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the better choice

Discussion in 'Arcam Owners' Forum' started by mafridi, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. mafridi

    mafridi
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    denon AVC A1SR VS arcam AVR 300/P 35 Combo? can anyone advise which is a better option in terms of movie viewing (more power). I just had the arcam combo installed and I feel the guy who hooked it up did not know how. He's running my DVD through the SAT input using a optical cable as I did not have a coaxial cable (could this have anything to do with it). There is no bass at all. my sub was working really well with the Denon/Q series/Rel Q150E combo. Now I have the arcam combo/KEF XQ combo/Rel Q150E. Its very flat sound no punch . Please help. What could be the reasons for this.Have I made a bad choice. the reviews and reasearch I found on arcam is outstanding.

    HELP ME
     
  2. ANDY_DUTTON

    ANDY_DUTTON
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    Have you set up the levels in the setup menu as if not the bass could be too low or too high, also the crossover frequency may be set incorrectly for Q series I owuld think arround 70 - 80Hz would be best but you can try all of the settings and see what you like. To get into the setup menu press and hold the menu key.

    The other thing that can affect the impact of the set up is the placement of the subwoofer have you moved it since changing the amp?

    For best results also make sure that all of the delay managemnt is set up correctly. This is the menu that asks you for the distances the speakers are from the listening position.

    It is unlikely to be the optical cable you tend to get a small loss of detail in the image when using optical vrs Coax but not loss of bass.

    Regards,
    Andrew
     
  3. Benfica

    Benfica
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    Mr Andy Dutton,

    Can you please elaborate more on this ?
    My question is (just for learning), why is that so ? Shoudn't both (optical and coax) provide the same sound quality ? After all they are both digital.

    And what regarding iLink (firewire) and HDMI ? Although both digital, do they provide also different quality ? What about in DTS and DD ? And in SACD and DVD-A ?

    Sorry for these basic questions.

    Best regards
     
  4. ANDY_DUTTON

    ANDY_DUTTON
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    Hi,

    Ok at the risk of starting a massive debate I will try to describe what is going on. Sorry if this is patronising but I don't know how much you already understand. This is a very simplified version of the problems involved so anyone in the know please don't pull it to pieces it is not intended to be 100% accurate it is just to give a feel for what is going on without having to write an entire book.

    A digital signal is, as you have implied, normally transmitted without error between the source (DVD/CD player) to the surround sound decoder. So we might assume that what comes out of the DAC is correct independent of how it gets to the surround sound decoder. However what we also have to take into account is time. Two things are actually transmitted down the wire between the DVD/CD Player and the surround sound decoder the digital data and a timing signal (the clock) to reconstruct that data. The clock is an analogue signal so can suffer from noise.

    To illustrate the importance of the timing data, imagine I have a set of data that goes 1,2,3,4,3,2,1,2,3,4... repeating (this will form a very rough triangular wave form). If I send this to my DAC with a clock that says play one bit every day i.e. day one = 1; day two = 2. I will not hear anything because as far as my hearing is concerned it is DC i.e. a flat waveform. Alternatively if I send this to my DAC at 1 bit every micro second, I will also not hear it because it is far to high in frequency for my ears (approx 166KHz). So clearly there is information in the clock. If I send it at 44.1KHz (CD clock frequency) I will have approx 7KHz + harmonics.

    If we now reduce the clock variation down so I am using a clock that is 44.1KHz +/- 2Hz what I would hear is a variation in pitch imposed on top of my 7KHz by the distortion in the clock.

    Now the final step if instead of +/- 2Hz I just have a random variation caused by random noise in the transmission what I hear is distortion caused by the error in the clock. This random variation is called Jitter.

    As this noise variation gets smaller and smaller it gets to the point you can't hear it as noise in the signal you just hear its effects on the audio. The effect it normally has it to make the stereo image slightly less clear.

    So why is an optical transmission worse than a coaxial one. Theoretically the reverse would be true because you can't pick up any electrical noise on the optical connection. However the problem is the type of optical connection used for Toslink is only just fast enough to transmit the signal and this means that quite allot of electrical noise is introduced as the signal is converted to an optical one and then back to an electrical one. The Coaxial connection does not have this problem. So long as the connection cable is a good screened cable and well designed transmitters and receivers are used in the products very little extra noise is added to the clock signal, hence it usually sounds better.

    The differences between I-Link and HDMI are more difficult to define as both use packets of data and are transmitted asynchronously to the audio clock. The clock is then reconstructed at the far end using timing information that is embedded in the digital data stream. The quality of the clock signal is mostly dependent on how well the clock is recreated using this information. The recreation of the clock is dependant on the implementation used in the surround sound decoder. In terms of how much data can be transmitted HDMI is better however how this will sound is as much dependant on the clock implementation as the amount of data available.

    As for you last question DD, DTS, DVD-A and SACD. Part of this is easy to describe, DTS has a higher data rate than Dolby Digital and as both a compressed using lossy compression (i.e. some information thought to be inaudible is actually discarded) is audibly better in this respect. (although Dolby digital is still good).

    Which is better between DVD-A and SACD is much more difficult to define as both deliver enough data to provide a very high quality signal. Mostly at this point it seems to come down to mixing of the music, the production and how good the replay device DVD/CD player is (to the extent that a poor SACD or DVD-A player may sound worse than a really good CD player). I will leave it at that on DVD-A vs. SACD as I don't want to get drawn into a debate on this point.

    John Dawson's White paper on this can be found at the URL

    http://www.arcam.co.uk/downloads/dvd-a vs sacd.pdf

    This is in the DiVA master class part of our website if you want to navigate to it.

    Regards,
    Andrew
     
  5. Benfica

    Benfica
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    Thanks Mr A. Dutton !

    You were right: previous to your explanation I really didn't understood much. Now, (I think) I do.

    Best regards, and thanks again for your patience and time.
     
  6. kirkj

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    So, if HDMI is the way to go and the DV29 supports HDMI audio, when are we going to see an Arcam HDMI receiver. :D

    - Kirk.
     
  7. vonhosen

    vonhosen
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    :laugh: I suspect that is a harder question to answer :D
     

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