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Denon AVR-X4000 Setup, Audyssey & Network Control

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When you first turn on the AVR-X4000 you are guided through a setup process by on screen prompts. Most modern mid to high end AV receivers have some sort of guided setup built in, but Denon’s “AV Receiver Setup Assistant” is one of the most helpful I have encountered. After you select a desired language, it lists out the items you will need for setup, namely: the remote, setup mic, speakers and cables. This simple step can ensure consumers actually remove all of the contents from the box before tossing it and later asking, “Wait, this thing came with a microphone? I never saw that in the box.”

Denon AVR-X4000 Setup Assistant

 Denon AVR-X4000 Setup Assistant

The next two steps are placing your speakers and connecting them. The Setup Assistant accompanies each instruction with still or animated images, making tasks like stripping speaker wire, ensuring proper polarity, and utilizing binding posts simple for even the most novice consumers. When selecting what speakers are in use, most receivers have you choose from a list of predefined options, like 5.1 or 7.1. With the Setup Assistant, it asks you about each speaker individually. For example, it asks, “Do you have a center channel speaker?” If you select “Yes”, it will show you where to hook it up on the back of the receiver and add it to your configuration. Once speaker setup is done, it asks you to start the Audyssey MultEQ XT32 system, but we cover that later in the review. Next, it tells/shows you how to connect the receiver to the internet, tests the connection, and automatically starts playing an internet music station if the connection is successful. After that, you select what sources are in use, which it verifies by switching to that input and asking if you see a picture. The final step is programming the remote to control other Denon devices, none of which I own, so I skipped it. Overall, I found the setup guide quick enough for an expert to bust through, while simple enough for even the technologically challenged to manage.

Audyssey MulEQ XT32 & SubEQ HT Results

One of the highlights of the X4000 is its inclusion of Audyssey MulEQ XT32 and SubEQ HT. I could have carefully setup my system manually and measured the frequency response, then ran Audyssey and re-measured, and compared the results. However, I didn’t feel like that kind of test would properly recreate how Audyssey is used in the real world. From my time as an installer (and salesman before that), I have found that most consumers simply toss the measurement mic in a few different positions, run the setup procedure, and never double check the settings. This is likely because most people either don’t know enough or care enough to dive into the manual configuration options. Following this logic, I left everything at default, except the crossover, which I set to a global 80Hz (I had to do something), and took measurements. Next, I ran Audyssey at 8 different locations and re-measured. I performed this test twice, once with a single corner loaded sub, and once with a second (non-symmetrically placed) sub.

Audyssey MultEQ XT32 & SUBEQ HT Results - one subwoofer 

Single Sub Audyssey MulEQ XT32 & SubEQ HT Results

Blue Trace – Frequency response before Audyssey

Red Trace – Frequency response after Audyssey

As you can see from the above chart, Audyssey did a great job when presented with a single subwoofer. It tamed a big low Q peak at low F. It also managed to overcome a dip around 180Hz, but failed to attenuate a peak at 300Hz. It also seemed to boost everything over 2kHz a little bit, likely in an effort to bring it in line with the higher levels below 500Hz. Overall, these results were much better than anything I have measured with Yamaha’s or Sony’s auto setup systems. My only complaint is that it set the crossover on my mains to 40Hz, when 60Hz or 80Hz would have been more appropriate.

Audyssey MultEQ XT32 & SUBEQ HT Results - two subwoofers

Dual Sub Audyssey MulEQ XT32 & SubEQ HT Results

Blue Trace – Frequency response before Audyssey

Red Trace – Frequency response after Audyssey

Next, it was time to see how Audyssey SubEQ HT could handle two subwoofers. Again, I performed no setup beforehand. I simply plugged in another sub. As you can see, Audyssey made a big difference. It independently set delay and level for each sub, then applied a single correction curve to the summed response of both subs. Before, there were two big peaks, and in-between them a cancellation around 50Hz. It was able to smooth out that response, but didn’t bring the subs down quite as far as I would have liked. The delays for the two subs were about 2’ more than their physical distance to the listening position. It also took care of a dip at 600Hz, but created a peak at 2kHz. All in all, I was really pleased with these results. Still, it’s important to remember that part of properly setting up a multi-subwoofer system is playing around with sub placement and passive room treatments, active EQ can’t solve everything. But Audyssey still outshone any other auto setup system I have measured.

Remote Control

The X4000’s remote doesn’t try to pull any punches. It’s a basic, non-learning, universal remote. There’s no backlight, buttons on the back under a panel, or cool LCD readout on top. It can control other devices, like a Blu-ray player or cable box, but it’s Denon AVR-X4000 Remotepretty much limited to power and simple navigation. Honestly, I’m fine with this. Many manufacturers put out half-baked universal remote controls that can almost act as a universal remote for your entire system, but can’t quite cut it. These “do everything” remotes end up large and bulky, and are often times crammed and cluttered with tiny buttons. I would rather see a remote that competently controls the receiver, without all of the extra rigmarole. This remote has all of the input and navigation buttons readily available, as well as a dedicated InstaPreview button. An option button allows one to easily swap the video input on the fly or enable “all zone stereo”. On the downside, the remote lacks Denon’s “Quick Select” buttons, which set the receiver to a preset input, volume, and sound mode. And the lack of a backlight is disappointing with this level of receiver. Finally, I would have liked to see direct controls for flipping through various Audyssey modes and Denon’s compressed audio Restorer.

 

Web Browser Control

I love having the ability to control an AVR through a web browser. It’s more convenient to switch to a new tab on my browser than grab my phone, navigate to the control app, and let it connect to the receiver. I would describe Denon’s web interface as beta. It works well enough, but it’s not very fluid. The look is utilitarian, the navigation can be a little quirky, and the response is a bit sluggish. For example, there is a convenient slider to adjust volume, but there’s no bar to indicate where on the slider the volume is currently at. Still, the web interface gives you full control over all three zones. You can easily switch inputs, power zones on/off, change DSP modes, or set a sleep timer. You can also save save and load your complete setup/Audyssey results to your computer, a great backup feature for custom installers and advanced users alike.

Denon AVR-X4000 Web Control-Main Zone                   Denon AVR-X4000 Web Control -Zone 2

  Denon AVR-X4000 Web Control, Main Zone         Denon AVR-X4000 Web Control, Zone2 Setup

The one portion of the web interface that did come across as refined was the setup menu. You have full access to amp configuration, speaker setup, input configuration, etc… I didn’t find these features too useful in the main zone, as the IR remote and OSD worked just as well, but they were invaluable in the second and third zones. All in all, novice users may struggle with the browser control, but experienced users should be able to figure it out. 

Remote App

I used my iPhone4 (I know, no iPhone5. I’m pretty lame) to test the Denon Remote App, which is also available for Android. I actually use this app quite often with my Denon AVR-3311CI, so I was already quite familiar with it before this review. The app works pretty well, but only offers limited control for each zone. In the main zone, power, volume, input, and DSP are all adjustable, but there’s no support for changing any other settings. The 2nd and 3rd zones have the same control as the main zone, sans DSP.

Denon Mobile App Main Zone                    Denon Mobile App Multi-Zone

Denon Remote App Main Zone         Denon Remote App Multi-Zone

New users will undoubtedly have a few moments of frustration while they figure out the navigation, as the organization of pages is a little quirky, but it’s not a major inconvenience. In comparison to the Sony or Yamaha mobile apps, I would rank it about on par with Yamaha’s, but a huge leap over Sony’s.

 

 

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Recent Forum Posts:

YAGI1980 posts on January 12, 2017 04:27
Hello.
I have a Denon AVR X4000 but I don't now how to manually setup speakers impedance to 8 ohms.
Please a little help!
Tnx!
PENG posts on March 05, 2014 07:20
ReUpRo, post: 1021322
In typical Owner Manual style, that's neither here nor there. I'll PM Gene and see if he can get someone from Denon to give an unequivocal response.
True. This is mostly a gimmick since one can buy a dedicated pre-pro for the cost of that AVR.

Thanks in advance. By the way turning off the power amp completely does has some “green” merit and should help the unit run a touch (very little I guess) cooler. Even just disconnecting the input has some green merit but not much at all, just a side note, still nothing to do with SQ. I suppose it also depends on the power supply design, if the prepro section has its own completely independent power supply then in preamp mode I would expect the power amp side power supply to be deenergized, in theory anyway. I do doubt that is the case for the 4311 and 4520 but I am sure Gene could find out if he wants to.
ReUpRo posts on March 04, 2014 23:31
PENG, post: 1021295
I read that before but not sure if it is just internet hearsay or fact. Page 98 of the manual says “When the preamplifier mode is used, the built-in amplifier operation of this unit is stopped, and interference to the preamplifier from the power amplifier can be reduced”.
In typical Owner Manual style, that's neither here nor there. I'll PM Gene and see if he can get someone from Denon to give an unequivocal response.
PENG, post: 1021295
I believe most people won't notice a difference regardless. it is a feature that may make some people happier, but then those people probably don't believe in AVR to begin with.
True. This is mostly a gimmick since one can buy a dedicated pre-pro for the cost of that AVR.
PENG posts on March 04, 2014 19:12
ReUpRo, post: 1021180
The receiver only disconnects the amps from inputs without shutting them off. I wonder why Denon chose to implement it like that?

I read that before but not sure if it is just internet hearsay or fact. Page 98 of the manual says “When the preamplifier mode is used, the built-in amplifier operation of this unit is stopped, and interference to the preamplifier from the power amplifier can be reduced”.

I believe most people won't notice a difference regardless. it is a feature that may make some people happier, but then those people probably don't believe in AVR to begin with.
dwaleke posts on March 04, 2014 13:03
There are a few sites that sell the X4000 for ~$899 shipped new.
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