The "Official" 2014 Denon Atmos+XT32 Model Thread (X4100/X5200/X7200) - Page 12 - AVS Forum
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post #331 of 4640 Old 08-24-2014, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by batpig View Post
The pics help. IMO designating the in ceiling surround as tops for Atmos is a no brainer. You already have in ceiling speakers ready to go. And it's a free experiment once the X5200 arrives. I would experiment with some locations for repositioning the surround backs (the flanking columns look pretty ideal) before committing to any permanent hole cutting and wire runs.

Are the heights the same model as the surround backs? As an experiment you could also try moving them to surround position on the columns with the current surround backs, using the in ceiling as top middle, and see how 9.1.2 sounds.
Thanks, batpig, that's a great suggestion and I hadn't thought of it. The FH satellites are in fact the same Polk Audio OWM5's as the SB's; as it happens I even have a spare pair I'm holding in reserve so it will be easy to wire them up temporarily and do some comparison testing of the various configurations. Great idea!
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post #332 of 4640 Old 08-24-2014, 05:52 PM
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Repost from me on the Atmos thread..


Sanjay and Roger came by today and we had access to a pair of my studio monitors...

Some unofficial non-scientific observations..

We hooked the pair up to the heights, wides, etc. to hear what was working, etc..

The one caveat is that some of these findings may be unique to how the Denon X5200 works.

1. You can't use the Top speakers with DSX.
2. Dolby Surround does not use the wides.
3. There was definite processing activated when you changed the type of speakers from "Top"(Direct Firing) to "Dolby Enabled."

The Denon was fairly non-intuitive in regards to selecting the Dolby Enable speakers, and general setup was a bit more involved than a 5.1 or 7.1 setup.. for example, there is an Amp Assign mode which allows you to say how the receiver will be set up (7.1 + Zone 2, 9.1, 5.1 Bi-Amp, etc..)

When in "Dolby Atmos" mode we couldn't activate the Dolby Enabled speakers.. only seems to add Top's..

We had to change it to 9.1 or 11.1 and then the option became available..

When I finally have my setup I will play more..

Sanjay and Roger will chime in I expect..

Waiting for speakers.........

ADDED: DSX doesn't work with the top speakers... Sanjay can clarify.
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post #333 of 4640 Old 08-24-2014, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by FilmMixer View Post
Repost from me on the Atmos thread..


Sanjay and Roger came by today and we had access to a pair of my studio monitors...

Some unofficial non-scientific observations..

We hooked the pair up to the heights, wides, etc. to hear what was working, etc..

The one caveat is that some of these findings may be unique to how the Denon X5200 works.

1. You can't use the Top speakers with DSX.
2. Dolby Surround does not use the wides.
3. There was definite processing activated when you changed the type of speakers from "Top"(Direct Firing) to "Dolby Enabled."

The Denon was fairly non-intuitive in regards to selecting the Dolby Enable speakers, and general setup was a bit more involved than a 5.1 or 7.1 setup.. for example, there is an Amp Assign mode which allows you to say how the receiver will be set up (7.1 + Zone 2, 9.1, 5.1 Bi-Amp, etc..)

When in "Dolby Atmos" mode we couldn't activate the Dolby Enabled speakers.. only seems to add Top's..

We had to change it to 9.1 or 11.1 and then the option became available..

When I finally have my setup I will play more..

Sanjay and Roger will chime in I expect..

Waiting for speakers.........

ADDED: DSX doesn't work with the top speakers... Sanjay can clarify.
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post #334 of 4640 Old 08-24-2014, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by FilmMixer View Post
1. You can't use the Top speakers with DSX.
2. Dolby Surround does not use the wides.
3. There was definite processing activated when you changed the type of speakers from "Top"(Direct Firing) to "Dolby Enabled."

When in "Dolby Atmos" mode we couldn't activate the Dolby Enabled speakers.. only seems to add Top's..
1. This makes sense as DSX only applies to Front Wide/Front Heights.
2. Confirmed by the matrix on p. 287.

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post #335 of 4640 Old 08-24-2014, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post
1. This makes sense as DSX only applies to Front Wide/Front Heights.
2. Confirmed by the matrix on p. 287.

Not being able to activate the Dolby Enabled speakers in Atmos mode is apparently a bug. I'd give Denon a call straight away to report the issue so a fix can be provided in the next firmware update.
Just to be clear, it's when Amp Assign is in Dolby Atmos... the tops are there, just can't change them to "Dolby" speakers.. also don't see them in the Speaker Config mode until you change Amp Assign..

I'll call them tomorrow..
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post #336 of 4640 Old 08-24-2014, 07:24 PM
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To add to Marc's post, there were several interesting things we were able to find out using only 2 speakers.

First, the wides get no signal from Dolby Surround Upmixing, but do get signals from Neo:X and all-channel stereo and even those reverby DSP modes (Rock Arena, Jazz Club, etc). Scott Wilkinson's write up of the Dolby demo already mentioned that the DSU does not use wides because they didn't want to smear the soundstage. The Dolby white paper said that DSU didn't use the speakers between the L/C/Rs because they didn't want to smear the soundstage. Seeing the same reason, I thought that there might have been some communication mixup, so I was holding out hope that wides were included in the upmixing ...to no avail. Shame, since I don't buy their smearing-the-soundstage excuse (in both cases).

The centre spread parameter in Dolby Surround Upmixing is not the gradual adjustment from fully extracted centre to complete phantom centre that we're used to in PLII Music mode. Instead, it is simply an on/off setting. When turned on, centre content is distributed equally across the L/C/R speakers (centre "spread", get it?).

We plugged the speakers into the height outputs and switched between DSU and Neo:X; the former seemed to extract more info to the height speakers than the latter. When we configured the heights as tops, Neo:X didn't output anything, nor did DSX.

While configured as tops, we went back and forth with the "using Dolby speakers" setting. Even though it was a pair of studio monitors pointing at us, the HTRF processing made them less easy to localize. Marc was almost hearing imaging behind him. When we configured them as regular height speakers, they imaged at their physical location. So even without Atmos-enabled upward-firing speakers, we could hear it was doing some sort of virtualizing. Roger said he heard a notch in the high frequencies. Thanx Sherlock, didn't know that's how it was being done.

Unfortunately, virtual heights only worked with Dolby Surround Upmixing, not with Neo:X and DSX. Too bad, because even though the virtual height speakers aren't exactly where DTS or Audyssey height speakers (or even Yamaha presence speakers) are intended to be placed, they're close enough that the function should have been compartmentalized from subsequent processing. Like bass management; if you have small speakers that are crossed over at 100 Hz, then it stays that way irrespective of subsequent processing. Likewise, if you have virtual heights instead of actual heights, then they should be treated like height speakers whether using DSU, Neo:X, DSX, Yamaha Cinema DSP, Auro3D, etc.

Finally, I must be spoiled by my last two decades of using Lex processors, because the menu structure in the Denon was unintuitive to me. You first have to pick Amp Assign, which includes settings like "Dolby Atmos". What does that even mean when it comes to assigning internal amps? The next step is to configure speakers based on the Amp Assign settings. I would have preferred it the other way 'round. Configure 7 or 9 or 11 or however many speakers you want to use. Then assign internal amps to however many speakers they will support. Whatever speakers (if any) are left over have to be powered by external amplification.


Re-posting the above in the main Atmos thread.

Sanjay
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post #337 of 4640 Old 08-24-2014, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I would just like to say: I told you so

All of your findings mirror exactly my interpretations of the manual as posted here and the Atmos thread.

Thanks for the testing, I'm sure that was fun to do with Marc and Roger. Did you by chance happen to test if Atmos surround mode was available with an x.x.2 config when the only two elevated speakers were set as Front Height? That's something bit explicitly forbidden by the manual but which Marc seemed to think would be unavailable (if only because it doesn't make sense wrt Atmos rendering). But there are a lot of people who already have front heights (without any other height speakers) who are probably going to try Atmos that way before relocating speakers.

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post #338 of 4640 Old 08-24-2014, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post
Not being able to activate the Dolby Enabled speakers in Atmos mode is apparently a bug. I'd give Denon a call straight away to report the issue so a fix can be provided in the next firmware update.
I'm not so sure it's a bug. There is nothing in the manual to indicate that Dolby enabled speakers can be used when in Dolby Atmos amp assign mode. The option to select these is only detailed in the other Amp Assign modes (like 11.1ch).

I would agree that is SHOULD be available logically but if the manual is to be believed that's by design.

As I mentioned in the Atmos thread it appears the "Dolby Atmos" amp assign mode is only to be used with an "ideal" Atmos setup -- ie one of the core four configs (5.1.2, 5.1.4, 7.1.2, 7.1.4) with speakers physically on/in the ceiling. Anything other than that and you have to go to a different mode and start diddling with the sub menu settings. It's not intuitive but that's how I'm reading the manual.
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post #339 of 4640 Old 08-24-2014, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by batpig View Post
I would just like to say: I told you so
Everybody told me so, except Dolby (when I asked at the demo why DS doesn't upmix to wides, they assured me that it was implementation, not spec).
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I'm sure that was fun to do with Marc and Roger.
Sure, like being in a Three Stooges movie.
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Did you by chance happen to test if Atmos surround mode was available with an x.x.2 config when the only two elevated speakers were set as Front Height?
Unfortunately not. When we were switching between DSU and Neo:X on the front height speakers, the receiver was configured for 4 heights.

Sanjay
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post #340 of 4640 Old 08-24-2014, 10:11 PM
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This is some great stuff guys. Very informative. Thanks for the updates.

"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." - Plato
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post #341 of 4640 Old 08-24-2014, 10:22 PM
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Yes indeed, very informative and good to know for us future owners. ...Generous of you all to share.
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post #342 of 4640 Old 08-25-2014, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by batpig View Post
Did you by chance happen to test if Atmos surround mode was available with an x.x.2 config when the only two elevated speakers were set as Front Height?
So I did this..

Amp Assign 9.1 > 2 Height Speakers > Height Layout set to Front Heights (and GUI confirms as such.)

Confirmed via OSD Info display that the heights are active when using the Dolby Surround upmixer, but not the wides.

Going to DTS Neo:X as the sound mode and all nine speakers light up.

Switching back and going to Dolby Enabled and 4 (Dolby Front and Dolby Surround) and Neo:X isn't an option anymore in the sound modes (as expected.)

As a side note, it is nice to see that the logic of all of the modes, what can and can't be done, etc. seems to be wholly sound.. obviously well refined after all these years, but nice to see the addition of Atmos broke nothing.

Except.... amp assign is confusing.. in the GUI, when you set the unit to 9.1, it shows all 7 floor speakers, even when you add 4 Dolby Speakers to the mix (I understand that you can still hook up the back surrounds to the speaker terminals and it will switch if desired..) I then had to go into speaker config and turn off the back surrounds (and the GUI of course showed my desired setup...)

It wasn't intuitive, and took us all a while to figure out (and you're talking about Sanjay and Roger!!!)

As Sanjay noted, it's a bit backwards... I mean a bit "Denon."
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post #343 of 4640 Old 08-25-2014, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro J View Post
Confused about pages 209 - 211 of the manual.
I thought I'd be able to just continue to use my XPA-5 to power my standard 5 channels and use the X5200 to power the 2 rear surrounds as well as the 4 ceiling height channels and end up with 7.2.4. But in the amp assign section of the manual, it doesn't look like I can do this but I'm not sure. I see where I'd pick 4 height speakers but then it goes into wide/height 2 and that is where I get confused.
Is it possible to just say I'm using pre-outs for my LCR and side surrounds and let the Denon handle the rest?
I'm not sure if there is a workaround, but AFAIK what you would need is the "custom" amp assign mode available on the flagship AVR-4520CI and which will presumably also be offered on the upcoming flagship X7200.

I'd be interested in hearing what the resident D&M experts advise on this point.
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post #344 of 4640 Old 08-25-2014, 07:29 AM
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As long as we are touching on the subject of external amp connections with the X5200W, I have two questions:

1) Yesterday I ordered some more RCA cables in anticipation of receiving my X5200W in a couple of weeks (thank you for taking my pre-order, JD!). After a lot of comparison shopping I ordered these "premium" cables from Monoprice (just a couple of dollars more expensive than the standard cable I've been using on my 3311CI zone 2 pre-out) despite some reviews stating that the connectors were overly tight-fitting. I found quite a range of RCA cables on the market, from el-cheapos to those $50 or more for the same 6ft length. Is there any meaningful difference in performance or durability between the various RCA cables, and if so which type would you recommend?
The Monoprice cables you chose will be fine. So long as cables are mechanically sound, one is as good as another.
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post #345 of 4640 Old 08-25-2014, 08:05 AM
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Nope.
That's really unfortunate from a marketing standpoint - even if you're the one that's being marketed to after the fact. Clearly, anyone's enthusiasm would be more pronounced if you could demonstrate the stark differences between a regular movie and an Atmos one! Even if you didn't going running and yelling from your HT, eureka, eureka! I remember the days when HD-DVD's would be included in the box. Just to top-off the experience of the new gear. Oh well, what do I know. I'm not in marketing.

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post #346 of 4640 Old 08-25-2014, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by batpig View Post
I'm not so sure it's a bug. There is nothing in the manual to indicate that Dolby enabled speakers can be used when in Dolby Atmos amp assign mode. The option to select these is only detailed in the other Amp Assign modes (like 11.1ch).

I would agree that is SHOULD be available logically but if the manual is to be believed that's by design.

As I mentioned in the Atmos thread it appears the "Dolby Atmos" amp assign mode is only to be used with an "ideal" Atmos setup -- ie one of the core four configs (5.1.2, 5.1.4, 7.1.2, 7.1.4) with speakers physically on/in the ceiling. Anything other than that and you have to go to a different mode and start diddling with the sub menu settings. It's not intuitive but that's how I'm reading the manual.
Actually, yes, there is ... the p. 287 matrix shows Dolby Surround able to be selected in Dolby Atmos mode.
That's still not the same thing. The p287 chart is for surround modes. We are talking about the Atmos AMP ASSIGN mode which is distinct from the Atmos surround mode.
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post #347 of 4640 Old 08-25-2014, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by redjr View Post
That's really unfortunate from a marketing standpoint - even if you're the one that's being marketed to after the fact. Clearly, anyone's enthusiasm would be more pronounced if you could demonstrate the stark differences between a regular movie and an Atmos one! Even if you didn't going running and yelling from your HT, eureka, eureka! I remember the days when HD-DVD's would be included in the box. Just to top-off the experience of the new gear. Oh well, what do I know. I'm not in marketing.
And how did that turn out for HD-DVD? I kid, I kid I agree some Atmos samples in the box would be a great touch.

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post #348 of 4640 Old 08-25-2014, 08:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FilmMixer View Post
Quote:
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Did you by chance happen to test if Atmos surround mode was available with an x.x.2 config when the only two elevated speakers were set as Front Height?
So I did this..

Amp Assign 9.1 > 2 Height Speakers > Height Layout set to Front Heights (and GUI confirms as such.)

Confirmed via OSD Info display that the heights are active when using the Dolby Surround upmixer, but not the wides.

Going to DTS Neo:X as the sound mode and all nine speakers light up.

Switching back and going to Dolby Enabled and 4 (Dolby Front and Dolby Surround) and Neo:X isn't an option anymore in the sound modes (as expected.)

As a side note, it is nice to see that the logic of all of the modes, what can and can't be done, etc. seems to be wholly sound.. obviously well refined after all these years, but nice to see the addition of Atmos broke nothing.

Except.... amp assign is confusing.. in the GUI, when you set the unit to 9.1, it shows all 7 floor speakers, even when you add 4 Dolby Speakers to the mix (I understand that you can still hook up the back surrounds to the speaker terminals and it will switch if desired..) I then had to go into speaker config and turn off the back surrounds (and the GUI of course showed my desired setup...)

It wasn't intuitive, and took us all a while to figure out (and you're talking about Sanjay and Roger!!!)

As Sanjay noted, it's a bit backwards... I mean a bit "Denon."
Next time I'll give Sanjay my phone number and you can call for tech support to save you some time you and Roger know a whole lot more than me but this particular subject matter is my wheelhouse

Unfortunately I just realized that until you get actual Atmos content (not DSU) you can't test what I was asking. Obviously DSU (since it replaces PLIIz) can matrix to front heights... Rather, I am talking about the ability of Atmos to RENDER to the FH if there are no other height speakers present.
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post #349 of 4640 Old 08-25-2014, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chi_guy50 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro J View Post
Confused about pages 209 - 211 of the manual.
I thought I'd be able to just continue to use my XPA-5 to power my standard 5 channels and use the X5200 to power the 2 rear surrounds as well as the 4 ceiling height channels and end up with 7.2.4. But in the amp assign section of the manual, it doesn't look like I can do this but I'm not sure. I see where I'd pick 4 height speakers but then it goes into wide/height 2 and that is where I get confused.
Is it possible to just say I'm using pre-outs for my LCR and side surrounds and let the Denon handle the rest?
I'm not sure if there is a workaround, but AFAIK what you would need is the "custom" amp assign mode available on the flagship AVR-4520CI and which will presumably also be offered on the upcoming flagship X7200.

I'd be interested in hearing what the resident D&M experts advise on this point.
I believe you are correct. As the 4100 and 5200 lack the custom amp assign modes you are limited to what is available through the pre built assignment templates. That means you can't just freely reassign any unused amp to a different function.
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post #350 of 4640 Old 08-25-2014, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by batpig View Post
I believe you are correct. As the 4100 and 5200 lack the custom amp assign modes you are limited to what is available through the pre built assignment templates. That means you can't just freely reassign any unused amp to a different function.
Uggh, that's what I was afraid of.
So what is my best option for 7.2.4 using the 5200? Okay for external amp to handle the 4 Atmos height channels? Is that doable in the pre-set assignment template?
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post #351 of 4640 Old 08-25-2014, 08:57 AM
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That's still not the same thing. The p287 chart is for surround modes. We are talking about the Atmos AMP ASSIGN mode which is distinct from the Atmos surround mode.
Actually .... p. 287 shows "channel outputs" which as would be expected the Dolby Surround speakers are selectable.

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post #352 of 4640 Old 08-25-2014, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Maestro J View Post
Uggh, that's what I was afraid of.
So what is my best option for 7.2.4 using the 5200? Okay for external amp to handle the 4 Atmos height channels? Is that doable in the pre-set assignment template?
Sure it is. If you want to use the 11.1ch amp assign mode, as I assume you do from your original post referring to pages 209 - 211 of the manual, then you have the options listed on p. 210 for a configuration with 4 height speakers, one of which is "Top Front & Top Rear: The HEIGHT1/HEIGHT2 left and right pre-amp outputs are connected to an external amplifier." That is the configuration I will probably use with my two 50w/ch AudioSource AMP-100's.

I generally like to point out that we (with the sole exception to date of FilmMixer) are all taking our direction from the on-line user's manual for the European model AVR-X5200W. The U.S. model will have some differences (particularly regarding terrestrial radio reception), although I think it is highly unlikely that any of the intrinsic operations, such as this one, will differ.
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post #353 of 4640 Old 08-25-2014, 09:36 AM
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So for those of you who have read the manual (I have not), is the following combination permissible on the X5200: the 7 "main" channels (eg. L,C,R,SL,SR,SBL,& SBR) powered via external amps with the 4 atmos top front and top rear channels powered by the internal amps and Zone 2 also powered by internal amps? I ask this because I dont see the atmos channels being as demanding as the main channels power wise so the internal amps should easily handle Atmos information with authority when the main channel duties are handled by external amps. Plus I still listen to multichannel audio from time to time and would prefer my monoblocks for that. Thanks in advance.

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post #354 of 4640 Old 08-25-2014, 09:37 AM
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Thanks for all the recent hands-on experience with the X5200, very useful.

I'm wondering if there is any chance the X7200 is released later so that it can use a chip with HDMI 2.0a AND HDCP 2.2.

How (un)likely is this? Do all the models always share the same design, or would it be possible for the top-end model to feature this?

I know, just clutching at straws, hoping I won't have to wait one more year before I can upgrade my trusty 3311 and play with Atmos (I want to be able to switch 4K protected sources with the AVR, so X5200 or X7200 without HDCP 2.2 not an option).

Still, it would be nice to know if I should definitely rule this out or if I can keep hoping .

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post #355 of 4640 Old 08-25-2014, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by esappy View Post
So for those of you who have read the manual (I have not), is the following combination permissible on the X5200: the 7 "main" channels (eg. L,C,R,SL,SR,SBL,& SBR) powered via external amps with the 4 atmos top front and top rear channels powered by the internal amps and Zone 2 also powered by internal amps? I ask this because I dont see the atmos channels being as demanding as the main channels power wise so the internal amps should easily handle Atmos information with authority when the main channel duties are handled by external amps. Plus I still listen to multichannel audio from time to time and would prefer my monoblocks for that. Thanks in advance.
I don't think you can do that simply because you are out of processing.

7.1.4 + Zone 2 I think is a no go.

11 channels max from what I inderstand.
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post #356 of 4640 Old 08-25-2014, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by esappy View Post
So for those of you who have read the manual (I have not), is the following combination permissible on the X5200: the 7 "main" channels (eg. L,C,R,SL,SR,SBL,& SBR) powered via external amps with the 4 atmos top front and top rear channels powered by the internal amps and Zone 2 also powered by internal amps? I ask this because I dont see the atmos channels being as demanding as the main channels power wise so the internal amps should easily handle Atmos information with authority when the main channel duties are handled by external amps. Plus I still listen to multichannel audio from time to time and would prefer my monoblocks for that. Thanks in advance.
As discussed a few posts up, unlike the 4520CI (and presumably the eventual X7200W) the 4100/5200 do not have a "free assign" mode that allows custom assignment of any amp to any channel. So you are stuck using the preset templates for amp assignment with the limited flexibility allowed by some sub-menu settings.

In this case you have two options for amp assign mode:

Option 1 - Set Amp Assign to "Dolby Atmos" and set the Layout sub-setting to "7.1ch + 4 Height". In this mode (see pg 219 of the UK manual we have been using as a reference) you are locked in to a "standard" 7.1 ch config with Top Front and Top Rear speakers (can only be physical in-ceiling as per the discussion above). As noted on pg 219 and the diagram on pg 52, the Top Rear speakers MUST be connected to an external amp for the first two externally amplified channels. Beyond that, you can use internal or external amps for any of the other channels. So since you have 7 amps, you could do L,C,R,SL,SR with external amps, and leave the SB L/R channels internally amped, with the final two external amps powering TRL/TRR. And the Top Fronts would be internally amped.

Option 2 - For a little more flexibility you can set Amp Assign to "11.1ch" mode, manually configure for 4 Height speakers in the Height Layout menu, and designate the 4 heights as Top Front & Top Rear (the default setting, see pg 208). Then you can set the Wide/Height2 sub-setting to "Top Rear" (pg 209) which allows you to connect the Top Rear to internal amps (the Wide/Height2 speaker terminals). Then you proceed to the Pre-out sub-setting, and I believe you set it to "Front & Front Wide" (even though you don't have FW speakers) which designates the first two externally amplified channels as the FRONT speakers. If my inference is right, then you can connect the main 7 channels to external amps and the internal amps will power the four Top speakers.

Note that in both cases it is NOT possible to use internal amps for Zone 2/3 in these 9 and 11ch modes. You can still use Zone 2/3 but you need to provide external amplification for them, again due to the lack of a "custom" assignment that lets you remap unused amp channels to other zones.

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post #357 of 4640 Old 08-25-2014, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FilmMixer View Post
I don't think you can do that simply because you are out of processing.

7.1.4 + Zone 2 I think is a no go.

11 channels max from what I inderstand.
The limitation isn't processing (the stereo processing for other zones is in addition to the 11ch max in main zone) but amp assign flexibility; see my post above.

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post #358 of 4640 Old 08-25-2014, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Maestro J View Post
Uggh, that's what I was afraid of.
So what is my best option for 7.2.4 using the 5200? Okay for external amp to handle the 4 Atmos height channels? Is that doable in the pre-set assignment template?
See my post above. I believe it may be possible to use your 5ch amp for L/C/R/SL/SR by using the 11.1ch amp assign mode.

However, worst case you can use three channels for L/C/R and then two for the Top Rear channels; you aren't forced to "waste" the XPA-5 on all four Atmos channels.

Plus if my inference is wrong and you are stuck at the "worst case" you have the option of getting a cheap 2ch amp like the Audiosource AMP 100 and then using the XPA-5 for the main 5 channels as you intended.

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post #359 of 4640 Old 08-25-2014, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post
Actually .... p. 287 shows "channel outputs" which as would be expected the Dolby Surround speakers are selectable.
Right, it show channel output BY SURROUND MODE.

Not to belabor this, but that chart has no implication on the AMP ASSIGN settings which is what the original question is about. The fact that the chart on pg 287 shows that Dolby Enabled speakers are available in Dolby Atmos SURROUND MODE doesn't in any way imply that they are selectable in the Dolby Atmos AMP ASSIGN MODE.

Now, of course, this begs the question of why they even needed a Dolby Atmos amp assign mode if so many potential Atmos configs require a different amp assign setting. It's definitely confusing and I agree that the Dolby Enabled setting should theoretically be an option for that mode. But I guess the point (as I've surmised previously) is for people who have an "ideal" Atmos config and want to skip a bunch of irrelevant sub-menu settings when configuring their setup for calibration.

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post #360 of 4640 Old 08-25-2014, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by batpig View Post
As discussed a few posts up, unlike the 4520CI (and presumably the eventual X7200W) the 4100/5200 do not have a "free assign" mode that allows custom assignment of any amp to any channel. So you are stuck using the preset templates for amp assignment with the limited flexibility allowed by some sub-menu settings.

In this case you have two options for amp assign mode:

Option 1 - Set Amp Assign to "Dolby Atmos" and set the Layout sub-setting to "7.1ch + 4 Height". In this mode (see pg 219 of the UK manual we have been using as a reference) you are locked in to a "standard" 7.1 ch config with Top Front and Top Rear speakers (can only be physical in-ceiling as per the discussion above). As noted on pg 219 and the diagram on pg 52, the Top Rear speakers MUST be connected to an external amp for the first two externally amplified channels. Beyond that, you can use internal or external amps for any of the other channels. So since you have 7 amps, you could do L,C,R,SL,SR with external amps, and leave the SB L/R channels internally amped, with the final two external amps powering TRL/TRR. And the Top Fronts would be internally amped.

Option 2 - For a little more flexibility you can set Amp Assign to "11.1ch" mode, manually configure for 4 Height speakers in the Height Layout menu, and designate the 4 heights as Top Front & Top Rear (the default setting, see pg 208). Then you can set the Wide/Height2 sub-setting to "Top Rear" (pg 209) which allows you to connect the Top Rear to internal amps (the Wide/Height2 speaker terminals). Then you proceed to the Pre-out sub-setting, and I believe you set it to "Front & Front Wide" (even though you don't have FW speakers) which designates the first two externally amplified channels as the FRONT speakers. If my inference is right, then you can connect the main 7 channels to external amps and the internal amps will power the four Top speakers.

Note that in both cases it is NOT possible to use internal amps for Zone 2/3 in these 9 and 11ch modes. You can still use Zone 2/3 but you need to provide external amplification for them, again due to the lack of a "custom" assignment that lets you remap unused amp channels to other zones.
Thanks Batpig, that was what I was kinda getting from the rest of the posts but wasn't quite sure. So if I were to use your option 2, does that mean the processor is not going to render Atmos channels? It seems like option 1 is the 'Atmos option' and option 2 will get you DSX, Neo X, and Dolby Surround if I am interpreting your response correctly. The AV7702 may be the best course for me after all especially since I have a lead on 5 more MA-500's for $300. Thanks again.

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Last edited by esappy; 08-25-2014 at 11:32 AM.
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