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Basic Set-Up; Sound Questions

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Ty P., Feb 7, 2004.

  1. Ty P.

    Ty P. Auditioning

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    I have just set up a pretty basic home theater system (5.1) in an addition we had built. Here are the components:

    Samsung HD ready DLP TV
    Yamaha RX-V2400 receiver
    Sony DVD/CD carousel 5/disk player
    Digital cable + HDTV converter box (Cox)

    All audio and video feeds into the receiver via component video cables & optical audio cables. Five speakers (two rear) and a sub.

    Everything is set up and seems to be working fine. Video looks great.

    My questions are about the surround sound system. There are a lot of settings available on this receiver (THX, TV Theater, DD/DTS …). How do I know I am getting the most out of the sound system when I: 1) play audio CD’s; 2) watch digital cable (HD and non HD); and 3) Watch DVDs? Since I’m new to home theater my surround sound audio experience is nil.

    Should the receiver automatically select the best sound settings depending on the source input? (It does not seem to be doing that.) I have played with the settings a bit but there are so many variables it could take me months to “test” all my audio setting options? I do know, for example, setting the audio to “5.1 surround” sounds great when I play a music CD. Are there some general guidelines here to get me started? Also, how do I get this receiver to stop displaying “zone 2” and “zone 3” in the display window? I don’t have any other zones connected. The manual is NO help here. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Mike_Skeway

    Mike_Skeway Second Unit

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    Most receivers will auto select either DD or DTS depending on what you selected on your DVD. As for CD and TV and whatever else it is all a matter of preference. Play around with your different sources and see what you like best for them.

    For CD's I like stereo, for TV I use either DTS:Neo 6 or Dolby Prologic 2. For DVD's it is whatever the dvd has or which track I select on the DVD menu, lots of titles offer both DD and DTS.

    But that is just me, see what you like the best and enjoy! Welcome to the world of HT. [​IMG]
     
  3. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Wayne
    Ty,

    That's some really nice gear for "really basic.[​IMG]

    To answer some of your questions - Yamaha, like other brands, has different surround modes that are suitable for TV, DVD and music.

    Yamaha’s 70mm modes (“Adventure,” Musical,” etc.) are for movies. These DSP modes are supposed to mimic the acoustics of a theater. However, if you prefer your movie surround sound straight-up with no DSP enhancements you can always use the standard DPL, DD or DTS modes.

    The “TV” and “Video” modes are for regular TV programming that may have some surround sound content, but are not specifically encoded for Dolby Pro Logic.

    The music modes – “Hall,” Jazz Club,” “Church” etc. are designed to mimic the acoustic space of real-life venues.

    As to which to use, experiment and find the ones you like. My favorites are “Cellar Club” for most music, “Classical/Opera” or “Variety/Sports” for TV viewing, and “70mm” Adventure for movies.

    A good way to use the music modes is to select one appropriate for where you might see the artist in a concert: A big-sounding space like “Stadium” for a major rock act; a medium-sized room like “Roxy Theater” for minor rock act; “Cellar Club,” an intimate setting for a jazz trio.

    I don’t know what you’re getting there, but you can’t get 5.1 from a CD because they are stereo, not 5-channel. What you’re most likely getting is Dolby Pro Logic, which for CDs is a roll of the dice as far as how well it works. It might work pretty well for a live album, but not that great for most studio recordings.

    Can't help you with the zone display - hopefully someone who owns that receiver will weigh in. If not, try opening a new thread about it at our "Receivers" Forum.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  4. Ty P.

    Ty P. Auditioning

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    OK. Thanks for the input. I think I have a better feel for what is going on now.

    Here is some clarification and a follow-up question:

    I meant CDs sound great with the "7 channel stereo" setting not "5.1 surround". Sorry for the confusion. The 7 channel setting really fills the room nicely. "Sports/entertainment" setting sounds pretty good for regular TV stuff like news, sports, sitcoms, etc.

    It does appear the receiver is automatically picking the Dolby type setting for DVDs and then I can enhance or alter that with movie, TV thtr, ... settings.

    For DVDs with THX I have been selecting the THX option and the sound is great. Should I always select THX for THX DVDs or are there other options that sound better?

    Thanks again.

    Ty
     
  5. David Hoffman

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    Some older DVDs default to Dolby Surround 2.0, which is Pro Logic, which is NOT digital, which is [usually] bad, when you could be listening to the 5.1 digital mix.

    And many DVDs will have DTS and DD tracks on the same disc. These'll probably default to DD, so if you wanted the DTS track you need to select audio options, etc. from the disc's menu and select it.

    I have heard that when a studio pays to have a DTS mix (or for a later "Special Edition version"), sometimes a better audio studio is used for the DTS transfer. Better technicians, better equipment, more time & money spent on it, etc. For this reason, I usually select the DTS version. The receiver auto detects it.

    Regarding your 7.1 receiver and THX....
    I have heard of there being settings to specify the default handling of dolby digital ex, dts es, dts es discrete (material with a surround back channel). Also, I'm sure you can tell your receiver to try to create a phantom back channel even if the material is 5.1.

    THX is not a format, so audio won't be "encoded in THX". Rather, THX certifies some disks, as far as the sound engineering and video was handled. THX mode on your receiver does things with the equalization and crossover that THX feels should be done. Note that THX specifies an 80 Hz crossover. I didn't see you mention what your speakers are. But if they can't reach down to 40Hz in their frequency response range, then maybe you should use a non-THX specified crossover frequency, such as 100 Hz.
     
  6. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    not sure, but i think my yamaha does 'remember' which sound-mode i have for each input. i'll have to double-check though.

    i think you like the 7-channel sound because it's outputting the *same* signal to all your speakers. kinda like adding more speakers to your room. it's different then sound modes where the rear channels are used for effects.

    does your receiver have dpl-2? if so you may want to try that with your 2-channel cd's. i've done some basic goofing with my system and it sounds pretty nice.

    again, there's no real right or wrong answer. wayne's guidelines about which modes to use for music and which to use for movies is right on.
     

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