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Installation problems...help me help my friend!!! DENON AVR-1804


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#1 of 15 OFFLINE   Andre Barros

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Posted January 03 2004 - 11:08 AM

My friend just got married and moved into a new apaertment and bought his HT equipment from this store which also took care of the installation process. He doesn't know much about electronics and I wish he had consulted with me before buying the products, but anyway...

The guy sells him a Denon AVR-1804 receiver (claiming that Denon manufactures THE BEST receivers in the planet), a pair of JBL N-26 II's, a N-Center, a 12 inch JBL sub and five JBL SP5 in wall speakers. Needless to say, everything was overpriced.

He invites me over to see his HT now that it has been installed. The set-up is the following: The N-26's are each on one side of the TV and the N-center sits on top, so far so good.

His living room is L shaped and the HT in on the short leg of the L. They installer placed 3 of the in wall speakers in the celling above the seating positions (agaist the wall) surround right, surround center and surround left.

The other pair was placed in the celling of the other part of the living room because he wanted the ability to play music to his guests. In my opinion he doesn't even need this because the room is not huge by any means but I guess he wanted speakers "everywhere".

He complains that the image when playing DVD's is yellowish (in fact it was more than that, it was yellow, period) so we drag his custom entartaiment center forward for me to look at the connections. That's when I got pissed.

1 - The installer had done all sorts of stupid and useless connections possible. He had hooked the DVD to the TV using the component outs but somehow he mismatched the 3 colors and two of the plugs on the TV where inverted. This probably happened because he used a "component" cable that was not color coded, it actually looked like three RCA video cables taped together as all the plugs on both ends were yellow.

2 - He had put a Y-splitter at the subwoofer end of the cable and plugged that into the L and R ins of the sub. That didn't hurt the sound from what I could tell but it is obviously useless. I had a hard time convincing my friend that I could remove that Y adapter and things would be OK. In the end I got it out.

3 - I actually removed 3 sets of L/R RCA cables that ran from nowhere to nowhere. It was just pathetic seeing a cable runing from the Phono IN of the reveiver to the L/R IN of the VCR for example. It was a clear case of a guy trying to sell more cables to someone with lot's of money and little information.

After sometime we got things kind of where they should be. I did some re-routing and introduced him to the world of video switching through the receiver and he was amazed.

He now has 3 sets of RCA cables and a Y-splitter to return to this guy and get a refund. I also told him that even though we got the image to show ok on his TV, he should call this guy and demand that he replace that cable for a real component cable.

What I never checked, simply because it would have been too complicated were the speaker connections. I say complicated because the cables went into the wall and up over the celling to the 3 surrounds and further back to the 2 speakers at the other end of the living room.

I'm not familiar with his receiver (Denon AVR-1804) and I had to quickly go through the manual to help him out because he was having problems listening to music on the 2 in-celling speakers at the other end of the room. I tried a several different settings but I could never get it right. Also the 3 surround speakers are producing almost no sound even during scenes where I know they should be putting out more. I had all the speakers at the same level and I tested them with some of my DVD's which I'm familiar with.

Now I'm thinking, aren't there too many speakers? How can he be running 6 speakers for HT plus 2 other ones on this 6.1 receiver? I'll be going over there tomorrow to look at the speaker connections this guy did and I can feel it will be a pain in the %ss to work with wires that come out of a hole in the wall but I can't let that crook "fix" his system, it's a mater of principle.

Any suggestions on what I should look for and what would be the correct way to hook these speakers to his receiver and get the result he desires? Any settings I should know about?

My friend basically wants 3 things (not simultaneous of course)

-He wants to be able have a 6.1 DVD experience.

-He wants to play music on his two in-celling speakers at the other end of the living room and have the Sub working with them and no sound coming from the mains.

-He also wants to be able to play music in his two mains and Sub plus the two in-celling on the living room.


I brought home the receiver's manual so I can go throught it with more time. Anything you guys can help me out with will be greatly appreciated.

Sorry for the long post but this will be my good deed for 2004.

Best regards,

André

#2 of 15 OFFLINE   Wayne Ernst

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Posted January 03 2004 - 12:41 PM

Andre,

Quote:
2 - He had put a Y-splitter at the subwoofer end of the cable and plugged that into the L and R ins of the sub. That didn't hurt the sound from what I could tell but it is obviously useless. I had a hard time convincing my friend that I could remove that Y adapter and things would be OK. In the end I got it out.


This is not necessarily a bad thing. Using the "Y" splitter will just boost the output a little bit - and would require you to turn down the gain on the amplifier. Removing the "Y" splitter just means that you'll have to re-calibrate the system and probably turn the gain back up a bit.

1 - The installer had done all sorts of stupid and useless connections possible. He had hooked the DVD to the TV using the component outs but somehow he mismatched the 3 colors and two of the plugs on the TV where inverted. This probably happened because he used a "component" cable that was not color coded, it actually looked like three RCA video cables taped together as all the plugs on both ends were yellow.


Also, this isn't so bad. Well, it's bad that the cables were not routed to the right connections. However, in a pinch, I've used "3" video cables before for component cables when I didn't have a component cable. However, this was for my own use - and not for anyone else's system.

Hopefully, your friend didn't pay more than MSRP for the receiver and speakers. Also, the installation costs should be itemized - and also the cost of the components. If the installer just put down $5,000 for example to purchase and install the whole system, I'm sure the job was padded big time. However, if things are itemized, you could get a better idea of the actual costs.

One thing does bother me though. It's very unfortunate that the installer didn't see the video issues after the installation. I guess the setup wasn't tested and calibrated at all. Posted Image
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#3 of 15 OFFLINE   Ed Moxley

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Posted January 03 2004 - 03:41 PM

It says in my JBL sub's manual, to use a "Y" adapter......... because the sub has two outputs and my receiver has only one input for the sub. That part is really supposed to be that way.
It just sounds like he did a very unprofessional job. I'd complain to the manager/owner, or is HE the manager/owner?
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#4 of 15 OFFLINE   TimGRA

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Posted January 03 2004 - 04:10 PM

Andre,
Good that you are trying to help out your friend. I have done this countless times for other people.
The living room speakers could be run on another zone if the receiver has a multi-room function. You could also run them on the "B" channel. Of course everything else would be on the "A" channel which it already is.
definitely use the "Y" adapter on the sub. That gives you another 3db. 3db's is huge. It sounds like that maybe the only thing the installer got right. Good luck.Posted Image

#5 of 15 OFFLINE   Wayne Ernst

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Posted January 03 2004 - 04:33 PM

Quote:
definitely use the "Y" adapter on the sub. That gives you another 3db. 3db's is huge.


Tim, Please keep in mind that the 3dB boost isn't a bonus. When you utilize a "Y" adapter, it does initially give you the 3dB boost. However, the 3dB isn't *free* - and it will come off the top end. Using the "Y" adapter just essentially allows you to set your gain or output level on your sub a little lower. For those users who are not using a "Y" adapter, they just have to set their gain a bit higher.

Finally, if the 3dB gain was a real gain, it would mean that I could take my 250 watt plate amp and when I utilized a "Y" adapter, it would make it a 500 watt plate amp since it requires a doubling of power for every 3dB of increase.
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#6 of 15 OFFLINE   Vincent_S

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Posted January 03 2004 - 05:14 PM

At least your friend has someone like you to help out. I bet this kind of stuff happens everyday to a lot of people and they have no clue Posted Image

#7 of 15 OFFLINE   Andre Barros

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Posted January 03 2004 - 05:30 PM

Quote:
It says in my JBL sub's manual, to use a "Y" adapter......... because the sub has two outputs and my receiver has only one input for the sub. That part is really supposed to be that way.


In the Subs manual it says to use the Y adapter if your system is analog or something but i doesn't tell you to do so in the case of a DD DTS system, they even have diagrams and I had to show him in order for him to agree with the removal, but if there is an actal benefit, I'll just plug it in back tomorrow.

Quote:
The living room speakers could be run on another zone if the receiver has a multi-room function. You could also run them on the "B" channel. Of course everything else would be on the "A" channel which it already is.


Wahat exactly is the difference between the A/B speakers and the zone 1/zone 2 speakers? Can you have everything hooked-up to speakers even if only using a 5.1 setup?

For example, 5.1 speakers (A speakers I supose), 2 other speakers (hooked to the B speakers) AND another pair hooked to zone 2. All that out of a 6.1. What is the purpose of the A/B option? Can A and B be runnig simultaneously?

Thanks in advance guys

Regards,

André

#8 of 15 OFFLINE   Justin_D

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Posted January 04 2004 - 09:32 AM

I have a similar receiver (not as much wattage, but 6.1 w/ A/B switch).

The idea is

A ONLY) Surround
B ONLY) Just speaker set B is on, i.e. only stereo from those 2
A and B) 2 channel from speaker set A and both speakers from set B

Another way to say it is like this: Imagine the that each speaker he owns has a number assigned to it

Front Left: 1
Front Center: 2
Front Right: 3
Rear Left: 4
Rear Center: 5
Rear Right: 6

Extra speaker for "guests" left: 7
Extra speaker for "guests" right: 8

With speaker set "A" on only, speaker 1-6 will be on
With speaker set "B" on only, speakers 7 and 8 only
With both "A" and "B" on simultaniously, 1,3,7, and 8 will be on.

I hope this helps.

#9 of 15 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted January 04 2004 - 09:59 AM

Thread title edited. While it certainly appears that the installer did not do a good job, there is nothing in the facts reported to justify calling him a "crook", especially in a thread title.

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#10 of 15 OFFLINE   Andre Barros

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Posted January 04 2004 - 11:09 AM

Sorry about that.

#11 of 15 OFFLINE   steve nn

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Posted January 04 2004 - 01:24 PM

Andre if you would like a little help setting up the 1804 (if it is set up wrong) give me a PM and I will familiarize you with the unit. It would be good to read the manuel first also if you haven't done so.

What hasn't been mentioned about the Y connection is that it can be useful with a sub that has a insensitive auto function.

#12 of 15 OFFLINE   Andre Barros

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Posted January 04 2004 - 02:19 PM

Steve, thank you for your offer. I'm almost through the manual so by tomorrow I might have more educated questions for you.

As for the Y adapter....well, the only thing I know is that his Sub takes a little too long to recognize a signal and turn on but that happens with or without the Y adapter. Sometimes we could probably go through an entire movie without the Sub turning on.

Thank you

Andre

#13 of 15 OFFLINE   Topher

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Posted January 04 2004 - 11:40 PM

In that case, just set it to "on" and then change it back after the movie. Auto doesn't work very well on a lot of subs and it requires a little "off the couch" if you want to be sure it's on. Sure is a pain though, my sub is the same way... Posted Image
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#14 of 15 OFFLINE   craig_curtis

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Posted January 05 2004 - 03:16 AM

i have the 1803 and i don't think its that much different... as for the Sub issue, i have a JBL-PB10, and in its manual it says you only need the LFE rca input if you have a receiver that has a separate LFE output (dedicated subwoofer). so I don't have a Y adapter and have never had a problem. Sub setting is "ON" in the denon,

as for the zone issue, i don't have zpnes set up on mine, but as far as I know, I think the sub is tied to zone/speaker A, so i don't think you could play music on the second zone, and have the subwoofer play. I could be wrong but I think that's how it works...

plus won't the output drop if both A and B sets are on? since it has to split the power even more?
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#15 of 15 OFFLINE   Andre Barros

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Posted January 05 2004 - 05:14 PM

Quote:
i have the 1803 and i don't think its that much different... as for the Sub issue, i have a JBL-PB10, and in its manual it says you only need the LFE rca input if you have a receiver that has a separate LFE output (dedicated subwoofer). so I don't have a Y adapter and have never had a problem. Sub setting is "ON" in the denon,


Yep, thay whole Y adapter confused me but I could clearly remember the manual saying that there is no need for one when hooked up to a DD/DTS receiver with only one LFE output

Quote:
In that case, just set it to "on" and then change it back after the movie. Auto doesn't work very well on a lot of subs and it requires a little "off the couch" if you want to be sure it's on. Sure is a pain though, my sub is the same way...


Nice to know that some subs take a while or a stronger signal to get going. I'll tell my friend that since he was worried that there could be something wrong with the sub.

Now, just out of curiosity, how does the whole Y adapter thing work? In my case my receiver has a single LFE output which of course is not amplified, what exactly does the addition of a Y adapter do in this case? How does it affect signal? Is the same priciple applied for let's say splting a cable from any other pre outs between the processor and the amp? Is that how Bi-Amping is done?

Thanks

André


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