Denon - AVR-X1600H Dolby Atmos Audio Arena

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Denon - AVR-X1600H Dolby Atmos Audio Arena

Post by embleton » Sun Dec 13, 2020 6:40 pm

The Denon AVR-X1600H Dolby Atmos audiovisual receiver is a cheap way into the home theatre arena and was released in 2019 for £449 RRP but our deal during black Friday deals £349 a bargain.

It sports five HDMI 2.1 ports on the back of the receiver 1 HDMI 2.1 on front and one HDMI 2.1 port for output to a 4K UHD TV. And has nine outputs for the various surround to Dolby Atmos speaker configurations, up to seven passive speakers and 2 active subwoofer outputs (7.2 surround speakers configuration).

Manual plugging in of cables is explained in the manual in detail so that part of the equation will not be explained or explored but it is suggested you use banana plugs for the passive speakers, and these can be obtained from places like Amazon with appropriate speaker cables.

The configuration is best done by a web interface and the Audyssey MultEQ XT App on a phone or tablet which cost about an additional £20, and test tones at 100Hz & 1Khz for fine speaker level adjustments. Our setup was using an iPad Pro with Audyssey MultEQ XT app and the web interface access by a MacBook Air over wireless. MultEQ XT is the reference, Dynamic EQ off, -reference level offset 0dB and Dynamic Volume light for all HDMI inputs unless you live in a high-class building with expensive overheads!

In our configuration, the test and setup were done with a surround 5.1 configuration, eg: six speakers; front left and right (Tannoy 6SE from previous HiFi stereo system), front centre (Wharfedale D300C Diamond), two surround speakers left and right (Wharfedale D300 3D Diamond) and a subwoofer speaker (Wharfedale SW150 Diamond).

We use DD Surround for stereo sources with the centre spread for stereo imaging hence using all speakers even for stereo PCM (Pulse Code Modulation). A 100Hz tone was in use for a level for the subwoofer with the centre, front left and right set at same auditory heard. 1Khz use for fine levelling speakers levels across all front speakers and surround speakers at the human listening position but the centre speach is 3dB higher. And this was done after a run of the MultEQ XT app on the iPad Pro connected to the same wireless network as the Denon AVR at measuring frequency spread levels across eight positions in the room near the listening human position.

We fed the HDMI ports with Apple TV 4K, Chromecast 4K Ultra, Xbox One X UHD and Freesat HDR1100S satellite receiver 1080p all by HDMI. TV is a Panasonic 50 inch GX820 Dolby Vision edge-lit LED TV. The HDMI AVR output goes through a Hue Sync Box for controlling our colour lights in our living room (more about the Hue Sync Box later for we did have some difficulties with the box).

Crossover is set by the sweet frequency response of the speakers in the +/- 3dB range, so Tannoy 79Hz to 21Khz (80Hz crossover THX), Wharfedale D300C 65Hz to 20Khz (80Hz crossover THX, but set at 110Hz crossover because it is right bang against a wall and our subwoofer is right below it for the bottom end of male vocals (85Hz to 110Hz and this bleeds into subwoofer from a centre speaker channel), Wharfedale D300 3D Surround Speakers 100Hz to 20Khz (crossover 100Hz). The subwoofer Whalfedale SW150 crossover for speaker clockwise fully to right (highest frequency crossover) and volume set at about 1 o'clock. The subwoofer on AVR at 110Hz LPF (Low Pass Filter) to LFE (Low-Frequency Effects) and its LFE mode. Speaker size all set to small with the addition of a subwoofer for controlling crossover individually for the speakers.

The rationale for setting crossover frequency response for the speakers is not pushing low-frequency signals to the speakers that will overload its dynamics when it won't even sound clear/heard and distort signals going into the speaker that needs to be heard clearly in its sweet frequency response of that speaker or speaker pair, eg: 10W of 50Hz that won't be heard when pushing 1Khz at 2W concurrently will kill the signals at 1Khz as an example if you don't do the correct crossover for the speakers in the system configuration for all the speakers in relation to a subwoofer.

For this flexibility, a subwoofer is a necessity...

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