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Trying to get the most out of what I have for now...


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#1 of 10 DefStatic

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Posted October 22 2012 - 10:49 AM

So I have what I have for now, and probably won't have any upgrades anytime soon. TV: Samsung 32" LED/LCD BR: Samsung Blu Ray w/3D (I don't watch 3D) Game: xBox 360 Receiver: Denon 1804 PC: Dell Mini 10 Cable/Satelite: None right now, someday will get Dish Speakers: 2x Acoustic Home Theater Studio Monitors 3311 2x Acoustic Home Theater Bookshelf Speakers 1x Acoustic Home Theater AC-5000 subwoofer All of this in the living room of a small one bedroom apartment. The speakers are my biggest weak point right now. I know they were part of a scam people were running LOL. But I didn't pay anything for them, and quite frankly they aren't that bad. I know I have no center speaker as well, which is something I need to get before I get anything else. My questions pertain to the receiver and hookups I guess. I have never owned such an advanced receiver. My last receiver I used was a simple Kenwood from the 90s. Right now, I have the xBox and Blu Ray going to the TV via their own HDMI ports (I have 4). The PC is connected via VGA with a 3.5mm audio cable to the 3.5mm audio in on my TV. From the TV I have a 3.5mm to RCA cable connected to the receiver. My first question is probably an easy one. Should I go out and buy a 4ft toslink cable to run from my optical out on the TV to the optical in on the receiver? Or run toslink cables from each device individually to the receiver? The next question, I do not use the subwoofer I have, and its not a powered one either. do I really need it? I think the bass I get out of the floor speakers are fine for me. Plus since it isnt a self powered one, I don't see how I could connect it anyways. Last question for now, how much of a disadvantage am I for not having a center speaker? How should I have the speakers I have no connected? Right now I have them all hooked up the the front speaker ports (the floor ones to the larger connections, the bookshelf to the low impedance ones which look like the old school spring clip connections). Should the bookshelf speakers be connected to the surround sound ports even though they are up front? Thanks in advance for the help.

#2 of 10 gartronics

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Posted October 22 2012 - 11:58 PM

Sounds like you got it setup pretty good as far as hook ups. Not having a center channel means that unless you have the receiver in stereo mode, you will not hear people talking in a movie. That is the Dialog channel in surround sound. As for a sub, Not having that will really hurt your movie enjoyment. Sub woofers are able to put out lower frequencies than standard speakers or woofers. Therefore to get down into those low ranges it is a must have. You can hook up your "passive" (non powered) Sub to the left and right speakers on your receiver, but since it is not meant to drive a sub the bass won't benefit much. It would be best to get a powered sub, even 40 or 80 watts. Check craigslist, fleamarkets , and pawn shops, you can usually find a deal.

#3 of 10 Al.Anderson

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Posted October 23 2012 - 12:26 AM

You do want to get an optical cable(s). But you don't want to run it from the TV to the receiver. If you do that, you only get stereo for all but an over-the-air signal. Most components let you run HDMI and an optical, so connect the HDMI to the TV and connect an optical (or dig coax) directly to the receiver. This makes changing a source more annoying, but it's the only way to get surround sound. (You can get a progamable remote to reduce the switching annoyance.) If any of the pieces doesn't let you run HDMI and optical, then you could run component and optical. The choice you'd have to make there is whether you prefer 1080p over surrond sound. (For a 32" TV, I'd choose surround sound.) Subwoofers are nice for movies, less needed for music. If you want to use yours you can get an amp and place it between the receiver and sub. I'd probably skip it for now and upgrade to a powered sub when I got the urge. Some subs let you connect the L/R to it directly. In this confirguration you would not have the L/R speakers connected to the receiver, you'd connect them to the sub. That will throw off an auto-calibration (which I'm not sure you have), and it sometime makes controlling things a littler harder, because the receiver is not directly in control. Center speakers are nice for movies, but not absolutely necessary. They are less useful for music. If you are having trouble hearing movie dialog a center often helps. If you get one, the preferred approach is to get one that sonically matches your L/R (timbre matched), so that when the audio pans you don't notice the sound changing as it moves through the center. Personally, I'd skip it unless you're having dialog issues.

Not having a center channel means that unless you have the receiver in stereo mode, you will not hear people talking in a movie

That's not correct. When the receiver is told there is no center channel it sends the center channel signals to the left/right.

#4 of 10 DefStatic

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Posted October 23 2012 - 01:40 AM

Yeah, right now I have it in 5CH Stereo. I went through the SETUP options, and turned off the Center speaker and all surround speakers, both rear and regular. Should I put the bookshelf speakers on the L/R surround if I got a center speaker? Even if they basically sit on top of the floor speakers right now? Also, why would running the optical from the TV to the receiver only get me stereo? What would be the point of that, if thats all you will get out of the 3.5mm to RCA anyways? I figured the optical out on the TV would pass the same audio information the HDMI is providing?

#5 of 10 Al.Anderson

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Posted October 23 2012 - 02:51 AM

I went through the SETUP options, and turned off the Center speaker and all surround speakers, both rear and regular. Should I put the bookshelf speakers on the L/R surround if I got a center speaker? Even if they basically sit on top of the floor speakers right now?

I'm confused, if you have the surround and rear speakers off, are you not using the bookselves? If you have them connected to the L/R in parallel (just connected to the receiver binding post, this could be potentially harful to the receiver. It reduces the impedance the receiver sees and could damage it or put it into a protection mode. (If you have them connected in series you're okay.) But to answer your question, yes, when you attach them, attach them to the surround (not the surround rear). If you leave them up front you'll have a weird sound effect, since they are supposed to be off to the sides. So maybe don't connect them until you are ready to put them in the correct location. (If you're just listening to music, no harm done.)

Also, why would running the optical from the TV to the receiver only get me stereo? What would be the point of that, if thats all you will get out of the 3.5mm to RCA anyways?

A perfectly reasonable question - I have no idea. But almost* all TVs only send stereo. (*And all I've ever encountered, but rumors have it that some work correctly.) A partial answer might be that the connection is really only meant for the antenna connection (OTA, it does work for that), and they expect you to connect all the rest to your receiver. But that's unsatisfactory, since why not just handle everything? I've never heard a good explanation, which generally means it's either because they're trying to cut costs, or more likely, because of some DMCA protection issue.

#6 of 10 gene c

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Posted October 23 2012 - 04:14 AM

It's not the speakers you have that are the real weak point but where they are placed and connected. He has the smaller speakers plugged into the Front "B" terminals. If you leave the smaller speakers on top of the larger ones then you need to leave the receiver set to All Channel Stereo or as Al said it will sound funny if you try a surround sound mode.. This means getting optical cables for 5.1 surround sound isn't necessary. If you can move the smaller speakers to the back of the room where they belong :) then get a couple of optical cables and hook them from the XBox and BluRay player to the receiver and select Dolby Digital, DTS or ProLogic/Neo:6 for true surround sound. The way you have the smaller speakers hooked up and positioned makes them pretty much useless. The Speaker B terminal uses the same amplifier channel as the Front A speakers so both sets are sharing the same power 50/50. Hook the smaller speakers to the Surround terminals and if you're going to leave the smaller speakers on top of the larger ones then keep using All Channel Stereo. If your subwoofer has speaker terminal outputs then you can connect it the way Al suggested. Bottom line is: 1) to go out and buy a couple of optical cables. then put the small speakers in the back of the room where they belong. and switch out of All Channel Stereo. 2) Scour Craigslist for a cheap center speaker (doesn't matter the brand in your case) 3) Start saving for a small powered subwoofer.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#7 of 10 DefStatic

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Posted October 23 2012 - 07:40 AM

Well, the previous receiver I had just had a speaker A and B setup, left and right. Nothing special. This one of course is different. But yeah, there were four sets of front speaker terminals, so I used all of them LOL. My problem now though is, I dont have a center speaker or subwoofer right now. The floor speakers highs arent very high, so the bookshelf speakers kind of compliment that right now LOL. But yeah, I essentially just have a stereo setup right now. And it sounds decent, but feel like I am wasting resources by not using it for surround. But not only that, but I have no idea how I would be able to get the bookshelf speakers off to the side. I think I will have to keep them where they are for now until I can get a center speaker and find a way to move them. Can I run a 5 speaker system instead of a 5.1? Like, not get a subwoofer right off? Honestly, I don't really want more bass as it is, the floor speakers produce more than enough for me.

#8 of 10 schan1269

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Posted October 23 2012 - 07:46 AM

You can run your receiver in... 2.0 2.1 3.0 3.1 4.0 4.1 5.0 5.1 And "why" can't you move your bookshelves to 4/5?

#9 of 10 schan1269

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Posted October 23 2012 - 08:01 AM

How I would hook this stuff up... Dell -> TV via HDMI XBox -> AVR via component/toslink BD -> AVR via component/toslink AVR -> TV via component TV -> AVR optical. Your Dell has an HDMI, why are you not using it? (at least the pics I could find on Fleabay for it showed it had HDMI) That way if you connect an antenna to your TV for OTA, you can get(eventually) 5.1 from the tuner. Your Dell isn't capable of 5.1 via HDMI, so it doesn't matter where it goes. But since you got that AVR sans HDMI...and you have a 32" where 1080P isn't going to be noticeable...use component. The only thing you lose is DVD upscaling.

#10 of 10 gene c

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Posted October 23 2012 - 08:11 AM

Well, the previous receiver I had just had a speaker A and B setup, left and right. Nothing special. This one of course is different. But yeah, there were four sets of front speaker terminals, so I used all of them LOL. My problem now though is, I dont have a center speaker or subwoofer right now. The floor speakers highs arent very high, so the bookshelf speakers kind of compliment that right now LOL. But yeah, I essentially just have a stereo setup right now. And it sounds decent, but feel like I am wasting resources by not using it for surround. But not only that, but I have no idea how I would be able to get the bookshelf speakers off to the side. I think I will have to keep them where they are for now until I can get a center speaker and find a way to move them. Can I run a 5 speaker system instead of a 5.1? Like, not get a subwoofer right off? Honestly, I don't really want more bass as it is, the floor speakers produce more than enough for me.

If you set the Front speakers to Large in the speakers setup menu it gives you the option to turn the subwoofer output to Off or None. But I would still set all speakers to Small and the crossover to it's lowest setting, like 40, to prevent damaging the Front speakers. We always recommend getting a powered subwoofer eventually since it takes the strain off the receivers amplifier. But get the center channel first and find a way to move the small speakers to the rear of the room. You can also use one of the small speakers on it's side as a center speaker, put the other small speaker in the closet for now and set the receiver up in the speaker setup menu as 3.0 untill you get things sorted out.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 





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