Can I downmix L,R,C,LFE but not surrounds into RCA output? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 50 Old 06-11-2014, 09:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Can I downmix L,R,C,LFE but not surrounds into RCA output?

I want to go back to using my stereo speakers and stereo amplifier, without using a center speaker or subwoofer. But I would like to use surround speakers powered by either a separate amp or AV receiver.

So I need to find a practical way for a blu-ray player or AV receiver to mix the L, R, C, and LFE channels (but not the surround channels) into the stereo RCA outputs. Are there any Blu-Ray players that will do this? Or do I buy an AV receiver that will mix these channels at the pre-outs, and then I use the amplification on that receiver for only the surround speakers?

Any suggestion or insights are welcome. Thanks.

Last edited by meli; 06-11-2014 at 09:47 PM.
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post #2 of 50 Old 06-12-2014, 03:09 AM
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If you have a player with analog outs then you should be able disable unwanted speaker channels in the speaker setup menu. The player then down-mixes into the remaining speaker channels.
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post #3 of 50 Old 06-12-2014, 05:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Derks View Post
If you have a player with analog outs then you should be able disable unwanted speaker channels in the speaker setup menu. The player then down-mixes into the remaining speaker channels.
Thanks Frank. Do you know any models that do that? I think the OPPO (for example) downmixes the L, R, C and surrounds into the RCA outputs. I don't believe there's a way on their players to subtract the surrounds and add the LFE to the downmix.
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post #4 of 50 Old 06-12-2014, 05:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meli View Post
Thanks Frank. Do you know any models that do that? I think the OPPO (for example) downmixes the L, R, C and surrounds into the RCA outputs. I don't believe there's a way on their players to subtract the surrounds and add the LFE to the downmix.

I don't know of any AVRs that won't downmix the channels you have into the speakers you have. You may not like the precise choices they make, but beggars can't be choosers.
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post #5 of 50 Old 06-12-2014, 05:24 AM
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Options for speakers in the Oppo are large small and off. This includes the subwoofer.
If it's off it downmixes into the fronts if these are set to large. Set the surrounds to small.


But why do you not want a sub and center?
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post #6 of 50 Old 06-12-2014, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post
I don't know of any AVRs that won't downmix the channels you have into the speakers you have. You may not like the precise choices they make, but beggars can't be choosers.
players, arnyk, not avrs

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post #7 of 50 Old 06-12-2014, 10:30 AM
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The OPPO may well be different but most players will drop the LFE channel altogether when downmixing for their analog outs.

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post #8 of 50 Old 06-12-2014, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post
I don't know of any AVRs that won't downmix the channels you have into the speakers you have...
Thanks. Do you know any Blu-Ray players that can perform the desired downmix? L,R,C,LFE (not surrounds)

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Originally Posted by Frank Derks View Post
But why do you not want a sub and center?
I'm moving to a new house where a sub and center are not practical. It will be a 4.0 set-up. I have good stereo equipment (Adcom GFP-750 preamplifier, Parasound HCA-1500A stereo amplifier, Paradigm Studio 60 speakers), but my AV receiver is not nearly of that quality so I'd like to take it out of the loop as much as possible.

It would be a kludge, but if I can find a Blu-Ray player that performs the proper downmix to RCA outputs, then I can feed the output of player to my quality pre-amp and amplifier. Simultaneously, I feed the output of the surrounds (via the HDMI output of the player) to my cheap AV receiver. The hassle will be whenever I change the volume for the Blu-Ray player I'll have to change the front speakers and surrounds separately.

If anyone can think of a better workaround, I'm all ears.

-thanks
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post #9 of 50 Old 06-12-2014, 01:00 PM
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If your av receiver has a pre-amp output you can connect it to a free line input of the Parasound. You only have to set the level once and can just the av reciver volume to adjust all channels simultaneously.
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post #10 of 50 Old 06-12-2014, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Frank Derks View Post
If your av receiver has a pre-amp output you can connect it to a free line input of the Parasound. You only have to set the level once and can just the av reciver volume to adjust all channels simultaneously.
That might be a good way to go. Thanks. The only downside is that I won't be able to make use of my (expensive) stereo pre-amp. But maybe what I can do is whenever I want to listen to stereo music just change the cables feeding my Parasound amplifier to the output of my Adcom preamp.
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post #11 of 50 Old 06-12-2014, 01:28 PM
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You can use the a line input on your preamp. Saves the hassle of swapping cables.
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post #12 of 50 Old 06-12-2014, 08:42 PM
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To do it with a player you are going to need a player with multichannel analog outputs, a feature that has almost become a thing of the (seemingly recent) past. A multichannel player with multichannel analog outputs can be configured for 4.0 analog output but, as I said, almost all players (no, not AVRs) will drop the LFE channel altogether from their analog outputs when configured as having NO SUB. This is also true of plain 2-channel players. The LFE channel is dropped when they downwmix multichannel soundtracks for their 2ch. analog outs.

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post #13 of 50 Old 06-12-2014, 09:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks sivadselim. Bob Pariseau thinks that the Oppo BDP-103D can do it by:
"in Speaker Configuration, set Down-mix to 7.1. Then in Speaker Configuration, set Subwoofer and Center to OFF. Set LF/RF, and all 4 Surrounds to LARGE."
I wrote to Oppo for confirmation. I'll post back here (in case anyone else with the same question stumbles upon this thread) after I get a response or try it myself.

I don't think my "cheap" AV receiver, a Panasonic SA-XR55, can mix down the L,R,C & LFE channels to the stereo pre-amp RCA outputs while simultaneously outputting the LS/RS channels discreetly via the HDM output. So after I hear back from Oppo, I may purchase the BDP-103D and go that route.
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post #14 of 50 Old 06-13-2014, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meli View Post
Thanks sivadselim. Bob Pariseau thinks that the Oppo BDP-103D can do it by:
"in Speaker Configuration, set Down-mix to 7.1. Then in Speaker Configuration, set Subwoofer and Center to OFF. Set LF/RF, and all 4 Surrounds to LARGE."
Why 4 surrounds? And why LARGE, necessarily?

Whether the OPPO will reroute the LFE channel into the front channels or not in this configuration, I do not know. It may well be an exception the 'rule' that the LFE channel gets dropped by players.


Quote:
Originally Posted by meli View Post
I don't think my "cheap" AV receiver, a Panasonic SA-XR55, can mix down the L,R,C & LFE channels to the stereo pre-amp RCA outputs while simultaneously outputting the LS/RS channels discreetly via the HDM output. So after I hear back from Oppo, I may purchase the BDP-103D and go that route.
Sorry, but it is not exactly clear to me what you need the AVR to do, here. Of course it can't selectively downmix ONLY the L+R+C+LFE channels to the front channel pre-outs while ignoring the surround channel info.

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post #15 of 50 Old 06-13-2014, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post
Why 4 surrounds? And why LARGE, necessarily?
I think it is set to large so the player routes the full LFE signal to the L/R speakers. If set to "small" maybe it rolls of the low frequencies. I'll see what Oppo says.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post
Sorry, but it is not exactly clear to me what you need the AVR to do, here. Of course it can't selectively downmix ONLY the L+R+C+LFE channels to the front channel pre-outs while ignoring the surround channel info.
If it is possible for my AV receiver to downmix the L+R+C+LFE channels to the front channel pre-outs, then I could send that signal to my good amplifier. I could have the cheap AV receiver handle the amplification for only the surrounds. I don't know much about AV receivers, but I would think some models could do that. Don't any 5.1 AV receivers have 6 separate pre-amp outputs?
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post #16 of 50 Old 06-13-2014, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meli View Post
I think it is set to large so the player routes the full LFE signal to the L/R speakers. If set to "small" maybe it rolls of the low frequencies. I'll see what Oppo says.
No. The surround channel size settings will not affect the LFE channel re-routing (assuming it IS re-routed).

You only have 2 surround channels, not 4. You want the OPPO to combine the two L and two R surround channels with 7.1 material.

If you leave the surround channels set to LARGE, then you will send them a full-range signal. I thought you said you had small satellite speakers.



Quote:
Originally Posted by meli View Post
If it is possible for my AV receiver to downmix the L+R+C+LFE channels to the front channel pre-outs, then I could send that signal to my good amplifier. I could have the cheap AV receiver handle the amplification for only the surrounds.
If you set the AVR up as having NO CENTER and NO SUBWOOFER it should mix the center channel info and LFE channel info (+ the re-routed bass from the surround channels, if set to SMALL) into the front L+R channels and that is what will be sent to the front channel pre-outs. The surround channels can be configured as either SMALL or LARGE in this scenario depending upon your exact setup.


Quote:
Originally Posted by meli View Post
Don't any 5.1 AV receivers have 6 separate pre-amp outputs?
Yes.

What pre-outs does yours have? If only two L/R pre-outs then they are probably not just simply front channel pre-outs.

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post #17 of 50 Old 06-13-2014, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meli View Post
Thanks Frank. Do you know any models that do that? I think the OPPO (for example) downmixes the L, R, C and surrounds into the RCA outputs. I don't believe there's a way on their players to subtract the surrounds and add the LFE to the downmix.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post
players, arnyk, not avrs
Complex players like many of the Oppos are pretty much comparable to AVRs without power amps. I know people who very successfully use them that way.

If you don't want certain channels to appear in the downmixed outputs of these devices configure it so that it thinks that the undesired outputs are connected to speakers, and then don't connect them to anything.

Last edited by arnyk; 06-13-2014 at 06:09 PM.
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post #18 of 50 Old 06-13-2014, 10:34 PM
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I just tested my 105 and it works.

BR and BL are downmixed into the SR and SL.
Center is downmixed into L and R.
and LFE is applied to the R and L and SR and SL (if set as Large).

103 is probably the same.
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post #19 of 50 Old 06-14-2014, 03:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meli View Post
Thanks sivadselim. Bob Pariseau thinks that the Oppo BDP-103D can do it by:
"in Speaker Configuration, set Down-mix to 7.1. Then in Speaker Configuration, set Subwoofer and Center to OFF. Set LF/RF, and all 4 Surrounds to LARGE."
I wrote to Oppo for confirmation. I'll post back here (in case anyone else with the same question stumbles upon this thread) after I get a response or try it myself.

I don't think my "cheap" AV receiver, a Panasonic SA-XR55, can mix down the L,R,C & LFE channels to the stereo pre-amp RCA outputs while simultaneously outputting the LS/RS channels discreetly via the HDM output. So after I hear back from Oppo, I may purchase the BDP-103D and go that route.


Why not just buy a new better quality up to date AVR and clean up the "kludge"? That BDP-103D is pretty expensive.
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post #20 of 50 Old 06-14-2014, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BassThatHz View Post
I just tested my 105 and it works.
That's terrific. Thank you so much for taking the time to test it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J_Palmer_Cass View Post
Why not just buy a new better quality up to date AVR and clean up the "kludge"? That BDP-103D is pretty expensive.
I thought about it (and maybe I still will), but I think buying the Oppo makes more sense. My stereo pre-amp retailed for $1200, the amp for $1000. I imagine an AVR with comparable amplification would cost more than the $600 Oppo. And if I did buy a new AVR, my $2200 worth of amplification would stay unused in my closet. If I buy the Oppo, only the $90 Panasonic Blu-Ray player goes in the closet.

Last edited by meli; 06-14-2014 at 04:44 PM.
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post #21 of 50 Old 06-15-2014, 08:01 AM
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I just tested my 105 and it works.

...............LFE is applied to the R and L and SR and SL (if set as Large).
Not doubting you, but curious as to how you confirmed the LFE rerouting.

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post #22 of 50 Old 06-16-2014, 01:49 PM
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My question is; how old are these "expensive" components you're unwilling to part with?

Technology has come a long way in the last few years....just sayin'.
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post #23 of 50 Old 06-16-2014, 06:33 PM - Thread Starter
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My question is; how old are these "expensive" components you're unwilling to part with? Technology has come a long way in the last few years....just sayin'.
The Adcom GFP-750 preamplifier (retail $1,250) is from around 1999.
The Parasound HCA-1500A stereo amplifier (retail $995) is from 1998.

I can't imagine the design of stereo amplifiers has changed much in the last 15 years, has it?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meli View Post
The Adcom GFP-750 preamplifier (retail $1,250) is from around 1999.
The Parasound HCA-1500A stereo amplifier (retail $995) is from 1998.

I can't imagine the design of stereo amplifiers has changed much in the last 15 years, has it?
High quality solid state amplifier technology itself has not changed in terms of audible performance since the late 1980s. It has however become smaller, lighter and easier to buy and use since then. SS amplifier designs going back to the 1970s have been sonically transparent. Even some of the better tubed designs from then with push-pull output stages and ample loop feedback were sonically transparent.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meli View Post
The Adcom GFP-750 preamplifier (retail $1,250) is from around 1999.
The Parasound HCA-1500A stereo amplifier (retail $995) is from 1998.

I can't imagine the design of stereo amplifiers has changed much in the last 15 years, has it?
No, my point was more toward the flexibility, features and lower cost of the newer equipment. Also, you keep saying "my $2200 worth of equipment"...it is most certainly not worth a fraction of what you paid for it ~15 years ago.
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post #26 of 50 Old 06-17-2014, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
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it is most certainly not worth a fraction of what you paid for it ~15 years ago.
True. But it hurts my heart, and my wallet, every time I see it sitting in the storage closet.
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That's the nature of this hobby....sell the old gear and move on.
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post #28 of 50 Old 06-17-2014, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meli View Post
I have good stereo equipment (Adcom GFP-750 preamplifier, Parasound HCA-1500A stereo amplifier, Paradigm Studio 60 speakers), but my AV receiver is not nearly of that quality so I'd like to take it out of the loop as much as possible.
I also have an Adcom GFP-750 stereo preamp - it is the center of my multi-channel system because it has HT bypass for the L/R mains. Even though it is old, it is still a VERY quiet, transparent preamp (Nelson Pass design) for 2 channel listening - I'm not getting rid of mine either. I looked at other preamps last year and didn't really see anything that compares - maybe some of the new Parasound preamps with built-in bass management for stereo listening. I connect my Oppo directly to the inputs of the Adcom (balanced inputs for me since I have a BDP-105) and use it for all 2 channel listening - 2 components to control (Oppo and preamp), very easy to use.

Then for multi-channel or movies, I just engage the HT bypass and my Oppo sends decoded surround directly to the amps (through the Adcom for L/R mains) and my system then plays 7.1 material - only one component to control (Oppo), again very easy to use.

Like someone else said, just ditch the AVR, get the Oppo and two more channels of amplification for the rear pair (used?) - you are done!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post
The OPPO may well be different but most players will drop the LFE channel altogether when downmixing for their analog outs.
I think that sivadselim is correct here - I had my sub set to "off" in the Oppo and I don't think I was getting LFE downmix to my "Large" front main speakers - I am very curious what Oppo has to say. Lucky for me, I have a room bass equalizer with an extra input that is summed with the other bass coming from my crossover - so I connected the sub output and turned the sub back to "On". My new room EQ with MultXT 32 doesn't have this input so a setting in the Oppo to down-mix the LFE would be great.
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post #29 of 50 Old 06-17-2014, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post
The OPPO may well be different but most players will drop the LFE channel altogether when downmixing for their analog outs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtn-tech View Post
I think that sivadselim is correct here - I had my sub set to "off" in the Oppo and I don't think I was getting LFE downmix to my "Large" front main speakers - I am very curious what Oppo has to say.
Well, like I said, the Oppo (and it may differ from model to model) may do things differently. I know there have been instances in the past where their products have bass-managed things a little bit 'unconventionally'. And I have a faint memory, I believe, of some discussion regarding this in the past and IIRC the gist was that at least one of their models did, indeed, reroute the LFE channel 'correctly'.


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Lucky for me, I have a room bass equalizer with an extra input that is summed with the other bass coming from my crossover - so I connected the sub output and turned the sub back to "On".
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post #30 of 50 Old 06-17-2014, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post
Not doubting you, but curious as to how you confirmed the LFE rerouting.
I used ac3filter in manual matrixing mode to 7.1LPCM over HDMI.
I assume Dolby and DTS would matrix the same with this chipset.

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