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some questions about my new HT

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some questions about my new HT

Old 04-05-01, 07:55 PM
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First of all, my setup:

Receiver: Kenwood vr-4080
center+front+rear: Energy Take 5
Sub: Sony SAWM40
DVD: Apex 600A
VCR: some Sanyo Hi-Fi stereo
connection: DVD to receiver using a digital coaxial
VCR to receiver using normal RCA stereo cable
receiver to sub using normal RCA stereo cable
receiver to other speakers using 16 gauge

Question 1: DVD sounds amazing on the system in either DD or DTS mode. However, in Dolby Prologic mode (TV/VCR), I rearly feel the surround sound. The rear speakers would usually play some background music, at a low volume. It doesn't differ much to stereo mode. Is this normal? Is there any way I can improve the VCR watching experience?

Question 2: I feel my system is not quite good when listening to music. When I set the listening mode to stereo, I feel the music is crisp and clear, but something is missing (mid-range). If I set the listening mode to 3-stereo, it would be the opposite, good mid-range but not as crisp in high end. I want to know if this is solely the limitation of my speakers or if there is some set up tricks to boost the performance.

Question 3: I am using DVD player to play CDs. Since I use a digital connection, I thought that the quality of the CD player doesn't matter too much, and therefore I don't need to get a dedicated cd player. Is that true?

Question 4: I did get a SPL and tuned the speaker level using pink noise generated by the receiver. However I feel that the bass is too much and center is a little low, so I changed the relative settings slightly after the setup. Is this a reason that my sytem doesn't sound good in DPL or music mode?

Question 5: sound level from different component differ a lot. For example, for TV/VCR I have to turn the volume to around 55, for DVD I have to turn the volume to around 45, and for FM turner, 50. Is there a way such that I don't have to turn the volume while switching components?

Old 04-05-01, 08:13 PM
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1. Pro-logic is variable on the amount of surround activity from title to title. The Pro-logic decoding cuts much of the frequency range of the surround channels so this helps explain that. I'm drooling over getting DPLII and rewatching some of my Dolby Stereo titles.

2. I've heard that the Energy take 5's aren't good for music. I'm not sure what to do about this. I went with something a little bigger(Paradigm Monitor 5's) and this isn't a problem. Maybe you'll be able to get some bigger Energy speakers to match the rest of the take 5..

3. In order to beat the DAC in your receiver you'd have to get a pretty expensive($400+) CD player. So getting a cheaper one with a digital output would save some money and give you similar performance to your DVD player.

4. I don't think it would have much effect on music since most people like their subs softer for music and louder for HT. As far as pro-logic goes it could. Since your dialogue will now be a bit louder(due to increasing center channel output) than the rest so effects and ambience will be softer.

5.Different sources have different base sound levels. Heck I remember watching a basketball game on the RSN's of DirecTV and one channel would be louder than the other. Not sure you could do much to defeat this.
Old 04-06-01, 09:32 AM
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#1. I think TV shows are pretty lame in their use of surround sound. Try a VHS tape of an action movie or musical -- even try finding one on TV -- and see if you notice a difference. The problem might also be your local cable company/broadcaster. If the stereo signal is not transmitted correctly, it could nullify the surround effect.

#4. Every time I use the test signal to calibrate the sub, I also feel it is too strong and I end up turning the sub back town a bit. I think the problem is the test signal generated by the receiver. You could try Vido Essentials or Avia discs and see if their test tones are more "even". Otherwise I'd let your ears make the final decision and not worry about the SPL. At least, that's what I do...
Old 04-06-01, 09:51 AM
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#1. Pro-Logic mixes only give you a mono mix in the rear channels. DD/DTS gives you a full range stereo signal in the rears. The receiver can often have an effect - my Denon AVR-3300's weakest point is Pro-Logic reproduction, but I'm not overly concerned about that

#3. You might run into problems playing CD-R or CD-RW. Many DVD players can't handle them - I think it has something to do with differences in the laser freqencies used by DVD & CD players

#5. This is quite normal - the signal from DVD players is often "weaker" to that from other sources when played at the same volume level. I think this is due to the increased dynamic range of the DD/DTS output, so there is some compensation applied to the output
Old 04-06-01, 12:16 PM
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Originally posted by DigIt
#1. I think TV shows are pretty lame in their use of surround sound.
Most are pretty lame. The best I've heard is FOX, which supposedly broadcasts in Dolby Surround.

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