Arcam AVR-850 & Arcam AVR-550 - Page 106 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #3151 of 3336 Old 02-25-2019, 09:46 AM
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Just because something is 6-8 years old doesn't mean it's bad.
I never said so either. The problem is just that it's lacking some features I need.
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In real life these AVRs can already do way more than what most people have use for. And it being a deal breaker to have different crossovers for everything is, to me, an indication of speakers/multi-sub/room upgrades needed - which is way more important than an AVR.
Fair enough. Problem is that I cannot upgrade to larger rear speakers due to the limitations of my living room (placement of furniture etc). So I need to cross the rear speakers at around 90-100 Hz. But the L-C-R speakers I want to keep crossed at 60 Hz.
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Better to have proper 5.1 with multisub than entry level 7.1.4. Just my 2 cents.
Agreed. And I have a 5.1 system myself, no 7.1.4.
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post #3152 of 3336 Old 02-27-2019, 02:55 PM
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The 600 was introduced in 2009 and replaced by the 550 in 2015. Would not be surprised if the 550 would last longer as the 550 has most important bases covered for now for reasons mentioned before.

With regards tou crossover problems. A slighly higher crossover makes the L-C-R in all likelyhood perform better as they do not have to dig deep. Try it with your current setup or request a demo as I reckon you do not have Dirac yet and it will make a world of difference.

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post #3153 of 3336 Old 02-27-2019, 06:07 PM
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And it being a deal breaker to have different crossovers for everything is, to me, an indication of speakers/multi-sub/room upgrades needed
How is it an indication that you need to upgrade your speakers if you need different crossovers? You realize that the in-room response determines the correct crossover setting. The exact same full range speakers at different locations can require different crossovers. Even the same atmos speakers can have different crossovers, ie. Top Rears can sometimes be crossed over lower than the Top Fronts because they're closer to the back wall and get some boundary loading.

Cmon man, no need to defend their stupid choice with bass management that even $300 receivers get right. Maybe you were one of those guys a few years ago defending their flawed implementation of Dirac Live when they claimed emphatically nothing was wrong, until they fixed it. I guarantee you, their next receiver/processor will have proper bass management capabilities.

What's next? "People who need more than one Dirac configuration need to upgrade their amplifiers".
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post #3154 of 3336 Old 02-28-2019, 05:25 AM
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How is it an indication that you need to upgrade your speakers if you need different crossovers? You realize that the in-room response determines the correct crossover setting. The exact same full range speakers at different locations can require different crossovers. Even the same atmos speakers can have different crossovers, ie. Top Rears can sometimes be crossed over lower than the Top Fronts because they're closer to the back wall and get some boundary loading.

Cmon man, no need to defend their stupid choice with bass management that even $300 receivers get right. Maybe you were one of those guys a few years ago defending their flawed implementation of Dirac Live when they claimed emphatically nothing was wrong, until they fixed it. I guarantee you, their next receiver/processor will have proper bass management capabilities.

What's next? "People who need more than one Dirac configuration need to upgrade their amplifiers".
To me having multiple crossovers would not aleviate problems, just multiply them. Even if you have say 4 subs in a kind of ideal room setup, having multiple crossovers would complicate the integration of all speakers, especially when combatting room modes.

Btw, you can have kind of the same effect by dragging the Dirac line to zero for that speaker. You always have a slope but it is kind of the same effect as having different crossovers per speaker.

And yeah, I would love to have more Dirac configurations. That would make comparing them so much easier. I like that with Dolbey Vision and HDR, I have not much else on my wish list and know my investment is very sound!
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post #3155 of 3336 Old 02-28-2019, 05:34 AM
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To me having multiple crossovers would not aleviate problems, just multiply them. Even if you have say 4 subs in a kind of ideal room setup, having multiple crossovers would complicate the integration of all speakers, especially when combatting room modes.
Arcam must be doing us all a favor by having a universal crossover setting. Thank you, oh great and benevolent Arcam!!

The benefits far outweigh any "complications", you pick the speaker(s)s you want to have the best integration (usually the L/R or C). Virtually nobody is trying to adjust the sub delay so their surrounds have the best response. But setting a different XO then the mains can definitely make an audible difference in the FR. Tweaking the crossovers based on in room measurements is absolutely useful and very important to get a smooth response in that region.

Here's some light reading on how to properly set crossovers: https://mehlau.net/audio/dirac-live-avr-crossover/


When Harman bought Arcam, they initially told one of their dealers that the universal crossover would be fixed in their rebadged Lexicon units, then they found out that this was not possible. So it is a problem/limitation, no matter how you slice it.

I get it, you own the product and don't want to hear that something is less than optimal or bad, but facts are facts regardless of ownership pride.

The fact is a modern AVR/Prepro should have crossover settings based on speaker pairs, especially at this price point. And 99.8% of them do, practically all of them except the Arcam. So arguing that's it's somehow okay or blaming the room/speakers/complexity is just nonsense.
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post #3156 of 3336 Old 02-28-2019, 10:49 AM
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Here's some light reading on how to properly set crossovers: https://mehlau.net/audio/dirac-live-avr-crossover/


When Harman bought Arcam, they initially told one of their dealers that the universal crossover would be fixed in their rebadged Lexicon units, then they found out that this was not possible. So it is a problem/limitation, no matter how you slice it.

I get it, you own the product and don't want to hear that something is less than optimal or bad, but facts are facts regardless of ownership pride.

The fact is a modern AVR/Prepro should have crossover settings based on speaker pairs, especially at this price point. And 99.8% of them do, practically all of them except the Arcam. So arguing that's it's somehow okay or blaming the room/speakers/complexity is just nonsense.
Your sarcasm is duly noted. I was not defending Arcam, I was stating the same as mentioned in the article you refered to:

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Generally speaking the crossover frequency should be as high as possible in order to benefit from spatially optimized, monophonic bass. On the other hand the sub(s) shouldn't become localizable which requires a crossover frequency of about 80Hz or lower. So ideally the target is a crossover point of 80Hz.
Just trying to help Fjodor2000 who thougth it was a dealbreaker. He may still think the same. No problemo. We all have different views about audio. That is why I love reading these forums.
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post #3157 of 3336 Old 02-28-2019, 07:13 PM
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Has anyone had more than a passing experience with both the 850 and the 550? I'm curious how different the sound signatures are. Is it simply a matter of one having more power, and so they couldn't be distinguished from one another unless used in a large room? My speakers are at 90db efficiency.
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post #3158 of 3336 Old 02-28-2019, 10:03 PM
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Has anyone had more than a passing experience with both the 850 and the 550? I'm curious how different the sound signatures are. Is it simply a matter of one having more power, and so they couldn't be distinguished from one another unless used in a large room? My speakers are at 90db efficiency.
Had the 850 in 2015 for a few weeks at home for a demo. It handles lower impedance speakers more easily. At the time I did not consider it that much more powerful for my speakers. Mine dip just to 4 Ohm so although not easy are not difficult to drive. I had problems with my 16B circuit breakers due to the power rush in. Later on the 550 showed the same kind of behaviour to a lesser extenr. It seems to depend on the weather, moist warm weather seems to triggers it more often.

Sound was a little better on it’s own but not that much. I also already had the Anthem I225. Nowadays I would more easily buy the 390 and purchase a separate power amplifier for at least the three front channels. Much better power and probably cheaper. A home demo can help you decide.

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post #3159 of 3336 Old 03-01-2019, 12:15 AM
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How is it an indication that you need to upgrade your speakers if you need different crossovers? You realize that the in-room response determines the correct crossover setting. The exact same full range speakers at different locations can require different crossovers. Even the same atmos speakers can have different crossovers, ie. Top Rears can sometimes be crossed over lower than the Top Fronts because they're closer to the back wall and get some boundary loading.
Of course I understand. But what are the alternatives? I'd rather live with the shortcomings of the Arcam then for instance buy the NAD or something way more expensive. While we are at it why don't manufacturers give us the ability to change the slope of the crossover as well? There are a lot of things that would be nice to have. Even 24dB/ocatve that so many people talk about is not steep enough imo.

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Cmon man, no need to defend their stupid choice with bass management that even $300 receivers get right. Maybe you were one of those guys a few years ago defending their flawed implementation of Dirac Live when they claimed emphatically nothing was wrong, until they fixed it. I guarantee you, their next receiver/processor will have proper bass management capabilities.

What's next? "People who need more than one Dirac configuration need to upgrade their amplifiers".
You are assuming a lot of things. I was one of the people who helped investigate that issue. I was also one of the people who helped inform dealers who have very close relations to Arcam about the issue.

Do you have any alternatives you'd recommend and in that case why do you recommend that AVR?

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post #3160 of 3336 Old 03-01-2019, 01:33 AM
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An alternative could be the Anthem, but has no Dirac. NAD I can not muffle, had M17V2, had to give back because of noise. All that remains is Trinnov / Datasat and StormAudio, which cost more than twice as much.
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post #3161 of 3336 Old 03-01-2019, 10:42 AM
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You are assuming a lot of things. I was one of the people who helped investigate that issue. I was also one of the people who helped inform dealers who have very close relations to Arcam about the issue.
Sorry, I forgot about that. I was triggered and started to relive the memories of dealing with Arcam "support". I'd rather wrestle a hungry bear then deal with them again. Perhaps the Harman acquisition will have a positive effect in the long run.

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Do you have any alternatives you'd recommend and in that case why do you recommend that AVR?
The NAD T758/777 would be my recommendation. Of course they're far from perfect, but the audio design and signal flow is sound, and they didn't make the fundamentally bad decisions that Arcam did.

The MRX720/1120 with the new ARC software should also be a good option. All of the Gen1 Dirac Live receivers have issues or make compromises compared to the mass market products. Hopefully in the next cycle, we will finally get a product that has proper BM, more than one DL slot, and a real OSD.
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post #3162 of 3336 Old 03-01-2019, 03:27 PM
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can someone help me about setting up subwoofer. I used new dirac v2 for setup on avr 850. my subwoofer is B&W DB3D. Do i need to leave calibration to the receiver or do i need to calibrate SW based from the app?


Would also be interested what is the best practice, how to setup a sub with own measurement capabilities
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post #3163 of 3336 Old 03-01-2019, 03:34 PM
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Basically Dirac will take care of everything regarding the subwoofer. I've reset my Velodyne DD15, did not even bother setting phase. Dirac does a much better job with its filters. Besides that, you should never stack active/dynamic filters...
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post #3164 of 3336 Old 03-01-2019, 11:46 PM
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I'd rather live with the shortcomings of the Arcam then for instance buy the NAD or something way more expensive.

Out of curiosity, why not the NAD T777? I only ask because that is one of the major choices I'm considering, along with the Arcam/Lexicon. The Lexicon/Arcam seems on its face to be a "sturdier" build (that's backed up by the longer warranty), and that has me concerned about internal components of the NAD. I still can't figure out what DAC's are used with those NAD's (and even if I do, I'm not quite sure how much that will help me except that I can look them up and maybe get some opinions). So, I ask because you may be a bit more privy to some of that info than I.
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post #3165 of 3336 Old 03-01-2019, 11:48 PM
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Had the 850 in 2015 for a few weeks at home for a demo. It handles lower impedance speakers more easily. At the time I did not consider it that much more powerful for my speakers. Mine dip just to 4 Ohm so although not easy are not difficult to drive. I had problems with my 16B circuit breakers due to the power rush in. Later on the 550 showed the same kind of behaviour to a lesser extenr. It seems to depend on the weather, moist warm weather seems to triggers it more often.

Sound was a little better on it’s own but not that much. I also already had the Anthem I225. Nowadays I would more easily buy the 390 and purchase a separate power amplifier for at least the three front channels. Much better power and probably cheaper. A home demo can help you decide.

Thanks for the detailed reply. That's the kind of info I'm wanting to hear from actual users. I may go into the dealer tomorrow to see if I can demo both. Not sure what the policy is when it comes to taking a unit home for experiment. I figured there has to be more to the amps than ever-so-slightly more amount of power. It would help make a decision easier if there were some rather obvious differences sonically!
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post #3166 of 3336 Old 03-02-2019, 04:26 AM
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Would also be interested what is the best practice, how to setup a sub with own measurement capabilities
Consensus is to optimize speaker and sub position first, then optimize sub with eq, then let Dirac measure.

I would try both, first with the sub measurement and then Dirac measured and engaged and then to see how it sounds compared with just Dirac wthout the sub room correction enabled.

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Consensus is to optimize speaker and sub position first, then optimize sub with eq, then let Dirac measure.
This is so wrong. This way you will stack 2 dynamic eq's on top of each other, they can and they will influence each other giving unpredictable results.
Just let Dirac take care of the sub, it does a much better job then any active parametric eq on any sub.
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post #3168 of 3336 Old 03-02-2019, 05:34 AM
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Out of curiosity, why not the NAD T777? I only ask because that is one of the major choices I'm considering, along with the Arcam/Lexicon. The Lexicon/Arcam seems on its face to be a "sturdier" build (that's backed up by the longer warranty), and that has me concerned about internal components of the NAD. I still can't figure out what DAC's are used with those NAD's (and even if I do, I'm not quite sure how much that will help me except that I can look them up and maybe get some opinions). So, I ask because you may be a bit more privy to some of that info than I.
Let's just say I know someone who has had a lot to do with NAD products and I don't trust NAD after hearing all the stories. But sure I do agree that the new NADs are interesting due to the features you get at the price. To me build quality and warranty are very important. Basically my Arcam AVR390 is the first AVR I've owned that has not had any hardware issues after 1.5 years. And if something were to happen I have 5 years warranty.

BM seems better on the NAD T777 but I question the quality of preouts and other hardware in the unit. And as far as I know the NAD still doesn't have key features like DTS:X.

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post #3169 of 3336 Old 03-02-2019, 05:41 AM
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Sorry, I forgot about that. I was triggered and started to relive the memories of dealing with Arcam "support". I'd rather wrestle a hungry bear then deal with them again. Perhaps the Harman acquisition will have a positive effect in the long run.
Let's hope so.

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The NAD T758/777 would be my recommendation. Of course they're far from perfect, but the audio design and signal flow is sound, and they didn't make the fundamentally bad decisions that Arcam did.

The MRX720/1120 with the new ARC software should also be a good option. All of the Gen1 Dirac Live receivers have issues or make compromises compared to the mass market products. Hopefully in the next cycle, we will finally get a product that has proper BM, more than one DL slot, and a real OSD.
Sure, they are fine AVRs but I still stand by that the AVR390 is a strong contender at present day. Very solid build quality, runs cool, pristine sound quality from preouts - speakers are dead silent and a pre-amp stage that rivals high-end 2-channel preamps.

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post #3170 of 3336 Old 03-02-2019, 07:17 AM
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Let's hope so.



Sure, they are fine AVRs but I still stand by that the AVR390 is a strong contender at present day. Very solid build quality, runs cool, pristine sound quality from preouts - speakers are dead silent and a pre-amp stage that rivals high-end 2-channel preamps.

From what I can tell, though it may be a bit more involved, there are ways to get around the shallow 12db crossover slope if they turn out to interfere with calibrations. Though, I don't know quite how to do that just yet. I have two subwoofers. I wonder if using a minidsp would enable me to more finely tune the two to help get around that "problem" (again, if it turns out that in my room, it is a problem, as opposed to the 24db slope). The universal crossover is highly likely a nonissue with me in particular.

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I compared NAD 777 and Arcam 550 last year. The Arcam plays better for my taste in the stereo, the stage is much better, you also notice very good amplifier. The NAD breaks up the music too much and puts the instruments in front of the singer, which must please you, I do not like it. The film is both good, because I can not prefer one of the two, I have all the loudspeaker füllrange.
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Thanks for the detailed reply. That's the kind of info I'm wanting to hear from actual users. I may go into the dealer tomorrow to see if I can demo both. Not sure what the policy is when it comes to taking a unit home for experiment. I figured there has to be more to the amps than ever-so-slightly more amount of power. It would help make a decision easier if there were some rather obvious differences sonically!
It depends a lot on your speakers. If they dip below 3.5 Ohm or are otherwise difficult to drive, I would expect to hear big differences. If they are an easy drive, the 550 will perform at the same level with harder to hear differences. If you do full Dirac in a acoustic friendly/treated environment, differences can become less obvious.

For me it was always beneficial to have an extended home demo. A Cambridge Audio Azur 751Rv2 I tried sounded really good at first sight but fatigued me in the long run. I use a set of about 10 tracks I know really well to sort out bad apples and then compare with what I like at the moment and a lot of different genres.

If you can describe the room, speakers and equipment, a guesstimate can be done, but trust your ears foremost.
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Consensus is to optimize speaker and sub position first, then optimize sub with eq, then let Dirac measure.
This is so wrong. This way you will stack 2 dynamic eq's on top of each other, they can and they will influence each other giving unpredictable results.
Just let Dirac take care of the sub, it does a much better job then any active parametric eq on any sub.

i powered on svs sb 16 ultra first , just ran basic setup and then ran the dirac on arcam avr850 without doing any changes to sub’s eq.
its sounds amazing.
i clearly noticed dirac 2.0 does make atmos unbelievably live in my room on avr850.
the action scenes from madmax sound terrific.
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post #3174 of 3336 Old 03-24-2019, 04:55 AM
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So I finally got around to trying to resolve my Dirac 2.2 issues and after loading my project into another computer I got all working. Most likely a Windows firewall issue or something like that! Just a guess but make sure to allow Dirac to access your private network as I think this might have been the issue even though I'm pretty sure it was all setup correctly on my first computer.

My first impressions are really good! One issue I always was having with the previous 1.x version was that the distances would quite often be several ms off between left and right speakers. All my speakers are placed out with a laser so I'm sure they are not that much off and now with this version I was only getting like 0.1ms difference between left and right sides so that's really nice to see. No more going into the menu to manually correct.

The other issue I was having before, which was pretty annoying, is that bass would be tight and nice but I'd always loose the tactile feel of the bass. This time around though with version 2.2 I'm getting tight bass AND tactile feel. These new observations could just be a fluke since I've only done one set of measurements so far but I'm hearing a substantial improvement of the sound from version 1. For those of you that have not done the jump to version 2 yet I highly recommend you give it a try and I'm very curious what your impressions are of the new version and if you're getting similar results.
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Room| Treated | Sound| Front: Ino Audio i32s, Center: Ino Audio i16s, Surrounds: 6 x Ino a2, 6 x Ino a1, Subs: 6 x Ino Infra-Y|
Picture | Epson TW9300, Seymour Center Stage UF 130.4" retractable 2.35:1 |
Electronics | Arcam AVR390(Dirac Live), 3x Ncore nc400 monoblocks, Emotiva XPA-2 Gen2, EP4000, Panasonic UB700, Allo Katana + Isolator 1.2(Roon bridge/DAC), ATV 4K |
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post #3175 of 3336 Old 04-10-2019, 02:34 AM
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Has no one else got it working? Feels like this thread pretty much has died.

Room| Treated | Sound| Front: Ino Audio i32s, Center: Ino Audio i16s, Surrounds: 6 x Ino a2, 6 x Ino a1, Subs: 6 x Ino Infra-Y|
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post #3176 of 3336 Old 04-10-2019, 06:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philipbtz View Post
Has no one else got it working? Feels like this thread pretty much has died.


I’m trying with the support of Dirac but with no luck so far. I have to try something else but honestly I’m a bit tired to do all the setup.
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post #3177 of 3336 Old 04-10-2019, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hasta666 View Post
I’m trying with the support of Dirac but with no luck so far. I have to try something else but honestly I’m a bit tired to do all the setup.
I feel you, they should invest in QA instead of relying on enthusiast to do that work for them. Most of the people buying expensive equipment probably only use 50% of the features leading them to believe it's only these crazy guys on some forum who have issues with the software. Sucks really.

Room| Treated | Sound| Front: Ino Audio i32s, Center: Ino Audio i16s, Surrounds: 6 x Ino a2, 6 x Ino a1, Subs: 6 x Ino Infra-Y|
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post #3178 of 3336 Old 04-16-2019, 09:50 AM
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I just picked up the AVR550 about a week ago. New TV should arrive today, so looking forward to getting everything connected and setup in a 5.1 configuration.
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post #3179 of 3336 Old 04-18-2019, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by 2000m2 View Post
I just picked up the AVR550 about a week ago. New TV should arrive today, so looking forward to getting everything connected and setup in a 5.1 configuration.
Well, that didn’t take too long... to get stuck.
The only connection I have to the receiver is the HDMI1 output to the TV. TV is a Sony XBR-55X850G. T
he TV is connected to the HDMI eARC port. With the receiver set to “Display” I’m not getting any sound. I feel like I’m missing something in being able to tell the receiver to process the sound coming through the HDMI connection.
Any ideas?

Last edited by 2000m2; 04-18-2019 at 06:50 PM.
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post #3180 of 3336 Old 04-18-2019, 09:50 PM
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Temporary solution is an optical cable, which is working great.
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