Questions about my new Sony surround sound system

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Linda_L, Jun 25, 2003.

  1. Linda_L

    Linda_L Auditioning

    Nov 8, 2002
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    I just purchased a Sony home theater set. It has the receiver and left, right, center, left surr., right surr. and sw. I have it up and running but have some questions about setting it for optimal sound on various dvds. I do not find the book very helpful that came with it.

    When I watch a dvd that is in 5.1 (ex. Toy Story 2) I set the receiver for Auto A.F.D. which is supposed to detect the type of signal (dolby digital, dts or standard 2 channel). The display shows "dolby digital 3/2.1" when I play this disc. Does this mean 5.1?

    I mostly view classic movies on dvd, many of which are dolby digital 2.0, 4.0 or mono. I am not sure what the best setting for these types of movies. This receiver does the following
    Auto (described above)
    Dolby Pro Logic
    Dolby Pro Logic II

    Then there is Digital Cinema Sound with Cinema Studio EX settings (from the book):
    C.ST.EX A - Reproduces the sound characteristics of the Sony Pictures Entertainment "Cary Grant Theater" cinema production studio. This is a standard mode, great for watching most any type of movie.

    C.ST.EX B - Reproduces the sound characteristics of the Sony Pictures Entertainment "Kim Novak Theater" cinema production studio. This mode is ideal for watching science-fiction or action movies with lots of sound effects.

    C.ST.EX C - Reproduces the sound characteristics of the Sony Pictures Entertainment scoring stage. This mode is ideal for watching musicals or classic films where music is featured in the sound track.

    I have tested each of these on some older movies but it seems that most of the time the Digital Cinema sound settings don't always use the rear speakers or subwoofer but Pro Logic II does. Should I use Pro Logic on these older movies?

    Last question concerns the volume of the speakers. How should the volume of the rear speakers be in relation to the front and center? I am not sure how to set the volume on each for a nice surround sound experience.

    I have read several articles on this site and others but still am unclear about these things in particular.

    Thank you,

  2. Bill_Wil

    Bill_Wil Stunt Coordinator

    May 26, 2003
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    You will probably get the best results by keeping your receiver in the auto AFD mode since this will utilize whatever format the sound engineer for the source (DVD) intended. You can select DTS or DD on the DVD and the receiver will play whatever mode you selected on the DVD.
    As far as the older movies go I still use the AFD mode and listen to them in stereo or 2.1 but if you want "surround" sound from something thats only playing 2.0 then I would suggest DPL II.
    For the speaker sound level you should set all of your speakers to play the same volume from your listening position. It's easiest to accomplish this buy getting an analog SPL meter from radio shack, a Sound & Vision Tuneup disc or Avia tuneup disc and calibrating the system.
    For a quick fix just sit in your listening position and use the receivers test tone to calibrate all the speakers so that they sound approximately the same volume.
    Good luck and have fun!!

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