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134 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 59381 4-Apr-2010 14:11
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So, I finally picked up my first home theatre setup.

Essentially, this is my first delve into a Decent sound system. I didn't want to spend too much - so this is what I've ended up with;

Reciever: Onkyo TX-SR607
Front Speakers: Jensen XR-400
Center: Jensen XR-300
Sub: B&W AS1

Most of the components were at a good price - and I'm quite happy with the sound so far. When I can afford it, i'll be looking at putting some nice speakers up front and moving the Jensen's out back maybe.

In any case - my actual questions;

1/
I can set different source formats on my equipment, for example - PCM from the PS3, PCM or Dolby from Sky HDI, DIgital or Analog from the HTPC (XBMC) etc.

What should I be selecting? And can someone explain to me what's what etc so I know for the future? :)

2/
Given the amp and speaker setup above, what's the best setting to use? There's so many - and I'm not sure what's best to use.

Thanks!!!

--
Craig.

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  Reply # 314808 4-Apr-2010 21:30
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The EQ in any consumer gear is a toy, so best to leave it just flat since its hopeless for correcting anything.

If you think your speakers are a bit bright then you can knock back the high a little. Other than that they will mess up the sound much more than you can use them to help get rid of any room resonances etc.




Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 314862 5-Apr-2010 09:04
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Hello.

1). re: PCM, DD, Analog, etc. It depends on which device does the best job in converting the signal (DD, DD+, DTS, etc -> PCM, or CD -> analogue). Some expensive Blu-Ray players might decode the HD audio formats better than some receivers and you could send it to the amp in 7.1 analog. Some expensive CD players have really good DACs so might sound better with the CD player doing the conversion and using analogue to connect to your amp.

But the Onkyo is a good receiver, so (me personally) I would connect digitally where possible (HDMI being the preference, with DVD, CD and STBs optical/coax is fine), bitstream and let the receiver decode - unless I had some audiophile component that does a better job. I like seeing what is being decoded showing on the display of the receiver. The except being the PS-3, correct me if I am wrong (or out of date), but I am not sure if the PS-3 will bitstream HD audio formats over HDMI, so might need to be set to PCM.

2). When feeding a DTS or DD signal to my older Onkyo receiver (it has no HDMI), I leave it set to DTS and DD, rather than the other modes. With CDs I prefer "stereo", some might prefer "direct". I rarely use the other modes, except DPL-II Music (for C4) and Neo6 Cinema or DPL-II Movie for TV.

I recommend trying the Audyssey 2EQ setup feature. You might like the result.

Just my $0.02. I hope that this helps.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 314908 5-Apr-2010 11:00
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That was super helpful - thanks.

All of my equipment is HDMI connected, so no problems there.

So - correct me if I'm wrong, but Bitstream means it's sending the signal in an uncompressed AND not decoded format, where'as PCM is already decoded and compressed?

Also - I think the newer PS3 Slim allows you to bitstream HD audio formats.

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  Reply # 314922 5-Apr-2010 12:01
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Cadriel: That was super helpful - thanks.

All of my equipment is HDMI connected, so no problems there.

So - correct me if I'm wrong, but Bitstream means it's sending the signal in an uncompressed AND not decoded format, where'as PCM is already decoded and compressed?

Also - I think the newer PS3 Slim allows you to bitstream HD audio formats.


No problem. Bitstream means to send the audio in it's original compressed format on the disc i.e. send the original DD, DTS-MA, etc through to the receiver to decode. Even though the original is compressed, some formats have lossless compression. The original compressed audio can be decoded by the Blu-Ray player into uncompressed PCM, etc, if you choose this option, and only if the player can decode these. This option is good for receivers that don't decode the latest formats, but still support HDMI audio input.

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  Reply # 315069 5-Apr-2010 19:18
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PCM also means the player can mix in the stereo track of the commentry which was something I have read about but never seen implimented.

Also some recivers are limited in what they can offer processingwise when you give them PCM as far as bass management and per channel EQ




Richard rich.ms



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  Reply # 315093 5-Apr-2010 20:19
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Awesome, thanks all.

I now have a much better idea on how to set things up. ;)

The Onkyo has a great feature whereby I can select the preferring listening method based on input AND source format. So I've been going through them all and defining the default's based on what I'll be doing from each source. Since some source's have multiple purposes (HTPC for movies, tv and music) this feature is quite awesome.

Most of the time I'm setting thing's to what they should be, I.e., Dobly = Dolby, Direct for music, Dolby PLIIx Movie for movies etc.

Sometimes a movies audio source matches against a music source for example, so there's still some manual switching but it's pretty close. :)

Loving the new sounds.

--
Craig.

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