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For all those wondering if Audyssey XT32 is a noticable difference from XT... (Denon 3311 vs...

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I currently own a Denon 3311ci with Audyssey MultEQ XT and I picked up a Denon X4000 with no intentions of keeping it because I just wanted to fulfil my curiosity if XT32 would be any noticeable improvement over XT in which I had my doubts because of most people on here commenting it was mainly for EQ'ing dual subs independantly and also XT was just one step down.

When I finally had a chance to set it up and run Audyssey it was way late (2am) and I was very tired, stressed, and fatigued from snow removel, the furnace breaking down and it being 3f outside, and running around most of the night trying to find a 24hr Walmart with electric heaters in stock. Even at lower volumes (remember it was 2 am) it sounded very clear and smooth and noticeably better than my 3311ci/Mult EQ XT. I demoed a little more of the movie Thor and then went to bed. Normally when you're tired and fatigued home audio sounds worse than better (at least to me) then when you're rested and fresh - this was a good sign.

Next night after finally getting the furnace repaired I got to relax a little stress free and try some music on my freshly setup x4000 with XT32 set up and ready to go. I was always a little unhappy with the musical sound quality of the 3311ci and thought my Yamaha 663 sounded a bit better for music although movie performance was way better with the Denon. It's like the Denon always sounded darker and less clear than the Yahama with the bass always sounding like it had too much energy in the midbass kinda like my experience with the B&W 803D which I'm not the only one who's complained or shared the same sentiments with that speaker sounding too bloomy in the mid bass and with Audyssey XT and dynamic EQ enabled it would give me that same bloomy mid bass effect of the 803D on my 804S/Sunfire Signature EQ (but without it just sounded too thin and lackluster).

To my amazement, and I don't even know where to begin because I'm so happy with this new unit and XT32 and the improvement in sound EVERYWHERE and not just bass that I'll just say beforehand that I won't be returning the X4000 and will be keeping it. I'm not even going to bother going for a deep discount like I did with the Yamaha 663 and Denon 3311ci. The sound quality in BOTH music and movies is so good that I'm stoked to pay full MSRP! Anyway, the X4000 even with Audyssey and Dynamic EQ enabled it doesn't have that over emphasized mid bass energy that the 3311ci had that had gave a muddier sound to it when enabled and sounds perfectly clear. The real sweetness... OMG the mids and highs!!! Never! Ever! Have I heard a system sound so clear and smooth! I've heard systems with 802D/Classe/Krell, I've been to IMAX and Cinemark XD theaters AND NOTHING I've ever heard before sounds this clear and smooth!! No matter if I was playing a movie or music the two words that kept popping up in my mind was clear and smooth. And it doesn't matter what volume... I can listen at very low volume levels now and it still sounds as good as higher volumes.

Being a headphonephile it was always hard for me to get that level of clarity and detail out of loudspeakers that a good midrange headphone could deliver with ease and much lower price but can say I have that headphone detail plus a much more "real" sound (headphones do fine detail much easier than loudspeaker systems but fall flat with making something sound real and live - like say classic piano just doesn't sound real on headphones vs speakers regardless of detail and clarity or a good solo vocal for that matter). Another complaint I previously had with my system is that the bass and treble clarity from recording to recording would vary so much. One recording might have bass so strong that I'd have to change the level of Dynamic EQ to tame it down and then the next sounded too thin where I'd have to go back in the settings and turn the Dynamic EQ back up. Recordings with X4000 sound SOOO much more consistent from recording to recording and I can now have one setting and forget it! I made sure to try two songs that I know that I had to change Dynamic EQ from one to the other on the 3311ci or one song would either be too bass boomy/mid bass bloom or too thin and lifeless and the X4000 with XT32 with Dynanic EQ doesn't show this trait at all! (some of these reasons alone made me not want to consider another Denon and contemplated going back with and trying a Yamaha)

So for those wondering if XT32 is a worthwhile upgrade over XT (or a Denon 3311 to a X4000) or if it's just the ability to EQ dual subs (I only have a single sub BTW) and then maybe not a very noticeable improvement elsewhere or not worth the price to upgrade... IT IS a worthwhile upgrade.. everywhere!! Top end, bottom end, midrange, low volume, high volume, EVERYWHERE is a noticeable improvement! TOTALLY worth it and NIGHT and DAY difference throughout the entire frequency range!

I was looking into trying an Emotiva UMC-200 with manual parametric EQ with REW but glad I didn't! I own Emotiva BTW and love their power amps in which I use a XPA-5 but I just don't feel I could ever pull off manually what Audyssey XT32 did. With my very limited REW knowledge I *might* be able to get into the ballpark of normal XT but XT32 just seems so powerful and advanced I just don't see me ever getting the end result manually or getting tired and fatigued of trial and error before I ever got into the ballpark... Plus I like all the robust features of the mainsteam AVRs like built in Pandora streaming, phone control apps, etc and the Emo just seems too basic to today's standards.

Rarely, very rarely do I ever feel like something is worth it's full MSRP price but the Denon X4000 is totally worth its asking price without discount. I've heard Imax and Cinemark XD theaters, higher end Classe/Krell on speakers such as B&W 802D, and use headphones for my reference for detail and clarity and have good reference points through different and high quality theater and music systems and NOTHING I've ever heard before sounds as smooth and clear as my system does right now after owning the X4000 with XT32 enabled..... it's that good!

The rest of my system specs not yet mentioned btw is..

B&W 804S mains / B&W HTM3S center / B&W 685 surround / Sunfire Signature EQ 12 Sub

Room is 15.7' x 13' x 7.5' (1530.75 Cubic Feet) and is carpeted with high density under padding, plenty of furniture and items for dispersion (like say a open cabinet full of trophies at one early reflection point) and six 2'x4'x 4" thick ATS acoustic panels. Speakers are setup the best they can while not interfering too much with the room (they're in a perfect equilateral triangle with the listening position for example angled in but pointed slightly behind the head). At 9 feet for the mains to MLP, I have no problem hitting THX reference levels (approx. 112db stereo, 117db all speakers driven, and THX is was, 105peaks?)

This is probably the happiest I've ever been with a piece of audio gear (other than my speakers).

20140106_140105.jpg

I never took the stickers off or opened the package for the owners manual because I planned beforehand to take it back and I wanted the next person who bought it open-box to have it in as pristine and new condition as possible, but there's no way I'm taking it back now, lol. My systems overall performance is at such a high level now I doubt I'll ever change or replace anything. I previously didn't plan on ever changing speakers, but did plan on adding another Sunfire sub and trying to find a processor that could do music a little more justice than my 3311. I doubt I'll even bother adding another sub now because I don't feel like I'm lacking anywhere now. This recording, that recording, low volume, high volume it sounds so clear, smooth, and consistent. The detail and clarity of headphones. Full rich sound, but without adding unwanted distortion (bass bloom, fatiguing highs). Smooth smooth smooth mids and highs that have plenty of treble and clarity without any fatigue what so ever.... For the first time I feel like every product in my system is on the same exact level and augmenting each other on equal quality grounds....if you know what I mean.

Short story: I purchased a Denon X4000 with Audyssey XT32 and it's the best performing piece of audio gear I've ever owned and I'm so stoked over it! biggrin.gifwink.gif
post #2 of 13
Congrats on the new and improved listening experience! smile.gif

Be sure to join us in the Denon E/X Series Owner's thread, especially reviewing posts #3-6 for more helpful information on your new AVR.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1465528/the-official-2013-denon-e-series-x-series-avr-model-owners-thread-faq/0_100#post_23134210
post #3 of 13
I went from XT in my Integra prepro to XT32 in my Onkyo TX-NR929 with an almost identical Sunfire sub and Meridians my description of the improvement would mirror yours. i think there's something unique about the Sunfires that make them respond so well to Audyssey MultiEQ XT32. In fact there is a post somewhere here on the forum that got into that. Prior to getting my 929 I was thinking it was time to repair that broken identical second sub. But the improvement was so great i'm not thinking about it now.
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emig5m View Post

I currently own a Denon 3311ci with Audyssey MultEQ XT and I picked up a Denon X4000 with no intentions of keeping it because I just wanted to fulfil my curiosity if XT32 would be any noticeable improvement over XT in which I had my doubts because of most people on here commenting it was mainly for EQ'ing dual subs independantly and also XT was just one step down.

When I finally had a chance to set it up and run Audyssey it was way late (2am) and I was very tired, stressed, and fatigued from snow removel, the furnace breaking down and it being 3f outside, and running around most of the night trying to find a 24hr Walmart with electric heaters in stock. Even at lower volumes (remember it was 2 am) it sounded very clear and smooth and noticeably better than my 3311ci/Mult EQ XT. I demoed a little more of the movie Thor and then went to bed. Normally when you're tired and fatigued home audio sounds worse than better (at least to me) then when you're rested and fresh - this was a good sign.

Next night after finally getting the furnace repaired I got to relax a little stress free and try some music on my freshly setup x4000 with XT32 set up and ready to go. I was always a little unhappy with the musical sound quality of the 3311ci and thought my Yamaha 663 sounded a bit better for music although movie performance was way better with the Denon. It's like the Denon always sounded darker and less clear than the Yahama with the bass always sounding like it had too much energy in the midbass kinda like my experience with the B&W 803D which I'm not the only one who's complained or shared the same sentiments with that speaker sounding too bloomy in the mid bass and with Audyssey XT and dynamic EQ enabled it would give me that same bloomy mid bass effect of the 803D on my 804S/Sunfire Signature EQ (but without it just sounded too thin and lackluster).

To my amazement, and I don't even know where to begin because I'm so happy with this new unit and XT32 and the improvement in sound EVERYWHERE and not just bass that I'll just say beforehand that I won't be returning the X4000 and will be keeping it. I'm not even going to bother going for a deep discount like I did with the Yamaha 663 and Denon 3311ci. The sound quality in BOTH music and movies is so good that I'm stoked to pay full MSRP! Anyway, the X4000 even with Audyssey and Dynamic EQ enabled it doesn't have that over emphasized mid bass energy that the 3311ci had that had gave a muddier sound to it when enabled and sounds perfectly clear. The real sweetness... OMG the mids and highs!!! Never! Ever! Have I heard a system sound so clear and smooth! I've heard systems with 802D/Classe/Krell, I've been to IMAX and Cinemark XD theaters AND NOTHING I've ever heard before sounds this clear and smooth!! No matter if I was playing a movie or music the two words that kept popping up in my mind was clear and smooth. And it doesn't matter what volume... I can listen at very low volume levels now and it still sounds as good as higher volumes.

Being a headphonephile it was always hard for me to get that level of clarity and detail out of loudspeakers that a good midrange headphone could deliver with ease and much lower price but can say I have that headphone detail plus a much more "real" sound (headphones do fine detail much easier than loudspeaker systems but fall flat with making something sound real and live - like say classic piano just doesn't sound real on headphones vs speakers regardless of detail and clarity or a good solo vocal for that matter). Another complaint I previously had with my system is that the bass and treble clarity from recording to recording would vary so much. One recording might have bass so strong that I'd have to change the level of Dynamic EQ to tame it down and then the next sounded too thin where I'd have to go back in the settings and turn the Dynamic EQ back up. Recordings with X4000 sound SOOO much more consistent from recording to recording and I can now have one setting and forget it! I made sure to try two songs that I know that I had to change Dynamic EQ from one to the other on the 3311ci or one song would either be too bass boomy/mid bass bloom or too thin and lifeless and the X4000 with XT32 with Dynanic EQ doesn't show this trait at all! (some of these reasons alone made me not want to consider another Denon and contemplated going back with and trying a Yamaha)

So for those wondering if XT32 is a worthwhile upgrade over XT (or a Denon 3311 to a X4000) or if it's just the ability to EQ dual subs (I only have a single sub BTW) and then maybe not a very noticeable improvement elsewhere or not worth the price to upgrade... IT IS a worthwhile upgrade.. everywhere!! Top end, bottom end, midrange, low volume, high volume, EVERYWHERE is a noticeable improvement! TOTALLY worth it and NIGHT and DAY difference throughout the entire frequency range!

I was looking into trying an Emotiva UMC-200 with manual parametric EQ with REW but glad I didn't! I own Emotiva BTW and love their power amps in which I use a XPA-5 but I just don't feel I could ever pull off manually what Audyssey XT32 did. With my very limited REW knowledge I *might* be able to get into the ballpark of normal XT but XT32 just seems so powerful and advanced I just don't see me ever getting the end result manually or getting tired and fatigued of trial and error before I ever got into the ballpark... Plus I like all the robust features of the mainsteam AVRs like built in Pandora streaming, phone control apps, etc and the Emo just seems too basic to today's standards.

Rarely, very rarely do I ever feel like something is worth it's full MSRP price but the Denon X4000 is totally worth its asking price without discount. I've heard Imax and Cinemark XD theaters, higher end Classe/Krell on speakers such as B&W 802D, and use headphones for my reference for detail and clarity and have good reference points through different and high quality theater and music systems and NOTHING I've ever heard before sounds as smooth and clear as my system does right now after owning the X4000 with XT32 enabled..... it's that good!

The rest of my system specs not yet mentioned btw is..

B&W 804S mains / B&W HTM3S center / B&W 685 surround / Sunfire Signature EQ 12 Sub

Room is 15.7' x 13' x 7.5' (1530.75 Cubic Feet) and is carpeted with high density under padding, plenty of furniture and items for dispersion (like say a open cabinet full of trophies at one early reflection point) and six 2'x4'x 4" thick ATS acoustic panels. Speakers are setup the best they can while not interfering too much with the room (they're in a perfect equilateral triangle with the listening position for example angled in but pointed slightly behind the head). At 9 feet for the mains to MLP, I have no problem hitting THX reference levels (approx. 112db stereo, 117db all speakers driven, and THX is was, 105peaks?)

This is probably the happiest I've ever been with a piece of audio gear (other than my speakers).

20140106_140105.jpg

I never took the stickers off or opened the package for the owners manual because I planned beforehand to take it back and I wanted the next person who bought it open-box to have it in as pristine and new condition as possible, but there's no way I'm taking it back now, lol. My systems overall performance is at such a high level now I doubt I'll ever change or replace anything. I previously didn't plan on ever changing speakers, but did plan on adding another Sunfire sub and trying to find a processor that could do music a little more justice than my 3311. I doubt I'll even bother adding another sub now because I don't feel like I'm lacking anywhere now. This recording, that recording, low volume, high volume it sounds so clear, smooth, and consistent. The detail and clarity of headphones. Full rich sound, but without adding unwanted distortion (bass bloom, fatiguing highs). Smooth smooth smooth mids and highs that have plenty of treble and clarity without any fatigue what so ever.... For the first time I feel like every product in my system is on the same exact level and augmenting each other on equal quality grounds....if you know what I mean.

Short story: I purchased a Denon X4000 with Audyssey XT32 and it's the best performing piece of audio gear I've ever owned and I'm so stoked over it! biggrin.gifwink.gif

I went from an Onkyo PRS 886 with XT to a Marantz AV8801 with XT32 and I will say a big +1 to what you describe.

It is worth the price of admission for those who can afford it.
I do not regret my purchase for even a nano second.

Ray
post #5 of 13
Just stop it you guys , I cant afford to replace my 3311 right now. smile.gif
Luckily I am going deaf or this would be a big problem.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socketman View Post

Just stop it you guys , I cant afford to replace my 3311 right now. smile.gif

No need to get in finance trouble but if and when you can save the money, you will know in advance it is worth it.

All the best for your future adventure smile.gif

Ray
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by darthray View Post

No need to get in finance trouble but if and when you can save the money, you will know in advance it is worth it.

All the best for your future adventure smile.gif

Ray

Yeah I know, im just kiddin around. Upgraditis gets crazy round this time of year when its cold outside , as im sure you well know. I have the 4520 on my wish list . Go big or go home I say.,
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socketman View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by darthray View Post

No need to get in finance trouble but if and when you can save the money, you will know in advance it is worth it.

All the best for your future adventure smile.gif

Ray

Yeah I know, im just kiddin around. Upgraditis gets crazy round this time of year when its cold outside , as im sure you well know. I have the 4520 on my wish list . Go big or go home I say.,

I know what you mean.
My wife as always been good with my upgrade , but this last one, she does not understand (going from a $2000 AV processor to $4000 CDN).
But when I watch a movie or listening to musis, I am all smile biggrin.gif
All I can say, just have a little patience and you will not regret it.

Ray
post #9 of 13
I had the same experience going from a Denon AVR 4310 to the X4000. What a difference in the overall tonal quality and the smoothness of the bass! Great review. JT
post #10 of 13
I upgraded from a Marantz SR6003 w/ MultEQ to a Denon AVR-X4000 w/ MultEQ XT32. I find that XT32 has done a better job EQ-ing my speakers - in particular, taming some of the brightness when playing at louder volume levels - but it's not a "night and day" thing. Still, it's good to have. smile.gif
post #11 of 13
I do not consider improving the sound merit Audyssey XT32.
You have purchased a new receiver with another power amplifier, DAC different because of this you feel the difference . I had the Onkyo TX-NR818 with Audyssey XT32, I replaced it with a Marantz SR6007 with Audyssey XT, because it sounds better with my Vieena Acoustics. Recently listened to Denon X4000, yes, he plays better Onkyo TX-NR818, but lacks natural sounding like Marantz.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman21 View Post

I do not consider improving the sound merit Audyssey XT32.
You have purchased a new receiver with another power amplifier, DAC different because of this you feel the difference . I had the Onkyo TX-NR818 with Audyssey XT32, I replaced it with a Marantz SR6007 with Audyssey XT, because it sounds better with my Vieena Acoustics. Recently listened to Denon X4000, yes, he plays better Onkyo TX-NR818, but lacks natural sounding like Marantz.

Well for one I've never even used the amps in either the 3311 or 4000 as I've used my Emotiva power amp right from the beginning with both and secondly, Audyssey is easily disabled to compare the difference with it on or off and both units sound fairly identical with Audyssey disabled. This leads me to to believe that it is XT32 making up a majority of the difference. I would agree that XT32 couldn't make up for really poor DACs, AMPs, and processing (say HTIB level gear), but I don't feel that the 3311 was exactly poor enough from the 4000 to make up the difference I'm hearing. Well, things like Dynamic EQ could have a different algorithm, and higher quality DACs and processing surely could be superior in the 4000, but like I said, the difference is easily notable by disabling/enabling Audyssey.
post #13 of 13
Wahaha, Emig5m: Your post made me decide to upgrade my 3311 to the X4000.
I initially wanted to wait for the 2014 models with HDMI 2.0 but I'm using it in my dedicated movie room and the first 4k projectors with a sub €4000 price will take another 2 years I guess.

So why not buy the x4000 now for a relatively good price and enjoy the new sound quality smile.gif
Edited by Flash3d - 3/28/14 at 1:39pm
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