dont know what happened to the answers
Answers please :(
Originally Posted by jacob.simpson
These questions pertain to SB360
Please sombody reply :(
Originally Posted by jacob.simpson
thoughts on lossless and surroundbar
I just got ahold of my surroundbar yesterday and paired it with a Marantz 5002 and a PSW10(for now, PSW1000 is on the way) and wondered if anyone else had had good luck with lossless audio from bluray sources. Not to say I've had bad luck but I have only just begun to tweak the surroundbar and receiver and was just looking for some other thoughts on setup. I run bluray through ps3 via HDMI, 14g wire to SB and have been going back and forth with line level and speaker level for the sub. I have a center channel from another system I once had that I was going to use when I finish moving my furniture to add some xtra to the rear. My biggest concern is what to do with the lossless signal since the SB has filters in it. Does this limit what you can do with DD HD or DTS HD? So far I've only had time to skip around through Pirates 3 and went back and forth with different settings. I know that every room is different as well as a persons preferance so it will take some time to adjust to my full liking, just wondered who else has run HD audio with the SB and what settings they liked. Thanks.
SurroundBar & PSW10 review
I purchased my 42" SurroundBar back in April 2007 in a package deal from Amazon.com that included the PSW10 subwoofer. After listening to it for 21 months I am forming some opinions about how well the SurroundBar fits with my system and how well satisfied I am with it. Many of the defects that I list below I believe are the fault of the receiver, not the SurroundBar. I include them to show where a system can go wrong and to solicit advice about where to make improvements in my system.
First, my system specs:
Yamaha RX-V496 AV receiver (purchased in 2000)
Sharp Aquos LC-37D62U LCD TV 1080p (2007)
Akai AP-206 Direct Drive turntable with Audio-Technica AT14Sa cartridge
MacBook Pro 2.16 GHz (2006) for iTunes (optical audio out to AVR for 5.1 channel audio)
OWC Neptune Pioneer 107 DVR for CDs and DVDs (Firewire connection to MBP)
Stereo pair of custom 3-way speakers built in 1983 by an audio enthusiast friend
Ears: 56 year old standard issue; tinnitus in left channel due to 25 years of unprotected power tool noise.
The TV and equipment had to go into a corner of my 13' x 19' living room, the right wall being only 2'-9" next to an 8' opening to the dining room. This made setting up a true 5.1 channel system somewhat impractical so I thought I would give the SurroundBar a try.
The SurroundBar is solidly built and the set up instructions were clear. The speaker wire connections are a little hard to get at with the SB on the table stand. The supplied 10 conductor ribbon cable is stiff and can be hard to maneuver through tight spaces. I cut off a 5' length and hoped I wouldn't need more than 20' in any future set up. In the first set up I passed the leads through the holes in the speaker posts and overtightened the nuts that secure them, thus severing the 18g wires. After cleaning out the little shreds of wire from around the posts and restripping the wires I just finger tightened them gently. Next time I wire them I will add banana plugs on the receiver end and spade terminals on the speaker end.
The SurroundBar sits on the TV stand 23" off the floor, angled slightly upward toward those 56 year old ears; the TV mounted just a half inch above on a swiveling post attachment. I would like to contrive an extra mount for the SB so that it can swivel with the TV and accommodate different viewing positions. Per Polk's recommendation I wired the PSW10 in parallel with the left & right front channels. In the AVR set up I set all the speakers to Large and Bass Out to Main (which sends all bass and LFE channel to the left and right front speaker output). There is also a pink noise test generator in the AVR which I used to balance the 5 channels for equal volume. I opened a Netflix account and sat back to enjoy some movies.
And I did enjoy them. This is my first big HD TV and it sure beat my old 27" Curtiss Mathes console (ca.1979 purchased at a yard sale in 1994). Big, beautiful picture with a big sound from the SurroundBar. I have some trouble understanding dialog in noisy scenes so I boosted the center channel +6db which helped. (Try doing that at Century 21!) The subwoofer put out satisfying thumps that I had never heard before on my old stereo VCR setup.
Still, I was aware that the soundstage was nowhere near the 180 degree width that other reviewers reported. Perhaps only 90 degrees, a couple of feet beyond either end of the SurroundBar. Over the past 18 months I studied these forums and reviews as well as the Yamaha manual and gradually educated myself about surround sound. Several suggestions were to boost the output of the surround channels anywhere from +4 to +12 db. I tried that and eventually settled on +6 db. I found a separate addendum in the SB paperwork, which I had overlooked, saying to set the surround delay to 15 milliseconds. And here is where it got really tricky.
The Yamaha AVR has 23 different digital sound field processor programs (DSP) for 2 channel stereo, 2 channel Dolby Digital, 5.1 channel Dolby Digital and 5.1 channel DTS. They have names like "DTS DIGITAL SUR/Normal", 70mm SCI-FI" or "DGTL ADVENTURE", along with some advertising bunkum describing them. There is even one called "CECIL B DEMILLE RELIGIOUS SPECTACLE". No kidding, check it out. Each of these DSP programs has its own surround delay setting as well as other programming intended to mimic various types of sound fields found in movie theaters. These delay settings can be adjusted for each individual DSP program by pressing the right buttons on the remote in just the right order. You can also override the volume settings made in the earlier pink noise test by pressing other buttons. Do it wrong and you can get the surround effects hopelessly screwed up. I know I did. Talk about interactive television, watching TV has never been so complicated. Whew!
I found the chart in the Yamaha manual which lists the delay settings for all the DSP programs and got things straightened out. I also found some programs had that 15 ms delay recommended in the addendum and tried that. Voilá - nearly 160 degrees of surround sound goodness. It even goes to 180 sometimes. Not liking these particular DSP programs I went back to plain ordinary "DOLBY DIGITAL/Normal" and raised its delay from 5 to 15 ms. I recently watched Master and Commander again just for the cannon shots and was completely satisfied that the SurroundBar and subwoofer did what it was supposed to do. The cannons had impact and a spatial dimension without being overly directional. Battle scene noises seemed to come from all over the sound stage. Creaking boat and wind noises sounded just right to me. I forgot all about the SB and AVR and just sat back and enjoyed the movie.
Listening to 2 channel audio is less satisfying. The Yamaha RX-V496 has three DSP programs for translating stereo input to some kind of surround sound: DISCO, ROCK CONCERT, and CONCERT HALL. These add to the width of the sound stage, which is much needed since the left and right channels are less than 3' apart. Too bad the DSP effects are often unlistenable. They add Yamaha sound engineering on top of whatever the recording engineers did; the result sometimes sounds right, but often it's just a muddle. Turning the DSP effect off leaves a much narrower sound stage, but a more listenable sound. So my solution has been to connect up my old custom built speaker pair on the AVR's B channel. The sound quality is not so good; the old speakers have an oboe-like timbre to them (saxophone, if you want to be cruel), where the SurroundBar is more neutral.
Listening to stereo recordings at higher volumes (-28db) on the SurroundBar is also not so good. I overlooked the recommended amplification specification before I bought; it's 125 watts/channel. My AVR is rated at 70 watts. The result is distortion; with classical music high register violins get shrieky and classical piano music starts to sound clangy. So I have to turn it down. On the plus side, when the choice is popular music, with the DISCO DSP, the results can be terrific. I especially like Dire Straits and Joan Armatrading at full volume.
The PSW10 subwoofer is OK with surround sound, providing the very low end thump for explosions and such. Musically it will sometimes pick up notes, sometimes not. It required a lot of trial positioning to keep it from booming in my living room. It ended up a few feet to the left of the TV up on concrete blocks padded with self adhesive felt between the sub and the block and between the block and the floor. This way I can turn it up higher for LFE without rattling the windows. I need to adjust the volume practically for each source and try to keep it just shy of booming. Why not put the volume and crossover knobs on the front where we can get at them easily?
I can give the SurroundBar/PSW10 combination 5 stars for home theater use in a difficult corner. It achieves the effect for which it was designed. 3 stars for home audio with the possibility of improvement in different system. This combination can be found at Polk Audio Direct on eBay for $300+100 shipping. It's well worth the price.
This brings me to my main question: What improvement should come next? A different receiver? At 9 years old it may just be tired. Can anyone recommend a receiver (under $500) that plays music well on the SurroundBar? Is there one with a better 2 channel DSP program that would work well with the SB? The website for NAD claims to have a different, more musical approach to DSP. Can anyone comment on this? Or should I get a very good stereo pair for the B channel on my current Yamaha? I am thinking of the RTi A3. If I did that could I wire the subwoofer in parallel with both A & B channels without harm. I would like any solution to work well with classical music and keep the total number of components in that corner to a minimum.
So you actually read all the way through this. Thank you.
Why is this FAQ not working???
When clicking on a question, the answer doesn't appear... can anyone explain why and/or what I am doing wrong?
Thanks in advance!