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denon 3802 and active speakers is it possible?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by brendank, Dec 13, 2003.

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  1. brendank

    brendank
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    Hi all,

    I have recently purchased some bang olufsen speakers(beolab 8000 and 6000)on ebay to go with my bang olufsen beo vision 3.

    My problem is that i want to route everything i.e beovision 3, VCR and Denon DVD player through my denon 3802 receiver(which i think is well worth keeping)so that i have dolby digital,DTS etc through the receiver and it is also equipped with 3 RGB outlets.This means essentially just using the beovision 3 as a monitor and operating everything from the denon receiver.

    This is how the system is currently set up as 7 channel with two mission front speaker,two mission rear speakers, two mission centre speakers and a yamaha subwoofer.Now the mission front and rear speakers will be changed to the active beolabs.

    I will keep the mission centre speakers and the yamaha sub woofer. Although i have read that the beovision 3 can be used as a centre speaker i dont know how true this is or whether it is worth persuing as i didnt opt for the dolby digital module in the beovision 3.

    As i have never dealt with active speakers before i do not know what is involved in connecting these to my denon receiver.Is it possible to have both passive and active speakers working in same set up with
    my denon receiver, what connections are involved for the bang olufson speakers,do i need to buy a convertor of some sort to connect the active speakers to the denon receiver, can i use my existing speaker cable for the beolabs?

    I am sure i have mised something, but your help and advise would be most appreciated.

    Thanks

    Brendan:clap: :confused: :eek:
     
  2. Jase

    Jase
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    You can use the Denon with both active and passive speakers at the same time. Connect the active speakers to the corresponding channel Pre-Out's on the back of the Denon. Generally, active speakers are connected with RCA phono cables (Pro Speakers use 1/4 inch inputs) or balanced cables so you'll have to check what type of input the B&O speakers have on them. You won't be able to use your current speaker cables with them though.
     
  3. brendank

    brendank
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    thanks jase for the quick reply,

    i have been told by bang olufsen dealer that i will need line signal to the bang olufsen speakers as i need need to send unamplified sound via Phono sockets to the Beolabs.There is a switch on the speakers to set them to Line. If the denon 3802 receiver allows this it should work.

    as i have zero experience in this area my problem is does the denon 3802 receiver have pre-amp out sockets?

    i know that some amps have the preamp signals come out the back on phono sockets and loop them back in again to the poweramp stage with u-shaped connectors that come out of one phono socket and go back into another. does the denon 3802 have this?

    if yes how do i locate it and connect the speakers

    thanks

    brendan
     
  4. Jase

    Jase
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    Sure does. It has one for each channel.

    The Denon does this internally so doesn't need to have the signal looped out and back in again. If you've already had your Yamaha subwoofer connected to the Denon via the SW Pre-Out, the other main channel Pre-Outs are located in the same area on the back. Just connect the speakers to the relevant Pre-Out e.g Front Left, Centre, Front Right etc etc :) You'll then need to balance all the channels so that they all output the same volume levels (you ideally need a sound meter for this but it can be done by ear although it's not as accurate).
     
  5. brendank

    brendank
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    thanks again jase,

    i think i am getting close to understanding this now

    :rolleyes:

    i just need to get it right in my head first as i dont want to blow the amp or the speakers

    the active speakers require a line level signal i know that
    every amp has internally got preamp and poweramp stages. The preamp takes signals from the connected equipment and get their levels right before they go on to the power stages.

    Because with active B&O speakers the poweramp is in the speaker itself. I need to send a line-level signal coming out of the denon's preamp to the B&O's, not the normal Denon speaker output signals.

    my question is are the preouts that you refer to in your last reply capable of giving me the line level signal that i need.

    I apologise in advance for my rudimentary knowledge of A/V connections
    :confused:

    Brendank
     
  6. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Yes, the pre-outs are at line level.

    Over simplifying it a lot.......
    within an AV system you have 2 audio levels.
    1- line level. This is all the phono connections from DVD, CD, pre-outs etc. This then goes through any proccessing required, ie pre-amp, and then on to an amp or powered speakers.
    2- Hi level. This is the signal after it has gone through a power amp. This then connects to passive speakers.

    Mark.
     
  7. brendank

    brendank
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    hi again,

    many thanks for your input, i think i got it clear in my head now

    just one thing though regarding the preout inputs that i have to use for the active speakers are these located beside the normal speaker inputs,i say this because my subwoofer is connected there with one input but there appears to be two inputs for the speakers is this correct.

    also if these are the correct ones they are not labelled for front, rear etc does it matter which ones are used.

    also slightly related question is it possible to use banana plugs for the passive speakers with the denon 3802?

    thanks again
    :confused: :confused: :confused:
     
  8. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Yes, they are to the left of the speaker binding posts and your subwoofer is connected to one of the pre-outputs.
    There is 1 output for each speaker, ie 8 as you have a 7.1 receiver.

    Take a look at www.electrictown.co.uk and go to 'Hardware Reviews' on the menu at the top and do a search for the 3802. There are reviews that have pictures of the back and show that the pre-outs are labelled for each speaker. This is required as you would end up with a surround speaker connected to the front left etc as the outputs relate directly to each speaker output.
    In real life these labels are near impossible to see as there is very little room on the back of the 3802 once you have a few cables plugged in.
    Sorry, I would have attached the picture, but I am at work and don't have any software to reduce the picture to the required size for the forum.

    Yes you can use banana plugs on the speaker binding posts. The ends are covered with a small plastic disk because of stupid EU laws. Just remove them with a small screwdriver.

    Mark.
     
  9. brendank

    brendank
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    Thanks again for your expert advise.

    After doing this, i am feeling even braver now and would like to see if i can finally crack the component video rgb issue which has been troubling me since i bought the 3802.

    My bang olufsen tv has three scarts all rgb compatible but i have never hooked up any of them to the denon 3802.This would be the ideal solution as it would enable me to control everything via the 3802 and the tv would essentially be a monitor only. My system consists of bang olufsen vcr, denon dvd 2800 mk11 and denon avr 3802.I havent got any cd player yet so it is being used essentially as a home cinema set up

    I know that ideally i should use all three rgb outlets on the 3802 to give me best picture quality but to be perfectly honest i found the task completely daunting when i purchased the 3802. With a very basic knowledge of A/V and not finding the manual to be of much assistance so i just stuck to what i knew best.

    That being coaxial signal to vcr and linked back to tv vai vcr. vcr to tv via double scart and denon dvd to tv via double scart. the sound from the dvd to amp via optical cable.I also connected the vcr to amp using hte cheap white,yellow and red leads but i did not notice any difference in sound or picture quality doing this

    Clearly this is not the ideal use of the amp and i would appreciate any advise or assistance you guys can offer to give me a better set up.

    Thanks
     
  10. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    IMHO you have it set up just about right. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
    The 3802 does not have RGB in or out. It has composite (yuk!), S-Video & component.
    There are 2 component inputs and 1 output. These are 3 phono connections per in/out. I think this is what you are confusing for RGB.
    If your TV has a component input then this should be used for the DVD player. If the TV does not have component then RGB is the best connection and going directly to the TV (ie not via an amp etc) will keep the PQ as good as possible.

    If you want to increase the quality of the picture and/or sound then I would suggest you invest in some better cables. You say you have used the cheap red/white/yellow phono to connec the vcr to 3802 but could hear no improvement in sound. Well I don't know how good the speakers are on your TV, but I think that TV sound in Dolby Pro Logic 2 via the 3802 is great and far better than just nicam. It is how I listen to the TV all the time. My plasma does not have any speakers.
    You will not improve PQ via the 3802 and certainly not connecting it as composite! Just use the 3802 to drive your AV speakers for the TV sound and stick to the RGB scart for picture direct to the TV for VCR.

    Mark.
     
  11. brendank

    brendank
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    hi mark thanks for the reply,

    it appears that i have been confusing the 3 composite inputs above the speaker input section as rgb for the last year!! oh dear!!

    is there any point in hooking up the tv to the amp via these composite inputs or which way would you recommend hooking up the tv to the amp, as i agree with what your saying about getting dolby been better than nicam.

    i didnt get the dolby option on the beovision 3 as i did not think i needed especially as my 3802 was more than capable of delivering the sound for my home cinema

    for the vcr i obviously need better cables what would you recommend and is their a better way of hooking it up to the 3802 rather than phono sockets

    thanks again

    :confused: :laugh:
     
  12. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    TBH the sound from TV & VCR is analogue and not of brillient quality so I would not spend a fortune on cables, but something better than the cheap supplied ones costing £20ish,depending on length, should be fine.
    I just connect my VCR & TiVo to the 3802 by a phono pair. You should have audio outputs on the TV that can connect to the 3802. These could be a scart that has output or just the red & white phono connections. RTFM and see what your TV has got.

    Mark.
     
  13. brendank

    brendank
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    thanks mark,

    took a while to figure out RTFM though :)

    i guess it is a reference to the really user friendly manual that comes with the 3802!!!

    cheers
     
  14. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Yeh, that will be the one :D
    I find my 3802 manual is great. Since putting it under the leg of my table it doesn't wobble any more. I knew it had a use :laugh: , but it certainly wouldn't have anything to do with setting the receiver up :nono: .

    Mark.
     
  15. brendank

    brendank
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    :cool: :confused:

    yeah mark sometimes i feel like thats all its good for too but i am afraid to lose sight of it for some reason despite herself trying to constantly file it away.

    slightly related question if was to replace my amp bearing in mind the need to connect active speakers what would you recommend with a budget of £1,000/£1,200.

    thanks again for all your help
     
  16. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    TBH I would recommend you save your money and keep the 3802. The processing on the receiver is good, and anything you buy within that budget would be an integrated system. With active speakers you should be looking at upgrading to a separate proccessor. These though do not tend to fit in that budget unless you look at second hand.
    If I was buying a new receiver I would be looking carefully at the new Arcam AVR300 to be released in March at around £1300. But as stated this will include amps that in your case will be going to waiste.

    Mark.
     
  17. brendank

    brendank
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    hi mark thanks for the reply

    as you already may have gathered my knowledge of a/v equipment is rudimentary but i can follow instructions

    how exactly would introducing a processor help with my active speakers, would the connections be made to the processor rather than the 3802 and the processor would then be linked to the amp

    thanks again for all your advise, the banana plugs were connected last night a lot tidier all round i must say and will save all the fiddling about when it comes to swithching the speakers about whenever i get round to that

    ;) :cool: :smoke:
     
  18. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    You would have a processor instead of the 3802. With active speakers you are useing the 3802 as a processor only. You just have the internal amps sitting there unused.
    The processor decodes Dolby Digital & DTS and also works as a pre-amp. This does all the controlling (ie volume) and you just send a line level output to your active speakers (or external amp if useing passive speakers).

    Mark.
     
  19. brendank

    brendank
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    mmm intersting

    however i presume if i wanted to keep the passive speakers in the system the 3802 would still be needed

    what processor would recommend in say £1,000/£1,000 price bracket

    are processors used solely with active speakers

    thanks
    :confused: :confused:
     
  20. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    If useing passive speakers you would need an integrated receiver, be it the 3802 or something else.

    TBH I'm not that well informed on processors as they are (hopefully only for a while) out of my price range.
    I think that for a new processor you are looking at around £2000 and up. S/H you should be able to get something in the £1k range, but you take your chances on what is available and are unlikely to get the latest features ie DPL2, 7.1 etc. Also most processord tend to be upgradeable so you don't see that many around s/h.
    Personally I would love to get the Arcam AV8 processor and either active speakers or the Arcam P7 amp, but the 2 Arcams retail at over £5k. If being really greedy I would perhaps get mono block amps such as the Arcam P1's, but we are rally talking silly money now (and space!).

    No, you just ned to get a multi channel amp to drive the speakers.

    Mark.
     
  21. brendank

    brendank
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    expensive wish list there Mark;)

    yeah the arcam av8 seems like a good option but a little bit out of my budget at the moment having just spent well over 3,000 euros on the bang olufsen speakers maybe next year:rolleyes:

    at the end of your post you mention

    what multichannel amp would you recommend that would be better than the 3802

    wish i had found this forum before i purchased the 3802:rolleyes:

    anyways many thanks for kind and insightful input if only the denon consumer support could be approached in this manner

    cheers
     
  22. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Don't get me wrong, the 3802 is a great receiver. It is however not anywhere near the top of the range, even for a Denon. I would stick with it if only I didn't keep hearing about bigger and better. TBH it's just greed and I am really satisfied for now.

    There are many multichannel amps available from Arcam, Rotel etc etc. The amount of channels and obviously the price vary by a vast amount so you really need to set a budget and then more advise could be given. Remember if getting the amps you really do also need to get a processor. The 3802 processor is good enough if doing the upgrade bit by bit, but will not get the best from another amp.

    Mark.
     
  23. brendank

    brendank
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    very true mark

    however is it just greed or is it also an obsecession/addiction/compulsion:cool: :confused:

    i know that you are interested at some stage in getting active speakers have you looked at the newthread i posted about detoma amp. you should check out their website they have some very sexy looking active speakers and also any reviews i have read give them the thumbs up i think!! they were all in german but the marks were 4.5 out of 5 and lots of stars etc

    check it out and let me know what you think

    also they have an amp/processor 501 which looks like it could solve some of my problems cost 580 euros from germany www.beo-majert.de

    :smoke: :smoke:
     
  24. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    All of the above :blush:

    These are the actives I'm looking at, but at around £400 each and needing 6 or 7 of them I've still got a lot of saving to do:
    http://www.abluesky.com/m/p/bs50001b.pdf

    Might save some money and get the following for surround duties though:
    http://www.abluesky.com/m/p/bs50041c.pdf
    but even these are around £300 each

    or I might just sell everything and get a nice Amstrad midi HiFi :devil: and save myself a fortune.

    Mark.
     
  25. brendank

    brendank
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    hi again guys,

    Finally getting around to hooking this up

    was reading manual and it looks like i have to treat this as a first time set up basically if i am reading manual correctly and go through each setting on the OSD

    I have to go through all the settings again. I think that the channel to channel levels will need to be re-done. And I don't know how you to set the beolab speakers (Large or Small)

    I doubt that the powered B&O's should be set as Large. If i choose Small, I'm not sure what crossover freq I should choose (If I need to do this where will i find the B&O's freq response ratings.)

    Also do I need to tell the 3802 that the B&O's are powered I dont think i have to, i presume the pre-outs on the Denon are always active.

    Thanks

    :confused:
     
  26. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    If you have a subwoofer then set the speakers to small, if not then set to large.

    Start with a setting of 80Hz (if got sub) and see how it all integrates and adjust from there to get the best sound.

    No, just connect them to the preouts and then set the channel levels. It makes no difference to the 3802 as long as they are connected to the correct output. The preouts are always active.

    Mark.
     

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