Originally Posted by SeattleHTGuy
Well, Bummmer I guess...
A couple questions. If your sub was set so radically different, I am assuming the other speakers were set about thew same or you would have commented? This setting alone probably might account for the difference you heard. a 6db delta would be noticeable. Also, lower volume is one of the few real things we can tell (at least with this much difference) and therefore that lack of volume would be perceived as inferior sound. Just a thought.
I do think the amplifier design is somewhat different from Marantz. Marketing lingo makes little differences in to big ones. Personally, I think that I can hear differences in amps but not as to a definition of "cleaner". Every modern amp I have ever heard has been very clean. What type of processing did you use onn both units? Maybe something was set different between the two. My external amps seem "faster" and more "effortless". Never squelched and capable of getting very loud, very fast. Just as subjective as your comments and probably more in my head than anything.
What you are stating does not fit my perceived sense of tighter treble and more content for things like shattered glass and other high tones. Did you re-run EQ? Perhaps it was a bad read. Who knows?
It could also be the Marantz was/is just better in your room. Then, if so, I'd keep the Marantz; especially if you don't need/want 11.2. Frankly, I would probably seriously consider the Marantz if not for the features of the 4311. In fact, if you look at my HTPC in the rack I previously posted, my HTPC looks suspiciously like a Marantz unit. Eerily like, I might add.
Let us know how the system sounds with the Bass re EQd or perhaps even manually lifted in volume.
Ok, so I redid the calibration on both receivers. Back to back, same spots (roughly, I did not mark them). Results (distance, correction):
FL: 3.27 m, -2.5 dB
C: 3.06 m, -1.5 dB
FR: 3.30 m, -3.5 dB
SL: 1.86 m, -1.5 dB
SR: 2.01 m, -1.5 dB
SBL: 2.31 m, -3 dB
SBR: 2.40 m, -2.5 dB
FHL: 3.60 m, +1 dB
FHR: 3.66 m, -0.5 dB
SW: 2.22 m, +1 dB
Crossovers (F/C/S/Back/Height): 40/80/60/40/40 Hz
FL: 3.30 m, -3.5 dB
C: 3.06 m, -2 dB
FR: 3.33 m, -3.5 dB
SL: 1.89 m, -2 dB
SR: 2.01 m, -2 dB
SBL: 2.31 m, -4 dB
SBR: 2.40 m, -3.5 dB
FHL: 3.63 m, 0 dB
FHR: 3.66 m, -1 dB
SW: 2.25 m, -5 dB
Crossovers (F/C/S/Back/Height): Full/60/60/40/40 Hz
Note, amazingly close distance measurements.
So... the difference in the subwoofer level is there. I dialed back the sub a tiny bit to bring it closer to the 75 dB XT32 calls for during calibration, hence got -5 dB now vs -7 dB before, still 6 dB difference vs. Marantz.
Anyway.... after more listening involving more kinds of music I am starting to... prefer the Denon! I also got my wife involved and she had clear preference for the Denon's sound, particularly for classical and vocal pieces - practically right off the bat (and she could not care less, nor knew which one I set up).
Marantz appears more dynamic but now I think it is somewhat misleading. It has more edge, and gives impression of more detailed sounds, but perhaps in reality it's just harsher - brighter? Also the bass is indeed more pronounced, even with Audyssey disabled (very small difference but we both agreed it was there). With Audyssey + DynEq it actually puts out too much bass. I liked it for some rock/pop pieces, but after listening to some classic, jazz I think it just way exaggerates it. For example after listening to a piece with some string bass Marantz was clearly overdoing the bass, and the string bass instrument did not sound like one, it was just one deep boomy mess, while it sounded just right with Denon.
I also per the Audyssey guy's suggestion (from the official Audyssey thread) set front speakers to small, despite them being detected as large. This is indeed better choice, the bass sounds cleaner.
So here it is. I totally like results, since having the fronts on all the time without having to choose between them and backs is great. Ratatouille's opening sequence with rain is flat out awesome.