Is it possible to have LCR only on a Denon AVR?

MrMandrake

Novice Member
I have a Denon X4400H in a 5.1 setup which can play stereo sources (e.g. TV shows on iPlayer etc) either as stereo through the front left and right with no centre channel, or with Dolby Surround and friends which tend to put lots of sounds, particularly music, into the surround channels.

Is it possible to get it to use just the front three for stereo sources, so I can get the benefit of speech from the centre, but without other sounds going all over the place when watching a quiz show or whatever?
 

Dolus

Active Member
You could reconfigure it as a 3.1 system with no surrounds, or maybe you have the level of the surround speakers too high or incorrectly positioned, directly behind you instead of more to the sides and slightly to the rear.

I have 11.1 and all speakers are active when watching TV in Dolby Surround and I don't get sounds all over the place, just enhanced ambience and the feeling of being there.
 

MrMandrake

Novice Member
I don't think there's anything too wrong with the surround positioning or levels, it sounds great with actual 5.1 content, and "all over the place" is an exaggeration, it's more that the Dolby Surround algorithm seems a lot more keen to put background music in the surround channels than my previous AVR which had Pro Logic II for stereo inputs.

The obvious fix is to just get used to it and I'm sure it will be fine (it's not exactly a big problem!), but I guess what I'm really after is an easy way to switch to 3.1 for a stereo source but back to 5.1 for actual surround material.
 

Dobbyisfree

Well-known Member
I'm really after is an easy way to switch to 3.1 for a stereo source but back to 5.1 for actual surround material.

On the x4400, you could go in speaker settings, change surround speakers to "None". This would switch off Audyssey though, don't know if that's an issue. And it's a tedious thing to do.

I can't remember if the "option button" where you can change speaker levels is remembered for each source or not, as I haven't used it. Try lowering surround levels when you're on your music source, using the "option button" and then change to another source and see if they're still there.

On the newer X4700 you can use different "presets" and switch between them, with different amp assigns and everything. But probably not worth four figures £ to get that!

more that the Dolby Surround algorithm seems a lot more keen to put background music in the surround channels than my previous AVR which had Pro Logic II for stereo inputs.

Do you have Dynamic EQ on? That accentuates the surround effect. I find with no dynamic EQ on, if surround levels are right, then the DSU is similar with music then it was with Pro Logic on, e.g. AVR4310.

If that is the issue, Dynamic EQ is remembered differently for each source, so would be an easy fix.
 

MrMandrake

Novice Member
On the x4400, you could go in speaker settings, change surround speakers to "None". This would switch off Audyssey though, don't know if that's an issue. And it's a tedious thing to do.
Yeah, not sure I want that hassle, and I like Audyssey
I can't remember if the "option button" where you can change speaker levels is remembered for each source or not, as I haven't used it. Try lowering surround levels when you're on your music source, using the "option button" and then change to another source and see if they're still there.
The trouble is we watch most things through streaming on a Fire TV Stick so it isn't really a separate source as such. Perhaps I could set up the TV audio differently, that's a good thought.
On the newer X4700 you can use different "presets" and switch between them, with different amp assigns and everything. But probably not worth four figures £ to get that!
Yeah, not sure I can justify a grand on this one!
Do you have Dynamic EQ on? That accentuates the surround effect. I find with no dynamic EQ on, if surround levels are right, then the DSU is similar with music then it was with Pro Logic on, e.g. AVR4310.

If that is the issue, Dynamic EQ is remembered differently for each source, so would be an easy fix.
That's a really good shout - I use Dynamic EQ, but TV is a different reference level, isn't it? That could be an avenue worth investigating.
 

Dobbyisfree

Well-known Member
I have Dynamic EQ off, well, most of the time. I have started, before watching a film, looking it up in BEQ catalogue and if the graph looks pants then I use Dynamic EQ. If it's a, for example, TV or Netflix drama then I start with Dynamic EQ off but put it on (using the app, so it doesn't irritate people as much) until at a happy reference level offset.

Anyway, with music, I definitely never use it. It sounds, for music, "false". Great at first, then you realise it has ruined it.

In my opinion of course.

But I only ever listen to music sources in 2 channel "stereo", i.e. still have Audyssey on and subs working. I can't use "direct" as my speakers, room etc are too rubbish. Oh, and I find the sub bass as vital with music, so need subs on and EQed.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I have a Denon X4400H in a 5.1 setup which can play stereo sources (e.g. TV shows on iPlayer etc) either as stereo through the front left and right with no centre channel, or with Dolby Surround and friends which tend to put lots of sounds, particularly music, into the surround channels.

Is it possible to get it to use just the front three for stereo sources, so I can get the benefit of speech from the centre, but without other sounds going all over the place when watching a quiz show or whatever?


There's no mode on the AV receiver that would result in only the front 3 speakers being used while not outputting anything via the other speakers. Any mode that would utilise the centre would also engage your surrounds and or other speakers in that setup.

The only way that you'd be able to use just the left, cenre and the right speaker if if you were to set the other speakers as not being present in the speaker configurations. The AV receiver would then not send anything to them or engage processing associated with them.

There's no real reason to use the centre speaker to portray 2 channel stereo sources anyway. Concentrate on the placement of the left and right speaker relative to your listening position and this should result in a better soundstage being created and related by them. Stereo xan place audio centrally without need of a centre speaker.
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
DEQ can often have a detrimental effect. Turn it off and if you still find the surrounds a little overpowering then you can adjust the levels down manually, this will not effect the overall Audyssey calibration.

As for stereo music then stick with Pure Direct (unless you want to sub to kick in). If you want to use all available speakers and the sub then use all channel stereo.
 

MrMandrake

Novice Member
Thanks for the Dynamic EQ suggestions, after running with Dynamic EQ turned down (-10dB reference level instead of 0dB) for a bit, it has definitely made far more of a difference than I had anticipated to Dolby Surround upmixed stereo TV source material. Background music has moved forwards with the surrounds just adding some space and effects, as they should!

I had set it to 0dB for watching movies as per the on screen info but didn't think it would make much difference for TV so this is a surprise result. I don't want to turn it off completely because I like the job it does since we watch at different levels depending on whether the kids are in bed etc.

Agreed on listening to music in real 2-channel stereo mode only with Dynamic EQ turned off, that's exactly what I do. I don't use direct mode though because, like Dobbyisfree, my room really needs Audyssey to do its thing. And having the sub help out doesn't hurt either 😀
 

Dobbyisfree

Well-known Member
Glad to be of service :)
So we're watching Nightbooks later good on BEQ site down to 20hz so will start with no Deq!
 

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