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Bass Management, Denon AVR-3803

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Andre K, Feb 4, 2004.

  1. Andre K

    Andre K Auditioning

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    Dear Audio-Friends,
    I have a question about bass management in the Denon AVR-3803 receiver product. I intend to buy an AV receiver and to use 2 large quality speakers for the 2 front channels, and probably 3 smaller speakers for the center and 2 surround channels, and NO sub woofer.
    If I set the sub-woofer setting to "NONE", will the "musical" bass part and the LFE for all channels set to "SMALL" be diverted to the 2 "LARGE" front speakers?
    The Denon manuals and technical infos tell the bass will be routed to the sub-woofer channel. They do not mention the case when no sub woofer is used.
    Other products, like the AVC-A11SR does it explicitely, as do AV receivers from Sony or Harman-Kardon. (They route all bass and LFE for all channels set to "SMALL" to the sub or to the channels set to "LARGE", effectively to the front l and r channels if no sub is connected.)

    By the way, I'm a long experienced Denon HiFi listener and I'm very happy with the equipment.

    Thank you in advance for a possible hint.
    Regards,
    Andre
     
  2. Luitz

    Luitz Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes no sub setting and front to large all bass to front speakers. You should use a sub IMO. Makes the biggest and most improvement and then you can turn front to small and put less stress on you reciever and protect your front speakers alittle from sudden explosions in dvds and stuff
     
  3. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Andre: Yes, Luitz is correct. LFE will be redirected from the sub to the "Large" mains. The "Large" mains will also get any redirected bass from any speakers set to "Small".

    I also agree with Luitz about the subwoofer. A subwoofer is critical to really getting the impact you're paying for. Music could be fine without one, but for movies, a sub is the foundation everything is built on...
     
  4. Andre K

    Andre K Auditioning

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    Hello Luitz, Chuck,
    thank you for your answers, this helps me a lot. Chuck, you have hit the point: I use my gear 90% for music CDs and -DVDs. I don't watch earthquake movies, so I can do without a sub.
    Once again, thank you.
    Andre
     
  5. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    At the risk of starting a war here, I'm one movie watcher who does NOT believe a subwoofer is mandatory to be able to enjoy movies. And not all movies even contain the extreme low frequencies that subs are made for.

    Subwoofers allow certain movies to sound better but that's it for me.

    LJ
     
  6. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Lance: No war here! [​IMG] The reason this board exists is to exchange thoughts and opinions on a fun hobby.

    But after having had it both ways over the years, first without and now with a sub, I have come away feeling pretty strong about how much a sub contributes to the cinema side of sound...
     
  7. John S

    John S Producer

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    I know of no modern released movies that don't use the sub, most of them even use it to the point of rediculous. The THX2 spec calls for massive output at 15hz... That needs a sub period and a fairly mean one at that.

    It is good to know that there are poeple out there, that still do not see a need for them though. I won't install without one in the mix, and if somebody asks me for help, that is the first place I end up telling them to spend money on for the most impact and improvement.


    Do you have some specific examples of movies that do not benefit much in your opinion from the sub? I'd love to check some of those out with my system.
     
  8. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    I'm confident if you are a fan of movies (me for one) made before THX or Dolby ever existed (say, 1977?), a sub isn't neccessary to enjoy these productions. So that translates to a LOT of movies.

    Rare exceptions are the few movies that used the "Sensurround" process. I own Earthquake on dvd (yes, I know it sucked quality-wise but hey, for only eight dollars.......) and they did manage to preserve the low bass I personally heard in theaters back in 1974. But having your innards vibrated for almost 10 minutes non-stop (when the first major shock arrives) may be "fun" for some, but it becomes very monotonous and almost physically nauseating to me after just a couple of minutes. At that point I could care less about the director's "vision"! [​IMG]

    And as far as apartment dwellers, college people living in dorms and other similar living situations, a sub (even a cheap one) is almost 100% guaranteed to cause problems with others, so they are practically useless in these particular living situations. Heck, my Boston CR9 bookshelfs on stands with just 8" woofers got me written up twice while back in college in 2000 (gee, at age 34 I was supposed to be setting a good example too. :b ). And once was while watching Contact on "old fashioned" hi-fi VHS connected to a 45W per channel, 17 year old Pioneer receiver!

    And a sub for music definitely has the potential to provide a lot more sonic realism, but I've found out if the sub isn't very carefully tuned & matched with the satellites, it can sound awesome with one CD but on the next disc the bass will be much too boomy. I think what's happening is that a sub magnifies any problems with a room's acoustics, much more than with a pair of floorstanders (or bookshelfs in a small room) and if the user doesn't employ strict set-up methods for the sub he can end up getting worse sound than with no sub at all. Don't assume everyone that likes movies or music is willing to go blow 50 bucks on a sound meter and another 20-40 bucks on a test disc & sit there for an hour turning knobs & pushing buttons or rearranging their furniture to eliminate frequency dips and bumps.

    On a positive note: using a subwoofer I discovered that the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and my Ultralounge On The Rocks CD, both with music recorded in the Sixties, had low bass that my Bostons by themselves never revealed--this made quite a positive difference while listening to these albums.

    LJ
     
  9. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Sennsurround, eh LanceJ? I took you to be too young to remember that!

    I missed Earthquake, but did see Midway in Sennsurround, and was not sitting too far from the big-ass speaker that took up quite a few seats in the theater, IIRC.

    Hummm. I was maybe 13 at the time, and walked out mighty impressed. Maybe thats why I suffer this HT addiction today? Sure as hell didn't get it from my folks.

    Back on point, just one comment.

    Most all DD and DTS decoders deal with the No Sub situation perfectly. But once you get into universal and hi-rez players (which use 5.1 analog outs) most do not, and discard the .1 if you set it to large speakers with no sub.

    Thats a huge PITA for those w/o subs. The issue does go away when you use a digital connection (firwire or ilink) on the higher priced Denon, Pioneers, and what not.

    BGL
     
  10. Andre K

    Andre K Auditioning

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    Very interesting comments and ideas!
    Thank you all for your kind help.
    Have a lot of fun and pleasure listening to good music!
    Andre K
     

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