Novice 5.1 Analog Output to 7.1 Setup Queries

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Harvey Clarke (UK), Sep 9, 2006.

  1. Harvey Clarke (UK)

    Harvey Clarke (UK) Auditioning

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    Hello All! This is my first posting on the Home Theater Forum (or on any Forum of any kind) so i'll have to try hard not to embarrass myself too much.....I have tried to read and understand all of the postings relating to the HD-A1 5.1 Analog output and I am ready to connect to the 5.1 Audio Inputs of my Lexicon MC-8 Digital Controller. In Thread 80, Phil Iturralde kindly gives very comprehensive Audio Setup instructions for the HD-A1. If I understand them correctly these include entering the Toshiba Setup menu and selecting speaker sizes, distance to each speaker and crossover frequency. However, since these are already established in the custom speaker setup on my Lexicon MC-8 is it necessary for me to do this again on the HD-A1? The reason I question this is that in a pre-firmware Version 2.0 message Thread 26, Paul Hillenbrand leaves his Toshiba HD-A1 at the default settings and lets his Lexicon handle the analog to to 7.1 digital conversion. For a novice like myself this sounds like a relatively stress-free option. I realise that my request for advice will have been answered in part by Thread 30's Analog Setup which addresses a similar situation but I would appreciate confirmation on the setup procedure for the HD-A1 to Lexicon MC-8 from someone more more knowledgeable than myself........which is basically all of you! Some of the messages I have read are quite technical, so simple instructions are much appreciated....in other words feel free to talk down to me! My thanks in advance from rural England.
     
  2. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    Welcome to the Forum, Harvey!

    If your Lexicon's internal settings are not bypassed using the analog inputs, as opposed to a Toslink fiber optic or digital audio RCA cable, then you should be able to leave the internal settings of the HD-A1 alone and let the Lexicon do the processing.

    I have my SD-DVD player connected to a Yamaha RX-V995 via digital audio cable and use the internal settings on the Yamaha, BUT those internal settings on my Yamaha RX-V995 are bypassed when using the analog 5.1 inputs for my HD-A1 which results in very low LFE. I have to compensate for this by using the HD-A1's internal settings.
     
  3. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

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    Welcome Harvey! [​IMG]
     
  4. Mark_Haanraadts

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  5. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Harvey, Welcome! Let us know what you think of your player after you get it set up!!!

    Your question has actually prompted me to revisit my setup menus...

    As I recall, I first calibrated my room to the test tones generated in my Denon receiver. I used a sound-pressure level (SPL) meter. Once I got that set up to perfection, I plugged in the Toshiba player to the analog inputs, and found that the settings were off. So I recalibrated using the players test tones.

    Now i need to see if there is some sort of bypass mode in the receiver... bother.

    Bottom line... welcome! enjoy! and let us know how it turns out!

    - Steve
     
  6. Andy Bell

    Andy Bell Stunt Coordinator

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    Harvey,

    Welcome! I have a Lexicon MC-12. In the HD-A1 setup I leave all the speakers set to large, channel levels and speaker levels at 0. I then use the 5.1a Film mode of the Lex. This way I can use the better bass management of the Lex and also have the use of Logic7. I have also tried setting up everything in the HD-A1(speakers all small, speaker distances and levels) and bypassing the Lex, but I keep coming back to letting the Lex redigitize the analog signal. If there is any compromise in the sound by doing this conversion, my ears can't tell. DD+ and Dolby TrueHD still sound great!
    I know some people have had problems with anemic bass, but I have never had this problem with either route I have tried.

    Hope this is of some help,
    Andy
     
  7. Harvey Clarke (UK)

    Harvey Clarke (UK) Auditioning

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    Clinton - Tim - Mark - Steve & Andy.......Thanks for the warm welcome and for taking the time to help me out! I think I can go ahead with confidence now and I'll report back in a couple of days time how I got on. My guess is that this must be one of only half dozen or so Lexicon/Toshiba HD-A1 setups in the UK so whilst i'm lagging behind you guys.....i'm leading the field out here! Once again my thanks and best regards to you.........Harvey
     
  8. Jeff Whitford

    Jeff Whitford Screenwriter

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    Andy my MC-8 seems to only have 5.1a bypass. No film mode. Do you change this in mode setup? I tried it but it showed up no different on the front display of my MC-8
     
  9. Andy Bell

    Andy Bell Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff,

    Go the main menu, then inputs and at inputs for your where you have the HD-A1 assigned to, find main advanced,and in the main advanced section you turn "analog bypass" OFF.
    The MC-8 will now redigitize the analog signal from the HD-A1 and you can use any of the 5.1a modes. Let me know if this works out.
    Hope I was clear enough.
    Andy
     
  10. thubleau

    thubleau Auditioning

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  11. thubleau

    thubleau Auditioning

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  12. Jimjum27

    Jimjum27 Agent

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    My main question is how can we split out TrueHD into 7.1? I see Warner Brothers advertise 7.1 sound everytime I put in one of their discs, how or when can we get it? I know...patience, upgrades will come. Great, but right now my two rear speakers are just sitting there gathering dust.

    If I want TrueHD I have to use the analog outputs, ok, but how do I get my Kenwood VR-6070 to spit out a duplicate surround audio in the back? I have to switch the receiver mode to analog which renders my Neo:6 and Circle Surround unavailable along with the built in matrix decoder. I'm sure others much smarter than I have been frustrated by this and may have a solution. Please share.
     
  13. Mark_Haanraadts

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    I'm not sure how your Kenwood works, but with the Lexicon, you can use Logic 7 to create a 5.1 sound field. DPLIIx should also work (if your Kenwood supports that).
     
  14. thubleau

    thubleau Auditioning

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    If your amp is only 6.1 than it is missing the decoders required for 7.1 also your centre rear connections would only be a single connection, you could connect both a left and right centre back to the same connection although you will get the same sound out of both speakers.A unit with a 7.1 decoder takes information from the left and right surround channels and feeds it to the connections for a left and rght centre back.If you do not have these 2 extra connections then all you have is a single centre back.
     
  15. thubleau

    thubleau Auditioning

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    Just something I missed, the 6070 may have 7.1 preamp out but it only has 6x100watt amps, so you may have the connections for left and right centre back and the kenwood would then decode and split the information to two channels.If not than you will be stuck with just the one connection.As for the True Hd I don't think that qualifies as a 7.1 SYSTEM.Dolby Digital Surround Ex and Dolby pro Logic 11X are the two main technologies used to create the 6.1 and 7.1 channels from a 5.1 recording and it is done automatically .If you have DTS-ES 6.1 than the information for the extended format is recorded on one discreet channel only.
     
  16. Harvey Clarke (UK)

    Harvey Clarke (UK) Auditioning

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    OK.....a week later (and with the kind help of Forum Members) I now have my analog inputs securely in place from the HD-A1 to my Lexicon MC-8! And..........it sounds great!!.....lots of Surround activity and lots of bass a remarkable improvement. I just got through watching We Were Soldiers and I feel as though I Am A Soldier. But of course now that i've got the TrueHD (not on this movie, i realise) and Dolby Plus available a few more questions have been thrown up for wise souls like Andy Bell.
    Firstly, I have set the Crossover setting on the HD-A1 at 80Hz. My M&K THX speakers have a 80Hz Crossover Frequency as part of the THX spec. Is the HD-A1 therefore set correctly by me at 80Hz as a lot of the other posts seem to be leaving the Crossover at 120Hz?
    To compensate for low bass level, I have had to set all HD-A1 speaker levels to -10dB with the exception of the subwoofer which is set to 0dB.......I didn't alter any other settings on the HD-A1. But sound levels are low compared to those I got using the digital coax that I disconnected. And this is with the analog input levels raised by +12dB on the Lexicon. Am I missing something here? Are there further adjustments to be made on the Lexicon so that I don't have to have the volume turned right up?
    When I play regular (non HD movies without TrueHD or Plus) using the Toshiba HD-A1 what happens to the sound processing. Am I losing all processing capabilites on mono-DD-DTS etc. with the Lexicon in the 5.1a Bypass mode? If so this would seem like a backward step. (Maybe this has got something to with turning the Analog Bypass OFF that Andy talks about above.....if so is this the '2 Channel Analog Bypass?'........as I can't find any other....?
    And finally, Jimjum27 and Mark_Haanraadts have addressed a point I was going to bring up and that is......am I getting the same signal fed to my Surrounds and Rears....they all sound very active but is the 5.1a Bypass allowing the Lexicon to matrix these channels or are they just duplicated? I realise this in particular has answered above but should a Lexicon reader see this I would be interested in their experience/advice. Many Thanks........Harvey
     
  17. Mark_Haanraadts

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    Harvey,

    A lot of questions! Unfortunately I can not help you with all of them at the moment. I own a Lexicon MC12 and I ordered the Toshiba HD A1 (I'm skipping the A2 because it doesn't have 5.1a out!). But a couple of questions/remarks:
    1. Did you calibrate your system using a SD DVD (=regular) like AVIA and a SPL (sound level meter)?
    2. From what I've heard, you should set all speaker setting in the Toshiba to 'Full Range' and sound levels to '0', since the Lexicon will take over these settings. What happens is that if you set analog bypass to off, the Lexicon will digitize the signal and thus apply the settings set in step 1. If you need to adjust the settings, you *SHOULD* be able to individually adjust 5.1a L7 Film mode.
    3. You should also connect your A1 using optical/coax to your Lexicon for SD DVD's.

    To summarize, this will be my strategy when I recieve my A1:
    - I use 5.1a L7 Film Mode for HD DVDs (Dolby True HD and DD Plus) and DPLIIx for SD DVDs
    - The Lexicon is already calibrated using AVIA and a SPL
    - Connect the A1 coaxial for SD DVDs and 5.1 analog for HD DVDs.
    - Configure DVD1 for SD DVD (to coax) and DVD2 for HD DVD (5.1 analog)
    - If I feel the the HD DVD output levels needs adjustment, I will load AVIA, select DVD2 (HD DVD over 5.1 analog) and tweak the 5.1a L7 Film mode mode itself: Adjust > Listening Mode (5.1a L7 Film) > Output Levels
     
  18. Andy Bell

    Andy Bell Stunt Coordinator

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    Mark,

    Perfect explanation! Harvey just follow Marks advice. This is how I have my MC-12 and HD-A1 setup.
     
  19. Mark_Haanraadts

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    Good! I'm glad I have the basic setup thought out well before even receiving my HD A1! [​IMG]

    It seems more complicated than that it actually is!

    On a side note (Andy), what is your opinion about TrueHD/DD+ vs regular DD/DTS?
     
  20. Harvey Clarke (UK)

    Harvey Clarke (UK) Auditioning

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    Thanks Mark and Andy.........you guys are quick off the mark......I thought i'd give it 24 hours or so before checking back to see if anyone had posted....curiosity got the better of me and you'd both thrown your hat in the ring within the hour!
    Mark ......I have calibrated using a SPL (sound level meter) using both Toshiba and Lexicon internal test tones. (No AVIA available to me at this time)
    Secondly, I am believe that the speaker settings that you advise me to use are the default ones.....if so I'm there with you.
    And thirdly reconnecting the optical to the Lexicon for SD DVD's had occurred to me.......I guess I was just waiting for someone to give the green light to go ahead and do it!
    And I'm now going to go ahead as you suggest and adjust the output levels.....do you have a suggestion on how much to raise them by?
    Any thoughts on the that Crossover setting for the Toshiba query that I raised?
    Also, is the Lexicon matrixing the Surrounds/Rears in Dolby TrueHD and DD Plus or are these being fed the same information?....
    Andy was right.....yours was the 'perfect explanation' and I now feel a lot more confident about what I'm doing than I did when I wrote my first post. Thanks!
     

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