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Mixer-style speaker level adjustments on AVR?

citysoundman

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I have a very old Denon AVR for my 5.1 setup. In thinking about an AVR upgrade, I would love to be able to have a unit that offers full (& easy) control of speaker levels while playing back. Kind of like having an audio mixing board to tweak the levels.

My Denon has Audyssey, and once I calibrate the speakers it seems that the calibrated MultEQ setting doesn't 'stick' once I make any speaker level adjustment. Not sure why....but this is a problem. Is this a universal limitation for any speaker calibration system like the newer Audyssey or DIRAC? Is there any workaround? I would love to be able to tweak levels and mute individual channels, if possible, yet retain the speaker calibration.
 
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citysoundman

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Thanks for the reply. It's AVR-1911 from 2010. So I guess old in terms of home theater. Sounds pretty decent but only has 1080p video. And primitive text-only settings for all menus. I'd like to get an AVR that has 4K/8K, native DSD, better room EQ correction and a much better interface.

But after you mentioned that your changes don't disable Audyssey I looked again, and I see that when I change speaker levels the display does change - there's a box around the words MultEQ that goes away, and then it returns when levels are back to default. So it's not totally clear what's happening and the manual isn't too helpful (see below).

Screen Shot 2022-01-13 at 11.44.04 PM.png
 

Sancus

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That's from before I used Denons(first one was an X4000 in 2014) and the manual does seem inscrutable. I do note that above that section it says that if settings changes disable Audyssey there will be some kinda "Run Audyssey" message. But honestly, I have no idea what that MULTEQ illumination difference is supposed to mean. Perhaps someone else knows.

It would be possible to confirm if anything has changed by a quick measurement with REW and a UMIK-1. I realize that's not helpful advice if you don't have that. :)
 
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citysoundman

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If I can discover what that box means that would be cool.

So how's your experience adjusting speaker/channels when you play back? Is that something you do - or do most people basically leave speaker levels alone once they're happy with correction EQ? For me I'd like to be able to bring up Center channel for dialog when watching movies, and when listening to 5.1 surround music I'd like to be able to adjust rear speakers and sub levels. Just want to get an idea if it's an easy thing to make tweaks like this. Right now I have to step through each channel while trying to view the gain and make changes on the tiny display on the Dennon - levels don't show up on my TV display for this.
 

raindance

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On my Marantz unit I often tweak center channel level and subwoofer level without disabling Audyssey. The previous model I had had a direct access key on the remote to get directly to speaker levels; the new one has to go through the Audio menu to do so, so they've made it less convenient.
 

Doctors11

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On my Marantz unit I often tweak center channel level and subwoofer level without disabling Audyssey. The previous model I had had a direct access key on the remote to get directly to speaker levels; the new one has to go through the Audio menu to do so, so they've made it less convenient.
My Marantz (NR-1403) is the same. The only thing I don't like about it is that I can't raise/lower the surround channels like I can the center and sub. When playing multi channel music I would love to be able to adjust the surrounds while playing. So now I just cross my fingers that I'll like the mix as it is on the disc. When I replace the receiver I'll definitely pay attention to which models have this feature.
 

Trell

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My Denon 2015 year AVR-X4200W has many remote commands available when using something like a Harmony remote, and this was the case for earlier models as well. I’ve added center up/down as well as surround up/down to my remote, and Audyssey is still enabled.

I’m not sure of this is available for all of Denon models.
 

raindance

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My Marantz (NR-1403) is the same. The only thing I don't like about it is that I can't raise/lower the surround channels like I can the center and sub. When playing multi channel music I would love to be able to adjust the surrounds while playing. So now I just cross my fingers that I'll like the mix as it is on the disc. When I replace the receiver I'll definitely pay attention to which models have this feature.
You can adjust all channels using the built in pink noise generator, manual settings, but it's a pain.
 

Doctors11

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You can adjust all channels using the built in pink noise generator, manual settings, but it's a pain.
Thanks, yeah, I contacted Marantz a couple of years ago and that's the answer they gave me. They said all the new models you can adjust the surrounds on the fly but you have to do it through Heos. I have no idea how that would work. Why not just add the function to the Audio menu like the center and sub adjustments?
 

raindance

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Thanks, yeah, I contacted Marantz a couple of years ago and that's the answer they gave me. They said all the new models you can adjust the surrounds on the fly but you have to do it through Heos. I have no idea how that would work. Why not just add the function to the Audio menu like the center and sub adjustments?
Heos is a horrible way to adjust volume, the steps are huge. However I will see if this is an option on mine and report back.
 

raindance

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Thanks, yeah, I contacted Marantz a couple of years ago and that's the answer they gave me. They said all the new models you can adjust the surrounds on the fly but you have to do it through Heos. I have no idea how that would work. Why not just add the function to the Audio menu like the center and sub adjustments?
I have the NR1509, BTW. HEOS has no controls for channel level that I can see. Just the awful master volume that does massive steps that are not even consistently spaced. HEOS has such promise, but alas, they never finished it.
 

Doctors11

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I have the NR1509, BTW. HEOS has no controls for channel level that I can see. Just the awful master volume that does massive steps that are not even consistently spaced. HEOS has such promise, but alas, they never finished it.
Why do you think they don't just add it to the Audio menu? Seems like that would be the obvious place to put it.
 

raindance

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Why do you think they don't just add it to the Audio menu? Seems like that would be the obvious place to put it.
No clue. The old 1401 that I have in the attic has a direct access "levels" button on the remote. I wish they'd kept it. And no luck with using the old remote on the new receiver, that button doesn't work!
 

Doctors11

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No clue. The old 1401 that I have in the attic has a direct access "levels" button on the remote. I wish they'd kept it. And no luck with using the old remote on the new receiver, that button doesn't work!
I wonder if there are any current av receivers that allow for easy adjustments of the surround channels on the fly.
 

Trell

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I wonder if there are any current av receivers that allow for easy adjustments of the surround channels on the fly.

Denon AVR-X4700H has IR codes for this, but you need a programmable remote to use them, say a Logitech Harmony.
 
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citysoundman

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I guess I'm not the only one with this gripe! And it seems like level adjustment can be a PITA depending on the system.
Denon AVR-X4700H has IR codes for this, but you need a programmable remote to use them, say a Logitech Harmony.
That's interesting about IR codes, thanks for the info it's very good to know about. But your Denon remote doesn't have any programmable buttons? :oops: Seems like that should have been built in. In any case this looks like a decent solution. I wonder if other manufacturers use IR codes.

Any Onkyo users have feedback on level adjustments? I'm looking at the TX-NR7100 and you can set items to come up onscreen with the Quick Menu button on the remote. Options are:
Front: Adjust the speaker level of the front speakers while listening to the sound.
Center: Adjust the speaker level of the center speaker while listening to the sound.
Subwoofer: Adjust the speaker level of the subwoofer while listening to the sound.

So they left out the options for surrounds on this Quick Menu. But you can get to a different page which shows all the speakers in use.
 

Doctors11

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I guess I'm not the only one with this gripe! And it seems like level adjustment can be a PITA depending on the system.

That's interesting about IR codes, thanks for the info it's very good to know about. But your Denon remote doesn't have any programmable buttons? :oops: Seems like that should have been built in. In any case this looks like a decent solution. I wonder if other manufacturers use IR codes.

Any Onkyo users have feedback on level adjustments? I'm looking at the TX-NR7100 and you can set items to come up onscreen with the Quick Menu button on the remote. Options are:
Front: Adjust the speaker level of the front speakers while listening to the sound.
Center: Adjust the speaker level of the center speaker while listening to the sound.
Subwoofer: Adjust the speaker level of the subwoofer while listening to the sound.

So they left out the options for surrounds on this Quick Menu. But you can get to a different page which shows all the speakers in use.
Sounds like a conspiracy... Seriously, what's up with these companies that they can't add this simple adjustment to the audio menu?
 

Trell

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That's interesting about IR codes, thanks for the info it's very good to know about. But your Denon remote doesn't have any programmable buttons? :oops:

I’ve been using a Logitech Harmony remote for 15 years or so, so I don’t miss that functionality on the Denon remote.
 

ad_fletch

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The more I try to figure out which modern AVR to buy, the more I find I’ll be missing out on basic things I’ve come to rely on, such as the ability to tweak the levels of my centre/surrounds/subs on the fly. Such a chore to trawl through manuals and examine remotes to figure this stuff out….
 
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