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Denon 3808 Operation

by norbridge1 / January 24, 2009 1:26 AM PST

I am not a "techie" - just a simple retired guy - and need some basic help from other 3808 owners:
1. Should my Comcast DVR be connected with my HDMI cable to the 3808 (which is what I currently have), or directly to my HDTV (Pioneer PRO 111FD)? I have removed the speakers from the HDTV and have an audio optical cable from the Pioneer to the 3808 which is currently used for audio on antenna-received broadcasts.
2. What settings on the 3808 do others use for listening to cable HD channels where the sound input shows as 5 channels on the receiver? Is it "Dolby Digital", or "7CH Stereo" or "Widescreen" or something else?
3. We listen to a lot of classical music from the Tuner, Internet radio and CDs. All sound good on 7CH Stereo. But for movies (both 5.1 and old stereo) I find I have to reduce the setting for my center channel in order to hear the surround sound properly? Is this normal, or is something wrong with my settings?

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3808
by jasondtx / January 24, 2009 5:14 AM PST
In reply to: Denon 3808 Operation

I would hook up your cable box hdmi to the denon, then to the pioneer plasma. You won't have any degradation to the signal that way. Second, if your cable broadcast is sending 5.1 DD I would leave your receiver in "standard" surround mode, then it will decode it and send the proper sound to the proper speaker without any extra surround processing. Third, when you listen to music there are always other fun surround modes which add processing to the sound. Most of the time these make things sound too spacious, throw of the balance, add delays, etc. Two channel music (ie CD) is always recorded and mixed using 2 speaker channels. The "correct" way to listen to this is in the stereo or direct mode. Receivers have many other modes which are there as more of a personal preference. If you want to have the entire system playing stereo that's when you would select 5 or 7ch stereo, or plII, or another mode. Technically though the most natural sounding would be stereo. Also use the Audyssey eq setup with the microphone, a very nice result!

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3808
by norbridge1 / January 25, 2009 6:39 AM PST
In reply to: 3808

Thanks jasondtx. When I press the "Standard" button the display shows "Dolby Digital", but the sound only seems to come out of the center and two front speakers - nothing much comes out of the other four. Whereas if I select a DSP mode, such as "Wide Screen" I get sound from all seven speakers. Denon calls this 5.1+2 Do you believe the "Dolby Digital" setting gives the truest sound.

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3808
by jasondtx / January 26, 2009 4:31 AM PST
In reply to: 3808

The dolby digital would give you the truest sound yes. The widescreen mode is going to add the other back 2 speaker channels and do some other processing to the sound to make it sound like a movie theater. Did you use the microphone or have someone set the levels of all the speakers?

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3808
by norbridge1 / January 26, 2009 11:17 PM PST
In reply to: 3808

Yes, the retailer who delivered the receiver set the speakers with the audessey mike. On 7 CH Stereo they seem to be well balanced, but when on Dolby Digital or Dolby Px (for 2-channel input) I usually reduce the center speaker to hear the surround better. I never interfere with the settings of the other speakers.

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3808
by jasondtx / January 31, 2009 3:51 AM PST
In reply to: 3808

You shouldn't have to adjust the center channel to hear the rest of the system. Does your denon have the Audyssey Dynamic EQ, and Dynamic Volume? If it does not there is a free upgrade from Denon.com for this. This would help you get the appropriate levels. When you turn the volume down from "0" reference level, your ear hears things differently. The bass seems to disappear and the surround sound tends to go away. This is because of the way your ear hears things. At reference level this is not an issue. At lower volumes if you turn on the Audyssey Dynamic EQ this will compensate for this in real time so no matter what volume you listen to your program material, you will have the correct balance of bass and surround sound.

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3808
by norbridge1 / February 1, 2009 12:41 AM PST
In reply to: 3808

Jason:
I don't have the Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume. As my receiver is 6 months old I have to pay $100 to get it. Is it worth it?
Also, what do you mean by "reference level" - is that the settings after running the Audessy set-up with the mike?

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