To Denon 3801 and 3802 owners!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff_Rice, Nov 20, 2001.

  1. Jeff_Rice

    Jeff_Rice Agent

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    My first post to the site and what a great site it is!

    Anyway, I have a few questions to the Denon 3801 and 3802 owners. What volume do you listen to movies or music(and I am not talking in db) I am talking volume on your receiver (i.e -20, -15, or even -10)? Also, did you raise the volume for each speaker up a little (i.e. FL +5, FR +5, and etc)?

    My room configuration is 26 L x 12w x 8h.

    My system consists of:

    Speakers =(Polk Audio) Fronts=RT800, Center=CS400, Rear=RT55i, Rear center=RT35, and subwoofer=Velodyne CT120.

    Components, TV=36" RCA (calibrated with VE), DVD player=Pioneer 525, CD player=Kenwood (Ok one), Receiver=Denon 3801, and Amp=Harmon Kardan 2.1 (5 channel-100 Watt high current)

    Audioquest=interconnects (sindwinder-green ones)and speaker wire (type 2 for fronts and flat 14 gauge to hide under carpet).

    I have my front main speakers bi-amped and bi-wired my center speaker.

    I have everything set to 'Large' because my amp is running my front three speakers and receiver running rears (rear center is set to small-default).

    Oh, I also have PS2 hooked to my system. (It rocks!)

    In my opinion this is a pretty good setup and I am very happy with what I have. My next move is to get a bigger TV and possibly a DAC. Overall, this system shakes the whole house (1700 sq feet) (U571, Starwars I-pod scence, and many ohters) and I enjoy watching movies at home better than the theater.

    You opinions are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Jeff Rice
     
  2. Jeff_Hunt

    Jeff_Hunt Stunt Coordinator

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    I tend to listen to movies in the -10 to -15 range depending on the hour and the people I'm watching with.

    Oh, I've calibrated with Avia to 85dB.
     
  3. ShanonS

    ShanonS Stunt Coordinator

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    Welcome to the forum Jeff. I also usually run my 3801 at about -10 to -15. I started with my center at 0 and adjusted the others to match it.

    Just one suggestion. I don't know about the Polk's specifically, but my guess is that they really aren't full range. Even bi-amped and bi-wired, I doubt they can get nearly as low as your sub at the same volume and quality. By having them set to large, you may be missing some bass. The large or small really just controls the routing of the frequencies below 80hz. When I first got my system and speakers I played around with the large and small settings, until one of the moderators on here (I forget exactly who) told me point blank that even most of the big powered speakers can't get as low as a good sub. They backed this up with a lot of testing and measurements of quite a few speakers better than my Def Techs.
     
  4. Michael Mathius

    Michael Mathius Supporting Actor

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    Jeff I ussually listen to mine at -15. But if I have guest I may go up to -10[​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. MichaelG

    MichaelG Second Unit

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    Jeff, what you really need to do is calibrate your sound system using either Video Essential or Avia and get an SPL (sound pressure level) meter. One poster stated that he calibrated his speakers to 85db, but I believe that reference standard is to calibrate all speakers to 75db and the sub to 85db.

    With an SPL you sit at your listening position and let VE or Avia send test tones to each speaker, adjust each speaker setting on the receiver until the SPL shows 75db. That is how you should be setting your individual speaker levels on the receiver. One more important thing, when playing the test tones the stereo volume level must be set to Zero (0), this is reference level. I believe that some THX certified DVD's have recently included audio test tones for doing this as well, I think that Gladiator has it (can't remember the others). Anyway, I would suggest buying or renting the Avia DVD and calibrate both your TV and your audio setup.
     
  6. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    Hi Michael, I believe the Avia suggests calibrating at 85db while the VE, which I go by suggests calibrating at 75db. I hope someone corrects me if I am wrong.
     
  7. Jeff_Rice

    Jeff_Rice Agent

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    Thanks for the response. I have a few questions......

    I pop in VE to calibrate my system: I set the volume on my receiver to 00 and then adjust each speaker + or - with each test tone until it reaches 75db (Avia 85db). Is this correct?

    I know this subject has been beat to death but small vs. large is getting old. In my opinion I think that Large is better than small and if your speaker can down to 40hz you should be ok. LFE gets the signal anyway (.1) so there should not be a problem. Am I correct?

    Jeff R.
     
  8. Marvin

    Marvin Screenwriter

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    Jeff,

    As I recall, you set the volume so that the left front speaker is at 75dB when its setting is at +0. Then leave the volume as is and adjust the speaker settings on the other ones.

    Also, I think the recommendation was to make the sub's setting so that its volume is at 79-81dB.
     
  9. MichaelG

    MichaelG Second Unit

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    Nick - I only have VE, so I was going by that, for the 75db specification. I wonder if Avia produces the same signal that VE is producing, I really don't know. Which ever DVD you use I would just set the speaker level to what they suggest.

    Jeff - First part is correct, set each speaker level with your +/- to 75db during the audio setup part of VE.

    Second part you have to be carefull with because receivers will act differently when using the large/small speaker settings. I just looked at the 3801 manual online and it says a few things...

    (from page 19)

    1) For the majority of speaker system configurations, using the "SMALL" setting for all five main speakers and Subwoofer On with a connected subwoofer will yield the best results

    There is also a Subwoofer mode if you select LARGE for the front speakers. The two selections are "LFE+MAIN" and "LFE"

    (from page 20)

    *** LFE+MAIN ***

    When "LFE+MAIN" playback mode is selected, the low frequency signal range of channels set to "LARGE" are produced simultaneously from those channels and the subwoofer channel.

    In this playback mode, the low frequency range expand more uniformly through the room, but depending on the size and shape of the room, interference may result ni a decrease of actual volume of the low frequency range.

    *** LFE ***

    Selection of "LFE" play mode will play the low frequency signal range of the channel selected with "LARGE" from the channel only. Therefore, the low frequency signal range that are played from the subwoofer channel are only the low frequency signal range of LFE (only during Dolby DIgital or DTS signal playback) and the channel specified as "SMALL" in the setup menu.

    So, setting front speakers to "LARGE" and letting them output low frequency could potentially cancel out the same signal created from the subwoofer. Since th sound is basically a wave is just like two waves hitting each other and cancelling out. What I would do is listen to a section of a movie/music with subwoofer "On" and all speakers set to "SMALL". Then listen to the same sample with front speakers set to "LARGE" and Subwoofer Mode set to both "LFE+MAIN" and "LFE" and see what sounds best for you.

    Hopefuly this helps.
     
  10. Jeff_Rice

    Jeff_Rice Agent

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    Again, thanks everybody with your input and I will let you guys know the difference in my setup.

    Jeff Rice
     
  11. RyanDinan

    RyanDinan Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff,
    The correct way to calibrate your speakers is to raise the volume knob on the receiver until your left front (or right) speaker reads 75dB for VE, or 85dB for AVIA. Depending on the efficiency of your speakers, room size, and other factors, 00 on the volume knob may or may not allow you to achieve that goal - But in my experience with the 3802, 00 got my JBL HLS's to 75dB without even messing with the individual level adjustments on the receiver - and they're not that effiecient of speakers (89 dB). 00 is just a nice easy number to remember as "reference level". Ref level for you could be -5 or whatever. If need be, use the level adjustment controls through the receiver's setup menu to get it there....
    Once you have the left and right speakers at 75 (or 85dB) and your volume at 00, continue to use the level adjustments to get every other speaker to 75 - Don't touch the volume knob.
    If all goes well, every speaker should be 75dB when the receiver's volume knob is at 00.
    Frankly, that's just way too high for my environment - or my tastes.. I normally have my volume at around -20 to -15.
    I also tend to calibrate my center channel to 80 or 85dB (with the rest at 75) because dialouge seems to be too quite on allot of soundtracks....If I turn it up to hear that, then explosions will totally knock the walls down [​IMG]
    Good luck!
    -Ryan Dinan
     
  12. Tor Arne

    Tor Arne Stunt Coordinator

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    Neighbours in

    Music: 30-40

    Movies: 25-40

    Neighbours out

    Music: 20-30

    Movies: 15-25

    Any more than 15 and it's too loud for me. I haven't calibrated my speakers with a SPL. The rear speakers are set to -3db by listening.

    Fronts: B&W CDM7-NT

    Rears: Mission M72

    Receiver: Denon AVR-3801

    Room size: 14'x 18'
     
  13. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    I think volume levels are very relative and depends on the settings etc. and also speaker sensitivity. Among other things your individual channel levels will also affect yuor overall volume level.

    For exapmple, if your individual channel settings are all set at the max which is 10 or 12 dbs I believe, then your Volume level will be affected by it too. So a volume level of 10db where individual channels are set at 10dbs will be louder than if individual channel settings are set at let's say 0dbs. Hope that made sense if any.
     
  14. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    That's great...I love the "Neighbours in, Neighbours out" settings! Living in a townhome, I too take a look outside to see if the neighbor's cars are in the driveway before firing up a DVD on my 3802.
     
  15. MarkPayton

    MarkPayton Stunt Coordinator

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    I have calibrated my system using AVIA and generally watch movies at -20 or -15. But my wife and I watch movies at night when the kids are sleeping, so we generally don't go anywhere near reference level. Plus, our HT room is relatively small (12x15x8) so it is easy to get high SPL's with moderate settings on the amp. I had been using the Denon to power all 5 speakers, but with the arrival of my SVS yesterday (yippee!) I will now be driving the sub and center with the Samson. After calibration, this may induce us to watch movies at an even LOWER volume setting on the Denon...

    I have NEVER played anything on the Denon at 00 yet, and I do occasionally like to crank it up when I'm alone in the house. But with 5 efficient speakers (Klipsch), a small room, and (now) ample woofage, there simply has been no need to go above -10 or the odd run up to -5.

    As has been said before, it is all very subjective and YMMV based on room size, acoustics, neighbors and your own preferences for how loud you like your music.
     
  16. AaronNWilson

    AaronNWilson Second Unit

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    Well my room is 30 L x 15 W x 10 H and I calibrated my speakers to 75 dB and the sub to 85 dB using the THX test tones on fightclub.

    I usually listen at - 10 on most movies and for some movies I listen at 00 depending on the dynamic range of that movie.

    For late night viewing I put dynamic range compensation on high and turn the bass level down to -10 dB, so as not to waken ppl sleeping upstairs.

    Aaron

    Denon 3801

    Klipsch RF3s

    Paradigm Servo 15
     

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