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Denon AVR-X8500H AVR Review

Dj7675

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It is not going to be the same for everyone. While it may be true that most people could do worse for letting Audyssey/or Dirac to EQ above the Schroeder frequency, some may benefit from it as it mainly depends on how how the data collected by the mic/positions are reliable for use by the software. According to some experts, such as Dr. Toole, it is sort of hit and miss, so if it is more of a hit, then in theory it may work well. I think Dirac's recommendation is to try to see if it works for you, while Audyssey seems to suggest you should just do it full range.
I think that part of the issue with Audyssey at high frequencies and the “hit or miss” nature of it at higher frequencies could simply be MIC variation. Different Audyssey MIC’s seem to track very well compared against each other up to around 3-4K from one thread I read over at AVSforum.
https://www.avsforum.com/threads/comparing-3-audyssey-acm1hb-microphones.2678793/
I wish the scaling on it was better but above 4k the differences are plenty enough to matter. When I compare my measurements with a calibrated UMIK-1 to what Audyssey gets at higher frequencies, it is different enough to make a difference. From my experience, I would only use full range Audyssey correction if you can take after measurements to see what Audyssey has done at higher frequencies.
There is no excuse for the higher end AVRs and Processors from Denon/Marantz to be limited to the stock Audyssey MIC. At these price levels, it should include better, more accurate, MIC/tripod. And while we are at it... a pc app. This is something they need to address opinion.
 

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Anterantz

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I think that part of the issue with Audyssey at high frequencies and the “hit or miss” nature of it at higher frequencies could simply be MIC variation. Different Audyssey MIC’s seem to track very well compared against each other up to around 3-4K from one thread I read over at AVSforum.
https://www.avsforum.com/threads/comparing-3-audyssey-acm1hb-microphones.2678793/
I wish the scaling on it was better but above 4k the differences are plenty enough to matter. When I compare my measurements with a calibrated UMIK-1 to what Audyssey gets at higher frequencies, it is different enough to make a difference. From my experience, I would only use full range Audyssey correction if you can take after measurements to see what Audyssey has done at higher frequencies.
There is no excuse for the higher end AVRs and Processors from Denon/Marantz to be limited to the stock Audyssey MIC. At these price levels, it should include better, more accurate, MIC/tripod. And while we are at it... a pc app. This is something they need to address opinion.
It's a shame mate and I won't even tell you about the 6k avc- a110 including the same microphone and cardboard tripod, I'm delighted with the denon 8500 but they don't take care of demanding users who pay a premium for having a better sound! The next av I buy will be for dirac
 
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I think that part of the issue with Audyssey at high frequencies and the “hit or miss” nature of it at higher frequencies could simply be MIC variation. Different Audyssey MIC’s seem to track very well compared against each other up to around 3-4K from one thread I read over at AVSforum.
https://www.avsforum.com/threads/comparing-3-audyssey-acm1hb-microphones.2678793/
I wish the scaling on it was better but above 4k the differences are plenty enough to matter. When I compare my measurements with a calibrated UMIK-1 to what Audyssey gets at higher frequencies, it is different enough to make a difference. From my experience, I would only use full range Audyssey correction if you can take after measurements to see what Audyssey has done at higher frequencies.
There is no excuse for the higher end AVRs and Processors from Denon/Marantz to be limited to the stock Audyssey MIC. At these price levels, it should include better, more accurate, MIC/tripod. And while we are at it... a pc app. This is something they need to address opinion.
At what SPL levels did you capture these measurements? If I'm interpreting this correctly, you are clocking 120Db SPL at 20Hz! Wow. You must have some serious subwoofer(s).
 

Dj7675

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At what SPL levels did you capture these measurements? If I'm interpreting this correctly, you are clocking 120Db SPL at 20Hz! Wow. You must have some serious subwoofer(s).
I did not capture those. There were done by a person at the link in the post. I believe you can disregard the SPL. The purpose was to show variation of different Mics. This large variation at the higher frequencies will impact what Audyssey does at those higher frequencies. This could potentially mean a large variation in overall results of people using Audyssey with full range EQ. It doesn't seem like to big of a leap that this could be one reason why it is hit or miss using Audyssey full range without using something like REW/ratbuddyssey.
 

peng

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I think that part of the issue with Audyssey at high frequencies and the “hit or miss” nature of it at higher frequencies could simply be MIC variation. Different Audyssey MIC’s seem to track very well compared against each other up to around 3-4K from one thread I read over at AVSforum.
https://www.avsforum.com/threads/comparing-3-audyssey-acm1hb-microphones.2678793/
I wish the scaling on it was better but above 4k the differences are plenty enough to matter. When I compare my measurements with a calibrated UMIK-1 to what Audyssey gets at higher frequencies, it is different enough to make a difference. From my experience, I would only use full range Audyssey correction if you can take after measurements to see what Audyssey has done at higher frequencies.
There is no excuse for the higher end AVRs and Processors from Denon/Marantz to be limited to the stock Audyssey MIC. At these price levels, it should include better, more accurate, MIC/tripod. And while we are at it... a pc app. This is something they need to address opinion.
I think the mic issue is a negligible one, relative to what other experts such as the respected Guru, Dr. Toole who cited some "reasons" in one of his book, titled Sound reproduction: loudspeakers and rooms

To get a fuller picture, one would have to read the whole book, but for now you could jump to page 518 and note what he said about measuring the room at above 200-300 Hz.

"If the room is rectangular, and multiple subwoofers are arranged in certain manners, as discussed in Figure 22.4, then a special kind of equalization occurs: spatial equalization, wherein multiple listeners can get to hear similar bass. Then the normal spectral equalization can be added to make that bass good. This is the “icing on the cake.” A high-technology solution exists for nonrectangular rooms or other difficult situations (see Figures 13.18 and 13.19). The situation is very different at frequencies above the transition frequency of about 200–300 Hz. The loudspeaker itself takes on most of the responsibility for what we hear, but the room remains a factor in what we measure—and that is the problem described in Figure 19.1. Steady-state measurements—room curves—made at the listening position are not reliable indicators of very much except at low frequencies. In these measurements, a microphone collects sounds from all directions and at all times following the direct sound, adds them together, and presents them to an analyzer, traditionally a 1/3-octave analyzer. The notion that this simple process can reliably predict what is perceived by two ears and a brain is preposterous. Using this information as a basis for equalization at middle and high frequencies compounds the error. Some elaborate equalizers make time-windowed measurements attempting to separate the direct and subsequent reflected sounds. This is a thoughtful move in the right direction, but the measurements are blind to direction: they have no idea where the sound is coming from, but the ear-brain system does. It also sacrifices frequency resolution to see into events in the time domain, meaning that the more precisely the sounds are separated in time, the less information we have about them (similar to what is shown in Figure 13.23). If we had detailed measurements on the loudspeakers to begin with, much of this would be unnecessary. Equalization can change frequency response—that is all. As can be seen in much data shown in Chapter 18, loudspeakers can have many problems that are not revealed in room curves, and they can have directivity problems that can show up in room curves but that equalization cannot address (Figure 18.10). The only cure for a loudspeaker with directivity issues is to take it back to the engineers and tell them to redesign it. The complex sound fi eld in rooms can add other aberrations that the human perceptual system takes in stride, meaning that if one starts with truly excellent loudspeakers, equalization based on in-room measurements has a chance to degrade them. As stated earlier, we need to have detailed and accurate information on loudspeakers. Then and only then can we assess what the loudspeaker is doing and what the room is doing to it. Room curves bundle all of the information together. At middle and high frequencies, we learn more from an analysis of the loudspeaker than we can learn from room curves, even though both are helpful. It is time that comprehensive anechoic data on loudspeakers was widely available. Ask for it....................."

So while the issue is more complicated, it does seem to me from the above, that one of the issues was about the measurements above the transition frequency being not reliable, as he explained elsewhere in this book and his other articles/books. The book was from 2009, may be that's why it is now downloadable. I am not sure if he has updated this part in the latest version, now that we have updated REQ systems such as the popular and more affordable Dirac Live, and XT32 widely available, and I would think that with their much improved resolution, they must be doing better than Dr. Toole's cited 1/3- octave analyzer.

Here's another article he wrote, see page 4 where he also touched on the related issues.

Maximizing Loudspeaker Performance in Rooms (cieri.net)
 
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I did not capture those. There were done by a person at the link in the post. I believe you can disregard the SPL. The purpose was to show variation of different Mics. This large variation at the higher frequencies will impact what Audyssey does at those higher frequencies. This could potentially mean a large variation in overall results of people using Audyssey with full range EQ. It doesn't seem like to big of a leap that this could be one reason why it is hit or miss using Audyssey full range without using something like REW/ratbuddyssey.
Thanks, I just glanced over the post and didn't read it carefully enough.
 

Dj7675

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I think the mic issue is a negligible one, relative to what other experts such as the respected Guru, Dr. Toole who cited some "reasons" in one of his book, titled Sound reproduction: loudspeakers and rooms

To get a fuller picture, one would have to read the whole book, but for now you could jump to page 518 and note what he said about measuring the room at above 200-300 Hz.

"If the room is rectangular, and multiple subwoofers are arranged in certain manners, as discussed in Figure 22.4, then a special kind of equalization occurs: spatial equalization, wherein multiple listeners can get to hear similar bass. Then the normal spectral equalization can be added to make that bass good. This is the “icing on the cake.” A high-technology solution exists for nonrectangular rooms or other difficult situations (see Figures 13.18 and 13.19). The situation is very different at frequencies above the transition frequency of about 200–300 Hz. The loudspeaker itself takes on most of the responsibility for what we hear, but the room remains a factor in what we measure—and that is the problem described in Figure 19.1. Steady-state measurements—room curves—made at the listening position are not reliable indicators of very much except at low frequencies. In these measurements, a microphone collects sounds from all directions and at all times following the direct sound, adds them together, and presents them to an analyzer, traditionally a 1/3-octave analyzer. The notion that this simple process can reliably predict what is perceived by two ears and a brain is preposterous. Using this information as a basis for equalization at middle and high frequencies compounds the error. Some elaborate equalizers make time-windowed measurements attempting to separate the direct and subsequent reflected sounds. This is a thoughtful move in the right direction, but the measurements are blind to direction: they have no idea where the sound is coming from, but the ear-brain system does. It also sacrifices frequency resolution to see into events in the time domain, meaning that the more precisely the sounds are separated in time, the less information we have about them (similar to what is shown in Figure 13.23). If we had detailed measurements on the loudspeakers to begin with, much of this would be unnecessary. Equalization can change frequency response—that is all. As can be seen in much data shown in Chapter 18, loudspeakers can have many problems that are not revealed in room curves, and they can have directivity problems that can show up in room curves but that equalization cannot address (Figure 18.10). The only cure for a loudspeaker with directivity issues is to take it back to the engineers and tell them to redesign it. The complex sound fi eld in rooms can add other aberrations that the human perceptual system takes in stride, meaning that if one starts with truly excellent loudspeakers, equalization based on in-room measurements has a chance to degrade them. As stated earlier, we need to have detailed and accurate information on loudspeakers. Then and only then can we assess what the loudspeaker is doing and what the room is doing to it. Room curves bundle all of the information together. At middle and high frequencies, we learn more from an analysis of the loudspeaker than we can learn from room curves, even though both are helpful. It is time that comprehensive anechoic data on loudspeakers was widely available. Ask for it....................."

So while the issue is more complicated, it does seem to me from the above, that one of the issues was about the measurements above the transition frequency being not reliable, as he explained elsewhere in this book and his other articles/books. The book was from 2009, may be that's why it is now downloadable. I am not sure if he has updated this part in the latest version, now that we have updated REQ systems such as the popular and more affordable Dirac Live, and XT32 widely available, and I would think that with their much improved resolution, they must be doing better than Dr. Toole's cited 1/3- octave analyzer.

Here's another article he wrote, see page 4 where he also touched on the related issues.

Maximizing Loudspeaker Performance in Rooms (cieri.net)
Very good quote and a good reminder that EQ above the transition might not work very well for many. Only a couple of things to add and/or questions about the value of eq above transition
1-If you have speakers with good off axis measurements, then the reflected sound would be more like the direct sound. Wouldn't this mean that measurements taken at the listening position would be more accurate and/or useful?
2-It seems a process of using EQ to correct a speaker based on anechoic data would certainly be the safest to not make things worse with eq. For example, your Audyssey post at audioholics where @Jon AA describes a process of doing this with Audyssey/REW/ratbudyssey
https://forums.audioholics.com/foru...ith-facts-and-tips.118005/page-5#post-1399128
 

Anterantz

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Very good quote and a good reminder that EQ above the transition might not work very well for many. Only a couple of things to add and/or questions about the value of eq above transition
1-If you have speakers with good off axis measurements, then the reflected sound would be more like the direct sound. Wouldn't this mean that measurements taken at the listening position would be more accurate and/or useful?
2-It seems a process of using EQ to correct a speaker based on anechoic data would certainly be the safest to not make things worse with eq. For example, your Audyssey post at audioholics where @Jon AA describes a process of doing this with Audyssey/REW/ratbudyssey
https://forums.audioholics.com/foru...ith-facts-and-tips.118005/page-5#post-1399128
So much work would audyseey have to create a PC software that would do all the dirty work and load it to a usb or to the editor app and load it as before? Why didn't they leave the audyssey pro kit so that the most demanding user could use it at a reasonable price? A denon 8500 / sr8015 are magnificently built but its eq is not up to the top models and surely if it could include arc or dirac in the Japanese it would not open so many differences in sound in favor of av with dirac
 

Dj7675

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So much work would audyseey have to create a PC software that would do all the dirty work and load it to a usb or to the editor app and load it as before? Why didn't they leave the audyssey pro kit so that the most demanding user could use it at a reasonable price? A denon 8500 / sr8015 are magnificently built but its eq is not up to the top models and surely if it could include arc or dirac in the Japanese it would not open so many differences in sound in favor of av with dirac
I'm even fine with them keeping Audyssey as long as they keep developing it, adding pc software etc, making it easier to get good results.
 

HomerJay

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If you are asking about the SINAD measured at the 8500's power amp (that is speaker binding posts) output, according to Amir's measurements it should be in the mid 80s. If you use to pre out with one of those hypex amp such as the Purifi amp, then I think you can expect SINAD higher than 90 dB but I am guessing. We still are waiting for Amir to measure a Denon AVR paired with one of those hypex amps that has high SINAD.
I presume the 8500 amp SINAD was measured in stereo only. Since this AVR would be used in a multichannel system, probably with at least 9 amplifiers (5.1.4) in use, it would be interesting to see if there’s much change.
 

Anterantz

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I'm even fine with them keeping Audyssey as long as they keep developing it, adding pc software etc, making it easier to get good results.
They think that as audyssey xt32 is easy to use, they do not improve anything and are stuck in the average user and do not think that whoever spends 3 / 4k wants to have a plus and handling of the sound something more special than their younger brothers, someone has doubts about that D / M does not have development and engineering to match dirac or arc?
 

Grandzoltar

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How is Arc superior? I've seen impulse responses and fr graphs compared of both audyssey Arc and Dirac. Just because Arc genesis comes with a pretty mic it doesn't make it superior. Dirac was the most refined of the 3 then followed by Audyssey.
 

Anterantz

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How is Arc superior? I've seen impulse responses and fr graphs compared of both audyssey Arc and Dirac. Just because Arc genesis comes with a pretty mic it doesn't make it superior. Dirac was the most refined of the 3 then followed by Audyssey.
It is better because it is more configurable and it has a pc software that makes everything easier ... with audyssey we do not know when we adjust something in the editor curve which result will give as not to use rew afterwards ...
 

peng

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It is better because it is more configurable and it has a pc software that makes everything easier ... with audyssey we do not know when we adjust something in the editor curve which result will give as not to use rew afterwards ...
In my opinion, Audyssey App on a tablet is better than AARC on a PC, or even laptop because the tablet, or smart phone is more portable, easier and quicker to use. Either way you won't know the results without using REW or similar software.
 

peng

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I presume the 8500 amp SINAD was measured in stereo only. Since this AVR would be used in a multichannel system, probably with at least 9 amplifiers (5.1.4) in use, it would be interesting to see if there’s much change.
True, but Denon uses the same parts and circuitry for all channels so there is little chance that the results would vary by much, may be a dB or 2 I guess could be possible..
 

peng

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Very good quote and a good reminder that EQ above the transition might not work very well for many. Only a couple of things to add and/or questions about the value of eq above transition
1-If you have speakers with good off axis measurements, then the reflected sound would be more like the direct sound. Wouldn't this mean that measurements taken at the listening position would be more accurate and/or useful?
2-It seems a process of using EQ to correct a speaker based on anechoic data would certainly be the safest to not make things worse with eq. For example, your Audyssey post at audioholics where @Jon AA describes a process of doing this with Audyssey/REW/ratbudyssey
https://forums.audioholics.com/foru...ith-facts-and-tips.118005/page-5#post-1399128
Yes, I follow your logic, and I believe it could work for those with speakers that measure well, but then in such cases any improvements either way would likely be incremental too right, following the same logic?:D
 

Anterantz

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In my opinion, Audyssey App on a tablet is better than AARC on a PC, or even laptop because the tablet, or smart phone is more portable, easier and quicker to use. Either way you won't know the results without using REW or similar software.
That it makes it more comfortable or manageable does not make it better and I refer to the tests that whoever tries dirac or arc does not return to audyssey.
 

Dj7675

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That it makes it more comfortable or manageable does not make it better and I refer to the tests that whoever tries dirac or arc does not return to audyssey.
In my theater, I returned to Audyssey. Not because it is necessarily better than Dirac, but because Denon/Marantz platform/hardware is more reliable/works. Dirac in home theater processors/receivers either seem to be not reliable and full of bugs (even years after their release, expensive, and often lacking in basic features. Things appear to start to be getting better in regards to reliable/bugs (Monoprice HTP1). I don't have patience to pay a premium to be a beta tester when things should work upon release. So some do go back to Audyssey... but for other reasons than Audyssey :)
 

peng

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That it makes it more comfortable or manageable does not make it better and I refer to the tests that whoever tries dirac or arc does not return to audyssey.
That is correct, but you were implying doing it on a PC is better in the sense that it is easier and that's the part I offer my counter point. It is possible that your original point got lost in translation.:D As to "better" in terms of equalization/correction, I have not seen evidence of one better than the other based on facts and figures, just the user's experience. Clearly many who tested both would choose Dirac, but that, to a large extent is a subjective thing. The T758 V3 and one of the poorly measured Arcam, or Anthem's were preferred, even loved by many users too, who wouldn't return to the likes of Denon, Marantz or Yamaha gear either. You can argue with anyone's subjective points right.., everyone has their own opinions, for me I trust my own more, wonder why..:D
 

Anterantz

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That is correct, but you were implying doing it on a PC is better in the sense that it is easier and that's the part I offer my counter point. It is possible that your original point got lost in translation.:D As to "better" in terms of equalization/correction, I have not seen evidence of one better than the other based on facts and figures, just the user's experience. Clearly many who tested both would choose Dirac, but that, to a large extent is a subjective thing. The T758 V3 and one of the poorly measured Arcam, or Anthem's were preferred, even loved by many users too, who wouldn't return to the likes of Denon, Marantz or Yamaha gear either. You can argue with anyone's subjective points right.., everyone has their own opinions, for me I trust my own more, wonder why..:D
Something has arcam or nad brands that everyone talks about their musicality and clarity thanks to dirac by the way peng when I listen to stereo I notice how the left side sounds more present than the right and they are all matched with a sonometer do you know where the error can be?
 
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