Newbie Question????

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by paulThevol, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. paulThevol

    paulThevol Auditioning

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    Hello all,

    I just purchase a new Sony DE898 home theater receiver. After hooking up all of the speakers, I am wondering if I have done something wrong or I just don't get it? I have two large JBL front speakers a JBL center channel and 2 JBL surround speakers. No subwoover yet!! Anyway, I am not getting much bass at all and I have to turn that receiver up to like 60 (volume control reading) before it is very loud. I just feel like something is not right??? I'm a computer network administrator, but not very up to date on these audio/video issues.

    Please help!!!

    Paul
     
  2. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    Welcome to the board, bro!

    Try to describe how you have everything hooked up. What signal are you using to listen? DVD player, sat/cable box? How is the source player connected to the receiver? Red/White audio cable, digital coax, digital optical?
     
  3. paulThevol

    paulThevol Auditioning

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    For instance, I was playing a music DVD recorded with Digital Dolby. I have the DVD connected via component video cables to the DVD IN of the receiver. I'm using the red and white audio OUT going to the DVD IN of the receiver. The picture looks great on the TV! However, like I said there isn’t much bass at all and I have to turn that receiver way up to get it loud. The Sony user manual is terrible!!

    Thanks for considering my problem, I appreciate your help!!

    Paul
     
  4. John S

    John S Producer

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    DVD is way best served with a digital connection. Make sure you have subwoofer set to off in configuration in the reciever. To use analog and get DD or DTS you must hook up 6 RCA analog connections. otherwise you did not get DD out of your system, just 2 channel analog audio.

    The volume thing is not a big deal as long as it does gets as loud as you want it and still sounds good.
     
  5. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    I'm not familiar with your exact equipment, but here is how receivers are usually set up to receive digital signals.

    First of all you want to use a digital audio connection from the dvd to the receiver, either digital coax or digital optical. The red/white cables can only pass an analog stereo signal. (This may not address your volume problem, but let's get you hooked up correctly.) You can get the cables at Radio Shack for $20 or less. Once you have it connected, you need to enable the digitial output on your dvd player, both for dolby digital and dts and set them to "bitstream" not "pcm." Then on the receiver, you have to set it to "auto detect" so that it will decode the digital incoming signal and process it correctly. The screen should read something like "Dolby Digital" or "DTS" and not "Stereo", "Dolby PL II" or "DTS NEO" when you are playing a dvd recorded in DD 5.1 or DTS.

    The other thing is, most decent receivers use volume numbers like -30 db, etc to indicate 30 dbs below reference level. Reference level is a variable, depending on how you calibrate your receiver, but usually is 75 or 85 db, which is pretty freaking loud. [​IMG] I made some minor adjustments when I calibrated mine and I mostly watch movies at -20 to -15 db. By some chance, are you watching at -50 db? Because that would be really soft. Also, some discs are recorded at lower volumes. Hope some of that helps.

    PS - Good call John on setting the subwoofer to "off" and the speakers to "large."
     
  6. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Yes, Sony has some of the worst manuals in the business. [​IMG]
    DVD’s typically have to be turned up louder than other sources. Check it with a standard CD, or perhaps the radio section and see if you have the same problem there too.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  7. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Many recievers have a "LFE Level" or "Subwoofer Level" menu setting that controls the low-frequency volume. It is separate from the tone-knob on the front. Look for this.

    To elaborate on something else Wayne mentioned: LARGE vs SMALL

    Your reciever will route low-frequency sounds to any/every LARGE speaker. But it is a bad thing to define all your speakers as LARGE - this takes a lot of power.

    For your system, I suggest you check the menu settings and define the L/R speakers as LARGE, but all other speakers as SMALL. This will cause the reciever to send all low-frequency sounds to the L/R speakers, but not to the others (this is a good thing).

    Then make sure you tell the reciever that you DONT have a subwoofer. This will force the reciver to send the LFE channel to your LARGE speakers.

    Hope this helps.
     
  8. paulThevol

    paulThevol Auditioning

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    First of all, I want to thank all of you for taking the time to respond to my questions!

    I went out yesterday afternoon and picked up a digital coaxil cable (optical wasn't an option for DVD AUDIO IN on the back of the receiver). I also replaced my very old 24 gauge speaker wire with brand new 16 gauge wire. The sound difference was very noticeable and well worth the cost of the new cable/wiring.

    Tonight I plan on going over all of the component settings as suggested by you all. Last night I had to paint my girlfriends kitchen ceiling, got to keep her happy! Hopefully, I'll find some other tweaks to improve the sound and bass quality. However, I'm pretty sure a subwoover is going to be purchased. I'm also disappointed with my digital cable box, it only has analog audio outs! I'm going to call the cable company and see if they offer a better box.

    Thanks again for all the input! Keep checking this post, I might have a couple of other questions.

    Paul
     
  9. Tommie

    Tommie Agent

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    read the mannual...

    check so the bass is really turned on and that the settings in the receiver is correct, maybe there is a setting for large speakers..
     
  10. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Dont get too upset over this. Sound quality of ordinary CATV channels is kind of crappy. It's not DolbyDigital except perhaps for the movie channels like HBO and the like.

    What MAY improve your system is a CATV box that offers SVideo output rather than just the RF(coax) connection. It can sharpen up straight lines in the programming guide and other things.

    I would not bother upgrading to a "better" CATV box unless it offers both digital outputs and SVideo outputs.

    Note: A few years ago when CATV box's started offering Digital audio outputs, people were upset. The standard channels below channel 100 could only be heard through the L/R analog outputs. But the "digital" channels above 100 would come out the digital connection. It was really annoying to have to switch inputs on your receiver as you changed channels. Make sure to ask about this when you call your CATV company.

    Your other option, which I HIGHLY recommend, is to get a Personal Video Recorder box that is tied to a Sat service. Dish network has the PVR units and DirectTV offer built-in Tivo. These give you all the right outputs, plus give you the cool features of being able to pause/rewind/record.
     

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