The morning after - some HT setup questions

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by RobSB, Dec 31, 2003.

  1. RobSB

    RobSB Agent

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    So the UPS man finally came yesterday. The tracking said it was coming on Monday, but it never came, and then it showed "Package missed, no delivery attempt made." which makes it sound like they just forgot about me, but I digress.

    Anyway, my first surround sound system arrived in four large boxes. Here's what I got:

    Fluance SX-HTB speakers
    Dayton 10" Subwoofer
    H/K AVR-225 Receiver
    Sound King 12 gauge wire

    It took me about 6 hours and 2 Radioshacks to get everything set up. (I work slowly and wanted to make sure I got everything right. [​IMG] Let me just say this: banana plugs are not nice, or convenient, they're aboslutely *necessary*, especially on the receiver. It is absolutely impossible to get the wire in there.

    After I got everything set up I watched some LOTR:TTT, the first scene in Gladiator, the Matrix Lobby scene, and some other stuff. Honestly, I wasn't all that impressed. It sounded nice, but the "surround" sound was a bit lacking. I think it's starting to sound better though; I sure hope so. One problem is my rear right surround speaker - it's at ear level. I'm going to buy a shelf for it though, that should help.

    Some questions:

    1. What calibration stuff do I need to do now? Just go through the OSD for the AVR225? I used EzSet, which worked ok I guess. It's better than nothing, and I don't have the money for a SPL meter/calibration disc now.

    2. I bought a digital coax cable for my DVD player audio. It is a two stranded cable - red and white. My DVD player only has one out. I just used the white cable, and everything seems to be working, but is that ok? I got it from Radioshack.

    3. My rear left speaker is on top of a bookshelf. It's about 4-5 feet above ear level. The rear right one will be on a shelf about 3 feet above ear level. Is this a problem? I can move the rear left down, but then it would be on a shelf inside the bookshelf. Would that create bad resonance?

    I will probably think of more questions to add to this thread. Until then, have fun with these. [​IMG]
     
  2. Derek_P

    Derek_P Stunt Coordinator

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    is your dvd player using digital output or analog?

    ..just wondering..
     
  3. RobSB

    RobSB Agent

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    Digital coaxial output.
     
  4. Jason_A

    Jason_A Stunt Coordinator

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    Did you set up the speakers in the receiver. Meaning the Distance, the equalizer, speaker levels, etc

    Just Wondering

    The Rear speakers should be on the same level.

    "I bought a digital coax cable for my DVD player audio. It is a two stranded cable - red and white. My DVD player only has one out. I just used the white cable, and everything seems to be working, but is that ok?"

    That is not a Digtial coax cable it is a Stereo RCA cable that you got. You need to get a Separated Digital Coax cable for your Digital Audio. Most likely this will be thicker and not some thin Radio Shack Stereo RCA cable.

    Hence probably better sound output and input. Can get at Walmart, Circuit City, Target, etc.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Rob,

    You don't need a special digital coax cable. That digital signal doesn't need extra thickness.

    Make sure your player is outputting a DD or DTS signal and not PCM, and that your receiver is actually playing back in Dolby Digital or DTS, not Dolby Pro Logic II--drag out the owner's manual for the receiver to determine what the display should read when playback is actual DD or DTS.

    I strongly suggest you purchase a copy of either the Video Essentials or Avia Guide to Home Theater calibration dvds and also get an analog SPL meter (Sound Pressure Level) from Radio Shack. Both of these discs have test tones and comprehensive voiceover instructions for properly calibrating your system. Total cost will run around $50-70 and it's the best investment you can make in improving your system's sound.
     
  6. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    It's true you don't absolutely HAVE to have digital coax cable, but it is better. The coax is a 75 ohm cable, and is more effecient with carrying the signal. The red or white rca cable is more suscepible to interference. If you must use an rca cable instead of digital coax, I'd suggest the yellow video rca cable.
    Right too, about making sure your player is outputting the DD/dts signals. Most dvd players ship with the dts feature turned off. Make sure the output for DD and dts is "bitstream".
    Was the sub working ok? Most of the time, you have to turn it on, in the receiver's setup menus. Also in the receiver's setup menus, set up the distance for each speaker (distance from usual sitting position). If you set your speakers to large, the LFE (bass) signal with go to the main speakers or split amongst them all. If you set speakers to small, all the bass goes to the subwoofer.
    And I would try to get both rear speakers near the same level (near to ear level) Good luck!!
     
  7. CarlosM

    CarlosM Stunt Coordinator

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    Steve, why recommend the SPL meter even though the HK's come w/ the EzSet feature -- is this feature not all that it's cracked up to be?
     
  8. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    I've never even used the EZSet on my H/K. Using a proper setup disc and a sound meter is still a better way to go.

    I can't comment on Pioneer's method for automatically setting up the speakers - nor, Yamaha's version either. However, my guess is that both of them would blow EZSet away.
     
  9. CarlosM

    CarlosM Stunt Coordinator

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    ..but why?

    HK really touts this feature, so why would it be so useless?
     
  10. Lee-M

    Lee-M Stunt Coordinator

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    I used the EZSet to get my AVR520 settings in the ballpark, then AVIA to nail them down. The EZSet calibrates the receiver output; I noted slightly different results after factoring in the different source components.

    In other words, AVIA will help nail down your settings as received from your DVD player.
     

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