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Probably stupid set up questions. ;-)

Discussion in 'Arcam Owners' Forum' started by NinjaKi11a, Oct 3, 2004.

  1. NinjaKi11a

    NinjaKi11a
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    I'm trying to get my system set up properly and have a few questions:

    1) Are the av speaker settings independent of the stereo settings. ie. will setting front speakers to 'small' (and turning the sub off in stereo) affect stero sound as well?

    2) What should the default sound setting be for Sky+ and my DVD player? I've found 'Hall' is good for MTV etc, but when do I decide when to use ProLogic and when to use the various PLII settings? I assume when Dolby Digital comes up on the right of the display, it supercedes the default setting. How do I know when I'm listening to DTS?

    3) Is there any fool proff way of setting the sub? So far I've left the cross over at 80mhz (when should this be changed?) and I've gradually turned the gain up.

    4) Is there any need for the high level lead if I'm not gonna be using it in stereo.

    I know there are a million questions there, but responses to any would be much appreciated! :)
     
  2. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    1: On the AV200 I beleive when you switch to stereo mode all processing is bypassed and therefore the full signal is sent to your fronts even if you have set them to small in the menu settings.

    2: I'd leave the amp in PL2 mode all the time, I find this works best for television broadcasts of all types. When playing a DVD the AVR200 will automatically detect and decode the DD5.1 or DTS signals if they are present. It will display 'DD5.1' or 'DTS' briefly in the main dislay when this is detected. There are also really small icons in the window which remain lit to show what signal it is decoding.

    3: Set the subwoofer crossover to its maximum setting and leave the amp to handle the crossover for movies. Then set the gain level until it sounds about right, unfortunately the AVR200 is not capable of producing a subwoofer test tone itself. If you don't plan on using the sub for music then you don't need the high level lead.

    4: If you do want to use the subwoofer for stereo then I would recommend using the high level lead although with your subwoofer to get the best results you will have to lower the crossover setting on the sub to blend in better with your speakers and the turn it back up again to override it for movies. One of the big differences between the BK subs and the REL subs is the little 'Mode' switch on the RELs which allow you to keep the crossover bypassed on the low level input but have it active for the high level input. This alllow me to leave my AVR300 to deal with the crossover for movies but for music I have the subs own crossover coming in at about 38Hz. I'm not trying to pick holes in the BK subs as they offer exceptional value for money just highlighting minor flaws.
     
  3. NinjaKi11a

    NinjaKi11a
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    Wow, I think you got everything in there: thanks very much. One other question I had was regarding volume balance. Should the rears register the same volume as all the others on the sound pressure metre?

    Thanks again.
     
  4. RaceTripper

    RaceTripper
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    Using the test tones in the setup menu, yes

    But feel free to salt and pepper to taste.
     
  5. NinjaKi11a

    NinjaKi11a
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    Yes, I've had to drop the surround volume a couple of db as they are either side of the sofa and if you're not sitting in the middle, the speaker next to you is too imposing.

    I'm having a mare with this sub though. With the speakers on small and the amp controlling the cross over, the system sounded like drum 'n' be-ase from an Asian rude boy's white Renault 5 turbo. Of all the settings I've experimented with, I prefer a base that only really kicks in with explosions (not background music), however the main problem is that I don't know what a 5.1 system is actually supposed to sound like. Nor do I understand what is going on in the amp. I've searched on Google, but not yet found an article that explains what 'small speakers' means - I realise it's less base, but what determines this?

    Sorry I'm probably pushing my luck with more questions. ;)
     
  6. RaceTripper

    RaceTripper
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    If you set your speakers to small in setup, then low frequencies that would normally go to your speakers will be redirected to the sub instead. If you set all your speakers to large, then only the LFE channel (the .1 part of 5.1) goes to the sub.

    You may want to experiment a bit to see what sounds best. A calibration disk (like Avia or DVE) can help you set a very reasonable starting point. Some people leave it with the setting they get from calibration. I like to use the settings as a basis and then use real multichannel digital audio (i.e. DVDs) to fine tune to my liking.

    Offhand, if your speakers only go down to 80-100 Hz, try the small setting. If they go below 50Hz, try large to start with.

    All my speakers go below 50Hz (i.e. 28Hz, 38Hz, 45Hz), so I set them to large. The one exception is my center. It goes down to 46Hz, but I set it to small, mostly because it's not as well decoupled from the shelf it sits on as the other speakers are from the floor/walls. That way I keep vibration transmission to the shelf at a minimum.

    Try some disks with lots of bass effects like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Master and Commander. If you get them sounding good, chances are good you're pretty close.

    Dean
     
  7. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    I would generally recommend leaving your speakers set as small for home cinema purposes and leaving the amp to deal with the crossover. If you find it sounds too much like a boy racers car going past then turn the sub down a wee bit. For music though and 80 Hz crossover is really too high to allow your sub to blend in seamlessly, try using a lower crossover setting on the AVR300 something like 50 or 60Hz which might work better.
     
  8. NinjaKi11a

    NinjaKi11a
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    Thanks for the advice: I'll experiment a bit with it today.

    I do actually have the DVE NSTC disk, however as far as I can tell the test sounds are not explained. There's one that I assume is for setting up a sub, but I can't work out what the hell I'm looking for. Any ideas?
     
  9. lowrider

    lowrider
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    I set all speakers as small, xover at 60hz, higher than 60 and I hear the sub...

    To set the sub a SPL is useless, play CDs with good bass and tune by ear, it will be a compromise anyway, as some discs need more, some less, also you want more at low volumes, it will take some time to find the best compromise...
     
  10. NinjaKi11a

    NinjaKi11a
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    Thanks for the help. I've fiddled about with it over the last few days and I've put it back to how it was: small fronts and crossover at 80mhz. I figure that this is what sounds best to me, regardless of how it should be.

    I've also turned the surrounds down as depending on where you sit on the sofa, it's a different volume ... Ah-ha, it just occured to me, perhaps it'd be better to change the delay to the shortest sitting distance (instead of a central position) rather than turning the volume down. Am I right in thinking that it's the first sound, rather than the loudest that you hear clearest?
     
  11. lowrider

    lowrider
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    The delay setting is not as forward as it seems, I started to set distances exactly, but I would hear bass notes separate from the front speakers and the subs, the subs are almost two feet behind each front speaker, then I set all to the same distance and now they integrate much better, they sound like just one source...

    Regardeless where I sit everything sounds very coherent, but my surrounds are about the same distance as the front and center...

    In your case I would start with the exact distance from the ideal listening position, then compare with all speakers same distance, then try in between settings until it sounds the best possible...
     

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