to the OP for taking the time out for this venture. It is tremendously useful - particularly as the manufacturers are paying attention to it.

BTW: a little bit I did not know about both receivers till recently: if you use 4-ohm speakers, refer to the manual to change the setting on the receiver to 4 ohms and they shall sound better.
What you are talking about is like 101 basics in the Audio world.

The accepted belief and going by personal experience, one that tends to ring true is that Marantz makes warm sounding amps, Denon neutral and Cambridge is typically bright. Of course, in a perfect world, neutral would be the way to go as anything else colors the sound, but we do not live in a perfect world and speaker manufacturers test and tune their speakers with a multitude of amps and typically aim for some middle ground.

Hence, if you have bright speakers, you do not want to pair them with a bright amp or often, even a neutral amp.

Most hi-fi speakers on the market today are quite sensitive, detailed and while impressive for HT use, will fatigue the ears during music listening sessions where one is playing treble rich, sibilant heavy and or poorly recorded music.

Why is Marantz called a musical receiver? Because it's warmer and won't rape your ears when using bright speakers. It's all about proper pairing in this case.
 

BsdKurt

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Proof of your claim that Denon pays Gene?
Gene basically admitted it indirectly when he was responding to Amir’s first x4700 review. If I recall correctly, he said something along the lines of; Denon stopped paying him when Covid hit and before he participated in the virtual 2020 Denon launch.

I didn't remember this quite right. A comment in Denon Virtual Press Event - New 8K Ready X-Series AV Receivers by Tristen Jones (AKA skylarlove1999) included this, "Gene on the other hand replied to me and informed me that Sound United stopped any paid promotional partnership before the global COVID19 pandemic." This comment was loved by Audioholics so I infer from this that it was an accurate statement.
 
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I also have an anthem Avm 60. Has a much warmer sound. But anthem also states they are neutral. So something is not clear to me. Both recievers sound very different with all room correction off.

Denon is neutral. So your interpretation of it being "harsh" means your speakers are harsh, and you prefer a non-neutral amp to roll off the highs.
 
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I tend to think the oft claimed Marantz being better for music has just been repeated so many times at AVS that it has been accepted as fact. Expectation bias affects us all no matter how hard we try to avoid it. I have not seen any double blind, level matched tests to back this up. It really appears to be a marketing thing with Marantz IMO combined with expectation bias. Getting an exact blind level matched test would be very interesting. There certainly could be differences and the results would be interesting. For me, I want to hear as close to the original content as possible with as little extra noise/distortion added to the content as I can get. As with all things YMMV.
I've had a marantz sr7013, av7705 + pm8005, arcam avr390 and now the denon 8500 since the marantz in the cinema seems to me little dynamic ... the denon 8500 its stereo sounds great, but be careful with the boxes that are close with he!

Sweat the fat drop and I was about to sell it because in stereo I was not completely convinced with my old silver rs6 audio monitor, a few months ago I went to the 4g gold series and improved a lot.

It would be difficult for me to choose one of them since the memory is volatile, but perhaps I expected more from the 8500 stereo since its price is much higher than sr7013.

beware or I'm saying it is bad, the PM8005 is more sold because I have plenty with the 8500 in 2ch but it is true that the warmth of Marantz usually makes listening more relaxed.
 
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I also have an anthem Avm 60. Has a much warmer sound. But anthem also states they are neutral. So something is not clear to me. Both recievers sound very different with all room correction off.
Do we have measurements on that one?

I have noticed a difference on my Denon using the HEOS input; there's a lot more bass than the other inputs. I swear I've been through all the menus but I can't figure out how to account for it. It's driving me nuts because there shouldn't be a difference, unless they're doing something to the signal.
 

Gedeon

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This is just personal experience. YMMV.

I own a Marantz SR6014. Like it. For music, I take pre-out into a Parasound A21. Speakers: (1) Martin Logan Motion 60XT and twin subs (Martin Logan Dynamo 1000W). Have extra speakers for 5.2 but that is irrelevant.

After reading this whole measurements thing, I got a 3700H and tried it out extensively using same set-up (crossovers, etc) as both are quite similar receivers other than that 'questionable' HDAM module.

I listen mostly to soft jazz / classical (input: Tidal Hifi / Qobuz Premier into HEOS) at not too high levels (around 65-70db) in a 20x23x9 room.

In my room, to my ears, with my set-up, at these listening levels, the SR6014 sounds better. The Denon sounds harsher, though there bit more detail in the highs. The Marantz sounds more musical and non-fatiguing. The difference is significant enough.

Sad: I already had committed to returning the SR6014 before purchasing the 3700H.

But a big thanks to the OP for taking the time out for this venture. It is tremendously useful - particularly as the manufacturers are paying attention to it.

BTW: a little bit I did not know about both receivers till recently: if you use 4-ohm speakers, refer to the manual to change the setting on the receiver to 4 ohms and they shall sound better.
Did you enable Audyssey on both AVRs or just the crossovers ?
 
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Damn, it's hard to decide for an AVR nowadays. What about the Yamahas? They sound little harsher, but you could manage that in the settings. And their bass attack/slam is unfortunately far superior then Denon. Nevertheless, I love Denon and their way to present a surround film. Yamaha (I had the 3010 years ago) gave me to much informations during a film, like human being would have super-ears...:)
 
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Damn, it's hard to decide for an AVR nowadays. What about the Yamahas? They sound little harsher, but you could manage that in the settings. And their bass attack/slam is unfortunately far superior then Denon.
I don't think that is the case. Stick around for a while and read more of the reviews :)
 

SimpleTheater

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Damn, it's hard to decide for an AVR nowadays. What about the Yamahas? They sound little harsher, but you could manage that in the settings. And their bass attack/slam is unfortunately far superior then Denon. Nevertheless, I love Denon and their way to present a surround film. Yamaha (I had the 3010 years ago) gave me to much informations during a film, like human being would have super-ears...:)
As the proud owner of a Yamaha RX-A3060 I can honestly say I don’t know what you’re talking about. However, as a proud owner of two Rythmik FV15HP’s hooked up to said Yamaha, I can honestly say you’re right.
 

peng

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If those 2 videos are supposed to back your previous claims you better inform better, otherwise It corrects the time domain response of the loudspeaker, this alone gives it superior audible results.
PLUS Dirac Live uses mixed-phase filtering - in effect, a combination of IIR and FIR filters.
Audyssey claimed it works in the "time domain" and iirc it has been since day one so this is not unique to Dirac Live. I know AH has videos that showed how Audyssey messed up, or could mess up positions outside of the sweet spot. I have tried very hard to duplicate that and couldn't get such "messed up" results. I could place my mic in multiple positions, angles etc etc within a bubble of 6 to 18 inches from the mmp, up, down, side way, and still average within a few dB in the 20 to 120 Hz range so while I understood what Matthew Poes's saying but I wish I was there to see how he did his..:D Until then, and I know it would never happen, all I can say is, I know I don't have the bad experience that he had with Audyssey.
 

Dj7675

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What you are talking about is like 101 basics in the Audio world.

The accepted belief and going by personal experience, one that tends to ring true is that Marantz makes warm sounding amps, Denon neutral and Cambridge is typically bright. Of course, in a perfect world, neutral would be the way to go as anything else colors the sound, but we do not live in a perfect world and speaker manufacturers test and tune their speakers with a multitude of amps and typically aim for some middle ground.

Hence, if you have bright speakers, you do not want to pair them with a bright amp or often, even a neutral amp.

Most hi-fi speakers on the market today are quite sensitive, detailed and while impressive for HT use, will fatigue the ears during music listening sessions where one is playing treble rich, sibilant heavy and or poorly recorded music.

Why is Marantz called a musical receiver? Because it's warmer and won't rape your ears when using bright speakers. It's all about proper pairing in this case.
I suppose this is a way of thinking of things... but pairing inaccurate electronics with inaccurate speakers seems like a lot of trial and error and a waste of time and effort. It would seem to be far better to get neutral electronics, neutral speakers, and EQ if necessary. If ones speakers are so bright you need different electronics I would suggest it would be easier to just get a better designed speaker. Electronics are a “solved” problem. I wouldn’t buy a piece of electronics that don’t accurately reproduce what I want to listen to. For example the Marantz 6014 that Amir reviewed starts rolling off at 10K and is down 2.5-3db at 20k. Not for me. I appreciate that Denon does not do this.
 
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Did you enable Audyssey on both AVRs or just the crossovers ?
Tried with and without Audyssey.

I understand the philosophy of ‘I just want to hear the underlying music as it was recorded’ and not some HDAM addition. However, I’ll bet that the ‘harsh’ pieces that I hear from my AVR weren’t harsh if one heard them live in the recording studio.
 

peng

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With today's technology, we should be able to measure things we can hear. I am not sure if Amir's test data set is inclusive enough but for what he did measure, the Denon AVR-X3700H scored higher in almost all categories, than the SR6014 and probably the Arcam AVR850 too. The SR6014 did slightly better in cross talk, that's about it.

I included the Marantz and Arcam because both have been mentioned as sounding better in this thread, subjectively of course. My comparison table would get too wide so I limited it to a few measurements that I think should be good indicator on how the duts compares in objective sound quality (if there is such a thing). And, I must emphasized that there could be mistakes and/or typos in my table, so if in any doubt please refer to the ASR reviews.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/denon-avr-x3700h-avr-review.15031/
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/marantz-sr6014-avr-review.14615/
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...s/arcam-avr850-home-theater-avr-review.14039/

1596374574373.png


As for the warm sound, I thought there are two main factors that may have influence if the difference are significant enough:

- 2nd harmonic, or some believe the 3rd (iirc, as mentioned by N.Pass, that people prefer the 2nd or 3rd in roughly 50/50 ratio), but 2nd supposedly is the one that would contribute to warmth.
- Harmonic profile, i.e. contents of the harmonics, higher order ones are more offensive.
- Frequency response roll off in the high end.

So I guess we can look at the FFT for hints too right? Amir and other experts, please correct me if I am wrong on this. If we compare the FFTs of the AVR-X3700H and the SR6014, the 2nd and 3rd harmonics magnitudes are not that different between the two. In fact the Denon has more 2nd harmonics in proportion, so shouldn't it actually sound warmer?

Based on what I could see in Amir's measurements, It seems the only logical explanation for the warmer sound of the Marantz (if true, I don't think it is), would be the roll off that starts at 10 kHz -2.5 dB down at 20 kHz. But that would apply only if digital inputs are used!! Also, the earlier models such as AV8801, SR7010 and older didn't have such roll off, yet the so called "warm" sound talks were quite popular already. Or is it just something fake, but for whatever reasons, it got repeated enough times to make "true" over time?

FFTs, measured at speaker output:

1596374471987.png
 
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RichB

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A few questions and comments:

Are you replacing the fans in the X3700H or adding adding fans on the outside of the unit?

Love Noctua fans. Black or the traditional Noctua color, if the fans are available both ways with USB power.

Are you blowing air into the case or pulling air out? I ask that because, IMO, blowing air into the case (positive pressure in the case) and using a filter on the fan would seem best based PC experience. Such a setup leaves the interior of a PC pristine. As you essentially are noting, dust is a real issue that can impede effective cooling.

Any thoughts of driving AHB2's from the X3700H? At high gain that would seem to work.
I bought the traditional tan colored fans but with the new Amazon, they take a week to get here. Currently, I am pulling air out of the cabinet to reduce dust since I do not have dust covers. It seems to work better with the fan moved to the left side.

This is a vacation home and is using a last century Sunfire Cinema amplifier (200 WPC). It seems to be un-killable, even the amber light is still working. At some point, it will be replaced but in this environment the most important features are cool running and reliable. That is not that easy to find. Many newer devices, class-D or class-AB don't have 20 years under their belt. 3 AHB2s are overkill for this location.

- Rich
 
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Also, the earlier models such as AV8801, SR7010 and older didn't have such roll off, yet the so called "warm" sound talks were quite popular already. Or is it just something fake, but for whatever reasons, it got repeated enough times to make "true" over time?
I am new to this & to AV forums.. I never heard or read of any Marantz (warm) vs Denon (harsh) bias before this SR6014 vs 3700H observation. I have not said that generally, Marantz is warmer than Denon. Just that my SR6014 piece sounds less harsh than my 3700H piece.

Note: my ‘warm’ vs ‘harsh’ observation was with using the same A21 power amp in both cases. Which means this observation is at the pre-out stages.
 
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peng

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I am new to this & to AV forums.. I never heard or read of any Marantz (warm) vs Denon (harsh) bias before this SR6014 vs 3700H observation. I have not said that generally, Marantz is warmer than Denon. Just that my SR6014 piece sounds less harsh than my 3700H piece.

here
May be I should move my post#135 to that thread then.:D
 

RichB

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Audyssey claimed it works in the "time domain" and iirc it has been since day one so this is not unique to Dirac Live. I know AH has videos that showed how Audyssey messed up, or could mess up positions outside of the sweet spot. I have tried very hard to duplicate that and couldn't get such "messed up" results. I could place my mic in multiple positions, angles etc etc within a bubble of 6 to 18 inches from the mmp, up, down, side way, and still average within a few dB in the 20 to 120 Hz range so while I understood what Matthew Poes's saying but I wish I was there to see how he did his..:D Until then, and I know it would never happen, all I can say is, I know I don't have the bad experience that he had with Audyssey.
My take on the video is that he did not have an error. He used simulation and then actual measurements showed that the results do appear to be excellent when measured, presumably on axis. However, the nature of an omni-directional mic is that it cannot differentiate between direct and indirect sound as we do. Matthew Poe's used listening window response as better indication of the perceived sound. I am not sure what software was used to measure the listening window.

It may be that a vendor of room EQ pursues flat measurements because it sells the product. None have after measurements, only predictive measurements.
Looking at the wave lengths above Schroeder and the size of the multi-measurements, I find the impulse response hard to fathom.

My take away is for bass, only multiple subs are effective for room mode issues. REQ can be used to tame room modes and as broadband tone-controls, but applied to correction is may cause problems not reflected by the measurements. Bias is a huge factor, since most believe the predictive charts and want to believe there is an improvement other than bass.

Folks should pay close attention to that video because the list of problems that could not be corrected by room EQ or PEQ is larger than those that it can correct ;)

I did not find an improvement from Dirac on the XMC-1, I have just received the Dirac 3.0 kit for the RMC-1 and will test it again. The first try will be to set the curtain as close to 20 Hz as possible and compare it to Reference Stereo mode. I'd like to identify the cost, if any, as a baseline.

- Rich
 

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