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Newbie has a few questions bout HT stuff (Yamaha 5280 Reciever)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Drew Stanton, Aug 29, 2001.

  1. Drew Stanton

    Drew Stanton Extra

    Jul 31, 2001
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    *sigh* where do I start :)
    I just got a few questions that are pretty basic. Here's the setup I have right now:
    Yamaha 5280 reciever
    2 JBL ND310 speakers
    1 N-Center speaker
    I also got a 27" sony wega which I am in love with! I use only my PS2 for DVD right now though, as I can't afford a new DVD player yet. But I also plan on gettin the PB12 sub this weekend (they were out of them before), and eventually the rears. But anyways, here's my questions:
    1. The N-Center speaker says it's magnetically sheilded in it's product description and stuff. But when I put it ontop of my new 27" wega, there was color distortion. Then I moved it and all was good. Well right now I have it under the TV in the stand, right above the reciever. Is that an okay place for it? Or are there stands they make that will lift it a little above the top of the tv, enough to not distort the color?
    2. I was just messing around w/the speaker db levels. I have it hooked up to my computer, and I listen to my mp3's through my speakers. They sound really great, but I am just curious if there is a recommended db level for the speakers? I noticed I couldn't adjust the l/r main speakers db level, but I did change the center to -3.0 db. I noticed a little more bass, which is what I was looking for (atleast until I get my subwoofer). Just wondering what the recommended db setting on these are.
    Well for now I think thats all my questions. Thanks for the support guys!
  2. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

    Feb 15, 2001
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    It depends on your room. Your goal is for seamless transitions between your speakers, and the individual dB levels that will be needed to do this are system dependent. You should get a sound pressure level (SPL) meter from Radio Shack, and the Avia or Video Essentials DVD, and use those to calibrate your system. I believe they come with sufficient instructions.
  3. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    May 8, 2001
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    regarding the center speaker...it definitely should not be distorting your tv. i'd take it back asap and get another one. from an audio standpoint there is no problem placing it below your tv and angling it up. my concern is that there is something wrong with the shielding...you don't want to have to worry about that.
    regarding the speaker levels...i think you should calibrate your system so that all your speakers sound about the same. use a spl, or if you don't have one...guestimate. also, what surround mode are you in when you listen to your mp3's. if you turned down the center speaker and heard more bass, i'm gonna guess you were in pro-logic or some other mode which "focuses" the sound to your center speaker. try listening to your mp3's in 2-channel. i bet the bass goes way up.
    btw - be careful about cranking your system while listening to mp3's unless you know for sure that the mp3 is a clean copy. you'll be hating life if you crank your system and suddenly get one of those annoying digital "pops".
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  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    May 22, 1999
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    Hi Drew. Let me explain a few things that might clear things up.
    Most people do not sit in a perfect circle of identical speakers.
    Because of this, the receiver designers allow you to OFFSET the center, left-rear and right-rear volume a bit.
    (They ALL go up/down when you adjust the big volume control knob, but the center and rears stay a fixed ammount up/down depending upon the +/- numbers you set for these 3 speakers.)
    You asked about "recommended numbers" for these settings. And the truth is, nobody can tell you what these numbers should be. They are unique to your room/speakers and positions. (And they will change if you move your speakers).
    Here is a "quickie" description on how to adjust things:
    - Set your speakers into their perminent position.
    - Locate the "test-tone" button on the remote. Turn the receiver on and static/hiss noise should start to come out of one speaker (Front-Left is usually the start).
    - You adjust the main volume control so the sound is fairly loud from the front-left.
    - When the sound switches to the center, you use the SETUP menu to add/subtract volume from the center until it is the same volume that came out of the front-left speaker.
    - When the sound moves to the front-right speaker, you should hear the same volume.
    - When the sound moves to the right-rear, you use the SETUP menu to add/subtract volume from the right-rear speaker so it has the same volume as the fronts.
    - Repeat for the left-rear
    - IMPORTANT: you now turn down the main volume control and all the speakers should "track" up and down. When you listen to music/movies, you just change the main volume control to whatever level is comfortable for you.
    You have now calibrated/level-adjusted your system. You should not have to repeat this unless you move or change a speaker.
    To help with this, most of us buy the $40 Radio Shack Analog SPL meter. We put this at the listening position, pointed up over our TV. We adjust the main volume control until the meter reads 75db for one of the front speakers with test-tones. Then we adjust all the other speakers to 75 db.
    When you get the sub, you will have a problem. The Yamaha receiver does not send test-tones to the sub. To solve this, many of us buy a setup DVD called either "Avia" or "Video Essentials". Both of these disks have test-tones, and sub-tones.
    Note: When you get your sub, many people adjust the main volume to produce 75 db, but then we adjust the sub to produce 85 db.
    LARGE vs SMALL (another FAQ)
    The receiver builders did not know if you are hooking up small book-shelf speakers, or 5 full-range towers or a mix. They also do not know if you have a dedicated sub.
    So you have to tell the receiver about your speakers.
    Right now: you should define your L/R speakers as LARGE, and the center and rears as SMALL. This means the receiver will route all the bass from all the speakers to just the L/R speakers.
    When you get your sub: Tell the receiver that you have a sub, then tell it all of your speakers are SMALL. This tends to give the best results in most peoples system.
    Good Luck.

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