Non amplified 2 channel receiver? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-05-2013, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys,
I'm a long time lurker, first time poster.

I recently purchased these speakers for use with my Samsung LCD (LN-S4095D) and Apple TV. I got these speakers because they're powered and I didn't want to bother with a separate amp/receiver. I was initially planning to connect them using the headphone jack so I could control the volume with the TV remote, but this hasn't worked out so well. The volume coming out of the headphone jack is VERY low, so I have to crank up the dial on the speakers (near max) and quadruple the volume on the TV in order to get a normal volume out of the speakers. This also results in horrible, muffled sound.

My fallback approach has been to connect the speakers to the TV's Audio Out using RCA cables. This sounds excellent, but as expected, I cannot control the volume through the TV remote and must get up and adjust the dial on the speakers. I'm hoping you guys can help with an inexpensive solution to control the volume via remote (ideally, the tv remote). I'm thinking I will need a cheap receiver to sit in between the TV and the speakers, but have never owned a receiver and don't know the first thing about them. I don't think I need an amplifier since the speakers are powered. Any suggestions for a simple receiver, or alternative connection approach would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Josh
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-05-2013, 05:27 PM
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It doesn't make sense to me that the Samsung headphone out is not working with your AudioEngine 2s but if you are sure that both devices are working properly then you are going to need either a preamplifier or a receiver with preamplifier output jacks or ntegrated amplifier with preamplifier output jacks.

In the end it would probably be simpler to replace your speakers with AudioEngine A5+s or Aktimates, etc. which have a remote control but if you want one of the former here are some choices:

Emotiva USP1
Marantz 1402 or 1403
Sony STR-DN1030

Hopefully someone has a cheaper recommendation as these options will set you back $300+.

Another option is simply to start over and get a receiver and passive speakers.
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post #3 of 13 Old 01-05-2013, 07:41 PM
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Probably the cheapest solution would be something like the Harman Kardon 3390. It has preamp out jacks that the powered speakers would plug into and volume would be controlled by the 3390 - it comes with a remote. It has a subwoofer jack if you want to add a sub.

Personally I'd send the Audioengine's back if you are still in the return window and get a nice receiver and bookself speakers. This would also result in a much more versatile setup since you could also plug in a CD player or other analog sources. I've owned a 3390 for several years now. Its a very competent receiver. For about the same price but without preamp out jacks there is the Onkyo 8255. I've also owned one of them. Didn't much care for it after owning the HK.

When all else fails - RTFM!

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post #4 of 13 Old 01-05-2013, 10:31 PM
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check out where the problem is - try a pair of headphones with your TV, try your audioengines withe a different source - e.g. a laptop. Make sure the connections are secure. The AE2 should work fine with your TV. Mine have a problem with the longer cord that came with the speakers. It the problem is with your TV headphone jack getting different powered speakers won't help.
The AE2 speakers are pretty good for what they are, and they should be a significant improvement over your TVs speakers. Good luck.
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-06-2013, 03:54 AM
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yea, it doesn't make sense that the a2s don't sound right with the headphone jack. Try a different 1/8" stereo cable. I use a2s with my computer on its headphone jack and they work just fine. If headphones work fine with your tv then the problem lies with the a2s or the cable. If the cable checks out then send the a2s back for a replacement.
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-06-2013, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ugabrew View Post

Hey guys,
I'm a long time lurker, first time poster.

I recently purchased these speakers for use with my Samsung LCD (LN-S4095D) and Apple TV. I got these speakers because they're powered and I didn't want to bother with a separate amp/receiver. I was initially planning to connect them using the headphone jack so I could control the volume with the TV remote, but this hasn't worked out so well. The volume coming out of the headphone jack is VERY low, so I have to crank up the dial on the speakers (near max) and quadruple the volume on the TV in order to get a normal volume out of the speakers. This also results in horrible, muffled sound.

My fallback approach has been to connect the speakers to the TV's Audio Out using RCA cables. This sounds excellent, but as expected, I cannot control the volume through the TV remote and must get up and adjust the dial on the speakers. I'm hoping you guys can help with an inexpensive solution to control the volume via remote (ideally, the tv remote). I'm thinking I will need a cheap receiver to sit in between the TV and the speakers, but have never owned a receiver and don't know the first thing about them. I don't think I need an amplifier since the speakers are powered. Any suggestions for a simple receiver, or alternative connection approach would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Josh

For $15-30 you can obtain a headphone amplifier that will boost the output from the headphone jack by 6-10 dB which is a very noticable increase in loudness.

Based on my own experiences with it, you might benefit from this one:

http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-e5-E5-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B001P9EQH8



In your application it would need to be plugged into a USB jack, of which there is one on your TV.

I think it comes with all of the cables that you will need:

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post #7 of 13 Old 01-06-2013, 04:28 PM
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Wouldn't setting the analog audio out to variable in the TV sound settings let you control the volume with the TV remote?
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-06-2013, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the replies. Your advice was very helpful. I ended up trying one of my own 3.5mm cables in place of the long one from audioengine and this helped quite a bit. I now have the audioengines set to about 30% volume and the TV in the 25-35 range (out of 100). I can now crank up the tv (via remote!) and get it as loud as I need. I'm not sure what is wrong with the other cable, but so glad I tried switching them out before sending the speakers back or buying a $300 receiver. These little speakers are amazing and a huge improvement over the built-ins.

One final question.... is there a recommended balance for volume settings between the TV and the audioengines? I'm guessing I don't want the audioengines set too high since I hear a little background noise, but wanted to see if you guys have recommendations. Thanks again for your help... I was starting to get depressed after looking forward to these so much!
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-06-2013, 09:33 PM
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A general recomendation would be to turn the speakers down and the TV up, as long as the output of the TV is not so high as to be distorted this should be the preferred configuration.

Regards,
Dan
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-06-2013, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ugabrew View Post

One final question.... is there a recommended balance for volume settings between the TV and the audioengines? I'm guessing I don't want the audioengines set too high since I hear a little background noise, but wanted to see if you guys have recommendations. Thanks again for your help... I was starting to get depressed after looking forward to these so much!

If memory serves - A2 manual recommended setting the volume on the speakers to about 75% (3 o'clock), and then adjusting the output on the source to the desired level. But my memory isn't what it used to be... Glad your speakers are working for you!
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post #11 of 13 Old 01-07-2013, 03:53 AM
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3 o'clock seems too high. Shoot for 10-12 on a2 and adjust with tv volume as needed
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post #12 of 13 Old 01-07-2013, 04:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ugabrew View Post


One final question.... is there a recommended balance for volume settings between the TV and the audioengines? I'm guessing I don't want the audioengines set too high since I hear a little background noise, but wanted to see if you guys have recommendations. Thanks again for your help... I was starting to get depressed after looking forward to these so much!

There are general guidelines for handling cascaded volume controls. The general topic is called gain staging.

I've just reviewed a number of articles on the topic that I googled up, and they are all probably more than you want to deal with, even though many of them are pretty good.

Basically, you want to avoid the normal pitfalls related to bad or suboptimal gain staging:

(1) Audible Noise
(2) Audible distortion
(3) Inconvenient setting of the gain control you want to use all the time (this is somewhat a matter of taste).

You probably want to first figure out what your ideas are about item 3. How do you like your main volume control to work?

What do you want the knob to indicate most of the time, for normal iistening?
What do you want the knob to indicate when you turn the system up all the way?

My preferences are that the main volume knob show 9-10 o'clock most of the time, and around 3 o'clock when I want to listen very loudly. I want a little reserve gaim for listening loudly when the source is a little on the weak side. YMMV

So to start out, set all of the volume controls to 8-9 am.
Then advance the volume control you want to control the system with to your preferred setting for normal listening.
Then raise the remaining volume controls together until the overall volume is actually your preferred listening level.
Double check your settings by advancing your preferred volume control knob to the setting you prefer for very loud listening, and if necessary adjust the remaining volume controls in tandem until you have what you want. This will obviously change the setting for normal listening, but like all of the rest of life, this is a compromise.

In some cases you may need to adjust the non-preferred controls differently and not in tandem, but start out with adjusting them in tandem.
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post #13 of 13 Old 01-07-2013, 05:54 AM
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Arny's advice is sound. In summary I'd try to find a position on the A2s where normal listening is about 1/4 to 1/3 of the tv volume control and 'loud' is no more than 1/2 to 2/3 on the tv volume control. Low level volume should be no less than about 1/4 as well. In short you want to keep the tv volume in midrange and hopefully that is midrange as well on the A2s.
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