Onkyo TX-SR606 speaker set-up w/ microphone? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-29-2013, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I started an earlier thread, asking for preferences between this Onkyo and an Integra DTR-6.5, along with some further info. I got only one response (thanks again, Jon), and no preferences. So, as the Onkyo has a remote and the Integra doesn't ( -- I got them both used, for $20 - 30 each -- ), I'm going to try to set the Onkyo up.

However, I'm a relative old-timer, and used to just hooking up turntable, cassette player, CD player, etc., along with speakers, and firing it up. After getting through the "you've got to be kidding me" phase when I looked at the back of this unit, I began mapping out the connections for phono ( -- with pre-amp -- ), tape deck, DVD/CD player, Blu-Ray player, LD player, VHS player, Beta player, and TV. (I think that's all of 'em.) Then, I looked at the manual, which, if memory serves, runs to about eighty pages. Yeee....

I was still up for making my way through the forest of set-up directions, aided by whatever common sense I could bring to bear. Then, I got to the speaker set-up:

Apparently, there's a special microphone that's used to sense the acoustics of the room from several positions, and that has (?) to be used before the receiver is properly set up. Well, I don't have that microphone, though I've got a couple of garden-variety mics around that I could plug in. So, I wonder:

1. If there's a way around the whole process, and, if so, what damage do I do to the reproduction and other qualities of the receiver and the sound I'll get from it? If there's not;

2. Can I use a plain ol' microphone to do the set-up process, and, if so, again, what potential damage do I do to the receiver's performance?

3. Though off topic, can I use the receiver I've now got my turntable connected to as a pre-amp? (I've also got one of those little Radio Shack numbers around here somewhere, in case I can't.)

I'm eager to get the unit set up, as I've got it and innumerable cables, switchers, etc., all over my living room. So...

Any guidance on these or related issues about set-up and/or use of this receiver would be most deeply appreciated -- thanks!
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-29-2013, 06:33 PM
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You should use the standard microphone, which you can buy thru Onkyo but it's a whopping 16.80 plus s/h. https://www.shoponkyo.com/products.cfm?group_id=11 Have no idea how close any other microphone will get you.

There should be a way to manually adjust speaker levels and distances (which the mic will help you do automatically), doesn't the manual indicate such? You'd need an spl meter for best results, altho there should be some tones you can run to set them by ear as well.

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post #3 of 7 Old 09-30-2013, 07:02 PM - Thread Starter
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lovinthehd, thanks for your quick response and helpful feedback.

Some thoughts:

1. I really don't mind the price of the microphone; time's really the problem, as I've got everything I might need for setup -- and undoubtedly a whole bunch more -- piled around my relatively small living room, and I'm very eager to get things set up. If I have to, I suppose I can send off for it and wait, but it's a pretty unpalatable option.... which makes me wonder;

2. What would happen if I simply plugged it in and didn't do the Audyssey 2EQ speaker setup procedure (which the manual makes clear is "essential")? Would it somehow distort or diminish the normal performance of the speakers? Or would it simply fail to refine the sound in whatever ways the Audyssey thing does? My hearing is no longer the hearing of an audiophile (if it ever was), and I'm not sure how much I'd gain through whatever fine tuning Audyssey offers.

(However, it's clear to me already that I may be over my head with this receiver. It appears that I really should have an HDMI TV to which to hook it up; and I'm still using a pre-HD TV with a set-top HD box. I'm going to give Craigslist a check, but I'm clearly out of my comfort zone.)

3. You're right: The manual mentions that, thirty pages later, there's a procedure for manually setting speakers. Looks involved, though not impossible; also looks like it would benefit from an HD TV, in order to get readouts on the TV screen. No HD, no TV readouts (though they apparently appear on the receiver "screen").

Well, I'd like to give this a run, but I'm not sure that I'm not just in over my head. (E.g., had no clue what a spl meter is; googled it to get in the loop.) On the other hand, if all of this setup -- fifty pages' worth in my manual -- is required of ALL relatively current receivers, maybe I'd better just bite the bullet, slog on through, and see if I can pull it off.

At any rate, lovinthehd, any further guidance you can give me, about the above or anything else you think might help, would be received with great appreciation. In the meantime, your info has already been of real help -- thanks again!
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-30-2013, 07:32 PM
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The microphone makes speaker setup an automatic function and has the added filters the Audyssey MultEQ can apply for your particular listening positions. Some prefer manually setting up their speakers but using an spl meter really is more accurate than your ears generally, but you can always do the quick and dirty with the built in speaker tones by ear and your own measurements for distance settings. Will the automatic Aydyssey setup be better? Maybe, maybe not....they're your ears, you just might prefer your own setup. The microphone is certainly easier, as is using the GUI rather than the avr's small panel. Most avr's are more like computers than they resemble the simple stereo receivers of years past. Took me a while with my first modern avr but in the long run I think having the ability to use the flexibility they offer is worth a bit of time invested in reading the manual (RTFM!). If you have component output from your settop box you might be able to still get the GUI on the avr (or it could be HDMI only)....that's probably in the manual. smile.gif

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post #5 of 7 Old 09-30-2013, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, lovinthe hd, for another remarkably fast response.

I should have mentioned earlier that I am, in fact, reading the manual, both because I get the principle and because this is clearly very new ground (for me) that I'm plowing. However, I'm only to about page 55 -- through the initial setup, including Audyssey, but not yet to the manual setup, the reference to which I most definitely missed the first time around.

Your thought that the Audyssey might sound better but might not leans me toward going ahead and do a manual setup, with the thought that I can always get the mic and do Audyssey when I'm more conversant with the receiver and have done some physical setup, both with it and with the speakers, a couple of which are also new to me.

(I just noticed that a couple of small 8 ohm speakers that I picked up for very little this weekend, with the intention of using them as back surround speakers, are listed at 30 watts, which, I suppose, means that they might get cooked if I crank the sound up. ...I'm not much of a cranker-upper by nature, but, my hearing might require a bit of help on occasion... However, I've been assuming, till now, only a five-speaker-plus-subwoofer system; and, all of the speakers I expected to use welcome the power; so, I may experiment a bit, given that I wouldn't be at all distressed by the loss of the two small speakers.)

The computer-rather-than-stereo transition you mention is, I think, what I'm going through now. Sooner or later I'm going to make it, so I suppose now would be the time. An HD TV (you get the GUI on HDMI-connected TV only) might help tip the balance.

Anyway, it'll be an adventure. ....In which case, it's good to know you're out there...

Thanks once more.
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-30-2013, 08:15 PM
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Definitely I'd do the manual setup while I waited for the microphone....or if it sounded good to me I might not order it (but with me the curiosity would get the better of me and I'd order it anyways).

Keep in mind the content in a rear surround is not huge, plus 30 w can drive many speakers to quite a loud level anyways. I have a fairly capable set of speakers for my rear surrounds but they're overkill for most movies as they are mostly about ambient effects (altho there is some music being mixed for surround now and that is why I put more capable speakers there in the first place).

HDTV is what started me into better avr's, speakers, subs, blurays etc. Watch out, it's addicting! smile.gif Have fun and wishing you good sound!

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post #7 of 7 Old 09-30-2013, 11:00 PM
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Get the microphone, its well worth having.

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