XA2 Bass Management Fix confirmed!! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 455 Old 06-02-2007, 10:44 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, I'm starting another thread, as the other one has gotten so long as to be difficult to follow.

Under Firmware v 1.6, Bass Management does work properly in the XA2, but there are a couple of things you need to know if you are going to use BM with the analog outs.

1) Digital Out SPDIF needs to be set to PCM
2) Digital Out HDMI needs to be set to AUTO
3) Set all speakers to SMALL
4) The LFE/Sub channel needs 15 dB of boost, not 10 db. This is to accomodate the additional gain required to handle the summation of the LFE channel and the redirected bass.

The additional 5 dB boost requirement kicks in when the L/R front mains are set to 'SMALL'.

Bass is redirected if you only set the center and surrounds to 'SMALL', but there are some minor level inconsistencies. You can see these in the center channel RTA traces in the other thread. For now, it seems best to simply operate with all of the channels set to LARGE with 10 dB LFE boost, or all set to SMALL with 15 dB LFE boost.

It seems that the SPDIF output setting impacts the analog outputs, and needs to be set to PCM for BM to work. This certainly isn't intuitive, but it has been demonstrated to make a difference.

Thanks are owed to cpcat, cuzzin, and TundrSQ for sticking with it to help clarify this rather odd firmware bug. Thanks also to dstay22, MACCA350 and mlankton for not letting it drop.
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post #2 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 12:25 AM
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Just made the switch to PCM for my Digital Out and guess what--my BM is now working.

Too late to check levels tonight, but assuming that they check out like MauneyM and others have reported, it would seem that there is a solution to this madness.

Gotta say, though, I feel bad for the people who own XA2s trying to use their analogs and don't frequent this forum. Toshiba really needs to work out the kinks in the system.

Anyway, I'm happy to at least have my analog option back. Thanks for the trial and error, guys.
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post #3 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 01:03 AM
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Quote:
It seems that the SPDIF output setting impacts the analog outputs, and needs to be set to PCM for BM to work. This certainly isn't intuitive, but it has been demonstrated to make a difference.

Yeah it seems that setting SPDIF also affects HDMI as well.
But what exactly the analogs will do if you set SPDIF to bitstream, instead of the PCM?

sent via Morse code...........

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post #4 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 07:02 AM
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This begs the questions...who should use BM and who should not.

Tim
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post #5 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 07:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tundrSQ View Post

This begs the questions...who should use BM and who should not.

This is completely dependent on the quality, power handling, and frequency response of your mains and your sub, so there is no simple answer. However, there are a few rules of thumb that are valuable.

> If your mains are full-range (i.e., they can get down to 20 Hz - or at least very close), then you may not need BM.
> If your sub's response is really, really flat and linear, and it has the ability to provide SPL levels up to 5 dB above LFE reference, then you may want to use BM regardless of your mains.
> If your mains bottom out at a relatively high frequency, say 45-50 Hz or above, you probably want BM.
> If your sub is anemic, i.e., is can't handle high SPLs, or the frequency response is poor (the so-called 'one-note' subs), you may be better off without BM.

It's a balancing act among competing issues. If in doubt, try it both ways and see which you prefer.
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post #6 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MauneyM View Post

This is completely dependent on the quality, power handling, and frequency response of your mains and your sub, so there is no simple answer. However, there are a few rules of thumb that are valuable.

> If your mains are full-range (i.e., they can get down to 20 Hz - or at least very close), then you may not need BM.
> If your sub's response is really, really flat and linear, and it has the ability to provide SPL levels up to 5 dB above LFE reference, then you may want to use BM regardless of your mains.
> If your mains bottom out at a relatively high frequency, say 45-50 Hz or above, you probably want BM.
> If your sub is anemic, i.e., is can't handle high SPLs, or the frequency response is poor (the so-called 'one-note' subs), you may be better off without BM.

It's a balancing act among competing issues. If in doubt, try it both ways and see which you prefer.

I am watching that jim carry movie right now...eternal sunshine or some such title. with the settings as you posted above. with the XO set to 100hz. All distances and db set to zero. Then in my AVR I am -5db in all the mains and +10db in the sub.

The dialog sounds spot on GREAT, and for the first time I am able to watch the movie and not watch the SQ.

This is a great start . For me the BM problem besides throwing off the bangs and booms...it made the dialog sound " all over the place". Now I think Ihave a starting point for setting the levels.

I have decent ($1000) bookshelf 2-way mains and a 15" TC sounds subwoofers that is far from anemic, but also far from flat yet. So for me I like the idea of using BM and will try it out with a few movies that sounded GREAT on my A1 to see where this new BM stands.

Thanks MauneyM for everything you have done and i am sure will continue to do!!

Tim
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post #7 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 07:55 AM
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MauneyM,

From the many of us who struggle toward perfection, thanks for your persistence and clarity of explanation. First HD DVD I play next the system will be reset. Well done

Jayray
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post #8 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jayray View Post

From the many of us who struggle toward perfection, thanks for your persistence and clarity of explanation.

Thank you! This has been fun and elightening.

Mods, any chance of making this a sticky with the name changed as I did above? Now that we have this thing sorted out, it might serve to stop the proliferation of threads asking why LFE / Bass Management doesn't work.
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post #9 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MauneyM View Post

OK, I'm starting another thread, as the other one has gotten so long as to be difficult to follow.

Under Firmware v 1.6, Bass Management does work properly in the XA2, but there are a couple of things you need to know if you are going to use BM with the analog outs.

1) Digital Out SPDIF needs to be set to PCM
2) Digital Out HDMI needs to be set to AUTO
3) Set all speakers to SMALL
4) The LFE/Sub channel needs 15 dB of boost, not 10 db. This is to accomodate the additional gain required to handle the summation of the LFE channel and the redirected bass.

The additional 5 dB boost requirement kicks in when the L/R front mains are set to 'SMALL'.

Bass is redirected if you only set the center and surrounds to 'SMALL', but there are some minor level inconsistencies. You can see these in the center channel RTA traces in the other thread. For now, it seems best to simply operate with all of the channels set to LARGE with 10 dB LFE boost, or all set to SMALL with 15 dB LFE boost.

It seems that the SPDIF output setting impacts the analog outputs, and needs to be set to PCM for BM to work. This certainly isn't intuitive, but it has been demonstrated to make a difference.

Thanks are owed to cpcat, cuzzin, and TundrSQ for sticking with it to help clarify this rather odd firmware bug. Thanks also to dstay22, MACCA350 and mlankton for not letting it drop.

I assume speakers set to SMALL regardless of the size of your speakers...?
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post #10 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtsguy View Post

I assume speakers set to SMALL regardless of the size of your speakers...?


MauneyM's repsonse to the same question as asked by me :


Quote:
Originally Posted by tundrSQ
This begs the questions...who should use BM and who should not.


This is completely dependent on the quality, power handling, and frequency response of your mains and your sub, so there is no simple answer. However, there are a few rules of thumb that are valuable.

> If your mains are full-range (i.e., they can get down to 20 Hz - or at least very close), then you may not need BM.
> If your sub's response is really, really flat and linear, and it has the ability to provide SPL levels up to 5 dB above LFE reference, then you may want to use BM regardless of your mains.
> If your mains bottom out at a relatively high frequency, say 45-50 Hz or above, you probably want BM.
> If your sub is anemic, i.e., is can't handle high SPLs, or the frequency response is poor (the so-called 'one-note' subs), you may be better off without BM.

It's a balancing act among competing issues. If in doubt, try it both ways and see which you prefer.

Tim
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post #11 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 10:24 AM
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Thanks guys for all of your persistence. Now only if somebody can figure out if it is the same situation with XA1, that would be great.

Vinod
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post #12 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by vinodk View Post

Thanks guys for all of your persistence. Now only if somebody can figure out if it is the same situation with XA1, that would be great.

XA1 is a different beast with a different but IMO better analog stage, and has no BM issues.

Tim
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post #13 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtsguy View Post

I assume speakers set to SMALL regardless of the size of your speakers...?

The SMALL setting is what tells the decoder to redirect frequencies below the crossover frequency to the sub output. This is what is referred to as Bass Management. The setting actually has less to do with the size of the speakers than with their ability to operate below 100 Hz.

Given the strangeness in levels I observed when trying to select Bass Management for only the center and surrounds, I am recommending that you should either use BM for all 5, or none.

If you set all of your speakers to SMALL, then all of the sound from all of the channels that is below the selected crossover frequency will be redirected to the sub, along with the LFE channel. If you set them all to LARGE, then each speaker will get the full-range signal for it's channel, and only the LFE channel will go to the sub.
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post #14 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 12:44 PM
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Great work MauneyM. Like I said before, Toshiba should send you a check.
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post #15 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tundrSQ View Post

This is a great start . For me the BM problem besides throwing off the bangs and booms...it made the dialog sound " all over the place". Now I think Ihave a starting point for setting the levels.

!!

This illustrates an important point. With BM engaged for all 5 channels a relative +15db boost for the sub channel somewhere along the chain should bring the bass in line. Similarly, without BM, a relative +10db boost to the sub channel should do it. However, precise level matching will still be necessary via spl meter and test tones to account for room acoustics, speaker sensitivity and location, etc., etc. to tweak from there and really dial things in.
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post #16 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cpcat View Post

Great work MauneyM. Like I said before, Toshiba should send you a check.

I'd settle for my 5 free movies.....
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post #17 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by MauneyM View Post

I'd settle for my 5 free movies.....

When I talked to Toshiba on Friday they had me in the system and with my movie choices and they told me it would be about another 3 weeks as they are all out of movies.

As for the BM issue, 1.6 fixed it for me. I have good strong bass on TrueHD titles over the analogs, and it is actually coming out of the sub. I'm happy!

Format Neutral BD-UP5000, JVC XV-BP1, HD-A35, HD-D3, Xbox 360 Add-on

HD DVD: 87
Blu-Ray: 96
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post #18 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 03:55 PM
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With XA1 the only problem is that it appears that even with crossover engaged, some bass seems to leak into center channel.

Vinod
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post #19 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinodk View Post

With XA1 the only problem is that it appears that even with crossover engaged, some bass seems to leak into center channel.

Well, some bass WILL get into the redirected channels, there is just less of it as you go down in frequency. The filter user for the crossover is not a brick-wall, so there is a tapering-off. Look at the trace posted below to see what the filter actually does to the signal.

FWIW, this is exactly what I would expect the bass management to do. A steeper filter would also result in phase problems.

If you think there's too much, you might try setting the crossover frequency higher.
LL
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post #20 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 05:14 PM
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Good stuff, I'm glad all this mess got sorted out. Mauney, I have a quick question, in the other thread, you told me when calibrating the speakers using the DVE tones that I would need to set my sub 7 dB higher than the other channels. I calibrated the 5 channels at 75 dB and the sub at 82 dB, now my question: I still add the 15 dB bass boost to the .1 output after the calibration, right? The boost wasn't necessary to get my sub to 82 dB, and the bass without any boost sounds a little weak, so I figure there is still some boost that should be added, but is it the full 15 dB after calibration?

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post #21 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 05:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cuzzin View Post

in the other thread, you told me when calibrating the speakers using the DVE tones that I would need to set my sub 7 dB higher than the other channels. I calibrated the 5 channels at 75 dB and the sub at 82 dB, now my question: I still add the 15 dB bass boost to the .1 output after the calibration, right? The boost wasn't necessary to get my sub to 82 dB, and the bass without any boost sounds a little weak, so I figure there is still some boost that should be added, but is it the full 15 dB after calibration?

If the tones are getting to 82 dB without the boost, then you shouldn't need it. However, the LFE tone on that disc moves around by 4-5 dB, so it's tough to say that you got it dead-on. Also, the C-weighted average you get from a simple SPL meter isn't as sensitive in the low frequencies, and is really dependent on placement in the room. If you feel you need to crank it a bit, cool. In the end, it's about getting it to sound the way you like it, right? For myself, I'm focused on getting as close to exact reproduction as I can get, but to each his own.

Under any circumstances, the 75/82 dB settings should get you pretty close. You might also try the THX tones - I seem to recall that they are on each of the Star Wars discs.
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post #22 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 05:55 PM
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So MauneyM are there any recomended settings for someone with no sub but full range 5.0 setup that R/L and Center that can handle down to 26hz?

My stuff is old, but it still works well. Apparently AVS finds it to old to keep in their database but I'm still happy with it.
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post #23 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 06:07 PM
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I thought the most common practice was to add +3dB to the reading from a RS SPL meter when using a sub test tone. Of course there are RS spL meter calibration files out there.

Unfortunately it seems that TrueRTA will not install on a Vista 64 system (I had to upgrade) -- so I can't run my cal mic on the XA2's performance right now. But I am very happy with just a basic RS SPL calibration using the HD DVD of DVE. I redid the cal today with the SPDIF set to PCM and the bass management was definitely working. But since my AVR will not do the analog 5.1 input LFE boost and I have to do it at the sub amp -- the 15 dB needed boost does give me a bit of a problem. I can only do a -10 dB sub cut for a digital audio input to my AVR. So I have to leave 5 dB out of the needed gain for direct analog 5.1 inputs if I'm going to keep the system calibrated for all the other inputs. .

Once again when using DVE, even the new HD DVD version, don't we need to cal the normal channels at 75 dB SPL and the sub/LFE channel at 85 dB SPL? Using the RS SPL meter that means a 82 dB SPL reading for the sub/LFE channel.

Good job MauneyM and company in running down the issue of f/w 1.6 working for BM for some and not for others due to the SPDIF setting.
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post #24 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baenwort View Post

So MauneyM are there any recomended settings for someone with no sub but full range 5.0 setup that R/L and Center that can handle down to 26hz?

I don't think so. I tried redirecting the LFE the other day by turning the subwoofer off in the XA2 menu, and couldn't get it to go into the mains.

Is this something that your receiver can do?
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post #25 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 06:47 PM
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Not my current one. I'm waiting for the new HDMI Sherwoods for my next upgrade. I'm hopeing that they will but for now I don't know of one that does. It isn't a frequent question so most that I ask about no one knows.

My stuff is old, but it still works well. Apparently AVS finds it to old to keep in their database but I'm still happy with it.
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post #26 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MauneyM View Post

If the tones are getting to 82 dB without the boost, then you shouldn't need it. However, the LFE tone on that disc moves around by 4-5 dB, so it's tough to say that you got it dead-on. Also, the C-weighted average you get from a simple SPL meter isn't as sensitive in the low frequencies, and is really dependent on placement in the room. If you feel you need to crank it a bit, cool. In the end, it's about getting it to sound the way you like it, right? For myself, I'm focused on getting as close to exact reproduction as I can get, but to each his own.

Under any circumstances, the 75/82 dB settings should get you pretty close. You might also try the THX tones - I seem to recall that they are on each of the Star Wars discs.

Ah, Ok. I personally like a little bit of an extra kick in my bass, so I went ahead and added an extra 5 dB to the .1 channel, giving me 5 channels at 75 dB and the .1 at 87 dB. It sounds good, and I couldn't be happier that the BM problem is out of the way. This is now the ideal HD DVD player.

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post #27 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 07:25 PM
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Even tho I don't have the XA2 I have been following this thread and other threads on LFE level setting. Myself I have the A1 calibrated my Yamaha HTR-5960 for 75dB on the 5 speakers and 85dB on the sub. Since the HTR-5960 has discreet multi-channel ins I set the correct distances and speaker size in the A1 and ran the DVE HD DVD disc and calibrated the multi-channel levels to 75dB with 82dB on the sub. To my ears this sounds good without the sub overwhelming the sound from the other speakers.

...Angelo

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post #28 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baenwort View Post

Not my current one. I'm waiting for the new HDMI Sherwoods for my next upgrade. I'm hopeing that they will but for now I don't know of one that does. It isn't a frequent question so most that I ask about no one knows.

The LFE isn't rerouted either on the A1 or XA2. An outboard bass manager such as the Outlaw ICBM is an option. I did it for much less via a workaround with passive in-line crossovers. It works well with the caveat being your analog input has to be able to handle the extra voltage. For most pass-thrus it shouldn't be a problem.


LFE routing workaround post # 181
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post #29 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobgpsr View Post

I thought the most common practice was to add +3dB to the reading from a RS SPL meter when using a sub test tone. Of course there are RS spL meter calibration files out there.

Agree. The RS meter gets less sensitive the lower you go so +2 or +3db is probably about right.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobgpsr View Post

I can only do a -10 dB sub cut for a digital audio input to my AVR. So I have to leave 5 dB out of the needed gain for direct analog 5.1 inputs if I'm going to keep the system calibrated for all the other inputs. .

This may give you 3 or 4db. If you recall, we discussed it a while back and I gave you some of the credit for the mod.

Tips for boosting analog LFE post # 193

You could also simply cut the 5 main channels in the XA2 by 5db (leave the sub at zero).
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post #30 of 455 Old 06-03-2007, 07:51 PM
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You guys are onto something with changing the SPDIF setting to PCM. Doing so clearly does affect the analog output as well. The other speaker management problems I've noted (such as setting for no center channel) are now working properly.

Weird.

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