WOW! 6.1, DTS-ES, PL2. I’ve been ASLEEP 10 years and need advice! Part 1

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Frank Chang, Nov 24, 2001.

  1. Frank Chang

    Frank Chang Agent

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    WOW! 6.1, DTS-ES, PL2. I’ve been ASLEEP 10 years and need advice! Part 1 (This is my first post and I know it is toooo long!)

    I feel like Rip Van Winkle, asleep for the past 10 years!

    Need to replace AV receiver in family room (not used for serious listening) and thought I would do some homework on the web before going to the local superstore. The Denon 3802 looks like it would replace the switching and amp needs for my system, old 7 speaker setup (2 main, 2 side, 2 rear, & center). The side and rear surrounds are small Cantons GL260's custom built in and wired about 15 years ago when rear channel surrounds were mostly for ambient sounds and not discreet information. Front mains are pretty decent Essence speakers which are not very efficient, eat up power, and sound great for music. Replacing a dead 10 yr. old Yamaha DSP-A1000 AVR (7 channel 80W main & center 25W side & rear). Canton side speakers are 4 ohm full range but rated for only 70 watts. Will I fry my surround speakers with 110 W (more into 4 ohms) of power with the Denon 3802? Can I adjust the output to the surround speakers during the setup of the AVR. This is overkill for these little speakers but, I like the features and switching of the 3802, 7 speakers, 2 VCR’s, DVD, Satellite TV, and a feed from my serious HT all with “S” video connections.

    I would also like to record some of my old analog records not available on CD to minidisc, I have an available turntable and minidisc recorder. I assume I have to use the analog RCA inputs into the minidisc (Sony JA20ES) instead of the optical from the AVR since the source material is analog, but would be able to still use the optical in for copying CD’s from the DVD if I use an optical cable to connect the DVD to the AVR. I would prefer to use only optical in into the minidisc if that is possible. Do all the digital connections need to be the same? Can you mix and match optical and coax Ins and Outs between the AVR and other digital hardware?

    I will also control outside patio speakers with second room out into an old Hafler amp. Is the volume controllable on the second room out circuit into a component amp from the AVR, or the remote preferably?

    The Denon 3802 was one of the few AVR’s with 5 video inputs in the back, 2 outs for both VCR's, amps for 7 speakers, and second room pre-out at a cost effective price. Are there opinions for other AVR’s to suite my needs? Where is the best internet price for the Denon unit, I guess an authorized dealer would be preferable.

    Sorry for the long post and multiple questions but I’ve been asleep for a long time! Thanks in advance for all you experienced HT experts who have keep up with the advancing technology, and please see "part 2" for questions regarding my serious HT.

    Rip Van Winkle
     
  2. Scott Page

    Scott Page Stunt Coordinator

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    Edit your post and fix the font to a NORMAL size and maybe someone will bother to read it and respond. It is really to obnoxious in its present form to bother reading.[​IMG]
     
  3. Haris Ellahi

    Haris Ellahi Second Unit

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    I agree, fix that font size please. [​IMG]
     
  4. Frank Chang

    Frank Chang Agent

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    Sorry, the font size was not on purpose. I'm trying but can't figure out how to edit my first post. I went into edit but how do you use a regular font. Can someone help me please? This one will probably be the same until I can figure out what I did! How do you change the prefenences to use a normal font?
     
  5. Robert McClanahan

    Robert McClanahan Stunt Coordinator

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    Lighten up a little everybody.We have a new person to the forum and he needs help.If I were you I would buy a good 5.1 receiver since there is hardly any 6.1 material out there.Though most will incorporate 6.1 and DPL2 decoding in the future.If you can wait a few more months you will see prices drop to make room for newer models from Yamaha,Marantz,and others.Have fun and do lots of research before you buy.
     
  6. Scott Page

    Scott Page Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes there isn't much 6.1 material out there but more will likely come. To save some bucks you might be able to find a Denon AVR-3801 which is pretty much the same as the 3802 except for Prologic II; but it has its own slightly inferior version of PLII. The 3801 is what I have and it is great.

    More power should be fine for your speakers as long as you don't push them to hard. Yes, you can turn down the output to the surrounds or any other channel individually. However, that would result in incorrect level balancing. You need to use the internal tones or get a disk like AVIA or Video Essentials to calibrate your sound to correct levels. If your speakers can't play at reference levels, then don't listen at reference levels until you can upgrade the speakers. However, most people watch/listen at 5 to 10 dB's under reference anyway and your speakers will likely be fine at those more reasonable levels.

    Note that "reference" really depends upon what source you use to calibrate to "reference" as not all are equal. AVIA does not match the Denon internal tones nor the THX Optimode tests. In my setup, I have found the the Denon tones result in approx 2 dB's louder than Optimode and 7 dB's quieter than AVIA. So if you use AVIA to calibrate you will be playing at levels nearly twice as loud verses the Denon tones. You will most likely burn up your tweaters playing at AVIA-set levels especially on DTS recordings which are often louder.
     
  7. Scott Page

    Scott Page Stunt Coordinator

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    Also,

    I did not buy at an authorized dealer because the price difference was about $300. But I DID buy a separate warrantee through the internet dealer in the hopes that it would cover my a$$ in case Denon refused to work on it.

    One Call or Crazy Eddie usually has good prices on these.
     
  8. Scott Page

    Scott Page Stunt Coordinator

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    You can mix connection types; optical vs coax. I don't think it matters that your source is analog; I think the Denon can covert these to digital (correct me if I'm wrong) for Digital output on optical or coax.

    You mentioned recording off of DVD. Fat chance. DVD's are encripted (although the encription was recently broken by some Swedish teenager). Encription of CD's is likely coming soon (some titles all ready have it I understand).
     
  9. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    Get the 3802. I don't think you'll be sorry. It'll also work as a decent temporary pre-amp later on if you decide to move to separate components.

    Dan
     
  10. Frank Chang

    Frank Chang Agent

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    Recording DVD's. I was mostly thinking of recording music to minidisc. Will the copy protect prevent copying music?

    What if the copy to the minidisc was done in analog with RCA audio cables instead of the digital optical route?

    I had not really thought about copying DVD movies. Does the copy protect prevent you from copying in analog mode to a tape? Interestingly I have been able to copy VHS tape to my old Beta equipment, and copying laser disc movies has never been a problem in any format. I assumed that there would be a third party, not particularly legal product, to overcome the DVD copy protect issue as there is for VHS, but I've been out of touch with the new technology for almost 10 years. I imagine there are countless threads on this topic somewhere!
     
  11. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Frank,

    We're looking fwd to your VIDEO Part II. The newer 3802 amp will suit you fine; I imagine you will emphsize utility over cost.

    One can spend a lotta time, like months, reading these boards/threads, but this is the best one for reasoned responses and patience with those just plodding, whoever that may be.

    It looks like you put together a killer system for its day and that you're not adverse to tech. Perhaps your ensuing professional career sidelined the Dread Upgraditis with corresponding family/kids situations. Pardon us if we soundoff with stuff already obvious or known to you.

    Anyway, you say the surrounds/rears are 4 ohm; but are the mains/center 8 ohm? If your amp is set to 8 ohm, then you are starving the rears. Today, state-of-the-art calls for matching all five spkrs in a manufacturer's dedicated series to achieve tonal "timbre," that is, the sounds moving from spkr to spkr are as seamless as possible.

    As you reconfigure your system, only use composite RCA connections where you are forced, such as VCR. Use 3-wire component first choice for DVD progressive to receiver and or into your video display; S-Video is the 2nd best hookup. But we're getting ahead here...

    You can spend as much time online/reading up/searching or perhaps just consider a new(er) turnkey system. What's your pleasure?

    bill
     
  12. Scott Page

    Scott Page Stunt Coordinator

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    You can't copy sound off of the DVD format period, as far as I know. But I must admit that I have never tried. Maybe that's just digital sound. I does seem that if you used an analog output from a DVD player into the analog inputs on a recorder, it should work. I think the encription is just in the digital domain.
     
  13. Frank Chang

    Frank Chang Agent

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    Bill,

    Thanks for your response. I'm glad I've been out of touch. If I had know about this forum for the past 10 years I might not have a wife and family.

    I've been guilty of upgraditis in the past. Fortunately there was only stereo at that time and you can only spend so much time listening to interconnects and speaker wires.

    Part 2 is posted last Fri. posing some of my questions in my basement HT Lexicon CP3, Snell THX, Essence Amps, Barco Data grade projector. I guess it was too long cause only suggestion was to check out Outlaw 950. As far as I can tell there is nothing to check out cause they announced the product before it is available.

    The family room sysyem I was forced to upgrade cause the receiver belly-upped. The front speakers are pretty decent but 15 year old Essence stereo (left over from previous stereo upgraditis) speakers 8 ohm. The center is an no name generic 8 ohm center designed for a center speaker. This one I may need to replace with the better amp I may not be able to listen to it very long, and it is a poor match for the Essence fronts. The 4 ohm rear and sides are small Cantons cutom built in and I'm sure my wife won't let me change those easily. How bad will they sound? I guess I'll just listen once the 3802 arrives, but it should be quantum leaps better than what we have been using. This system is in the family room and mainly used for watching TV. Serious movies are in the basement, all speakers matched. Serious listening is in a dedicated audio room Essence speakers, electronics, and wires.

    Every piece in the family room system is wired S-video and composite. I ran the composites for a backup incase the S loop failed and my old receiver used the composite circuit for on screen programing. The only piece I have currently with component is my DVD. My monitor is an old ~15 year old sony XBR 32" with obviously no component inputs. S was very new at that time. Is there any reason to use the component inputs until I replace the Sony with a newer monitor with component inputs and hi Definition resolution?

    Frank
     
  14. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    I looked at the earlier post, and understand you're ok with the basement theater and audio music listening room, but are on an upgrade path for the family room.
    I imagine you have a VCR here and w/the new Denon it wud be nice to have a DVD for the occasional movie and for teen agers. Panasonic DVD RV-31
     
  15. Frank Chang

    Frank Chang Agent

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    Re: S video, that's what I assumed, and I'll have the capability of component in's and out's when I upgrade my monitor. IMHO not enough programming yet to justify expense. I'll probably upgrade the projection system in my HT first. I believe my Barco projector has the bandwidth to handle a HDTV signal. I am getting upgraditis pretty bad the more time I spend here on the HTF.

    The sub-woofer is a great topic to bring up. After reading the pdf 3802 manual, and trying to understand the large vs small in setting up the speakers, a Sub makes a lot of sense, although the WAF may come into play, with 2 subs in the basement and two major subs in my tri-amped audio system. Maybe I can justify it by saying it will protect her built in surrounds, if I cross over at a higher frequency the small speakers are less likely to meltdown with the increased info they will receive with 5.1. Could there possibly be a consenses on this board regarding an inexpensive powered sub that is unobtrusive and fit in with my wife's, (I mean our) Victorian Oak antiques in the family room. The room has vaulted ceilings and is open to the kitchen and informal dining area, but the system is rarely played very loud, ie. we watch movies downstairs.

    I'm not really set in my basement system. After researching out the AVR scene, I realized how far behind I am in processing technology and switching capability with my Lexicon CP-3a processor. I initially thought I should consider using the pre/pro from a receiver to catch up but now thinking more about it a component pre/pro makes much more sense in that system. The Outlaw 950 sounds like a possibility, but there must be other options. I've owned two Lexicons but the latest Lexicon MC-2 is a little rich for my current budget. I'm not in a hurry so I'll wait to here from reviewers and HTF posts to see if the 950 really is a killer product. If there are other options in the meantime I'd be interested to look into or listen to them if they are available in my area.
     
  16. Frank Chang

    Frank Chang Agent

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    Bill

    Thanks a bunch for the hometheaterhifi link. Very informative for anyone else who like myself is trying to catch up on and understand the latest processing technology.

    Frank
     
  17. Matty B

    Matty B Stunt Coordinator

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    Frank-

    As a fellow denverite I highly advise heading over to Listen Up audio and kicking the tires. They are beauceau smart when it comes to home theater, and their selection runs the gamit from mid-fi all the way to true hi-fi. They are very low pressure and will shoot the shit with you as long as you have time. They are great guys.
     
  18. Frank Chang

    Frank Chang Agent

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    Matty,

    I know Listen Up very well. I have frequented them in the past but haven't been in there for over 10 years. When I built my home theater more than 10-12 years ago they were not quite up to speed in the HT arena. I'm sure they are by now, and I'm way behind in keeping up with the newest technology!

    Per your suggestion, I will give them another chance. I will try to get a better feel for the products available before I do any serious listening. Do you have a specific sales person that you would recommend? Thanks for the suggestion.

    Frank
     

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