Incredibly Frustrated: Please assist with "Zone 2" setup (Denon AVR2113CI, Niles SSVC-4 ) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 04-26-2013, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
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After much recommendation from this site, I recently purchased a Denon AVR2113CI, and Niles SSVC-4 Speaker Selector.

This is not my first sound system -- actually I was hoping this would be a drop-in replacement for my old Sony, give or take a few new cables. However, I may need to be treated like a first-timer in case I missed something obvious.

I've been able to set up everything (Sony DVD/CD Carousel, Roku Box, RCA to 1/8 plug for non-USB MP3 player, and Samsung TV. Everything in the main room (let's call it Zone 1) works fine. Good surround, nice effects, I'm pleased.

Today's project was to hook up what I used to call the "B" Speakers, now Zone 2. Previously, I had "A" Speakers as the main room with surround, and "B" Speakers went to a cheapy Radio Shack 4-way speaker selector box which led 3 pairs of speakers to the basement, my office, and the kitchen. This worked very well for over 15 years.

Here begins my frustration: I have read the manual, and tried to just "play" and make things happen. I can't make heads or tails out of it.

(edit.)

Rather than try to verbally re-create my situation, which would likely evolve into a rambling mess and possibly not even get my point across correctly and now I've wasted everyone's time, I ask this:

Can someone (or all of you) who understands the 2113 please explain to me exactly HOW Zone 2 works, what my options for setup and control are, and how to control it? I do know that only analog will play through Zone 2, so I added analog outputs alongside each digital. Beyond that, I don't get it.

By reading the manual and "random menu exploration" I have discovered (and tried to understand) topics like "Assigning Zone 2 as a secondary set of front speakers," which sounds an awful lot like "B Speakers" to me, however when I do this, I cannot control the volume to Zone 2, and all I get from my speakers is a very faint "headphones on the table" sound, even with the 12-position Niles Knobs cranked up to.. well, 11.

Here is what I hope to accomplish:
  • Zone 2 will always output what Zone 1 is playing, emulating A+B speakers
  • I can control the volume output to both Zone 1 and Zone2
  • Someone will show up at the house while I'm asleep and set this up exactly how I want it to work.


Thank you all very much for your help.
Murph
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post #2 of 17 Old 04-26-2013, 06:26 PM
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The 2113CI lacks the "variable" Zone 2 volume control feature found on the 2313CI and the 3313CI and therefore the Zone 2 volume must be controlled by the external amp (ie. Niles). The analog inputs are not assignable so ensure the HDMI cable is assigned to the same source name that the analog cable is plugged in to (eg. DVD and DVD).

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1334369/the-official-denon-avr-xx12-model-owners-thread/0_100#user_M

And lastly, note there is a dedicated thread just for Denon XX13 owners linked in my sig. Review posts #3-6 in that thread for more helpful information as well.

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post #3 of 17 Old 04-26-2013, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

The 2113CI lacks the "variable" Zone 2 volume control feature found on the 2313CI and the 3313CI and therefore the Zone 2 volume must be controlled by the external amp (ie. Niles). The analog inputs are not assignable so ensure the HDMI cable is assigned to the same source name that the analog cable is plugged in to (eg. DVD and DVD).

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1334369/the-official-denon-avr-xx12-model-owners-thread/0_100#user_M

And lastly, note there is a dedicated thread just for Denon XX13 owners linked in my sig. Review posts #3-6 in that thread for more helpful information as well.

OK -- At least I know I"m on the right track. I did base the inputs off the analog twins since I did realize they were not assignable.

As for the volume... am I understanding you correctly that Zone 2 has a "fixed volume output, non-adjustable, end of story," or does it rise and fall with the Main Zone volume control? The Niles unit isn't an amp -- just a splitter with volume controls.

I have been making my way through that thread you sent me to... and I'm currently reading the battle of legacy connectors.
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post #4 of 17 Old 04-26-2013, 10:29 PM
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Ah, thought it was an amp as well and connected to the Zone 2 pre-outs in which my comment about Zone 2 "fixed" volume applies and not to the Surr Back/Amp Assign speaker terminals. However, if you currently have the Niles connected to the Surr Back/Amp Assign speaker posts, then you need to connect it to a 2CH amp which in turn is connected to the Zone 2 pre-outs as that is too many sets of additional speakers for the AVR to power.

http://www.amazon.com/AudioSource-AMP-100-Stereo-Power-Amplifier/dp/B00026BQJ6

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post #5 of 17 Old 04-29-2013, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
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OK JDS, I swear, I read the manual again, and I tried to make you proud, but I'm stumped again.

I took your suggestion and bought that amplifier, and I hooked it up exactly as you recommended.

Here is something I'm stuck on:

When I had the Niles box hooked up directly to the "Zone 2/7.1 speakers," I could fiddle around with the menus and assign them as "Front B" Speakers, which I loved. Whatever I did in the main room could be mirrored throughout the house which is what I want.

My two questions now are:

1) Can I somehow link Pre-out Zone2 to the Main Zone as it was before, or are they forever two different entities?

1.5) If they have to be controlled separately, I wonder if I could tell my Harmony One to do what I want it to do.... Anyone done this?

2.) There's a bit of a delay between Main and Zone2 when I have them both running. Not HORRIBLE when listening to music, but when I'm listening to podcasts or something with spoken word, this could end up being a little annoying. How can I combat this? I did find a setting where I can adjust the "lip syncing" but that seems to be only related to television.

Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

Murph
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post #6 of 17 Old 04-29-2013, 06:22 PM
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1. Sure. Connect analog cables (as well as the HDMI cable for the main zone) from any external sources that you want to pass to Zone 2. Review the link I provided.

2. If video is involved in the main zone, then set the "Video Mode" setting to "GAME" to minimize any audio delay to Zone 2.

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post #7 of 17 Old 06-07-2013, 06:23 AM
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Your frustration is something I shared with you about a year ago.

Let me put it simple.......wouldn't it be fantastic if Denon simply included a SIMPLE "B" speaker output like all receivers used to have for the last 35+ years?!?!

I have a main system in my living room, and simply 2 speakers outside on my deck. I wanted to simply listen to music on my deck speakers on occasion.
I tried out several Denon receivers the past 2 years.......but eventually sold them due to the complexity of doing simple things.

From just simply switching the speakers, to lack of tone control on my deck speakers........I gave up and just bought a simpler receiver.

Frustrating stuff like this makes me appreciate my Yamaha CR-1040, my Sansui G-801, and my Pioneer SX-1980 so much more!!
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post #8 of 17 Old 06-07-2013, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
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One thing I'm curious about is why AVR Manufacturers set things up so only analog audio goes to the additional zones.

Next time I have a chance to experiment (which is hard considering the rest of the house is always hogging the sound system -- I only get to touch it on Friday and Saturday nights between 10pm and 1am when everyone else is gone) I'm hoping that if I go into the SPEAKER SETUP menu, and assign the amp to "Front B," That will still send a "Main Zone Clone" signal through the Zone 2 Amplifier outputs -- just like it did through the Zone 2/7.1 speakers before I got the aux amplifier.

As more and more component manufacturers eliminate the auxiliary jacks, the more functionality I lose.
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post #9 of 17 Old 06-07-2013, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montego Murph View Post

One thing I'm curious about is why AVR Manufacturers set things up so only analog audio goes to the additional zones.
Cost...
In previous days, frequently the digital sources also had L/R analog audio outputs so these could be used for Zone 2.
Handling digital sources requires more processing circuits plus often it requires some type of function display depending upon capability. Going forward, more cost effective processors are becoming available and starting to be implemented into AVRs for digital multi-zone sources. Additionally now HD video is being requested for Zone 2 or 3 as well.

Just my $0.02... 👍😉
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post #10 of 17 Old 06-07-2013, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewk2 View Post

Your frustration is something I shared with you about a year ago.

Let me put it simple.......wouldn't it be fantastic if Denon simply included a SIMPLE "B" speaker output like all receivers used to have for the last 35+ years?!?!

I have a main system in my living room, and simply 2 speakers outside on my deck. I wanted to simply listen to music on my deck speakers on occasion.
I tried out several Denon receivers the past 2 years.......but eventually sold them due to the complexity of doing simple things.

From just simply switching the speakers, to lack of tone control on my deck speakers........I gave up and just bought a simpler receiver.

Frustrating stuff like this makes me appreciate my Yamaha CR-1040, my Sansui G-801, and my Pioneer SX-1980 so much more!!

Denon 7.1 AVRs continue to have and have had Front B capability for quite a few years. Also note that tone control on Zone 2 speakers is available on the 2313CI and 3313CI.

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post #11 of 17 Old 06-07-2013, 09:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Smoothie, here's something I can't seem to figure out:

If I assign the amp to "Front B" using the GUI, can I still use the line-outs and feed signal to my external amps, or is that only good for the speaker jacks?
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post #12 of 17 Old 06-08-2013, 04:39 AM
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Yes. Amp Assign only applies to the Surr Back/Amp Assign speaker posts. The Zone 2 pre-outs will still pass the Zone 2 source.

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post #13 of 17 Old 06-11-2013, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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I've come to understand that the word "hack" is verboten here on the forums... but my life (where this AV system is involved, anyway) would become so much simpler if somehow I could assign "Front B" signal to the Zone 2 Line-outs.

Just out of curiosity, why is the topic of hacking firmware and such off-limits here?
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post #14 of 17 Old 06-11-2013, 03:42 PM
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For the same reason that Zone 2 cannot pass a digital signal.

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post #15 of 17 Old 06-12-2013, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Because that's just the way it is?
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post #16 of 17 Old 06-12-2013, 01:17 PM
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Additional DAC required resulting in additional costs.

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post #17 of 17 Old 06-12-2013, 01:30 PM
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is what I hope to accomplish: •Zone 2 will always output what Zone 1 is playing, emulating A+B speakers
•I can control the volume output to both Zone 1 and Zone2


I can only comment on what my Onkyo 616 does and all of the research that went into selecting it over more expensive options.
Here's what I've seen and some of how I accomplish this and am just assuming the Denon's capabilities given how much more it costs.

1. Use the front high binding posts for dedicated speakers with a volume control knob. A sort of work around for the ability to use digital sources for the second 'zone'.
2. simply press whole house mode/ or select the same source on zone 2 as is playing for zone 1 assuming it is either an onboard source or has a dac that you bought for $15 to analog inputs from the source side by side with the zone 1 source. Guessing this isn't available for you.
3. The NR616 has a set of Analog Outputs which I've seen people use small jumper rca plugs and plugged them in to analog inputs on the back to piggy back off of zone 1. I can't recall the caveats but there were some but you then have a defacto whole house mode. Presuming the Denon has the analog outputs but could be mistaken.
4. The Onkyo allows full and independent volume control of zone 1 and zone 2 but is fixed for zone 3. I will use a impedance matching volume control know when I get to zone 3 in my whole house audio. I have them all over the house in zone 2 and they work well.

I have a very, very slight lag between my 5.1 main seating area on zone 1 and the closest zone 2 room being the adjacent dining room. Some songs it is noticeable and other's it isn't and only when it is really loud. Problem is the house is so large that there is a bit of an echo effect by the time you hear it in that closest zone 2 room. I am also going to use the second HDMI out on the 616 to go to my kitchen tv to mimic the family room tv and the main TV's audio coming out of the whole house audio...betting there will be a delay between the tv and the audio given zone 2 has no processing whatsoever. Funny how what we think are just no brainers on these avr's require a bunch of workarounds.
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