Marantz SR7400 - no sub w/ PL II

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Doug Otte, Nov 12, 2004.

  1. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Supporting Actor

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    Greetings. My old Sony STR-DE545 output sound to the sub along w/ the other channels for Dolby PL. My new Marantz SR7400 doesn't output to the sub for PL II. Speakers are set to Large on both receivers.

    I prefer PL II; the clarity and dimensionality is much better than old PL. However, I'd like some of those thumps etc. to rumble out of the sub when watching Lost.

    I checked the manual, and it indeed specifies no sub output for PL II, nor for any of the other matrixed surround schemes other than "4 Channel Stereo," which I don't like. I prefer keeping the speakers set at Large. Can you think of any way I can redirect sound to the sub, other than running lines out of the L/R main outputs into the sub?

    Thanks.
    Doug
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I have an 8300 and I have no problem with my sub working with PLII. Have you tried setting your speakers to small? Unless you have speakers that cover well down into the bottom octave, they can typically be set to small. If they are larger and do cover into the bottom octave, you can adjust the x-over lower.
     
  3. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Supporting Actor

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    Thanks, John, but I addressed both of those options above. I have full-range speakers, and don't want to set them to Small. Also, the Marantz manual specifies that there's no sub w/ PL II, so crossover settings don't change anything.
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Not to nit-pick, but full range means your speakers are capable of 20Hz, which very, very few speakers are. With speakers capable to around 30-40Hz, with them set to SMALL, a lower x-over would be beneficial.

    I have installed many receivers and have used 3 different Marantz units in my own system with PLII, and I have never had the problem you describe.

    PLII has it's own bass settings in the configuration menu, you might want to check them.
     
  5. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Supporting Actor

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    I guess I'll stick w/ what I have. I don't want to use the sub for music, and I don't want to switch between Small and Large on the fly. I'd guess my usage is about:
    Music: 50%
    DVDs: 40%
    TV: 10%

    The 7400 doesn't have individual bass settings for DPL II.

    It just seems odd that the cheap Sony I had would send to the sub for DPL (and DD1.0 and 2.0) with speakers set to Large, but the Marantz doesn't. And, the Marantz manual specifically shows (in a chart w/ all the surround modes) that DPL II doesn't send anything to the sub. I spent some time re-reading the manual carefully last night to make sure I didn't miss anything (PS couldn't they have gotten a better English translator for the manual?).

    Oh, well. I'm happy w/ it the way it is. Thanks again for your help, John.

    Doug
     
  6. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    If that is true, written in the manual and all, then that is really stupid. So you are forced to hook-up your subwoofer to the front left and right pre-outs in order to use it in PLII? That is wacked.
     
  7. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Supporting Actor

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    Are there any vegetarian alternatives to eating crow?

    This weekend, I played around w/ the settings, and finally found the solution.

    John was right, setting the speakers to small (thus far I've only set the mains to small; the center and surrounds are still large) is the best solution. I listen to SACDs and CDs through the 7.1 inputs, so that's not affected and I still get uncorrupted sound through the appropriate speakers. DVDs are affected in that DD 2.0 and 1.0 now send something to the sub, which is nice, but not a dramatic change. We watched Dawn of the Dead (2004) last night, and DD 5.1 sounded fine w/ the new settings. And, I tested PL II using the Movie and Music matrices, and both sound good w/ something now going to the sub. I increased the sub output by 2dB to get the sound I wanted (didn't want to change the sub's volume because I'm getting the right amount going to it for MCH SACDs). Maybe I'd get more gain going to the sub if I had all speakers set to Small? I'll play with that another day.

    I did have to change one odd setting in the receiver speaker settings: for the sub, there's a Mix setting. Setting it to "Mix" actually prevents anything from going to the sub; "Both" setting sends some bass to both sub and mains.

    John, I left the crossover at 80dB as I like the bass in my mains and only wanted that chest-rattling "oomph" at the bottom end to go to the sub to make the PL II stuff sound more full.

    John and Chris: the manual is atrocious - full of incomprehensible syntax errors, misleading info, and plain old missing info.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Regards.
    Doug
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Marantz is not known for good manuals, or at least good translation, that is for sure [​IMG]

    What you can do, and Chris is quite familiar with this as well, if you don't want the sub and you do want the speakers full range for music at least, is to use the Source Direct function. This bypasses bass management and tone controls, and playback is limited to whatever signal is being received.

    Note also that the 7ch input levels are independent of the speaker level settings for all other sources. Chris will probably have a lot to comment on regarding this.

    Hmmm... my 8300 does not have the "mix" function, so that must be new for the x400 lineup. I did not know about that.

    I don't think you will get more bass by setting the other speakers to small as well, but you will likely get a bit more overall output, though it doesn't quite sound like it at first. Meaning, you won't get an increase in the amount of bass output, but the receiver will be working just a little less harder. To me, once calibrated, it sounds better with everything set to small, though late at night, I will turn the sub off and put it in Source Direct (everything to large) to keep the bass down.

    I was confused and I even tried it out this weekend, and the sub was present with PLII, so was still scratching my head until I read this. [​IMG] Glad you were able to figure it out and it wasn't some fluke or problem.
     
  9. Blaine_M

    Blaine_M Second Unit

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    I was going to suggest the MIX setting as the cause of the problem. I've got the 5400 and the manual description of this option is terrible, but you have it correct in your post. Have to have it set to BOTH. I believe it works together with the speaker size settings. On the 5400, if I set the speakers to small, I can't change the mix setting at all, it automatically separates the signal via the crossover frequency I set the reciever to.
     
  10. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Supporting Actor

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    John, I believe using the 7.1 inputs serves the same purpose as Source Direct; am I right? I experimented w/ a 2CH CD and SACD, switching back and forth from the CD input (w/ Source Direct) and the 7.1 inputs. I found the 7.1 to sound slightly cleaner. The CD input sounded slightly gauzy in the midrange. Of course, it's debatable whether the SACD signal gets through the CD input unsullied by either the player or the receiver, but I found the same difference w/ regular CD as well.

    PS the 7400 has a "night" setting that levels out the dynamics. I tried it once on a DS9 DVD, and it works quite well. Everything still sounds quite intelligible, but without the scary peaks.

    Doug
     
  11. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    7.1 inputs and SD are very similar, though the signal paths are just a bit less cluttered than any of the stereo inputs.

    Sometimes I use night mode, but it doesn't remove really low bass, which is what would tend to bother people most I think. That's why I turn the sub off instead.

    I've compared the 7.1 inptus to SD with the same interconnects and the differences are pretty minimal. In stereo, the 8300 has ADDC, which uses multiple DACs in parallel, so I pretty much don't use SD anymore (except as noted above).
     
  12. Juan Carlos

    Juan Carlos Extra

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    That's the one thing I don't like about Marantz. The bass management sucks. Even with the new SR7400s, the lowest you can change the cross-over to is 80Hz. Anything older, and it's 100Hz. For someone that has full range speakers, that would be a waste of money knowing that you can only play them down to 80Hz if adding a sub.
     

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