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post #31 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
I had mixed results with it too. The best one I know of is the fully variable loudness compensation knob found on some Yamaha stereo units which you set precisely, by ear, to taste. Unfortunately the circuit is not made available on any 5.1 or higher designs.

On more than one occasion I've demonstrated how to use it optimally as part of my sales pitch, back when I used to sell this stuff, and the first words out of the prospective customers' mouths was: "I'll take it."
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post #32 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ahender View Post
I have a Denon X3500. If I select Pure Audio, will the addition of a 2-channel amplifier connected to the pre outs, like a Crown XLS 1502, improve the sound quality while played at lower volume.

Thanks...Alan

What you're looking for is a loudness button. Too bad that went the way of the dodo when certain "audiophiles" decided that it ruined the music too much.
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post #33 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by _tk View Post
What you're looking for is a loudness button. Too bad that went the way of the dodo when certain "audiophiles" decided that it ruined the music too much.
My first stereo was purchased in 1970. I vaguely remember the loudness button. Harman Kardon, about 25 watts per channel with Advent speakers.
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post #34 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ahender View Post
My first stereo was purchased in 1970. I vaguely remember the loudness button. Harman Kardon, about 25 watts per channel with Advent speakers.
My Dad's HK receiver purchased ~1963 labeled the (what is now referred to as) loudness switch as "Contour".



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post #35 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 04:29 PM
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Sometimes it seems that we've forgotten what it's like to have fun listening to music/how people actually listen and concentrated more on trying to replicate that "pure" experience.

Fletcher Munson curve is a real thing and loudness controls are a perfect way to compensate for this.
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post #36 of 45 Old 02-06-2020, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by _tk View Post
Sometimes it seems that we've forgotten what it's like to have fun listening to music/how people actually listen and concentrated more on trying to replicate that "pure" experience.

Fletcher Munson curve is a real thing and loudness controls are a perfect way to compensate for this.
Well said. I think there's a lot folks that placebo themselves into thinking something sounds better, just because it's more "pure". I'm for sure guilty of this from time to time.
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post #37 of 45 Old 02-08-2020, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahender View Post
I have a Denon X3500. If I select Pure Audio, will the addition of a 2-channel amplifier connected to the pre outs, like a Crown XLS 1502, improve the sound quality while played at lower volume.

Thanks...Alan
I think using an external power amp of good quality will improve the sound compare to the denon. BUT I don't know enough of the Crown whether it's a better amp or not.

My experience is the better the quality of the amp, the more it will sound good at lower volume. When you crank it up, a lot of so so amps will sound decent, only the good amps sound better at low volume. There is scientific reason for this, it's the crossover distortion that comes into play. The amount of crossover distortion is the same regardless of volume as soon as the amp goes out of the class A region. For long end amps, in order to cut cost, the class A region of a class AB amp is very small, like it only has class A in the first 1/2W or even less. So when you listen even at low volume, you will have crossover distortion.

For a higher quality amp that has bigger external heatsink, the class A region is much bigger, eg, it might have the first 5W or more in class A, at normal listening level, the class AB amp literally run in class A and has no crossover distortion. Even if part of the signal is high enough that it goes out of class A mode, but at that time, the signal level is high enough that the crossover distortion is relative small already.

Remember the crossover distortion is the same regardless of the volume, meaning when a cheaper amp goes out of class A at lower volume, the crossover distortion is high relative to the volume and you can hear the sound degrade.


I usually don't go to class D amps.

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post #38 of 45 Old 02-13-2020, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by alan0354 View Post
I think using an external power amp of good quality will improve the sound compare to the denon. BUT I don't know enough of the Crown whether it's a better amp or not.

My experience is the better the quality of the amp, the more it will sound good at lower volume. When you crank it up, a lot of so so amps will sound decent, only the good amps sound better at low volume. There is scientific reason for this, it's the crossover distortion that comes into play. The amount of crossover distortion is the same regardless of volume as soon as the amp goes out of the class A region. For long end amps, in order to cut cost, the class A region of a class AB amp is very small, like it only has class A in the first 1/2W or even less. So when you listen even at low volume, you will have crossover distortion.

For a higher quality amp that has bigger external heatsink, the class A region is much bigger, eg, it might have the first 5W or more in class A, at normal listening level, the class AB amp literally run in class A and has no crossover distortion. Even if part of the signal is high enough that it goes out of class A mode, but at that time, the signal level is high enough that the crossover distortion is relative small already.

Remember the crossover distortion is the same regardless of the volume, meaning when a cheaper amp goes out of class A at lower volume, the crossover distortion is high relative to the volume and you can hear the sound degrade.


I usually don't go to class D amps.



Low volume listening has got to do with speakers, their positioning within the room relative to the listening position, and NOT amplifier class. Crossover distortion is caught by distortion measurements which are well below the threshold of being audible. That's just another one of those stupid audiophile myths. My speakers sound good driven at any volume level by my class AB AVRs.
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post #39 of 45 Old 02-14-2020, 02:33 AM
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
No.

Now let's jump to the chase. The reason you are dissatisfied with the sound quality at lower playback levels is because of Fletcher Munson equal loudness curves. In a nutshell that means: "Humans perceptually hear lower volume level playback as if it seems bass shy, even though a measurement mic would show that's not true at all and the bass has actually been reduced the same amount as the treble"

Many people use circuits specifically to address this quirk of human hearing. Here are some names for such circuits which boost the bass to compensate for our hearing quirk:

- loudness compensation
- loudness
- loudness contours
- Audyssey DynEQ or Dynamic EQ Your Denon has this option.
- YPAO volume
- XBS bass

They vary greatly in their effectiveness and the better ones are adjustable by ear.

Most units in Pure Direct mode will not allow these circuits to function: they are turned off in this mode.

This^^^ I listen to a lot of low level music. I use Dolby volume on my anthem, the equivalent to audyssey dynamic eq. Works good. It's basically a 21st century loudness button that adjusts itself depending upon listening level.
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post #40 of 45 Old 02-14-2020, 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ahender View Post
Thank you. I have tried Dynamic EQ and not crazy about it. I do like using Dynamic Volume for HT. With conventional TV, I always have issues understanding dialog at a reasonable level. If I turn it up to an appropriate level, everything else is too loud. Dynamic Volume definitely helps in this area.
A few things you should check. It doesn't make sense that you have too much bass at low levels. Fletcher Munson curves say you should perceive less bass at lower levels. Dynamic EQ will be adding bass to lower levels.

1) Your audyssey calibration. The fact that you have too much bass when you should have too little at lower levels speaks to a bad calibration. How much adjustment did audyssey apply to your sub? If a lot you should probably adjust the level on our sub and recalibrate. If audyssey has to do a lot of compensation it may not be right. Get the sub level closer and recalibrate. (I think the rule is if it applies more than 6 db of correction either way you should adjust sub level and recalibrate) You may need to experiment with sub placement. Consult you denon manual or 'ask audyssey'. (Or JDsmoothie or batpig in any denon thread in the receiver section. Batpig has a very thorough online guide to denon receivers).

2) Check the reference level off set setting. Dynamic eq works by adjusting the frequency as a function of the difference in volume from the reference level. It is referenced to a film mix level. The off set provides different reference level off sets for Dynamic eq to reference off of to apply fletcher munson correction. Here is what the settings should be.

0 dB (Film Reference) (Default): Optimized for content such as movies.
5 dB : Select this setting for content that has a very wide dynamic range, such as classical music.
10 dB : Select this setting for jazz or other music that has a wider dynamic range. This setting should also be selected for TV content as that is usually mixed at 10 dB below film reference.
15 dB : Select this setting for pop/rock music or other program material that is mixed at very high listening levels and has a compressed dynamic range.

When I had a Denon, I usually just left it at 5 db for everything. That seemed to be a good compromise between everything I used it for and the type of music I listened to the most.

3) If you like dynamic volume for HT applications (I do too, for speech intelligibility), make sure it's off when listening to music. Nothing will destroy dynamic range of music more. I'll be the first to admit that I've forgot this a couple of times and then realized that something was not right.

4) Denon has a lot of sound modes, make sure none of those are on. Just stereo is what you want.

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post #41 of 45 Old 02-14-2020, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by glangford View Post
A few things you should check. It doesn't make sense that you have too much bass at low levels. Fletcher Munson curves say you should perceive less bass at lower levels. Dynamic EQ will be adding bass to lower levels.

1) Your audyssey calibration. The fact that you have too much bass when you should have too little at lower levels speaks to a bad calibration. How much adjustment did audyssey apply to your sub? If a lot you should probably adjust the level on our sub and recalibrate. If audyssey has to do a lot of compensation it may not be right. Get the sub level closer and recalibrate. (I think the rule is if it applies more than 6 db of correction either way you should adjust sub level and recalibrate) You may need to experiment with sub placement. Consult you denon manual or 'ask audyssey'. (Or JDsmoothie or batpig in any denon thread in the receiver section. Batpig has a very thorough online guide to denon receivers).

2) Check the reference level off set setting. Dynamic eq works by adjusting the frequency as a function of the difference in volume from the reference level. It is referenced to a film mix level. The off set provides different reference level off sets for Dynamic eq to reference off of to apply fletcher munson correction. Here is what the settings should be.

0 dB (Film Reference) (Default): Optimized for content such as movies.
5 dB : Select this setting for content that has a very wide dynamic range, such as classical music.
10 dB : Select this setting for jazz or other music that has a wider dynamic range. This setting should also be selected for TV content as that is usually mixed at 10 dB below film reference.
15 dB : Select this setting for pop/rock music or other program material that is mixed at very high listening levels and has a compressed dynamic range.

When I had a Denon, I usually just left it at 5 db for everything. That seemed to be a good compromise between everything I used it for and the type of music I listened to the most.

3) If you like dynamic volume for HT applications (I do too, for speech intelligibility), make sure it's off when listening to music. Nothing will destroy dynamic range of music more. I'll be the first to admit that I've forgot this a couple of times and then realized that something was not right.

4) Denon has a lot of sound modes, make sure none of those are on. Just stereo is what you want.
Thanks for the suggestions. After I ran Audyssey, the sub level was set at -5.5 dB. Is that close enough to -6.0 dB to run again? If yes, my current sub volume setting is at 12:00. Should I re-set to 9:00?

I typically listen to music in Pure Audio or Stereo. Pretty sure neither of these apply Audyssey settings.

I will experiment with your Dynamic EQ setting of 5dB.

Edited:

Lowered the volume on the sub and re-ran Audyssey. The sub level came in at -2.5dB. The other settings are:

MultEQ - On
Reference Level Offset - 0dB
Dynamic Volume - Medium
Ausyssey LFC - Off

With DTS Neural:X selected, I really like the sound, even for music. I know this is probably sacrilege in this forum. Sounds great in stereo also. The bass issue is no longer noticeable. I'll continue to play around with the Reference Level Offset.

Alan

Last edited by ahender; 02-14-2020 at 01:25 PM.
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post #42 of 45 Old 02-14-2020, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by 3db View Post
Low volume listening has got to do with speakers, their positioning within the room relative to the listening position, and NOT amplifier class. Crossover distortion is caught by distortion measurements which are well below the threshold of being audible. That's just another one of those stupid audiophile myths. My speakers sound good driven at any volume level by my class AB AVRs.


Yeah, here we have an old myth that used to be an issue, but hasn’t been in 30-40 years. We could get rid of half these myths if everyone just understood that most of what they are concerned with in 1970-80s isn’t a concern anymore.

The usual issue is with budget AVRs and their limited power supply, and being light on heat management. But that’s at higher volumes mostly.


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post #43 of 45 Old 02-14-2020, 11:48 AM
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I want to add one more caveat. The Fletcher Munson curves that Mr Zillch mentioned do come into play with audibiity of different frequencies at different volume levels. If high priced audio candy amplifiers can resolve low volume problems, then the only conclusion I can reach is that there is a compensating circuit built into the amp that makes its sound better at low volumes. This implies then that the high priced audio candy amplifiers aren't linear in their response and "color" the sound. So much for transparency.

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post #44 of 45 Old 02-15-2020, 02:01 AM
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Originally Posted by ahender View Post
Thanks for the suggestions. After I ran Audyssey, the sub level was set at -5.5 dB. Is that close enough to -6.0 dB to run again? If yes, my current sub volume setting is at 12:00. Should I re-set to 9:00?

I typically listen to music in Pure Audio or Stereo. Pretty sure neither of these apply Audyssey settings.

I will experiment with your Dynamic EQ setting of 5dB.

Edited:

Lowered the volume on the sub and re-ran Audyssey. The sub level came in at -2.5dB. The other settings are:

MultEQ - On
Reference Level Offset - 0dB
Dynamic Volume - Medium
Ausyssey LFC - Off

With DTS Neural:X selected, I really like the sound, even for music. I know this is probably sacrilege in this forum. Sounds great in stereo also. The bass issue is no longer noticeable. I'll continue to play around with the Reference Level Offset.

Alan
Glad it worked out. Yea, you were just too far off in your original calibration for it to be accurately calibrated. It was adding too much bass. You got closer by adjusting the volume and got a better result for calibration. Dynamic volume should be off for music. DV is a compression scheme that harms dynamic range. Good for dialog in movies etc, but not so much for music.

https://audyssey.zendesk.com/hc/en-u...Volume-or-Not-

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post #45 of 45 Old 02-15-2020, 06:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by glangford View Post
Glad it worked out. Yea, you were just too far off in your original calibration for it to be accurately calibrated. It was adding too much bass. You got closer by adjusting the volume and got a better result for calibration. Dynamic volume should be off for music. DV is a compression scheme that harms dynamic range. Good for dialog in movies etc, but not so much for music.

https://audyssey.zendesk.com/hc/en-u...Volume-or-Not-
Thank you.
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