Originally Posted by la9ers
just got my new 808 yesterday..... any recommended settings i need to adjust?
I've had my 808 for a few days, and these settings sound fantastic:
Start with the Audyssey automated setup. It's very accurate with speaker distances, phase, EQ, even levels. Except for the subs. No bass lover will ever be happy with truly "flat" (accurate-on-paper) bass. Bump your subs up about 3-6dB manually after setup, and thank me later.
You'll find two menus to navigate, and one often overrides the other. The first, Setup, is where you do your calibration and overall preferences. Some Setup options also let you do per-input preferences. Be sure to check those out. I was able to force all music to Stereo out of my Sonos, while letting the home theater gear go with chosen surround formats.
While we're on the subject of Stereo, the 808 also provides "audiophile" settings, called "Direct" and "Pure," which turn off all unneeded processing for the most direct audio signal path. I didn't use these, because they disable some very cool audio enhancements (Audyssey Dynamic EQ and THX Loudness Plus, for example) that I fell in love with.
I stayed away from Audyssey Dynamic Volume. (Don't confuse it with Audyssey Dynamic EQ, which is awesome.) I've never used any dynamic range limiter, and I never will, regardless of the time of night. Feel free to experiment with this "Midnight" mode if you'd like, though. I hear it can save a marriage.
I also didn't need IntelliVolume, where you can set individual volume levels for each input. It may be handy to try, if you switch between different sources and the volume goes up or down significantly. I was lucky...no such problem.
The second menu is accessed by the remote's Home button, and that's for on-the-fly sound/picture adjustments that override some of the Setup choices. (Jockeying between the two menus can get aggravating, but I do like the level of control.) Sometimes that override works vice-versa. For example, if you choose a Setup option such as THX Loudness Plus, the Audyssey Dynamic EQ option will be grayed out in the Home menu for any source using THX (the two competing loudness enhancers cannot work together on a particular source). Explore the Home menu thoroughly. Via that menu, I was able to turn off THX's Re-EQ, which sounds dull (and is unnecessary) on DIRECTV.
You should listen to the sound of both music and movies, with Audyssey Dynamic EQ, then THX Loudness Plus, to determine if you like one better. They are two competing solutions for low-volume listening, both using sophisticated new algorithms for loudness compensation. I didn't prefer Dynamic EQ so much for TV (slightly chesty male voices on some TV channels and, yes, I know, it's the networks' fault for boosting the midbass). Either way, it's pretty dang sweet for both music and Blu-ray movies. THX Loudness plus only works on THX modes (so, no dice for stereo), but its lighter touch and superb handling of surround at low volume made it the winner for video. Fortunately, the 808 lets you choose both simultaneously, as long as you keep Audyssey Dynamic EQ away from sources using THX surround modes (you can use Audyssey Dynamic EQ with THX modes if you disable THX Loudness Plus). I chose Audyssey Dynamic EQ for Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, and stereo sources (great for movies and music), and THX Loudness Plus for any source using THX surround modes (great for DIRECTV).
While you're in the Home menu, make sure you turn off anything having to do with video processing or noise reduction. Those items always introduce more problems (artifacts) than they solve.
If you have a stellar HDTV, like a Pioneer Kuro or something, set the Resolution (Input/Output Assign in main Setup) to "Through." This will pass any HDMI signal to the TV, unaltered. Your kickass TV can then do its own upconverting/scaling kung fu. (Note: This is NOT the "HDMI Passthrough" that allows HDMI signals to pass from a source through the receiver to the TV, even when the receiver is off. I recommend that you don't use that feature if possible--it's a power hog, and who cares about TV sound.)
For best handling of video, use only HDMI-based sources. Banish all analog video from the system. That shouldn't be a problem, as anyone upgrading to this receiver should have both feet planted in the HD realm. HDMI switching with the receiver is reasonably quick; when you introduce analog video, upconverting, and outputting it via HDMI, you'll slow switching down. Every significant reason for buying this receiver over last year's model is digital, anyway.
Don't forget to check your speakers' impedance, and adjust the receiver accordingly in "Speaker Settings." You have two choices: 6 Ohms and 4 Ohms.
I moved to this unit from a Pioneer Elite VSX-92TXH receiver that originally cost $400 more at retail. While the two sounded neck-and-neck unequalized (and EQ'd at full volume), the 808's Audyssey Dynamic EQ and THX Loudness Plus are better for the lower volume levels of everyday listening. That's why I bought the 808--for its uncanny ability to push bits around. Everyone tells me that the Onkyo amp section sounds better than the Pioneer's, but I wouldn't know either way. I'm using an Audio Refinement external amp for the fronts, and it sounds epic. I'm letting the two Revel B15a subs handle bass management. Since the juice comes from elsewhere, the Onkyo merely needs to put its digital stank on the full-range signals, and make them sound pretty.
And boy, does it sound pretty. So I got that going for me. Which is nice.