B&K Reference 70 Owners Thread - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:37 PM
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I was hoping there was a way to eliminate the audio from the HDMI signal out of the Ref 70. We use the television mostly without the Ref 70, so i didn't want to have to switch the TV speaker on and off. Currently, I have been muting the TV. That is mostly an annoyance. I would have thought B&K would have an option to just stream the video signal given that if you are using a processor, you have the audio going the analog route to your amplifier and separate speakers.

Anyone have issues with the temporary audio dropout when adjusting the volume with the remote through the IR receiver on the keypad. Again, it only seems to happen on one of the inputs and works fine on others.

The unit sounds great. I upgraded from a Ref 50, but that wasn't working well with the CT for routing shared sources. This setup seems to work great.
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:09 AM
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70 owners, I have a question. I'm seriously looking at buying a Ref 70, real serious but I need to check on a few things first.

I need room EQ which is coming and maybe I can live without it for a while. I would like the HD audio and that does sound like its in the works. But what I definitely need is the ability to play multi-channel audio (SACD, DVD-A, etc.) using HDMI. I know B&K lists support for the correct HDMI version to accomplish this but that doesn't always means it works. This would be a MPCM feed since I know it won't handle DSD fed to it via HDMI.

I know it has 7.1 analog ability and thats nice but for me and my set up I prefer to use HDMI for multi-channel.

Is anyone doing this?

Thanks,

Wally
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HT_n_Me View Post

70 owners, I have a question. I'm seriously looking at buying a Ref 70, real serious but I need to check on a few things first.

I need room EQ which is coming and maybe I can live without it for a while. I would like the HD audio and that does sound like its in the works. But what I definitely need is the ability to play multi-channel audio (SACD, DVD-A, etc.) using HDMI. I know B&K lists support for the correct HDMI version to accomplish this but that doesn't always means it works. This would be a MPCM feed since I know it won't handle DSD fed to it via HDMI.

I know it has 7.1 analog ability and thats nice but for me and my set up I prefer to use HDMI for multi-channel.

Is anyone doing this?

Thanks,

Wally,

Re: your first sentence - I'd say the opposite. HD audio is coming and EQ looks like it's in the works. As far as multi-channel - DVD Audio should be working but I don't know about SACD. I've done HD audio (PCM) via 5.1 analog and HDMI with success.

ck
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:48 PM
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I installed 1.05 and had no problems with DTS HD 7.1 over HDMI. Using the analog inputs works also if your DVD player supports it.
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Old 01-31-2009, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I can understand why people wnat Audessey... But why are people waiting on the decoding board to decode True HD and DTS-MA???

My PS3 does all the decoding internally and I send it over Linear PCM to the Ref70.

Am I missing something here?

My on ly beef is that it won't upconvert Dolby TrueHD to 7.1 from 5.1

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Old 01-31-2009, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Watching Harry Potter Order of Phoenix and I'm running Software 1.03. Running English Dolby TrueHD 5.1. Toshiba XA2 with PCM output. My setup is a 7.1 system.

When I change the audio to Surround Mode DVDA 7, the Surrounds are about 10 db too loud. If I change to Surround Mode DVDA 5, the Surrounds are correct.

What could be causing this?

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Old 01-31-2009, 04:32 PM
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Michael:

Why not load 1.05 and try it again?

Jim
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Old 01-31-2009, 04:59 PM
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I could be wrong, but I think that if you use the DVDA input with linear PCM, you lose all of your sound system setup. No room correction, no bass management etc. That plus the thrill of seeing the display say "Dolby HD Master" of course.
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Old 02-03-2009, 02:23 PM
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Thanks for the updates Steve. I'm glad to hear that they haven't forgotten about SACD playback.

I got around to upgrading to 1.05 last night... what an ordeal. The firmware upgrade failed over my wireless network, and I thought that my unit was bricked. A direct cable connection saved the day, and I was able to get 1.05 loaded successfully. Then, when trying to use the BKSuite to re-load all of my settings, of course, I found that the old version was now obsolete with the 1.05 firmware. Downloaded the new software, which was now incompatible with the old configuration file, so I had to put it all in again manually. After about 2 hours, start to finish, I'm back up and running. Software upgrades through the OSD will be a much nicer solution in my opinion. I hope that they can find a way to save all the user settings during an upgrade as well.

Haven't had much time to see what's changed, but will report back with any observations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post

Some (accurate) updates.

Yesterday, B&K released the awaited V1.05 software. I have a few processors on order and they would not ship till rev 1.05 was done.

The boys at B&K have been extremely busy working on occasional lock-ups and HDMI issues.

Here is some items that 1.05 fixes:

1.) According to Engineering, 1.05 really works better with all the HDMI issues that keep coming up in the industry. They were able to test and put "work arounds" in most of the known issues they have seen with the various players in their test lab.

2.) Rev 1.05 fixes issues (red color, no color or blu-ish color). These monitors/ TV's had poor HDMI timing from the monitor or Player.

3.) They fixed a few issues that B&K had on the OSD which caused the 70 and 707 to hang under certain key strokes.

4.) They also fixed other spontaneous and unexplained lockups and/or video resets. This was caused by the conversion board ("a computer") talking to another "computer" the mother board. While these happened to me under once a month, it was annoying.

5.) Added 1080P 60/24 monitor output resolution. Set 1080P 60/24 monitor output only for use with a 1080P 24 capable monitor. When they detect 1080P 24Hz video from a Blu-Ray disc and our monitor output resolution is set to use 1080P 60/24, they will pass the 24 Hz else they will default back to 1080P 60Hz.

6.) Added support in 1.05 for Ethernet network time. This will be used in the near future to allow software updates over Ethernet from their B&K Server selected from our OSD Menu rather than running a PC application. Nice!!!

Oppo Owners: They did not finish the SACD input selection in rev 1.05, but another engineer is working on it right now (with his own OPPO player) and hopefully they should see a rev 1.06 shortly. Engineering wanted one of my customer to know that they did not forget them, just that they had more pressing HDMI video operational issues that needed to be fixed and released ASAP. Once they get the SACD user interface ie. how they detect and turn on and off (preferable auto by B&K monitoring the players SACD bit setting) they will release the new rev.

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Old 02-05-2009, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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any word on the release of the daughterboard?

Michael James
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Old 02-06-2009, 02:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlary View Post

I could be wrong, but I think that if you use the DVDA input with linear PCM, you lose all of your sound system setup. No room correction, no bass management etc. That plus the thrill of seeing the display say "Dolby HD Master" of course.

Yup, that was the final straw for me. With my 5.0 system I had *no* LFE when doing multi-channel LPCM.

(I returned my Ref. 70 last week.)
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Old 02-06-2009, 03:59 AM
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"All of the CODAC's have been blessed off by Dolby and DTS" Bought mine in November with hope of January now Febuary. I am very happY with it but would love to get the latest Audio in my processor Any REF 70 owners in AZ?
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Old 02-08-2009, 09:07 AM
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I have a Avr 307 and was wondering if I buy the ref 70 can I use the amplification from the 307 and use the processor from the ref 70. I dont have enough money for the 200.7 amp. I really want to have seperates now. So not really interested in the avr 707.
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:54 AM
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I would think you could connect the outputs from the ref 70 to the DVDA inputs on the 307. I bet if you called B&K they could give you a quick answer.
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:35 PM
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Yes, you read that right

I've had a Ref 10 for almost 12 years now and have been using it along with Marantz mono blocks (MA 700) and a pair of Thiel (CS 2.3) speakers and a center channel (Thiel SCS). Couldn't be more pleased with the AQ. I recently (finally?) upgraded to a flat screen LCD (Samsung LN46A750) and am now thinking of getting a Ref 70.

Does B&K offer a trade-in for folks like me with older models?

On the other hand, does a Ref 70 make sense if I only have 3 speakers?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Cheers!
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:56 PM
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OK guys, I'm the guy who had Steve's demo unit last, and just wanted to provide an update to you all....

First off, I updated the firmware to 1.05 without incident via a network link. It was a snap.

The new firmware removed the loud "clicking" when changing inputs.

The new firmware made the unit more stable. While I did get the unit to hang once in the week after I did the update, it was FAR more stable than before.

The new firmware solved the "color cast" problem I was experiencing. It looked to me like one of the component outs just went dead to the TV -- but after the update it went away.

Audio performance was unchanged to my ear -- incredible.

Overall, I really enjoyed the unit -- so much so I take delivery of a new one shortly....Mike

p.s. To the guy who lost LFE -- did you try turning your front speakers to "small"? This solved a similar problem I was having with my 2.1 setup.
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Old 02-13-2009, 01:06 PM
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I spoke with B&K today and while there is a room eq plan in progress, nothing has been decided. They are working with a company (not Audyssey) and it is not certain whether the solution will involve an internal upgrade or an external box.
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Old 02-13-2009, 01:24 PM
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External box??? Paging Steve H...this can't be a consideration can it?
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Old 02-13-2009, 01:36 PM
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Also is there any updates on the daughter board for decoding the HD audio formats? I hope it is getting close.

Mike
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Old 02-14-2009, 12:23 PM
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I got the Ref 70 on Wednesday, it replaces an Anthem AVM-2. I've hooked up a Sony BDP-S550 blu ray player and a Pioneer Elite plasma TV, both over HDMI. I also connected a DirecTV (SD) DVR over S-Video. I'm using a 5.1 setup. I performed quick setup on Wednesday night and have been running the system (with TV off) non-stop until this morning to let everything warm up.

The on-screen menu made setup pretty easy, once I got the hang of the navigation and with a little common sense all was easily configured using the remote. The on-screen menu is a bit sluggish, and sometimes page transitions are not smooth (showing an extra page momentarily); overall no big deal. Setup done in under 15 minutes!

Having read a ton about the 'hiss' this processor produces, I decided to compare what I heard from all 5 speakers in 3 scenarios: Power amps on only with inputs shorted, Power amps connected to Anthem AVM-2 turned on in 6 channel direct mode with no audio input and volume set to 0dB, connected to Ref 70 turned on in 8 input direct mode with no audio input and volume set to 0dB. As you would expect, there's a little noise in all three situations, slightly less with inputs shorted. I could not hear more noise from the Ref 70 vs AVM 2. Plugging in a tester in the center channel balanced output on the AVM2 shows -82dBu, on the Ref 70 I get -86dBu. Good enough for me.

I used 'The Matrix Reloaded' blu-ray disk to make an initial assessment of how the Ref 70 sounds. The player is connected over HDMI to the Ref 70. After the time it took to load the disk and get through the pre-ambles, I was impressed with the dynamics and clarity; imaging is quite good and overall the experience is pleasant. At no point did I find myself unhappy with the processor's audio performance while playing this movie. As has been noted, True HD decoding is not yet supported, consequently I didn't bother trying to get it to work. I swapped in the AVM2 next (Connected over optical S/PDIF), while that unit still sounds good, the Ref 70 sounds better. So far, so good.

I did notice some of the 'click and pop sounds' mentioned earlier in this thread when I started playback of the disk I was using to test when playing through the Ref 70, they seem to coincide with format switches in audio and/or video. Not jarring, but noticeable. I played the same startup sequence through the AVM2, and heard no click and pops. Just to double check I connected the audio through S/PDIF to the Ref 70, still clicks and pops when there are audio and/or video format switches on the disk. I can live with this, but it does feel a little sloppy to me.

I noticed that video looked different with the Ref 70 sitting in the chain (previously I had the blu ray machine connected directly to the TV). Things seemed a little darker and some of the low level detail seemed to be gone. A quick check with the test disk and a spider confirmed my suspicion: The video levels do materially change when I run through the Ref 70. try as I may I cannot get them right: Below video black seems to be gobbled up by the Ref 70 and high luminance seems to be clipped as well. Still looking for what settings to change where to address these issues; I was surprised that below black is clipped on a high end device like this, and can't imagine anything else but that I have a setting wrong somewhere. The 24 frame pass-through works flawless from what I can see.

Of course I couldn't help myself and had to check some of the resolution and phase test patterns on my test disk. As I would expect, the full resolution makes it from the disk to the TV with no visible problems. I did not observe a change in those aspects of image quality with or without the Ref 70 between the player and the TV.

Next I tried my DirecTV DVR, which is an SD device. Using the one included S-Video adapter and a component cable I connected it to the Ref 70, and used an optical S/PDIF connection to get audio into the processor. The 1080/p upconversion looks good, I turned on many of the noise reduction and enhancement features and got the best picture yet I have seen from that machine. (I know, I should upgrade to HD...). It took me a little while to figure out how to turn of the Pro Logic decoding that's on by default and then what to do to get just 2 channel stereo, after that was done I will say the sound I got again is quite good. In this configuration I had a little line of 'static' on the top of the screen, using the zoom adjustment in the processor that was easily dealt with. I like the result of the ref 70 in this setup better (subjectively) than plugging the DirecTV box straight into the TV.

Since the Blu ray disk was still running, I switched back to blu ray using the remote, and this is where life became interesting. The combination of the Blu Ray player, Ref 70 and Pioneer TV took a long time to sync everything back up. During that time I got snow images on TV, pops and clicks galore, then sound and finaly the image appeared. After getting out the stopwatch I switched back and forth a couple more times: Switching from the Blu Ray machine to S-Video takes 11 seconds, switching from S-Video to the Blu Ray disk takes... 22 seconds. When I plug the video cables into the TV and the audio cables into my Anthem, either switch takes less than 3 seconds, and there are no loud pops and clicks and no snowstorms on my TV. This is also not the end of the world, but I was surprised that these switches were not more smooth. (In case you care: BD was 1080/24p over HDMI with Dolby Digital audio on HDMO, pass-through of 24p on the Ref 70 enabled; S-Video was 480i with audio on TOSLINK)

In summary, I like what the video processing does to SD video, I am impressed with the audio quality once the processor locks on to the source. I am going to have to chat with tech support about the black level issue I am seeing to get a hold of the right setting to change, I assume HD video will look good when that's fixed. That'll get me to the place where 99.9% of the time things are working right. And then there's the switching problem, I assume that will get solved in future software updates...

Niels.
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Old 02-14-2009, 12:29 PM
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Niels
Great writeup and first post!
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Old 02-15-2009, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niels View Post

I noticed that video looked different with the Ref 70 sitting in the chain (previously I had the blu ray machine connected directly to the TV). Things seemed a little darker and some of the low level detail seemed to be gone. A quick check with the test disk and a spider confirmed my suspicion: The video levels do materially change when I run through the Ref 70. try as I may I cannot get them right: Below video black seems to be gobbled up by the Ref 70 and high luminance seems to be clipped as well. Still looking for what settings to change where to address these issues; I was surprised that below black is clipped on a high end device like this, and can't imagine anything else but that I have a setting wrong somewhere.

I noticed the same thing, although it looked to my eye like something was going on with the contrast. Please keep us posted on what you find out...Mike
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Old 02-15-2009, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niels View Post

I did notice some of the 'click and pop sounds' mentioned earlier in this thread when I started playback of the disk I was using to test when playing through the Ref 70, they seem to coincide with format switches in audio and/or video. Not jarring, but noticeable. I played the same startup sequence through the AVM2, and heard no click and pops. Just to double check I connected the audio through S/PDIF to the Ref 70, still clicks and pops when there are audio and/or video format switches on the disk. I can live with this, but it does feel a little sloppy to me.

Although I've not experienced any pops with the new firmware on the demo unit, nor my brand new unit, if you are already running 1.05 you might want to play around with the Plug & Play timings as described on p.60 of the manual:

"Changing the plug and play timing would adjust the mute timing of the audio before you hear pops and clicks when there is a digital audio bitstream error."

Not sure if it will solve your problem, but it's worth playing around....
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:35 AM
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Switched from tv to dvd last night. Screen went green again. I had to unplug the Ref 70 and restart it. Everything worked fine after that. Looks like more HDMI problems
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Old 02-17-2009, 12:49 PM
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Last night experienced a few oddities....

The clicking is back, but as was said above, it occurred at the beginning of a CD (via DVD via HDMI, never heard it when using PCM via Digital RCA cable) and just after an input change. Tried to change the Plug&Play timing (to 2 seconds) and it made no difference. Will play around to see if the problem is HDMI oriented....

Also had the strange "color cast" issue again (a magenta cast, not green as dlary above), and the video eventually froze. The preamp figured out something was wrong and reset the video processor -- the problem went away.

Overall, the unit still sounds superb, and I have tweaked the video settings to get rid of the odd contrast coming through HDMI (brightness +6, contrast -6) and the video looks quite good too.

These two bugs are a bit annoying though....Mike
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Old 02-18-2009, 04:22 PM
 
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I just bought a Ref 70...so far so good and the sound is truly outstanding. I was curious though, I have a Panasonic Blu Ray that decodes most everything. What do I set the Ref 70 at in order to have the blu ray process it. How will I know if the player is truly decoding?

Thanks for any input.
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Old 02-18-2009, 10:14 PM
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Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?

Quote:
Originally Posted by trevor-b View Post

Yes, you read that right

I've had a Ref 10 for almost 12 years now and have been using it along with Marantz mono blocks (MA 700) and a pair of Thiel (CS 2.3) speakers and a center channel (Thiel SCS). Couldn't be more pleased with the AQ. I recently (finally?) upgraded to a flat screen LCD (Samsung LN46A750) and am now thinking of getting a Ref 70.

Does B&K offer a trade-in for folks like me with older models?

On the other hand, does a Ref 70 make sense if I only have 3 speakers?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Cheers!

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Old 02-21-2009, 04:59 AM
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Any news on the DSD firmware update?
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Old 02-21-2009, 12:45 PM
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What is the DSD firmware update for?
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Old 02-21-2009, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trevor-b View Post

I've had a Ref 10 for almost 12 years now and have been using it along with Marantz mono blocks (MA 700) and a pair of Thiel (CS 2.3) speakers and a center channel (Thiel SCS). Couldn't be more pleased with the AQ. I recently (finally?) upgraded to a flat screen LCD (Samsung LN46A750) and am now thinking of getting a Ref 70.

Does B&K offer a trade-in for folks like me with older models? No Sir

On the other hand, does a Ref 70 make sense if I only have 3 speakers? Sure why not you deserve one right? Sure why not you deserve one right? The unit has an excellent scalar that can be utilize for your new Samsung, and more than a few features that I am sure you would use.Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Cheers!

Answered your questions above. These units are very nice. If you deside to get one, who know maybe it will be time to add other speakers.
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