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Denon AVR-X3600H 9.2 Channel AV Receiver Review & Comments

Diagnosticz

Well-known Member


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No receiver launched this year will include HDMI version 2.1 so what is there to be surprised about?

No other receiver has HDMI version 2.1 and no receiver will be or is scheduled to get it until next year. I'd summise that they are awaiting the manufacturer of enough HDMI version 2.1 chipsets to facilitate their production lines and intended output? THere's no real insentive for any manufacturer to intoduce HDMI version 2.1 just yet and there will not really be any need for it until late next year. Even then, this will only be of any real use to those purchasing one of the next generation of games consoles. There isn't and probably will never be 8K disc based media.

The inclusion of eARC on an AV receiver also helps negate its need to include full blown HDMI version 2.1. eARC allows the convetance of the same audio formats ordinarilly only accessible via HDMI to be conveyed using an enhanced form of ARC. If you had an 8K HDMI version 2.1 compliant display then it would also include eARC compliance and as such would allow an HDMI source requiring HDMI version 2.1 to be connected directly to the display while using eARC to then pass the audio through the TV and out to the eARC compliant AV receiver. All current AV receivers include eARC compliance despite not including HDMI version 2.1.

Denon/Marantz have held off replacing last years models above the X3600 and the SR6014 this year in order that the newer upper tier models will includede HDMI version 2.1 next year. The same is true of Yamaha who have also held back updating their top three models until next year.
I asked Marantz this though an email before I got the 8012, the manufacturers of the chip set for HDMI 2.1 upgrade boards for the 8012 and Denon 8500 should be available by summer 2020.

Not sure if D&M have added a few more from the range ready for the upgrade. I did get a eARC software update not sure of other models

I am guessing it to be later in 2020. I think the chipset are far from ready yet.

Not sure if the boards are chargeable
 
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I asked Marantz this though an email before I got the 8012, the manufacturers of the chip set for HDMI 2.1 upgrade boards for the 8012 and Denon 8500 should be available by summer 2020.

Not sure if D&M have added a few more from the range ready for the upgrade. I did get a eARC software update not sure of other models

I am guessing it to be later in 2020. I think the chipset are far from ready yet.

Not sure if the boards are chargeable
I don't think the marantz is upgradable to HDMI 2.1 or is it.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I don't think the marantz is upgradable to HDMI 2.1 or is it.
According to Marantz/Denon, the Denon AVrX8500 receiver and the Marantz AV8805 processor will be the only 2 products to get a paid HDMI version 2.1 upgrade option. Marantz have made no indication that the SR8012 would also be eligible for such an upgrade.


Also of major note is that the Marantz spokesperson told me that every AV8805 would be eligible for an upgrade to HDMI 2.1 when the specification was finalized and hardware was available. This will require a complete hardware/board change of all HDMI components to support the new standard. As there isn't any available HDMI 2.1 hardware yet, the cost of the upgrade to consumers remains uncertain. Marantz expects the upgrade to be available sometime in 2020 after they have received the hardware and had a chance to implement it. But the company is essentially giving purchasers of this processor assurance that they won’t be left behind by the next major technology upgrade, and that if they make the commitment to the 8805, it will be ready to serve them well into the next generation of high-performance video and audio signals. [Editor's note: we originally reported at CES, based on information provided at the Marantz booth, that this upgrade would be free to consumers. Marantz has since qualified that this isn't the case, though we'd expect that the price would be a relatively modest outlay against the overall cost of this premium component.]
 
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MikeTheBike2010

Active Member
I’m a fan of Denon Amps but would like to know more about the virtual Atmos being included with their more recent offerings.

Is this any good

A With real Atmos soundtracks
B upscaling?

Or, as has been the case with most of these modes (ever since the Yamahas in days of Yore with their “concert hall“ and “70mm cinema” settings) does it just make everything sound like one has ones head in a bucket?
 

Evinger

Well-known Member

dante01

Distinguished Member
Or, as has been the case with most of these modes (ever since the Yamahas in days of Yore with their “concert hall“ and “70mm cinema” settings) does it just make everything sound like one has ones head in a bucket?

The intent is to create virtual speakers for speakers which are absent as opposed to try recreate what you'd hear if within a different room or venue.

Dolby Height Virtualization is actually something targetted by Dolby towards being used in soundbars as opposed to AV receivers. Why would anyone buy a 9 channel AV receiver and then not utilise those added channels of amplification?

Dolby Atmos sound bars with height virtualization
Dolby Atmos height virtualization processing leverages Dolby’s deep understanding of human audio perception to simulate an immersive audio experience while using fewer speakers. For height effects, virtualization is used to create the sensation of sound above you, originating solely from listener-level speakers. For systems without discrete surround speakers, virtualization of surround effects is employed to create enveloping, 360-degree audio without speakers behind or to the side of the listener.​
On a technical level, Dolby Atmos height virtualization applies carefully designed height-cue filters to overhead audio components before they are mixed into listener-level speakers. These filters simulate the natural spectral cues imparted by the human ear to sounds arriving from overhead. For surround virtualization, a combination of head-related transfer functions (HRTFs) and cross-talk cancellation are employed to approximate for the listener’s ears the binaural cues of surround speakers. For both types of virtualization, special care has been taken to equalize the associated filters so that the timbre of the audio remains natural anywhere in the listening environment.​
snapshot002.jpg
This illustration shows the difference between the Dolby Atmos virtual experience and the traditional sound bar experience.​
Content encoded in Dolby Atmos will provide the most realistic audio effect from a product that delivers the Dolby Atmos experience. The discrete height elements in the Dolby Atmos mix feed the Dolby Atmos height virtualizer, are processed by the algorithms, and then mixed in to the corresponding listener-level speakers.​
Dolby can support a number of output configurations with the Dolby Atmos height virtualizer, using 2 to 7 listener-level channels to create the sensation of either 2 or 4 overhead speakers.​





Note the use of Dolby's favourite HRTFs.
What is a HRTF?

Dr. Edgar A.G. Shaw became best known for his research in understanding the acoustics of the external ear. It was he who scanned the sound field in human ears using a tiny probe microphone with sounds arriving from different angles, and plotted the details of what we now call HRTFs. This is all documented in Journal of the Acoustical Society of America papers, and Dr. Shaw received the Raleigh Medal Award for his work. The cues for sounds arriving from above are associated with directionally sensitive resonances in the external ear in the frequency range of about 7 - 12 kHz. They can be very different for different people because our ears are all physically different. Taking an average of many ears though, one finds a general trend indicating that as a sound source is elevated on the median plane (directly forward in this case) there is an increase in sound level reaching the eardrum at frequencies around 7-8 kHz. There is another directionally sensitive resonance in the external ear around 12 kHz, but it is much less predictable because as frequencies get higher smaller physical differences between pinna result in greater response variations between individuals.

Dr. Shaw estimated that the dominant height cue could be modeled by a resonance centered at 7.5 kHz with a Q of about 3. A level increase of about 10dB would correspond to an elevation of about 45 degrees. To put this into perspective, this work was done in 1972, 42 years ago, so none of this is breaking news. A very perceptive final comment was “For this to work without special attention to the idiosyncrasies of the subject [the listener] it would probably be necessary to use a broadband source (e.g. white noise, clicks, etc.).” Clearly this phenomenon was well understood many years
Conclusion
It seems very apparent that the deployment of a HRTF in a loudspeaker crossover is not only problematic but likely not necessary as well. While they are useful in applications like headphones, and sound bars, adding them to an actual discrete external sound source like a loudspeaker playing in a room, and specifically in this case, a Dolby Atmos Elevation speaker module, can in fact impact performance in a negative way. Moreover, this also unnecessarily drives up the complexity of the speaker’s crossover and thus its associated cost. The human ear already has the benefit of its own HRTF customized to each listener. Simply selecting a loudspeaker with narrow and controlled dispersion, along with careful placement relative to the seated area can create the illusion of elevated sound for a narrow listening area, though not as precisely or as consistently as having a discrete sound source located in the position of origination it was intended to mimic.


Note that the conclusion suggest that their use may be favourable within soundbars, but that is on a gardware level and with it incorporated in the the speaker's own crossovers.
 
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Diagnosticz

Well-known Member
According to Marantz/Denon, the Denon AVrX8500 receiver and the Marantz AV8805 processor will be the only 2 products to get a paid HDMI version 2.1 upgrade option. Marantz have made no indication that the SR8012 would also be eligible for such an upgrade.



your correct it was the AV8805 with 8500 looks like these 2 models will not get updated which is why they will need the boards. I am surprised that the 8012 is not one of these models looks like it mght be updated. The newer ranges which i think are due next year i was told again summer 2020 will have the boards factory installed. i think other Manufactures are also holding back until the new chipsets are implemented.

To be honest hdmi 2.1 it is not really needed for most at this moment in time. [email protected] and other manufactures should simply have the chipsets ready and then announce it they seem to have rushed everything
 

Zigourney

Active Member
probably will never be 8K disc based media
What makes you say that? Natural progression in technology means we will probably have 8K disc based media (dvd, blu ray, 4k blu ray, 8k blu ray). Sony/Panasonic have already cracked 500gb optical discs.

 

Coulson

Well-known Member
What makes you say that? Natural progression in technology means we will probably have 8K disc based media (dvd, blu ray, 4k blu ray, 8k blu ray). Sony/Panasonic have already cracked 500gb optical discs.

Probably more to do with the economics than technology. 4K will struggle because the vast majority of potential buyers will have sub standard 4K TVs so won't notice much improvement over Blu. Plus DVD still outsells Blu Ray and the DVD discs are license free.
 
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SydB

Standard Member
The 3600 is down to £849 here:


After following this thread I've been a little torn between the 3600 and 4500 and have been finding myself leaning towards the latter.
 

Coulson

Well-known Member
The 3600 is down to £849 here:


After following this thread I've been a little torn between the 3600 and 4500 and have been finding myself leaning towards the latter.
If you can get a brand new 4500 for a similar price then it's probably the better machine.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
I guess by black Friday 4500 might go down to 850£
That's what I am hoping for too as soon as it does or even £900 I I will be ordering one especially with a 5yr warranty if ordering from PT.
 

Built To Chill

Well-known Member
If this is a 9 at launch price I guess it would be a 10 when it comes down to sub £600, as this line always tends to do in the not so distant future.

I have a pretty nerdy question regarding the “Siri support”. Is this anything more than having AirPlay 2?

I just ask because my 3500 has AirPlay 2 (so you can use Siri to play stuff to it from eg an iPhone) but “Siri support” was never listed as a feature. Could be because AirPlay 2 was added to the *500 series after launch, but wondered if this indicated more than simply an AirPlay 2 target.
 

AngelRex

Active Member
My brother is looking for a new amp and asked me, I basically said the 3500 @ £500 or the 3600/4500 @ £950 ish.

He only has a 5.1 system and wont be going atmos. He has B&W 683 s2 front, 685 s2 rear and the HTM61 S2 centre.

All things considered would the 3500/3600/4500 be best?

Many thank in advance :D
 

gibbsy

Moderator
My brother is looking for a new amp and asked me, I basically said the 3500 @ £500 or the 3600/4500 @ £950 ish.

He only has a 5.1 system and wont be going atmos. He has B&W 683 s2 front, 685 s2 rear and the HTM61 S2 centre.

All things considered would the 3500/3600/4500 be best?

Many thank in advance :D
If he's in the UK then the boat has sailed for the 3500. I would simply look at the very best deal on either the 3600 or 4500 as now there seems to be little to separate them. 4500 would be my choice.
 

Coulson

Well-known Member
My brother is looking for a new amp and asked me, I basically said the 3500 @ £500 or the 3600/4500 @ £950 ish.

He only has a 5.1 system and wont be going atmos. He has B&W 683 s2 front, 685 s2 rear and the HTM61 S2 centre.

All things considered would the 3500/3600/4500 be best?

Many thank in advance :D
If you're sure that he is not going to go Atmos then you already know the answer.
 

Coulson

Well-known Member
If he's in the UK then the boat has sailed for the 3500. I would simply look at the very best deal on either the 3600 or 4500 as now there seems to be little to separate them. 4500 would be my choice.
If he looks he might still find a 3500*. Plus there are still a few older Marantz around which is an almost identical platform. For example, the half height Marantz are very decent receivers with more than enough power for a standard UK living room up to 7 speakers. Even if he went Atmos, he could at least add 2 front height speakers to his 5.1 set-up.

*I've just had a quick look and there are some available for around £600. If you really look there might be some cheaper because at one point it looks like they were selling for around £500.
 

AngelRex

Active Member
If he's in the UK then the boat has sailed for the 3500. I would simply look at the very best deal on either the 3600 or 4500 as now there seems to be little to separate them. 4500 would be my choice.
You can still pick them up new for £499? Limited stock though, you're right.

As for 'I already know the answer, I'd go for the 4500 :D, because of the better components
 

gibbsy

Moderator
If he looks he might still find a 3500*. Plus there are still a few older Marantz around which is an almost identical platform. For example, the half height Marantz are very decent receivers with more than enough power for a standard UK living room up to 7 speakers. Even if he went Atmos, he could at least add 2 front height speakers to his 5.1 set-up.

*I've just had a quick look and there are some available for around £600. If you really look there might be some cheaper because at one point it looks like they were selling for around £500.
I had trouble finding a 3500 last night. If still available for £500 it's steal. The half size Marantz take a half power hit. The SR6013 is still a good buy.
 

Coulson

Well-known Member
I had trouble finding a 3500 last night. If still available for £500 it's steal.
Couldn't find it for £500 either, but there was at least one site that had it for £500 but out of stock
The half size Marantz take a half power hit.
Yes but I had one of them and unless you are going to be playing at reference sound levels it still sounds great. I think I pushed it to near reference volume levels once just to hear what it sounded like and I don't remember there being any major issues.
The SR6013 is still a good buy.
That's actually gone up in price. You can still pick one up for £700 new or slightly less for a boxed return.
 

Coulson

Well-known Member
Yeah, if you see his speakers, he doesn't play it quietly! -10 typically
Neither did I lol, but it sounds like he should go for a full sized receiver :)
 

Nuri58

Active Member
In terms of sound quality would a new unit like this be an upgrade over what I am currently using, marantz AV8802a if used as a preamp? Are the DAC's any better?
Mind you the DAC itself is only half the truth. All the circuitry around it the other half and I guess the most demanding for the designer so it surely depends on how good this is implemented as well.
 

eddscott

Active Member
Just bought a 3600 to replace my Onkyo 828.

The 3600 seems more "bright" than the Onkyo. One thing I do notice is I can hear the surrounds far more than on the Onkyo. With the 828 they were far more discreet whereas it's almost like the surrounds are just repeating the fronts (if you see what I mean). I've used Audyessy setup but was wondering if there was a setting that calms the rears down so they sound more discreet?
 

Coulson

Well-known Member
Just bought a 3600 to replace my Onkyo 828.

The 3600 seems more "bright" than the Onkyo. One thing I do notice is I can hear the surrounds far more than on the Onkyo. With the 828 they were far more discreet whereas it's almost like the surrounds are just repeating the fronts (if you see what I mean). I've used Audyessy setup but was wondering if there was a setting that calms the rears down so they sound more discreet?
Assuming you ran everything correctly then just adjust the rear speaker levels manually. I just recently re-ran Audyssey and for the first time I didn't have to immediately adjust my surrounds.This time I was very careful with my mic positioning plus I had almost perfect conditions, running very late at night. After noticing the better cohesion I checked the configuration and saw a marked difference from previous runs. Even after all that, part of me still thinks I could possibly turn my left surround down a touch :)
 

eddscott

Active Member
Thanks Coulson.

I'll run it again later tonight. Was a little concerned I'm not going to like the 3600 (compared to the 828) but need to give it more time I think.
 

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