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TOPIC: Contemplated Hifi/HT 2.1 set-up

Contemplated Hifi/HT 2.1 set-up 4 months 2 weeks ago #49081

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Ultrasonic, what is your unusual setup? I am in the process of buying a second hand SHD + two monoblocks to replace my AVR system that I use more for music than movies. Also have a 2.1 setup. My setup is actually 1:1 the same as what Ytzelf says:

HTPC--[HDMI]-->TV--[toslink]-->miniDSP SHD -->power amp-->2 stereo speakers

from the miniDSP SHD there is also a direct out to my active sub

second input is spotify via volumio
Last Edit: 4 months 2 weeks ago by Bolduque.
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Contemplated Hifi/HT 2.1 set-up 4 months 2 weeks ago #49084

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Bolduque wrote:
Ultrasonic, what is your unusual setup? I am in the process of buying a second hand SHD + two monoblocks to replace my AVR system that I use more for music than movies. Also have a 2.1 setup. My setup is actually 1:1 the same as what Ytzelf says:

HTPC--[HDMI]-->TV--[toslink]-->miniDSP SHD -->power amp-->2 stereo speakers

from the miniDSP SHD there is also a direct out to my active sub

I suspect you'd regret ditching your AVR to go to the above setup, because it's very likely the stereo downmix coming from your TV's Toslink output will throw away the LFE channel data.

For movies I use analogue outputs of an OPPO Blu-ray player. Left and right go via my SHD to a stereo power amp (Bel Canto Evo4) and on to my main speakers (Meadowlark Shearwater Hot Rods). The sub output from the OPPO goes via a 2x4 HD to my sub (PSA S1510). Currently I'm actually just applying EQ to the sub signal but I might do something with the mains too at some point. Note I'm relying on the crossover applied by my OPPO here.

The above is not ideal by the way as there is a lip sync discrepancy that I can't fix but I'm guessing a proper AVR could?
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Contemplated Hifi/HT 2.1 set-up 4 months 2 weeks ago #49085

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Hey Ultrasonic,

Hmm I do wonder about that. In my current setup my AVR is actually in the exact same spot where the SHD (+amp) will end up in the future state. Or am I still missing something? It's just not very clear to me what my AVR is exactly doing in this case with all those audio streams as it only has 2.1 to work with. Note that this is a budget denon 1910 out of 2008. To be replaced with the SHD and two monoblocks quite a few price points higher.

Or, assuming quality will worsen, can you give an indication how I will notice this during movie watching?
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Contemplated Hifi/HT 2.1 set-up 4 months 2 weeks ago #49087

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Bolduque wrote:
Hey Ultrasonic,

Hmm I do wonder about that. In my current setup my AVR is actually in the exact same spot where the SHD (+amp) will end up in the future state. Or am I still missing something? It's just not very clear to me what my AVR is exactly doing in this case with all those audio streams as it only has 2.1 to work with. Note that this is a budget denon 1910 out of 2008. To be replaced with the SHD and two monoblocks quite a few price points higher.

Or, assuming quality will worsen, can you give an indication how I will notice this during movie watching?

The difference is the SHD can only accept a stereo signal via Toslink whereas presumably your AVR can receive at least 6 (5.1)?
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Contemplated Hifi/HT 2.1 set-up 4 months 2 weeks ago #49088

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You're right indeed. Maybe I should have worded it differently: I wonder how much I will notice the effect of the .1 channel in say a Dolby Digital stream versus SHD receiving the PCM stream over TOSLINK. In any case music is more important to my than my movies but I would like to keep some level of quality when viewing them!
Last Edit: 4 months 2 weeks ago by Bolduque.
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Contemplated Hifi/HT 2.1 set-up 4 months 2 weeks ago #49089

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Bolduque wrote:
You're right indeed. Maybe I should have worded it differently: I wonder how much I will notice the effect of the .1 channel in say a Dolby Digital stream versus SHD receiving the PCM stream over TOSLINK. In any case music is more important to my than my movies but I would like to keep some level of quality when viewing them!

All I can say is that the reason I have my more complicated setup is because I think it's worth it to keep the LFE data for movies. Given you're used to this my bet is you won't be happy losing it but only you can decide. Possibly you can do something with the settings on your HTPC or AVR to test what the effect would be?
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Contemplated Hifi/HT 2.1 set-up 4 months 2 weeks ago #49090

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Good point, I'm going to see what the effect is if I downmix on my HTPC before sending to the TV!
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Contemplated Hifi/HT 2.1 set-up 4 months 2 weeks ago #49091

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Bolduque wrote:
Good point, I'm going to see what the effect is if I downmix on my HTPC before sending to the TV!

This is outside my experience but at a guess you may want to adjust your AVR setup to work optimally with this too, or I think you may end up with no sound at all coming from your sub.
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Contemplated Hifi/HT 2.1 set-up 4 months 1 week ago #49095

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Ultrasonic,

Just now started to run some tests and the first thing I notice is that when playing movies from my PC the Dolby Digital stream does not even arrive to my AVR, it indicates that it is receiving a PCM signal. So the current pc->tv via hdmi -> avr via toslink never actually made use of the decoding functionalities of my AVR! This plus the fact that I am actually already happy with the sound quality at the moment puts my mind at ease when it comes to replacing the AVR with the SHD and two monoblocks!

This is if understand correctly that my TV most lileky passes through 2 channel PCM, but this is not something I can easily test.

TV(+netflix) direct to AVR does make use of dolby digital but we have never noticed issues with watching movies on netflix or directly via the HTPC so I guess I should be ok.
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