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Help with Onkyo 805 and PS3 settings - Voices too loud

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Vin_G, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. Vin_G

    Vin_G Well-Known Member

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    I have a PS3 with an Onkyo 805 receiver. My speakers are the Paradigm Titan Monitor series 5. I noticed that the volume is different movie to movie of course, but I like to listen to a movie fairly loud if it doesn't have too many special effects, such as a musical.

    I have the Nightmare Before Christmas on Blu-Ray and where I would normally set the volume of my amplifier to -14dB for volume (say for Transformers), I have to turn it up to -4dB for quieter movies like Nightmare before Christmas to get it to sound decent. However the dialogue sounds distorted like when you turn up the gain in a source too loud (i.e. turning up your mp3 player too much when attached to poweres speakers).

    Does anyone have any ideas on this?

    P.S. My PS3 sound settings are set to Auto and the Onkyo is set to THX. Audessy or not the gain sounds too loud in dialogue even in similar volume movies. The speaker does not sound blown, but the input sounds off.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Well-Known Member

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    I don't have a ps3, but do have a standalone BD player and Onkyo 805.
    I ran Audyssey for speaker calibration, and saved the settings. My Onkyo is set to "Auto", and my BD player is set to "Bitstream". Once in awhile, we might have to turn the volume up for a movie, but 95% of the time, we listen at -18 to -20 volume level, which is kinda loud. At -4 volume level on mine would be very loud! You must have had the volume set pretty low, when you ran Audyssey?
    Maybe someone else has some ideas too............
    Good luck!
     
  3. Vin_G

    Vin_G Well-Known Member

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    Ok this helped quite a bit, as I contacted Onkyo support (but I still think some quiter Blu-Ray movies sound off due to having to turn them up to a levelt that it sounds satisfactory).

    Thank You for contacting Onkyo USA Product Support.

    Make sure your PS3 is set to linear PCM so you can have the PS3 do all the decoding. The receiver needs to be on "Multich" multichannel. Here are the settings that you need on the PS3 also these settings will allow the PS3 to decode uncompressed formats such as DTS master and Dolby True HD for Blu ray discs.


    Playstation 3 settings


    The following settings are for the PS3 to output Dolby Digital, and all the other sound formats with an HDMI connection. If they are using optical only do step 1 and make sure in sound settings optical is selected and set the configuration to automatic.

    You must go to settings in the cross media bar (start up screen)

    1. Go to BD/DVD settings and make sure HDMI and optical are set to bitstream
    2. Go to Sound Settings then press the “x” button on the controller.
    3. Click on HDMI then click on manual settings
    4. Make sure Dolby Digital, DTS, and AAC all have check boxes.
    5. Don’t worry about the linear PCM formats leave those alone
    6. Go to the next menu by pressing right on the Directional Pad of the controller and press the “x” button to save the settings.


    These setting are for the PS3 to decode sound formats internally through Linear PCM (uncompressed audio however the receiver will not display True HD or DTS Master only multichannel since the PS3 is doing all the decoding)

    1. Go to BD DVD Settings and make sure HDMI output is set to Linear PCM.
    2. Go to Sound Settings and make sure that HDMI is selected and set it to MANUAL
    3. Make sure that ALL Linear PCM settings have a check mark.
    4. Save your settings
    5. If you have these settings and all linear PCM’s checked please note that you will only be able to get Multichannel and Direct as your listening mode even if the PS3 is set to Bitstream but the PS3 will decode Dolby Digital and DTS on its own
    6. To see what format the PS3 is decoding press the select button on the controller
     
  4. sptrout

    sptrout Well-Known Member

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    FYI - - Audyssey totally ignors any user settings (including volume level) when it sets the channel levels during its channel level adjusting. It automatically will set each channel so the audio level is 75dB SPL at the main listening spot (where you take the first of the eight measurements for XT). When Audyssey is finished a "0" on the volume display will be equal to Reference Level as described: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showpost.php?p=16308139&postcount=14102
     
  5. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I forgot about that.
    But something is wrong if he has to turn the volume up to -4db, to make it sound decent. Unless he has a hearing problem? -4 db is very loud!

    The email Onkyo sent, is one way of making it work. But I bought the 805 because it does the processing, therefore I'm going to let it. Sure the sound is what matters, and the sound from mine is awesome. No big deal, but I kinda like seeing "Dolby TrueHD" and "dtsHD Master" in the display of my receiver too. If it sounded any better the other way, I'd do that. But, from what I can tell, it doesn't. So, I'll use my receiver for the reason I bought it, otherwise I would have kept my old Yamaha, and used the multi-channel analog inputs. Wonder why the OP spent that much money for the Onkyo 805, if he's not going to let it do it's job?
     
  6. Vin_G

    Vin_G Well-Known Member

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    So Ed the other alternative is to have the Blu-Ray player set to Bitstream and the Onkyo set to Auto? This results in the receiver doing the decoding?

    From my previous Onkyo support post they recommended Liner PCM with Onkyo set to multichannel (which has PS3 doing decoding). I think one thing that i was doing wrong is that I had the Onkyo set to Auto (or THX) while the blu-ray player was Liner PCM. From what you and Onkyo are saying it is one of two matches:

    1) Liner PCM in Player and Multichannel in Onkyo
    2) Bitstream in PLayer and Auto in Onkyo

    So what does the THX function or "Direct" do? I thought that was just auto?
     
  7. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Well-Known Member

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    I'm not exactly sure what THX does. I don't use it. That was just a way of George Lucas getting something from the sale, I think (supposed to have met certain guidelines, I think, to get the THX branding). THX and Auto are two entirely different things.

    I didn't even know you could use the multi-channel setting, with a digital connection. I thought it was only for using the 5.1/7.1 multi-channel analog inputs, which isn't possible with a ps3. Like I said, I don't have a ps3, so I'm not real familiar with how it's setup. I just thought it would be the same as a standalone player, for watching BD movies.


    I assigned HDMI 1 input, on receiver, to DVD. I have HDMI out, going to tv's HDMI 1 input. I assigned audio to output by HDMI in receiver's setup menus. I set BD player's primary output as HDMI for video and audio. I set BD player to output Bitstream audio. I have the receiver set to "Auto". When I play a BD movie, with a Dolby TrueHD soundtrack, the receiver automatically chooses that track, and displays "Dolby TrueHD". Have had to manually choose that soundtrack on a couple of movies, but most of the time, the receiver automatically chooses it. It has automatically chosen dtsHD Master, everytime I played a movie with that soundtrack. Everything has sounded awesome, setup like this.

    Maybe you happened to get hold of a couple of bad discs. If a friend has the same movie, borrow it, and see if it still has the problem. A friend has an older receiver and Sony S550 BD player. He uses the 7.1 multi-channel analog connections. He uses "Multi-Channel Analog" as the priority audio output from the Sony. His Denon is set to EXT. IN, instead of multi-channel. Same thing though. It's Denon's way of saying multi-channel. I watched part of The Nightmare Before Christmas, and all was fine. The audio wasn't any quieter than any other movie. He also had Caroline to watch. Wasn't that the other movie you mentioned? If he had a problem with it, I promise I would have heard about it. He calls me to fix his problems, with his system, if he has any. I had to set it all up for him................

    Reread the manual. The HDMI stuff was new to me, when I got this receiver. I used the manual to set things up the first time. Double check the HDMI setup area (pages 46-49). Also double check the "Selecting Audio Inputs", and "Specifying the Digital Signal Format" (page 70).
    Good luck!
     
  8. sptrout

    sptrout Well-Known Member

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    Please my other post at: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/forum/thread/295123/why-are-some-blu-ray-movies-quiet-dialogue-issues#post_3631819

    THX modifies the audio to try to meet certain THX audio standards. You really need a 100% THX system to meet all the THX specs. I agree with Ed; do not use it. However, you can try it you may like it; many folks do. If you want to read up on THX, visit their web site or read the article at: http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/technical-articles/165-what-it-means-and-how-to-use-it.html
    Direct, and the similar "Pure" Modes, are used to bypass all digital audio processing including; bass management, Audyssey, and other sound processing modes. Do not use either one unless you have full range speakers or you know for sure what is going on. (BTW- - The only diffference between the two modes is that Pure turns-off the 805's display and video processor. The Manual is not clear on this at all.)
     
  9. sptrout

    sptrout Well-Known Member

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    When using HDMI, and you are playing a Blu-ray that is encoded using uncompressed PCM (5 or 7.x) not DTS-HD MA or TrueHD, the display on the 805 will show "multi-channel." All standard digital processing in the 805 (bass management, Audyssey, etc.) are all still in play. Unlike "direct" or "pure" when all post decoding digital audio processing is turned-off.
    Not many new disks being produced these days using uncompressed PCM.
     
  10. Vin_G

    Vin_G Well-Known Member

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    So would my best bet be to set the PS3 to output BitStream (it seems from the manual the LinearPCM out outputs 7.1 as shown below). Then what do I set my Onkyo to? From the charts on pages 74 & 75 of the manual do I select [Stereo] - Stereo or [THX] - THX Ultra2 Cinema? Ed I am not sure how to set a Listening Mode to Auto. It seems you have to choose one.

    Supported Audio Formats • 2-channel linear PCM (32–192 kHz, 16/20/24 bit) • Multichannel linear PCM (7.1 ch, 32–192 kHz) Bitstream (Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD, DTS-HD Master Audio) Your DVD player must be able to output these formats from its HDMI OUT.
     
  11. sptrout

    sptrout Well-Known Member

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    I disagree with Ed on the issue of there being an "Auto" Mode on the 805; there is not. You must select the desired audio track on the Blu-ray player first. The "default" audio track on the Blu-ray may be one of the HD modes, or it may be standard DD or DTS (although I do not remember ever seeing a default being standard DTS, DD as default is not unusual at all).

    Once the PCM gets to the 805, then you can select any of the Modes you mentioned, however IMO none of these modes improves the sound; just use multi-channel. THX Ultra will up-convert a 5.1 audio source to 7.1, but this may be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your specific speaker aray and listening perferences. I do not like any of the up-convert 7.1 modes, but that is my opinion.

    The PS3 is a very different animal than standard Blu-ray players so you really need help from someone that is using a PS3. If no one here comments, then I recommend that you check over at the AVS, or Blu-ray.com, boards. There are tons (technical term) of posts about PS3 specific issues on both of these boards.
     
  12. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Well-Known Member

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    Yes, there is........
    See page 70 of the manual, under "Specifying the Digital Signal Format". I have also pressed the "AUDIO SEL" button until "Auto" appeared, and left it there. As I said, except for a couple of times, it has automatically chosen the Dolby TrueHD or dtsHD Master tracks. One of the times it didn't, I chose it manually. Then, next time I put that same movie in, it chose it automatically.

    I guess it's possible that the disc defaults to certain tracks. I just know that I have Auto chosen in parts of the audio setup, and the tracks are automatically chosen. It works like my old dvd player did with Dolby Digital. With the player set to bitstream, and the receiver on Auto, it would automatically choose the Dolby Digital tracks. If auto wasn't on, or bitstream wasn't on, it would choose the stereo track. You had to manually choose a dts track, unless it was the only digital track. If it had both DD and DTS, it would choose DD. Blu ray movies have one or the other (Dolby TrueHD or dtsHD Master). Not both, like regular dvds.

    I was telling the OP how I had mine setup, so he could try it and see if it works better for him, than what he's been listening to. The two "Auto" settings may only work with DD and/or DTS. That's how they're set on my receiver, along with Bitstream from the BD player. The HD audio track are automatically chosen, and they sound awesome. I thought if he made the same settings, his might sound better. But, since you know better, I'll bow out, and let you help him.
    Good luck!
     
  13. sptrout

    sptrout Well-Known Member

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    Ed,

    You are correct, there is an "Auto" mode in the 805. Since "Auto" is default, and that would be my selection anyway, I guess I forgot all about it. This "Auto function" only automatically selects the proper decoding for the digital stream that is coming into the AVR from any of the digital inputs (HDMI, optical, coax). This keeps the user from having to scroll though DD, DTS, or PCM everytime a new source is selected. However, a user still must select the preferred audio track for any Blu-ray in the disk's main menu, audio sub-section. No AVR can make this selection (it would require a digital command from the AVR to the player; will not happen) .

    The producer of a Blu-ray disk sets what will be the default audio track if a person just puts a disk in and lets it play (once you get past all the ads and the main menu, if there are any). Warner (I believe; it is one of the big ones) use to default to standard DD and start playing immediately (no opening menu). Therefore, you had to switch audio formats "on the fly." This was a real pain if your display did not show what audio track was playing. If you follow AVS, and other Boards, you will see that this really PO'ed a bunch of folks. I think that their newer releases may not be that way, but I played one just a few days ago (I cannot remember which movie; may have been an old release) that still started without any menus or opening ads. (Note: Once again I may not be remembering the distributor correctly (Warner), but it is one of the major ones.)

    Beyond this one distributor, the default track can be about anything, but I think that most are finally getting on the bandwagon and defaulting to; uncompressed PCM, DTS-HD MA, or Dolby's TrueHD. For TrueHD disks the default may still be standard DD since legacy AVRs will not be able to decode TrueHD. This is not a problem for DTS-HD or DTS-HD MA audio tracks since they both contain a 1.5Mbps "core" that is compatible will all legecy DTS decoders. (Remember that even in the "old" DVD days, some DTS disks had a 1.5Mbps audio track, but by far most had a much lower bit rate DTS track.)
     
  14. sptrout

    sptrout Well-Known Member

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    Vince,

    A copy & paste from your first post:

    Make sure your PS3 is set to linear PCM so you can have the PS3 do all the decoding. The receiver needs to be on "Multich" multichannel. Here are the settings that you need on the PS3 also these settings will allow the PS3 to decode uncompressed formats such as DTS master and Dolby True HD for Blu ray discs

    As I understand the PS3 (which is a wierd animal when compared to standard Blu-ray players), the PS3 does all the decoding and sends the resulting output as PCM to your AVR via the HDMI cable. Depending on which audio track you selected in the Blu-ray disk's audio menu, the output will either be standard PCM (that had been compressed by standard DD, DTS, or plain PCM), or full uncompressed PCM (from a audio track that is either 1) Uncompressed PCM, 2) Dobly TrueHD, or 3) DTS-HD MA).

    IN ALL CASES, your 805 standard display will say "Multi-Ch." That is what it is receiving via its HDMI input (mutli-channel PCM), it does not know the difference between any of the audio tracks that you selected when you first started your movie (Blu-ray, DVD ,or even CDs assuming that the PS3 plays CDs???).

    IMO I would not use any of the many audio functions available in the 805 and most every other AVR on the market. They all take the incoming digital data and modify it to one degree or another. I think that the majority of the users prefer not to modify the audio, however many people like the modes that will up-convert a 5.1 source audio track to 7.1. If you have seven main channels/speakers, try the different up-convert modes you may like one of them.

    There is not a "correct" listening mode. Use the mode that you like, if any. BTW - - You may like one mode for movies and another for music. After playing with many of these modes, I got tired and just decided that unmodified is the best for me.
     
  15. Vin_G

    Vin_G Well-Known Member

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    I AM AN IDIOT!

    First off let me say how much I have learned from everyone here on improving the sound on my HT via Onkyo and PS3 setting mods that I have been avoiding to learn to this point.

    But the unsolvable "loud voices" that sound like crap in all the movies I have been playing.............I put my ear up to my center channel and there is definitely something blown. The center channel is hidden behind the screen so it is hard to access but when I got close during the annoying scenes I could tell. Suprisingly I have the center channel in my Avatar, the huge Paradigm cc-390 so how I blew it is beyond me. It has 7 speakers in it so it seems to be either one of the mids or the tweeter.

    My next post should be how to avoid blowing your center channel :)
     
  16. sptrout

    sptrout Well-Known Member

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    Don't feel bad, I had a bad center channel speaker for an unknown period of time and did not know it either. Once in a great while I would hear a stange sound similar to what a piece of paper would sound like if it was flopping in the wind outside a car window. It was even difficult to tell which channel it was coming from. Finally, there was one scence in the movie "Pearl Habor" where the sound would happen everytime I replayed that one scene. I traced the problem to the center channel speaker where I found that two of the three drivers (the main LF drivers) were rotted-out. I could not believe it. That discovery lead me to replacing all my speakers (must be timbre matched).

    Kind of makes you wonder why one needs a center channel speaker doesn't it? In fact, many folks say you don't.
     
  17. Vin_G

    Vin_G Well-Known Member

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    That is interesting.........putting my center channel to Phantom mode I guess. I can't believe how much sound goes through the center channel and how underutilzed my monster front speakers are. As big as my center channel is, it breaks my heart that it gets so much more juice sent to it rather than the even bigger fronts.

    So until my center is repaired, can I just set my center on my Onkyo to None and it will compensate with the fronts?
     
  18. sptrout

    sptrout Well-Known Member

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    Yep, you can turn off the center channel, however if it is going to be a period of time before replacement, I would just rerun Audyssey and let it do the dirty work. Who knows, you may not miss it depending on your sitting position(s).
     
  19. Vin_G

    Vin_G Well-Known Member

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    Will do. Good advice, thanks.
     

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