cables crossovers and so much more!

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Kerryn R, Feb 12, 2004.

  1. Kerryn R

    Kerryn R Auditioning

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    Hello to all - this is my first post so please forgive any transgressions or patently stupid questions. In my defence, I have had a good surf about in the 'basics' section, and I am now feeling thoroughly overwhelmed by the volume of info! It's a fantastic site - I wish I'd found it six months ago.

    I have just recently dipped my toes into the shallow end of the HT market for the first time, acquiring a Moviestar 60+sat/sub combo from Wharfedale (yes, the dreaded HTIB - sorry), and a Sherwood 6105 receiver. Let me explain here that A; my room is about 4 meters square, B; I am in a townhouse (can't annoy the neighbours too much) and C; my budget was very limited. I think I did ok for the money I paid, (and I can always move it up to a bedroom later if I want to improve/upgrade). I have quite a few questions and I hope that's ok.

    Question one relates to digital coaxial cable. The 'man in the shop' wanted me to buy a comparitively expensive digital coaxial cable and told me I would notice a big diffence compared to the much thinner one supplied with my DVD player (the supplied cable has sort of brownish-orange coloured ends). So, it this true - will there be a difference in sound quality? There seems to be a price range from about $12.00 through to about $70 for cables that do the same job. I'm happy to land somewhere in the middle of that range if you think it's worth it.

    Question two relates to the impedance rating noted on the back of my speakers as 4. I queried this before I purchased and was told that the amp I had chosen had more than enough capacity to cope, and that in the case of Wharfedale, the rating shown was an 'average'. Should I be concerned - the receiver recommends an impedance rating of 6?

    I am running a DVD player and a STB through the receiver, using the toslink for the STB and the digital coax for the DVD. Is this the best set-up? should I swap them around / use the red & white cables as well / instead of? The DVD is connected to the TV via a scart - do I need to connect it to the receiver somehow as well? The only outlets I have left on the back of the TV are 1 x red/white audio outs

    Lastly, what does S/PDIF stand for? And why out of the five available free-to-air channels broadcast here, does one of them not have any audio when the STB is on the S/PDIF setting? Is it because the channel is not broadcasting in this format?

    so many questions - sorry! Any help would be much appreciated.

    K
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    1) Yes it will make some difference, but with an HTiB, it will make less of a difference. IOW, the $70 cable is overkill. I'd shoot for the middle ground, like you are thinking. Around $20-30 should be plenty.

    2) With the small satellites, I don't think impedance will be an issue. They will probably not draw too much current for the receiver to handle. 4 Ohm rating would not be "average", but the nominal rating. The receiver on the other hand may be playing games with it's numbers to make them look better, listing the 6 Ohm rating because it will be slightly higher than the 8 Ohm rating. For a starter system, it looks like it should work fine though.

    3) S/PDIF is Sony/Phillips Digital Interface, and may be either coax or optical. Can't help you on the other part of the question though.
     
  3. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Hi Kerryn,

    Welcome to the Forum!

    Toslink and coaxial are merely two diffent methods to deliver a digital signal. Either will work fine. However, it is a good idea to connect both the digital and the red/white cables to the set-top box; as you’ve already found, not all the programming is digital.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    We may be missing a little detail here, and something strikes me as odd, correct me if I'm wrong: With most receivers, you would not be able to do this, as you can only have digital or analog setup for a given input selection, meaning all one would have to do is hook the analog to another available input.

    Now, with the digital connection, are you saying that the STB will not transmit ANY sound if the broadcast is not digital? That seems counter-intuitive, and I would have expected it to be like a DVD player in that it would still give you at least stereo sound or even mono (Dolby? PCM?). No STB in my setup (I don't watch very much TV), so I am not familiar with this.
     
  5. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    First of all, never, ever be ashamed or humbled by what you have. There are those out there that have a lot less!! I have a couple of comments on your equipment. I think the Sherwood receiver you have was a great choice. I have two Sherwoods and love them both. Secondly, while there can be a difference in sound quality with really good cables, going for the extreme high end can be overkill. I use the top of the line Radio Shack cables for my HT and they are reasonably priced and work very well. I don't think I have paid over 25-30 bucks for a cable, even for a component cable. The system you describe is pretty much equal to what I call my "bedroom" system. I live in a condo, so I feel your pain where the neighbors are concerned. You have taken a very smart and cost effective approach to your entrance into HT. Congrats and Welcome.
     
  6. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Some set top boxes do in fact only transmit analog through the analog and digital through the digital. When I had Cox Cable in RI, this was the case. I had to hook up both the analog and digital cables to the same (TV/DBS) input section. I then assigned the digital input to TV/DBS and the receiver (Denon 3801) auto-detected which one to use (if no digital signal, it defaulted to the analog). My HDTV box from Comcast outputs both digital audio and converted analog through the digital connection. So yes, hooking up both is a good idea.

    John Garcia,
    Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the S/PDIF connection is coax only, the TosLink (optical) is not S/PDIF.
     
  7. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Mine does both and can be set to automatically switch to whichever is present (giving priority to digital). But it’s an older first generation DD model, and at the time laser disc players were still common (which had AC-3 RF, PCM or analog depending on the disc). If Kerryn’s receiver isn’t like that, she can always send the analog cables to a second input.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    S/PDIF covers XLR, coax and optical. There is no distinction between them, since it is only referring to the digital signal, not the type of connection. Adapters from one type to another may be used in each case, so the type of connector is not the deciding factor.

    My receiver is able to detect analog or digital for one input, but I hadn't had a case where it mattered so far, since I only have my SACD, DVD and PS2 hooked up.
     
  9. Kerryn R

    Kerryn R Auditioning

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    [​IMG] Hey guys,

    Thanks so much to all of you for your input, patience and support. On re-reading my post, I think I came across as a bit defensive about the equipment I had purchased, which I did not intend. :b In truth I was probably a bit apprehensive about the final purchase decision. And that apprehension was likely because of the "You can't get a decent system for under $4000.00." attitude of many of the sales people in my local electrical stores. I got used to the 'eye-roll' and the attitude change from sales staff when I revealed my modest budget - it usually happened right before they directed me to the 'truly cheap 'n nasty' section of the audio store. Thanks for the reassurance guys!





    In response to the above, I do get sound from the receiver on the problem channel, but not via the television's speakers simultaneously as I do with the all the other channels. This is but a minor bug in the greater scheme of things, but it is handy, in that when watching free-2-air I could mute the receiver during the ads and thus toggle between the receiver and the televison speakers - sparing my poor ears from the auditory assault that accompanies much of the commercial advertising here. The networks claim that they don't turn up the sound for advertisments - I'd like to test that claim with a db meter one day because I swear that they do! I'll try a few of your suggestions re the connections - do you promise I won't blow the lot sky high???? (lol)

     
  10. Mike Fassler

    Mike Fassler Supporting Actor

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    use the level meter on the the sub to match the volume of your speakers at listening level [​IMG]
     
  11. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Set the crossover as high as possible and let the receiver handle that for you. Of course, make sure the receiver has the sub set to “yes” and speakers set to small.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     

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