Denon X4000/Marantz SR7008 (with external amps) shutting down - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 11-22-2013, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Is anyone out there using either the Denon X4000 or the Marantz SR7008 with external amps only? I am finding that the three units I have now had all shut down improperly, specifically when I hit the volume button. The Denons would also freeze randomly or have display issues.

I had hoped that the better build quality of the Marantz would resolve this issue but it just happened for the first time to the new Marantz. I doubt I will be willing to keep it given that it clearly shares the same issues with the Denon units with which it shares the majority of its design.

It is very frustrating as I have had an Integra Pre/Pro for about 5 years and it never shut down once. Unfortunately it recently died, but otherwise was fine.

I need MultEQ XT32 and Sub EQ HT so there are not many options out there; I have use for the built-in amps for my rear channels and prefer to keep the price down which precludes another pre/pro. I am truly frustrated right now. mad.gif

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post #2 of 23 Old 11-22-2013, 05:30 PM
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Hmmm .... 3 AVRs all shut down ... sounds like the external amps are the issue not the AVRs.

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post #3 of 23 Old 11-23-2013, 06:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Except that they were just fine with the Integra PrePro. This is a major problem. Why would an Integra PrePro be fine when these new units - all of which have frozen or been flakey in ways it is hard to accept have anything to do with anything they are connected to? All three D&M products have had lockups, display issues, and in general behave unreliably.

And to boot, the amp is connected to ProSound crossovers, not amps. The crossovers sit between the receiver and the amps.


I plan to call Marantz and really dig in as I want to keep this unit. I sure hope I can get to an engineer, but I am skeptical. I most likely will have to settle for a good tech.

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post #4 of 23 Old 11-23-2013, 06:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

Hmmm .... 3 AVRs all shut down ... sounds like the external amps are the issue not the AVRs.

I'm scratching my head too. 99% of all AVR shutdowns are due to internal problems or situations related to the speakers. Three bad AVRs in quick succession stretches the laws of probability, even though Denon and Marantz all have the same source.

My sub $600 Denon AVR is flawless, maybe I didn't pay enough for it! ;-)

It almost seems like maybe there is a remote coding problem - where the volume down code is picking up a power off code through some intermediate device. Perchance a third party remote control is in the picture?

Of course we know that Integra is Onkyo by a different name.

Bad power?
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post #5 of 23 Old 11-23-2013, 07:06 AM - Thread Starter
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I do know Integra is Onkyo by a different name, so that much is clear. I sure wish everything else was. eek.gif

I am going to investigate the possibility of a ground loop of some sort. I also note that for whatever reason I have a slightly high voltage that ranges between 123 and 126 volts. This really should not be a problem, but I do know that increased voltage increases heat output of chips, and if for some reason the design is marginal - i.e. near the upper tolerance of the chips - then perhaps the slightly elevated voltage might be an issue. I tend to doubt it, and any good design should easily tolerate a voltage up to 130V anyway.

I am caught between a rock and a hard place. For one thing these two AVRs seem to be the only ones on the market with the feature set I want/need yet both of them seem a bit flakey. I also have a limited time during which to find a resolution or I cannot return the unit. Finally, I have grown to appreciate the aesthetics of the Marantz as none of the others have as high-end an appearance which I do value.

So I sure do hope to figure out what is going on. If it were only the shutdown issue I would be more confident, but given that the unit freezes or leaves the volume display on screen necessitating a restart I am not terribly hopeful at this moment.

A call to Marantz on Monday is in order. I hope they can help me eliminate this issue! confused.gif

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post #6 of 23 Old 11-23-2013, 07:10 AM
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I have the x4000 with 100% external amps. No issues at all

Panasonic 65VT30 | Denon x4000 | Emotiva XPA-5 | Emotiva XSP-1 | Emotiva DC-1 | PSB imagine B's |PSB image c5 | PSB B4's | DUAL PSA XS30 | OPPO 103 | minidsp

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/15-general-home-theater-media-game-rooms/1596161-sadiemax-theater-build-thread.html
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post #7 of 23 Old 11-23-2013, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info! It is good to know. Have you updated it recently? I am wondering if there is any possibility the update might be involved...

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post #8 of 23 Old 11-23-2013, 07:42 AM
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Updated the firmware this past monday

Panasonic 65VT30 | Denon x4000 | Emotiva XPA-5 | Emotiva XSP-1 | Emotiva DC-1 | PSB imagine B's |PSB image c5 | PSB B4's | DUAL PSA XS30 | OPPO 103 | minidsp

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/15-general-home-theater-media-game-rooms/1596161-sadiemax-theater-build-thread.html
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post #9 of 23 Old 11-23-2013, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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OK, thanks. No issues since, eh? I doubt that is it, but it is good to know for sure.

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post #10 of 23 Old 11-23-2013, 08:42 AM
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I also run the X4000 with external amps and no probs there. Only had it a bit more than a month though.

You know, what eventually killed your Integra may be showing up sooner with the new (and "cheaper", let's face it) AVRs. Why do you think the Integra died, if you have any idea? 5 years is really not that long for a "premium" piece of gear.

It does sound like you might have a power issue. FWIW my voltage here rarely goes below 122V, and I've been running lots (all, I think) of my source gear at 130V (don't ask!) for at least a dozen years and no probs, also my preamps and pre-pros if "appropriate" when I had them. But for the most part that is very high quality stuff, unlike my AVRs. I have found lots of AVRs to be fussy about some aspects of power, and certain brands especially so about teensy tiny (IMO) powerline glitches. Note that in the first few posts of the X4000 thread I think it's JDSmoothie who mentions some potential power issues.

I would check your power and grounds. Verify the polarity of your outlets for all your gear. I know you are time-constricted but often local utilities will set up a powerline monitor in your house for free if you're having problems. Do your neighbors have any similar problems? Could be a local distribution transformer gone flakey, it happens (I retired from working in power systems field). Do you live out in the country?
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post #11 of 23 Old 11-23-2013, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
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My Integra died because they have known issues with the HDMI board. It became rather flakey and exhibited behavior well understood to be a defect in the DTC 9.8 series.

I have checked my power and grounds, and they are all good. This is part of why I am so puzzled. I have even run these units from UPS units that have Automatic Voltage Regulation to no avail.

I may have a problem - in fact it is quite reasonable to think I have a problem given the facts - but at present there is no 'smoking gun' of any kind. Even my voltage issues, as odd as they may be, do not explain anything as the voltage is well within reason for consumer gear.

I looked for a potential ground loop and found no discernible voltage between the components.

If an AVR is fussy about power it means one thing and one thing only - a poor power supply design. I am in the business - we design, manufacture and sell very high end systems for installation in Business Jets - and our power supply designs will withstand far nastier conditions than you will ever see in a home. We occasionally have discussions about this very issue, and if a consumer product has issues with power then it is due to poor design and cost cutting.


I just placed a 120mm fan on top of the unit to see if it is a heat related issue. It is exhausting up, adding to the convection current that naturally cools the unit. If it makes a difference then I have more data to work with.

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post #12 of 23 Old 11-23-2013, 09:35 AM
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Does your AVR share a power circuit with a large-power-consumption appliance, especially one with motors or high-power elements switching on and off "randomly"? I know you seem to have the power thing under control, at least you're doing all the right stuff, but it could be some device you didn't think of. Don't know where you live and if a furnace is involved, but they are coming on around now and their motors can put out a lot of electrical noise, especially when they get older.

I agree with your assessment of some of the cost-cutting parts of power supply design. But it's been going on for years, and some brands have been susceptible to instantaneous power glitches (not brownouts or high voltage I'm talking about) almost forever, it's almost a hallmark of their design. I was told here that the X4000 is actually made by Sherwood. Is the PS their design? Is it any good? IDK, haven't been familiar with Sherwood for...decades.

Anyway, let us know what you find out. Though HDMI boards do tend to run very warm, since you aren't using the amp section I doubt cooling is the prob.
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post #13 of 23 Old 11-23-2013, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xgecko View Post


I am going to investigate the possibility of a ground loop of some sort.

Unlikely cause of shutdowns. Likely cause of hum in your power amps.
Quote:
I also note that for whatever reason I have a slightly high voltage that ranges between 123 and 126 volts. This really should not be a problem, but I do know that increased voltage increases heat output of chips, and if for some reason the design is marginal - i.e. near the upper tolerance of the chips - then perhaps the slightly elevated voltage might be an issue. I tend to doubt it, and any good design should easily tolerate a voltage up to 130V anyway.

Unlikely cause of the problems you observe. What are room and cabinet temperatures like?
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post #14 of 23 Old 11-23-2013, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
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I have dedicated power circuits for my HT system. There are no large motors switching on or off, I am familiar with the spikes such motors can cause. I strongly doubt this is the cause. The UPS would eliminate it anyway yet the x4000 units were much worse on the UPS which is interesting. It is party of why I have focused on the power supply even though I cannot find any issues from a wiring or otherwise perspective. I put the Marantz on a UPS today to see what happens.

I mentioned the ground loop just in case I am seeing a potential difference between systems that might cause a current flow. A really far out chance, but I need to rule out everything I can think of.

One thing to keep in mind. The hard shutdown occurs only when I hit the volume button on the remote. This strongly suggests an issue in the control circuit. It may be correlated with simultaneous switching of HDMI modes; I plan to investigate this further later today. The freezups tend to be random and often associated with working in the Audyssey menus - not actively measuring, but I have had freezes occur during the initial sequence of steps.

Then there is the issue where the OSD volume display remains after I am finished with the volume...

Room temps are a bit warm due to my wood stove; but not excessively high from a design standpoint at around 80 degrees peak. I have nothing on top of the AVR so it is not a direct heat issue.

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post #15 of 23 Old 11-24-2013, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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I just had a discussion with the Senior Electrical Engineer in my company and we agreed that the symptoms all point to a microprocessor/control circuit issue that strongly suggests a manufacturing issue since they are all associated with the control system. The best explanation for my experience spanning three units from two different brands comes down to the certainty that they were all produced in the same Sherwood factory in China, and most likely there is a bad component common to all three units from the lot built during a recent time frame. This may suggest more people will see problems with recently manufactured units. This may or may not be valid, but until proven wrong it is the direction I am going to take.

The supporting evidence includes the fact that the hard shutdown is triggered by a press of the volume buttons on the remote, the freezing that can occur at certain points - most commonly while accessing Audyssey functionality and the corruption of display data in the form of an OSD volume bar remaining after the operation is complete or the corruption of button graphics along with the fact that the audio signals and such are all just fine.

We tend to discount power supply issues on the basis that we assume the power regulation circuits in such expensive equipment are robust and of good design. This precludes power issues because irrespective of the voltage coming into the unit, anything past the power supply will see a stable consistent voltage assuming the design of the power supply is even remotely good and we both agree it is highly unlikely that D&M would fail in this regard - defective components notwithstanding.

There is a small possibility the issue is heat related - adding the fans on top would suggest this if I can show that they prevent the problem and it returns if I remove the fans. This has not been established as of the present time but is something I will be checking moving forward; if these problems do not reappear anytime this week then I will remove the fans and see if it returns. If so then we likely have a heat issue which I will be able to further prove by reducing the convection capacity.

I do plan to have a lengthy discussion with Marantz on Monday. At this point my sense is that I may be the canary in the coal mine since all the evidence currently seems to suggest a batch of bad parts - it could boil down to a bad cap or chip.

I hope we can find a solution. I really like this unit and there is nothing else on the market right now that I would be willing to switch to.

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post #16 of 23 Old 11-24-2013, 09:43 AM
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^ I suppose you've done "complete" resets on the affected AVRs? Though it seems unlikely that all three units would "need" resets, I've never reset my X4000 nor any other Denon (3808, 4310) in the last 5-6 years.

You do understand that basic troubleshooting of multiple problems in a "system" always starts with looking at the common items. In this case that includes everything in/about your HT system except the AVRs. That is why we said what we said. This is far more likely, probably by a couple orders of magnitude, than that you happened to get the same defective HDMI (say, i.e. the "brain") boards that were almost certainly made totally separately in time and space from your AVRs. Never mind the vagaries of shipping and stocking on the way to your hands.

A little easier to see the same hardware defect for the two X4000s presumably from the same dealer. My dealer trusts my opinion of stuff, so when I said I thought the X4000 was a good deal for what it did, he decided to stock them and ordered some extras besides mine. They all came from the same place at the same time and I saw their S/Ns were nowhere near each other, nor were the build dates the same. (I wanted to choose the newest date code, that's why I looked.) Just saying, so check your build date codes, I forget how now but it's easy and in the relevant threads here. Still doesn't account for the HDMI boards being made totally separately though.

That said, it could happen, and I hope I never have such bad luck, for that's what it would be. And you're "on the ground", it's almost impossible to troubleshoot anything probably hardware-related, except user/connection problems and other simple stuff, over the web. Maybe once you find the date codes you can ask around here, see if others had probs with the same codes.
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post #17 of 23 Old 11-24-2013, 02:04 PM
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4 months running my SR7008 with external amps and not a single problem or freeze.

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post #18 of 23 Old 11-24-2013, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks! This helps me confirm that there is not a design issue; whatever is happening is most likely due to a defect of some kind unless we can identify some configuration issue - although that would suggest these units are picky about what they are hooked up to and that makes no sense whatsoever.

The more time passes the more data I collect. So far the unit has not shut off again, but I am not actively sitting there doing things; it is playing background music at the moment.

I will pass on what we find when I speak with Marantz tomorrow. In the meantime, I welcome any comments or feedback, esp. in the form of comments like Enricoclaudio made that confirm the units are of sound design... pun intended! eek.gif

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post #19 of 23 Old 11-24-2013, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Unsurprisingly the fans made no difference whatsoever. I just picked up the remote, hit the Volume Down button, and the unit rebooted. I have this strange feeling that I have always been turning it down when this happened, and I wondered if perhaps I am hitting other buttons simultaneously, but I tried mashing several buttons at once after it rebooted and nothing happened.

I sure hope Marantz can figure this out. I want to keep the unit, but I cannot accept this kind of unreliability.

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post #20 of 23 Old 11-25-2013, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
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I spoke with Bradley at Marantz Tech Support and while inspecting the connections I realized I had plugged in the Serial Dongle used to perform the Audyssey Pro setup. It turns out that this port is also used for Home Automation thus there is a very real possibility it could cause this kind of an issue given that the other end of the USB cable is indeed connected to my HTPC which I have been using for the Audyssey Pro setup.

The theory is that this connection has the potential to cause the problems I am seeing insofar as shutdown and any Audyssey setup related freezes. Naturally I disconnected it and now must wait to see if it shuts down again. I am hopeful in that this solution has substantial plausibility.

I will let you all know what happens, but either way I can report that Denon, Marantz and Crutchfield have all be extremely good to work with and have provided all the support they can. I am absolutely satisfied and quite pleased, in fact, with their level of support. I heartily recommend all of these brands from a support perspective.

Wish me luck! eek.gif

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post #21 of 23 Old 11-30-2013, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
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smile.gif

Well, I have what appears to be good news so far! I removed the Audyssey USB serial adapter and had one freeze after that. I then performed the Hard Reset to Factory Defaults, redid the Audyssey Measurement - and happened to get the best results to date on the basis of perfectly equal right/left channel levels - and have not had an issue since. It has been three days now without an incident! cool.gif

I will report back in a week for further confirmation, but in the meantime thanks to all that answered my posts and especially thanks to Denon, Marantz and Crutchfield Tech Support!

biggrin.gif

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post #22 of 23 Old 11-30-2013, 10:08 AM
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Couple questions if you don't mind.......which of the two revivers do you prefer? Is there an audible difference between the two? Have you tried running the respective receivers without the external amps; if so a huge change in performance? Thx
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post #23 of 23 Old 11-30-2013, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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I prefer the looks of the Marantz to the Denon. I find no audible differences.

I cannot run it without the external amps as my speakers are a 4-way active crossover design using 4 amps per speaker. I can say that in both cases the upgrade to the MultEQ XT32 makes a huge difference in the quality of bass response in my room. My Integra was always a bit muddy and indistinct whereas these units all dialed it in much better due to the ability to handle two subs.

If you are willing to pony up the extra $700 and/or you need the extra 2 amps then I suggest the Marantz, esp. if you find the look more high-end which I do.

You will be happy with either one of them, though, as long as you have 6-8 ohm speakers.

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