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Denon AVR-X3300W A/V Receiver Measurements and Analysis

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All measurements were conducted using our Audio Precision APx585 8 Channel HDMI Audio Analyzer.  The Denon AVR-X3300W was defaulted to high impedance mode (8-ohms or more), which is the setting we recommend using regardless of your loudspeakers’ impedance rating if you are concerned about achieving maximum output power and performance from this unit.

See:  Setting the A/V Receiver Impedance Switch

For more information about how we measure power amplifiers, please see:

Basic Amplifier Measurement Techniques

Denon AVR-X3300W Preamplifier Measurements

One thing I really love about Denon receivers is they NEVER skimp on their preamp out circuits. Like past models, the AVR-X3300W had an ample amount of drive.  I measured a whopping 4.5Vrms unclipped output, which is more than double the voltage needed to make virtually any amplifier reach full rated power.  Yamaha please pay attention and step your game up particularly with your AV receivers in this price range that clip above 1.6Vrms.  A preamp output of less than 2Vrms is unacceptable in my book.

At 1Vrms, the FFT of the AVR-X3300W pre-out was squeaky clean, with the 2nd-order distortion 97dB below the fundamental. That is an excellent result and well below audibility.  At 2Vrms, things got a little grainer with odd order harmonics dominating.  I suspect the Marantz doppelganger for this model (SR5011) has a cleaner preamp output stage so you may want to go that route if you plan on using your AVR primarily as a preamp/processor.

AVR-X330W-FFT-2Vrms

Denon AVR-X3300W Preamp Out FFT Distortion Analysis @ 2Vrms

Denon AVR-X3300W Freq (analog output 1Vrms) 

Denon AVR-X3300W Frequency Response - Pure Direct

Frequency Response was ruler flat from 20Hz to 20kHz with about -1.5dB at 8Hz and -3dB at 50kHz. This is not quite as wide bandwidth as the RX-A860 but still good enough for dogs not to complain.

AVR-X3300W Dynamic Range - AES17 (1 Vrms) 

Denon AVR-X3300W Signal to Noise Ratio (1Vrms) - Pure Direct 

The AVR-X3300W preamp output exhibited a low noise floor (90dB) unweighted with 100mV input drive.

Power Measurements

Using our Audio Precision APx585 8-channel HDMI analyzer, we conducted a full barrage of multi-channel amplifier tests on Denon AVR-X3300W per our Amplifier Measurement Protocol. We tested power using three methods all of which were taken at < 0.1% THD + N:

  • Continuous Full Power Bandwidth (CFP-BW) from 20Hz to 20Khz into 8 and 4-ohm loads (up to two-channels)
  • 1kHz Power Sweep vs Distortion (1kHz PSweep) - popularized by the print magazines, this is an instantaneous power vs. distortion test at 1kHz. The problem with this test is it often masks slew-related and or frequency response problems some amplifiers exhibit at the frequency extremes, and thus inflates the measured power results. It does provide an instant gratification # for consumers to argue over on the forums so we are now incorporating this test to please the masses.
  • Dynamic PWR - 1kHz CEA-2006 Burst Method testing. This is a dynamic power measurement adopted from the car industry similar to IHF method only a bit more difficult for an amplifier and more representative of real musical content.

Keep in mind most review publications don't do continuous power measurements and they usually publish power measurements into clipping at 1% THD + N. Our measurements are very conservative as we use a dedicated 20A line with no Variac to regulate line voltage.  We constantly monitor the line to ensure it never drops more than 2Vrms from nominal, which in our case was 120Vrms. 

For more info on amplifier measurements, see:  The All Channels Driven (ACD) Test

# of CH Test Type Power Load THD + N
2 CFP-BW 100 watts 8-ohms 0.1%
2 1kHz Psweep 132 watts 8-ohms 1%
2 1kHz Psweep 127 watts 8-ohms 0.1%
1 1kHz Psweep 182 watts 4-ohms 1%
1 1kHz Psweep 163 watts 4-ohms 0.1%
5 1kHz Psweep 37 watts 8-ohms 1%
5 1kHz Psweep 35 watts 8-ohms 0.1%
1 Dynamic PWR 174 watts 8-ohms 1%
2 Dynamic PWR 255 watts 4-ohms 1%
5 Dynamic PWR 139 watts 8-ohms 1%

Yamaha RX-A860 Power Measurement Table

# of CH Test Type Power Load THD + N
2 CFP-BW *105 watts 8-ohms 0.1%
2 CFP-BW 154 watts 4-ohms 0.1%
1 1kHz Psweep 160 watts 8-ohms 1%
1 1kHz Psweep 140 watts 8-ohms 0.1%
1 1kHz Psweep 237 watts 4-ohms 1%
1 1kHz Psweep 218 watts 4-ohms 0.1%
2 1kHz Psweep 132 watts 8-ohms 1%
2 1kHz Psweep 119 watts 8-ohms 0.1%
2 1kHz Psweep 180 watts 4-ohms 1%
2 1kHz Psweep 165 watts 4-ohms 0.1%
5 1kHz Psweep 88.6 watts 8-ohms 1%
5 1kHz Psweep 76.4 watts 8-ohms 0.1%
1 Dynamic PWR 206 watts 8-ohms 1%
1 Dynamic PWR 322 watts 4-ohms 1%
2 Dynamic PWR 277 watts 4-ohms 1%
5 Dynamic PWR 145 watts 8-ohms 1%

Denon AVR-X3300W Power Measurement Table

* only if Eco mode turned off. Sometimes the internal limiter tripped and reduced power to 85 watts/ch on the bench.

The Denon AVR-X3300W handedly outperformed the Yamaha RX-A860, but to Yamaha's defense, the RX-A860 retails for $100 less, which makes a world of difference in low-margin high-volume mass produced products like this.  I do think most of the power differences between these two products have more to do with Yamaha's excessive nanny controls to protect the amp than the Denon actually having that much bigger of a power supply.

The AVR-X3300W offered respectable output into 8 ohm and 4 ohm loads. At times, their limiter circuit did interfere with my bench tests, even when Eco mode was turned off. I'm not sure it if was overly touchy or if it was an intermittent software glitch but I did inform Denon about this.

That said, > 80 watts/ch with 5 channels driven is quite respectable for a "does everything" Atmos/DTS:X receiver at this price point.  

Denon AVR-X3300W Power Sweep-Full 

Denon AVR-X3300W CFP-BW (2CH) Power Test - 8 ohms

With two channels driven, the AVR-X3300W delivered its rated 105 watts/ch power for full bandwidth 20Hz to 20kHz.

AVR-X3300W 1kHz Pweep-5CHrev2 

Denon AVR-X3300W 1kHz ACD (5CH) Power Test - 8 ohms

With just two channels driven, the AVR-X3300W produced impressive 1kHz power tests that exceeded its 105 watts/ch rating.  With five channels driven, the Denon held up pretty well delivering 88 watts/ch (1% THD+N) with 5 channels driven. 

AVR-X3300W 1kHz Pweep-2CH-4ohm 

Denon AVR-X3300W 1kHz (2CH) Power Test - 4 ohms

Unlike the Yamaha RX-A860, which just didn't behave well with 4 ohm loads, the Denon AVR-X3300W didn't have a problem. It was able to output almost 180 watts/ch with 2 channels driven at 1% THD+N.

AVR-X3300W CEA 2006 Dynamic-2CH-4ohm 

Denon AVR-X3300W Dynamic Power Test (1kHz) 2CH Driven, 4-ohms @ 1% THD+N

The AVR-X3300W performed well for CEA 2006 short dynamic burst tests that didn't trip the internal current limiting circuits.  It was able to muster over 200 watts/ch into 8-ohm loads and over 300 watts/ch into 4-ohm loads.  The AVR-X3300W offered very respectable continuous and dynamic power reserves for its product/price category.

 

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Recent Forum Posts:

DigitalD posts on May 01, 2019 14:51
KEW, post: 1313646, member: 41838
I find ECO mode reduces the temp by around 10 degrees F!
As Verdinut implied, it only effects the amplification section, downstream of the pre-outs, so if you run all external amps, it is a no-brainer. Personally, I would not hesitate to use ECO mode with the internal amps (aside from the front three channel).
I did not notice an audible difference between with and without ECO, but figure I won't take the chance on the front 3 since I have external amps available.

I have also started using Eco mode and the Xfinity Fans. Heat is no longer an issue and the sound does not seem affected to my ears! Thanks!
KEW posts on April 28, 2019 16:47
DigitalD, post: 1313326, member: 85490
Great review. Does anyone know if turning ECO mode on affects sound with external amplification? I’d like to have my Denon X4400H run cooler. It gets very hot.
I find ECO mode reduces the temp by around 10 degrees F!
As Verdinut implied, it only effects the amplification section, downstream of the pre-outs, so if you run all external amps, it is a no-brainer. Personally, I would not hesitate to use ECO mode with the internal amps (aside from the front three channel).
I did not notice an audible difference between with and without ECO, but figure I won't take the chance on the front 3 since I have external amps available.
DigitalD posts on April 27, 2019 11:57
Verdinut, post: 1313328, member: 80194
Whether you are using your AVR's internal amps or not, setting it on ECO mode won't affect any external amplifiiers connected to it. The pre-out signal level will not be modified.

For the heat problem, you can get AC Infinity fans from Amazon at very affordable cost. AC Infinity have several fan systems available to cool electronic equipment. I use the Airplate Series 5 system on top of my AVR using three 100mm fans with excellent results.

Thanks! I have ordered a pair of AC Infinity fans to help with cooling as well.
Verdinut posts on April 27, 2019 10:37
DigitalD, post: 1313326, member: 85490
Great review. Does anyone know if turning ECO mode on affects sound with external amplification? I’d like to have my Denon X4400H run cooler. It gets very hot.

Whether you are using your AVR's internal amps or not, setting it on ECO mode won't affect any external amplifiiers connected to it. The pre-out signal level will not be modified.

For the heat problem, you can get AC Infinity fans from Amazon at very affordable cost. AC Infinity have several fan systems available to cool electronic equipment. I use the Airplate Series 5 system on top of my AVR using three 100mm fans with excellent results.
DigitalD posts on April 27, 2019 10:22
Great review. Does anyone know if turning ECO mode on affects sound with external amplification? I’d like to have my Denon X4400H run cooler. It gets very hot.
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