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audio issues w/ DVD's

Old 02-18-05, 08:58 PM
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audio issues w/ DVD's

I have a Sony STR DE 845 that is a couple of years old. Recently I have noticed that during songs on DVD's (real, soundtrack songs imbedded in the movie, not background/orchestra music) the audio tracks seem to be a little off. Basically, the vocals are loud and clear, but the rest of the music (guitars, drums, background vocals, etc) are much softer than I think they should be. Also, sound effects are still very loud. For example, the Smashmouth song "Allstar" during Shreck has the lead singer very loud, but the moving guitar chords are soft. Also happened to Elton John in Road to El Dorado (I have a 2 year old, give me a break), but also in Dodge Ball (the scene where White goes to the girl's door, and also the dance/cheerleading scene). If I change the audio option to a non-digital format, the songs sound normal. My wife says, "why don't just play the whole movie in the other format?" What?? No digital? But I just love that blue light on the receiver when the signal is digital!

Anyway, I am worried the unit is slowly self destructing, or maybe my son hit some random EQ button I didn't even know about. Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 02-18-05, 09:41 PM
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Have you calibrated your system using an SPL meter? This may help.

However, if multi-channel analogue input sounds better, then that suggests that the DD/DTS decoder in your DVD player is better quality than the decoder in your Sony receiver.
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Old 02-19-05, 11:27 AM
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What kind of speakers do you have?
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Old 02-20-05, 07:35 AM
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Thanks for the replies, guys. I have not calibrated w/ an SPL meter, in fact I have no idea what that means (lol). The DVD player is Sony, too, and bought about the same time as the receiver (DVP S360). What has me bugged is I'm pretty sure I didn't have this problem before, but I'm not sure. By the way, I just noticed that the front of the DVD player says "virtual enhanced surround." When I hear "virtual" it makes me think the player is decoding in some weird way to make up for lack of speakers. I don't need that. Hmmmm.

The speakers, I'm sorry to say, are the oldest (and crappiest) part of my system. They are about 8 years old, just some cheap mail order KLH set. They certainly used to be the weakest link, but now I'm worried about digital decoders, etc. During setup, you tell the receiver how far you sit from the fronts, center, rear, etc. I wonder if I should check if they are still correct? Thanks for the suggestions, keep 'em coming!
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Old 02-20-05, 10:23 AM
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The speakers, I'm sorry to say, are the oldest (and crappiest) part of my system. They are about 8 years old, just some cheap mail order KLH set. They certainly used to be the weakest link,
And they still are.

You can and should try to do a proper calibration but I am afraid that no amount of calibration or better electronics will make those speakers sound good.

I would start saving for a replacement set of speakers and shop carefully and correctly for them by listening to material you are familiar with.

Last edited by Brian Shannon; 02-20-05 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 02-20-05, 06:14 PM
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The speakers are a weak point. The Sony receiver is a second weak point. Sony's DSP modes sound like junk. Best bet is to upgrade to a set of decent speakers (Energy, Paradigm, etc.) and a decent receiver (low-end Denon, Yamaha, Onkyo would be a noticeable improvement), or a good HTiB like an Onkyo set (for well under $500, maybe less tan $400, you could have a system that would sound incredibly better from what you describe).
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Old 02-20-05, 10:11 PM
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Great comments, everyone. Thanks. Sounds like it's about time to upgrade/replace again.
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