How to Properly Setup Your AVR - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 28 Old 01-01-12, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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How to Properly Setup Your AVR

AVR Setup

First off, this will be an evolving thread that is not complete and that will be updated. Additionally, there are some basic terminologies that everyone should know. For consistency I have used definitions already that are already on the site from other Official Articles or from the HTS ‘Glossary’.

Source:
The source for your AVR can be your Blu-ray player, a game console (PS3, Xbox), an Over The Air (OTA) antenna, and cable/satellite box. The key to this is that you want your source to be able to match the highest possible resolution of your AVR. If your AVR is capable of outputting HD content, it would be worthwhile to invest in technologies capable of producing HD content such as a Blu-ray player, an HD cable/satellite box an HTPC or any host of gaming and streaming devices.

Input:
‘Input’ is the connection that ‘Receives’ a signal from the above-mentioned ‘Source’.

Output:
Output is the connection that ‘Sends’ the signal to a display, projector or an external amplifier.

Connections:
If available, HDMI is the preferred medium between all of your interconnected devices.

Connecting your other devices can be tricky depending on what you are looking to accomplish. For instance, in our living room we have a 5.2 surround setup with a Denon receiver however; my bride like to watch TV without the surround on so I needed to set up the Dish receiver to support component and HDMI to the receiver.

Some older components don’t have HDMI so you will be restricted to using what ever the highest resolution connection available is. Additionally, if your receiver isn’t capable of upscaling the video, you will have to run the same connection to your display. For instance, if you have a VCR and it only has composite for the video out and your receiver does not upscale SD connections, then you will need to run a composite cable to your TV and watch on that input.



HDMI:


Component Video - RGB, (Red, Green, Blue):


Composite:


Analog Audio (RCA):


Digital Coax:


Toslink/Optical:


Coaxial:




Speaker Placement:
Speaker placement can often make all the difference between good sound and great sound. There are many things to take into consideration when placing your speakers in your room however, a good rule of thumb that I tell people is to think of your room as a clock and your video display sits at 12:00. With that in mind, your speakers should layout as follows:



5 Channels
Left Front – 11:00
Center – 12:00
Right Front – 1:00
Right Surround – 3:00
Left Surround – 9:00




7 Channels (Add Red)
Left Front – 11:00
Center – 12:00
Right Front – 1:00
Right Surround – 3:00
Right Rear – 5:00
Leaft Rear – 7:00
Left Surround – 9:00






THX Speaker Placement – From THX Website:

Quote:
5 Channels

A 5.1 system setup uses 2 surround speakers. Placed between 90° to 110° to each side and 2 feet or higher above the listener, the left and right surround speakers are what recreate the enveloping sound and intense special effects that you experience at the cinema.
http://extranet.thx.com/home/setup/speakers/51.html

7 Channels

A 7.1 system setup uses 4 surround speakers. To get the most out of your 7.1 set-up, the SBL and SBR should be the direct firing type, placed together on the back wall. This allows the THX Advanced Speaker Array, or ASA technology to deliver its maximum effect.
http://extranet.thx.com/home/setup/speakers/71.html


Calibration:

Most AVR manufacturers these days have some sort of auto calibration tools and ship with a setup microphone. The purpose of this is to take measurements from one or more listening positions in the room so that the system can calculate the results and establish an overall baseline/best listening experience. These results can vary and some systems offer an advanced mode to help the consumer refine the sound even further.

While opinions vary as to which calibration tool is ‘the best’, everyone agrees that a system must be calibrated to ensure the best performance.


Speaker Settings:
Once a calibration has been performed, there are some setting changes that should be done that will help the system respond more accurately. The screen shots I am using in this section are from the Audyssey menu and sub-menus within a Denon 1912 that I am currently reviewing. The screens will vary by manufacturer.




Speaker Size:
‘Speaker Size’ denotes the frequencies your speakers can handle. For instance, a speaker setting of ‘Large’ means that your speakers can reproduce lower frequencies usually between 40 and 50 Hz depending on the AVR manufacturer. However; for best performance it is recommended that you change them to ‘Small’ or to ’80 Hz’ on the crossover frequency depending on how your AVR labels the setting. The reason you want to change this setting is to increase the efficiency/headroom of your AVR’s amplifiers because the AVR then won’t be required to produce the sub 80Hz frequencies.

As I mentioned, these are very manufacturer dependent. For instance, my Onkyo TX-NR3007 doesn't go by 'Speaker Size' but instead accomplishes the task by having you change the 'Crossover Frequency'. The Denon on the other hand has two places to change the setting in order to get the desired results. The 'Speaker Size' and the 'Crossover Frequency'. It may sound confusing but the desired result is to have EVERYTHING below 80Hz go to the sub.

This is not however a two way street. If your system runs through the calibration and discovers your speakers to only be able to handle say 100Hz or sets them to small, then you may want to set the crossover to 120Hz. A friend of mine had a set of older BOSE speakers and his Denon set the crossover to 240Hz so there and since his sub would not go above 150Hz there was an entire 90Hz spectrum that he was missing.


Crossover Frequency
A speaker's crossover frequency dictates at which point the AVR will send a signal to the subwoofer vs sending it to the speaker. Again, these settings are manufacturer dependent and may have to be set in more than one location.



Level Calibration
If you are going to change this setting, it is highly recommended that you procure a sound meter. The purpose of changing is to make sure the levels of all the channels are equal at the listening position. For instance, if you notice your right front speaker sounds much louder than the left or center speaker, you can go through this menu with a sound meter in the listening position and set the volume for each channel to the same level, i.e. 70db, 75db, etc. Many people will state that it "has to" be set to 75db but the truth is that they all just need to be set to the same level.



Regards,
Dale Rasco



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Last edited by Dale Rasco; 01-03-12 at 10:26 AM.
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post #2 of 28 Old 01-02-12, 05:27 PM
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Re: How to Properly Setup Your AVR

Newbie here with a newbie question.

Why does Audyssey set the crossover to 40hz on floor standing 3-way mains if 80hz is desired (and seems to be pretty standard/common knowledge)?

Can I force Audyssey to leave the crossover point at 80hz? I assume this will effect the rest of the calibration, too.

Thanks all!
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post #3 of 28 Old 01-02-12, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How to Properly Setup Your AVR

You can set it to 80Hz and the general consensus is that you should however, keep in mind that this is to improve efficiency of the AVR. That being said, plenty of people prefer the setting on Large/40Hz. Audyssey is designed to capture the frequencies the speaker can produce, not make a decision that is subjective in nature.

Anyone else that has an opinion about this please jump in.

Thanks for the question and I Hope this helps.

Regards,
Dale Rasco



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post #4 of 28 Old 01-03-12, 10:13 AM
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Re: How to Properly Setup Your AVR

You may want to include "Optical" in your list of connections.

W o o f e r h o u n d
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post #5 of 28 Old 01-03-12, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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Re: How to Properly Setup Your AVR

Thanks Wooferhound, I should have recognized that most people don't recognize that Toslink is the industry name for Optical. I'll make the edit and thanks again for pointing it out, much appreciated.

Regards,
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post #6 of 28 Old 01-03-12, 11:37 AM
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Re: How to Properly Setup Your AVR

After setting up my new Onkyo and running the setup, I notice that all speakers level are in the minus.
front are at -9DB, center -4DB and surround at -1DB, it looks like it is is adjusting the level of each speaker so 0DB correspond to refernce level for THX, am I right in assuming that, because if it was only leveling speaker so they are at the same intensity, then the front would be at -8DB and the surround would be at 0DB
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post #7 of 28 Old 01-03-12, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How to Properly Setup Your AVR

It gets a bit complicated, but here is a link to an article I find helpful on the subject. It doesn't have anything to do with THX but it does have to do with keeping harmonic distortion at or below 1%. If anyone has an easy explanation please don't hesitate to jump in as it would be most appreciated.

http://www.axiomaudio.com/understandingdb.html

Regards,
Dale Rasco



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post #8 of 28 Old 01-03-12, 12:43 PM
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Re: How to Properly Setup Your AVR

It is interesting that THX still has the surround back side by side on the diagram. This is incorrect for proper setup with the new uncompressed formats. They should be a minimum of 4' apart.

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

Living room system:
Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900

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post #9 of 28 Old 02-29-12, 05:53 AM
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Re: How to Properly Setup Your AVR

I just got a new Onkyo 809 and was wondering, On my Marantz I had a audio choice called "auto" which would just choose what the source was sending automatically but I see no such choice in my Onkyo. Is there such a choice and I am just missing it or do I need to choose something else with the 809? Thanks, TC.
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post #10 of 28 Old 02-29-12, 08:43 AM
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Re: How to Properly Setup Your AVR

In the user menu there is a setting that you can tell it what to default to when it get DTS MA, TruHD and other feeds. I cant remember what sub menu its under but if memory serves its in the input settings.

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

Living room system:
Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900

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