Serious Questions about DS595 and PLII.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JamesMartin, Sep 13, 2001.

  1. JamesMartin

    JamesMartin Extra

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2001
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi guys, I just have a couple questions about My Onkyo TX-DS595 and Pro Logic II. Keep in mind that I am extremely new to HT. I have never heard DD, DTS, or pro logic until I got my gear about a month ago. My concerns are about Pro Logic II. I heard all these wonderful things about it and was very hiped from what I heard. Now that I have it, I realize that it is not all that great at all. Actually I think it is so bad that I am starting to believe something is wrong with my receiver so I would like to heard from other Onkyo DS595 owners on this topic.
    1-PLII music sounds much, much, much lower in volume than the dsp mode all channel stereo and other dsp modes such as studio mix, etc.
    2-PLII when I listen to tv broadcasts sounds like total crap. I can really only hear sound out of the center channel and nothing else. If I turn the center channel down to -12db and the right and left channels up to +12db then I can heard the right and left channels but not much. I though that PLII was surpose to be wonderful for TV programs?????????? I really only use the dsp mode TV Logic because I can hear sound out of all speakers. If this matters, I only have basic (not digital) cable run through a cable box.
    3-PLII sounds ok with my PlayStation 2, but still not as loud as all channel stereo or some of the other dsp modes.
    4-PLII sound really good with my VCR movies. I can hear sound out of the center and also out of all the other speakers, however I still have to turn the volume up about halfway to get a decent volume. Is this normal?
    5-With the DS595 I have noticed that the first half of the volume control doesn't increase the volume as much as the 2nd half. If this doesn't make sense, think of it this way. The volume increase from 30 to 40 isn't as great as the volume increase from 40 to 50. Is this normal????
    Sorry this is so long but this is bugging me and I am thinking about taking my DS595 back and getting another one cause this PLII is not impressing me at all and I am worried that I might have a defective receiver although everything else seems to sound fine.
    Thanks again and my heart and prayers go out to anyone who has lost someone in Tuesdays tragety.
    JamesMartin
     
  2. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    18,985
    Likes Received:
    1,913
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Catfisch Cinema
    Real Name:
    Dave
    James,
    I've got the 696, which is pretty much the same. Here are a few thoughts from my experience.
    1) DPLII is quite different from 5-channel music, though it took me a bit to realize it. 5-channel seems to duplicate the front stereo channels in the rear channels. DPLII uses the rear channels mostly for surround effects and other subtle sounds. It's not as in-your-face as 5-channel. I far prefer DPL2 to 5-channel and the DSP modes.
    2) You say that your TV sound is center-channel only, while VCR movies sound good. Do you have a mono TV, or is the cable box passing a mono signal? DPL2 pulls the L/R & surround channels from a stereo signal; I believe a mono signal would be center-channel only. I use a stereo VCR as my tuner, and television shows sound far better than regular stereo or normal DPL.
    3) I've found DPL2 to work well with my N64 games, again better than DPL did.
    4) The consensus is that the Onkyo volume control is different from in the past, and from many other receivers. I think it's a logarithmic control, so that the first ~25% of power is spread over the first 50% of volume control, and the power output increases rapidly in the second 50%. I typically watch movies and TV in the 30%-55% level. I prefer this to 'normal' volume controls, because I have more control over lower volumes. But it does seem weird at times to see 50% volume and only perceive 25% sound [​IMG]
    Hope that helps.
     
  3. JamesMartin

    JamesMartin Extra

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2001
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thank you very much for you reply.
    I think the reason I like all cannel stereo better than PLII is maybe because I am really never setting in one spot when I listen to music. Tonight I will try and listen to PLII music when sitting in the "sweet spot" and maybe I can get a better understand of PLII for music.
    My VCR and TV are stereo. I have the cable ran into my cable box, then I have a AV cable going to the receiver, then a Video cable going to my TV. I am not sure how to tell if my cable box is sending a mono signal or not. I mean you CAN hear sound out of the other channels but only with the volume turned up really high and also only with your ear to the speaker (not how I like to watch TV [​IMG]).
    So you have any idea how I could try and change my set up so my TV programs sound good in DPII. Maybe you are right and it is sending a mono signal. How could I change this?
    Thanks again
    JamesMartin
     
  4. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 1999
    Messages:
    1,049
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It's not unusual for normal listening volume on the 595 to be between 40 and 50 (out of 79, which is the max volume). The previous post about the Onkyo control being logarithmic is correct. In fact, my reference level for DVD on the 595 is 57, but I only listen at about 52-54 most of the time.
    One important thing is that you need to get a good calibration disc such as Avia or Video Essentials and a Sound Pressure Level meter from Radio Shack to set all your speakers to the same level. It's almost impossible to do this precisely by ear, and it's worth the cost of the equipment. If you don't do this, you're likely hearing too much or too little in your surrounds and center, and DPL2/DD/DTS material will sound really off.
    Also, you may have speaker placement issues. Though some will tell you to toe in your mains toward your listening position, this does narrow the sweet spot. The best setup that I've found for creating a large sweet spot(and this is just my opinion) is to point the mains straight forward and place them no further than 30 degrees angle from the line to your center channel from listening position. This will help a lot if you're not always in your listening position for music.
    If your cable is sending a mono signal, then all sound will come from your center channel except for a slight bleed-through to the mains. It sounds like your cable is mono. Unfortunately, your cable company may not bother sending stereo signals, or your cable box may not do the decoding of the signal. If you have digital cable, there's usually a menu option to change to enable stereo, but if you're on regular cable... chances are your box isn't decoding the MTS stereo (or your cable provider isn't up to snuff). I would try running the cable through your VCR, since almost all stereo VCR's will decode broadcast stereo signals.
    DSP modes will seem to sound louder than DPL2 because they're adding extraneous reverb and effects. All channel stereo is louder simply because the mains are being reproduced in the surrounds. This mode is sometimes better for listening when you're not in the listening position, but isn't nearly as good at reproducing the correct soundstage as DPL2 Music mode is. My suggestion is to try the aforementioned speaker placements and see what you think. A properly calibrated setup with DPL2 Music mode will NOT draw your attention to the surrounds... It will merely place some instruments and sounds between your mains and surrounds in space, widening the soundstage and creating a sense of ambience.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    While I can hear a definite improvement over DPL, I too have the same feelings about DPL II on my Marantz SR6200. It does require that I turn up the volume to get the same listening levels as nearly any other mode.
    My TV is more than loud enough (WEGA KV32FV26), so I never listen to it through my stereo, and I feel no need to hear it in any kind of dsp/DPL mode (though having the sub help would be nice once in a while). *This may have something to do with the fact that I don't watch much TV, primarily news and mostly DVD or listening to music.
    Back to the topic...I was not overly impressed with DPL II either, and I typically do not listen to music in that mode unless I am not sitting in the sweet spot, and want to hear the more dispersed sound, or with certain recordings. I have gone back and forth on it, and I have to say that I still prefer 2ch stereo for 90% of my listening.
    My receiver has 6ch stereo, which sounds to be the same as your 5ch stereo - full signal from all channels. While louder, I don't find that it is more distracting than helpful, though it does produce the most sound in the room.
    ------------------
    All progress is based upon a universal, innate desire on the part of every organism,
    to live beyond it's income.
    ITRCA ** Speedring (sorry, car guy)
     
  6. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    18,985
    Likes Received:
    1,913
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Catfisch Cinema
    Real Name:
    Dave
     
  7. Tom Morgan

    Tom Morgan Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 1999
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Hollow/3401/index2.html
    Try the Calibration Techniques. I have digital cable and I think that DPLII sounds much better than DPL. It sounds like you are not getting stereo from your cablewhich DPLII needs to work correctly.
    ------------------
    There can be only one!
    My DVDs
    [Edited last by Tom Morgan on September 13, 2001 at 11:42 AM]
     
  8. JamesMartin

    JamesMartin Extra

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2001
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks alot for the advice. When i get home i am going to try and hook the cable up from the box to VCR to Receiver and then see if I get a stereo signal. If that doesn't work then I am gonna try to listen to off air programs and see if I get a stereo signal there also. If my cable is not sending a stereo signal then I will just have to switch cable companies. I don't know where you guys are from but I live in Columbus, Ohio and currently have the basic cable from Time Warner. I can also upgrade to digital cable but I don't watch TV enough to pay the difference. I could also get cable through Americast.
    I am glad to know that my cable might be the problem and not my receiver for the PLII. I would hate to have to take my receiver back because I love it so [​IMG]
    Thanks again
    JamesMartin
     

Share This Page