Denon S720W to X4200W worth the upgrade? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-24-2016, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Question Denon S720W to X4200W worth the upgrade?

As titled. I have had S720W for a while now and I am not completely happy with its performance. Here is a list of itemized complaints if you will:
When listening to music, anything above 60/98 (normalized) volume feels somewhat forced with a hint of distortion and clipping.
Music lacks refinement and clarity, it is especially lacking during instrumental playbacks at higher volumes; jarring and muddy. Music scores for Interstellar seems to bring out the worst of it.
When watching movies at around 66/98 or over, the sound would often run into the "ceiling" where the system feels out of breath.

Here is my setup:
  • Polk RTI A5 for front left/right
  • Polk CSI A6 for center
  • Polk RTI A3 for surrounds
  • Polk PSW125 for sub
I ran Audyssey and DynamicEQ is enabled. All wires are 12 awg. For music, I settled on Dolby Surround up-mixing and center spread. Am I correct to assume the receiver is the bottle neck in the system? If so, would upgrading to X4200W make a very notable difference?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-24-2016, 11:55 PM
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The 4200 has better room-correction software and marginally better power. It would be an upgrade, but maybe not the scale of upgrade you are looking for. The first place I would look to solve a bottleneck so to speak is your sub; it is likely the weakest link in your system. These would be bigger, more noticeable upgrades:

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-3mk5HP.html

http://www.powersoundaudio.com/products/v1500
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post #3 of 12 Old 09-25-2016, 12:07 AM
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I can't even believe this question was asked. Especially for the price you can get the X4200 at right now.
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-25-2016, 12:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jjackkrash View Post
The first place I would look to solve a bottleneck so to speak is your sub; it is likely the weakest link in your system. These would be bigger, more noticeable upgrades:
I don't really have an issue with the bass right now, it is the mid and high that's really bugging me.
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post #5 of 12 Old 09-25-2016, 12:12 AM - Thread Starter
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I can't even believe this question was asked. Especially for the price you can get the X4200 at right now.
I am from Canada, it is not $799 over here. They are on for ~$1000 USD. I have to sell my S720W at a lost too.
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post #6 of 12 Old 09-25-2016, 04:00 AM
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I don't really have an issue with the bass right now, it is the mid and high that's really bugging me.
That would be a speaker/placement/room issue. The X4200 is great, and Audyssey XT32 is excellent, but your problems like elsewhere. Place and aim the speakers, treat the room, upgrade the speakers. Probably in that order.
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-25-2016, 07:46 AM - Thread Starter
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That would be a speaker/placement/room issue. The X4200 is great, and Audyssey XT32 is excellent, but your problems like elsewhere. Place and aim the speakers, treat the room, upgrade the speakers. Probably in that order.
Thanks for answering! Hmm, I guess X4200 is not the miracle I am looking for then. I think the speakers are aimed properly (Center ear level, front at 30° and surrounds are at 110°), maybe I will try 45° for the fronts. I can't really treat the room too much and I just got these speakers. I'll have to make do and be happy with what I have for now.

Just curious, how much better is X4200 (vs S720/X1200) in terms of sound quality? How are they justifying the price tag?
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-25-2016, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by maxhan View Post
Thanks for answering! Hmm, I guess X4200 is not the miracle I am looking for then. I think the speakers are aimed properly (Center ear level, front at 30° and surrounds are at 110°), maybe I will try 45° for the fronts. I can't really treat the room too much and I just got these speakers. I'll have to make do and be happy with what I have for now.

Just curious, how much better is X4200 (vs S720/X1200) in terms of sound quality? How are they justifying the price tag?
The biggest difference is XT32 (the room-correction software), some slightly better electronics, preouts, and a few more bells and whistles. If you have the cash, I personally think better room correction is a real upgrade, but the parts need to be in place to get a benefit.

The next investment you make should probably be one of these if you don't have one already:

https://www.minidsp.com/products/aco...urement/umik-1

Until you actually take measurements with REW (free software) or OmniMic (more expensive, more plug and play) you are really just guessing on your set up. You might have some cancellation, problems at the cross-over transition, or big peaks or nulls that are beyond the scope of your room correction to fix that could be cured by movings your speakers a few inches one way or the other, etc.

Finally, on the sub, I tossed that in because a better sub can take some load off the other components and free up a some headroom for your speakers if you play with the crossovers; it will also make the system as a whole sound cleaner if the sub you have is distorting when you crank it and you eliminate that distortion (which I suspect might be happening given the specs on your sub).

Good luck!
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post #9 of 12 Old 09-25-2016, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by maxhan View Post
Thanks for answering! Hmm, I guess X4200 is not the miracle I am looking for then. I think the speakers are aimed properly (Center ear level, front at 30° and surrounds are at 110°), maybe I will try 45° for the fronts. I can't really treat the room too much and I just got these speakers. I'll have to make do and be happy with what I have for now.
Point them all at the main listening position regardless of angle. Your L/R don't match your C, so that's always going to be an issue too. Speakers sound quality is related to location in a room, untreated is much more a factor in this. Actual measurements will lead you to the answer.
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Just curious, how much better is X4200 (vs S720/X1200) in terms of sound quality? How are they justifying the price tag?
The X4200 won't sound any different at all until you do a really good Audyssey XT32 cal, even better with a Pro calibration. That's where the audible difference will be. Personally, I'd have bought the X4200 for Audyssey XT32 to start with, but I'm not sure if it will solve your issue until you take some measurements. You have a bit of study to do re: Audyssey and measurements.
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-25-2016, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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The biggest difference is XT32 ... Good luck!
Thanks for taking the time to clarify and saving me $1000 in the process! You made a good point about the bass and it got me thinking. Audyssey set the crossovers at 40Hz FL/FR, 80Hz C (rated at 60Hz 3dB, placement issue?), 60Hz SL/SB and LFE at 80Hz. Maybe I ought to up the FL/FR as well as the LFE a bit and see if that makes a difference.

Don't get me wrong, I think overall the system I have is good to great, however, it clearly has room for improvements. I expected better with the amount of money I put in (~$1600USD w/ receiver). However, looking around at other true audiophile speakers, this whole audio business can truly be a bottomless money pit.

Again, thanks for all help!
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post #11 of 12 Old 09-25-2016, 11:23 AM
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Thanks for taking the time to clarify and saving me $1000 in the process! You made a good point about the bass and it got me thinking. Audyssey set the crossovers at 40Hz FL/FR, 80Hz C (rated at 60Hz 3dB, placement issue?), 60Hz SL/SB and LFE at 80Hz. Maybe I ought to up the FL/FR as well as the LFE a bit and see if that makes a difference.
Good observation. IMO, it doesn't matter where Audyssey sets the crossovers, as long as you set them at that point or higher. You probably want to set the crossovers for all speakers at 80Hz or higher. I have run my subs crossed over as high as 120Hz to get rid of crossover bumps even though Audyssey sets my L/C/R to "large" by default. This is where more capable subs make a big difference, because the lower frequencies are where the power gets consumed. It is generally better to set the crossover higher if you can (just short of sub localization) as this takes a load off your receiver and main speakers.
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post #12 of 12 Old 09-25-2016, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jjackkrash View Post
Good observation. IMO, it doesn't matter where Audyssey sets the crossovers, as long as you set them at that point or higher. You probably want to set the crossovers for all speakers at 80Hz or higher. I have run my subs crossed over as high as 120Hz to get rid of crossover bumps even though Audyssey sets my L/C/R to "large" by default. This is where more capable subs make a big difference, because the lower frequencies are where the power gets consumed. It is generally better to set the crossover higher if you can (just short of sub localization) as this takes a load off your receiver and main speakers.
Agreed! Setting your crossover at 80hz and maybe turn down the gain on your sub to 9 o'clock with all speakers set to small ( adjust sub level on the AVR ) with LPF at 120hz, That should help some. Sub placement may also be contributing to your issues.

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