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LFE in no sub setup 2 weeks 16 hours ago #57720

  • paulzhere
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Hi all

My first post here. I apologize if this has already been discussed here before, but I could not find any post discussing this exact question. So I have a MiniDSP DDRC24 and a 7.2 setup. I would like to let the DDRC24 take care of my front channels and my 2 subs. That way, I have Dirac taking care of my stereo+subs while listening to music and also the front channels + subs while watching 7.1/5.1 HT content. I was thinking of connecting the RCA FL and FR outs of my AVP to the two inputs of the DDRC24, FL, FR, Sub1 and Sub2 to the 4 outputs and set "no subwoofer" in the AVP. My question is, do I lose the LFE information of HT content while doing so? In other words, if there is no subwoofer configured for the AVP, where does the LFE information go? Does it get redirected to the mains? I have tried looking in the internet but there is no definitive answer and even conflicting information. Some say that the LFE information gets lost while others say that it gets redirected to the mains.

Thanks in advance for your insights
Paul

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LFE in no sub setup 2 weeks 16 hours ago #57721

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You're processor manual should explain it somewhere! Typically if subs are set to 'none' then LFE content is redistributed to speakers set to 'large' or 'full range'.

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LFE in no sub setup 2 weeks 15 hours ago #57722

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Hmm that's the problem. These Denon/Marantz manuals are quite old and cryptic. It mentions that when the "fronts are set to small, then the low frequencies are directed to the subs". But it doesn't say anything about what happens to the LFE information when the fronts are set to large and no sub is present.

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LFE in no sub setup 2 weeks 15 hours ago #57723

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Guess I can find this out myself with some testing. Found these files online... www.jensign.com/bdp95/7dot1voiced/index.html I can run them with the sub setting in my AVP first set to on and then to off and check what happens to the LFE signal :)

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LFE in no sub setup 2 weeks 2 hours ago #57730

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Just to follow up. I ran the test files downloaded from the above link and got some curious results. First I confirm that for my Marantz pre-pro and most probably for all Denon and Marantz processors and receivers, LFE is indeed redirected to the mains if no subwoofer is present or subwoofer is set to « none » in the unit. However, (at least for my processor), if the sub is set to « yes » then no LFE will be played on the mains not even if you select LFE mode as LFE+Main and/or set the fronts to « Large »

So I guess what they are saying here makes a lot of sense:

hometheaterhifi.com/editorial/the-misund...ital-surround-sound/
 

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Last edit: by paulzhere. Reason: Typo

LFE in no sub setup 1 week 5 days ago #57740

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Hiya.  I had a similar setup to yours (Marantz 7.2 AV receiver) and from memory I set up my DDRC in 2.1 mode for front left and right speakers and subwoofer.  I set up the Marantz for large front speakers with no sub.  All the low level info (inc LFE) was then passed through in a stereo mix, which was subsequently decoded by the DDRC and output as 2.1.  That way I could listen to simple stereo music using the Marantz as a preamp and source selector, but could also use the Marantz as surround sound amp for movies (I just switched Dirac off on the DDRC in this case).  It worked just fine, but I eventually replaced the DDRC with an SHD and have set everything up differently now and no longer use a minidsp in the chain for 7.2 movie duties.  

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LFE in no sub setup 1 week 5 days ago #57741

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Hi

Thanks for the input. I also plan to do more or less the same, except that I have 2 subs which are kinda placed asymmetrically in the room. I am wondering whether to downmix the stereo info and send them to both the subs or to send L to one and R to the other. Also for movies, I think I will use L/R bypass on Audyssey on the Marantz even for multichannel audio for movies and use Dirac for the front two channels while Audyssey takes care of the rest. This is a project for the Christmas holidays. Hope it will sound fine!

 

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LFE in no sub setup 1 week 4 days ago #57744

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In the end I decided that using Dirac within a movie 7.2 set up on just the front channels wasn’t worth the hassle.  Using Audyssey alone is sufficient for my movie requirements and keeps things simple.  Fortunately, my main speakers and sub have their own switchable inputs so it’s easy enough to use my SHD (with Dirac) as a preamp for stereo music, and the Marantz as a separate source for surround sound duties.  

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LFE in no sub setup 1 week 4 days ago #57746

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@Bialymn

I keep contemplating Dirac for my cinema setup. By the sound of it if their wasn't much improvement over Audyssey (for movies) I'd guess even less improvement over Anthems ARC.

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LFE in no sub setup 1 week 4 days ago #57747

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@asx77

I find Anthem ARC to be leaps and bounds better than Audyssey. I had a very old MRX500 which had the first version of ARC and it was still noticeably better than Audyssey with its fancy XT32 and SubEQ HT and what not. Apparently the new ARC Genesis is even better. Unfortunately all the HDMI ports on my MRX500 died and I had to replace it. I don't like esp what Audyssey does with the high frequencies. With ARC I can apply the equalization to only the lower frequencies and get amazing results. According to Dr. Floyd Toole and other researchers, auto calibration software does more harm than good if applied to frequencies above around 200 Hz. I guess that's where Audyssey is messing up things because it tries to do too much all across the frequency range. But that's completely my personal opinion. Also nowadays, there is the Audyssey app with which you can control the range of frequency to apply the EQ. I don't have any experience with that as it is not compatible with my prepro.

Yet to try Dirac. I have heard rave reviews of it. But after reading what @Bialymn says here... I don't have high expectations.
The following user(s) said Thank You: asx77

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LFE in no sub setup 1 week 4 days ago #57748

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@paulzhere - good insights Thanks.

I've actually got the MRX700 (hdmi inputs are still hanging on in there!). I used to use a truly wonderful sounding Primare SPA21 which started having problems with intermittent sound. I could have got it repaired but I had recently discovered Dirac so opted to try a second hand Anthem to add some correction to film nights.

I wasn't aware of the research regarding auto correction and higher frequencies. I might look at the MRX again as can't remember if I bounded the range it corrected. Do you apply the same frequency restrictions when running Dirac on your two channel?

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Last edit: by asx77.

LFE in no sub setup 1 week 4 days ago #57751

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@asx77 with pleasure!

You could check out this lecture by Dr. Floyd Toole himself. I found it extremely informative and it changed the way I look at these auto calibration softwares:



For Dirac, I am yet to try it out and see how it sounds for different frequency ranges. But I have the feeling that I will be restricting it is also only to the low frequencies. I need to experiment. One thing about Dirac is it also (apparently) does impulse corrections which might (or might not) have significant effect on the sound.

There is another reason I don't like to equalize anywhere above 200 or 300Hz for my speakers. That's because, from a purist point of view, I do not want to change the basic sound signature of my speakers. I mean, if I didn't like their sound, I wouldn't have kept them in the first place.

Moreover, at least for Anthem ARC, when you restrict the correction to just a narrow range (say only up to 200Hz) you have more filters available for that range. Basically, all the parametric filters are applied only to that narrow low frequency range and the end result can be extremely tight and hugging the target curve of your choice. Otherwise, if you apply it to too broad a spectrum, you are not guarateed a similar result because the filters have to be spread across the entire spectrum and might not be sufficient to tame the frequency, esp. in a badly behaved room.

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LFE in no sub setup 1 week 4 days ago #57752

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Using Dirac for the front L&R speakers and subwoofer in an AVR system for surround sound movies did actually sound different and possibly a little ‘better’ than Audyssey alone.  However I decided against it because I prefer to have a more purist setup for my music listening and wanted a simpler setup just for that (without using the AVR).  I tend not to watch too many movies anyway and since Dirac only processed the L/R and sub channels (not the centre dialogue channel), its effect on the movie watching experience (for me) just wasn’t worth the more complex setup it involved.  After all, does it matter whether an explosion sounds ‘cleaner’ with Dirac or slightly more ‘boomy’ with Audyssey (if you pardon the pun)?  And then you have to deal with the time delay and latency that Dirac introduces in a multi channel setup.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s not worth giving this a try, it’s just that I personally think that a simple Audyssey setup for movies suffices for me.  For 2 channel stereo music however, Dirac processing is great.  I know what a piano or cello should sound like and using Dirac gets closer to the realism I’m after.

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LFE in no sub setup 1 week 4 days ago #57753

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Thanks for the clarifications @Bialymn

I am really excited to try out Dirac but the need was not as pressing so far because I already had the excellent ARC on my Anthem receiver. After it died, I got a Marantz as it was a good deal. But as I am not (and never was) a fan of Audyssey, I decided to go the DDRC24 route as a cheap entry into the Dirac world. Also I always wanted to try Dirac out. I guess I'll find out soon :)

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