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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help!


I've got an old Harman Kardon AVS20MKII receiver, with an Apex 660 DVD player, and just two front speakers. I know, nothing special. Well, I've been thinking about adding a center channel speaker (apartment living - no room for the rears! and the neighbors won't appreciate a sub!).


Reason being, on a number of discs, movie dialogue sounds somewhat muted compared to the left/right channels. In particular, the Vampire Hunter D:Bloodlust disc is way out of proportion (although this is a special case - apparently it was mastered with a 5.1 track ONLY, ie. no DD 2.0). Still, it's not just this disc; I figure that a center should help movie dialogue across the board, and I s'pose I'd like that warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that I'm getting (pseudo) DD 5.1 somehow.


I guess I am hoping for a Dolby 3 Stereo setup (or something like it), where dialogue goes to the center, and the surround effects are mixed in with the mains.


The receiver is just Pro-Logic, but it does at least have preamp-in jacks for the front pair. The DVD player just has RCA-out (well, it has digital coax too, but the receiver doesn't).


So, the obvious answer seems to be to plunk down $ for a DD receiver - but even then, I'm not sure that I'll be able to get by with just 3 speakers? What happens if I'm missing the rears and sub?


Alternatively, since the build quality on this Apex is OK but not the best, could I get a DVD player which does DD decoding, and route that to the HK somehow?


Or, is it possible with my current setup, and I've just got things wired wrong?


Please enlighten me if you can! FWIW, I'm sure that this is FAQ material *somewhere* - but searching on "dvd dolby digital receiver pro logic" etc. just returns oceans of results.


Anyway, thanks for reading,


Brian
 

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What exactly are you looking to do?


If I read this right, you want to get a DVD player with 5.1 analog outs and hope you can mix the rears into the fronts? This is usually something that the receiver must do, so your receiver would need to have inputs for all the channels. Do you at least have an input for the center channel?




That is weird about the 5.1...a DVD by definition must have a two channel track on it or it does not get the "seal."
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey,


Thanks for the reply Namlemez. Yep, you got the idea (except you were able to say it in one sentence ;-).


I'm trying to get a 3-speaker setup (left-center-right), which can take in 5.1 from a DVD player, send the front signals to the L-C-R, and mix in the rear surround signals (and sub?), uh, somewhere to fool my ears (which ain't that hard). Anyway, it must be a fairly common setup, I think?


Except, I'm not sure that upgrading the DVD player will do it, with this receiver. It doesn't have a center channel input. So, I've got a feeling that it may be the end for the HK :-( But what happens with a DD 5.1 receiver with only 3 speakers? Is it appreciably different from 3 speakers using the DD 2.0 track? OK, I know that 5.1 is technically better for a number of reasons; but isn't essentially the same thing happening (minus the sub/rear separation)?


About that one disc, yeah, from what I gather it just slipped thru that way. Not a big deal for one disc - it's just partly what got me paying attention to the sound setup again.


Thanks again for your help,


Brian
 

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Do a test. Take one of your speakers (L or R) and connect it as a center channel speaker. If you get the desired effect, then go get yourself a " real" center channel. You can use that set-up until you get yourself a true DD5.1 receiver. It should work, but no better way to know than test it yourself.


-Brett
 

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As an alternative, I think this will work. Most all DVD players will mix down the 5.1 soundtrack to prologic and output this on the stereo analog outs. Connect the stereo analog outs to one of the inputs of your prologic receiver and set your receiver to prologic. You will now get L C R and rear. Of course you will be throwing out the rear in this configuration, but you will be getting the L, C, and R. An even better approach would be to take the 3rd speaker and put it in the rear. Your receiver should allow you to select a phantom center where the center channel information is split evenly between the left and right. Prologic only has a signle rear channel, so both rear speakers are playing exactly the same thing. Therefore, you could have just one speaker in the rear with the volume turned up by 6dB to compensate for the missing second speaker. You would now have Pro logic surround with L, phantom center, Right, and rear using only 3 speakers. Certainly not optimal but quite workable.
 

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As a test to see if a center helps with dialog, if your TV has audio RCA inputs -and- your receiver has pre-outs, connect the DVD to the receiver as C Schelp suggested and run the center pre-out to the TV input. If this accomplishes what you want, I would then invest in a center speaker.


Also, your receiver's Pro Logic may be able to be set for a center but no rear.
 
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