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colinB
04-01-2011, 12:19
Watched a lot of Tv over xmas and noticed that in order to get clarity on speech i have to dial the sound levels up a fair bit, especially with deep voices . Never noticed before but i didnt have neighbours to think about before so probably whacked things up without giving a thought.
It could be imaging problems maybe. I use a big toe in firing the speakers directly at my seating position to avoid room reflection but this works well with music.
Got me thinking, the DAC in my freeview humax is probably a bit rubbish and i might get an improvement with an external one ( maybe one of those cheap CYP dacs) or maybe speech might sound better with a sub. I know its difficult thing to evaluate without hearing my system but id appreciate any comments

Stratmangler
04-01-2011, 12:23
Have you got an option in your box setup menus to adjust the output levels ?

Just a thought........

MartinT
04-01-2011, 12:44
I use a modified Caiman DAC to send stereo optical digital audio from Sky HD and Blu-ray. I find the quality of dialogue superb, impressively so from some documentaries and films.

colinB
04-01-2011, 12:46
Have you got an option in your box setup menus to adjust the output levels ?

Just a thought........

Didnt think of that. To be honest i got it of e bay without a manual and without the proper remote ( it came with a universal replacement jobby ) so i did nothing to it.
Ill have a fiddle tonight.

colinB
04-01-2011, 13:06
I use a modified Caiman DAC to send stereo optical digital audio from Sky HD and Blu-ray. I find the quality of dialogue superb, impressively so from some documentaries and films.

At the moment i just use stereo jack output into my stereo jack ( why dont manufacturers put a toslink input on there stereo integrated amps!)
Just had a look at the manual on line , cant see output levels but there is settings for optical out, analogue out and so on. Didnt know you had to tell the unit what you wanted. Thought it did it automatically:doh: Have to look at that.
Have to get a DAC at some point though.

WAD62
04-01-2011, 13:25
Hi Colin,

Is your stereo setup in the same room as your TV?

If it is then have a look on ebay for an old Yamaha DSP800, a nice way of using your quality stereo in your AV setup. :)

colinB
04-01-2011, 13:52
Funny you should say that. I noticed your post about the Yamaha and watched it on e bay and was surprised to see it go for 40!
The only thing that put me of is im running out of shelves on my rack.

Ali Tait
04-01-2011, 18:52
Go for an external dac,either a Standac or I went for a VALAB NOS two box jobbie for the same price.Tv and films sound great.

StanleyB
04-01-2011, 19:31
I went for a VALAB NOS two box jobbie for the same price.Tv and films sound great.
I was wondering how come I haven't seen an order from you for a Gator ;).

Ali Tait
04-01-2011, 19:47
Yes, sorry Stan,I went for the Valab after reading the marathon threads on Head hifi, and cos I wanted to try a NOS dac.

WAD62
04-01-2011, 20:01
Funny you should say that. I noticed your post about the Yamaha and watched it on e bay and was surprised to see it go for 40!
The only thing that put me of is im running out of shelves on my rack.

Find some room...it's obviously not the best AV processor in the world, but it is Dolby Digital/DTS, and then you just set the centre to the left and right, then feed the left and right outputs into your main preamp.

Very easy to configure and balance.

I then use the amps off it for my rear surrounds (@ 65wpc), and my sub (which I don't use as there's enough bass from the main channels when set to 'large').

It's a nice compromise if stereo is your priority, and 5.1 using good quality front stereo knocks the spots off a generic 7.1 system, particularly when listening to music DVD's or Blu-Rays. :)

Jac Hawk
04-01-2011, 20:01
At the moment i just use stereo jack output into my stereo jack ( why dont manufacturers put a toslink input on there stereo integrated amps!)
Just had a look at the manual on line , cant see output levels but there is settings for optical out, analogue out and so on. Didnt know you had to tell the unit what you wanted. Thought it did it automatically:doh: Have to look at that.
Have to get a DAC at some point though.

Not all amps have dacs built in, usually only a/v amps have them, so that's why you don't get a toslink connection on an ordinary stereo amp.:)

colinB
04-01-2011, 20:35
Ah, AV processors have in built dac :doh: I get it now. Sorry bit slow on all of this.
I think i would be happy with a 2.1 set up. So i could get a Yamaha and say a little REL Quake 2nd hand for 170 which would make it in budget for me :)

I like the sound of that.

colinB
04-01-2011, 20:53
Find some room...it's obviously not the best AV processor in the world, but it is Dolby Digital/DTS, and then you just set the centre to the left and right, then feed the left and right outputs into your main preamp.

Very easy to configure and balance.

I then use the amps off it for my rear surrounds (@ 65wpc), and my sub (which I don't use as there's enough bass from the main channels when set to 'large').

It's a nice compromise if stereo is your priority, and 5.1 using good quality front stereo knocks the spots off a generic 7.1 system, particularly when listening to music DVD's or Blu-Rays. :)

I use an integrated stereo amp, is it the same sort of connectivity:scratch:

Reid Malenfant
04-01-2011, 21:12
Ah, AV processors have in built dac :doh: I get it now. Sorry bit slow on all of this.
I think i would be happy with a 2.1 set up. So i could get a Yamaha and say a little REL Quake 2nd hand for 170 which would make it in budget for me :)

I like the sound of that.
Not happening i'm afraid. You can find integrated amps with built in DACs, Technics made quite a few, but you'll not find one with 2.1 or a subwoofer output as these things weren't considered back in the day ;) However you can buy a 5.1 amp & simply switch off the unused channels. If it's anything like the decoding in a player it'll downmix to 2.1 & you could do away with the 0.1 by setting the front left & right speakers to large & switching off the sub. It'll force all the bass to left & right front speakers.

Damn, it's a multiple choice test :eyebrows:

WAD62
04-01-2011, 21:21
I use an integrated stereo amp, is it the same sort of connectivity:scratch:

Sorry pre-amp was probably a bit pretentious...

Absolutely, just run it into a spare analogue input on your amp, then balance your amp at 12 O'clock, with the surrounds (easy with the white noise generator it has), and you're off.

Or you can set it to stereo and get the surrounds later... :)

colinB
04-01-2011, 21:51
Sorry pre-amp was probably a bit pretentious...

Absolutely, just run it into a spare analogue input on your amp, then balance your amp at 12 O'clock, with the surrounds (easy with the white noise generator it has), and you're off.

Or you can set it to stereo and get the surrounds later... :)

Cheers. Quiet looking forward to this.
When you use a sub, you can turn it right down so it just fills out the lower octave is that correct? I dont have to be shaking the house to get any benefit?

Reid Malenfant
04-01-2011, 21:54
You should be able to alter the frequency that the subwoofer rolls in & it's volume as well as phase to integrate it with your speakers :)

colinB
04-01-2011, 22:08
:)

WAD62
04-01-2011, 22:09
You should be able to alter the frequency that the subwoofer rolls in & it's volume as well as phase to integrate it with your speakers :)

I've given up using my sub, at full dynamic range (decoder setting) it's frankly stupidly bassy, in conjunction with my main stereo & speakers as L,C,R, and that's wound back to 40Hz and 1/4 volume... ;)

I think using my main stereo for the front 3 channels (set to large), gives more than enough bass, and better quality too :)

Reid Malenfant
04-01-2011, 22:15
Aye, i know what you are saying :doh: I need to integrate mine at 30 or 27Hz & the damn internal crossover says no.....

WAD62
04-01-2011, 22:46
Aye, i know what you are saying :doh: I need to integrate mine at 30 or 27Hz & the damn internal crossover says no.....

Do you have yours in or out of phase Mark ? I suppose it depends on the room shape and angle...:scratch:

Reid Malenfant
04-01-2011, 22:51
My sub is out of phase due to the coupled cavity (4th order bandpass) bass speakers that go down to about 30Hz ;) They have a natural phase shift of 180 degrees over the passband...

WAD62
04-01-2011, 22:59
My sub is out of phase due to the coupled cavity (4th order bandpass) bass speakers that go down to about 30Hz ;) They have a natural phase shift of 180 degrees over the passband...

Wibble...

That'll teach me for asking :lolsign:


Ashes time...:cool:

Reid Malenfant
04-01-2011, 23:08
Yeah i know it's a bitch but at least i can understand it ;) Took me years though & i'm still learning after looking at everything today :eyebrows:

Now i understand the phase shift problems it's not too difficult to get things in phase for me... Unless you understand filter theory or should i say all pass phase shift theory you just can't make the stuff. As far as i know there really isn't commercial stuff out there due to lack of demand :rolleyes:

Or maybe i ought to say that people tend not to know what they actually need so it's not made? :scratch:

WAD62
05-01-2011, 00:53
Yeah i know it's a bitch but at least i can understand it ;) Took me years though & i'm still learning after looking at everything today :eyebrows:

Now i understand the phase shift problems it's not too difficult to get things in phase for me... Unless you understand filter theory or should i say all pass phase shift theory you just can't make the stuff. As far as i know there really isn't commercial stuff out there due to lack of demand :rolleyes:

Or maybe i ought to say that people tend not to know what they actually need so it's not made? :scratch:

My problem is a little more simplistic, I have a switch on the sub-woofer that states 'In' or 'Out' of phase...it's only 50/50 ;)

colinB
05-01-2011, 13:08
Ah , here it is.
Im not sure if im ready to go 5.1 what with room and everything.
Going back to a stand alone DAC, do you think that could improve speech clarity or is it the center speaker that would really do the trick?

Reid Malenfant
05-01-2011, 13:19
At the moment i'm only running a two speaker setup for AV (long story), in all honesty i think you be quite happy with a two channel setup :) I'd go the cheap route (probably smaller as well if you are running out of room) & try a seperate DAC.

Centre channels are only really effective when you are listening to material (on a DVD or blu ray) that already has the centre channel encoded on the disc. Dolby Digital would give you a psuedo centre channel which probably won't increase the clarity imo..

HighFidelityGuy
05-01-2011, 13:23
Personally I wouldn't bother with AV amps, subs, centre speakers etc etc just to watch TV. Most broadcasts are still only stereo, so you won't get much use out of a centre speaker or rears. I think the weak link in your system is the digi box and the fact that you connect it via analogue to your amp. All digi boxes will have bad analogue outputs with cheap output stages, their DAC's will also be really cheap and nasty. By far the simplest option would be to take a digital connection from your digi box (if it has one, buy a new one if not) and connect this to the best DAC you can afford, if you don't have one already. Then connect the DAC to your existing amp. I'm sure that will clear up the whole frequency range a great deal and thus improve your enjoyment. :)

This is basically the setup I have for watching TV and it's crystal clear sound, especially on the HD channels. I never bother with my 5.1 system for TV. That only gets used with my Xbox 360 and BluRay player.

colinB
05-01-2011, 13:47
Thanks , i understand know.

Ali Tait
05-01-2011, 15:07
Personally I wouldn't bother with AV amps, subs, centre speakers etc etc just to watch TV. Most broadcasts are still only stereo, so you won't get much use out of a centre speaker or rears. I think the weak link in your system is the digi box and the fact that you connect it via analogue to your amp. All digi boxes will have bad analogue outputs with cheap output stages, their DAC's will also be really cheap and nasty. By far the simplest option would be to take a digital connection from your digi box (if it has one, buy a new one if not) and connect this to the best DAC you can afford, if you don't have one already. Then connect the DAC to your existing amp. I'm sure that will clear up the whole frequency range a great deal and thus improve your enjoyment. :)

This is basically the setup I have for watching TV and it's crystal clear sound, especially on the HD channels. I never bother with my 5.1 system for TV. That only gets used with my Xbox 360 and BluRay player.

+1.

colinB
05-01-2011, 15:47
http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSjJ1IlLWrRfSXfowwZS65jsO78QfBTE mpVVJokMnMAaAuGqxS2Sg

Until i go completely digital i might use one of these for the tv. 40 from richer sounds.

HighFidelityGuy
05-01-2011, 16:03
That might be worth a try. Especially if they'll let you do a home demo. I'm not ure if Richer still allow that. Failing that I'm sure there are a few forum members in London with Caiman's or other higher end DAC's that might let you try their's in your system. Or maybe another local dealer that would allow a home demo.

colinB
05-01-2011, 16:24
Mm. Might make more sense to wait for payday and get a Beresford. Much for flexible for future degi stuff. I didnt realize theycome withUSB now.

Mark Grant
05-01-2011, 16:27
What model Humax is it and how are you connecting it to your Hi-Fi at the moment?
Are you taking the sound from the TV in some way or connecting directly from the Humax to your Hi-Fi? ( Some of the Humax boxes are good as they are)

colinB
05-01-2011, 17:11
Hi mark, its the 9200t. I think i bought it on the back of a mag review saying it was good quality sound, but yes it is connected to the hi fi direct using rca cables.

keiths
05-01-2011, 18:44
Colin, just check that your Humax allows Dolby Digital (as broadcast on the HD channels) to be converted to PCM stereo - or you'll just get a noise when watching HD channels when your Humax is connected to a stereo DAC.

My Humax FoxSat HD (FreeSat) box suffers this problem (so I have to connect the TV to the Caiman rather than the Humax box to the Caimen)

colinB
05-01-2011, 19:04
Im only on standard def at the moment, although i may get a new HD freeview sony tv soon.

colinB
05-01-2011, 23:29
Can i just clarify guys, do you think the sound would be improved with a DAC even though im listening to standard audio from the Humax to my stereo amplifier using the toslink output as source rather than the rca output?

The Grand Wazoo
06-01-2011, 00:49
Colin,
I have not the slightest bit of interest in multi-channel this or that. To illustrate how ambivalent I am about pictures, the TV is a small CRT & not even between or particularly near the speakers but I do like music programmes & DVD's to sound better than they do through the TV speakers.
I own an 80 Freeview box with a hard disk drive in it. This is so cheap it only has an optical digital output (no coax). I use a 10 metre Toslink cable & I squirt it (and my DVD player via coax) through my Accuphase DAC and then into the main system & it sounds very good indeed & infinitely better than through the line outputs.
I'd say it's probably well worth investing in a cheap DAC & a bit of cable to try.

colinB
06-01-2011, 01:24
Thanks chris .

Alex_UK
06-01-2011, 07:27
Can i just clarify guys, do you think the sound would be improved with a DAC even though im listening to standard audio from the Humax to my stereo amplifier using the toslink output as source rather than the rca output?

Hi Colin - please can you clarify how you are connected "from the Humax to my stereo amplifier using the toslink output" - from your "About Me" page you appear to have a Rotel 1062 which doesn't (according to Google) have an optical input, so are you using some sort of converter? :scratch:

I'm a bit confused! Assuming you mean you are taking the analogue RCA outputs into the amp, then as Chris has said, a DAC will definitely improve things, I'm using toslink into my Caiman from Sky HD box, PS3 and XBox 360 and all are much improved via the Caiman (I also have the TV set up with a straightforward RCA analogue output for PS2 and Wii so can A/B compare, and the improvement via DAC is considerable.) I keep meaning to try one of those CY DACs, I suspect even that would be better than the crappy DAC/Analogue stage in most set-top boxes and consoles - worth a punt if you don't want to spend a lot - if it is rubbish you could probably sell it on and only lose a tenner...

colinB
06-01-2011, 12:07
Hi Alex. Im using the analogue outputs of the Humax and the analogue inputs of the amplifier. A bit prehistoric but ive never been attracted to surround sound so i no zero about Dolby Digital or DTS or upsampling.
Like you say, cant go wrong with 40 Dac and 20 on a cable so i will give it a go.