Is this normal?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by David Varela, Mar 11, 2004.

  1. David Varela

    David Varela Auditioning

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    First off hello to all you. Im new here and theres so much info im going into overload mode. So i need some direct input on my reciever.
    I have a Kenwood VR-2090 I bought it when it was semi new to the market. Its pretty old and technology has moved light years since it came out. Ive noticed that some DVDs sound great at all levels(usually Pixar,THX stuff) but some movies(the Matrix in peticular) i can barely hear the dialogue. My girl keeps telling me to turn it up to hear what some movies are saying, then i have to lower it because the car crashes and special fx get to loud. I also am noticing i have to turn it up more to get any real sonic impact in the day time.

    Is this a sign of my reciever going bad? I did a test on all my speakers(all are Infinety. RS5 towers,CC3 center,QPS quadrapole surrounds) and there is nothing wrong with them. All cables are Monster THX.

    The point is I think I need to get a new one anyways,
    so what do you guys think is the best one thats under 1200.00. And is it true you can take your componet cables of your progressive scan dvd player,plug them all into the newer recievers and route just a SINGLE cable to your TV and still get the same output quality?

    Anyways thanks for helping out a fellow couch jockey!
     
  2. Nathan Stohler

    Nathan Stohler Second Unit

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    David,

    First, have you made sure all your speakers are at the same sound level, using a calibration disk and sound meter? If not, you should at least use your receiver's test tones and calibrate by ear. If you are having trouble hearing the dialog, why not turn up the gain on your center channel speaker (assuming you have one).

    DVDs can be very dynamic. The difference between action and dialogue can be great, so you'll either have to turn up the volume and get used to it or get a receiver that has DRC (dynamic range compression), also sometimes referred to as "midnight mode". This feature compresses the dynamic range, so that everything is closer to the same volume level. I prefer not to use this feature myself, but if you don't like the loud special effects, then you might find it useful.

    As for routing component video through your receiver, you would also need a component connection from your receiver to your TV if you want the same quality.

    --Nathan
     
  3. David Varela

    David Varela Auditioning

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    thanks for the input. i have that DVD platinum disc that i use to calibrate the system. also i have midnight mode but i hate that. im going to start looking into a new one soon. any good leads out there as to where to start would be useful. like brands you guys all love.

    by the way would it help if i just bought a 3 channel amp
    for the rears and center?
     
  4. Aaron Gilbert

    Aaron Gilbert Second Unit

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    David,

    I wouldn't be so quick to condemn the receiver for the center channel issue. If movies with the THX label and Pixar sound fine dialogue wise, the receiver is functioning, and it does not function differently for movies from other studios or without THX certified titles. The receiver has no way of knowing which studio made the DVD or whether it's THX certified. [​IMG] I have found that many movies just have very low dialogue in comparison to levels in the action scenes. The Matrix series is certainly among these in my experience on several different systems, all set up with matched levels. However, I do find that if I listen at 10 dB below reference level or above, it's not a problem. [​IMG]

    I would say your best bet would be to bump the center channel up a few dB on those offensive movies, or turn the master volume up. Of course, there's nothing wrong with a new receiver, but I don't think that is going to solve a dialogue problem with any particular movie. By the way, I have a Kenwood VR5090, which should present essentially the same DD/DTS decoding as your unit. Yes they are getting up in age, but I find the sound excellent.

    I cannot imagine why the receiver would sound different in the day time. ??? Do you have blinds or heavy drapes closed at night? This would affect the sound of the room.

    As for the single cable to your TV, that depends on your receiver. There still aren't that many receivers which convert S-video and composite video to component video. My Kenwood does it, as does the VR5700 and VR5900, plus a few higher end Denons and I think possibly the new Yamahas, maybe a few others I don't know. I find this feature really great because I no longer need to switch inputs on my TV when going between my VCR and DVD player.


    Aaron Gilbert
     
  5. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    David,
    Do you own a subwoofer? That would significantly reduce the amount of low bass sent to your speakers which should reduce the strain on your amp. It will also enhance your experience with movies [​IMG]

    I assume you do but you didn't list one..
    If the receiver has a quality switcher then yes. If you stick with something in the $1200 range then you should be ok. Denon and Yamaha are a good start. If you can live w/o a few features then NAD and Rotel are a good start as well.
     

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