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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My setup:


AMP: Panasonic SA-XR55

Front Speakers: PSB Image B25

Sub: SVS PB10-NSD


My issue: I know my receiver is old as dirt, but it definitely gets the job done for music listening. The problem arises when I'm watching movies (sourced from my PS3 digital input), no matter what mode I put my receiver in, I CONSTANTLY have to adjust the volume up and down to balance out the loud scenes with ones where there's just talking.


My receiver has some basic options to normalize the volume, but nothing seems to do much.


So, I'm thinking it's either I need a better receiver (one that downmixes 5.1 to 2.1 a little better?) OOOrrr, perhaps I should invest in a decent center channel, so that the "quiet, just talking scenes" don't get dampened because there's no center channel to play it through.


What do you guys think?
 

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Is everything set-up properly? As in, is the receiver set-up with no center channel, no surrounds, etc? Does the receiver have a "Dynamic Range" control in it's configuration? (If so, set it to MIN or 0).


Have you tried setting the PS3 up to perform the downmix (just set it to PCM out via S/PDIF)?


What you're broadly getting at is the dynamic range found in movies, which most music lacks. To a degree, this is normal, but having to constantly adjust the volume does get tiring. If your receiver, or the PS3 (I don't know a whole lot about the PS3, so following my advice will probably mean a lot of poking around), has a "Night Mode" or "Dialog Enhancement" feature, you may want to try enabling that - generally speaking "DR Compressor" or "Night" on a receiver only work with Dolby Digital signals, but "Dialog Enhancement" from a player can usually be made to work with any form of output (as it does the processing before output).


Finally, if the receiver offers some sort of tone control option - try boosting the vocal range, it may also help.


Adding a center channel may or may not help - it will not reduce the dynamic range found in movies, and loud scenes will still be very loud, however it will improve positioning and the like. If you have a spare speaker laying around, try hooking it up as the center, does this improve things as you'd like? It may very well, but it may not.


Also, and I know this is probably the last thing you'd like to hear, but some movies are just very poorly put together - if it's only a few programs that you have this problem with, I'd probably write it off as bad production (that doesn't mean you have to avoid those programs, obviously).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Walbert, thanks for the detailed response!


I looked into the settings on my Amp and PS3, and there was a few things that needed to be set as you described!


One thing that I've always wondered though:


My PS3 has the ability to downmix to 2 channel, or transmit the 5.1 pure to the receiver. I've already got my receiver setup to only output to the 2 fronts and a subwoofer. So is it better to give the receiver the direct source and let it downmix? Or do you think having the PS3 downmix the audio to 2 channel is better? Never found a good answer to that...


Also, my receiver has a "Dynamic Range Compression" which I have set to "MAX" aka "Night" as you suggested. Although, the PS3 also has a "Dynamic Range" setting. Would it be overkill to have these both set to max?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by h41cyon /forum/post/20851926


Walbert, thanks for the detailed response!


I looked into the settings on my Amp and PS3, and there was a few things that needed to be set as you described!


One thing that I've always wondered though:


My PS3 has the ability to downmix to 2 channel, or transmit the 5.1 pure to the receiver. I've already got my receiver setup to only output to the 2 fronts and a subwoofer. So is it better to give the receiver the direct source and let it downmix? Or do you think having the PS3 downmix the audio to 2 channel is better? Never found a good answer to that...


Also, my receiver has a "Dynamic Range Compression" which I have set to "MAX" aka "Night" as you suggested. Although, the PS3 also has a "Dynamic Range" setting. Would it be overkill to have these both set to max?

On the dynamic range - you might as well try it, but if I remember correctly these should only influence Dolby signals, and will probably get you the same result (it won't increase the overall compression beyond the "max" level, because it's based on flags within the digital audio).


As far as letting the player or the receiver downmix it, the receiver/processor will likely handle bass management more properly.
 

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Usually difficulty hearing dialogue is with low listening volumes like late night listening and not with high volumes. Some dialogues are hard to follow due to regional accents or poor recording. It seems you're just hearing the wide dynamic range as intended by the mixer. Re-positioning the main speakers may help.


If the source (PS3) can mix the .1 into the 2CH downmix (I have no idea), I'd let it do the downmixing, as the 2CH PCM downmix can still be lossless from a Dolby TrueHD or dts-HD MA track. It may help the dialogue compared to a lossy track. If .1 is correctly incorporated in the 2CH downmix in the source, the AVR still does bass management so I don't see why the AVR necessarily does a better job here.
 
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