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Cabling question

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Stan_S, Jul 23, 2002.

  1. Stan_S

    Stan_S Member

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    Hi,

    I currently have a Zenith IQB27FW TV and a JVC XV-701BK DVD. They are connected with component video cables. I am adding a Pioneer VSX-D811S a/v receiver and a set of Cambridge Soundworks MovieWorks 408 5.1 speakers.

    My question is, for the audio, if I use an optical digital audio TOSlink cable from the DVD to the receiver do I need to make any other audio cable connections between the two?

    Also, the DVD has a built in AC3 decoder, is that good? Does the receiver have an equivalent? What can I do with an AC3 decoder?

    If these are dumb questions please bear with me, this is my first attempt at ht.

    Thank you!
    Stan
     
  2. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Well-Known Member

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    Won't matter- 99 times out of 100 the converter in the receiver will be of higher quality. By using the optical connection you suggested above, the DVD player will serve as a transport and pass digital audio to the receiver where it will be converted.

    On board D/A converters in a DVD player are usually most useful if your receiver doesn't have a DD converter on board (older receivers)- or if you wish to use the player for DVD-A (which receivers cannot currently convert the audio format on DVD-A, so the player has to do it).

    -V
     
  3. Stan_S

    Stan_S Member

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    That brings up another question. The Pioneer VSX-D811S supports Surround Sound EX 6.1. My JVC DVD player only mentions 5.1 surround. If I play a Surround Sound EX DVD in my JVC DVD will the EX information be sent to the receiver through the optical digital TOSlink cable?

    Also, my Zenith IQB27FW TV sounds very good. Can it be used as the center speaker?

    Thanks again,
    Stan
     
  4. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Well-Known Member

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    Well, you CAN- but I can give you a few reasons why it is not the ideal.

    First, the biggest real improvement in the whole surround sound thing is using as closely matched speakers as is possible. The best results would come from using identical speakers for all channels-- however if you must vary due to space restrictions, it's absolutely important to get speakers from the same matching series of speakers. If you use your TV as the center, chances are that it won't match the fron speakers- which will kill any hopes of a seamless front soundstage. I knwo it might sound sily now, but after a few movies you'll start to notice.

    The second problem often encountered is the issue of voltage mismatch. While the preamp output on your receiver should be able to provide enough juice to your TV to get decent volume levels- often the level from the receiver is a bit low. This results in running the TV volume higher than ideal which introduces all sorts of potential problems: if someone switches modes and gets static or cable TV direct through the TV speakers, they could be damaged... often with high white level the powersupply pull on the set will cause the speakers to humm slightly, which is a non issue at "normal" volumes but often annoying if the set must be cranked.

    Thirdly, using the TV speakers removes any real options in terms of positioning or aiming if necessary. This might not seem like a big issue- but iften small tweaks like that make all the difference.

    So, bottom line is- as a stop gap solution it will work (I did it myself once upon a time)-- but I would set my goals as matching speakers all the way around. To be honest, I found that my system with center set to "no" and allowing the main L/R to handle the center material to be more pleasing that using the TV.

    Your Milage May Vary...

    -V
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Well-Known Member

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    yes, using the toslink cable will send all the info from the dvd to the receiver. as long as the dvd has 6.1, then the receiver will be able to decode it.

    personally, i would NOT use the tv as a center speaker. the center is the most important speaker for ht. just about all the dialoge and a good portion of effects are sent to that speaker. most tv speakers are good for...what...maybe 10-15 watts? not sure, but that sounds about right...especially for a 27". try sending full-range audio from your receiver to those speakers...they'll crackle and just sound horrible.

    also, keep in mind the concept of timbre-matching. your tv's speakers will not have the same sonic characteristics as the rest of your speakers.
     
  6. Stan_S

    Stan_S Member

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    Another question... :) I just noticed that the Cambridge Soundworks MovieWorks 408 speakers I bought are rated at 75 Watts. The Pioneer VSX-D811S a/v receiver puts out 100 Watts/channel. Is that going to be a problem?

    I appreciate all your help, this is a great resource.
     
  7. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Well-Known Member

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    Nope.

    This is a common thought with people who are new to electronics and audio. In actuality, you will be running only a few watts at any given time- the max level is only produced on millisecond long peaks- and it's better on your speakers to have that extra wattage for those split second bursts than not to have it.

    Truth is WATTAGE RARELY DAMAGES speakers. I have been a sound engineer for over 10 years, and I routinely put 1000 watts to speakers rated at 400 watts and I have never damaged a speaker due to excessive wattage.

    The thing that damages speakers most often is actually a lack of wattage. The most common way speakers are damaged is distorted signal. The closer to the maximum (or over the maximum) you run any item in an audio signal chain- the more distorted the signal becomes. Guys beating the pee out of a 25 watt amp would be 1000 times more likely to cause damage than a guy gently running a 100 watt amp-- because the 25 watt amp guy will be pushing everything in his signal chain that much harder to juice the max from the system, thus risking distorted signal. That distorted signal is how speakers get fried...

    So, really, having the extra wattage is an advantage in terms of the longevity of your speakers.

    -Vince
     
  8. Stan_S

    Stan_S Member

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    Thanks Vince and everyone, I'm sure I will have more questions when my receiver comes in (ordered it online). I can't wait! :) I'm very impressed with the forum, I plan on visiting often as things come together in my little home theater.
     

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