Why doesn't the DVD-2900 downmix LFE?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Rob Gillespie, Jun 6, 2004.

  1. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    The audio setup menu allows you to stipulate whether a subwoofer is used or not and has large/small settings for the other speakers. It would stand to reason that if the sub was set to NO, then the LFE signal would be fed through to the main speakers - just like any other 5.1 processor would do.

    However with this configuration, the LFE signal is gone completely. I'm getting none of the LFE signal coming through the analogue outputs at all.

    I had to sell my sub a few months ago as I now live in a flat. What this basically means is that I cannot use the analogue audio connects from the DVD-2900, relying instead on the digital connection to my Denon AVC-A1 amp. The AVC-A1 is quite happy to downmix LFE but obviously the 2900's analogue audio sounds better.

    Anyone managed to get this working or is it just another addition to my list of 2900 disappointments?
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    When you told it you had no sub, did it or you set the mains to large? If not, that LFE has nowhere to go. Most processors will do this automatically, while the 2900 may not, and may have to be told to do this.
     
  3. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    While I do NOT have this player, I can tell you that many universal players do not downmix the .1 channel when set to no sub. This is a major shortcoming for those w/o a sub, obviously.

    John is correct that the mains MUST be set to large for this to work, but in general most universal players get various BM configurations wrong.

    While perhaps not what you want to hear after spending $1K (or whatever that is in pounds) on a player, you can fix the problem (and any other BM quirks the player may have) with an Outlaw ICBM.

    BGL
     
  4. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    All speakers are set to large. The 2900 is simply dropping the LFE altogether. Great.

    A part of the problem is that the Denon amp will not downmix the analogue signal from from the 6-rcs inputs. It'll do it quite happily on a digital connection but not on the EXT-IN.

    Not really too keen on the idea of paying another $250+shipping + taxes + import duty + voltage converter for the Outlaw.

    The thing is I read a pile of reviews on the 2900 before I bought it and I don't recall any of them mentioning the LFE downmix issue.

    So far then, I've paid £700 a player that:
    • Has more mechanical noise than the £100 Pioneer I bought for my girlfriend last Christmas
    • Has RGB output that looks worse than S-Video (which I admit, looks terrific)
    • Doesn't downmix LFE so it means I can't listen to it's superior audio facilities
     
  5. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    well, i just checked my 2200, and as far as i could tell, you are correct. (avia's lfe calibration tracks can be misleading, btw; i used the lfe sweep track.)

    sorry [​IMG]
     
  6. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Sucks.

    Saying that, I think I'm getting the point of not caring. I can't crank the system like I used to and going on a quick run-through of Fellowship Of The Ring this afternoon there's still plenty of bass without the LFE channel. I'm not getting the dump thumps etc but perhaps that's more neighbour-friendly anyway. If I really start missing those rumbles I guess I can always go back to the digital input and let the amp do the downmix. My Kefs will go pretty deep but they're no match for a sub.

    I'm not spending any more on DVD players or amps. Next purchase will be Pioneer's new cordless 5.1 headphones. They come with their own infra-red transmitter which takes a digital input and provides it's own ProLogic, Dolby and DTS 5.1, ProLogic II via the Dolby Headphone system. By all accounts they perform very well indeed. If they work as well as they're supposed to, I can see my critical film-watching being done with those.
     
  7. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    yeah, i was surprised to find this "bug", actually. perhaps someone will come along and show that this is not the case or that there is some "work-around". i checked pretty thoroughly, though, as i didn't believe it, initially.

    since you say your amp will downmix it, i'd use the digi connection, for now.
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    You must calibrate your display for it to look it's best. I had the same problem with my 2200, a brief calibration made it look spectacular, and the video section is basically identical to the 2900.

    The 2900 also does not have the +10dB offset for the LFE channel for hires that the 2200 does, so maybe that is part of the problem? You get NO sound at all or it is so reduced that you cannot hear it unless you turn it up? For movies, I would use the digital connection and for DVD-A, SACD, use analogue, which is how I use my 2200.
     
  9. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    i checked this because i was skeptical, but my 2200 also completely drops the lfe channel when all the speakers are set to LARGE and NO sub. i tried setting the "filter" setting to OFF, but this defaults the sub back to ON, actually.

    but don't some of these hirez recordings have a "true" LFE channel, as well?
     
  10. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    John, if you're in the US then are you referring to the Component video output rather than the RGB via SCART? The latter is present on European versions (SCART is an EU standard) but not on the US models as you lot don't have SCART inputs on your TVs.

    The LFE offset issue is one I got around when I first got the player. You have to compensate by raising the LFE level to max and lowering the other channels. It does work but this downmix issue is something different.
     
  11. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    it sucks if you (we) are correct. i'm surprised that i've never seen this issue before, though.

    what it means is that if you have the "ideal" setup, 5 LARGE speakers with unlimited bottom-end and absolutely no need for a sub, you're screwed if you want to decode with either of these players.
     
  12. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Yup. Thanks Denon!
     
  13. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    weird that i couldn't find much discussion at all about this problem except around these posts by "DollarBill", in these threads:

    http://ubb.outlawaudio.com/ubb/Forum.../000816-2.html

    http://ubb.outlawaudio.com/ubb/Forum15/HTML/001041.html

    you should email denon. i'd be interested to hear their explanation. because it's my understanding that some hirez discs, either sacd and/or dvd-a, DO have a "true" lfe track, which would be totally lost in a NO sub, hirez setup.

    apparently, this is a problem for several manufacturers' players. IMO, it's a huge flaw.
     
  14. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    Same with my 2200, which was my first non Pioneer player.
     
  15. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    o yes. and the 2200s even louder, if you can imagine. i recently burned copies several of my cds that either rumbled so much in my 2200 or wouldn't even track, just to be able to continue enjoying them. and i'm sure i'll discover more that the player has problems with, too. none of my other players or my computer drives have any problem or rumble whatsoever with these discs.
     
  16. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Yes. I hadn't noticed it as an issue though, since I am only using the 2200 for DVD-A in stereo. I already have a separate SACD player for m/c.

    I have had zero problems with my 2200, and only a few minor gripes with features.
     
  17. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    if there are dvd-a with "true" LFE channels (i'm still not certain there are), then i hope it's rerouting the LFE properly for you in your 2-channel configuration. i'd be real curious to see if it was rerouting LFE properly, if you are running it with your speakers set to 2-channel mode, LARGE, and NO sub.
     
  18. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Yes, 2ch, large, no sub for hirez. There is plenty of bass, and I can compare SACDs between it and my 222ES to see if the bass sounds the same.
     
  19. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    you really need a pure LFE track to test this.

    i know AVIA's LFE channel, low-frequency sweep is pure LFE (note that the calibration tones are NOT!).

    i'm so curious about this now i'm going to test it myself.
     
  20. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]

    well, i'm sorry, but it doesn't redirect LFE properly in the 2 channel configuration, either, john. what bs!

    do you have AVIA? playback the "low-frequency sweep, LFE" through your 2200's supposedly properly downmixed analog, 2 channel connection. what do you hear?

    i also discovered that there's not even a way to add a sub channel when you set it up in 2-channel mode, either. i would have thought that the "bass enhancement (2 channel)" setting would still work, especially in this instance, but when i switched the player to 2-channel mode, access to that setting was completely blocked! so, apparently, it's only function is to create a sub channel when you have LARGE fronts and a sub in a multichannel setup, because with all my speakers set to SMALL, the "bass enhancement" setting isn't necessary to get a sub channel from 2 channel sources.
     

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