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DVD audio/SACD Subwoofer channel lower volume


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#1 of 77 OFFLINE   Scotty P

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Posted July 01 2005 - 12:50 PM

I have experienced, then read many posts in a variety of threads, regarding the issue of low signal from the subwoofer output of a multi channel connection for DVD audio and SACD playback on universal disk players. I have seen a couple workarounds such as using a car audio line driver to boost the level, to devices such as the Outlaw ICBM. I am hoping for any information anyone has regarding why it is this way, and to equipment (universal disk players and receivers) that handle this effectively without external equipment needed. The only brand I have seen, after downloading and reading many manuals, is Denon. Their receivers have an adjustment for the external input subwoofer level, that defaults to +15db. Their disk players also have level adjustments on all channels (although only in the negative direction, requiring all channels but subwoofer to be lowered significantly while leaving subwoofer at 0,) but they don't have lower priced universal players yet. Most other brands that I have found don't offer level adjustments on the players outputs or the receivers multichannel input. The few that I have seen don't have enough range to compensate for the 12-15db difference.

#2 of 77 OFFLINE   Kevin C Brown

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Posted July 01 2005 - 01:25 PM

I think this is extremely player dependent. I know there's an issue with the Denon 2900. I also know that I had a Pioneer 45a and a 47Ai and didn't have this problem. But ... on both of those players, the *test tone* the player output for the LFE channel was too low. But if you used a test disc to set the sub's volume, it was fine. I also know that I have a 59AVi, and again using a test disc, there was no problem between DVD-A and SACD with the sub's output. (I have never checked the 59AVi's sub test tone though.)
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#3 of 77 OFFLINE   Scotty P

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Posted July 01 2005 - 01:35 PM

If you have a test tone generated by the player, then there must be some adjustment capability. Or, did you have to set the sub's level on the sub, or the overall sub level from the receiver, thereby throwing off the settup for the receivers decoded signal (be it PL, Dolby digital, or DTS) That's what I am looking for, as much of the equipment out there doesn't have any (or not enough) level adjustment on the players outputs (or most receiver's multi channel inputs.)

#4 of 77 OFFLINE   Scotty P

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Posted July 02 2005 - 12:06 AM

I looked up the manual on the pioneer dvd players and they do have good adjustment capabilities-Level for all channels, speaker delay, and speaker size (although the DV 47A only allowed front speakers to be large)Anyone know if the dv 578 or 588 have the same capabilities, those manuals aren't available on the pioneer site.

#5 of 77 OFFLINE   Kevin C Brown

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Posted July 02 2005 - 08:46 AM

Ahhh, I have heard that some of the Pioneer 5xx series *does* have this problem: that if you adjust the sub level for DD/DTS/CD correctly (via coax or toslink digitally to the receiver), that it will be too low for DVD-A and SACD (via 5.1 analog to the receiver).

The question then becomes, do you have *enough* adjustment capability? I think the 59AVi for example is +/- 6dB, but the usual amount you need for players that have this problem is about 10 dB. One trick you can try, is something like this using the player's analog output levels:

FL: -4 dB
C: -4 dB
FR -4 dB
SR: -4 dB
SL: -4 dB
Sub: +6 dB

There was someone over on AVS who had the Pioneer 563 or 578 (I think), he actually found what he called a "line driver". A $35-50 box that simply boosts the signal for the LFE signal. I think Radio Shack carried it. Or Parts Express, or MCM Electronics.

One other comment about "extremely player dependent": when this issue originally came up, *some* people with the Pio 45a thought they had it, and others swore they didn't. In the end, we were never sure if there was some change that Pioneer did during it's manufacturing lifetime, or whether some people just weren't testing it correctly.

FWIW: I've used Avia, the Chesky DVD-A test disc, and the SACD DMP surround test disc, as well as the tones in my pre/pro and player to try to figure out what's going on.
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#6 of 77 OFFLINE   Brian L

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Posted July 02 2005 - 11:20 AM

This goes back away....a long way.

When I had my 45a mated to my Marantz SR-96, I clearly had low sub channel levels. The 45a replace an outboard DD decoder, and as soon as I installed the 45a in place of that decoder, it was clear that something was very, very wrong.

And the problem affected ALL media and all formats; DD, DTS, SACD, and DVD-A.

Fortunately, that AVR had separate channel trims for the 5.1 inputs, so I was able to get things dialed in.

I currently have a NAD 762 and a Denon 3910, and that combo is fine.

If you do have the problem, the only solution is to add some gain on the sub channel. If you have an AVR with separate trims, that will work.

Or an ICBM may work, since it has a sub level control that will give you up to 9dB.

It sucks, and I have never read an official explanation from any of the manufacturers.

And it is very interesting to me that Denon are the only manufacturer that offer switchable boost on both their players and AVRs.

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#7 of 77 OFFLINE   Scotty P

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Posted July 04 2005 - 10:21 AM

This was exactly the line of discussion I was hoping to stimulate. Its ashame that the situation exists where we have to add a piece of car audio equipment to our home theater systems to make them work properly.

Hats off to Denon for recognizing and addressing this situation.

#8 of 77 OFFLINE   Lewis Besze

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Posted July 04 2005 - 05:51 PM

The problem lies with the recording industry as well, as there hasn't been any standard till recently as to how to record and master for MC music.There is nothing but "artistic licencess" out there and everybody has different idea as how to utilize the center and LFE channels.Make note if it however that most players "cut" only the LFE signal if one is present and not the redirected bass if the player has a decent BM on board. I only have about 30 or so MC discs from both formats, and I yet to experience any meaningfull bass loss.So it is player dependent as Kevin pointed out.

#9 of 77 OFFLINE   Scotty P

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Posted July 05 2005 - 03:09 PM

The key here is "decent BM", particularly in setups with small speakers needing the lower freqs redirected to the sub. That is what I am trying to identify...Players and receivers that handle this effectively.

#10 of 77 OFFLINE   Nathan_W

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Posted July 10 2005 - 03:14 PM

Quote:
The only brand I have seen, after downloading and reading many manuals, is Denon. Their receivers have an adjustment for the external input subwoofer level, that defaults to +15db.


I'm seeing this thread late, but I thought I'd add a bit of info. My old HK AVR320 also has adjustable channel levels for the 6/8 ch external input. They go from -10 to +10. I assume the newer models have the same, but I'm not sure???

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#11 of 77 OFFLINE   Tim Hoover

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Posted July 11 2005 - 06:36 AM

My HK Sig 2.0 also has an adjustable bass trim for the 6-ch input...
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#12 of 77 OFFLINE   Brian L

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Posted July 11 2005 - 09:15 AM

I think the point of singling out Denon was that they had a switchable boost on the .1 output (players) and the .1 input (AVRs). Not sure that any other venor offer it.

There are some AVR's that have a separate trim for the 5.1 inputs (my old Marantz SR-96 did), which made it easier to get things dialed in. My new NAD has a global trim, but for whatever reason, it and the Denon 3910 are playing nice together.

As a side note, the NAD allows the user to store presets that include the channel trims. As such, you could set the channel levels for DVD, and if they were not correct for hi-rez sources, store a separate set of trims for those.

But back on point, if all you had was a global 6 CH trim, you were SOL unless there was some other avenue to add some gain into the signal path.

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#13 of 77 OFFLINE   Scotty P

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Posted July 11 2005 - 12:44 PM

I just looked up the manual on the HK AVR 335. It has the ability to store completely different speaker configurations for each input. However, it doesn't specify including the 6/8 channel direct, and states "the AVR operates on the assumption that the input source device has its own bass management system..." leaving me the assumption that it doesn't have the adjust-ability on that input.

Anyone that confirm or deny?

After thinking on this overnight, if my above assumption is correct-you could set up the dvd player from the 6or8 channel direct input-adjusting the subwoofer level on the sub as needed. Then...go back and adjust the other inputs using the level adjusts in the recievers setup. That I guess would even work on receivers that don't store settings for each input. The problem still is that there would be a pretty low output that would have to be turned up quite a bit on the sub. In installs where there is a fiarly long cable run from the reciever to the sub that could result in some noise added to the sub.

#14 of 77 OFFLINE   Scotty P

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Posted July 12 2005 - 03:36 AM

Well, I'm done. I just checked in on the integra web site, the new models are out. The latest version of my receiver (DTR 6.2) is the dtr 6.5. It solves all DVD-audio SACD issues. There is +/- 12 db level adjust on all chanels (independent of the main speaker setup) in addition to an adjustable subwoofer channel boost of 0,5,10,or 15db.

I'm done searching.

#15 of 77 OFFLINE   Lewis Besze

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Posted July 13 2005 - 12:48 AM

The loss is on the LFE encoded channels only not on the redirected bass where most of the bass "resides" in the first place. Boosting the complete LFE+redirected bass could create imbalance between the mains and the sub and do nothing for the the original problem.Denon knows this which is why they have a separate boost for the encoded LFE only besides individual trim controlls.

#16 of 77 OFFLINE   Scotty P

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Posted July 13 2005 - 03:35 AM

I have definitely experienced low subwoofer output, that included the redirected low end from the LCR&surr channels, on more than one set-up with equipment that didn't have any level control on the player or the receiver. They only hadt basic bass management on the player, Large or small selection on the speakers.

Maybe some of the manufacturers are aware of the lower level LFE and reduce the level of the redirected low end to compensate? Although if that were the case then perhaps they would have just put in a boost or level control.

What there should be is a completely variable boost on the LFE channel, then full bass management with crossover points, and an independent level control for the redirected low end on the player. In addition to some standard in the recording industry.

#17 of 77 OFFLINE   GregBe

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Posted July 13 2005 - 05:11 AM

The loss is on the LFE encoded channels only not on the redirected bass where most of the bass "resides" in the first place. Boosting the complete LFE+redirected bass could create imbalance between the mains and the sub and do nothing for the the original problem.Denon knows this which is why they have a separate boost for the encoded LFE only besides individual trim controlls.


Hi Lewis,

You seem to have a good handle on this. Here is my situation. I have a Denon 2200 universal and a HK 2005 receiver. Because the HK has full control of the 6 channel inputs and the Denon's delay function does not work for SACD, I have chosen to do all of the settings on the receiver (Obviously this is not set in stone if anyone has other ideas). Since I am using all of the controls in the receiver, I have tried to eliminate them the best I can in the Denon. I set the "filter" setting to off, which puts all speakers to large and subwoofer to on. The reason I want all setting to large is so that all of the channels and sub will output to the sub unaltered from the recording so the receiver can do all of the processing (again, not sure on this). I also set all of the channel levels to 0 and set all of the delays to 0.
I havn't used the sub +10 setting on the Denon. Although I need the 10db boost as is confirmed by the Chesky setup disc, I am just adjusting the sub level on my receiver. According to your above post, I may be doing this wrong, as it seems that the boost only affects the LFE and not redirected bass. The reason I do not use it in the Denon, is I thought that since all speakers were large in the Denon, redirected bass would not get boosted, and only the LFE would. I am so confused, and I am really hoping this post is somewhat coherent.

Thanks
Greg

#18 of 77 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted July 13 2005 - 08:35 AM

Greg, I use the +10dB setting and it works just fine for me, though I use digital for movies and let my receiver do the bass management, which is something else you might consider. That way, the player settings only matter for hires and redbook, and receivers generally have better BM anyway.

LFE and redirected bass are not the same thing, so there is no reason to compensate. LFE is a separate track and is not the same information that would be in redirected bass, so the sub should be able to handle both without issue. The +10dB is already in DD/DTS recordings, while it is not for hirez m/c audio, and the setting should only affect hirez audio, AFAIK.

My Marantz 8300 has level adjustment for all channels on the m/c input, separate from the "normal" receiver settings. I use this to apply a similar compensation for my SACD player.
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#19 of 77 OFFLINE   Lewis Besze

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Posted July 13 2005 - 09:08 AM

Greg,

John is right, you should use the +10db boost,and then do the calibration and adjust the rest on the receiver.
The filter option despite what Denon says in the manual is not for the bass managment but for the very few discs out there that utilizes the "height" channel which is normally encoded on the space of the LFE channel,which is absent on those discs, and you would have to attach a regular speaker to that output[with amp].In any case it doesn't matter where you set the filter in normal operation,but that just you know it has nothing to do with BM settings other then it will reset the main surrounds to large,which can be done when the filter set to "on" as well.
If you use the receiver's bass managment that works through the 6ch analog inputs then you should set all speakers large as you already do.
Quote:
The reason I do not use it in the Denon, is I thought that since all speakers were large in the Denon, redirected bass would not get boosted, and only the LFE would. I am so confused, and I am really hoping this post is somewhat coherent.

The bass redirection happens at the receiver so if you raise the sub trim level on the receiver it will raise the redirected bass as well.

#20 of 77 OFFLINE   GregBe

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Posted July 13 2005 - 12:11 PM

Thanks guys,

I think this makes sense now. So if I don't use the +10 setting on the Denon and adjust the sub only in the receiver, I will be boosting both the LFE and the redirected. This is not what I want since the LFE is the problem and not the redirected bass. If I use the +10 boost in the Denon, I will remedy the LFE problem without affecting the redirected bass which is fine.





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