2ch advanced playback with Denon 3806

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Meeko, Mar 20, 2006.

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  1. Meeko

    Meeko
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    I've run the Audyssey setup onmy 3806 with my RS8s, RSLCR, RS1s and ASW800 sub. I changed the speakers to SMALL and set the crossovers individually to around 10Hz above the -3dB point of my speakers. This sounds fantastic with movies.

    I have a question regarding 2 ch playback that can be configured in the advanced menu. I listen to most music in Pure direct, and in the advanced menu the speakers are set to SMALL with the sub crossover at 60Hz. I would have thought that in this config LFE+MAINS has no effect. But it seems to enable the sub in Pure Direct? Is this correct? Does Pure Direct override the speaker size in the 2ch advanced menu?
     
  2. Gary_W

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    Hi Meeko,

    Denon's definition of 'Pure Direct' is to turn off all the video processing in the amp. It does not necessarily turn off the sub, and indeed with your settings the sub will be in play.

    Page 67 of the unhelpful tome known as the manual does its best to convey this info but does a pretty poor job.

    Go to 'advanced playback', then select the 2ch settings (menu 1).

    If you just want your speakers to do the lot in stereo mode, set them to 'large' on this page and set the subwoofer to 'off'. The crossover then becomes irrelevant, the sub is out of play and the mains get everything.

    For the sake of experimentation, you may find that you like to leave them set to large, turn the sub on and set LFE+mains. Worth a try to see if your ears like it. With this, the speakers will be fed everything from 20Hz to 20KHz without attenuation. The sub will start to get juice at your crossover point.

    You will also notice that the EQ is not automatically turned off in 'pure direct'. I think you can set the default EQ mode for each input. I'm pretty sure it's in the manual as well, but it's already made my head hurt once tonight so over to someone else ;) Again to experiment, try it set to Audyssey, Front, Flat and Off. I like Audyssey best with my BFD calibration for music and I have the sub in play. Russ.Will likes no EQ at all for music. I think it depends on how bad your room is plus what your ears like as to which of the settings will be best for you.

    Gary
     
  3. Meeko

    Meeko
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    Hi Gary,

    Many thanks for your detailed reply. I actually spoke to Denon tech support this morning and got a different answer! I was told to leave the settings that Audyssey makes as is - i.e. leave speakers set to LARGE and turn the sub on. This should be the same for 2ch playback. I was told that I should leave the individual crossovers and even though the speakers were set to LARGE, they would NOT get the full signal, just above the crossover. Below the crossover would go to the sub.

    When I asked is this not the same as SMALL so what's the point, he told me that SMALL has a more basic crossover, and is more for THX and is set at 80Hz. Nightmare
     
  4. Gary_W

    Gary_W
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    Well I'm afraid the tech support guy at Denon has got it wrong. You can prove this to yourself by getting the test tones from the Snapbug site and seeing what gets sent to where with the various bass management settings.

    More basic crossover :D :D :D I like that he is talking THX when you are talking 2 channel music :rotfl: :eek: :thumbsdow

    Basically, in 2 channel music, there is no LFE effect at all (in other words the .1 channel present for multichannel music and films is missing). The only way you get stuff sent to the sub via the LFE connection is if the bass management tells it to do so.

    If you set the speakers to 'large' and the sub to 'off' then nothing will be sent to the sub. If you set the speakers to 'small', it will make you use a sub. In this case, the signal sent to the speakers will start to attenuate at the crossover frequency. That, plus the natural rolloff of the speakers, will mean that they tail off. The sub will start to get signal below this point and will fill in.

    If you set the speakers to 'large' on this product, they will ALWAYS get a full range signal. So the tech support guy is wrong as far as I'm concerned (anyone else want to back me up here?). Page 74 of the manual tells you what happens to low frequencies when a speaker is set to 'large'; if you set the sub mode to LFE, they are sent to the front speakers only. If you set LFE+Main, they are sent to the speakers AND the sub.

    I have just played with my 3806 advanced setup. With LFE only set in 2 channel mode, the sub stops moving. I still have bass coming at me from the main speakers all the way down to 40Hz. Putting LFE+mains makes the sub come to life again.

    Go and have a play, manual in hand, and you'll see that the above is correct. Then phone Denon back and ask them to think again...

    Gary
     
  5. Meeko

    Meeko
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    Thanks for the info! Will try tonight. Something else that's interesting...

    While my 2ch mode was configured to SMALL, when in Pure Direct the sub did not move. When I set LFE+MAIN with the speakers still SMALL, it did move! Strange. Maybe there wasn't a strong enough signal to activate the sub from standby?

    I think I'll leave the speakers to SMALL for movies so the amp gets an easier time and have them set to LARGE and LFE+MAINS for music.

    As an afterthought, when listening to DVD-Audio in Pure Direct, are the master settings applied, or the 2ch settings (even though it's 5.1)?!

    While I was re-running Audyssey on the weekend, the amp seemed to lock while calculating the 6th position. I waited for 5 minutes and then the sub started pounding at a high level, followed by the front left speaker giving an ear piercing screech. I ran to turn the amp off and it seemed to be fine after! I think the thing's too complicated for its own good!
     
  6. 12 promises

    12 promises
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    YES MATE YOUARE ABSOLUTELY CORRECT IN WHAT YOU SAY:clap:
     
  7. Member 96948

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    It would be annoying that he's always right, if he weren't so damn helpful:smashin:

    He's also right that I make do without the sub for 2 channel CD & Vinyl (yes vinyl). I go one step further though and output the stereo signal from my 3910 to the 3806 via the stereo phono outputs into the CD input on the amp. This allows me to run 'Pure Direct - All Off' on the 3910, 'Pure Direct' & Front Speakers 'Large + no sub in 'Direct Stereo' WITHOUT affecting the 5.1 setup where all my speakers are set to small and I run a mahoosive sub.

    It also allows me to turn all processing, Audessey etc, off on that input. As GaryW says it's a personal thing on my part, but I've decided that IMHO the life that is robbed from the music by extra processing and circuitry is not worth the price of a perfectly flat in room response curve. My room isn't perfect but it's not too bad and this IS a personal preference - but hey, it's free to try out.

    Russell
     
  8. Gary_W

    Gary_W
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    :blush:

    Many thanks for the kind words.

    If my room didn't have the acoustics of an aircraft hanger gone wrong, I would also do without the EQ. I agree completely that, if your room doesn't need it, it is the kind of thing likely to do more harm than good.

    One thing I do have to try is doing without the Audyssey for music now I have the BFD back in the circuit. The BFD is doing a fairly severe cut at the 50Hz frequency that is the problem one for my music. At the moment, I am using my mains as full range speakers with the sub coming in at 40Hz to do its stuff. Even with the BFD getting medieval with the sub, the mains are still giving out the 'problem' frequency, so turning off Audyssey is a no-no.

    If I set the crossover to 60Hz on the 2ch music page and set the speakers to 'small' then that will calm down the spike without the Audyssey. I'll give it a go and see if the performance goes North or South :) I suspect the latter, as the LFE+Mains setting and 'large' speakers does seem to integrate better for music, but I'll do my best to keep an open mind.

    Gary
     
  9. Member 96948

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    Hey, it's your room and I have no experience of that, so I wouldn't dare to comment. I benefited massively from your informed comment and worked out the rest for myself. For this I thank you.

    Don't be too hasty to knock the entertainment value of aircraft hangers. I once got a paper dart to fly nearly 80 metres in one. It may sound nerdy, but that was big fun and scary due to the distance I had to free climb up the uprights in order to gain the necassary 'advantage'. Not bad for a fat bloke.:thumbsup: Come to think of it, that may be the same reason I found myself being X-rayed 2 days into my first ever skiing trip.:rolleyes:

    Russell
     
  10. Gary_W

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    Well, I had a bit of a play with the settings and it turns out that I really don't know what I'm talking about... Every time I play further with this thing it points out to me what I don't know...

    It's that manual again :mad: It clearly states on P.67 under 'setting the 2ch Direct / Stereo:-
    Set this when you want to change the speaker settings when the surround mode is set to 2-channel Direct or Stereo mode.

    This leads me to believe that these are the settings that the amp will use on 'direct' or 'pure direct'. In fact, it is the settings when the amp is in 'regular' stereo. If you press pure direct or direct, it completely ignores most of the settings. I have no idea which settings it does use, but it isn't the ones in this menu. It is almost as if it is bypassing the bass management in direct mode. Which is kind of how a lot of people think of direct modes, but if that is the case then the manual is misleading to say the least. Either this is a complete misinterpretation of the manual by me or this is a bug :confused:

    I proved it as follows, and please someone else out there do this to see if yours does it.

    In the 2ch direct advanced playback bit, set the crossover frequency to 250Hz, set the sub to ON, set the sub mode to LFE+MAIN.

    Come out of the menu, and select regular stereo, NOT direct / pure direct. You will find that you get lots of bass routed to the sub. Fair enough. Turn off the sub power. You will find that the speakers sound really tinny, as they are being starved of everything <250Hz. Now turn to Direct or pure direct. You will find the bass is back in your main speakers. Which is really not what the manual would lead you to believe....

    Meeko - I am really sorry to have given you false info here. In my defense, so have Denon; if you set the speakers to 'large' in that menu, they definately DO get signal down below the crossover. Honest. You are also right that setting LFE only with the speakers on small gives no sub output in regular 2 channel stereo. Hitting pure or direct brings the sub back in... Very odd. The only way to do what I was trying to do here (direct everything <40Hz to the sub) is to set the speakers to small, the sub mode to LFE+MAINS and to not use Direct or Pure Direct, otherwise the amp does its own thing...

    The weird thing is, if you set the sub to 'Off' in this page then direct and pure will not use the sub. If you set it to 'on', direct and pure DO use the sub but seem to ignore the crossover you have set for the sub and the 'large / small' setting on the same page. Which is really, really bizarre.

    Anyone care to experiment and enlighten me as to what Denon are getting at? How can direct and pure direct ignore bass management settings yet use the sub? Are they pinching the values from the 5.1 setup or doing something even stranger?

    Gary
     
  11. Meeko

    Meeko
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    Gary, it is indeed very confusing. I'll have a play this evening and see what I come up with. I did ask Denon tech support if the 2ch Direct/Stereo applied to Pure Direct also. I was told that it does and that Pure Direct is the same as Direct, but without the display enabled.

    Nobody seems to know! We need to write our own manual!
     
  12. Gary_W

    Gary_W
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    I've just logged this with their tech support dept. Spoke to a chap called Ed who was very helpful :thumbsup:

    Basically, the only thing from that 2ch menu that makes a difference to the pure or direct modes is turning the sub off!

    To thicken the plot further, if you set the LFE mode to LFE only and the front speakers to small, nothing gets sent to the sub in pure or direct. If you select 2 channel stereo, the sub jumps to life.

    As I understood it, regular 2 channel stereo should get its settings from the regular bass management section and the pure / direct mode should get it from here. Well, it doesn't :thumbsdow

    Anyway, a full amp reset does not cure it. Nor does the EQ mode etc. Ed is going to check it out and get back to me.

    Gary
     
  13. Jase

    Jase
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    On the older Denon's Direct and Pure Direct always bypassed bass management and sent full range signals to the front channels regardless. You could also have sub output if you wished. Here's info I got from Denon ages ago with regards to these modes and what they do with an analog signal.

    "Stereo with an analogue input, stays analogue as it passes through an analogue High-Pass Filter (if the speakers are configured to small) while a seperate but parallel signal goes to the DSP for Low-Pass filtering. In DIRECT Mode the Hi-Pass Filter is bypassed, while the digital Low-Pass is still active. In PURE DIRECT Mode, both the analogue High-Pass and digital Low-Pass are bypassed, however an analogue Low-Pass takes over, so in PURE DIRECT it is 100% analogue"

    With a digital signal in Pure Direct the units will double up the DAC's per channel and use four per channel. Presumably if the source is digital then high/low passes are digital as well. I'd take a stab that the sub kicks in around 80hz or so (going by my subs EQ OSD).

    The newer Denon's have a more sophisticated bass management setup so it may well have changed.
     
  14. Jase

    Jase
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    Found this out last night oddly enough. Sub had no output in Direct/Pure Direct with the 2CH Direct/Stereo settings set to Small, LFE, Fixed THX crossover and SW channel was on -2.5db. I just manually changed them over to Large and LFE/MAIN and changed the crossover to 40hz. Does the job for me although it doesn't cure the "problem".
     
  15. Gary_W

    Gary_W
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    Hi Jase,

    The 3806 manual isn't anywhere near as helpful as to the difference between stereo, direct and pure direct. It is clear that pure direct turns off the video processing and the front panel display, but it is certainly still affected by bass management to some extent on this product. If you set sub to 'yes' in the 2ch direct / stereo menu then the sub will be active in direct or pure direct, so this menu is doing half a job.

    The 'more sophisticated bass management' is the fact that you can alter the crossovers for the diffferent speakers, and that you can have seperate preferences for pure and pure direct. It is this latter feature that, pending further investigation by those in the know, appears not to work.

    Gary
    Gary
     
  16. Jase

    Jase
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    The differences between Stereo, Direct and Pure Direct as I understood it were that Stereo used bass management as per the settings in the main setup menu. Direct supposedly ignored these and just sent full range signals to the fronts and Pure Direct did the same but also turned off the display and video circuits. In each case you could have the sub on or off if so desired. If the source was digital then the difference between Direct and Pure Direct came down to how many DAC's it used for each channel (Pure Direct uses four, Direct uses two).

    What source are you using? Digital or Analog? Just wondering if it's the analog bass management system that's doing something. The A1XV has a full blown independent analog bass management setup and I wonder if that's been rolled over to other models.
     
  17. Gary_W

    Gary_W
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    In my discussion with Ed, I clarified what he understood was supposed to be the case on the 3806.

    As far as he was concerned, the regular bass management controls (as in the main crossovers etc set in the 5.1 or 7.1 mode) will be applied to 2 channel stereo mode.

    As soon as you turn on direct, it should indeed ignore the bass management settings in the 5.1 part of the menus. Instead, it should do what it is told to do in the advanced playback menu. This menu will allow you to do everything from crossover adjustment to completely ignoring the sub, so it should allow the 'no subs for music' people to turn them off and the rest of us to set a crossover appropriate to music. I did this to death with Ed, and he agreed that this is how he understood things to work. The manual also leads you in this direction in its usual vague manner, though it is far from concrete in its conviction.

    At the moment, the 3806 has it backwards; the direct mode settings come on as long as you are not in direct. In direct or pure, you will have the sub on as long as the advanced playback menu sets it on, but you then have no control whatsoever as to the crossover. It is not taking it from the 5.1 menu OR the advanced menu. And it treats the mains as large no matter what.

    Regarding the source, I was using digital from CD. At Ed's request, I tried analogue and it made no difference to what is happening here.

    Gary
     
  18. Meeko

    Meeko
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    Perhaps you could use the sub's inbuilt crossover if the 3806 offers no control in direct/pure direct? Bit inconvenient though. If the Direct/Pure Direct modes bypass tone control (and maybe that includes bass managment) it might make sense that it outputs <250hz to the sub?
     
  19. Eddy Boy

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    Thats not the point, the menu states Stereo and 2ch direct, so why does it work for stereo and not direct? Unless, of course, it is miss labelled. (bangs head against wall)
     
  20. Gary_W

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    That's the thing. It's not really clear at this point as to whether the way it is working is intentional and the meaning has been lost in the translation of a rather dreadful manual / translation of the menu headings on the system or whether the software is doing things back to front.

    Personally I'm voting for the latter, as if it is just a misunderstood manual then this particular menu makes no sense whatsoever. It will be interesting to see what Denon say about it; if they provide more info on what the difference between direct, pure direct and 2 channel is on this particular product then that will be helpful to us as well.

    Edit: Spoken to Ed at Denon UK again. The test one at that end behaves in the same way as mine does. He's feeding it through to Europe to see what they say.

    Gary
     
  21. Meeko

    Meeko
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    Hi Gary,

    Any news from Ed / Denon? Would be really nice to understand how this receiver works!

    Cheers,

    Steve
     
  22. Gary_W

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    Hi Meeko,

    Nothing yet. I'll give them a ring in a day or two and see if there has been any progress.

    Edit - called them and they still haven't heard back from Germany. They are chasing and will get back to me.

    Gary
     

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