7.1 quickfire questions!

phoenix_rising

Standard Member
Hi guys,

I was wondering if anyone can help me with the following barrarge of questions! :)

My Kit: Nothing special! - 50" Samsung Plasma, Denon 3805, Kef Reference TDM 7.1 (using a velodyne va-1012 instead of the kef 45b!)

1) Although the room is slightly retangular and the speakers are all equally symetrically placed in the room as to the 7.1 thx setup diagram... The Denon 3805 Auto EQ process ALWAYS seems to calibrate every single speaker level differently! The only reasen i can think it does this is because the left hand wall is solid masonry and the right hand side wall is a window that runs 3/4 the way down it! Does this sound right to you?

2) Based on me running the KEF TDM set should EACH of my speakers be set to "SMALL" on the amp?

3) Does the Denon auto setup set the Crossover levels or do i need to do it manually? And if i do it manually is it done per speaker?

4) If i were to look at replacing the Denon 3805 (with a reciever with HDMI!) What would you guys suggest as a worth SQ replacement...?

5) When running 7.1 on the denon 3805 are my "Rear Backs" & "Rear Surround" Pairs ment to be run off the "Surround A+B Channels" or the "Surround back /Zone 2" Channels? I've heard running both sets on surround A+B halves the power available to them?

6) Is there an easy way to EQ the system using a disc or microphone setup? I really dont trust the Audessey setup and would like piece of mind that its at least running well balanced!

7) Can someone confirm that when im running 2 sets of Diopoles in my 7.1 setup (1 set for backs and 1 set for surrounds) That my back SPEAKERS are ment to be swapped over? (For example the dipole at the back marked Right is moved to the LEFT and vice versa.)

8) are the back surround and side surround channels sending the listener the same information on a 7.1 recording on a 7.1 amp? or are the channels duplicating the same channel info for the backs as they are to the surrounds?

9) Is it healthy practice or can you forsee any problems when leaving my Denon 3805 set to "Auto" to pick the most relevant codec when playing material through it?

Any info .. To any of these questions would really be useful! :)

I hope someone can summarize and clear up some of my confusion :S
 

LargeStyle

Standard Member
Although I'm definitely no expert on 7.1 setups, I see you've had no responses to your thread so I'll chime in with my thoughts. I don't know all the answers to your questions, but what I do know / recommend is....

1) Although the room is slightly retangular and the speakers are all equally symetrically placed in the room as to the 7.1 thx setup diagram... The Denon 3805 Auto EQ process ALWAYS seems to calibrate every single speaker level differently! The only reasen i can think it does this is because the left hand wall is solid masonry and the right hand side wall is a window that runs 3/4 the way down it! Does this sound right to you?
I have a rectangular living room, but according to my amps instruction manual, THX recommends 7.1 speaker position as the same as a 5.1 setup but with the 2 surround back speakers placed together directly behind the central seating position. I personally don't do this with the surround backs, I have a gap so each 4 surround speakers are equally spaced out so it provides as equally balanced sound-field / description as possible, but this is just my preference. Whenever I run a microphone setup calibration, it always produces different EQ settings, and wierd ones at that (every frequency is all over the shop) but I've always assumed these EQ settings have been made in conjustion with the acoustic reverb diagnostics so it all balances out in the end. I normally use all the microphones settings but wipe the EQ and start afresh, which albeit possibly makes it slightly harder to gain a balanced soundfield / experience, it's ultimately better than leaving as it was. I don't know enough about acoustics, but the real question isn't does it sound right to us, it's does it sound right to you?

If I leave my amp on the microphone calibrated setting it sounds very balanced speaker level and acoustically-wise, but the EQ settings are far to weak for my liking, so I'd recommend only using these kinds of settings for a base setup which will probably require tweaking for your preferences. That's why I generally ignore THX advice, settings, and amp modes, I'd rather listen to my own opinion rather than that of something that a group have allegedly certified as being the best. If you're after an accurate recreation of cinema / film settings then yeah THX will head you in the right direction, but if you could tweak the audio system in your local cinema would you say no, THX said their settings are better? Unlikely :)

2) Based on me running the KEF TDM set should EACH of my speakers be set to "SMALL" on the amp?
Again, don't take this as gospel, but for my amp (Pioneer VSX-LX50) all that setting the speakers to small does is cut off the frequency as of 63Hz downwards, whereas the large setting runs full-range bass. I believe THX recommend using the small speaker option, but I want bass all around me so again I have ignored their advice! Perhaps just try all available settings and see (or hear) what happens.

3) Does the Denon auto setup set the Crossover levels or do i need to do it manually? And if i do it manually is it done per speaker?
Don't know, but as stated just above, the speaker size setting may apply a cut-off. Look in your manual (I actually sat down the other day and read mine from start to finish) to learn more about the amp better. My amp has speaker size settings for Front (pair), Centre, Surround Side (pair), and Surround Back (pair) - with each speaker having it's own 9-band EQ settings.

6) Is there an easy way to EQ the system using a disc or microphone setup? I really dont trust the Audessey setup and would like piece of mind that its at least running well balanced!
Based on personal (unprofessional) experience, the answer is no. I just experiment with all kinds of sources for reference, but I find it near impossible to have one setting that works well for everything. I use anything that I'm going to listen anyway to anyway: DTS setups discs, DTS-HD Master Audio setup discs, Bluray films, films from TV, audio cd's, DVD audio (surround) cd's, MP3's, Xbox 360, PS3 etc. All I can really recommend is to tweak the EQ around the speakers capability / performance first, then adjust it a little more to your preference if further tweaking is required.

8) are the back surround and side surround channels sending the listener the same information on a 7.1 recording on a 7.1 amp? or are the channels duplicating the same channel info for the backs as they are to the surrounds?
If you're playing a native 7.1 soundtrack, and in a native 7.1 mode on the amp then every speaker should be doing its own thing. Things get more complicated if you're running either a native 5.1 soundtrack converted to 7.1 by the amp, or running a native 7.1 soundtrack in non-native modes on the amp as this will redistribute the audio in a different way to that it was originally mastered in and intended to.

9) Is it healthy practice or can you forsee any problems when leaving my Denon 3805 set to "Auto" to pick the most relevant codec when playing material through it?
Again, experiment for yourself. I have a friend with the same amp as me, and he just calibrated his setup using the microphone then just left everything as is because the manual said that it's going to sound fine. It wasn't until I gave him a demo of my settings and theories that he bagan to tweak his amp, which eventually transformed the sound in a significantly better way. Play around with everything you can, even forget the purposes each setting was made for, just experiment like crazy, use logic, common sense, and your ears!

Don't take any of the above as gospel, but hopefully something here may be of some help.
 

marty1

Active Member
1) Although the room is slightly retangular and the speakers are all equally symetrically placed in the room as to the 7.1 thx setup diagram... The Denon 3805 Auto EQ process ALWAYS seems to calibrate every single speaker level differently! The only reasen i can think it does this is because the left hand wall is solid masonry and the right hand side wall is a window that runs 3/4 the way down it! Does this sound right to you?

It will only set all speakers the same level if you have the mic dead centre of the room and all the speakers are the exact same distance away from this position, even then the levels may vary depending on the room acoustics effects on the sound, the auto eq will aim to get the mic to hear 75decibels from each speaker.

2) Based on me running the KEF TDM set should EACH of my speakers be set to "SMALL" on the amp?

Always set your amps crossover to small when you have a subwoofer, no matter how low your mains go they will never be able to output the quality bass a sub can do, also by doing this you allow your speakers to take care of the higher frequencys without loss of power, (lower frequencies use a significant amount of the amps power) giving a cleaner brighter performance all round.

3) Does the Denon auto setup set the Crossover levels or do i need to do it manually? And if i do it manually is it done per speaker?

Not sure how your amps eq works but always do the auto eq then manually go into speaker settings and change all speakers to small and set all speakers to 80hz, if it has a lfe channel crossover set it to highest setting, normally 120hz. Unless you have small sats you should always set the crossover on your amp to 80hz, for the same reason I just mentioned, some larger speakers respond better at 60hz when you are trying to integrate the sub but not often, 80hz is near enough always the better choice, especially since your speakers are THX certified which means they are designed to integrate with the sub at that frequency.

4) If i were to look at replacing the Denon 3805 (with a reciever with HDMI!) What would you guys suggest as a worth SQ replacement...?

Depends what your budget is but I would suggest looking for something that's thx certified and has audyssey speaker calibration as they are very good. If you want future proof amp look for a hdmi version 1.4 compatible 3D amp as you would want to run your bluray player through the amp to get hd sound and 3d picture. HD sound is a different league to standard d.digital and dts, it's not just about the picture :thumbsup:


5) When running 7.1 on the denon 3805 are my "Rear Backs" & "Rear Surround" Pairs ment to be run off the "Surround A+B Channels" or the "Surround back /Zone 2" Channels? I've heard running both sets on surround A+B halves the power available to them?

Definately not zone 2 as that is normally for another room setup, I would have to see the back of your amp to know where they should be connected but normally you should have all 7 speakers connected and running off A or B.

6) Is there an easy way to EQ the system using a disc or microphone setup? I really dont trust the Audessey setup and would like piece of mind that its at least running well balanced!

Audessey does it very well, normally the fine tuning comes in the subwoofer area which audyssey doesn't really tackle. The trick with audyssey is to get the mic placement right, check out the guidence videos on here with Neil Davidson, very informative. To get the best from sub you need to download Room Eq Wizard which really can show you any in room problems you have.

7) Can someone confirm that when im running 2 sets of Diopoles in my 7.1 setup (1 set for backs and 1 set for surrounds) That my back SPEAKERS are ment to be swapped over? (For example the dipole at the back marked Right is moved to the LEFT and vice versa.)

I would have thought that they'd have beared that in mind so you should place them exactly where they are marked up, if it says right place them on the right. If in doubt ask the store or call the manufacturer.

8) are the back surround and side surround channels sending the listener the same information on a 7.1 recording on a 7.1 amp? or are the channels duplicating the same channel info for the backs as they are to the surrounds?

If it is definately a 7.1 amp (that claims to produce 7 discrete channels) and not a 7 channel amp (which only does 6.1) which I fell for :mad:, as long as the disc you are playing states 7.1 audio then it will do 7 seperate sounds, unfortunately quite a lot of mixers dont go all out with the 2 surround back channels and they matrix the same sound to both of them, toy story 3 is one of the first films where the mixer really focused on using individual fx for each speaker. 5.1 surrounds are matrixed into the 2 rears which will filter out part of the sound into these speakers, not the exact same sound. This is very effective though so it's always worth doing this regardless of whether the disc is 5.1 or 7.1. :smashin:

9) Is it healthy practice or can you forsee any problems when leaving my Denon 3805 set to "Auto" to pick the most relevant codec when playing material through it?

Auto is fine :smashin:
 

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