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Bought some gear, now the questions ?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Phil Brown, Dec 14, 2001.

  1. Phil Brown

    Phil Brown
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    Fisrtly my thanks to all those who contribute to this board, it is great reading and I am learning fast and it has helped me make some choices.

    Bit if history - many years ago I bought one of the first large screen TVs ( Toshiba 33 inch ) great tv, still going well... it has Dolby Surround built in ( yes, thats pre pro-logic ) so was never really up to much... but it has sufficed for some time.

    With things moving on now I decided it was time to upgrade the sound side of things to 5.1 and get a DVD, I,ve spent many weeks pouring thru the mags and reading this board for tips and the decisons were finally made... seperates was the popular choice, and I now have system made up of :

    Denon 1802 Amp
    Kef kht 2001 Sub and Sats
    Toshiba SD 210 DVD player.

    ( total cost £1500....ok I didnt break the bank, but it sounds damn good to me ! )

    Old kit remains as - the Tosh 33inch tv ( 36 incher next on the list ), an S/VHS Panasonic VCR and Sky Digital ( not + )... plus an old Pioneer CD player ( 6 disc cartridge type ) that I was keen to keep alive.

    I spent a good few days lifting floorboards, crawling around lofts and finally got everything wired up ( to the wifes satisfaction )... set all the speakers small, sub on etc and we are now sitting looking at 5 Alien eyeballs and a new table ( sub ) around the room.... so now the questions :-

    1) in my haste to start listening ( and assuming I knew it all ) I positioned myself in the centre of the soundfiled and preceeded to use the "test tone" to set up the volume of each of the speakers... obviously just listening and moving them + or - until I could hear similar volume from each !

    Now I,m not a pureist, but I could tell this wasnt quite right, bit muddy, sounded very front dominant etc... so I persevered for many days tweaking with the test tone volume.

    One evening I actually sat and read the manual a bit more and found a different set up proposal.... firstly it says to use the test tone to set the level of all the speakers the same.... and to then use the "channel adjust" function on the amp to adjust the level (volume ?) of each speaker for the sitting position.

    So now i,m confused... what is the difference between using the test tone to set the speaker volumes and using the "channel adjust" to set them ?? I assumed they are the same thing ?? but maybe not, as I am pleased to say using this route has improved the sound greatly.

    I dont have a db meter, but have set all sat speakers using test tone and watching the db indicator on the amp, to 0 db. ( assuming that means they are now all same... roughly ! ).

    Any explanations / ideas on this greatly appreciated ???

    2) second question and probably really dumb - on the back of the amp there are many many inputs, outputs for Video sources also... clearly the sound has to go thru the amp... but what is the basic benefit of routing the Video sources thru the amp also ( I am assuming they are best left as direct connections to the TV ) ??

    One thought crossed my mind.... when operating the DVD from across the room, it is great to see the options, menus etc come up on the tv... if I had the amp connected to the tv also, would it display Amp settings on the TV ?? ( it would be great if it did as seeing the amp lcd from across the room is impossible, and invaribly means a trip out of the chair to check what I have selected ).

    n.b as an aside...I have connected the pioneer CD player to this system, and it works great for Audio music ( especially using 5 channel stero mode ).

    Many thanks for any responses. Rgds Phil
     
  2. Jase

    Jase
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    Hi

    If you connect the amp to the tv either via an s-vhs cable or composite cable you´ll be able to access the amps onscreen menus and this makes set up an absolute doddle.

    On the Denon menu you have Delay times, channel levels, speaker set up etc

    The Channel Level (in the main setup menu) is to be used as a master level, this will set the channel level for EVERY mode on the amp. Once set you can then adjust the individual mode levels 5ch/7ch stereo etc etc without affecting the master one.

    Have you set the Delay times?? you dont have to sit dead centre of all the speakers, you can if you want to!, but the amp will compensate if your nearer to one speaker than the other.

    Hope this helps you

    cheers
     
  3. Phil Brown

    Phil Brown
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    Thanks Jase... I,ll certainly dig out an 's' lead and connect the amp to TV this evening... I look forward to seeing the menus there.

    Yes forgot to mention, I did set the delay times.. for the denon these seem to be set as distances you are from each speaker ( I did this based on the most obvious ideal sitting position, although really only one person in the room ever benefits from this !! ).

    I think I understand the bit about setting channel levels in the menu ( and then this applies to all situations ).... but what about that test tone ? is it the same thing ? or do I use it just to tweak the settings for each mode and then it remembers these ??

    Cheers Phil
     
  4. Jase

    Jase
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    Hi

    When you get the amp connected to the tv and you see the menus all will be much clearer!

    The Test Tone button is there for anyone not using the Onscreen menus i suppose.

    You can adjust the different levels for the different modes without using the test tone if you want to, its actually easier as you can hear the effect its having on the sound straightaway.

    The Test Tone button is there for quick & easy check to see if all is connected & working ok.

    If i want to adjust any levels for 5ch stereo etc i use the remote to do it, my Denon has a channel level button you just press and cycle thru the different channels FR, C etc etc

    As i mentioned before use the Setup menu to set master levels and then you can adjust the individual modes afterwards if you want but without pressing the test tone button!

    cheers
     
  5. Reiner

    Reiner
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    Firstly you should use a SPL meter and not your ears to balance the sound, this can make a huge difference.
    To do this, you need a test tone which the SPL meter can pick up.
    Hold it upright at your listening position and let the test tone cycle around the speakers, adjusting each channel to the same level.
    0dB means the signal is neither amplified nor attenuated, i.e. the reference level from where you adjust the indicidual channel volume (or in other words set every channel to 0dB and then increase/decrease the level according to the SPL meter reading).

    However note that the effect channels on different DVDs are not necessarily mastered on the same level, means some may sound louder or some too low.
    The 'Channel Adjust' then allows to change this quickly to suit yur needs without that you have to go through the setup menu as above.

    As for the video connections: you can use the amp as a switching center if you run out of connections at the TV, i.e. when you have too many sources but not enough SCART sockets.
    You are however right to say that a direct connection should give the best quality, for S-Video and RGB at least.
     

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