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#292197 - 02/14/10 02:32 PM AVR Audio Format and Input Settings Questions
Glitchy Offline
aficionado

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 578
Loc: Blueridge Foothills, NC
Just got my Axioms wired up and bitstreaming working (again) on my HTPC. I've never gotten into the audio details and setup before and now I want to know. I've read my Onkyo manual front to back no help there!

I know nothing about all of these audio formets and settings. And need a starting point.

For input settings on the HTPC, Cable Box, SqueezeBox and Xbox360, I'm using

For Dolby TrueHD, DTS MAsterHD, Dobly Digital and DTS, I'm using the DIRECT setting. Options are: PureAudio, Direct, Lastvalid, and for the other formats I'm not sure.

For Receiver audio mode settings:

For HD audio bitstreaming Dolby & DTS HD, I think my setting choice should be DIRECT.(And if I use THX Select2 when I go 7.1, I think I still get the bitstraming HD, but it adds the rears on 5.1 material.)

For Music, right now for the SqueezeBox input, I'm using Dolby PLII Audyssey THX Music, because, well I don't know why

For XBox 360, I have no idea.

Since all the gear is in the rack, and I don't get OSD with format changes, I never know what I'm listening to.

I know each input has a setting for each audio format, and then AVR setting for movies/tv, music and games.

Is there somewhere you could point me to figure this out, or do you have any input?

Gear

Axiom Speakers: 2-W22s, 1-W150, 2-QS4s and old 10" JBL sub
(Planning on: Another center W100 and another set of QSs.)
AVR: Onkyo TX-SR706
HTPC: Movies (Bluray-DVD), Music (wma lossless), and OTA HDTV (and Cable soon)
SqueezeBox Duet: Music: Local (wma lossless), internet radio, Rhapsody and Pandora
Xbox 360
(all gear rack mounted across house)

Usage

Movies: 98% Bluray with HTPC (W7 Pro 64, MyMovies, TMT3 w-Bitstreaming patch, (streamed from a WHS)and a few DVDs
TV: 98% HDTV (OTA) Dolby Digital from HTPC,Media Center.
Music: 50% SqueezeBox Duet thru AVR, 50% wma streamed from WHS thru Windows Media Center.
Games: Xbox 360 w-HDMI
Netflix streaming, thru Xbox360 (HD) and sometimes thru HTPC (no HD yet)

Hope I was clear enough, lots of options

Thanks

Jeff
_________________________
Fronts/Wides:M22s in/on
Center:VP150/VP100 in/on
Hghts,SS,SR:QS8s
Sub:EP500
AVR:Onkyo 3008

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#292202 - 02/14/10 03:39 PM Re: AVR Audio Format and Input Settings Questions [Re: Glitchy]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
Hey Jeff if you figure it out let me know as I’ve had my Onkyo for 4 months and I’m still trying to decide what I like best. For now I’ve just got everything set to “Last Valid” so I don’t have to keep switching things back if I jump from one input to another.

I can tell you what I’ve found so far but I hate to say it only you can decide what modes sound best to you.

I mostly use “Direct” for both HD formats. I use “Direct” or one of the THX settings for most music because I don’t like the high frequency roll-off of the Audyssey curve which can only be deselected by choosing “Pure Audio,” “Direct” or one of the THX modes (which actually uses the Audyssey calculated “Flat” curve so no high frequency roll off unless you then select THXs RE-EQ).

For Xbox games it’s a mixed bag. Some games like “Elder Scrolls Oblivion” don’t play well with PLIIx so I use “Direct.” OTOH, “Mass Effect 2” works fine with it so I’m actually using PLIIz.

For TV and some DVDs of TV shows I actually find that “All Channel Stereo” sounds best since there is little or little out-of-phase sound for PLIIx(z) to work with.

Sadly the biggest thing I’ve found is that no one mode works best with any given input. It really depends on the material being played from that input. Best I can suggest is just to keep experimenting to find you what you like best for each situation. Otherwise just pick something that seems to sound good, map it to an input and be done with it. A safe bet would be to use “Direct” on high quality sources like HD Blu-ray tracks and SACDs and PLIIx(z) on everything else picking between non-THX and THX modes depending on if you like the Audyssey high frequency roll-off or not.

I haven’t really played around with any of the special modes like “orchestra” or “unplugged” so I can’t even comment on them.
_________________________
3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1

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#292204 - 02/14/10 03:57 PM Re: AVR Audio Format and Input Settings Questions [Re: grunt]
Glitchy Offline
aficionado

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 578
Loc: Blueridge Foothills, NC
 Originally Posted By: grunt
Sadly the biggest thing I’ve found is that no one mode works best with any given input. It really depends on the material being played from that input. Best I can suggest is just to keep experimenting to find you what you like best for each situation. Otherwise just pick something that seems to sound good, map it to an input and be done with it. A safe bet would be to use “Direct” on high quality sources like HD Blu-ray tracks and SACDs and PLIIx(z) on everything else picking between non-THX and THX modes depending on if you like the Audyssey high frequency roll-off or not.


Thanks alot, that's plenty of info to get me started. I just didn't want HD source inputs to be set on a setting I was guessing was the correct one and in reality be degrading the sound. If the rest is just up to personal pref, Im good to go!

Thanks again

Jeff
_________________________
Fronts/Wides:M22s in/on
Center:VP150/VP100 in/on
Hghts,SS,SR:QS8s
Sub:EP500
AVR:Onkyo 3008

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#292212 - 02/14/10 04:23 PM Re: AVR Audio Format and Input Settings Questions [Re: Glitchy]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
 Originally Posted By: wordgasm

Thanks alot, that's plenty of info to get me started. I just didn't want HD source inputs to be set on a setting I was guessing was the correct one and in reality be degrading the sound. If the rest is just up to personal pref, Im good to go!

While I personally find that most digital processing PLIIx(z), Neo:6 and even some EQ degrades the sound quality of HD and SACD sources not everyone shares that opinion so don’t discount at least trying it out for yourself. But rest assured if you find you prefer high quality sources w/o extra processing it doesn’t mean you’ve necessarily set things up improperly. People have different likes and dislikes which I try to respect by telling more than one side of the issue.
_________________________
3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1

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#292312 - 02/15/10 09:54 AM Re: AVR Audio Format and Input Settings Questions [Re: grunt]
serpentara Offline
regular

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 9
Do not use direct. Check your owner's manual, but for my Onkyo it completely bypasses your subwoofer. From the Onkyo Owner's Manual:

"Direct
This mode delivers pure sound with minimum sound quality adjustment and filtration. The sound recorded for the right and left front channels is output to the right and left front speakers only and not output to the subwoofer."

If you have some full range fronts, and don't use a sub, then by all means use direct, but those M22's are limited range, and you do have a sub so you are not getting the full frequency response out of your system.

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#292335 - 02/15/10 12:47 PM Re: AVR Audio Format and Input Settings Questions [Re: serpentara]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
Good catch, I didn’t see he was using W22s. Or that the bass management for the Onkyo differs from my previous Denon 2807. On the Denon there was a menu selection to use a subwoofer and set a separate crossover for 2ch Direct but it only worked for digital sources, OTOH my with my Onkyo 3007 there is a separate menu selection to allow the subwoofer to be used with analog sources if wanted in “Direct” mode but not for digital. I made the mistake of assuming the Onkyo worked in “Direct” mode the same as the Denon.
_________________________
3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1

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#292339 - 02/15/10 02:22 PM Re: AVR Audio Format and Input Settings Questions [Re: grunt]
serpentara Offline
regular

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 9
I think for the new Onkyos (mine is the 600) if you are using something with a dedicated LFE track you are fine, the sub will come through since there is a specific track for the sub. However if its just a CD or its compressed equivalent it will only be sent to the L/R speakers. The amp won't reroute any audio from their intended channels.

I can't comment on the 3007, its a little too nice for my price range at the moment, so I haven't done any research on it. Damn student loans.

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#292372 - 02/15/10 06:40 PM Re: AVR Audio Format and Input Settings Questions [Re: serpentara]
Glitchy Offline
aficionado

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 578
Loc: Blueridge Foothills, NC
 Originally Posted By: serpentara
I think for the new Onkyos (mine is the 600) if you are using something with a dedicated LFE track you are fine, the sub will come through since there is a specific track for the sub. However if its just a CD or its compressed equivalent it will only be sent to the L/R speakers. The amp won't reroute any audio from their intended channels.

I can't comment on the 3007, its a little too nice for my price range at the moment, so I haven't done any research on it. Damn student loans.


Well I'm not saying "Direct" is correct, but let me assure you with my 706 set on DIRECT, The sub is definately getting feed. Watched Blurays Saturday and the whole system sounded incredible. And the sub was definately getting data.

Watched some some HDNet Concert footage and played some of my ripped music last night and I had to turn down the sub quite a bit.

I think the squeezebox input is set on last valid. I'll have to check.

The HD CAble box, if the Broadcast was Dolby Digital was set on Dolby Digital.

I realized last night, I have a long way to go to get my system "tuned in", but that's part of the game and why we do it. At least for me, well the sound and visuals quite a bit count too!

So far I love the Axiom's!

Listened to some Juan Martin, Marisa Monte, Richy Kicklighter, Danny O'keefe, Kenny Rankin, you name it last night, all sounded great and Heard parts, nuances, and even some instruments I've never heard before!

Any more input is appreciated, Thanks

Jeff
_________________________
Fronts/Wides:M22s in/on
Center:VP150/VP100 in/on
Hghts,SS,SR:QS8s
Sub:EP500
AVR:Onkyo 3008

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#292375 - 02/15/10 06:43 PM Re: AVR Audio Format and Input Settings Questions [Re: Glitchy]
terzaghi Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 4870
Loc: Tulsa, Oklahoma
I know nothing about the onkyo but on my denon if you push direct to takes the sub out of the equation and sets your mains to large.
_________________________
-David

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#292382 - 02/15/10 06:55 PM Re: AVR Audio Format and Input Settings Questions [Re: terzaghi]
Glitchy Offline
aficionado

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 578
Loc: Blueridge Foothills, NC
 Originally Posted By: terzaghi
I know nothing about the onkyo but on my denon if you push direct to takes the sub out of the equation and sets your mains to large.


Just guessing, but that's probably the same as the "PureAudio" setting on the Onkyo
_________________________
Fronts/Wides:M22s in/on
Center:VP150/VP100 in/on
Hghts,SS,SR:QS8s
Sub:EP500
AVR:Onkyo 3008

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