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Connection to Receiver Question

 

New member
Username: Kevdef

Post Number: 1
Registered: Aug-12
Greetings,
I have a Sony STR-DE545 receiver (manual http://www.docs.sony.com/release/STRDE545.PDF) that I am trying to use with an existing set of flush mounted ceiling speakers. I live in a rental house and did not install the speakers so I do not know the make/specs. The wiring for the speakers comes through a closet and I have tested and worked out the wiring for the most part. I have hooked up the speakers and I have gone through the receiver set up process in the manual. However, when I play a CD, I am only able to get one of the 7 speakers to work. Only the center speaker works in surround mode and only one the front speakers works in "Auto Format Decoding" (AFD) mode. Any thoughts/suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17325
Registered: May-04
.

The first thought is, do you know the receiver is operating as it should? And all the speakers? How did you check the speakers' operation?
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1882
Registered: Oct-10
Do you have other speakers handy that you use to make sure the receiver is working properly? Even if it's brand new or worked in your last place, you should double check.

Then, double check the wires, make sure each speaker is connected to the wires you think it is. That would be a start.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1883
Registered: Oct-10
To check the speaker wiring, use a battery (AA should be fine) touch one conductor of the speaker wire to one side of the battery and the conductor to the other side at the same time. You should hear a click from the corresponding speaker. If not, you may have bad wires, loose wires or bad speakers.
 

New member
Username: Kevdef

Post Number: 2
Registered: Aug-12
Thanks for the responses.
Prior to hooking everything up I went through each wire individually so I could trace out which wire goes to which speaker. So I know I can get sound out of each speaker. I also have a bare bones Onkyo receiver that will power multiple speakers but because there are fewer inputs I am hoping to use the Sony.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1885
Registered: Oct-10
How many inputs do you need?

IMO, the Onkyo would be a better choice in terms of sound quality.

Can you at least use the Onkyo to make sure that you're getting sound from all 7 speakers?
 

New member
Username: Kevdef

Post Number: 3
Registered: Aug-12
I used the Onkyo to map things out; which wire to which speaker. But the Onkyo is only outfitted for four speakers. The Sony has inputs to accept all seven speakers.

I am wondering if it is something I am missing in the surround set up of the Sony? I tried to follow it closely via the manual. Something with the receiver-speaker match? Impedance issues? I imagine the speakers are newer than the receiver.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1886
Registered: Oct-10
"The Sony has inputs to accept all seven speakers."

You mean outputs that go to the inputs of the speakers. Right?
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1887
Registered: Oct-10
"I am wondering if it is something I am missing in the surround set up of the Sony? I tried to follow it closely via the manual. Something with the receiver-speaker match? Impedance issues? I imagine the speakers are newer than the receiver."

If you were able to get sound from all seven speakers with the Onkyo (testing 3 or 4 at a time), but not from the Sony, there might be something wrong with the Sony. Again, do you have seven other speakers you can test with? Even if they're cheap, crappy speakers that you can use just to verify that you're getting sound from all 7 channels. If you don't get sound from all 7 that way, have the Sony looked at. Is it still under warranty?
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1889
Registered: Oct-10
You might also try getting Sony tech support on the phone in case you overlooked something in the set up.
 

New member
Username: Kevdef

Post Number: 4
Registered: Aug-12
Yes, you are correct, outputs. I knew I'd slip up in terminology at some point in this discussion.

I may go the tech support route.

Thanks again for the thoughts. For completeness I'll follow up if I get this resolved.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1893
Registered: Oct-10
We all make mistakes in terminology at some point. So, don't feel bad.

I hope you do get it resolved soon. I'll be looking forward to hearing from you.
 

New member
Username: Kevdef

Post Number: 5
Registered: Aug-12
So using an individual speaker it seems that in 2 channel mode, only the front L output is functioning (A and B). In surround only the C output is working. This is just confirmation of what I already knew.

I didn't notice any fuses when I opened up the unit but from googling around it seems that the relays are a common issue. It may be a replacement or a resolder job. Don't think it is something I have the time to deal with. Trying to decide if it is worth the money to have it repaired.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1904
Registered: Oct-10
To have a Sony receiver made in 2003 or later (I'm guessing) repaired? Nope! Not worth the $. Sony products made prior to '03 were made to last although their sound quality was never all that. These days, only TVs and a couple of other Sony products are made to last.

My suggestions are as follows:

1) If your budget restricts you to a receiver, check out Onkyo, Denon, Marantz, Pioneer and Harmon Kardon. See if you can audition them at home with your ceiling speakers. Any of these brands will undoubtedly sound better and last longer than a Sony will IMO. If you like your movies and/or music loud, HK would be your best bet since HK puts larger power transformers in their receivers so that it will handle demanding passages at high volumes. For low to moderate volumes, any of them should be fine.

If your budget allows, you should check out integrated amps (preamp and power amp in one unit, no tuner). These units will be better on all counts.

If you have a really big budget, seperates (preamp, power amp and tuner (if you desire a tuner) are seperate units) would be the best way to go. Matter o' fact, if you can afford a HT preamp and 7 monoblock power amps, this would be your very best bet.
 

New member
Username: Kevdef

Post Number: 6
Registered: Aug-12
Thanks for the info SJJ.
Yeah, was thinking repair cost may approach the cost of a new receiver. At this point I'll likely just look at a receiver replacement. I've had two Onkyo and have really liked both of them. Our place really isn't that large so volume is not a huge priority. Just looking for quality sound and something that will last.
Separate units is probably something I'll look into down the road.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1905
Registered: Oct-10
Always glad to help Kevin

"I've had two Onkyo and have really liked both of them."

That's a good starting point. However, not to bogg you down with too many considerations, but you don't know how an Onkyo will sound wih these speakers until you hear it. You may like how one of the other brands sounds with them better. Just a thought.

Some other things to consider: your ceiling speakers are probably not mounted in enclosures (cabinets). If you don't mind going to the trouble, you may want to pull your center speaker, the front left or right, one surround and one rear surround and find out the make and model. Then, find out the T/S parameters of the speakers and see about mounting the speakers in enclosers. This will improve sound quaility, unless of course there are already (surprise, surprise) enclosures behind these speakers.

You may want to consider, at some point (later on I'm sure) getting either 6 book shelf speakers and a center speaker or 4 shelf speakers (surround), a center and 2 floor speakers (front left and right). I say this because in ceiling and in wall speakers are generally not the best. Keep in mind though, the most important thing is that you, your wife (I'm assuming you're married) and anyone else in the house are happy with the system.

What kind of subwoofer are you using? Since this is a HT system, you'll probably be using a sub as movies usually don't get all of the oomph they need on the bottom end without a sub.

Again, remember that all of this advice consists of things to consider in order to get the most enjoyment possible from your system. Please keep me posted and I hope it all goes well.
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