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Discussion Starter #1
Hi!


I have an AVR-3801. I recently upgraded my speakers to a Canton LE-system. The main speakers are now Canton LE109 which are supposed to reach down to 20Hz. I would like to experiment with sending the LFE-signal to these main speakers to see if I get a more clean LFE-output than with my subwoofer (a Velodyne VX10) which can only play down to about 36 Hz.


However, I can't seem to get the AVR-3801 to output the LFE-channel to anything but the subwoofer. Shouldn't the LFE go to the main speakers if I set subwoofer to NONE in the Speaker Settings menu?

If I do that and then play a freq. sweep that go down to 20 Hz the main speakers only follow to about 60 Hz and then the sound dies out. I'm pretty sure that the LE109:s can reach further down than 60 Hz, even if 20 Hz is a marketing gimmick.


What is the procedure with the 3801 for out-put:ing the LFE to the main speakers?



Thanks...
 

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You can't actually cross the LFE channels into the mains. When the Mains are set to "LARGE" and the subwoofer is set OFF, the mains will get the full frequency for their channels as it is ecoded in the source, but not the addition of the LFE channel that is the .1 part of your speaker set-up.


Setting the Subwoofer to OFF only disables the low frequency X-over in the reciever. It does not redirect the LFE channel to the mains.


To get the full LFE channel in the mains, you would need an outboard amp, and Bi-amping for the woofers in the speakers from this amp.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
MetalMike>> No... Would that really do any good?


xandypx>> Ok, I see. Is this a specific attribute of this reciever or common practice? You see, I'm pretty sure that a pal of mine (who has a far less expensive reciever, Aiwa) gets the sub channel output when he sets subwoofer to OFF in the reciever's setting.


If this indeed is common practice, then all the people who claim that a subwoofer isn't really necessary for movies if you have a good amp. and full range speakers are wrong..?! Because if there is no way of output:ing the LFE-channel (without biamping to the main speakers woofers, which for me sounds a lot like using a SW anyway) - then they loose a lot of bass information when watching movies... Right? :)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by arioch
MetalMike>> No... Would that really do any good?


xandypx>> Ok, I see. Is this a specific attribute of this reciever or common practice? You see, I'm pretty sure that a pal of mine (who has a far less expensive reciever, Aiwa) gets the sub channel output when he sets subwoofer to OFF in the reciever's setting.


If this indeed is common practice, then all the people who claim that a subwoofer isn't really necessary for movies if you have a good amp. and full range speakers are wrong..?! Because if there is no way of output:ing the LFE-channel (without biamping to the main speakers woofers, which for me sounds a lot like using a SW anyway) - then they loose a lot of bass information when watching movies... Right? :)
Not exactly... There are two different things that are being discussed: Bass management in the main channels (subwoofer output) and LFE. The two are not the same thing.


The LFE channel contains Low frequency information that is encoded into it by whoever did the mixing of the soundtrack. It may contain much of the information that is in the main mix, but it might not, or could contain more. It is designed to be an enhancement to the lower bass that was originally contained in the soundtrack. But it IS a distinctly separate channel of sound information, just like your left front is different than your right front.


Sub output speaks to what could have been in your 5.x speakers that has been directed to your sub in the bass management of your reciever. The low frequency crossover setting in the reciever determine what gets sent to the sub from the other five speakers.


Here is a link to Dolby Labs explanation of LFE:

http://www.dolby.com/tech/c.in.0011.LFE.pdf
 

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xandypx: While I agree that bass and LFE are not the same thing, all of the Denon receivers DO redirect the LFE to the mains when they are set as Large and the sub is set to no. (The LFE parameter is still listed and fully adjustable with no sub.)


I'm not aware of any brand of receiver that doesn't. In order for any receiver to properly "do" bass manangement, this means no bass, LFE or otherwise, is lost.


What brands/models have you heard of that can't redirect LFE?
 

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As I mentioned above, although not all that clearly, what you hear without the use of a sub, comes down to the engeneer who mixed the .1 material. Certainly I agree that you can use the downmixing circutry in most AC3 or DTS processors, but.. That dosent mean that you will hear everything that was in the LFE channel.


Downmixing occurs when the surround mix is automatically folded down into fewer channels. For example, a 6 channel 5.1 mix automatically becomes a stereo mix if only two channels exist in the playback system, or a 5.1 mix becomes a 5 channel mix when no subwoofer is present. Usually the results of downmixing are less than satisfactory as the balance of the sounds can change significantly.



The LFE, which has a frequency response from about 25Hz to 120Hz, is unique in that it has an additional 10dB of headroom built into it. This is needed to accommodate the extra power required to reproduce the low frequency content without distortion. When you downmix, you loose this headroom.


During the mixing process:


If the LFE channel is calibrated incorrectly, it's easy to miscalculate how much low end is going on a mix. Also, since the LFE channel has only limited bandwidth (to 125 Hz only), it's not entirely fit for kick drum, bass guitar, ect.. in music, low rumbles, explosions ect.. in Movies since the definition is lost without the remaining bandwidth above 125 Hz.


Also, if you have an LFE heavy surround mix that is downmixed to stereo, instruments that appear only in the LFE will disappear completely from the mix. We are talking about the Right and Left fronts aren't we?


It comes down to who is mixing the track, and what they hear during the mixing process.
 

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xandypx: I certainly agree with you that downmixing LFE into the main channels can be risky.


In past system setups I have done so and been happy with the results. BUT, I don't do it now and I don't think I would again. To my ears, I hear what you are talking about. Impact...without a separate sub, it just does not seem to be there. I know many users of powered towers don't buy separate subs for their setups and drive them full range. But I still feel they are not getting all of the ride!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by HAN
all of the Denon receivers DO redirect the LFE to the mains when they are set as Large and the sub is set to no.
Are you sure? I also had the 3801 and I noticed the same issue that arioch did. I had the fronts set to large (full-range towers), the rest set to small and the sub set to none. Movies still sounded great and I never realized my LFE was missing until I used the test tones in VE to calibrate the sound level. The five main channels were fine, but I heard nothing when the LFE tone was supposed to be playing.
 

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Quote:
Are you sure? I also had the 3801 and I noticed the same issue that arioch did. I had the fronts set to large (full-range towers), the rest set to small and the sub set to none. Movies still sounded great and I never realized my LFE was missing until I used the test tones in VE to calibrate the sound level. The five main channels were fine, but I heard nothing when the LFE tone was supposed to be playing.
Well, that's because the test tone is intended to test volume for all channels separatedly. If you have your subwoofer option set to none, the test tone does not generate any signal to the subwoofer preamp output (remember that the mains were already tested at the beginner of the test tone run).

Quote:
In past system setups I have done so and been happy with the results. BUT, I don't do it now and I don't think I would again. To my ears, I hear what you are talking about. Impact...without a separate sub, it just does not seem to be there. I know many users of powered towers don't buy separate subs for their setups and drive them full range. But I still feel they are not getting all of the ride!
Han, this is very intriguing for me. I think this subject is related to how good is the amp section in the receiver, specially when the mains don´t have powered woofers. Most receivers can´t handle low frequency power demands comfortably and cant´kick as louder as expected when an LFE signal arrives if they are driving full range-non powered speakers.


In fact, I think this is the reason why Arioch is not getting any sound below 60 hz frequency. Remember all receiver in medium to low price range suffer when driving frequencies below AC line freq.


Anyway, I don´t know if the Canton´s Arioch have tested are powered, or if their sensitivity is too low.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by A. Vandelay
Are you sure? I also had the 3801 and I noticed the same issue that arioch did. I had the fronts set to large (full-range towers), the rest set to small and the sub set to none. Movies still sounded great and I never realized my LFE was missing until I used the test tones in VE to calibrate the sound level. The five main channels were fine, but I heard nothing when the LFE tone was supposed to be playing.
I'm fairly certain that the 3801 should redirect. I've never tested a 3801 myself but all of the current models do redirect the LFE and an older Yamaha I had a few years back did.


I remembered this subject coming up when Denon Jeff was posting at the avs guest forum. While the actual question was about Denon DVD players, Jeff's response also noted the LFE redirection of their receivers.


The thread was this one . If you go to page 9 and scroll down about 3/4ths of the way down, you'll get to the reply that notes LFE redirection when the sub is set to no.


Here's the text if you'd rather not look it up...


"That said, here is the word from our Head Engineer in Japan regarding the BM implemented in the 2900/3800/9000 for DVD-A (SACD BM is handled by the Sony DSD decoder in the 2900)... Please note the response below is quoted directly...


"Both products (AVR and DVD) meet Dolby standard, there is no problem.

> It's difference between AVR and DVD on base management filter configuration standard at Dolby Digital specification.

>

> When SW non , Mains large,

> AVR products; LFE channel signal mix into main channel.

> However DVD player, they don't allow LFE channel mix into other regular channel . Because, as you know, LFE channel level is recorded 10dB higher than regular channel. And DVD player fixed pre out level is standardized 2Vrms maximum.

> If LFE signal mix into regular channel on the DVD player , the pre out level would over maximum standardized level. Then AV amplifier that connected DVD player pre out signal to its 6ch external input terminal has overload problem.

> They want to prevent this issue.

>

> We follow Dolby standard, that's why AVR and DVD player has differenciation in base management filter when SW non mode.


In the DVD player, when customer set SW off, then LFE signal is ignored.

This is D/D specification.

For DTS, DVD-A and SACD they don't have "down mix" type specification,

however we follow D/D case to all format to avoid customer's confusion."
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by HAN

I'm fairly certain that the 3801 should redirect. I've never tested a 3801 myself but all of the current models do redirect the LFE and an older Yamaha I had a few years back did.

I would have thought so as well. The text you referenced does state that the LFE should get redirected to the mains when they are large and subwoofer is none, which is what should happen

Quote:
Well, that's because the test tone is intended to test volume for all channels separatedly. If you have your subwoofer option set to none, the test tone does not generate any signal to the subwoofer preamp output (remember that the mains were already tested at the beginner of the test tone run).
Jorge, I understand what you are saying, but I was not using the test tones on the receiver, I was using the test tones on Video Essentials. As such, the LFE test tone came into the receiver on the digital audio link and should have been redirected to the mains, but wasn't.


I have a friend who has the Denon 3300 (predecessor to the 3801). I will ask him to check this out when he can. If his does not redirect, then Denon may have fixed this issue with receivers after the 3801.
 

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Vandelay,


I agree with Han's earlier comments. ALL receivers redirect LFE to mains if your setup is mains= large and sub = none.


I dont´t think this is a 3300, or 3801 issue.


Anyway, I also concur with Xandypx. The LFE MAY be present in the mains if the original source was recorded to be that way.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by JorgeLopez11
Vandelay,


I agree with Han's earlier comments. ALL receivers redirect LFE to mains if your setup is mains= large and sub = none.


I dont´t think this is a 3300, or 3801 issue.


Anyway, I also concur with Xandypx. The LFE MAY be present in the mains if the original source was recorded to be that way.
All receivers SHOULD redirect LFE to mains if your setup is mains= large and sub = none.


Again, I used the Video Essentials test tones that had LFE only, so I know the LFE was not redirected to the mains.


Anyway, I don't have the 3801 anymore so I can't argue. All I know is that I experienced the exact same thing that arioch did with the exact same receiver. Anyway, maybe someone else with a 3801 can chime in.
 

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Quote:
All receivers SHOULD redirect LFE to mains if your setup is mains= large and sub = none.
OK. I stand corrected. I miss "should" in my statement.


But this LFE issue you mention is weird. I don't know the 3801, so I also wish HAN or somebody else with the 3801 jumped in here to clarify.
 

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I can't speak directly for the 3801, but I did check a 3803 using the DVE 15-80Hz Bass management test. Using the Sub output section.


My Mains will go down to 37Hz.

For both, Volume was set at Reference 75db, Pink Noise.

Sub Reference at 85Db.


All values may be skewed slightly, by the time it took me to look from the TV screen to the SPL Meter, but I believe I'm close.


The results:

Fronts-Large: Sub NO


Detectable Sound began to be produced from Mains at 27Hz ;was -15Db at 37Hz attained Reference of 75db at 50Hz (never reached sub reference of 85, athough it wasn't expected to) .


Front- Small: Sub YES : Xover at 80Hz


Detectable sound (vibration) began at 18Hz attained reference at 23Hz (not bad since my sub is only rated to 25Hz). Rolloff began at 80Hz and was detectable through just over 100Hz (I disconnected all other speakers to check this). Rolloff was too quick to get good SPL readings Kept dropping off the meter setting.


Although this shows that the LFE was redirected, you will notice that the reciever is incapable of playing this low bass at reference through my mains. Worse yet, reference was not attained until an octive above the capabilities of the speakers.


Also, the mains attempted to play the bass from 27-37hz (below their rating). I am not sure I could even attempt to describe the sound they made at 27Hz. Luckily the DVE disk passes through this frequency very quickly. The woofers "rattled"/"hummed" etc. as opposed to playing the test signal.

****EDIT****I should also note, my main speakers sensitvity is 91Db
 

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Xandypx,


Very interesting findings. They clearly demonstrate LFE is redirected to the mains, as many of us already stated.


Regarding 3803 capabilities, I quote myself: "In fact, I think this is the reason why Arioch is not getting any sound below 60 hz frequency. Remember all receiver in medium to low price range suffer when driving frequencies below AC line freq".


Regards,


Jorge
 

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Quote:
Although this shows that the LFE was redirected, you will notice that the reciever is incapable of playing this low bass at reference through my mains. Worse yet, reference was not attained until an octive above the capabilities of the speakers.
That's interesting but the main point is the LFE was redirected to the mains, just as it should be. Whether your speakers and/or the receiver's amplifiers can handle the LFE signal is a separate matter that isn't really relevant to the discussion at hand. Most receivers have LFE peak limiters to handle just that sort of situation and many have LFE level controls as well.


All that said, I don't know how the 3801 works. Sounds like it has a problem.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by catapult
That's interesting but the main point is the LFE was redirected to the mains, just as it should be. Whether your speakers and/or the receiver's amplifiers can handle the LFE signal is a separate matter that isn't really relevant to the discussion at hand.
catapult,


If you re-read arioch's thread starter, you will notice that whether the Denon's amp's can handle the LFE is relevant to the original discussion. arioch stated the following:

Quote:
Originally posted by arioch
I would like to experiment with sending the LFE-signal to these main speakers to see if I get a more clean LFE-output than with my subwoofer....
Although the test with the 3803, may not be completely relevant to the 3801, the amp sections of the recievers are very similar (the 3803 is 110w/ch, the 3801 is 105w/ch). I was doing nothing but posting an observation about the 3803.
 

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Quote:
If you re-read arioch's thread starter, you will notice that whether the Denon's amp's can handle the LFE is relevant to the question asked. arioch stated the following:
Not really. His speakers are not your speakers. Maybe his will handle it just fine. I used to have some folded horns that would crack the plaster with 30 watts. He said he wants to experiment, just as you did, but his receiver won't let him do it. That's a "bug" in my view.
 
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