Marantz SR4200 "speaker dist." settings

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by michaelab, Oct 21, 2002.

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  1. michaelab

    michaelab
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    For each set of speakers (front, center, rear) you can set a speaker distance (how far away they are from the listener). What does this actually do and is it worth it? I'm asking because I usually have my SR4200 set to "source direct" for my DVD player and CD player on digital inputs and the source direct option ignores these settings.

    I'm assuming it's just another form of digital gimmick that I should stay well away from (much like the DSP modes, which I haven't even tried yet).

    Michael.
     
  2. Electric Mayhem

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    The speaker distances are so that the amp can calculate the delay times for Dolby Digital & DTS. To make sure the sound arrives at your listening position when it´s supposed to.

    It´s an essential part of the setup for dvd movie playback and not a DSP mode/gimmick.
     
  3. michaelab

    michaelab
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    I thought it was something like that but then why does the amp. disregard the settings if you use the more "pure" source direct mode? If it can use the speaker 'type' settings (large, small, none), which certainly are essential, then why not the distance settings? At a guess it's because the delay is introduced using the DSP mode circuitry (which after all just adds reverb and/or delay to simulate the various listening environments) and the circuitry is switched out in 'source direct' mode.

    Presumably if you sit in an ideal listening position then there's no need for any delay anyway. Also the delay required to make the difference over 1-2 metres would be so miniscule that I seriously doubt one could hear the difference.

    I'll try a few 'good' bits from Lord of the Rings to see whether the 'benefit' of the delay outweighs the 'damage' to the sound caused by the processing.

    Michael.
     
  4. nunew33

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    Settings most certainly do make a difference!!!!

    Source direct will ignore these settings if the source isnt DTS/Dolby digital. Ie if you feed it stereo then source direct just pumps out stereo.

    Your ideal listening position is determined by your speaker positioning. The deafult setting would be equidistance to all speakers so if this is your setup then you wont improve. But if for example you are sitting between the rears at the back of a room, if there is no delay then the sound from the rears reaches your ears before the front. This may mean that your ears may incorrectly position the sound. It becomes more obvious in sound transitions (moving front to back or vice versa) and where the amp should place the sound dead centre.

    I believe there is a standard equation of sound travelling 1m in 3ms. And your ears are sensitive enough to tell the difference at this level. The delays are calculated by the difference in distance of your ears from speakers so if the rears are 1m from your ears and the fronts are 3m. Then there should be a 2ms delay of the rears from the front so that all sound hits your ears at the same time. I may be wrong and am prepared to be flamed;)

    I have the 5200 (same as yours for settings) and when I changed the speaker settings the sweet listening spot became very sweet indeed.
     
  5. michaelab

    michaelab
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    OK - I'll give it another try without source direct. Another 'bad' thing about source direct is that it means you can't use Dolby PL II on stero soundtracks. I'll still use it for my CD player though for listening to music.

    Michael.
     
  6. nunew33

    nunew33
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    Thats the point of source direct!!! It bypasses any processing and DPL2 is a form of processing!!!

    If you have set the DVD to have digital is its main input source direct should give dolby digital/DTS 5.1 output without any modification. If you are getting 2 channel on DTS/DD when you press source direct then something is amiss!!
     
  7. Bristol Pete

    Bristol Pete
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    I am learning that there are no hard and fast rules.

    Its down to preference. However, I recently found that as my fronts are 3 metres away, setting the rears, which are actually 1 metre away to 3 metres creates a better spread.

    However, going by the above equation, are you saying that my rears should in fact be set at 1 metre ???

    Captain Benefit.
     
  8. nunew33

    nunew33
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    yes I think so. If all yours are set to 3metres then I would assume that there will be no delay and therefore sound reaches your ears from the rears 2ms before the sound from the front.

    This is all based on my personal understanding of how it all works. But I know that after I set my speakers to reflect where I was sitting I rewatched Amelie and the effect was quantifiable. In a couple of scenes I felt the hair stand on the back of my neck because the sound was so natural that had someone added smell-o-vision and breeze-o-vision to the Marantz's functions, I would have felt I was in the scene.

    Without the speakers set there is sound all around the room and you get the transitions but the image of the sound isnt tangible, its roughly where it should be not exactly where it should be. Like when you get a stereo test CD and to ensure your speakers are placed correctly for imaging you get test tones for left, mid left-centre, centre, etc. If everything is right you can locate the tone precisely where it should be. It seems the same with speaker settings, if the delays are right you place the sounds precisely. But I have also found that you need to be in the "sweet spot" to get that quality of sound. I have an L shaped sofa. One arm of the sofa places me dead centre at the back of the room, where I have set the speakers for. If I sit on the other arm of the sofa I am to the side of the room midway benween Left rear and left front. I get the benefit of surround sound but the location of sounds and transitions are less accurate.
     

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