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Can you help me set-up my Meridian 561?

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by Triggaaar, Jul 17, 2004.

  1. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Well I've just connected my first AV system - get in!

    As this is my first system, I have more to learn than most, but setting up the 561 is proving very difficult.

    There are 3 options to set it up:
    1) Just using the remote and front panel
    2) As above, with the help of display info on a tv
    3) With a PC

    I tried option 2, but no luck, presumably as I don't have the necessary connections - I connected my TV's RF in, into the processor, then out of processor, to the TV - but the Meridian's composite in & out aren't exactly the same as a std TV

    I will try option 3 as soon as I've downloaded the software (I presume I just want the latest available)

    But until now, I've had to use option 1. DTS and DD 5.1 are great so far (ie, working :))
    Trifield has confused me - I expected it to use the front 3 speakers and sub, but it uses all 5.1?

    One thing I cannot get to work (it doesn't seem to be covered in the manual) is changing the 561 to accept analogue from the CD source. I know the analogue outs from my CD player are working, but the Meridian is intent on using digital in only, whether it's connected or not (the digital in does work). Do I have to use PC or on screen display to change this, or have I missed something?

    Any help is, as always, much appreciated.

    Thanks

    PS - Any suggestions on general settings (delay for rears, best sound modes to try)?
     
  2. FazerThou

    FazerThou
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    Dont know what inputs you have on the 561 but if you have spare analogue inputs, say AUX, why not plug the leads from the cd to the AUX incase the 561 defaults to the digital.
     
  3. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Thanks, I'll try that - although I have a suspicion that all sources default to digital, as the Meridian thinks its DACs are better than anyone elses.

    Anyway, that won't be too much of an issue when I eventually get it to talk to my computer. I get the feeling that the RS232 cable that I got with it wasn't the original one (it's male to female, but I need female to female). So I need a different cable, but it doesn't say whether it needs to be a straight through serial, or a cross over, or what. This could take some time, but setting it up via the PC is a must.

    Any tips?
     
  4. idhutt

    idhutt
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    Triggaaar

    Not sure if you are aware, but there is a very knowledgeable Meridian user community at: http://www.softronix.com/cgi-bin/Ultimate.cgi

    As for setting up, PC setup is the best. You will need a null modem cable, and a USB to serial converter if you are using a laptop - a cheap generic one from Maplin will suffice. It just avoids the pitfalls associated with serial connectors and laptops. As for downloading the latest, make sure you get the version for the 500/800 series. The G-series one is different and will likely be the most recent.

    I don't know what your doing trying to put TV RF into the Meridian. Its a standard composite loop through that will overlay on an existing composite signal - ie you need a valid composite feed in before you get any output.

    As a starting point, you may want to 're-type' your 561 depending on your configuration. You will need the manual for this and can be done via front panel.

    The Meridian philospohy is for an all digital theatre. Do if you want an analogue version of the CD source, you will need to configure this otherwise, as you have found, the digital input will be used. This will still be easy to configure via the front panel. I would however seriously consider using digital CD in as its converted to digital within the 561 anyway irespective of what inputs and outputs you are using so you may as well avoid the unnecessary D/A -> A/D conversion.

    As for best settings, re-typing will default to standard which are a good starting point. Calibration distance and levels is a must. Otherwise, just let your ears tell you what is most pleasing.

    Enjoy

    Ian
    PS> Never had an 561 but 565, 568, 568.2MM and G68 has been in my repotoire.
     
  5. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Thanks

    No I didn't - maybe I'll need to do a lot of searching - not sure they'll be prepared for my newbie questions
    I wasn't even considering not using a PC at some point, I just wanted to get the basics right so I could have a listen, before taking the time to sort out with a PC. I'm not aware of the pitfalls with serial connectors and laptops? I've downloaded the correct software for the 561 - website made it fairly clear.

    I assumed RF from my roof was a valid feed in :blush: :suicide:
    Yep, I did that straight away. Went through every bit of the manual. All I could do with Type, was set it to 5.1, all analogue (analogue speakers).
    I assume the 561 won't convert to digital again in direct more - not sure about stereo?

    Thanks again
     
  6. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Can anyone explain Trifield to me? It seems a very popular processing mode, but I assumed it was used the front 3 speakers (Tri) and sub - mine is using all 5.1.

    AV revolution review says "Trifield takes a stereo signal and reprocesses for playback in the front three speakers and the subwoofer"

    Thanks
     
  7. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    AV processors & receivers do everything in digital other than direct stereo and direct multichannel inputs for DVD-A/SACD which of course means that you loose features such as bass management (nothing will be sent to the subwoofer).

    Mark.
     
  8. idhutt

    idhutt
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    The Meridian will do EVERYTHING in digital. There is no analogue passthrough. The quality of A/D-D/A is very good, in the later models, 568.2, G68, 861, it is almost transparent, even with high resolution tracks on DVD-A. I think the 561 slots in somewhere between the 565Z3 and 568, but it will still be pretty good.

    A good link about trifield is here if you want to know the details: http://www.softronix.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/000741.html

    As for 5.1, Trifield is actually recursive, meaning you could go from 2 to 3 to 5 to 9 front speakers (also, 4,6,7,8, but then they would not be equally spaced across the front).

    The problem with Trifield is that it is very difficult to setup - it is very dependant on how well matched the front speakers are, type and position/height. Also certain dsp settings such as depth also play a major role. But when it is setup properly, it suddenly all drops into place.
     
  9. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Thanks Ian. You have done AVForums a huge favour my sending me over there :) Seems there's a lot for me to learn.
    From reading about Trifield on that forum, the processing is supposed to send some ambient affects to the rears. I get the impression that you are supposed to be able to set it to just use the front 3 if you want (as quite a few people do)? I don't think there's anything in the manual about that (only setting 'Type' seems to state which speakers to use, and you can only have one 'Type' setting for your system). Maybe once I'm connected to a PC, it will be an option?
    My front 3 are the same, well positioned, and not to different in height, so hopefully it will sound good after playing with depth and width settings.

    Thanks again
     
  10. suzywong

    suzywong
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    It's OK, ask away, we don't bite! :D


    Down Ian, down boy!!!:laugh:
     
  11. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    I'm putting that to the test. Just posted over there as my laptop cannot see the 561 :(
     

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