• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

Sony STR-DA5500ES Owners thread

krlock3

Active Member
Im an owner of a shiny new 5500es, dropped through my letterbox yesterday!

I didnt have a lot of time to play with it yet.

My initial impressions are that it looks good, sounds ok, and has highly frustrating functionalities.

1) It doesnt play well with my hd cable tv box out here in switzerland, each time i change to a channel with a new resolution it drops the signal. Changing the settings on the amp to direct hdmi out (bypassing the amps scaler which is a shame) partially solves the problem, but then the gui doesnt work on that output. nuts.

2) trying to use bitstream ps3 slim DTS-HD or Dolby TrueHD with simaltaneous audio out (to get better sound quality through analog), it will only let me do one or the other.

3) Ps3 audio output set through hdmi, I can get 2 channel sound but not 2.1.

4) Using a connected very high quality cd player, i can get 2ch stereo and "analog direct" but again, not 2.1. Using Automatic format detection (A.F.D), the display tells me that the left, right, and sub are active... but in fact the centre channel is active too and i cannot switch off the centre. this is highly misleading because it appears to think it is giving me what i want, but it isnt.

4) Whoever thinks a sony ipod dock is worth the money, think again.... a 1980s teletext style interface does not do anything for me in 2009 except make me feel embarrassed and its very slow to operate. i feel like taking it back already.

On the plus side, the auto mic config was easy to do. I know thats not a very long list so far but its frustrating.
 
Last edited:

dante01

Distinguished Member
Set the output resolution of you cable box via the cable box's settings. The output should be the same resolution and not a variable that changes dependant on which channel you are viewing.

What do you mean by "(to get better sound quality through analog)"?

Why are you trying to get HD audio via analogue connections? No form of HD audio will stream over analogue (with the exception of multichannal connections, absent from the PS3) and you should use audio via HDMI in order to get the best and highest quality audio. You'll not get any of the HD audio formats associated with Blu-ray unless you use HDMI audio from your PS3.

The Apple TV outputs both audio and video via HDMI.

You say that you are only getting 2 channel audio from your PS3 when you want 2.1. Is the audio actually encoded as 2.1 or are you just wanting your subwoofer to engage when playing stereo audio?

If you only want 2 channel output then use the 2CH/A.DIRECT button and not AFD.

I'd advise you read the manual ;)
 
Last edited:

krlock3

Active Member
hi dante01,

yes, i want to get 2.1 when listening to cd`s. how do i do it?

the only way seems to be via "portable audio" which the manual (yes im reading it;-) ) says is for mp3 and other compressed music.

surely this isnt the only way to get 2.1 is it?

You say that you are only getting 2 channel audio from your PS3 when you want 2.1. Is the audio actually encoded as 2.1 or are you just wanting your subwoofer to engage when playing stereo audio?

If you only want 2 channel output then use the 2CH/A.DIRECT button and not AFD.
 

krlock3

Active Member
What do you mean by "(to get better sound quality through analog)"?

given the choice between outputting sound via hdmi or rca, most audiophiles always recommend to use rca.

obviously my cd player is using rca. I would ideally like to use rca on my ps3 (i have a monster adapter cable for this). ps3 can output the audio simultaneously. however, the ps3 does not allow simultaneous audio output while at the same time outputting hd movie codecs. in that case the ps3 would downscale dts-hd to only dts, if you see what i mean. that means, i have to go into the ps3 system settings and manually change the settings every time i would want to listen to audio over rca / change back for movie. its just a pain, but this is more a pain created by ps3 and not the receiver.
 
Last edited:

krlock3

Active Member
Set the output resolution of you cable box via the cable box's settings. The output should be the same resolution and not a variable that changes dependant on which channel you are viewing.

thanks for the tip, i actually tried this and it does seem to help but creates a new problem that when i turn the cable box on, it is not picked up by the receiver. strangely, i have to cycle to another hd input (even if its empty) on the tv (a sony w series 52 incher). when i do this, the sound for the cable starts playing through the receiver. then when i cycle back i get the sound and picture. weird and most definitely not cool.
 
On the assumption it has the ability, there should be three choices for the Ipod onscreen menu, The Recievers own GUI Ipod menu, the Ipod docks own or the Ipod screen itself. The choice is made in the Receiver's setup menus.

I personally wasn't overwhelmed by the Dock's own but can't be bothered to navigate the Receivers GUI each time to use the second option, which is a lot "prettier".
 
Last edited:

dante01

Distinguished Member
hi dante01,

yes, i want to get 2.1 when listening to cd`s. how do i do it?

the only way seems to be via "portable audio" which the manual (yes im reading it;-) ) says is for mp3 and other compressed music.

surely this isnt the only way to get 2.1 is it?

No sound is output from the subwoofer in the 2CH STEREO mode. To listen to 2 channel stereo sources using the front left/right speakers and a subwoofer, select “A.F.D. AUTO”.

If you are getting audio from other speakers apart from the L and R speakers when you engage AFD AUTO then the encoded audio you are streaming to the amp has more than just the two channels present that are associated with the L and R speakers.

AFD Auto presents the sound as it was recorded/encoded without adding any surround effects. The receiver should generate a low frequency signal for output to the subwoofer when there is no dedicated LFE signals. You'll also need to set your speakers as being small and configure the crossovers for those speaker via the amps speaker settings.
 

krlock3

Active Member
yes, exactly, with A.F.D auto i get sound from more speakers than the display is showing. eg display shows l,r, sub, but i get l,r,sub and centre. however... this is from a cd player input into the CD inputs via rca. i cannot imagine a cd is configured for centre channel use, therefore i think something is wrong.

if i have large floorstanders why would you configure them as small? if i do this will i get the 2.1 i desire?

My point is, im using a cd player over rca. im using afd auto which tells me it is outputting to l,r, and sub, which is what i want. but it is actually outputting to l,r, sub and centre, no matter what cd i play. what am i doing wrong?


No sound is output from the subwoofer in the 2CH STEREO mode. To listen to 2 channel stereo sources using the front left/right speakers and a subwoofer, select “A.F.D. AUTO”.

If you are getting audio from other speakers apart from the L and R speakers when you engage AFD AUTO then the encoded audio you are streaming to the amp has more than just the two channels present that are associated with the L and R speakers.

AFD Auto presents the sound as it was recorded/encoded without adding any surround effects. The receiver should generate a low frequency signal for output to the subwoofer when there is no dedicated LFE signals. You'll also need to set your speakers as being small and configure the crossovers for those speaker via the amps speaker settings.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
if i have large floorstanders why would you configure them as small? if i do this will i get the 2.1 i desire?

I know, it is confusing, but the size reference has nothing to do with the actual physical size of you speakers. The 'SMALL' and 'LARGE' is in reference to their frequency handling abilities. See here:
http://www.avforums.com/forums/av-a...peaker-settings-relation-bass-management.html

The “LARGE” and “SMALL” settings for each speaker determine whether the internal sound processor will cut the bass signal from that channel and where to send the frequencies.


As far as what you are doing wrong is concerned, I'd say nothing and can't think of a reason why you'd get centre channel output from your CD player???
 
Last edited:

krlock3

Active Member
I know, it is confusing, but the size reference has nothing to do with the actual physical size of you speakers. The 'SMALL' and 'LARGE' is in reference to their frequency handling abilities. See here:
http://www.avforums.com/forums/av-a...peaker-settings-relation-bass-management.html

The “LARGE” and “SMALL” settings for each speaker determine whether the internal sound processor will cut the bass signal from that channel and where to send the frequencies.


As far as what you are doing wrong is concerned, I'd say nothing and can't think of a reason why you'd get centre channel output from your CD player???

ok i will try that in a moment and see what happens.
 

krlock3

Active Member
Regarding handshake between my receiver and cable tv box, here is the skinny.

cable tv box can set resolutions up to 1080i and auto. i have set to 1080i. receiver is output from hdmi 1 on receiver to hdmi1 on tv.

i have to set the receiver gui settings to VIDEO DIRECT ON. it says that this "sets the hdmi settings to output the video signal of the HDMI input directly." presumably then i am bypassing the receiver scaler in this instance.

next step i have to select with the tv remote another unused hdmi port on the tv, eg hdmi2 on tv. i then cycle back to hdmi1 and receive a handshake.

this handshake is now stable when switching between say, my cable box, and my ps3. i can switch on and off the cable box and the handshake remains.

BUT if i use the GUI on the receiver, the handshake is broken. the GUI is presented by the receiver in 1080p so my TV says, so i think that the discrepancy between resolutions breaks the handshake. after this, in order to use the tv again, i have to cycle through the outputs again as described above. from what i can see, there is no fix for this. just as a sidenote, if i set VIDEO DIRECT to off on the receiver, the handshake is broken every single time i switch inputs on the receiver, eg switching to ps3 then breaks the handshake for the cable tv box.
 
Perhaps I am oversimplifying the resolution issue but I would suspect its the TV thats getting confused.

The cable box handshakes with TV (1080i), then the GUI handshakes with the TV (1080p) and then you turn the GUI off which causes the problem because the TV and cable box are already switched on.

I would think that turning the Receiver Off & then back On (or cable box) would have the same effect as switching inputs back & forth.

Whilst its no doubt annoying, I would envisage that in normal use you wouldn't be accessing the GUI.
 
Last edited:

krlock3

Active Member
OK update on the 2.1 issue.

when i set the front speakers to large, the rear speakers to small, and the centre to small.... i get the 2.1 without center channel on AFD auto. if i set the center channel to large, then i only get 2ch.

thanks for the link, but i still cannot really work out whether my front speakers should be set to large or small. i will have to re-read it and try and make sense of it.

should i rerun the auto calibration now?



i
 
OK update on the 2.1 issue.

when i set the front speakers to large, the rear speakers to small, and the centre to small.... i get the 2.1 without center channel on AFD auto. if i set the center channel to large, then i only get 2ch.

thanks for the link, but i still cannot really work out whether my front speakers should be set to large or small. i will have to re-read it and try and make sense of it.

should i rerun the auto calibration now?

i

Seriously they should be on Small, for the reasons outlined in Dante's link. If the manual is anything like the 2400ES, Sony suggest that in most cases the setting should be Large which is blatantly wrong. I too have floorstanders and use the Small setting, with user defined crossover settings for each speaker.

I would not rerun the calibration as I suspect it will merely change them back to Large again, as well as cancel any crossover settings you also applied.:smashin:
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
OK update on the 2.1 issue.

when i set the front speakers to large, the rear speakers to small, and the centre to small.... i get the 2.1 without center channel on AFD auto. if i set the center channel to large, then i only get 2ch.

thanks for the link, but i still cannot really work out whether my front speakers should be set to large or small. i will have to re-read it and try and make sense of it.

should i rerun the auto calibration now?



i

If you wish the subwoofer to engage when playing stereo audio sources via the front 2 speakers then you will have to assign those speakers as 'SMALL' and use the associated crossover setting to determine what frequencies are sent to the sub. Speakers set to 'LARGE' will not engage the subwoofer and the amp will not send anything other than the LFE channel to the sub.

What make and model are your front speakers and what is their frequency handling range?

There is no need to rerun the calibration process.
 

krlock3

Active Member
thanks guys. here are the settings according the the manual.

my front speakers are b&w cm9`s: the manual says 56hz - 22hz +-3db
my rears are b&w cm1`s: 55hz - 22hz
my centre is cm centre: 55hz - 22hz
my sub is the cm series sub asw 10cm: 25hz - 40/140hz

the sub does engage when i have the fronts set to large and the centre and rears to small. i guess i will set all to small then.
 
thanks guys. here are the settings according the the manual.

my front speakers are b&w cm9`s: the manual says 56hz - 22hz +-3db
my rears are b&w cm1`s: 55hz - 22hz
my centre is cm centre: 55hz - 22hz
my sub is the cm series sub asw 10cm: 25hz - 40/140hz

the sub does engage when i have the fronts set to large and the centre and rears to small. i guess i will set all to small then.

If they were my speakers I would go wth Small & I would set the crossovers for 80hz for fronts, centre and rears.

Dependant on sub control panel & options available, I would choose LFE On, or crossover defeat. If those option aren't available, turn the crossover dial to max (120hz?)
 

krlock3

Active Member
thanks dante and william

watching a movie without setting the crossovers (they were preset at 120hz) led to massive reverb in the room whenever LFE present. setting the crossover to 80hz solved that nicely... is there a sweet spot for the crossover setting that i should be looking for, and how can the auto calibration get that so wrong?

there are no subwoofer options in that regard, so you mean, turn the dial on the back of the subwoofer? my dealer recommended having the volume around a quarter on, and the crossover at about 40 - 50, unless i misunderstood him?

update on hdmi handshake to cable tv: the receiver does cycle slowly through the possible resolutions once the handshake is lost, and after about 60 seconds it is regained. inconvenient but if i dont use the gui then shouldnt be much issue hopefully.

update on dock: i hated everything about it. i took it back, got a refund, bought an apple tv. thats a dream to set up and operate, im extremely pleased with it. im inputting that directly into the tv for the moment and outputting video to the receiver via RCA so i can get my desired direct analog output. i decided not to input it into the receiver because i then only have a choice between 1) hdmi for video and audio or 2) RCA for audio but no picture, which doesnt really make sense on an apple tv.

thats been a full day or two for me setting up all this stuff. im pleased that things are starting to look and sound good.
 
Last edited:

krlock3

Active Member
If they were my speakers I would go wth Small & I would set the crossovers for 80hz for fronts, centre and rears.

Dependant on sub control panel & options available, I would choose LFE On, or crossover defeat. If those option aren't available, turn the crossover dial to max (120hz?)

having now read the whole crossover settings thread, if i am honest i am still none the wiser. in laymans terms, if i now set the crossover to 100hz, what difference should i hear? 120hz gave me a big booming reverb. why is that?

does the 80hz mean that any sound that is below 80hz is sent to the sub (and the lower the hertz number, the lower the bass of the sound, in simple speak?). why then did 120hz give the booming reverb though the front L,R?
am i back to front in my thinking?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
The crossover setting on the amp determines at which point frequencies are split off and sent to your subwoofer. Frequencies below the crossover setting are those that are sent to the subwoofer while the higher range is sent to the associated speaker or speakers. The higher a frequency, the more directional it becomes and this is why it isn't such a good idea to send too high a frequencies to the subwoofer because you then start to detect where the subwoofer is in the room. You also lose some of the mid range from your speakers if the setting is too high. A setting of 80Hz is a good place to start and I'd leave all your speakers apart from your fron L and R at this setting. I'd lower the front L and R speakers to 70Hz for better mid range with stereo sources. You may then want to tweak the centre crossover to fine tune the tonal balance in relation to the stereo pair.
 
Last edited:

krlock3

Active Member
thanks dante i will try 70hz on the fronts.

with the original settings at 120hz and the sub turned off, why was i getting that big bass reverb in my room then. would it not follow that at 120hz much more of the lfe`s are being discarded, with a sub off?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
thanks dante i will try 70hz on the fronts.

with the original settings at 120hz and the sub turned off, why was i getting that big bass reverb in my room then. would it not follow that at 120hz much more of the lfe`s are being discarded, with a sub off?

the LFE signal isn't affected by the crossover setting. LFE would still be sent to either the sub or those speakers set to LARGE regardless of the crossover setting. You cannot set all your speakers to SMALL if a sub isn't detected by the amp. Your amp will have automatically set your front speakers to SMALL and it will have redirected the LFE channel to them.
 

krlock3

Active Member
An update on the receiver to cable tv box handshake issues.

I cannot resolve these issues and they are worse than i thought. i was prepared to at least try and live with the idea for awhile that if i use the receiver GUI then i have to cycle the tv inputs again as a fix.

however, its worse than that. after not watching tv for some time (i do not know the precise circumstances), the handshake is lost again and then cycling the tv inputs does no longer work. if i cycle to the next hdmi input, the receiver then outputs my tv sound. if i cycle back, i get nothing. this is very weird.

the only solution that seems to work then is to physically unplug the cable tv box and reset it that way. once it is reset after a minute or two, the picture appears for awhile.

i have spent another whole morning trying to figure this out, all most frustrating. theres no way i can live with this as is. for the moment i have simply unplugged the cable tv box from the receiver and plug it directly into the tv, bypassing the receiver. thats not really why i spent so much money on a receiver though, is it!!!

so i also connected the optical out of the cable box to the revceiver so that i can still get sound from the receiver. naturally even this isnt great... there is a high pitched clicking sound from the speakers every time i change channel. not enough to be unusable, just enough to be noticeable and annoying of course.

i have now tried every permutation of options on the tv, cable box, and receiver to try and get them to play nice. the sony tv is set to full pixel, the cable tv box is set to 1080i and the receiver does not allow one to change resolution via hdmi so it just does its best and fails.

on a brighter note, i am able to plug my apple tv into the receiver hdmi and output via analog as i wanted, by using the SACD/CD input on the receiver, and assigning a hdmi port to this as well via the options. strangely, i cant do this the other way around... i.e. use a hdmi port and assign the SACD/CD input as audio, but whatever.... i get what i want.
 

krlock3

Active Member
when i go to firmware update section of the menu, it shows 1.019 as installed as "------" as latest.

does anyone have a link to a sony website which publishes what the latest firmware is, for checking?
 

The latest video from AVForums

Fidelity in Motion's David Mackenzie talks about his work on disc encoding & the future of Blu-ray
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom