Have set up a HT. Not happy with the sound. Now what ?

Luxman Amplifiers India

Eddy

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Hello folks, I will try and explain the 'problem'. Need your suggestions on things that can be tried to improve my situation.

I have the following components. Please note that they may not be the best components around for my needs, but all these are already set up so changing the equipment is not possible. We will have to optimise what we have. Oh, but I can purchase better wires, connectivity options etc :)

1 - LG 32" Plasma JAZZ. It has the following connectivity options:

Composite Video Input 1F/1R
Component Video Input 2R
S-Video Input 1F
DVI Input 0
HDMI Input 2R
USB Port 1F
VGA Input 1R
AV Output Socket 1R

2 - LG DVD player that came free with the LCD TV. I am not sure but I think the model number is: LG-DV 388

Component Video Output Yes
S-Video Output ---
Audio Channel Output 5.1
Coaxial Digital Input Yes
Optical Digital Output Yes
DVI Output No
HDMI Output Yes

3- HTiB : Onkyo 3105 (B)

DTS, DTS Neo:6 5.1, Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II
192 kHz/24-Bit DACs for All Channels
HDTV-Capable (50 MHz) Component Video Switching (3 Inputs/1 Output)
3 Digital Inputs (2 Optical/1 Coaxial)
4 Composite Video Inputs and 2 Outputs
4 A/V Inputs and 1 Output
2 Audio Inputs and 1 Output

Other key features are listed here
ONKYO SIGHT & SOUND INDIA

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Problem Statement: Not too happy with the sound quality. Does not sound like a theater to me.
Usage is 100% movies, either originals or DVD rips. Usually crank up the volume to mid 50s.

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Probable Causes:

1- Sound Leakage. Mine is an L shaped room so leakage is a definite phenomenon.

2- Wires ? I am using the wires that came with the HTiB. And I am sure these contribute to poor SQ.

3 - Poor connections ? I am using only the normal Red White & YEllow wires. Am willing to try out other wire (optical, digital etc). I heard that the Dolby does not work with the wires that I am using but I am not sure.

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I will try and put up the pics of the system and connectivity.

But what can be done to improve the sound? Or will I have to live with what I have.
 

moserw

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3 - Poor connections ? I am using only the normal Red White & YEllow wires. Am willing to try out other wire (optical, digital etc). I heard that the Dolby does not work with the wires that I am using but I am not sure.

This is your problem. Get a digital coaxial cable and connect it from the DVDP to AVR. Only with digital cable you'll get DTS and Dolby Digital which you'll see on the Onkyo AVR. Otherwise you will only see modes like DTS Neo, Dolby Prologic etc. which will take 2-channel stereo output and upmix it to 5.1. Just get the coaxial cable around Rs. 500-900 depending on the company and you will hear true 5.1 output.

Next take a measuring tape and measure the distance from the sitting/listening position to each speaker and calibrate that distance in the AVR settings. Keep the crossover at 120. After doing this play a movie with DTS or Dolby Digital track (not Indian DVDs which come with 2.0) and then let us know if you're still not satisfied.

For movies most will be happy with the entry level Onkyo 3100/3105 especially if it's their first/entry into the HT world which I would assume is the case with you. Just do what I've listed and you'll really be happy with the movie experience. Music is another different ballgame and not much can be done with any multichannel amp...
 

moserw

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Also (but this is 2nd step) get a HDMI cable or a component cable from the DVDP to the TV. This will really improve PQ. But this is a 2nd step. First a digital coaxial or optical cable is a must. My preference of course is the coaxial especially for short distances.
 

Eddy

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Thanks Rajiv (did I get the name right ?)

So digital coaxial cable is what I need. Just one cable to connect from the reliever to the DVDP ? I also use Aritel DTH so the count of components would go upto 4. So do I need more wires ? 500 to 900 price range is fine, so which brands are recommended ?

As far as the PQ goes, I already have a new HDMI cable. Just wanna sort out the sound issues before I start using it :)
Usage would only be movies for the time being, I don't see myself listening to music in the bear future so I should be ok.

How about replacing the stock speaker wires ? Will that help too ?
 

moserw

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Thanks Rajiv (did I get the name right ?)

So digital coaxial cable is what I need. Just one cable to connect from the reliever to the DVDP ? I also use Aritel DTH so the count of components would go upto 4. So do I need more wires ? 500 to 900 price range is fine, so which brands are recommended ?

As far as the PQ goes, I already have a new HDMI cable. Just wanna sort out the sound issues before I start using it :)
Usage would only be movies for the time being, I don't see myself listening to music in the bear future so I should be ok.

How about replacing the stock speaker wires ? Will that help too ?

Yeah, the name is right. Digital coaxial cable from DVDP to AVR should suffice and give the required kick/punch. Changing stock wires YMMV. Any brand is fine. Bandridge would be Rs. 500 and Philips would be Rs. 900. I use both of them and know they are good. Go with DVD to TV via HDMI. Airtel also direct to TV although you might want the sound via the HT in which case the stereo cables (red and white) should go to the AVR. DVDP to AVR via digital coaxial cable for audio. You are all set to go and like I said check the distance and feed in the AVR the distance from the sitting position. Also crossover at 120 (for this model) is best. Start with all speakers at 0 and for most that would be enough. You can increase per speaker and check YMMV.
 

jeevabobby26

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As for your digital cable hunting, go for bandridge/profigold from UK which is very good in VFM cable brand . Replace the existing speaker wires supplied by onkyo. If your AIRTEL DTH set top box have digital audio output, just buy another coaxial digital cable to connect the DTH to the onkyo AVR. If it doesnt have a digital audio output, use good stereo interconnect(bandridge/profigold) for connecting the AIRTEL DTH set top box.
 
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Eddy

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Thanks Jeeva & Rajiv.

Is Bandrige available off the shelf in Delhi / Gurgaon ? I prefer this to buying online, especially when I am no expert.

Important: What wires do I replace my stock speaker wires with ?
 

moserw

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Thanks Jeeva & Rajiv.

Is Bandrige available off the shelf in Delhi / Gurgaon ? I prefer this to buying online, especially when I am no expert.

Important: What wires do I replace my stock speaker wires with ?

Bandridge would be available in most Hi-Fi shops and electronic malls like Croma, Reliance Digital, E-Zone.

Not too sure about what gauge to replace the stock wires with, will wait for someone else to guide you, but I think it should be 16 AWG for good quality.
 

venkatcr

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Not too sure about what gauge to replace the stock wires with, will wait for someone else to guide you, but I think it should be 16 AWG for good quality.

Moser is correct. Unless the distance between the amp and speakers is very large, 16AWG is fine. Here is the thumb rule:

Upto 48 feet use 16 AWG
From 49 to 80 feet us 14 AWG
From 81 to some 200 feet use 12 AWG.

Cheers
 

madbullram

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Eddy,
speaker wires are very important but I would suggest dont do everything. Focus on your sound problem one by one and eliminate them.

1. Get digital cable and connect the DVDp to Onkyo.
2. Calibrate the speakers (this has been explained)
3. Adjust speaker placements

Once you have done these three experience movies with original DVD with 5.1. Ensure the Onkyo shows Dolby in the AVR. This will clear you are indeed getting Dolby signal which is the most important.

Now, once done. First buy a speaker cable for Center speaker alone. Connect the cable and see if there is a difference in sound. This was way you ensure you are buying acable which is a making a difference. I always suggest centre speaker bcos its an important component in HTB and also its the one which might require the least length.

If you indeed find a difference, then purchase that cable.

i say this bcos lot of my friends buy cables and waste money and its just a perception that they get better SQ (sometimes you do but mostly not bcos they buy a cable which is just branded but not really better in quality). Its not the case always. Better experiment and then decide.
 

jeevabobby26

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Hi Eddy,

Do as Ramji said, first buy the digital cables, calibrate the speakers and then place the speakers exactly in the position, which will make some very good changes for good sound and surrounds. If your room is like rectangle one or square one place speakers like this in the picture given below.
 

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Eddy

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MBR: Very logical. I agree. Thats what I will try. Thanks.

Jeeva: My room is rectangular but the right wall is absent since that side extends itself to form an L shaped room. That does lead to sound leakage but that can't be helped.

Morover, my current speaker set up is like shown in the second pic minus the Ls and the Rs speakers.
The surround speakers are set up like the Lb and Rb ones.
 

Eddy

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Bandridge would be available in most Hi-Fi shops and electronic malls like Croma, Reliance Digital, E-Zone.

Not too sure about what gauge to replace the stock wires with, will wait for someone else to guide you, but I think it should be 16 AWG for good quality.

And I thought that would be easy !!! I have realised that a newbie can get very confused in the outlet :p

I went to Chrome thinking that picking up a digital coaxial would be very easy. But there are tons of Bandridge to choose from.

Rajiv, which one are you asking me to buy ?

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Another option.

1 - Connect the amplifier to the DVD player using an optical cable.
2 - Connect the LCD to DVD player using HDMI.

Will these two wires be enough for connectivity between the three systems. If yes, then that would considerably reduce the mess of wires in my system.
 

moserw

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It will be very clearly labeled "Digital Coaxial Cable" and look like this

rca-digital-coaxial-premium.jpg


1.5m-digital-audio-coaxial-cable.jpg


But it will be labeled "Digital Coaxial". The only other option will be "Digital Optical" which is also fine and good, just that I prefer coaxial to optical. Forget the rest, they will be labeled component, RCA, S-Video, and a lot of others. Just ask the guys there and they will help (hopefully). I found the staff at Reliance Digital quite knowledgeable and they did always show me the correct cables, but they are pushy in that they will ask you to take Monster or other expensive cables costing around 4K. Just select Bandridge or Philips (Rs. 900). Once again they will be labeled "Digital Coaxial" and you will be fine.

Coming to connections/cables...
1. Connect DVDP to AVR with Digital Coaxial/Digital Optical.
2. DVDP to TV with HDMI or Component.

Forget changing the stock wires for now. I'm quite sure you'll be pleased with the output with using a digital cable.

And I thought that would be easy !!! I have realised that a newbie can get very confused in the outlet :p

I went to Chrome thinking that picking up a digital coaxial would be very easy. But there are tons of Bandridge to choose from.

Rajiv, which one are you asking me to buy ?

---------

Another option.

1 - Connect the amplifier to the DVD player using an optical cable.
2 - Connect the LCD to DVD player using HDMI.

Will these two wires be enough for connectivity between the three systems. If yes, then that would considerably reduce the mess of wires in my system.
 

Eddy

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Thanks Rajiv, did a li'l bit of reading myself too and have decided to go ahead with your recommendation of Coaxial Digital over the optical wire. So thats done.

Ok, can you please explain as to how the connectivity will be done. I mean, can you mark the slot that should be used for the two cpnnections:

1- Digital coaxial to the DVDP
2- ???? kind of wire to the Airtel Set top box. This will be used occasionally when I want to watch movie playing on TV thru the HT.

I know I am bugging you guys, but please bear with me. Lots of blessing promised in return :licklips:
 

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moserw

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Top left you will find Optical (2) and below it Coaxial (1). From DVDP Coaxial out will go to Coaxial input in the AVR i.e. the Coaxial in Orange color in "Digital In" section.

Coming to Airtel I don't think it will have digital output in which case use the red and white RCA cables from Airtel DTH to any one of the red and white inputs labeled CD, Tape, Video 1/2/3, etc. Use CD and on the Onkyo remote you have to select CD to hear the Airtel DTH audio via the AVR. In case Airtel DTH has optical out then make sure its Digital Optical so that you can use it on the AVR. Your AVR unfortunately has only one Coaxial input and two Optical inputs and you'll be using the only Coaxial option for the DVDP. You're lucky you can switch the DVDP to Optical. I've a Philips DVDP and Philips only gives Coaxial and no Optical for audio.

On the front of the AVR there will be an option "Digital Input" which will display Opitcal 1, Optical 2, Coaxial. You'll have to select Coaxial since that's the connection you're going with. Obviously you'll have to go with Optical 1 or 2 if you go with either of those connection which are right above the Coaxial labeled as Optical 1/2.

Hope this helps.

Thanks Rajiv, did a li'l bit of reading myself too and have decided to go ahead with your recommendation of Coaxial Digital over the optical wire. So thats done.

Ok, can you please explain as to how the connectivity will be done. I mean, can you mark the slot that should be used for the two cpnnections:

1- Digital coaxial to the DVDP
2- ???? kind of wire to the Airtel Set top box. This will be used occasionally when I want to watch movie playing on TV thru the HT.

I know I am bugging you guys, but please bear with me. Lots of blessing promised in return :licklips:
 

Eddy

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Of course it helps. Thanks once again.

So this is final according to my understanding:

1 - Dig coaxial wire from AVR to DVDP.
2 - DVDP to LCD is HDMI
3 - DTH to AVR through CD. But this will take care of the audio. How is DTH connected to LCD. (I am assuming that DTH has no optical output)
 

moserw

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Of course it helps. Thanks once again.

So this is final according to my understanding:

1 - Dig coaxial wire from AVR to DVDP.
2 - DVDP to LCD is HDMI
3 - DTH to AVR through CD. But this will take care of the audio. How is DTH connected to LCD. (I am assuming that DTH has no optical output)

Correct for first 2. Coming to DTH it depends on what connectivity options are available. Usually it will be like for DVDP i.e. red & white for audio and yellow for video in which case connect yellow from the STB to the TV. Ditto for digital options like HDMI or Component if available (which I think are not available) since my Dish TV and Tata Sky don't have them.
 

Eddy

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Did I save some dough ?:cool:

I went to a different Croma outlet looking for the Bandridge Digital Coaxial. To my surprise, it was retailing for only 94 bucks for a length of 1.2m.

I have bought it, but am doubtful as to how and why was it so cheap. Will post a pic of the same tomorrow.
 
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