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Marantz NR1510: The Adventure Begins (2 Viewers)

Barney1

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Briefly: Out of the box the center channel doesn't work. This was step two in the TV set-up screen. I plan to call Music Direct for help.

The long version: The $800 NR150 replaced a 20 year Integra receiver (which lacked HDMI). One thing I liked about the Integra was the automatic dialog boost. In most movies, everything is loud but the dialog. The Integra was a solid receiver that I put to heavy use. It was easy to use and it played many formats. Once you set it up, it did a lot of the work for you. You didn't have to baby it. I was sorry to see the Integra company buckle. But I don't watch movies much anymore, and I saw no need for anything fancy. It simply has to get the job done.

The Marantz is connected to two Paradigms in front, two Bostons in back, an Energy speaker in the front center, a 46" Samsung TV, and a $50 LG DVD/Blu Ray player (all regions, by the way). The LG player replaced a failing Rotel DVD player and was always meant to be an interim solution (I'm still looking for a player). Although it has admirably played any disc I've given it (including Verbatim DVD-Rs burned on my computer), it is quite simply a piece of crap. It's extremely slow, the door often won't open, and it has the worst remote I've ever seen—extremely unresponsive with rubber buttons that only occasionally work. It's impossible to say too many bad things about this remote.

I was impressed by the warm sound of the Marantz, which is consistent with my purchase of Marantz stereo components in the past. It seems to me now that the Integra, when loud, blared at you, while the Marantz is smoother and easier on the ears. This was a pleasant surprise. But this was the first time I watched a Blu-Ray. I never really wanted to jump to Blu-Ray. Perhaps the sound really is an improvement over DVD. Time will tell.

Music Direct ships quickly (for $8) a box within a box, the Marantz boxed inside the Music Direct box. The slim form factor is one thing that attracted me to the Marantz. There's no manual, of course, which I consider one of the most loathsome trends to be foisted onto the consumer. I downloaded the 275 page pdf manual from Crutchfield but I'm not going to print the whole thing.

The remote with batteries is hidden in a cutout underneath (and inside) one of the styrofoam pieces. Someone probably thought this was clever. It isn't, as I could easily see it being thrown away. The remote is large, seems responsive and well designed. A mic is included for calibration, but I didn't use it (I'll think about it). The onscreen guide is simple. I skipped the Wifi and login options. I do not consider surveillance a legitimate form of business. The fact that so many companies and individuals do tells you have far we have fallen.

In short, my first demand of a component—it must work—has not been met. I will call Music Direct and let you know how it goes.
 

Mike Up

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So no output at all?

If that's the case, check your speaker cable so that those singles strands, that are hard to see, aren't shorting out that channel.

If you use banana plugs, make sure the set screw is tight as I had that issue on my center channel speaker wire on the new receiver I installed this month. No output until I found that the cable was still attached to the boot of the banana plug but the wire has pulled out from the set screw.

If that's not the issue, make sure center channel selection is set to small and not 'none'. Then use a Dolby Surround as you should have output then.

Also if all fails, then do a reset. Then use a manual setup and not Audyssey. It's possible Audyssey is setting channel to none as I've found Audyssey very flaky with choosing incorrect settings.

Good luck.
 
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Barney1

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So no output at all?

If that's the case, check your speaker cable so that those singles strands, that are hard to see, aren't shorting out that channel.

If you use banana plugs, make sure the set screw is tight as I had that issue on my center channel speaker wire on the new receiver I installed this month. No output until I found that the cable was still attached to the boot of the banana plug but the wire has pulled out from the set screw.

If that's not the issue, make sure center channel selection is set to small and not 'none'. Then use a Dolby Surround as you should have output then.

Also if all fails, then do a reset. Then use a manual setup and not Audyssey. It's possible Audyssey is setting channel to none as I've found Audyssey very flaky with choosing incorrect settings.

Good luck.
Thanks. You were right. Bad connection. I stripped the wires again, went into the manual settings onscreen and selected Small, and now it works.

I have a question for you. I didn't set up this system. The speaker wires aren't marked to distinguish R from L, plus from minus. It's difficult to trace back to the receiver (my old eyes don't help). Unless you do that kind of gynmnastics, how do you tell if the speaker is hooked up correctly? If R and L were reversed, would there still be sound?

Thanks again.
 
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Peter Apruzzese

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The receiver should have a test tone that cycles through all of the channels, that should tell you if all of the channels are wired to the proper speakers. Checking for proper polarity might be harder to test.
 

Mike Up

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Thanks. You were right. Bad connection. I stripped the wires again, went into the manual settings onscreen and selected Small, and now it works.

I have a question for you. I didn't set up this system. The speaker wires aren't marked to distinguish R from L, plus from minus. It's difficult to trace back to the receiver (my old eyes don't help). Unless you do that kind of gynmnastics, how do you tell if the speaker is hooked up correctly? If R and L were reversed, would there still be sound?

Thanks again.
Well, using a magnifying glass ;), most speaker cable has markings to distinguish the negative from the positive.

My living room system cable has very small "+" printed on the positive cable section. They are so small, they can look like a black line.

Now my media room system cable has just a black line on one section of the cable used for the negative cable section.

Other cable may have an aluminum coated cable section while the other section is copper.

You just have to pull that magnifying glass out, or readers, get on your knees and look at the cable. You should look at the speaker connections, then make sure the receiver connections match. With outside installers, you can't expect them to match a positive signal icon to the actual positive connections. So make sure what they are with your own eyes.

Now there are some test discs that check polarity, as I have a few, but it's just easier looking IMO.

Honestly, I've never seen speaker cable that didn't have a marking to distinguish negative from positive. So it may be there, just to small to see without a magnifying glass.

Good luck.
 

Barney1

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My stereo wire has plusses on it, but no markings on my home theater speaker wire. Maybe I'll buy some new wire.
 

Mike Up

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When you saying home theater wiring, do you mean center and surround channels? Technically, the installer should had used the same speaker cable on all the channels.

If they are not marked at all, the cable is useless and flawed. It should have some type of marking.

Good luck
 

Clinton McClure

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There’s not always a + or - marking printed on the jacket (insulation). Sometimes the jacket on one wire will be round and the jacket on the other wire will be square.

Other times, one side of the jacket may have a solid line printed along it or it may have the wire gauge (example 16 AWG) printed on it.
 

JohnRice

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Yeah, I’ve never seen wire with no method of indicating the polarity.
 

Barney1

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Thanks for the responses. I looked at the wire again (with a lighted magnifying glass, no less) and I see no markings. It's a nondescript copper-colored wire with a transparent plastic sleeve throughout. I see no way of distinguishing one strand from another. This is the center front speaker of a five channel setup, but it was all installed at once, so the wire is the same for the front and back speakers, too.

I didn't install that wire, but if I were to do it, I would use wire that I see on sites like Crutchfield, with a different color sleeve for plus and minus. Or, like the wires on my stereo, one side has "+++" all over it.

I don't know if it's a good idea to replace the center-speaker wire without replacing the other wire, too. I'm not really up to it, given that the back speakers go behind wall and ceiling moulding and under the floor. I could replace the front and center channel wire without too much trouble, though I would have to research this first. I've read articles about wire at TrippLite and Crutchfield.
 

Mike Up

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If you have an ohm meter, you could do a continuity test to find which wire matches at each end and then mark with colored tape or a cable tags.

If the speaker wire is that cheap not to have identifiers on it, is it even oxygen free you have to ask. Years ago my friend custom built her million dollar house and the ignorant contractors put in cheap speaker wire in her walls. The copper wire turned black from oxidizing within the first 6 months. :angry:
 

JohnRice

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Thanks for the responses. I looked at the wire again (with a lighted magnifying glass, no less) and I see no markings. It's a nondescript copper-colored wire with a transparent plastic sleeve throughout. I see no way of distinguishing one strand from another. This is the center front speaker of a five channel setup, but it was all installed at once, so the wire is the same for the front and back speakers, too.

I didn't install that wire, but if I were to do it, I would use wire that I see on sites like Crutchfield, with a different color sleeve for plus and minus. Or, like the wires on my stereo, one side has "+++" all over it.

I don't know if it's a good idea to replace the center-speaker wire without replacing the other wire, too. I'm not really up to it, given that the back speakers go behind wall and ceiling moulding and under the floor. I could replace the front and center channel wire without too much trouble, though I would have to research this first. I've read articles about wire at TrippLite and Crutchfield.
There is absolutely no reason not to replace the wire on the center speaker. It should be replaced.
 

Barney1

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I just talked to a friend of mine who ran an audio store for years. A real pro. He's retired. He told me it's not the end of the world if I got the polarity reversed. There might be an audible difference, though I didn't hear any. Nonethless, I will replace the wire for the center channel.

He was the one who recommended I stick with Marantz. Might see him within the next week. I don't know, because he's had health problems.
 

Clinton McClure

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Hopefully he told you if the polarity is reversed to switch it back the correct way. It won’t damage the speaker but it will seriously degrade the sound as well as your enjoyment.
 

Mike Up

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"Seriously degrade"? Meh. I would guess barely audible, if at all.
Out of phase speakers cancel out frequencies of other speakers and make some really weird sounds that will significantly degrade the sound in several ways. It affects frequecy response, imaging and sound staging.
 

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