Speaker Levels in 5.1 with Denon AV

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by topgazza, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. topgazza

    topgazza
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    Accepting that each room is individual is there a preferred level for speakers ? In terms of volume for front and rear in a 5.1 setting. My room is small so the speakers are close to the sofa and chair anyway

    I have run Audessy on my new Denon x2400 but noticed the two rear surround speakers are very low whilst the front and centre are fine. Is this as much to do with the signal as it says Dolby Surround on the front panel but it is a TV program. Using the manual settings I did boost the speaker settings for the surround speakers at the rear to

    Surround R -4.5
    Surround L -4.5

    Front R -3.5
    Front L -3.5

    Center -2.0

    Sub -6.0

    But the rears are still basically very low level so I assumed it was because thats what the Sky signal dictates. Not tried a full blown HD movie yet. Speakers are all small after setup.

    So is this likely to be the TV program as I don't want to ramp up the speakers at the rear too high as it would deafen people should it kick in and do my settings look OK ?
     
  2. Rambles

    Rambles
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    Audyssey is usually quite accurate at getting the speaker distances and levels correct. It sets them so that they are all the same volume at the main listening position(s).

    The only time you really have to worry is if it looks like the levels have 'maxed out' at +12 or -12, but yours haven't, so they are probably good.

    However, it is fine to tweak them for personal taste. Tweaking the sub for more bass is common, as is boosting the centre speaker for clearer / louder dialogue. If you think you can't hear the surrounds very much and want to notch them a db or two, then that is fine, it is your preference.

    Different content is likely to sound different also, it depends on how it is mixed. Likewise if you are using an upmixer to create pseudo 5.1 from a stereo source, that could mix the levels slightly differently.
     
  3. topgazza

    topgazza
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    Thanks for replying...

    I was working on the basis, as you say, that its down to personal taste but was just a bit unsure if there was a problem or just the signal. I think I was being "misled" watching Sky SyFi HD and Star Trek Nxt Gen and only hearing very feint sounds from the speakers at the rear. It occurred to me that this was Sky rather than DD as they are notorious for poor quality 5.1 on certain programs. From the front and center the sound was superb and speech was crystal clear. The speakers can only play what they are given I suppose. Must try a BluRay

    Only being a bit sensitive because its a new box replacing my Sony 1030 which has given me sterling service.
     
  4. topgazza

    topgazza
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    Confused by the "assign amp" option as mine says zone 2 with a variety of other choices.

    Did notice that on a number of Sky channels when I select Info on the remote is says that the Input Signal is front and left front only yet all speakers are active. This is on so called HD channels only Dave HD actually showed all 5.1 speakers as the input signal.
     
  5. Rambles

    Rambles
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    Not all HD programmes carry a 5.1 soundtrack, in fact most are stereo only, unfortunately. You can upmix those to get the AVR to create 5.1 audio (eg pro logic, dolby surround). Which AVR do you have, and did you run the set up assistant?
     
  6. topgazza

    topgazza
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    I probably never realised that I was only getting 2.1 which I'm hearing now with BBC1 HD. I used to notice 5.1 speakers highlighted on the Sony so it was either mixing out as 5.1 or was just showing active speakers.

    The info button on my Denon x2400 shows input as left and right front only but all speakers active. Front panel shows Dolby Surround CBL. Yet I can at least hear 2.1. I'm probably over analysing this

    The question is there any benefit in having 5.1 from a stereo source ? Especially as I appear to be getting 2.1 anyway which is excellent on the Denon. Can't see any settings to force 5.1 even though front panel says DD Surround CBL
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  7. topgazza

    topgazza
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    Listening to films on Netflix I'm getting the full 5.1 but its sad that so many so called HD channels on Sky don't transmit DD in full 5.1. I mean the AV says its Dolby Digital Surround or thinks it is but the input is only 2 channels. I never realised this before and its a disgrace. To be fair I don't see the point in Newsnight being in 5.1 or similar shows.
     
  8. Rambles

    Rambles
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    I think that's another personal taste issue. I have a 5.1.2 set up on a Marantz SR7011. I only ever listen to music in stereo, everything else I upmix to utilise all the speakers. I have the option of Dolby Surround or DTS Neural. I mostly use Dolby Surround.

    I have Freeview and it is rare to get 5.1 audio. I'm thinking Doctor Who, some sport, and the occasional tv drama. I have no idea why they do it so little, as when it is there it sounds pretty good.

    You could experiment with the different sound options on your AVR. You will probably have the options to listen to 2.0 straight, adding in the sub to make it 2.1, or upmixing it to 5.1. There may be some other choices such as all stereo, known as party mode, or virtual surround, which adds in additional effects.
     
  9. Blupetros

    Blupetros
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    While something is playing, press whatever button it is on the Denon to change how it's outputting the signal, I have a Marantz SR7010 and it's the Green button so probably the same. It's annoying that it will always want to up mix when you don't want it to.
     
  10. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    Forget any broadcasts for good accurate sound. The vast majority of terrestrial Freeview are in 2 channel stereo, indeed all ITV channels even on Sky are just Dolby Stereo. The receiver will upmix these to 5.1 or 2.1 or 5.1.2 if you have an Atmos set up. The result is a very mixed bag and very much dependant on the original broadcast quality. Some Sky 5.1 broadcasts can vary wildly especially on volume, Game of Thrones was dreadful. These are issues with broadcast quality and not the Denon.

    The true nature and quality of the Denon will shine through when fed a quality blu ray HD track. Otherwise the old maxim of crap in, crap out is a fitting slogan for the majority of broadcast signals.
     
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  11. topgazza

    topgazza
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    Thanks guys. Played Avengers:Ultron last night on Netflix and it was fine but of course it's those pesky TV channels that spoil it. The Denon is astonishing though even with 2.1, which is what I seem to get without touching anything. Lovely clear sound. Trying to figure out what "input" and "active" mean when I press the info button. First shows two speakers so I assume stereo signal but does active, which shows 5.1 speakers, mean output ? Two rear speakers don't seem to do very much despite levels set quite high.

    Maybe a question for the owners thread. But I was really surprised how easy the 2400 was to set up and especially to use. Quality box
     
  12. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    Input is the signal that the Denon is actually getting. Active is the speakers that are being used, ie, input stereo>active 5 speakers plus sub 5.1, shows tgat upmixers are being applied.
     
  13. topgazza

    topgazza
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    I know it sounded obvious so nice to have it confirmed, cheers.I'll have a play when I get home as I'm sure the rear speakers were practically silent even though I could hear feint sounds
     

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