Originally Posted by Dave2014
I re-ran the Audyssey setup this morning. I set my sub at 1/2 volume and ON not standby. Audyssey detected my sub this time (was likely in standby the 1st time). It set my fronts as large and center as small at 90Hz. The levels: sub +12dB, center -10dB.
a setting of +12 means that Audyssey has maxed-out the subwoofer's trim and it's still too quiet. You need to turn up the sub's gain before running Audyssey. Trim values closer to 0 are better.
Again it sounded very very flat. This time Audyssey was ON - MultEQ XT - Reference. I changed it to Flat - sounded better but still very flat overall. Turned it OFF and the sound came alive. It sounded so much BETTER with that thing OFF. Huge difference!
Without the sub it'll certainly be deficient. I don't know if that's the only problem, though.
Please take the time to follow the instructions in the Audyssey 101
guide. It's been developed over a very long time to help produce the best sound when Audyssey is used.
This time it had lists of sound modes available whenever I hit the Movie, Music and Game buttons. I played around with them. I tried Pure mode. My only problem with that is you cannot get out of it. You have to turn the unit off to get out of Pure mode it no longer responds to the remote once it enters that mode.
The front panel buttons should still work. If not, that's a bug in the firmware (or, less likely, hardware). Report it to Marantz. Only the display and the analog video circuits are supposed to be disabled.
So this time I noticed the EQ wasn't doing anything. I could turn it ON but it made no difference in the sound. I made really really strange settings on it just to make sure it was making zero difference. I realize the EQ will not work when Audyssey is on so I checked that and Audyssey was again greyed out and saying I have to run Audyssey setup to have this available. I figured out what's causing this: everytime I power the unit off - standby actually - you have to rerun Audyssey. So anyway - this Audyssey junk does nothing but make the unit sound like total cheap crap anyway no way i'm running setup everytime I use it for something that sounds awful anyway.
It actually sounded good when the Audyssey thing was off and the EQ was ON. It stayed that way for a few songs and then the EQ went off and refused to come back on. So for a few songs it sounded a lot like my old unit but without the warm rich bass. The sound was very detailed. I remember hearing what sounded like pops and cracks that were actually flaws in the recordings. My Sonus faber speakers are very revealing. They are NOT forgiving. They will reveal every flaw in your electronics or your sources without mercy. But I did start to feel some hope that this piece of equipment just might have some value if there were some way to correct its long list of issues.
So anyway - i'm not sure this unit is even worth the effort. But since I already have it i'll make a list of issues:
1) Audyssey setup has to be rerun every time the unit goes into standby. Does Audyssey have to be rerun every time I unplug the unit? I have not unplugged the unit since I first plugged it in i'm just wondering how much of a pain this Audyssey thing is going to be.
Normally Audyssey only has to be run once. I dunno what you're doing that would cause it to act otherwise. The AVR is only supposed to require it to be run when you change the speaker configuration to add speakers. It should be re-enableable when you disable the EQ. I've never bothered to use the EQ, though.
2) HDMI connections do not work. Only analog. Whenever I select any source with an HDMI connection I get a blank brown screen with Marantz written on it. Analog connections work just fine. I went into Input Setup and set Cbl/Sat to use HDMI 1 - all the rest of the settings on that line to "-" and then connected my TiVo into HDMI 1. I can connect that same HDMI cable into my TV and I get picture and sound just fine. I plug back into the unit and I get my brown Marantz screen. I go to stand by and back on. Changes nothing. Select other inputs and go back to that one - brown Marantz sceren. Same thing with my Sony BluRay player. Brown Marantz screen.
Cable and satellite set-top-boxes and DVRs are problematic. Many of them are not designed to be able to function when there's a repeater in the HDMI circuit (which is what the AVR is).
The standard workaround in such situations is to hook the STB's video to the TV with HDMI and its audio to the AVR with S/PDIF (optical or coax).
3) this time I ran Audyssey setup it set my sub at +12dB (the upper limit). It also set my fronts as large I suspect because it could not get an adequate response from my sub.
Large normally just means that the f3 detected by Audyssey was at a low enough frequency that the receiver's code (not Audyssey) didn't think that bass management was needed. It's wrong, of course. Manually change them to Small, once you've got the subwoofer situation fixed.
I can turn the channel level for the sub all the way up to +12dB and still not hear anything coming from the sub. I think this is an anomaly related to my sub and has nothing to do with Audyssey. With my old receiver I have to manage the sub using the knobs on the back of it. I remember setting the volume on this sub: imagine the dial going from 0 to 10 with 5 being straight up - at 5 I could barely hear the sub at all - at 8 it is full blast with no audible change from there to the top at 10 - so effectively this sub volume in reality goes from 5 to 8. So next time I run Audyssey setup i'm going to set the sub at 6.5 - the level I was keeping it at when I had it on my old unit - and I'm quite certain it'll come into focus better.
Hopefully you're correct. The subwoofer's gain shouldn't be that crude, of course. You might want to consider contacting the manufacturer about getting it fixed.
4) the Smart Select buttons do not seem to do what Marantz told me they would do. My old unit has memory settings for each input that remembers everything for each input. I mean EVERYTHING. Volume, tone, is Pro Logic on or not and if on what's the mode, the center mode and level, all the Pro Logic settings, is the EQ on and if it is the level of each control. I was effectively able to have a "music" mode and a "home theater" mode that have completely different settings. I'm spoiled on this. I'm not giving that up for anything that cannot provide something close to that. I asked Crutchfield exactly what those Smart Select buttons remember - the User Manual lists 8 things - it also says this unit remembers all those things for each input source - which begs me to ask what good are the Smart Select buttons then? Crutchfield said they remember everything including bass management settings and EQ etc. Sounded to me like they were just saying sure it does whatever you want it to do buy it. Anything to get me to buy it. So I asked Marantz. Got the same answer. ok. So far it seems like the Smart Select buttons remember the source, the volume and the sound mode and that's it. So this feature may be working properly. This may be more of an aggravation than a bug - although it is an issue for me. I'm not going to go in and manually change the settings on this unit everytime I switch between music and home theater. I'd have to set it up for home theater and use it for just that and keep my old unit to use for music - so far the old unit sounds much better at everything but the difference is far more dramatic with music - i'd have to find a way to wire this stuff so I can do that.
I'm not sure I understand your problem here, since I never use the Smart Select. Instead I use the Movie/Music/Game buttons to change the things that matter to me (the upmixing modes).
I suspect there has to be a firmware update out there for this unit. That is likely the best first step because in its current state this unit is unusable.
I'm sure there is. I'm aware of 3 firmware updates having been published for the higher Marantz AVR models.
5) Firmware Updates are not possible - it asked me to do a firmware update so I said yes go ahead. It sat there for 5 minutes or so and then failed saying Connection failure could not connect to server. My internet connection was fine. When I set it up it did the wireless network setup. I connected it to my iPhone and it said everything was fine. How did this unit know there was a Firmware Update available if it did not have a working internet connection? See my point? I tried twice. I'll try again later before giving up. There's very little about firmware updates in the User Manual which leads me to believe they made that process fully automatic and behind the scenes so users like me need not worry with technical procedures to achieve it. That's another thing that makes me feel good about this product. There actually are quite a few things on this unit that have a quality touch. It just seems that there are issues to be resolved and a few features that are far less than what I was led to expect (or just expected on my own). We'll see. This unit is new so i'm not surprised it needs a firmware upgrade i'm just surprised at how utterly useless it is without it. How could you ship something like this?
Wireless is always problematic. Some routers have inappropriate networking features/functions which interfere, too.
Denon & Marantz AVRs use the same digital electronics, including networking. Some suggestions for a better connection are provided at Connection failed. Check the device
and Connecting to a home network
Similarly, they often have firmware updates to fix the same problems. A list of firmware updates for Denon AVRs is available at Firmware Update Information
I hope these comments help a little.