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Help setting up Paradigm + Marantz

 

New member
Username: Shb

Post Number: 1
Registered: May-05
I have a brand new set-up that consists of a Marantz 8400 receiver, Paradigm Studio 40 fronts, Paradigm CC-470 center, and Speakercraft AIM8 surrounds.

This is my first new set-up in over 12 years and I am not familiar with many things:
- I have connected all the speakers to the 8400. However, it seems that I need to increase the volume substantially (-20 to -17) to get a low level of sound out the speakers. Does that sound right to you? I would have tought that by cranking the volume to -20 I would be going near deaf.
- In surround mode, I have to increase the volume even further(-5)
- Using a test tone, the L/R speakers sound significantly louder than the center. I compensated by 8 db and the center still did not match the L/R.
- There seems to be no output to the sub-woofer. I am running an interconnect from the sub-W pre-Out to the sub. I made sure the sub is powered. I send test tones to the sub and get nothing out.

I'm starting to think there is something wrong with the sr8400. I know the speakers work because I used them for a couple of days with my old Sony receiver. I did not need to crank up the volume in the same way I need to coax the sr8400.

Your comments are needed, and very much appreciated.
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 611
Registered: Feb-04
There's only a difference of 2 dB in sensitivity between the Paradigm Studio 40 and CC-470. Something is wrong. Hook up you CC-470 to the right channel and confirm that you can balance the level with the other Studio 40 with a boost of 2 dB. Then you'll know something is up with the receiver.
 

New member
Username: Stuman168

Post Number: 4
Registered: May-05
well Dan, This is also my first to HT I got the SR 8400 from Ubid and I just recently hooked up the Front L and R to Tannoy speaker and I notice I need to go all the way up to -25 to - 20. Haven't got a chance to check in full surround mode since I don't have a center channel and powered subs yet. Maybe I better get something to test your finding.
btw dan how much do you pay for your cc470 as I am looking for the studio series set up.
what are you using for your powered Subs?
 

New member
Username: Shb

Post Number: 2
Registered: May-05
Peter, thanks for the info. I changed the connection running to the Center channel and all it needs is +1db to +2db to match the L/R. The sub remains an absolute mistery. I have tried all kinds of things to make it work to no avail.

Stu, just like you, I got my 8400 from a recent Ubid auction. My sub is a Onix Rocket UFW-10. The problem is that I can't get it to work with the 8400.

Sorry for this question, but what does the negative number mean in relation to volume. Is -20 loud no matter what receiver or amp one is using?
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 612
Registered: Feb-04
So the centre is okay now?

As for the sub, you did tell the receiver you have one, right? What test tone? From the receiver setup? Try a DVD with LFE content (i.e. low frequency effects)

As for negative numbers... They are in dB relative to a theretical maximum output, usually at 0 dB but sometimes a bit higher. So -20dB means 1W per channel on a 100W per channel receiver (20 dB under 100W). How loud that is depends on how efficient your speakers are, how big your room is, and is absortive or reflective it is. I listen to jazz at -30dB on my dial (85-90 dB or so in the room) but I have very efficient speakers, corresponding to -18 dB if I were playing your speakers instead of mine.
 

New member
Username: Shb

Post Number: 3
Registered: May-05
Peter, thanks for explaining the db scale to me. I was really concerned.

Using the speaker setup menu of the receiver I selected YES for sub-woofer. The fronts, center, and rear are set to SMALL.

The test tone I've sent to the sub comes from the receiver. I don't have an AVIA disc yet, but plan to get one ASAP.

Something else is confusing. I connected my DVD to the receiver via a coax digital which I purchased yesterday. When playing music and selecting AUTO, the receiver immediately recognizes an HDCD source. However, when switching to movies (Shrek 1) no sound whatsoever comes out. I had to go back to the analog connection and instruct the receiver via the Input Setup menu that the now the DVD is connected via an analog connection. Now I can hear the movie through all 5 channels, but no sound is sent to the sub-woofer.

I know the sub works. I connected the DVD directly to the sub, and the sub worked fine.

The DVD player is an older Sony NC-600. I doubt it is the source of the problem. Honestly, I must be doing something incorrectly.
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 625
Registered: Feb-04
You need the digital input working to get true LFE content sent to the sub.

Strange about the coax digital input not being detected from your DVD as Doby Digital or DTS. That sounds like the DVD is not setup to output correctly. There is usually a menu to select PCM/Digital output on the DVD player setup. Look for that and toogle the setting to try.
 

New member
Username: Shb

Post Number: 4
Registered: May-05
Peter, I will try the DVD menu tonight. I just found the old manual.

I tried hooking up my satellite HDTV box to the receiver using the coax digital cable. It made a noticeable difference in quality and volume. If there is a movie being shown tonight encoded in Dolby digital I will try it to see if it makes a difference. So far there has been no output to the sub.

Tomorrow I will try to purchase an AVIA disc.

Peter, I appreciate your help. I am frustrated because of my inability to get the system to work properly. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Dan
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 627
Registered: Feb-04
We'll work through it...
 

Silver Member
Username: Claudermilk

Post Number: 143
Registered: Sep-04
It sounds like the main speaker problem was solved? I'm running a pair of Studio 20's on a 5400 & have no problem with them.

As far as the digital output, IIRC you need to tell the receiver you are using the digital audio and which input is using it.
 

New member
Username: Shb

Post Number: 5
Registered: May-05
Peter and Chris,
I set up the DVD correctly. The receiver recognized the signal and when playing a movie (Shrek 1) it DID send audio to the sub-woofer. I later tried a music CD, and there was no output to the sub. The receiver did not recognize an LFE signal so it sent nothing to the sub. Does that mean that music can't be listened to with a sub on? (I know the answer is: YES you can listen to music with your sub on. BUT HOW????)

I discovered a HT setup disc that I had gotten as a freebie when I bought my DVD a few years ago. It seems like an AVIA-type disc. I tried the speaker set up section in order to send signals to the LFE. NOTHING came out. However, the receiver did not identify the test disc as a Dolby 5.1.

I tried selecting different formats using the receiver (DTS, Dolby, NEO something). None of them would send a signal to the sub using either music or the Test disc.

I am making progress, but slowly. I'd love to calibrate the system (I even bought a Radio Shack SPL meter - but given the amount of trouble I've run into, I wonder if I will be able to calibrate the system correctly).

Guys, thanks for your patience with me. I appreciate your help and input.

Dan
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 629
Registered: Feb-04
If the mains are set to large and the sub is set to BOTH, then you should hear something from the sub. Try setting the mains to small to make sure something is going there.
 

New member
Username: Shb

Post Number: 6
Registered: May-05
Peter, progress at last. The DVD and the Satellite box are now connected to the receiver using digital interconnects. Both are correctly set up to output a Dolby Digital (or DTS) signal. The sub is working albeit "softly." It even worked with music. When I get home tonight I plan to play some music that I love for its bass line (Yo Yo Ma's Appalachian Dreams, Sting's Brand New Day)

What are your suggestions to calibrate the system? As mentioned before I invested in a SPL meter. I will get an AVIA disc. What else is needed (aside from patience)? Any special tips?

Once again, thanks for the time and suggestions. They have helped me a lot.
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 631
Registered: Feb-04
Well the beginning of String's "Brand new day" should provide ample output from the sub. It scares my 3-year-old. That as well as the bass string note that is repeated throughout the first track.

Calibrating a sub is difficult to do without an SPL meter and an AVIA disk (or something similar). People mmost often set them too high and it results in muddy bass. For example, the volume gain on my Hsu STF-3 has 6 increments and my correct setting is just below the first. That's a lot less than I should have thought without an SPL meter.
 

Silver Member
Username: Claudermilk

Post Number: 147
Registered: Sep-04
Good to hear.
 

New member
Username: Shb

Post Number: 7
Registered: May-05
I could not find an AVIA disc anywhere around in town, so I ordered one from Amazon.com (picked up a couple of books along the way - Tell no one by Harlan Coben; highly recommended by my business partner). The disc should arrive early next week.

The beginning of Brand New Day made my sister in law ask: what is that? I know that the settings are all wrong, but it was gratifying to hear the sub working. Yo-Yo Ma's Minuette (I think that's the title of the piece) sounded amazing. There is a great fiddle bass part that goes low and sounds gutural. I enjoyed it.

As soon as I can work on calibration I will come back to post some more. Please be sure to check back. I am counting on your suggestions.

Dan
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 641
Registered: Feb-04
Well, so far so good!
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 581
Registered: Feb-05
Keep your receipt on the Avia disc around for a while. It doesn't work on many of the better DVD players. They are working on a new version which should be out soon.
 

Silver Member
Username: Claudermilk

Post Number: 149
Registered: Sep-04
Uh oh, I didn't want to hear that. Any idea if the Denon 2200 likes it? I was planning on investing in that disc eventually.
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