Denon 3803: Setting Confusion

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Chad Viro, Mar 5, 2004.

  1. Chad Viro

    Chad Viro Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello All:
    I have a very simple setting question that I hope someone could help me with. When watching dvds, which setting should I have my Denon 3803 on? Should the denon be displaying 'Stereo', 'DolbyDB EX', etc? (I am assuming it is goign to be DolbyDB EX).

    Additionally, what exactly is the zone 2 setting?
     
  2. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    Did you connect the coax/ optical feed from the player to the Denon correctly? Players cometimes have to be TOLD which output to use, most of the time "bitstream" and then the Denon should auto-select the program output......
    Maybe a Denon owner will pop in with an exact answer for ya...........

    Zone 2 setting are usually for setting up a system in another room and controlling it with your main receiver......
     
  3. Chad Viro

    Chad Viro Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello Donny:
    Thanks for the info. I am almost certain I have it connected up properly (using a digital coax cable), but ya never know! As soon as I get home from work that will be the first thing I check......if anyone else has anything to add I am all ears [​IMG]
     
  4. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    For most DVDs (there are ALWAYS exceptions), I set the input mode to AUTO and the mode to Dolby/DTS Cinema mode (from the remote.) Then, if you choose DTS from the DVD menu, the 3803 will make all the changes it needs to and things should work peachy.

    Remember that the 3803 has a playback mode memory per input for the most recent signal type. IOW, if you are playing a 5.1 DVD as DD, then it will do so the next 5.1 DD disc. On the same input, if you are playing a regular PCM CD as DIRECT, then the next CD you play on that input will play as DIRECT. The unit is capable of remembering up to 4 different modes per input.

    As for the Dolby EX (or DTS ES) question, that will only come into play if you are using 1 or 2 Surround Back speakers. Again, depending on how you choose to run the mode, the 3803 will remember your last choice and run it again when asked to.
     
  5. Chad Viro

    Chad Viro Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello Chuck:
    Thanks for the info! If you set the input mode to AUTO, should the DENON receiver display AUTO on its display? Or are you setting auto in its display setting menu?
     
  6. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    rtfm
     
  7. Chad Viro

    Chad Viro Stunt Coordinator

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    I did..guess I am stupid. I just figured I could learn from everyone's experiences. I will give the manual another try.

    EDIT: One last question, which is not answered in the manual: It seems as though I have to turn the volume up to around -10 DB on my receiver before it is loud enough to be immersive. Is this normal? Could I also have something else set wrong? Considering the receiver maxes out at +18DB, it seems like I am fairly close to its maximum output.
     
  8. MarkStash

    MarkStash Stunt Coordinator

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    Set the input mode to auto (it will say so on your display). When you input your DVD and play, the display will change accordingly.

    Also, -10 seems about the same as mine. "Immersive" is somewhat relative but at that setting, in my large room, that will play a movie at a good volume. You should feel close to theater levels (again, your room and speakers will affect this). Music should be fairly loud. If I really want to crank my 3803 (ie. hear it shaking the house and have neighbors two doors down know what I am playing) I take to -5 or so.

    So, IMO, yes, your receiver seems to be working fine.

    I've only had mine for a couple of months but am getting more comfortable with it all the time. Maybe I can help as you go forward. As for reading the manual, why don't you check a map for directions too? What is this read the manual stuff? Fughetaboutit.
     
  9. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    I've been messing around with Denon receivers for quite a while and each and every manual they've ever published stunk! I love their products but they need someone else to write the manuals!

    Mark's nailed your remaining questions. [​IMG] The volume thing is relative to several things (how sensitive your speakers are, how loud is loud to you, whether or not you've set each individual channel level lower than some of the others and so on.) But based on many users experience, your -10 range is fine. (Keep in mind that at -10, you have 29 db of range left. A ton!) (BTW, I'm not saying that you would ever chance it but do not turn it up that loud. Bad for receiver, speakers and ears...)
     
  10. Chad Viro

    Chad Viro Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the info guys! I noticed when I was listenin to my Video Essentials DVD that I actually had to put the volume around 00 to get 75 Db from most of my speakers.

    I had some problems with setting up my system with the VE DVD(I made a post in regards to this in the software forum), so I used the test tones from the receiver. After running through the test tones, the Db values in the setup menu for my speakers varied greatly after making the changes.

    I have another simple (stupid?) question. In the Denon setup menu, I should disable (select 'NONE') for the back surround sounds, correct? I dont have any speakers for the back surrounds, but was curious if leaving it on meant that the left/right surrounds reproduced the sound, or something.
     
  11. KenRen

    KenRen Stunt Coordinator

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    I also agree with everyone, about -10 , and let me add this. I am now using the Denon only as a pre/pro, with a parasound 5 channel amp to provide the amplification.

    I used Avia and a Radio Shack meter to set the speaker levels. With the Denon at 0dB, all speaker were calibrated using the Denon menu to read 85 on the meter. The Parasound does all the amplification.

    The Parasound has no "volume" controls per se, it just amplifies. The individual speaker volume is controlled by adjusting the Denon pre/out level. (Yes, the Parasound does have the THX knobs, all were set to max)

    My speaker settings are virtually identical to when I was using the Denon amplifier section. The only difference of note was lower settings for the rear surrounds. Might indicate a weaker amp section in the Denon for the surround channels, or maybe not.

    Point is that as you all state, I listen to movies now, with the Parasound as the amplifier, at around -10, same as before. (Course, even at -10, it is a little too loud for me sometimes.)

    The speaker output volume was meter calibrated, in both instances, to the same standard.

    My denon does run much cooler now that it is out of the amplification business - longer life I hope.


    KenRen
     
  12. KenRen

    KenRen Stunt Coordinator

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    Oops, I should mention that Avia uses 85 as the reference level, but the sound source during the tests is 10 dB louder than the VE disk.

    I think VE uses 75. In the end, both calibrate to the same loudness level. Or did I just confuse or mistate the issue?

    Apologies,
    KenRen
     
  13. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Set up the receiver exactly as you have things. Large speakers, Small speakers, subwoofer yes or no, etc. If you have no suround back speakers, set them to none. If you deviate from setting things the actual way things really are, it won't sound right. If you set it up right, the receiver will correctly figure out what to send where...
     

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