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In Search of... 11.2 Channel AVR or Processor

Dj7675

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#1
I sent in my NAD T758 V3 to be measured and let’s just say it didn’t fair too well. While it packs a lot of features such as Dirac and 7 channels of amplification in a relatively lowish price point, both the DAC and amp measurements fall far short of what it should be providing. Having decided to not put it back in our home theater, I now have a need to purchase something else.
I have decided to stick with Atmos in a 5.2.4 setup. I built the speakers from DIY SOUND GROUP. Front 3 are 893 which have waveguides/compression drivers with 93db sensitivity. Ceiling and surrounds are coaxials and are also fairly sensitive @ 93db as well. I prefer Dirac but would be willing to look at Audissey XT32 again if I could use the app to create a custom curve etc.
I am hoping this thread will provide some buying options for those looking to buy an AVR or Processor / Amp.
My particular criteria: I would like a combined SINAD of at least 90 (DAC/Amps), and a budget of $3500. I am OK buying used.
Is this even possible @ $3500?
I would love to hear some ideas.
 

MaxTemp

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#2
Im looking for a new AVR as well after seeing the results and having the T758 V3 as my first choice. There was hope for the Anthem MRX 520 but that failed too.
The Marantz AV8805 didnt do too well and thats their best processor. Unless Denon is much different, I doubt any AVR with Audyssey XT32 is going to sound better in the lower price range.
Im hoping the Arcam AVR390 will do better and it also has Dirac.
In my case I will use Rotel RMB 1585 amplifier for 5 channels and use the internal amps for 2 heights channels for Atmos duties for a 5.1.2 configuration.
How can we get Amir to test the Arcam?
 
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#4
It’s slightly above your budget at $3999, but the new Monolith by Monoprice HTP-1 16 Channel Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Auro3D Home Theater Processor w/Dirac & Alexa Compatibility may fit the bill.
 

speedy

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#5
I think its worth considering that Amir had the volume set to 0dB when the T758v3 registered 53dB SINAD, but that it registered 89dB SINAD with the volume control set to -6dB. That 89dB SINAD is only 1dB shy of what you're looking for... I used to own the T758v3 and never would have been able to tolerate cranking it up past -10dB.

How do your ears think the T758v3 sounds?
If good, then maybe you should stick with it, enjoy it, and consider it a win that you found something you like.
If bad, then I'd wait for Amir's upcoming review of the T777v3 or get a Denon AVR-X3600H (I've listened to all three and personally/subjectively think the T758v3 & T777v3 sound the same and better than the Denon AVR-X3600H).

Back when I owned the T758v3 I never once thought that it sounded anything but excellent... even knowing that it scores horribly at 0dB (largely because my ears couldn't possibly bare listening to it that loud).

It’s slightly above your budget at $3999, but the new Monolith by Monoprice HTP-1 16 Channel Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Auro3D Home Theater Processor w/Dirac & Alexa Compatibility may fit the bill.
The HTP-1 would also need an amp which would push the total cost to nearly $6k if a Monolith 9-channel amp were also purchased.
With that said, I'm hopeful that the Monolith group at Monoprice is going to hit another homerun with this like they did in Amir's recent headphone amp review... at least they have their priorities right. Then, I'm hoping they take that further and make down-market products like AVRs that everyone can easily afford with nearly the same quality.

Im hoping the Arcam AVR390 will do better and it also has Dirac.
How can we get Amir to test the Arcam?
Buy one and send it to him ;)
 
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Dj7675

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#6
Remember, Amir had the volume set to 0dB when the T758v3 registered 53dB SINAD, but it registered 89dB SINAD with the volume control set to -6dB. That 89dB SINAD is only 1dB shy of what you're looking for... I used to own the T758v3 and never would have been able to tolerate cranking it up past -10dB.

Do your ears think the T758v3 doesn't sound good?
If so, then maybe you should stick with it, enjoy it, and consider it a win that you found something you like.
If not, then I'd wait for Amir's upcoming review of the T777v3 or get a Denon AVR-X3600H (I've listened to all three and personally/subjectively think the T758v3 & T777v3 sound the same and better than the Denon AVR-X3600H).

Back when I owned the T758v3 I never once thought that it sounded anything but excellent... even knowing that it scores horribly at 0dB (largely because my ears couldn't possibly bare listening to it that loud).


The HTP-1 would also need an amp which would push the total cost to nearly $6k if a Monolith 9-channel amp were also purchased.


Buy one and send it to Amir ;)
Thank you for chiming in. It is an interesting idea. I don’t recall ever having to approach zero on the volume. If I remember correctly, my max volume was around -5 or -6, but generally around -10 for movie playback. Within those conditions the limiting factor is to poor measuring amps. It would seem if you replaced at least the front 3 channels with external amps with something better, it could provide a necessary level of performance. Definitely full of compromises but seems like it might be able to be good enough under the right circumstances. Definitely a consideration.
I just would need to decide if I want the NAD product in my home considering their lack of listing specs, and unwillingness to comment Amir’s measurements or provide their own measurements.
 

Dj7675

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#7
Still working through this decision and still undecided.... a few thoughts so far...
-It doesn't appear that the top of the line current pre/pro's are a very good value. The Marantz 8805 and the NAD didn't really seem to seperate themselves much in terms of performance. The advantage in getting separates seems to be the possibility of getting much better amps compared to AVRs.
-I had thought about the Denon X3600 or similar receiver and then using the preouts for an external amp and just using the internal amps for ATMOS. While I can't find any measurements of the X3600, audioholics has pretty good things to say about the preamps in the Denon's. Audissey XT32 with the app to create custom curves etc I think would be fine although I would miss dirac. I believe @amirm has a Denon x3500 to review. It would be interesting to see how it comes out.
-I had looked at Arcam receivers, which have Dirac. There has been quite a bit of discussion about their mixture of crossovers and placing Dirac filters prior to bass management . This seems to be opposite of what others do and doesn't really make sense to me. Plus there does seem to be several outstanding bugs on their units which have been out quite a long time.
-XMC2-Doesn't yet appear to be rock solid and Dirac isn't out yet. I would consider this for sure once it becomes more solid and Dirac is out.
-What I am leaning towards right now is picking up a Marantz AV7703/4 pre/pro (AV7705 is the current version). The AV7703 can be usually had for around $8-900 and is new enough to work with the Audissey app.

Open to thoughts or suggestions?
 

Crane

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#10
I recall audioholics had some measurements for the 3000 series denon that showed it was pretty decent AVR. The new 3600 which should be similar has a whole great set of features including eArc, ALLM, etc and 11.2 preout if I'm not mistaken. It is currently on sale for 900$ so if the 3500 measures good the 3600 should be the close and would be your best bet at a great price.
 

audimus

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#11
Yes, I have a Denon AVR-X3500H in for review.
Oh, good. That will be a great data point for a mid-range AVR that was at a sweet spot for value and money in Denon range. It is also in the dividing line of low-end price leaders in the range (you don’t get the better Audyssey XT in lower units, only the base Audyssey) and the ones above (>4000 series) make audiophile design claims for significantly more money. This is targeted at the middle of the bell curve in consumer demand in my opinion.

This was also considered best in class by What-HiFi (just wanted to throw it in there with tongue-in-cheek).

Having said that, I returned it after extended use despite getting it at a bargain $400 from a local promotion. It ran very hot with 4ohm Magnepans and I was afraid to crank it up without a dedicated air blower. But I also started to get fatigued after just 30-45 min of music listening even at less than loud volumes over a month of listening and playing around with Audyssey, Dynamic EQ, changing reference curves, etc., which was a deal breaker. I also felt music was a bit too compressed to the center and so interested in knowing the channel separation metrics in multi tone mode. Cranking up the volume also seemed to make the sound grainy to my years. Just putting out my subjective evaluation there before looking at the measurements.

I would be curious to know if anything in the measurement shows up that might correlate with it.

Without Audyssey, it sounded blah but that may be more of an issue with my room/speaker setup. It has a pure direct mode that switches off all DSP processing as well as video processing and a direct mode with Audyssey but not any post-processing for surround. So, it can be tested in a clean mode.

There were also several firmware updates for this, so one should check to make sure it is updated with the latest.

For HT use, it was just fine although the amount of heat always worried me with inefficient 4ohm speakers. And so without being confident of playing at high volumes in my set up, the impact was not very high in movies with extensive sound effects. I have heard multi-channel amps that are more impactful at lower volumes so I am guessing this unit is constrained by current output with all channels driven.

If this measures well and you like how it sounds but have inefficient speakers, I would recommend pairing it with a AC Infinity Aircom as cheap insurance.
 
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#12
Yes, I have a Denon AVR-X3500H in for review.
Great news! Will be very intresting to see how it compares to it`s main competitor Yamaha RX-A1080. X3300W measured great for the low price, better than Yamaha A860 (4ohm load behavior and preamp out voltage). With MultEQ XT32 and preouts it`s one of the most popular model in many country going around 500£ / 600-700€. Personally i see this kind of receiver good option as features change every year and buying some flagship receiver won`t hold value long time. Rather swap more often midrange receiver if needed and keep poweramp long time. I assume one can outperform the flaghship models by adding 5x200w poweramp to Denon.

https://www.audioholics.com/av-receiver-reviews/denon-avr-x3300w-1/measurements
 

Dj7675

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#13
Well, after too much deliberation, I have decided to go with a receiver instead of separates. Current model NAD M17, Marantz 8805/7705 models just don't seem to justify their cost/performance to me. I almost decide to go with an AV7703 which can be had for around $800, but the cost of acquiring amps for 11 channels and providing rack space and cabling I decided against it. The comments I received in my other post about power requirements were also quite helpful to me as well in determining for my situation, I don't need tons of power with sensitive speakers and all of them crossed over at 80hz.
I decided to go with something that had a basis for something with relatively good measurements and stability. I just don't have the patience for something flaky. While there are lots of Brands out there I went with Denon... My decision basically came down to the x3600, x4400 (used), x4500 or one of the x6300/x6400/x6500 models. I decided not to go with Emotiva XMC2 because users are still reporting some issues, Dirac still hasn't been released, and they haven't published their own measurements or provided a unit for any outside bench tests.
I ended up opting for the X8500 @ $2700 delivered (full warranty).
The reasons I opted for the X8500
-Pretty clean power A bit of a reach here... I used the previous flagship X7200 as a guestimate of the X8500 performance.
-Should be enough power (x7200 measured 7 channels is @124W)
-If not the preamp mode disconnects from the amps and should a cleaner path to adding external amps
-Should provide very similar performance to the AV8805
-Experiment with 13.2 channels. I can experiment with top heights, center height (Auro 3D)
-Audiysey, while I prefer Dirac, with the new app, you can customize the curve and also limit the correction. Plus the sub will eq 2 independent subs
-HDMI upgradeable to 2.1
If I didn't want to experiment with the additional speaker layouts with more channels, I would have with with an X3600 with some external amplification.
While I'm not sending this in to Amir to measure right now, I will the next time we go on vacation. There have been almost no bench tests on this unit. I also couldn't locate any reviews on any of the 6200/6300/6400/6500 models which I thought was odd as well.
Attached are some bench tests I located that seemed related to my search in case anyone finds them useful.

NAD T758
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...iew-and-measurements-of-nad-t758-v3-avr.8912/
https://www.soundandvision.com/content/nad-t758-v3-av-receiver-review-test-bench
Denon X3300
https://www.audioholics.com/av-receiver-reviews/denon-avr-x3300w-1/measurements
Denon X3400
https://www.soundandvision.com/content/denon-avr-x3400h-av-receiver-review-test-bench
Denon X4200
https://www.soundandvision.com/content/denon-avr-x4200w-av-receiver-review-test-bench
Denon X7200 (predecessor to X8500)
https://www.soundandvision.com/content/denon-avr-x7200w-av-receiver-test-bench
Marantz sr8012
https://www.audioholics.com/av-receiver-reviews/marantz-sr8012-receiver/marantz-sr8012-bench-tests
Marantz AV8805
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...urements-of-marantz-av8805-av-processor.6926/
Marantz SR7011
https://www.soundandvision.com/content/marantz-sr7011-av-receiver-review-test-bench
Marantz AV7701
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...tz-avr-7701-dac-measurements.3485/#post-84165
 

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#14

MX48

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#15
Please excuse me for not having the knowledge and schooling to be able to understand all the measurements that most of you do lol.
Rather than start another thread I thought it would be better to add it here since this is similar to what I am looking for.

I have the x5200w receiver (2014 model) and after demoing Dirac I am planning to add it to my home theater. As I said I have a little understanding of the measurements, but from what I can gather the x5200w is sufficient.

Was thinking about the Nad T758 or the Arcam AVR390 but of course both have problems that I don't want.

My most economical way is to add a MiniDSP DDRC-88a to my system. I realize I will not be able to use Dirac on the height channels but I can live with this. I currently use MiniDSP 2x4's for eq of subs and speakers so I already have amplification for all channels except one set of height speakers. I may add another small amp to power that set of height speakers at which point I could disconnect the amps from the power supply internally if that has any advantage sonically.

This is going in a dedicated acoustically treated theater with a JVC projector. I live alone so there are no aesthetic compromises.

Is this my best and most economical solution or am I missing something.
As always any help is appreciated.

I included this review with measurements:
https://www.soundandvision.com/content/denon-avr-x5200w-av-receiver-test-bench
 

BDWoody

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#16
Please excuse me for not having the knowledge and schooling to be able to understand all the measurements that most of you do lol.
Rather than start another thread I thought it would be better to add it here since this is similar to what I am looking for.

I have the x5200w receiver (2014 model) and after demoing Dirac I am planning to add it to my home theater. As I said I have a little understanding of the measurements, but from what I can gather the x5200w is sufficient.

Was thinking about the Nad T758 or the Arcam AVR390 but of course both have problems that I don't want.

My most economical way is to add a MiniDSP DDRC-88a to my system. I realize I will not be able to use Dirac on the height channels but I can live with this. I currently use MiniDSP 2x4's for eq of subs and speakers so I already have amplification for all channels except one set of height speakers. I may add another small amp to power that set of height speakers at which point I could disconnect the amps from the power supply internally if that has any advantage sonically.

This is going in a dedicated acoustically treated theater with a JVC projector. I live alone so there are no aesthetic compromises.

Is this my best and most economical solution or am I missing something.
As always any help is appreciated.

I included this review with measurements:
https://www.soundandvision.com/content/denon-avr-x5200w-av-receiver-test-bench
I am in a similar place. I have one ddrc-88d that I am in the process of implementing, and may 'simply' add a second for additional channels (atmos). I use powered speakers with aes in to a built in DAC, so I use the digital version to keep from unnecessary conversions...although I could use separate DAC's going to amps.
Using a Udio8 for USB to 8x aes into DDRC-88d into JBL Speakers.
Duplicate for additional channels. I'm hoping this works for me...
 
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