1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Newbie on Home Theater - A few questions-

Discussion in 'Receivers and amplifiers' started by brad1102, Apr 3, 2004.

  1. brad1102

    brad1102 Guest

    Hey guys, I just made a few upgrades to my audio system and have a couple of questions.

    What I have is the following:

    Sony STR-DE595 (5 x 100W, DDII, DTS 5.1)
    Kenwood Rears & center channel (100W capacity)
    Vivid Tower front (500W capacity)
    Quest 500W subwoofer
    (sorry if my specs are vague)

    What the first question is -> in some movies the dialogue is drowned out by the other surround sources - what can be done about this? (I played with the crossover level on my sub, increased the amp treble and increased my center channel output so far, without success)

    Second question -> what is the quality difference between a coaxil audio out versus an optical audio out?

    Thanks in advance for the feedback.

    PS. I know by system is far from state of the art - no abuse please ;-)
     
  2. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2003
    Messages:
    6,011
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    116
    Hi Brad. First off, the Front Left/Right speakers you mention, im not aware of the make, but are they 500 watts RMS capable?? Seems awfully high.

    To answer you first question, it sounds like your centre channel (and looks like according to your specs) is a lot lower in wattage than the front left/right. When getting a home cinema set-up, it is always recommended that the Front Left/Right and the centre speakers, should be off the exact same output and should, if possible, be the same make of speakers in the same series (model range). This would eliminate the problem you are having. However, i believe that if you reduce the output to your Front Left/Right speakers and increase the output to your centre, you should be able to combat this.

    On the second question, it is an interesting one. Dolby and DTS both recommend not using Optical output for their formats. This is because when using an optical Tos-Link, the Receiver has to convert the Analogue signals into a light signal, and the light signals to digital 0's / 1's to be sent along the line. This can lead to errors and poorer sound. Both formats recommend keeping the signal in the Analogue format by using the Coaxial option instead.

    Personally, I use Tos-Link optical for my DAB to tuner, but always use high quality Coaxial Cable for my DVD palyer to Receiver...
     
  3. jeff-o

    jeff-o Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Optical and digital coax both have their upsides and downsides. Both mediums transfer the audio using the same digital signals, sent directly from the audio decoder in the DVD player (or other device).

    The first difference between the two is that the optical cable first converts the electrical digital signal to light for transmission. It is then converted back to electrical signals for processing in the receiver. Digital coax bypasses the light-conversion step, thus leading some to claim that it's better because you don't lose information in the electric-light-electric conversion.

    The second thing to consider is losses in the cables. An optical cable is immune to all electrical interference, like power cords and grounding issues. Losses like these could result in a reduced transfer rate in digital coax cable, although I don't think it's really that common.

    In practice, I haven't noticed any difference between the two formats. It's easy enough for me to hook up a coax and an optical cable at the same time and flip between the two, and I can't really tell the difference. I'd bet that a lot of it also depends on the equipment you're using.

    So which one should you use? First determine what inputs and outputs you have. if you have one digital coax and one optical, and your satellite only has coax, the choice is obvious. The second decision you have to make is how much the cables cost. I've found that digital coax is usually a few dollars less.
     
  4. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2003
    Messages:
    6,011
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    116
    Dolby Digital dont recommend using Optical cables for their sound formats...
     
  5. sdifox

    sdifox Regular member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    Brad, here is my take

    Q1: Have you calibrated your SPL levels? Ideally, you will calibrate all your speakers to output 75db when fed a pink noise signal. Your receiver should have calibration tone built in. You need to get (buy, borrow or steal) a SPL metre. Radio Shack makes a cheap one. The goal is to make all the speakers output at the same level.
    Because your centre is different (as in not from the same manufacture/series) than the mains, you have a bit of timbre problem. The degree of the problem depends on how different the centre is compared to the mains. Try to leave the treble/mid/bass settings at 0 because they tend to affect the sound too much.
    What is your dvd player? Some (like Panasonic) have dialogue enhancer which may help your case.


    Q2: There shouldn't be any noticeable difference between the 2 interconnects. Toslink is free from electrical interference but the connector/socket are flimsy, more expensive and its theoretical bandwidth is lower compared to coax. Coax boasts cheaper cable (any well shielded 75ohm will do), easier to get custom length cable and the connection is strong. Electrical interference is a possibility but in normal home conditions it can be ignored.
    I have both and I have to say I lean towards coax.

    P.S. when buying your coax digital link cable, you don't need to get one that is marked coax digital. Just get the VIDEO cable. It is likely cheaper but it meets the digital requirement (no, the crappy cables that came in the box of your receiver are not 75ohms coax)
     

Share This Page