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View Full Version : Questions about setting up new 5.1 speakers & avr


Gracee
05-09-12, 09:04 AM
I have an Onkyo TX-SR309 AVR, Energy Take Classic 5.1 speakers, Panasonic BluRay, Sony 400 Disc Changer and Panasonic 60" TV TC-P60S30.

I had some old Sony 5.1 speakers and subwoofer appeared to stop working. Upon further investigation I realized a very low amount of sound was coming through it, although turned up as loud as possible it was not much. I had no way to test it but the avr is only 5 mos. old so I assumed the sub was broken. These speakers were junk 12 years ago when purchased so I was thrilled to have a reason to buy new ones.

For the receiver I have and money I was willing to spend I chose the Energy Take Classic 5.1 speakers.

We hooked them up last night. Knowing little about how to setting them up we followed the manual. The center, left, right and surround sound great and seem to have plenty of volume. The subwoofer is hooked up via a single rca cord (a new one) to the subwoofer pre out on the AVR and the Line INSub In LEFT. The volume is set to 50% and the low pass filter 110 hz, phase control to 0.

The AVR receiver is set to Subwoofer - yes, front, center & surround - small, crossover freq. is 100. I have the volume for all spears set to 0db except the subwoofer which is set to +10db.

This subwoofer is much louder than the old broken one but it doesn't seem like I should have to have the AVR subwoofer setting set so high in comparison to the other speakers. Is that normal? It by no means is too loud. When I play the THX approval sound thingy (sorry don't know what that is called) at the beginning of a movie, with my avr at 40% volume and all settings like I mentioned above it is just loud enough that I can sort of feel the rumble. It sounds good, don't misunderstand me, but I am concerned something is set wrong, or hooked up wrong since I have the AVR subwoofer set so high. I don't know if I maxed everything out if it would be too loud. Not turning it up too much because of the break in. My room is roughly 30x20. The cheapy subwoofer "seemed" louder.

I haven't watched a movie yet and maybe I'm imagining it all. I just need advice on all of the settings. I'm not sure how loud the subwoofer should seem.

The bluray player and dvd player are hooked to the avr via hdmi cables. An hdmi carries those signals to the tv. A digital coxial carries the sound back to the avr. (I have no cable, satellite or network tv). I took the tv out of the loop for the sound, ran it straight from the blu ray to the avr, but it sounds the same, absolutely no change in volume levels out of any speaker. So I don't think the tv or tv settings have anything to do with it, if there is a problem.

Last think I do not understand the listening modes on the AVR. How should they be set? My last avr had an auto setting that no matter what the dvd sound was the avr played the native sound. This avr has 4 modes (how do I know which one is being used?) - Movie/TV, Music, Game, Stereo - all with various options. I don't play games or use the stereo. Sometimes I use the aux for my mp3 player. We use the DVD input for the blu ray player, the game input for our Roku, the Cable/VCR input for the dvd jukebox.

I know this is long but I sure could use some help setting this up optimally. TY!!!!

Linda

Spiky
05-09-12, 09:59 AM
Well, they record the LFE (subwoofer) channel at 10db less than the other 5 or 6 channels intentionally. But that should be accounted for by your processor when in Dolby or DTS mode, and you shouldn't have to adjust for this. Maybe it isn't adjusted if you are playing in a different mode, and then the 10db increase would be perfectly normal.

The DSP listening modes are alternate ways to process the sound. If you are watching a disc with Dolby or DTS, you (probably) want to be in Dolby or DTS mode. Those native modes should sound better for a movie, since it is what the authors intended.

It looks like both the TV and receiver have the HDMI Audio Return Channel, so you shouldn't need the extra digital audio cable. Any audio that needs to go from TV to receiver would just go back through the same HDMI cable.

It sounds like you've set the channel levels by ear. The best way to get volume levels set is with an SPL meter. (it doesn't look like that receiver has this built in) All 6 channels should measure at the same loudness when playing test tones. Going by ear for a subwoofer is basically impossible. The low frequencies (below 50Hz) are much harder for human ears to distinguish volume levels, when compared to any higher frequencies. Also, most people think the LFE should be louder than it should be, probably because of our inability to hear the low frequencies the same.

That said, if you like it, go with it. I measured mine out perfectly, then raised the LFE a few decibels anyway for some extra punch.

I might add a recommendation. Those Energy speakers (not the sub) have a frequency response rated to effectively start at 115Hz. The set is designed to have the subwoofer cover a much larger range than most. You may want to, if possible, raise the crossover to 120Hz. And I would try to locate the sub near the TV with this system, to localize the sound the best.

Gracee
05-09-12, 10:36 AM
TY for your response. I will work on doing what you suggest when I have time. I do not have an SPL meter so I will have to check into getting one.

I'm still a little confused on how to set the listening modes. Do I have to set this every time I watch a dvd? Or is there a way to always have it decode and play it in the native sound that the movie was recorded in? If I have to set it to something can I set it to Dolby Digital and leave it? What will happen when I play a 2.0 or other dvd that isn't 5.1?

I do have the sub placed right below the tv just to the left.

TY!

Spiky
05-09-12, 02:04 PM
Usually Onkyo has an auto-select mode. Mine is a decade old, it has auto for Dolby and DTS. If I want only stereo I have to choose it manually. I think the auto mode is labeled Surround or something.

One thing I always check is the mode on the disc, esp for BDs. They often do not pick the best soundtrack as default, so you have to choose it in the player after it starts playing. Did this last night with Dark Knight BD.

Gracee
05-09-12, 03:50 PM
I can't seem to find an auto-select mode. Maybe I'm overlooking it?
http://www.manualowl.com/m/Onkyo/TX-SR309/Manual/220711 is the manual.

Spiky
05-09-12, 05:11 PM
Check page 34 about Fixed Mode. It should just always be auto, unless you manually select something. At least, that's how mine works.

Gracee
05-09-12, 09:36 PM
So, if I set Fixed Mode to off, it will automatically use the native sound for the dvd? Then if I manually select a listening mode that will override the auto? If I select a listening mode how do I go back to the auto mode? Turn off and on the avr? Or is there another way?

Sorry, this is all really new to me.

TY!

Spiky
05-10-12, 10:54 AM
That is my guess. You'll have to try it out. You may be able to press the Movie button to get it back into auto, also. Another guess.

clckworang
05-10-12, 01:40 PM
So, if I set Fixed Mode to off, it will automatically use the native sound for the dvd? Then if I manually select a listening mode that will override the auto? If I select a listening mode how do I go back to the auto mode? Turn off and on the avr? Or is there another way?

Sorry, this is all really new to me.

TY!

Not sure about your receiver, but mine has a button that says "Straight" to go to regular sound without using one of those modes.