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AVR 300 and subwoofer set up - help please

Discussion in 'Arcam Owners' Forum' started by silverx, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. silverx

    silverx
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    I have recently bought the avr300 and cannot get it to drive the subwoofer when watching sky - ive connected using the optical feed (set to dolby digital on sky+). If the programme in in dolby surround then subwoofer is silent - only if i set the mode to PCM stereo does it work - but then the surround info is lost!

    I'm i missing something in set up? Its really annoying as movies in DS sound rather anaemic without the sub running. My last amp (considerably cheaper)amp had no such problems!!
    There is no problems with the sub - works great with DVDs and in stereo mode.

    I'd be greatful for any advice. TIA
     
  2. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    Have you actually read the manual cover to cover? If not then start there..
     
  3. silverx

    silverx
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    :oops: Gosh i wondered what that book was for... Well, No I haven't - I'm ashamed to say i can't read Dutch at all; my french is pretty ropey, and as for my German.....but i HAVE read the English bits... even those bits of it i don't understand. :D

    Anyway I appear to have got round the problem by messing with stuff - i have set the surround back speakers to small (even though i havent got any -it being a 5.1 set up with large rear speakers) and the subwoofer now plays. Not sure if this is the right way to sort it but it seems to work..
     
  4. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    That is a good start, unless your speakers are capable of going down to 20Hz flat then I wouod generally recommend seeting them all to 'Small'.
     
  5. mutley

    mutley
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    But i think he's saying that he configured the AV300 to 7.1 but he only has 5.1 . Wouln't that mean he's lossing the Surroud Back info?
     
  6. Crespotav

    Crespotav
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    You are right. Declaring surround backs and not installing them the output is not diverted to the "side" surrounds. But it is the only way to be able to select Dolby PLIIx, DTS Neo, etc. It enables you to hear FM Radio and CD in surround.

    As a temporary step before you buy speakers for surround back, I have found it useful!
     
  7. silverx

    silverx
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    Thanks for info all.

    As luck would have it i found some old rear surround speakers i had on my very first system (i'd forgotten id kept them). They sound pretty good all things considered, and will certainly keep me going for the time being!
     
  8. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    Have got any further with your subwoofer problem?
     
  9. silverx

    silverx
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    Yes thanks, it took a bit of experimentation but it seems the sub is switched off if the surround and/or surround rears are set to large;and the source is NOT encoded in 5.1. So a DD5.1 dvd sounded fine but a DS Sky broadcast has no sub. Your advice of setting them all to small has worked well.

    I coincidentally found that if you say there are no rear surround speakers then the amp wont play any sound at all on a DTS 6.1 ES soundtrack, such as Fellowship of the Ring. (ie it doesn't convert it to DTS '5.1' by, say, playing all rear info in the surround speakers). So I have hooked up some old Boston surround speakers I'd forgotten I had (!) to the rear channels.

    All i can say is the DTS 6.1 on this set-up literally blows the Dolby 5.1 soundtrack away!
     
  10. ANDY_DUTTON

    ANDY_DUTTON
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    Hi,

    This seems to be a common misconception. The Sub is not "Turned off" it is just that the DVD / SAT program when it was mixed has no information in the .1 channel. This is the Low frequency effects channel and is normally only used for loud bangs and crashes.

    If your speakers are set large then all base information for them is sent to them only. If we duplicated it and sent it to the sub as well you would have to much bass (and we would fail the Dolby compliance testing, you last system must have been out of spec.). So as you have discovered if you want something comming out of the sub all the time you need to set some of your speakers to small.

    If you have good large speakers all round, I would suggest you use them as down mixing them into the sub will not give as good a response. However as Crustyloafer has indicated if you are using medium sized speakers or you want to play very loud then redirecting the bass to the sub will give you a better response. From your description of the sound you have it sounds like you should set all your speakers to small.

    I would suggest you try these out and see what sounds best on your system. It may sound better without the base redirected to the sub, in which case the sub will only be used when there is information recorded on the .1 channel and will remain silent the rest of the time (However as indicated above it sounds like in your system this is unlikely).

    As an aside, there is no point in creating phantom speakers just to get Dolby PLIIx to operate if you have a 5.1 system as Dolby PLIIx is only different from Dolby PLII in terms of the way it creates the back channels. You will be extracting information from Left/Right surround and feeding it to nowhere so you will infact be loosing information from the mix. (obviously now you have found some back speakers this is not a problem). You do not need a 7.1 system to use Neo 6 or Dolby PLII. If you run Dolby PLIIx with no back speakers you have no advantage infact it will be worse which is why it is not allowed.

    Regards,
    Andrew
     

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